Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

Island Traveler

Whether it’s made of bricks, clay or sticks, what makes a house a home is the people who dwells in it.

I moved so many times, been to so many places and said goodbye to so many people I cared about that my concept of home is no longer the same as the one I always thought of us a child.

Island Traveler

We may have moved on, travelled the world and built our dream house but we will never forget that place we first called “home.”

People constantly remind me, “Home is where your heart is. True that where we are happy now whether alone or with friends and family is our home but somehow I always felt that a piece of myself stayed in every home that I’d been too. The beautiful memories of the times I shared with the people who lived in them I will always carry with me.

Island Traveler

The beach that gave me and my sisters so many happy childhood memories. Life was simple then. Somehow I miss those simple yet fun times.

Island Traveler

A home is where we find love and happiness. It is a place to create wonderful memories. My son looked so happy meeting his cousins. Every morning they would play together, eat together, share stories and dreams together. A home is a place where we feel truly alive and excited to face each day.

Perhaps home is even in our hearts because in it we carry all the joys we experienced in this lifetime. Within and around it we built our dreams and wishes. In its four chambers dwells the love, laughter, memories and happiness we shared and hope to share in the years to come. For as long as it beats, that home continues to provide light, warmth and comfort for those who seek refuge under its roof.

Island Traveler

A home is a place where amazing adventures begin. My son discovering for the first time what life in a farm feels like. We ate newly catch Tilapia that day from a pond next to our table.

Island Traveler

Every morning my son and his cousins would feed the fishes outside our house. There are about 7 big ponds and about 10 aquariums full of guppies, goldfish, mollies and swordtails. To my surprise, they even have fresh water shrimps.

Island Traveler

Kitchen is a place not just for cooking. It is a place where meaningful and unforgettable stories and laughter are made. My mom still use the traditional cooking device made of clay in some of her cooking as well as the ever dependable aluminum frying pan. Believe me, the food is tastier than those cooked from those expensive, fancy, branded cooking utensils. My mom is the Martha Stewart of my town.

Island Traveler

This is “Brunch” on a regular basis when I last visited my old home. Stress was unheard of until I again went back to the U.S. Oh, well, we can’t have everything. Ha,ha,ha.

Last Thursday, my sister finally arrived in Connecticut from the Philippines. She will create a new home of her own with her husband in California after spending 34 wonderful years in a home me and the rest of my siblings shared before we travelled to different places in search for our dreams.

Island Traveler

Last Summer, my sister was helping my other sister with her bakeshop in the tropics. Every morning, we shared a newly brewed coffee and dessert. Today, she still enjoys coffee every morning but with a different view. Outside the window gone are the tropical flowers and greens. In its place is a snow-covered pavement on a Winter morning in Connecticut.

Before she left the country, I told my sister, “Spend as much time with our family. Cherish every moment with mom and dad because once you leave you will realized how much you will miss them and that whatever time we spent with them was never enough.” She replied, “I will Manong.” I do hope that she did because I know now that once we choose a path away from our childhood home, there is no turning back. We can revisit. We can look at old photographs. We can even Skype to bridge the distance and Google our physical address to remind us that it is still there but it will never be the same.

Island Traveler

To mom and dad, we may be miles away but we will always keep you both in our hearts. You gave us the happiest home any child could wish for and for that we always are grateful. There is no day that I don’t miss those times we shared together. Those memories continue to inspire me to create a home that my son will one day carry with him with love and joy in his heart.

Island Traveler

At my parent’s house, every night my mom lights up this Mango tree with Capiz lanterns. It symbolizes all the happy memories I was lucky enough to have growing up. It also means that I will always be greeted with welcoming open arms when I return.

Thanks for sharing your day with me. I hope it inspired you to create as much happy memories in your home.

What is “home” to you? Is there a home in your past you wish to revisit one day? 

Wishing you all a home that is full of love, peace and joy. A home where laughter echoes to every corner of your heart.

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
This entry was posted in family, Inspiration, Life, Love, photography, Post A Week, Weekly Image Of Life, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to Home

  1. this is beautiful, and it’s so great to see how TALL you son is growing! yes, when we move a lot, our circle of friends and extended family gets much larger.

    • Thanks Z. Indeed that circle grow bigger. There’s always room for real friends and family. Yes, he is growing fast. His pants is already showing his ankles and I just bought it at the beginning of the school year.

  2. Roberta says:

    Enjoyed your heartwarming memories and thoughts!

  3. I’m so glad to see your blog. For quite some time all the posts to the blogs I subscribed to, disappeared. Last night, I found them…. hundreds of posts were in my SPAM box. I was
    upset to see them there…. I clicked on all the blogs I had subscribed to….and clicked on ‘NOT
    SPAM’…. and today …I’m seeing all my blogs/friends in my Inbox email. I’m so happy, I’m so happy to find your blog again, also. :))) Granny Gee/Gloria I love your wonderful photos, your blog about family… your blog is special.

  4. rutheh says:

    What a loving and heartfelt post. I especially like your words of advice to your sister.
    xxoo Ruth in Pittsburgh Your post really flowed and invited me in to your home. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Ruth. I wished someone gave me advice before leaving for the U.S. of what to do as well as what to make the most of before leaving the Philippines. I wished I spent more time with my parents and really savor each moment. Once we follow a different path, there is no turning back.

  5. bebs1 says:

    It is so nice to know that you will have another home to go to. When I lost my job in 2009, I was grateful knowing that I will never be homeless because I could always have a home in the Philippines. I got my same job back and so now I delay going home.

    • I’m glad you got your same job back. I do agree that we are luckier in a way because we have a fall back if it doesn’t work out well in the U.S. My dad had been asking me to go back and though in my heart I want to, It’s not time yet. Perhaps one day soon. Thanks Bebs.

  6. Amy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your “home” stories, IT! I just noticed that I have missed a few of your recent posts, they did not come to my “reader”.

  7. scrapydo says:

    This is beautiful! Before moving permanently to New Zealand my sister and I went on a trip down memory lane. I have taken some new photos of old place. It is so sweet to remember the good days and to have had a home to live in.

  8. I love these images and I love your passion for family and home! Thanks for keeping me inspired!

  9. muZer says:

    Such a heartwarming post and so true when you say that no matter how much ever the technology bridges the gap, it still isn’t the same to be home with parents and the loved ones. And it’s so strange that the more we grow old, the more we want to revisit the childhood days.. And as a child, we can’t wait to become an adult!

    • So true. Although there is no more turning back, the fact that we are alive, that gives us the chance to make up for the time lost in whatever way we can. I just wish that all of us will find our happiest dream wishes and yes, even that chidlhood memory we wish to go back and experience once again. Thanks.

  10. ristinw says:

    Very warmth family trip :D

  11. tmso says:

    The picture of the shoes lined out at the end of the home brings back lots of memories. Thank you!

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  13. siggiofmaine says:

    This is wonderful…thank you for sharing.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine, USA

  14. dearrosie says:

    Brilliant post my dear IT. Your love for your home comes through in all the pictures. I’m also far from my home. I understand. My favorite pictures are the ones of your son with his cousins, the photo of the shoes outside the door, the table laden with food…. So much to keep you and your siblings at “home” yet another sister and her family have just made the huge move to the US.

    • Thank you my friend. It is hard to be away from your parents and siblings. I feel sad for my parents though because one by one all their children are flying away from a nest that nurtured them with love for so many years. Out of 6, three ventured to a foreign land which means we can only be together atleast once a year if God’s will it. I wish things were simpler.

  15. Jo Bryant says:

    I always feel good after visiting here…always

  16. misswhiplash says:

    I think that you are right. everywhere that has been home, always keeps a special place in your heart

  17. For those of us that have moved several times in our personal journey, we gather layers of experiences to add to our treasure trove. Once again your story is filled with the soft touch of deep emotions and insights. I’m sure many can relate to your memories, which combined with the images makes one pause to consider what you have gone through to achieve your dreams.

    • Thanks Sally. It wasn’t easy but I think the hardest part was being in the dream itself or being in the present. I always thought America was a land of milk and honey but I didn’t realize the price I will eventually have to pay to be here. Things happen for a reason. I had to go through all these to truly appreciate what is essential in my life.

  18. Haha…love the kids meeting the day in their pj’s. No time for getting dressed first!
    And the brunch table is beautiful! What a composition that arrangement of fruit!

    • Thanks Georgette. Yep, as soon as they wake up, it’s adventure time. It was a beautiful experience and I wish one day I can do it on a permanent basis. Dreams are free right?

  19. cocomino says:

    All of them are great memories They remind us good old days

  20. Heart-warming post, IT, and I think your son is catching up to you in height! :-)

  21. such wonderful images and reminder of what really matters – home, peace and family.

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  25. Mazigrace says:

    Thank you for sharing your heartfelt and inspiring sentiments of your home. Beautiful photos too.

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  27. Low Quay says:

    Great pictures and awesome blog!

  28. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Oh First Born you have brought tears to my eyes this time.

  29. Northern Narratives says:

    I had to move several times and each time I had tears. I carry all the memories of my past homes with me every day.

    • The first week I moved to the U.S., I found myself crying for no reason. Then I realized it’s because I miss my home and the people that I love. My wife was experiencing the same. Somehow, sunshine came when we had our son. He helps us go through the rough and sad times. Thanks.

  30. ChgoJohn says:

    What a heart-warming post! Moving is such a hopeful and (sometimes) gut-wrenching thing to do but one chapter must end for another to begin. I’m sure your Sister’s next chapter will be a very good one.

    • I do hope her next chapter will be a good one. As an elder brother, I just wish she will have a happier, smoother path than what I had. That she will not have to go through similar mistakes than I did. Thanks.

  31. Sunshine says:

    this is really beautiful…i love the chicken coop–so roomy and like a mini hut–and the fresh fish catch. what a wonderful idea…raise your own fish. as i always say, you have the ideal…thanks for inspiring us to this ideal. <3

  32. Lisa at fLVE says:

    This is a beautiful post. So heartfelt. Yes, I do believe that home is where the heart is but I also agree with you that once you leave your birth home, it’s never the same. If it was a happy beautiful place, then keep that always in your heart. Some people are not so lucky and they choose to forget it. And I think that’s okay too. Thanks for sharing~

  33. Silversound7 says:

    This is really beautiful. I can relate in so many ways – living in a different country than your home you grew up in has its lasting lessons, appreciations and a kind of endless longing that becomes a companion. Thank you for this entry.

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  35. Tammy says:

    This was my favorite of all your posts. There is so much love in those photos. I love the hens and the gardening and the mango tree. Thanks so much for sharing.

  36. It’s nice to see a man who treasures home and family and finds his artwork in the flowers and trees around his communtiy. You are a wise person!

    • I was always in love with nature. My dad kind of help me discover the gifts of nature including the joy, inspiration and peace it brings. Just like what I told my wife, “I was and will always be just simple person. Can’t really change who I am.” Thanks.

  37. Such luscious images. I truly feel Home in them.

  38. Hi IT! as always your post tugged at my heart. am hoping that Filipinos everywhere would be able to read your posts so that they will be inspired to rethink how challenging it truly is to be uprooted from one’s land of birth! your journey together with your family is heartfelt and encouraging … that no matter what hurdles you have faced and taken, you have been steadfast, hopeful and thankful to God who i know you believe to be sovereign above all! may your home both in the islands and in the US be eternally blessed! — APRIL

    • Thank you April. Your comment today gives me comfort. It also makes me realize that what I go through is something others experience when they leave their country. It is never easy and hardships/trials will continue to come. I am thankful that I have a very supportive family and a God who always remained faithful. Otherwise I would have long been lost. God bless you and your family.

  39. Maya says:

    what a lovely story ..

  40. Freedomborn says:

    How wonderful that you had a happy Childhood Island Traveler so many don’t and so they are messed up in their latter years but as we have found knowing Jesus gives us deep inner Joy regardless of what we have or will experience in our lives and He is the only One who can really heal us, the rest is just band-aids.

    Home is where the heart is and mine is in Heaven and yet like you I enjoy God’s creation and His Love shown in them and through them.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    • Thank you Anne for the constant encouragement. Your words brings light and hope. Thanks for reminding me today that heaven is our ultimate home. Sometimes worldly problems make us forget of why we are here in the first place. God bless you and Ron.

  41. Gobetween says:

    Beautiful images of home.

  42. Have has become many places to me. I’ve realized “home” is a place or with people where I feel safe, loved, and know. Home has meant more than brick and mortar as my daughter lives hundreds of miles from home. Great post!

  43. What a beautiful home – I can see why stress was unheard of!

    • It’s funny how stress was unheard of in my parent’s home and here in the U.S. the word stress is an everyday thing. Strange considering life supposedly is better financially in America compared to a third world country. Thanks.

  44. rommel says:

    I love the imagery you planted in our minds about the kitchen. It, you are a true genius! I have no concept home anymore. Everything to me is a house. But, I can phone home, or go back home once in a blue moon. :D

    • Once in a bloom moon is still better as long as with make it a magical visit each time. When I went home last year after being away for 4 years, it was one of my happiest and most relaxing days. I wanted it not to end but after 3 weeks, I had to go back to my real world. Crazy! Thanks bro.

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  46. “Home is where your heart is ” is a classic familiar saying that one can easily forget but your lovely post reminded me the true meaning of it and inspired me to participate in this week’s photo challenge. I just hope I have the time. Thanx!

  47. Barb says:

    Every time my son comes home, I try to make it special….with homey things food, games, telling stories. because your words echo deeply in my heart. When we leave home, we take a path that usually doesn’t return and we only have our memories. I try to imprint this on him, but I think it’s something one has to learn for oneself. That’s how I learned it…by traveling far away. I’d look at the moon and know it was the same moon my family was looking at…maybe at the very same moment…and the thought gave me a bit of connections and comfort. Thanks for the inspiration to capture what’s truly important.

  48. Ah family time! Home! Indeed these are to be cherished and always remembered. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos and journey with us!

  49. auntyuta says:

    Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts about home and all the beautiful pictures!

  50. MikeP says:

    I guess I was one of the lucky ones… both parents were in the Navy but at the end of the careers. So even though we were all born over seas my father put down roots (mom kinda threatened him) in a small town… which I call home. I also settled my family in an even smaller town… one school from K to 8th with one class per grade. NOW thats HOME for me :-)

  51. Patti Kuche says:

    I want to go and live with, and learn from, your wonderful mother – what a woman! That mango tree is so touching . . . .

  52. Judy Smith says:

    What a beautiful story — and I love your photos!

  53. Madhu says:

    Oh how I know it will never be the same IT.
    Thank you for a beautiful poignant post that made me miss my mother. Home for me will always be associated with her.

  54. eof737 says:

    The homes are beautiful and so are your memories. ;-)

  55. Fergiemoto says:

    This is beautiful!
    Home is wherever we are with our loved ones.

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