San Pablo City Fiesta

San Pablo, my homecity, celebrates its fiesta today. As it was in the previous seven or eight years, I can't be there. I've long recognized and accepted this separation with the city I'd known too well in my early teens. Today, San PableƱos have another reason to celebrate because one of our own, CJ Muere, avenged and survived once more in last night's Starstruck. I saw the hype over CJ when I went back to San Pablo last November, a month before he was voted off on Christmas eve. I can only imagine the rebound of hysteria, and I somehow feel a tinge of sadness knowing that I can never be part of such reverie.

When I was in grade school, city fiesta meant devouring the tiangge. I'd spend all the money I received the previous Christmas on toys, clothes, pets (maya birds or hamsters, usually), on the tiangge that would fill almost every major street in San Pablo--Rizal Avenue, M. Paulino, etc. In high school, the fiesta meant drinking festival, where we could booth hop and try the variety of wines and beers each of them would offer--for free! Suddenly, I miss being drunk.

Later, after doing some library research in the afternoon, I'll go drink some beer alone. Yes, I can go home to San Pablo tonight, but I can never really go back and say to myself that I'm home. Not anymore.