The in-flight screen says that we have already flown 2,847 miles from Barcelona and currently 39,000 ft. above Jordan. My seat mate on the left has gone to the toilet while the one on the right is deep in his sleep. 639 miles more and we will make our stopover in Abu Dhabi before a 7-hour flight to Manila. Suddenly, turbulence. From tolerable trembling, the plane becomes more agitated. My hands immediately grab both armrests.
I close my eyes but the more I want to focus my mind on something calm, images from Everything Everywhere All at Once, the last film I saw before flying, keep flashing in my head. If you have seen the film, you know what I am talking about. The chaos, the commotion, the special effects! But if you haven’t seen it yet, think of multiverses and alphaverses. And don’t wonder why such a mad and confusing film can be so beautiful.
The turbulence dies down. When I open my eyes, it seems that I am in a different place. My two previous seat mates are no longer in their seats. Instead, I am sandwiched by two versions of “me”, yes, myself and myself. The “me” on my right is having an online class with my students while the “me” on my left has finally arrived home in Manila, hugging a woman who resembles my mother. Confused and dazed, I notice I have something in my hand that wasn’t there before, a magazine.
Have I jumped into another dimension mid- turbulence? I take a look at the magazine. It is our Spring 2023 Issue. But this isn’t supposed to be finished yet, I tell myself. We are just about to edit the articles!
On the cover is Mia Caram Dianda, an Oklahoma- based Filipino expat and owner of Advanced Behavioral Solutions, a company that specializes in intensive behavioral therapy for children with autism. Mia shares how her passion to help families with autistic children drove her to put up her own company amidst the challenges of living in a conservative place like Oklahoma.
Flipping through the pages, busker Jenika Duran, drummer Tino Lucena Bautista and poet Karessa Ramos show their love for art and music. In the middle of all the rumblings of the world, these artists are able to build their own universes where their thoughts and voices thrive. Writer Antonio Montalván pays homage to a prolific artist and expat, Fernando Zobel de Ayala.
Catalan mom Ester’s touching story of adopting a boy from the Philippines proves that a mothers love transcends beyond blood relations.
Speaking of “universe-jumping”, this issue offers three destinations to consider in one of the most pleasant seasons of the year, springtime! Myls Rubio, Agatha Verdadero and Ricka Perez rave about their trips to Mexico, Colombia and Rome, respectively, listing down the wonderful things we can discover in these exciting places.
In Expat Living, find out how Siony Sarabia, an Aklan native, changed from being a hesitant expat to being a loyal Aucklander. Finance expert Sharon Masler gives tips on how to protect yourself from being conned. Francine Vito interviews the owners of Nice-based Khaesarap restaurant, that successfully attracted picky French clients. Dheza Aguilar features a multi-business entrepreneur from Calgary. In our newest sections, we look into investing and the Pinoy expat budget.
As soon as I turn the last page, the plane gives a slight thud and transitions back into flying smoothly. Once the bumpy interruption is over, both of my previous seat mates are now sitting next to me leaving no traces of the two versions of me. The magazine is gone too. Everything just doesn’t make sense.
Well, it does make sense, actually. This is just a fantasy that has kept running in my head the moment the plane took off. For someone like me who hasn’t
been home for almost six years, preparing for my flight gave me a mix of fatigue, excitement and anxiety. I bet my fellow Pinoy expats also feel the same: the anxious sensation to temporarily leave your job behind, the thrill of seeing our family again and the fleeting reality of the future while we sit there, waiting to get to our destination, somewhere between two time zones and imagining what is happening on both sides of the world. As I write this, I am now in Manila spending limited time with my family. And on the day our Spring 2023 issue comes out, I will be sitting once again on the plane on my way back to Europe, where winter is about to end and spring time is making its way through.
Again as always, we hope you enjoy our Spring 2023 issue! Let The Filipino Expat Magazine be the first to greet a splendid springtime!