It has been said that one of the consolations about loved ones being apart most of the time is the joy of anticipating the times when they can get together again.
And in this modern times, when the demands of work and the search for economic opportunities do tend to tear families apart and separate them from each other often over long distances, it has become more and more difficult for family members to find time and arrange schedules so that they can meet, reconnect and have fun together.
Filipino families, even many from small and remote towns like Lianga, have become, in this sense, globalized and this causes unique problems in a culture that sets the importance of family ties above all and where regular physical contact and interactions between close relatives are valued, encouraged and considered essential to the survival of the family and clan unit as viable and living entities.
It is true that Filipinos far from home have found ways to combat homesickness and maintain contact with their relatives and loved ones in a myriad of ways. Most make use of the internet and through e-mails, voice and video chats try to keep in touch. Others who prefer the time tested and traditional methods, write letters or make long-distance calls.
But nothing still beats the old fashioned family get together. That is what everybody lives, works and sacrifices for. The chance to throw aside the cares, burdens and responsibilities of a brutal world and spend time with the people who matter to you most; the chance to invest valuable time, money and effort in something that always nevers fail to return the most generous returns, immaterial and intangible it may be.