It was my last day in big, sprawling Manila. I never liked it much. Too noisy, too dusty, too dirty. Too many street signs. Too many tangled wires and trains. Too much for an island girl. Tagalog also doesn't sound right to my ears as much as Bisaya does; it always felt like I was in a telenovela. Most Manila people would even go as far as to find my language funny. 

We were walking along Manila Bay, Mike and I. One of the few places where you can actually have some peace and quiet. A man washes some fish he caught off the bay. The tall buildings nearby loom over him like guardians. And the waters ripple out, perfect circles against the messy imperfection of the capital.

It was my last day in Manila. My cousins were leaving for America, I remember. I was going to board a plane to take me back home later that day. It was a good trip.

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