“In the land of promise, lies a paradise…” says the first line of the Tagum City March, the city’s official hymn, when translated into English. Tagum City is the place where I was born, and where I spent a large fraction of my childhood. Back then it was still a quiet municipality – very laid-back, sub-urban, and was mainly agricultural. Now it has become a progressive city along with its continually growing trade activities and improving commerce. And I say that it is a very livable place.
However, as a young child, I have always read a lot of books. Or rather, I have read repeatedly our neighbor’s encyclopedia. Yes, “our neighbor’s” since we did not get to own a set as it was too expensive for us. And because of these books, I have always been curious about different places and different cultures — hence my insatiable wanderlust.
Where I am getting at is: I would have spent my entire life in this lovely town if only my mind was not opened to the different wonderful destinations across the globe. Even while I was still adolescent, I have always felt this constant urge to drift away form my hometown. I spent my high school years in Davao city, around 100 kilometers away from Tagum. And it would have been in Diliman if my parents had allowed me to enroll in Pisay main campus. Then I spent my college years in Los Baños, Laguna. And it would have been in Singapore (wishfully) had my parents allowed me to take the NUS/NTU scholarships. And now, I work here in Metro Manila and am actually planning to live and work abroad in the future.
Growing up, I seemed to have been totally discounting the possibility of working and living in Tagum. However, when I encountered this documentary about the city, I felt nostalgic. And I somehow regretted that I even thought of drifting away from this lovely place.
I was honestly fascinated that Living Asia Channel has featured my hometown. And it has shown quite an extensive view of the city – from its humble beginnings, together with its native inhabitants, to its gradual development into a modern and now fun-filled place. I also liked that it showed how colorful Tagum City is, including its attractions, annual festive events as well as its forward-looking architecture.
I miss my hometown. Can’t wait to go back home this Christmas.
See you, Tagum!