Story Contest 2020 #2 Highly Commended »

Highly Commended Story - My Hometown

“My Hometown” by Julian Ramirez Dayro, FEU Diliman, Philippines, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2020.

My Hometown

John was born on a small town in Aurora Province. When he was about 5 years old, his parents left for the middle east to work so they can send him and his siblings to school. They were left to be cared for by his mother’s youngest sister. John did not go to pre-school so when it was time for him to enroll in Grade 1, he can only write his first name. Her teacher saw this, and from then on, John would stay in the classroom during lunch learning to read and write. His teacher made sure he can catch up with the rest of his classmates. On the day of the recognition, he and his parents were delighted to know that he is the top 10 of his class. At this early age, John was able to understand the value of perseverance and the benefits that comes afterwards.

At Grade 2, his family transferred to Manila. Initially, John was overwhelmed by the big city, but he continued to deploy the values he learned back in his hometown. But even this, he has second thoughts in living in the big city. His father became a tricycle driver by day, and, Security Guard by night just to provide for the needs of the family. Finally, he had the courage to ask his parents why can’t they just go back to their hometown. It was his mother who told him that because of the conflicts between the rebels and the government, his parents decided to leave their province, and that he should accept the fact they will not be going back. He still cannot believe that they left the good life in their province because conflicts in ideas that they are not involved with.

But the values that he learned from childhood has helped him to cope and eventually become successful in life. He graduated top of his class in elementary. He became a student leader during his college years and went on to become one of the youngest senior officer in the local banking industry. He is now a common name in the electronic banking space where he leads an initiative that would make it more convenient for Filipinos to pay and settle transactions.

John is now planning to start a technology company that will provide employment to the less fortunate, He eventually will go back to his hometown and live there when he retires from the corporate world. But he longs to be back at his hometown where childhood memories, good values and characters were built. The sun, centuries-old trees, ocean waves, the mountains and the vast open spaces. Oh! Just think about how beautiful and wonderful it is to be back home.

He knows that the road is not going to be easy. It will be a long journey ahead. But this is his dream and he will not stop until this dream is achieved. Somehow, he knows that his journey will come full circle.

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