The Big A

by Evans Yonson

Immediately after my 2009 visit to the Philippines, I came back to Barcelona to settle some unfinished business. Two days after my arrival, I left for New York. In less than a week I have traversed the Heathrow Airport twice and I tell you it’s very tiring to be moving from one terminal to another in London. You can feel security paranoia from one gate to another. It is this long and arduous better-safe-than-sorry checking that will make any traveller sick and tired to be in Heathrow.

It’s good to be back in The Big Apple after seven years. My cousin and her family picked me up at the JFK Airport and whisked me off to some suburban area in New York, near Westpoint. They live in this newly constructed neighborhood. I stayed with them for the weekend with lots of catching up talks. I moved to Manhattan to stay with my dear friend, Jing Valmorida. I saw more friends. I met up with Tita Rhoda and Zeny Roa. Geebam Tabor-Raagas, Pito Almendras, Kim Quimbo, Toni Gado, and Chin Nacuna who all brought me to the best places to be in New York. Cocox Cabailo and I had lunch together and we crossed the Hudson Bridge. I visited the latest destination in New York, the Meatpacking District with Kim. Jingle Bagaporo and I went museum hopping and walking up and down the long stretch of Fifth Avenue. I saw after more than two decades my very dear friend, Alan Aldana, who’s based in London. I went to see  four Broadway shows: The Lion King, Avenue Q, The Phantom of the Opera, and West Side Story. Thanks to Margie Rizon for finding me the best tickets to the show. I visited the International Center of Photography. Many things happened in a span of two weeks in the city that never sleeps.

British Airways is a great airlines. It's the Heathrow Airport that makes your experience exhaustingly horrifying.

With my cousin, Arlene and her kids, Tito Boy and Auntie Ging. The last time I saw Arlene was seven years ago. Now she has two wonderful and bubbly kids.

The New York suburb neighborhood. This feels like the good life everyday. But it feels like you're always in Westeria Lane. Just waiting for the housewives to come out and kick the hell out of your place.

My lovely host, Jing Valmorida and I had breakfast in this world famous cafe. Struggling Broadway performers work and sing in this cafe to make things meet in their early days. Oh, the American dream!

"I have a dream! A song to sing!"

After that very heavy breakfast, we went around the block to watch The Today Show with guest, George Hamilton.

"Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times." Rockefeller Tower, Manhattan, New York City.

I love Times Square a lot.

The Red Steps of Times Square.