Way Back Home

Updated: Aug 15

For the 44 fallen Filipino Soldiers


I am in the airport waiting for his plane to touch the runway. This is my third time of waiting. My third time for the same man – my husband. He is the most beautiful, selfless, honest and humble man I’ve ever met and I’ve ever loved. Today, in just a few more minutes, I will see him again. I know I will and I’m patiently waiting.


Ted joined the Eagle Battalion after we got married. He always wanted to become part of the country’s unsung heroes ever since he was a child. At first, I never agreed for him to enter that world because I know, it means burying half of his body in the grave. Endless debates happened but I decided to let him fulfill his goal no matter how hard it is for me. I guess I have to accept the fact that the moment we marry our destined half, it means accepting everything about him.


How is it to be an army’s wife? Difficult. You’ll have to undergo sleepless nights in the first week of his absence. You’ll start thinking of negative things every time you see a bad news on the television. You would like to wear something that will remind you of him most of the time. You’ll start to experience the lethal part of waiting for a long time. But despite some of those things, you will learn how it is to be strong and hold on to a string no matter how fragile it is.


The first time he came home, he got wounds from two bullets in his left arm. After completing the second contract, he came home with stitches on his body and received a slight fracture in his right foot. He stayed home for treatment and therapy for 3 years. After another year, he was signed to serve for another set in the army. I wanted him to stay home that time but he doesn’t want to. I tried to stop him but I failed. As I walk with him in the airport for the third time, I realized something. If he doesn’t return, I will be left alone. We don’t have any children and it scared me. I don’t want to be alone.


Before I slept that night, I prayed for Ted. I prayed for every bullet angled towards him to fly a different trajectory and he’ll come home safe. I prayed for every comrade he has and also their families because I know what they feel.


I am in the airport waiting for his plane to touch the runway. This is my third time of waiting. My third time for the same man – my husband. He is the most beautiful, selfless, honest and humble man I’ve ever met and I’ve ever loved. Today, in just a few more minutes, I will see him again. I know I will and I’m patiently waiting.


There he is, together with his comrade. As they approach me, I came to see him clearer. He was in front of me. His camouflage uniform fits with his body figure so well. He was wearing a pair of perfectly shined boots and holding his army cap in his hand. And there I saw him wearing a smile in his face which I’ve never seen for the last years. I wanted to hug and kiss him but the casket’s glass was between us. It’s hard to look at him this time because I know whenever I wanted to hug him, he’ll never hug me back. But I know he’s finally home.


He came home for the third time and this is also his last.


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About the Creative

Nikky Bryan P. Taguibao is a civil engineer by profession. During his college days, he was part of The Lousian Courier (TLC), the university's student publication. His JOURN-ey in the publication revolved on being a news writer, sports writer, graphic artist, and comic illustrator. He won, together with his TLC family, in numerous press conferences. He may have ended his JOURN-ey after graduating college but he never stopped writing. Banner photo by Polaris Sagabaen