top of page

Visiting My Childhood Home on Google Street View
By Joan Cruz

after Ricardo Blanco


1095B should still be one of three

identical houses along Delpan, Makati

with sloped tiled roofs and glass windows

that slide open to ornate white grills.

Royal blue gates, crumbling from rust,

should creak their welcome sigh

from arthritic hinges, short of a lullaby.

The magnolia wall in my parents’ room

would still have a dent from when

my mother threw a vase at my father’s face

and missed.


There should be nothing here I don’t remember…


Not after they made me memorise

this address at age three.

The living room stereo should still blast

Madonna’s Like a Virgin while my mother

danced like no one could see.

Our love birds would still break into

song every afternoon, next to the tank

of gold fish, kuhli loach and pleco,

And at night, my bedroom walls would echo

muffled cries of “Putang ina mo!”


I should be on top of mahogany stairs,

feet dangling between the balustrade,

inhaling caldereta - laden air

with notes of nicotine, ribbons

of smoke rising from my father’s hand.

I am in my school uniform for the first time

again, striking a pose against the same

cracked cement my friends and I lined

with chalk before a game of piko.

I should still be seven, overjoyed by

ube sorbetes and father’s piggy back rides,

even after mother left.


But instead, I am a ghost on Google Street View

clicking my way back on a virtual glide until

I arrive by its blue gates and tiled roof and all…

Those who knew us would probably say

this was where it all went wrong,

But I stare hard at my screen, and all I can see

is the last time I felt home.

bottom of page