She wanted to train as a soprano, reaching notes at least two 
octaves higher; had a good ear, though she never learned to read
music. Is this another version of how we're always trying to go 
somewhere we've never been, because returning home 
is impossible? For her, home was originally a small parcel of dusty 
farmland in Bacnotan, where water buffaloes flicked their tails 
in the shade. Even her father left it many times to seek a different 
fortune in the city: hotel cook, barber, owner of one good suit (white) 
and a Panama hat. He did go back, but he was not the same. The land 
felt different; that is to say, indifferent to whatever remorse he might 
have felt in his heart.  As for her, she found her way to another town, 
where she worked the cash register at a restaurant. A cliff jutted out 
to the sea there, where the Spanish raised a tower: one of several luces
locales, beacon for ships at sea, now nesting place for migrating birds.

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