For city folks Lucy Torres and husband Richard Gomez, the town of Ormoc in Leyte will always be their home.
Lucy said, "I think we never left Ormoc because Ormoc has always been home to me," she told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) back in March.
Born and raised there, Lucy has a sweet spot for her hometown, and is proud of her provincial upbringing.
Lucy was happy to reveal that Richard, who is now serving as the town's mayor, has naturally found his place in the province.
She continued, "Like in our home, Richard has really become probinsiyano. He plants our own vegetables. He has chickens.
"Parang every time I go there, he introduces me to a new animal. May gansa siya. May aso, gansa, manok, turtles.
"Then naglilimlim yung manok niya, gagawan niya ng bahay para hindi siya maistorbo.
"Parang you respect life, and you celebrate how languid time can still be if life was simpler.
"Kasi in bigger settings, in the bigger city, umaga pa lang stressed ka na, e, kasi you have to go through traffic.
"It's nice lang to be in the province, and be reminded of gentler times...
"I'm very fluid na I don't box myself in na in the province, 'O today, ito lang talaga yung gagawin , ha? Anything na hindi pasok sa schedule na ito, masisira na.' No, you have to be fluid.
"Whatever the day gives you, whatever you can take, you go through it."
Richard Gomez's wife said she has always been drawn to the province because of its strong sense of community.
She explained to PEP.ph, "Everything is informal kasi there, e.
"Di ba, in the province, you actually know who your neighbors are? When you have fresh produce, you share it with your neighbors.
"And your children, like kami, we played with our neighbors in the afternoon.
"It's easy to be very connected to people and to nurture relationships in the province because the dynamics are just simpler.
"Unlike in—which is sad to say is a bad thing—but in the bigger cities because also of the nature of things there who live in gated subdivisions, you can go for years not knowing who your neighbors really are or maybe just knowing them by name.
"But the sense of community in a provincial setting is very strong, which I think I will never not like."
The other characteristic that Lucy feels the province offers best is the abundance of time.
She continued, "I think the greatest gift that any probinsya can give anyone is the gift of time because everything is so near there that yung oras mo dun ang haba.
"Parang ala singko pa lang ng hapon, hindi ka pa drain kasi you didn't have to muscle through traffic. Hindi ka pa drained. Parang ang haba pa ng gabi."
WHAT TO DO IN ORMOC
When asked about the must-see places in her hometown, Lucy's first thought was its food.
"I say that the pineapples are wonderful kasi they are small and very sweet and they are variety on their own. It's called the queen variety; the pineapple fields are beautiful.
"I want you to eat sa barbeque hut sa may Seawall. We have a nice bay, e, parang Ormoc bay. The plaza is by the bay, so it's nice at night na you eat barbeque.
"And then there's also a porkchop area there. Yun lang binebenta nila, porkchop and rice.
"There are food huts, but Ormoc kasi is still very village-like in the sense na the specialties are not necessarily housed in big stores. So, there are many things there that you buy. Para siyang home industry?
"Like cassava cake from this house, longganisa from another house, empanada from... but you don't find that all in a one-stop shop kind of thing.
"In any place, it's nice na you try what's local."