In June 2014 I travelled to Manila, just after my last travel to Israel. I waited a while to write this story because at the beginning my intention was that it was a personal journey, to go back to my roots. A journey to be reunited with the memory of my mother, who died recently and also a farewell trip to the last of her brothers, I always had a soft spot for him, and his usual journeys were a cause of great joy for us during my childhood.

However, the journey was for me not only a warm experience as I felt surrounded, welcomed and flattered by my Philippine/ Spanish family, but also it was invaded by the aura of the guitar that has always interwoven the foundations of my life. In fact, my cousins Antonio and Gema are the distributors of our guitars in Philippines. Nothing more appropriate than a profitable business that they have created out of nothing and which is pure art. Mabolo, garden architecture, floral decoration, where Antonio designs and works with wrought iron, restores old autochthonous furniture, designs blown glass works… and in the middle of all these creative activities, I want to highlight, non-stopping, they represent Ramírez Guitars.

There, life gets everything together, everyday and extraordinary things in a way that’s amazingly natural. Surrounded by flowers (of peonies which are my favourite ones), in Mabolo they raised two of my guitars on two lovely wooden stands, my cousin gave me the design plans so that I could duplicate them, and we had a party to celebrate we all, in honor of my uncle, in honor of my guitars, in honor of the family and the friends that attended the party, some of them excellent guitarists that were playing music until late.

It was the lunches and dinners at my cousins’ Marisó and Juan Carlos restaurants (highly recommended, it’s a pity they are so far away), the care of Antonio and Gema that welcomed me in their house, the attentions of my cousins Iñaki, Lori, Annie, Maribel and Jaime, and the happiness of being able to spend time with my uncle whom I have never seen ever after; that have given me a little bit of extra weight, not only of good food, but also of extreme satisfaction. Now I know for sure that I cannot spend another twenty years not going back to my mother’s homeland. I promised that. And I will keep my promise.

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