After so many years, I went back to my favorite beat - the House of Representatives.
Nothing seemed to have changed - the lawmakers, the journalists, the security personnel and the congressional staff. The tables, chairs, computers and printer I used eight years ago were still there.
There was already a wi-fi connection inside the session hall and the working area for the media. New and younger journalists replaced older reporters like me who had moved on to other fields. Still some of my contemporaries and older reporters I met when I was first assigned as a newspaper reporter in Congress were still religiously filing stories from my old beat.
Nothing seemed to have changed - the stories, the issues and the concerns.
I was there today to cover the state of the nation address of President Arroyo. There was nothing significant to write about except for the promises the President delivered and the usual protest actions outside in the streets.
Still the excitement was there, the teasing, the jokes and the stories journalists share when we get together. A president's SONA is always an opportunity for us journalists to get-together. It was actually a "reunion" of sort.
Raul and Ben were still there. So were Jess and Jodeal. Fidel, Dennis and I were just visitors today. Still the welcome was warm.
It has been a long time that I have covered a beat since I left newspapering and tried my hand on online journalism.
I miss my beat. I miss the people I worked with in the past, the people who helped me become what I am today. I treasure my experience in the House. There's no way but forward, however. What is important is we do not forget.