Life Lately: Loving and Leaving | Makatizen No More - The Filipino Rambler


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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Life Lately: Loving and Leaving | Makatizen No More

"Leaving the people and the places you love, is a reminder of the impermanence of this life. And the permanence of the next."

I can still remember how desperate I was to find a new place in Makati 5 years ago. I used to live in a small room in Calle Estacion, some 15 minute walk to where I work. I've been there for 2 years already until my roommate decided to live with his brother in another city. I thought it was impractical to pay for the rent of two and so moving out and finding a new place was the only option. A friend asked me to check the place next to where she was staying in San Antonio Village. I visited the place and being future neighbors with ex-VP Jojo Binay wasn't a bad idea. The house was still being renovated at the time I visited. The owners has just bought it and they're having it prepared for rental soon. Good thing all the rooms at the second floor were A-OK and they agreed when I requested if I can move in soon.

It was July 6, 2015. I was excited to sleep at the new house. It was almost 7 PM and the living room was without lights on when I entered. Neither were there lights at the stairs- I have to open my phone's flashlight. When I turned on the lights inside my room, I was greeted by white curtains dancing swiftly from outside's breeze. I immediately called the landlord and requested for lights to be installed above the staircase and to change the white curtains because it totally felt like I was in a haunted hospital. The landlord had the curtains changed to an 80's green 'kukur'. It was better than the hospital white ones.

I was alone in the house during the night. I was OK being alone because I can do whatever I want without bothering anyone- I can walk inside the room in undies, sometimes nekkid; I can sing Heart's Alone via YouTube karaoke; I can watch movies and videos without headset; I have the bathroom for myself-- the nights were a perfect 'me time'.

"I have to be alone very often. I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That's how I refuel."- Audrey Hepburn

As for me, I was happy all nights of the week. But not for so long.

I was there for almost a month already when new tenants came occupying the other rooms. Eventually, someone joined me in the room. And yes, having a company was OK too. I was grateful to have shared my room to really nice people. I'd be annoyed if my roommates were untidy and 'balahura'. I'm just thankful my first roommates were really nice and decent yuppies.

Months passed and the ground floor started to get into shape. The living and dining room were ready to be filled and more tenants have occupied the newly built rooms. Being at the office the whole day, I rarely get to see the other faces at the other rooms. It was December when some boys organized a small party at the living room and we had the chance to formally introduce ourselves to each other. That night paved for new friendship.

"The great thing about new friends is that they bring new energy to your soul."

From being alone,I was now nodding heads and smiling to everyone I meet by the hallway at the house. Sometimes I'd stopped by the living room and have a quick chit chat with my new found friends before proceeding to my room. The best deal was having new drinking buddies. Friday and pay day nights were spent hanging out in some bars at Makati. During one summer we went to Burias Island in Masbate. The next years, we went swimming in a private pool in Pansol. 

Burias Island with my homies

Birthday celebration of 2 of my San Antonio homies

Friday night in Makati

People come and go.

Through the years, some of my San Antonio homies have left. Some found a new job. Some lost their job. Some wanted a new place. People come and go. But real friends will stay. Up to this day, we still hang out and go places when available. TBH, I also thought about transferring to a new place. I was just waiting for a bigger reason to leave.

During the pandemic lock down last March, I went to my sister's place in Caloocan. My parents,other sisters and nieces were already at our home in Cavite. I had no idea that the community lock down will take so long but at least I get to spend it with my 2 siblings- the one next to me and our youngest sister. After all, we were in Work From Home setup and staying at home was the best thing to do at this time.

You see, I have been living independently in Makati for 7 years. I rarely get to visit our Cavite house and my family because of my usual travel and 'blogging duties' weekends. I make sure though that I'm present on every family occasions or if there are weekends that I'm free. I really wanted to go back to my Makati room when June came but something was holding me back. I knew I'd have sepanx and I'd definitely miss the bonding I have with my 2 sisters.

July hit us the hardest with the untimely demise of my sibling next to me. Maybe this is the reason why I chose to stay at her house in Caloocan- to be able to spend the rest of the days with her. Until now we're still grieving but in God's grace I know our family will be OK soon. 

When she passed away, I knew I had to spend more time with my family. I wanted to make up for the lost time. I knew I had to pack my things from my Makati room and move out. 

"We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there."-Pascal Mercier

I lived in San Antonio Village in Makati for 5 good years. It sheltered me on sunny and rainy days. I forged great friendship and awesome memories there. I will definitely miss our Sunday KMJS nights; the birthday celebrations with my homies; the bar nights and going to Lugawan sa Tejeros after; the out of town trips; the big voice of the trans owner of the 'Tapsihan' by the next street- her ' tapsilog take out' in a voice distinctly her own; and the days my then special buddy would pick me up to go somewhere and drop me off after our date. And yes, seeing ex VP Binay walk in the street, too.

I am saying goodbye to being a Makatizen for now. I don't know when I will be back. One thing is certain- I'd like to be home with my family more than ever. 

"Things go away to return, brightened for the passage."- A.R. Ammons 

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