I don’t know if it’s a girl-thing, but I have this peculiar ability of attaching memories to places. I remember places by the way they once made me feel, or by memories I thought I already forgot. It’s a curse and a gift at the same time. Curse, because even when I don’t want to remember what happened here or there, I can’t help but do. Gift, because that also means that I get to contain memories in places, hence avoiding those places will ultimately make me forget and help me move on.
Exhibit A. Sometime in 2006, I had to avoid Greenbelt for one whole year because I had to forget a college boyfriend. Typical, I know, but effective nonetheless. Exhibit B. In 2007 when my Dad died, I had to avoid being in his office for a couple of months because it’s impossible to be there and not cry over the reality that we’re never going to see him there ever again. Exhibit C. In my last day in New York in 2008, I had to ask the cab driver to pass by 34th street on the way to the airport. Just one last ride through my most favorite spots in Manhattan, I thought, because I knew that after that ride I would start to forget. And that time I didn’t want to forget just yet.
In the past 5 years that I lived in Ortigas, Pasig, my moving from one apartment to another was characterized by some huge transition in my life — my Dad’s death, that big career move, a relationship that ended badly, etc — as if it’s become a coping mechanism of sorts. Consciously or unconsciously, I wasn’t quite sure. I just know that for me to be able to transition, I had to start over in a new place, akin to flipping a fresh new page in a notebook.
Six is the number of apartments here in Pasig that I moved in and out of in the span of 5 years. Anyone can beat that record? If moving is a degree in college, it would’ve been time for me to graduate by now. But I guess it’s not time to graduate from this moving around just yet.
In all this apartment-hopping, Delgado Place was where I stayed the longest. Not only was this low-rise condominium the prettiest and the most secured I’ve ever lived in, it’s also the one place that actually felt like second home to me. The guards and caretakers have become an extended family. “Adobo To”, that karinderya (eatery) across the street, has become my most favorite lunch hangout.
I loved living here. I honestly believed I would stay longer, that this was going to be my last stop, but hey, life’s funny that way. Often, the things you thought you were so sure of, you find out later, are just mere phases in your life. Nothing is certain, I learn over and over, so you’ll have to be ready to pack-up, leave the unnecessary baggage behind and go when God says it’s time to go.
Tomorrow I make my 7th move. I have been feeling sentimental about it the past two weeks, boxing up everything in this room that once made it feel like home. But I’m almost ready, and excited to make new memories in the next city I’m going to conquer.
So yeah. Thank you, Delgado Place, I just had to say (and blog). It was lovely spending 2008 and 2009 under your roof.