My family has moved into 4 homes as far as I can remember. From Makati then Paranaque then Makati then finally Paranaque again, moving has been second-nature to me and my siblings. When you leave a place that you've been so accustomed to living in, you can't help but get sentimental ---taking more attention into every detail of every nook and cranny of that place you called home. Tired of the old landlady irritating our apartment door for rent money, my Mom persisted to set aside two thousand pesos a month for 10 years so that we can settle into our current home in Paranaque since 1995 which we have known to love and appreciate.
My 5th home was here at a quaint area called Sunway Court. It had two bedrooms and two baths, a balcony facing the inner square containing the lush greenery, and a swimming pool. It was often described as "homey" by our visitors who've stayed in one time or another. It was walking distance from the convenience store, gas station, and the friendly neighborhood Chinese takeout. If you look at the building from the road it's not that splendid but it was enough for me. It was home.
Three years have passed since I last moved in to Sunway Court. It was time for us to move. As many of my visitors should know, there are no lifts to our unit. Since our place is on the 4th floor, I can't help but hide a laugh when I see our visitors walking up the stairs with their heavy baggages on hand, panting all the way up. The missus is pregnant so we thought it would be bad for the baby if she, to borrow my Dad's term, mamanik-manaog often.
Second reason was due to our neighbors. They have suddenly turned to the worst, displaying mala-jolog tendencies: they don't put their trash in the main container, the stairways leading up to our unit was often dirty, the missus had grown tired of some of the ladies swimming in the pool with their shirt AND maong pants on, and that brief episode of robberies in certain units (which later found the gardener as the culprit). The "kicker" reason for us to move was one of the units displaying their "native" culture, apparently praying to the gods that there would be a plentiful harvest of bamboo ---in their apartment.
So we found our new home and it was time to move our stuff. Not an easy task as I was already pondering on how to bring down our Orbi-bike exercise equipment four floors down (I discovered that it wasn't that hard at all as I was able to load it into our car with 3 liters of sweat to boot).
I can't help but be on senti-mode the whole time we were packing as I tried to remember how a certain item came to this house. I was caught between keeping or throwing to the trash bag most of the stuff that seemed to have a story behind it. The missus had coined me as a Sentimyentong Basurero for it. In the end I had to throw some of it away as they'll just end up as useless junk.
We made 4 (or was it 5?) trips back and forth between our old and new home. I swore that everytime we come back to Sunway Court to pick up some stuff, I'd feel that the apartment had a certain sadness, as if it knew that we were not coming back. I too felt sad. As I would sit on the couch and gaze at the whole unit, I'd hear myself say, "Wow 3 years! I've stayed here for 3 long years! How time flies!" (When I first arrived in Malaysia I said to myself that I'd only stay here for the whole duration of my contract which was 1 year. Who would've known that I would stay here longer than that?)
I said my final goodbye last week to Sunway Court when I handed the house-keys to Mr. Lee, my landlord. I scanned every bedroom and bathroom, the living room, the kitchen (that the missus loves), and whispered farewell. It was somewhat heart-wrenching to move out of this place where I called home but I knew it's for the best.
As my Mom used to say, "it has served its purpose." Time to leave the old and bring in the new.
(Part Two: Hello Palmville Resort Condo)