As I was looking at some old pictures today I realized that I have lived in a total of 16 residences and moved house at least 18 times in my lifetime.
I was born in my father’s house in Baltao in 1963. I was a mere toddler when I was put in the care of my aunt in Cabatuan St. Balintawak, Quezon City, sometime in 1965. In 1977 I rejoined my parents who had moved to Cebu three years prior. We lived in Sto. Nino Village in Banilad, where my father still resides to this day.
As an 18-year-old runwaway I was “adopted” by Cesar Aquino in Dumaguete, while I attended the Silliman Writers Workshop in 1982. Fate led me to start a family at a very young age, living at my in-laws’ house in Mandaue City. We tried living apart from them for a year, renting a small house in Pusok, Cemento, Lapulapu City, but we moved back in with them the following year.
At the time of the EDSA Revolution we had moved out again, this time to a high-tech compound in Lapulapu City. By high-tech I mean that the water system was not dependent on external suppliers. Our water supply came from a deep well that fed a huge overhead tank powered by a giant windmill. Two years later I came into a little sum of money and we decided to lease a small lot at Sangi, Bag-ong Dalan, Lapulapu City. We built a house made of native materials, which slowly deteriorated along with my marriage.
In 1997, my father helped us get a small townhouse in Canduman, Mandaue City. In 1999 I found a job on Trabaho.com which brought me back to Manila, where I first landed in an apartment building in Paco. Two months after that, my cousins convinced me to move in next door to them at the Lim’s residence on Merced Street. My marriage coming to an end and my desire to be completely on my own prompted me to move out six months later, when I found a cozy room 3 floors up from a barbershop near Estrella St. on EDSA. Another six months passed and then I found a newly-built row of studio flats on Danlig Street, a block in from the barbershop street. This was the flat where I once fell sick and found someone to watch over me.
When my son Maui joined us we moved into a larger apartment a stone’s throw away from where he was going to start 3rd grade. Two years later my elder son announced that his girlfriend was on the family way and that they would like to weather it out with us for the time being. That was when we moved to a house just around the corner, where they were married, and where my grandson Andre first came home. When they had gone back to Cebu, Sam and I got married, and thought of starting our own family, and this house was where Maia first came home too.
Two months after Maia was born, we joined Sam in Iligan where he’d started work with an NGO. That was when we lived in the infamous dog-infested apartment that I had blogged about. After just over a year, life has led us back to Manila where it all began, here in Baltao.
The World is a Circle without a beginning, and nobody knows where it really ends.
— From the movie “Lost Horizon”, lyrics by Burt Bacharach