North to South with Love

by

On Father’s Day, my husband decided to visit his mom who lives in Quezon City. He is not a spontaneous kind of guy, so this suggestion was a welcome surprise. Since it was his day, we were all on board. I lived my whole life in the South of the Metro but I have a secret love for the North.

It’s a pain to travel these days because of the horrendous traffic. But this Father’s day drive was a breeze. No traffic at all, and thank God for that.

We have been wanting to try some restaurants in Maginhawa for some time. But it was impractical to travel from the south (where we live) to QC to have dinner or lunch. But on Sunday, we had a good reason to drive up north. After scouting the area, we parked in front of this small resto.

Nostalgic view

We entered a small dining area and was led to the table by a shut door. (I guess it was an emergency door.) It had a small window where I could see the street outside. I had a clear view of an old house across the street.

While waiting for our order to arrive, I couldn’t help but stare at that house. Like most houses in the area, this one had a commercial space in front that sells funky T-shirts. Right beside the shop was the home’s main gate. You can tell by the design that the house was built in the 60s to 80s design.

south to north lovestory

Thick vines covered the trellis of the garage. Though a dark green tall gate covered the home, I can see the exterior of the second floor of the house. Wood panel painted in muted yellow covered the sides. As I stared at that part of the home, I said, “I want to live here (in QC).” I didn’t realize I was thinking out loud because our daughter shook her head and frowned at me. She is a pure southerner.

Growing up QC

In the 80s, my brother and I spent our summer breaks in our family’s ancestral home in Project 8, Quezon City. I remember always looking forward to spending time there. My grandparents, aunts and uncles always made us feel welcome. I loved the house so much.

When I was 12, my family lived in my grandfather’s house for a year and a half. Because my brother and I spent our summers there, we became friends with the neighbors. Though their kids were older than us, we clicked. Adjusting to a new environment was never a problem for me. I felt at home immediately.

I was in 6th grade and I was friends with high schoolers and college students. We also had a geek friend, Kuya Nonoy, who was the first person I know who owned a personal computer. He allowed us to play games on his computer all the time, which was kind of cool for a 12-year-old. We hung out a lot then.

Great memories

It was also in QC where I met my childhood crush. He lived right across our home. He was tall, skinny, and handsome. But he was a friend, a dear family friend. My other friends and young uncle knew that I had a crush on this guy.

Every time he comes to the house to hang out and chat, I had butterflies in my stomach. He even gave me a picture of himself as a remembrance. I still have that picture, and my husband knows about this, of course. Sadly, he passed away about 10 years ago.

My mother enrolled me in a nearby school so every day I get to walk to school, which was kind of cool. Though I only stayed for a year in that school, I had very fond memories with friends as well. It was in this school in QC where I first became class president. And I punched a guy too. Wait, what?

south to north lovestory
My younger brother and I in our old house in QC

In February 1986, the EDSA revolution broke. I remember hearing helicopters flying near our home. It was a scary time. My father went to EDSA and participated in the peaceful gathering. Unfortunately, he fell victim of a carnap gang. But a few weeks later, the police found his car without the steering wheel, stereo, and wheels.

The following year, we had to move back to our new home in the south and we never left. When we returned to the south, I must have left a piece of my heart in Quezon City. I left good friends, but brought back very happy memories.

That guy from QC

In 2000, I met my husband through a friend. He hails from, you guessed it, Quezon City. Imagine how our dating life was then. We either met in Megamall or in Galleria, which was halfway between our homes. Then, he would take me home at night.

It was around this time that the Skyway was being constructed. So after he takes me home, he would have to drive all the way to Fairview. Can you picture the traffic he had to go through all for love?

We got married a year later. We decided to stay in the south because I still had my clinic at home. He agreed but I know it was not easy for him to adjust to a new location. But by God’s grace he was able to appreciate the south as well.

south to north love story

Love the north but loyal to the south

We have lived in the south since the late 80s. Life in the south was so laid back then. Friends from the north often refer to our city, Las Pinas, as a province. Traffic was very light during that time.

Thirty years later, more people relocated to the south. Malls kept sprouting like mushrooms. Motorists from nearby cities pass through our narrow main road. Traffic has been unbelievable that I wish to live in a different city.

Our kids are already rooted in the south. They both like it here despite the traffic. Moving to a different city (Quezon City?) may be a far-fetched idea as of this time. But who knows? I don’t know where our feet would take us.