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Lipat Bahay, Bagong Buhay

Last week we left the apartment we called home for nine years.

Beyond the stress of deciding which ones to pack in boxes or which to throw away or leave behind, moving is a very emotional experience. You get to turn the old place upside down and inside out to rediscover things you already forgot you had. You remember old stories, recover forgotten memories and you realize how much you and your world have changed since you moved in.

I found our old apartment by accident. I was walking along the street where the apartment I searched for in a Buy & Sell tabloid was supposedly located when I saw the building with a "For Rent" signboard bearing a couple of landline numbers.

Just a few minutes later, I was already inside checking the bathroom, the bedroom, the ceilings or whether the window gives a spectacular view (It doesn't). "Kukunin ko," I told the caretaker, without assessing if the rates were within my starter salary. The decision was purely based on gut-feel.

That gut-feel found me a home that my family stayed in close to a decade.

But we had to move. Time isn't too kind to old rented apartment buildings being occupied by people who come and go. The ceilings and walls started to leak. Despite some pest control measures, termites stared feasting on the old moist wood of the closet and window and door frames.

Music Video: Lipat Bahay by Rico Blanco

Like in the music video above, packing up is an emotionally draining activity. First, you need to hurry and you can't spend too much time being sentimental over old clothes that mean a lot to you, unused keychains or dusty stuffed animals from special people, or plastic wares your mom has collected throughout the years.

Then you need to calm down your tired but adrenaline-filled body. This is the part where you scope the entire place - now almost empty save for some possessions which will be treated as trash after you step out of the house for the very last time.

And this is the part where you will remember everything that happened in that house - all the stories -- the celebrations, the sadness, the joyfulness, the peacefulness -- and the moments you spent with all the people you welcomed in that home. You will thank the house for having kept you at home and comfortable, despite the leaks, the dusts and the occasional neighborhood theft.

You will leave behind many things and you will be sorry you can't take everything with you.

You will say goodbye, and you will leave, but some things will stay with you. These are things you cannot put in boxes.


Gelli Bean said...

I can totally relate! But you'll be making new memories in your new place, pamangkin. Miss you!

-- Auntie Lucille