Tomorrow is the beginning of a whole new chapter of my life: I’m leaving Baguio – my home for all my 22 years – and I’m moving to Metro Manila. I’ve never been so prepared for a big move. I’ve just opened my own bank account, bought myself a new pair of red-and-black Chucks, and even went so far as to pay my last cedula (community tax) in Baguio for quite a while.
But still, I can’t help but feel a bit sentimental. Sure, signing a tax identification number that makes me an official taxpayer for Pasig City doesn’t mean much, but it struck into me a sort of epiphany: everytime I’ll come back to Baguio, I would be no different from a tourist. I would probably find myself in the pasalubong sections of the City Market buying peanut brittle and strawberry jam for friends and family in Manila, and the Baguio brooms I have grown so accustomed to would all of a sudden become novel. Somehow, I hate the thought of leaving, but we all can’t have our cakes and eat them too.
The Big Move will mark the beginning of my personal and financial independence, but I will miss a hell of a lot of things about being dependent. With great personal and financial power comes great personal and financial responsibility. Now that I’m “free,” it doesn’t sound as good as I always thought. My daily allowance is now at the palm of my hand, and the same goes with rent, food, and other expenses. I can’t ask for my mom to give me another hundred bucks to tide me over for prepaid load and for snackage.
I made my own bed when I told my parents I’m off to find my fortune, and to fend off for myself. Now, I have to sleep in it. Not just for a six-hour bus trip to Cubao, but for the rest of my life. The Big Move marks the beginning of my freedom, but it also marks the end of my life as a tax dependent. It marks the end of my life as a kid, and the beginning of my life as a man.