One Last Ikot Ride
Moving to Makati City is a good idea considering where I work, but somehow I kind of feel some remotely sentimental feelings about living nine months in UP Diliman. Not that I’m going to miss hellish commutes from Ortigas to Philcoa, but somehow there’s something about this place that I just don’t want to leave yet.
As I was packing up my stuff this morning and sent off my last batch of laundry for pick-up tomorrow, I kind of had some time to think about why I’m leaving this place anyway. It’s not because it’s UP and that I have the “UPian” attachment (where that term originated, I do not know), but everything about UP Diliman is self-contained. I have everything I need right here. Over the almost-year, I have discovered a lot of good places to eat, made friends with store owners and laundromat owners, and became a regular customer of places that offer cheap – and fast – wi-fi services. I’ll get around that when I explore Makati, but I’m getting way ahead of myself.
Yet I think that the charm of Diliman is not to be found in the campus itself, but the peripheries. I’ve lived in Diliman before, but it’s only now that I get to realize how people-friendly this place could be. Granted that you hear the occasional stories of kids who drown in pools at the other neighborhood or drug runs at 2:00 in the morning, but it ain’t all that bad.
For my last few hours of being a resident of UP Diliman, I decided to go out the right way, and take one last UP Ikot ride. I wanted to breathe in everything about Diliman… or I guess I didn’t, since I saw that tree in front of Benitez that I have long since avoided like the plague.
There, I could still see a girl and a boy talking. It’s a mirage of three summers ago, I guess. The boy had long hair and a cigarette in his mouth, the girl was wearing a pink shirt with a black bolero. They were talking about a past meant to be forgotten, or things that are never meant to be.
I don’t know whether or not that boy and that girl will meet again. Maybe one of these days.
The jeepney then made its way ’round the bend, until I realized the greater significance of this one last ride. Perhaps I haven’t resolved some nagging thoughts over the years just yet; that my personal comfort zone was to forget, to let sleeping dogs lie, to let things settle before I go. I guess that sucks, but I have packed bags waiting and a world to explore.
Where this takes me, I do not know; but like everything else in life, most things are just a short ride away.
(Just don’t make me take north-bound train rides at rush hour and we’ll be fine.)