It has been a month since our family moved out of Metro Manila. It was a decision brought about by many factors mostly because of the monstrous traffic around NAIA 3, the undeniably high cost of living in the city, and the limited-to-no parking space at all! The hectic, urban rhythm of our family life despite me working from home is something I wanted to moderate little by little. Too many commitments, so little time! The growing toddler is also asking for her open space and that’s something we could not afford with our 1-bedroom rented apartment.
Ending a Phase
9 years living in Manila defined a phase. It was a time spent building and establishing a career; finding love and ultimately transitioning to family life. It offered me a period of self-realization: What I was actually capable of given my own money, time, and independence. So finally leaving that place felt like ending a rich, dynamic phase of my personhood. It will always be a cherished time.
But moving out is worth it.
Starting a New Lifestyle
1) Home-cooked meals
I’ll forever miss the convenience of phoning food delivery – but not the calories it brings! Honestly, I miss the weekly treat of Mcdelivery or that 10-minute walk in the neighborhood to settle into a cinema seat (We used to live near Resorts World Manila). But now, I think I just have to make do with preparing home-cooked meals everyday (healthy!), and getting a slightly higher-priced Cable TV subscription.
2) Going Local
Aside from more open spaces, what I love about living sub-urban style is the chance to discover some local, quaint restaurants around the corner. There’s this nearby coffee shop (sans the Starbucks price tag) owned by a high school classmate that we visit when we want a change from the usual grind. It’s very homey, and familiar despite us being new to the community.
I’ve been eyeing this known local diner which they say is a perfect place for a date. I hope my husband is reading this :)
Also, supermarkets outside Manila are less crowded!
3) A Greater Sense of Community
As we have more parks, playgrounds, and spaces for families to get together – I feel like there’s a greater sense of community here. When your kid joins the other children in the playground, how can you not say hi to the mom next to you? There was one time when Summer outran me again and just went for the slide with her head first. Since I cannot make it on time to catch her, another mommy offered to pick her up to make sure she slid down safely down the ground. Thank you very much. Those kind of moments make you feel less alienated in this mom phase.
While we know that this is just temporary as we are still not living in our own house, the peace it brings to us is well-worth it. I must note though that when you build a family of your own, wherever you go, whichever place you decide to live – you will always find home.