Couldn't resist borrowing a line from The Beatles. I've sifted through more than half of our belongings and am almost at the second part - more sifting.
I'm trying to be brutal and ruthless with all this discarding and donating. It's been hard on my emotions and time. How do I throw away memories? May I please have more hours in my day to get through the tearing and sweating and dusting? In order to streamline the process even further, I will be purging yet again from the things that already survived the first round.
As I go over old documents and notebooks and pictures, I come across old billing statements with my former addresses. It got me wanting to list all the places we lived from the day we left our home after my mother passed away in 1997.
I think this is the best way to remind myself how diverse our journey has been. When I finally have a scanner, I will insert images for the addresses that have them.
1. Humility Corner Kindness Streets, Multinational Village, Paranaque City
The second home I lived in since moving to the Philippines. My mom had this five-bedroom house built. It was sold after she passed away in 1997.
2. 202 Jakel Mansion, Pasig City
My first attempt at fixing my "own" place. This large two-bedroom condo was situated near the highway so you can imagine the wonders it did for my asthma. It was a mid-rise walk up that had four floors.
3. 304 Jakel Mansion, Pasig City
I learned the hard way that I couldn't afford the spacious two-bedroom unit so my landlord kindly allowed me to move to a much smaller two-bedroom condo one floor up. He even re-financed my deposit and converted it to the new place.
4. JP Laurel St, Marikina City
As soon as our contract ended (and I returned to NU107 after a year's return to 99.5RT), I opted for a much cheaper place. The only downside was that it was in a heavily-flooded area.
5. San Isidro St., Metroville Subdivision, Pasig City
The novelty of living in a flooded area wore off so we followed my best friends when they moved out and moved into a small neighborhood apartment four blocks away from them.
6. 2002 Renaissance Tower, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City
I started a network marketing business and moved into a place I really couldn't afford. It was gorgeous though - 6 pools, 4 tennis courts, gym, and parking. K and I shared its one-bedroom and its breath-taking view of Antipolo, Marikina and Pasig. New Year's was spectacular with fireworks going off seemingly right outside our window.
7. 1804 Mega Plaza, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Bit the bullet again and moved into a two-bedroom condo in the heart of the bustling business district. We were right across a mall that we used as our entertainment center since we had no TV. Our movie budget though skyrocketed.
8. Hillside St., Cityland Townhomes, Pasig City
I went bankrupt from my business and couldn't afford to live in our nice condo. My friend kindly took us in for a season until we got back on our feet again.
9. 3005 Mega Plaza, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
I got a second job and we returned to our beloved favorite building. This time, to a simple studio. I eventually left radio and worked as a Communications Manager for a call center down the road from our place. It took me ten minutes to walk to my desk everyday.
10. 2204 Paragon Plaza, Mandaluyong City
I was pirated by another center. We moved to a much nicer condo closer to my new job in Makati. Our building was right on EDSA, the main thoroughfare of Metro Manila. My asthma loved this place.
11. Paranaque City
My then office relocated its headquarters to Alabang. At first, I didn't think it would be difficult to take the bus every day 75 kilometers back and forth. But practicality took over and we returned in 2005 to the beloved city we left behind almost ten years ago.
In some ways, I'm reminded of the Israelites wandering in the desert after leaving Egypt. They followed a pillar of fire and a cloud to get to their promised land. But whereas our journey has taken us full circle back to our roots, I wonder if my returning to the US is actually just another stop on my journey that will one day bring me back to the Philippines, or another country. Or if the US is the place I will call home for good.
It's too soon to tell. What I do know for sure, is that I don't want to miss out on where the pillar or the cloud are going.
Wherever that will be.
song playing on k's old ipod mini: save tonight by eagle eye cherry