Even before the construction of our home was completed, my family and I had to move in already in our new home here in Antipolo. It hadn’t been easy, but we managed somehow. Amidst all the clangs and bangs of construction work, we somehow lived through the stressful two months—we’re just glad it’s over.

I guess when the construction noise and dust were gone, it was only then that I actually had the feel of what’s it like living “away from the city.” Now, I know what it means to live in the “suburbs.”

Morning view from our bedroom window

That’s the view Marc and I wake up to every morning. The tree you see is a fruit-bearing Indian mango tree. Pretty, isn’t it?

I know you think I’m being silly making a big deal out of a tree, but if you’ve been living in the city like me ever since the day you were born, you’d know the difference a view like this can make in your everyday life.

To be honest, I was a bit uncomfortable when we first moved here. It was just way too quiet. I’ve been so used to sleeping and waking up to the sound of car engines zooming and ambulance sirens (we used to live near a hospital), that for some strange reason, the absence of these sounds made me feel quite uneasy. It was a totally different neighborhood—the street becomes so quiet at night that the silence was practically deafening. It made me so uneasy at times that I even got to the point of asking Marc to accompany me to a 24-hour food joint along Marcos Highway where the noises were similar to our old home.

I didn’t feel like staying too long in our new home at first. It was just so… new. The houses on our street are so pretty and quaint that I somehow I felt like I was in Wisteria Lane and that Bree or Susan would knock on our door any second 😛 The subdivision requirement of having low walls didn’t really appeal well to my dad and Marc at first—they actually spent our first few nights here checking if any of our stuff were stolen—we were so used to having towering firewalls and tall gates that we somehow felt less secured.

Eventually, we’ve gotten used to this new setup, and began to really appreciate the peacefulness of the place. For once, my dad and I are able to plant flowers near the sidewalk without worrying that the pots and plants would get stolen (the rugby-inhaling kids on the streets of our old home stole just about anything we left outside the house). I can now take my tiny dog for walks without worrying about her getting blown away by fast zooming cars, and be able to talk to neighbors without needing to walk five blocks to actually see a live person other than just an ATM machine or a gas station. Best of all, we’re now beginning to see what’s it really like to have a neighbor.

Not just a “neighbor” who lived five blocks away or services a gas station, but a neighbor who lived right beside your home whom you can talk to whenever you go outside to take a break from work. The pregnant lady and her younger sister and grandma who lived right next to us are very nice—they sometimes even give us pakbet or pancit just because. The elderly folk who lived across the street never failed to say hello whenever they see us. There’s also this gay couple (with their Daschund that resembles a hotdog) who frequently passed by our house and made sure to give us a smile (particularly Marc hehehehe).

So this is what’s it’s like to live in a suburban community. We’ve lived in the city far too long; we never knew what we’ve missed. All that unnecessary stress from noise of living on a main road and fear of drug addicts on the streets—thank God we don’t need to worry about those anymore.