I live in a house where you can clearly hear the pace of your breathing. Most of the houses built during the '70s share the same characteristics: they have the same white walls, rickety stairs made of wood, built-in cabinets, jalousies. The floors creak every now and then. The bathroom door is eaten away by pests. It brings to mind the sort of collective nostalgia I've read in apartment units during the reign of USSR, where every apartment unit has the same radio, tuned in to the government station; where even the print of tablecloths is prescribed by the government. Living here gives me a sense of living the similar houses I've been to: there's one in Forestry, a beloved mentor's residence; there are apartments I've slept over in as well: the one I was drunk at, while the other one I smoked weed in (that blissful first time!); the rest are apartments constructed in similar fashion, where I resided in for semesters, but eventually left due to disputes over rent, or because my college life was finally over. Kept in similar conditions, bearing the same polished crimson floors that are always cold to the feet, and at night containing the usual cockroach, and god forbid, the huge spiders of Mount Makiling.

The neighborhood itself are all bungalows, apartment units bundled together, with thin palmera trees (the trend during those days) flanked in each apartment's façade. Walking through the subdivision you will get an impression: balconies are questionable, and so are other artifices like cantilevers, high ceilings, glass windows. Yet such basic architecture can actually stand for thirty years with very little maintenance. Apartments, I eventually thought, was--and still is--a good investment.

My wife and I do not share the same sentiments with the move, although we both understand why we have to. For me, it's difficult to go back and live in the same place I've been to in college, since this time I do have my one year-old son in tow, and it feels different. I do pine for freedom, sure--but more importantly, I'm not into this idea of reliving those days.

I smoked outside a while ago and thought of writing in this blog. The habit will always creep in especially now that I'm stressed with this writing gig I have: to write five thousand-word articles about DVDs. I've been writing it last Thursday, and during typhoon Yolanda's wrath, and I'm not even close to finishing one out of five. It's driving me nuts.

The outdoors are amazing at night. The sky is surprisingly clear, with bright stars. Though Bulacan is similarly quiet and shrouded by trees, Los Banos is lusher, and more peaceful--tricycles are not much in use in this subvidision, and the main thoroughfares are at least five minutes away from our apartment unit. On a Saturday night, most of the neighbors are already asleep with the exception of the one closest to us, glued to a late-night movie.