Feyma and I are thinking about moving. We are not sure yet, but it is on our minds. Where will we move? Not sure yet. We won’t be leaving Davao, but possibly moving somewhere else within the City. We currently live in a neighborhood called “Marfori Heights,” which is quite near to the main part of the City. Feyma and I both love living in Marfori Heights, we enjoy the area very much. So, why move? I will get into that shortly. To show how much we love this area, though, we lived in Marfori Heights back in 2002 until 2004, almost exactly 2 years to the day. We liked it very much, but unfortunately had a little trouble with our landlord. When that happened, we decided to move.
So, in 2005, we moved to an upscale gated community, Woodridge. Woodridge was nice. It’s a beautiful place with very modern homes, perfect streets (not a pothole in sight), a nice clubhouse with swimming pool and tennis courts. Everything was great. Only one problem, we didn’t really like the atmosphere. It was not the Philippines for us. It was more like living in the USA, which is not what we wanted. It was also somewhat far from the main part of town. So, after just one year there, we decided to move back to Marfori Heights again, in the house right next door to where we had lived previously. We like it here in Marfori.
There are several reasons why we have been thinking of a possible move. The first of these reasons started about 2 years ago, in 2007. A major bridge in Davao collapsed in 2007. It was a bridge on a major artery of the City, it connected the northern part of Davao with the southern part of the city. When that bridge collapsed, traffic had to be re-routed to use the remain three bridges, although they are smaller bridges than the one that collapsed. When the traffic was re-routed, part of the traffic ended up passing right in front of our house. Now, we are in a residential area, and there was very little traffic here before the bridge collapse. Kids could even play in the street, because there were so few cars. After the traffic was redirected through our area, it was so heavy that it could take 15 or 20 minutes just to pull out from the driveway. It became a major hassle. Luckily, in 2008 the bridge had been repaired. Traffic, however, never returned back to normal. People became accustomed to passing through this neighborhood as a “short cut” and many kept using this route. Traffic through our neighborhood had been permanently affected. To this day, traffic is a major headache where we live.
The next factor is that a neighboring lot which used to be vacant now has a sort of shack/house on it, and the people are loud. They have plenty of dogs, and occasional rooster (although I haven’t heard a rooster crow for some time now), babies, Karaoke nights with drunk friends, etc. Whatever is loud is something they will eventually start doing! Lately, they have started playing very loud disco and rap music every afternoon. It is mind wracking. I have resorted to wearing earplugs many days, or trying to go out and do my errands during this time of the afternoon. It is not a pleasant time of the day for me.
But, the biggest factor started happening about 2 or 3 months ago. Remember I told you about the house where we used to live next door? Over the years, the house is usually vacant. The owners are too hard to deal with as landlords (remember, that is why we chose to move). Unfortunately, a few months ago the house was sold to new owners. They have decided to turn the house into a preschool. Construction there has been fierce for several months now. They are basically rebuilding the house into a school, and it is loud. I can live with that, because such renovations would not last forever. Once it’s done, it’s done, right. However, think about it. Wait until school starts, very soon. You might have a couple hundred 3 and 4 year old kids next door. It is basically like 20 feet outside my office window. I can only imagine how loud it is going to be. Next, the hours when parents are dropping off and picking up their kids are going to add to the traffic. Even the construction people and school owners are already parking in front of our driveway, etc., making access to our house difficult. Add dozens of parents bringing their kids to school in the morning, and the same when pick-up time comes, and this might be totally unacceptable.
So, Feyma and I feel like the writing is on the wall. We have not started looking for a house yet, but it is something we have talked about a bit, saying that we need to get ready for such a move. I honestly hope that the school turns out to be much better than we are expecting, but I expect that is not a reasonable hope. Even if the school were to be OK, well, the traffic and the other neighbors are getting worse all the time.
Personally, I feel that I would like to stay in the Marfori area. I like it here. It feels like a neighborhood from 50 years ago. Friendly people, a community spirit, etc. Perhaps we could stay in the area, on one of the side streets (our place now is on the major street going through Marfori). Maybe a neighboring area? We will have to shop around a bit. We have a lease deal on this house that is still good for a year and a half. If we decide to move before that, it’s OK, but we will have to forfeit our security deposit. If the noise and hassles get worse, though, I don’t really have a problem with that. We’ll just have to wait and see.
A friend asked me the other day… Why don’t you go ahead and build a place now? Well, we are not ready for that yet. If we decide to live on Samal as has been our plan, well, the kids are still in school and commuting to the City for school is not really a good option. So, building a place is still a ways down the road for us. We’ll just have to watch developments and see if we do want to move, and then deciding where the right place is. I really don’t want to move, I just hope that staying here remains an option.