I'm just a small fish in a small corner of this big Laguna, and this is how I've been swimming it

29 September, 2011

along the Laguna Lake

Laguna Lake on road coming from Paete, Pila and Caliraya
     Laguna province is large, and there is so much to see and visit.  We visited Pila for the first time, and Paete for a third in over a decade.  Paete was sad. More on that on another post.

My Provincial Life

   ...really ísn't very "provincial" anymore.  It's just that "parang probinsiya" is what we, family and friends used to sigh when we first started out here a mere two years ago.  Recalling how we spent the first six years of our married lives with the black soot of Makati near EDSA daily blanketing our things, furniture, skin, and "immunizing" our lungs makes me envy my friends who have been living here for 10-12 years average.  Their secret is out though, and things are becoming less ''probinsiya" like lately.  Come to think of it, I haven't heard any roosters at dawn, the various birds we used to see in the garden have been absent, and I haven't seen any fireflies since mid-2009. (This is getting depressing).   When the Nuvali road was built where a cogon field once was, huge snakes slithered out to the villages and birds lost their habitat.  There really is more cost than we can imagine.
   My husband now works in Quezon City, and comes home weekends to what he feels is a 'resort'. Note we are not even in a resort-like home, just a simple small one. The air alone is enough to recharge him. We are wondering if the air isn't the variable keeping him sniffle-free despite lack of sleep and fatigue amongst sick colleagues and family members (in the QC house) rather than just his daily intake of orange juice.

Mt. Makiling view outside two Santa Rosa Estates villages. I dread it being blocked a few years from now.
    I also quote "My provincial life" from my toddler, who had an earlier obssession with Belle of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, who sang "I want much more than this provincial life", referring to her provencal life in a leetel veelage om France.  She has aptly sung this while running across Nuvali fields, or even on the grass in the village park.  She has also happily declared "This is not my provincial life!" on her rare visits to Alabang where she stares in awe at buildings that are not even too high-rise.  This and her "probinsiyana" make up are to be blogged about in my other "mothering" site as soon as I get over raving about living in Sta. Rosa, technopark side.

Bench Depot on the left. Inside, Charles&Keith, Lyn and Pedro shoes on discount

   For now, forgive me for not getting over it. I will not get over the air over here, for as long as the views remain the same.  I can tell you it will not be long. Paseo the shopping center is shaping up to be an Alabang Town Center in design.  The grassy strips we used to run through over there, are no more. To be sure, it is a pleasant area where families frolic. While pleasantly strolling though, I feel dread, with 24 hour construction of new shops still ongoing.  So there's a Charles & Keith and Lyn's shoes discount store in the Bench Depot, but I will have to give up the view of Mt. Makiling.

Avida Estates banners, side road by Kingbee
   For now, I will remain simple and silly, laughing at my "Avida" life.  Years before we even considered moving here, possibly around 2006,  my husband and I giggled watching the "Avida" tv commercial in the cinema. It was our first time to see it, a long, computer animated ad, capturing exactly what Avida was meant to be.  A man was driving home from the office, entered his Avida village, waved at neighbors who were outside their home standing by a grill! This image just seemed funny to us at the time--so contrived, so unreal it seemed, so Stepford (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stepford_Wives). Here we are now, sharing food with neighbors, waving at friends on the street...living in an Avida tv ad!
   That's part of what the "probinsiya" life is like. I am sure I've mentioned this in a past post...but it's not completely a Pilipino probinsiya life, but semi-probinsiya. And it's just as good.

Solenad 2

     The landscape is changing fast.  I'm ambivalent about seeing the same retailers along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay highway, as those in Metro Manila. On the one hand, they are known brands whose displays are more appealing than the small boutique type shops in Paseo.  Now we really don't have to go all the way to Metro Manila for them (as if we even still do).  Even Paseo 4 is obviously occupied by Stores Specialist Inc. shops.

    On the other, well, what's so unique about this area anymore. The only difference now I guess is that Solenad 2's layout resembles shopping arcades in suburban America with its open design similar to Bonifacio High Street's.  It would have been interesting to have more "Kanin Club" type places---destinations unique to the "South".  Don't get me wrong, I welcome the Pancake House/Max's/Brothers Burger/Army Navy Burger/Contís et al presence.  I suppose it is just that I get disappointed when one town is simply a clone of the rest of the Metro. It's like having the golden arches (or the bee for that matter) towering over a town's central area like a beacon to all.  Welcome, welcome to your shopping and dining comfort zone. Boring. Safe. Economically sound, to be sure. Just frighteningly unimaginative. Welcome, to anywhere shopping Metro Manila.