- April 03, 2023 09:45
“Oh, Morayta, dalawa nalang aalis na!”
The jeepney barker calls out on the sidewalk of a city that’s nothing but a stranger to me. I swept my gaze through the panorama of a bustling street decorated with hurried footsteps and neon signs, enigmatic passersby with such abstruse colors painted across their faces. The palpable trepidation from the whispers of crime and thievery that shadowed through the city's tales.
Why would I forsake my idyllic small-town life of tranquil simplicity and everlasting serenity for a skull-like downtown with nothing but a checkered past and cryptic reputation? That was a question echoed to me on the day of my departure.
But at the precipice of my small-town girl story, I bid my adieu.
And in what some might deem a modern-day jungle, is an urban wilderness I now will call home.
I did not flinch at the thought of trading home-cooked meals, the pleasure of childlike spending, and the comfort of collective decision-making for the solitary duty of choosing what to eat; meticulously orchestrating my weekly expenses, and navigating the world of prudent choices.
Soon enough, days will slip away, and I eagerly await the moment when the towering edifices of my university cease to intimidate, and the unease with each encounter with a stranger becomes but a smoke in this city of life.
What some might perceive as being ambitious was merely the prologue of a small-town girl’s journey, now venturing beyond the familiar in pursuit of her once-distant big-city dreams.
(Illustration by Erica Camille Africa/FEU Advocate)