Sunday, February 6, 2011

Living in Subic: Our small patch of heaven on Earth

It never occurred to me that when I visited Subic Bay Freeport for the first time 10 years ago, I would stay and eventually consider it my home.

It was in Subic where I found and married my gorgeous and charming wife and sired 2 handsome and smart boys. Through the years, I have developed some close friendships here, established a modest law practice, and maintained a simple and blissful life all the while.

Well, just to describe a typical week:

Early morning in Binictican Heights is so quiet it is broken only by the chirping of birds at 5 a.m., almost on the dot. I would brew myself a mug of coffee while checking emails or reading/drafting some pleadings. The mountain air remains cool (since December), considering that it’s now February. At the back of the house, the mango tree is already exploding with flowers (in time for green mangoes and bagoong [salted anchovies] come summer).

School for the boys is 10-12 minutes away by car; the missus’ office, 7 minutes. But she would always join me to school and I’d drop her off to her office on my way back to the house. Except when there is a court hearing or meeting, I prefer to stay and work in the house. The law office is in the city proper of Olongapo (travel time: 20 minutes), near the court house. For meetings actually, there are nearby coffee shops, including Starbucks. Before having breakfast and hitting the shower, I would walk-run for 7km-10km. Naptime is an hour after lunch.

When the boys are back in mid-afternoon, we would horse around and talk about whatever they have done or whatever it is that happens in school. They can watch TV as long as they do their assignments. Then I’m off to fetch their mom. At least once a week, before heading home, we would drop by a duty free shop for groceries. Occasionally, we would have our dinner-date in a restaurant, or enjoy a massage from a spa.

From the Central Business District (CBD), the church, restaurants, hotels, duty free shops, beaches, schools, a hospital, and the like, are within a 0-15 km radius. Motorists obey traffic lights and the “first stop, first to go” policy, barring a few deviants. The Law Enforcement guys, particularly the sentries, are courteous and nice.

I do feel lucky when, on my way to Binictican, some friendly Aetas sell halaan (clams), susó (snails), sweet potatoes, mushrooms, even mudfish and crabs, by the roadside. Mudfish and crabs may be a bit expensive but the rest you can get for Php20/tumpok (pile).

Weekends we spend just by hanging out in the house, although we do go to Manila on a weekend at least once a month. Occasionally, when the boys feel like it, we bring them to Remy Field for a game of football. Then it’s cheese pizza afterwards. Otherwise, I get to choose the restaurant – either by the bay or lagoon, and watch the sun setting down.

Well, most city folks may find this kind of life dull and boring, but to me and my family, this rather idyllic life is the ideal one.

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