Today, December 15, 2006, Friday, I went to work in a collarless shirt, denim shorts and sandals with an orange and gray Dunlop backpack borrowed from my sister. My borrowed backpack contained a change of shirt, cologne, a hand towel I found in my room cabinet (salvaged from last years Christmas presents), a pack of my Marlboro Lights and my digital camera. Not a proper attire for an Information Specialist, like yours truly, you might say, to wear at work, in the hustle and bustle of the elite Makati crowd. But I don’t care. This attire will do for the singular task I need to do today. Pack all my things, we are moving out.
The sudden realization of this reality flashed before my eyes as soon as the guard opened the door for me with his usual “Good morning sir…” Was it just my imagination that his usual greeting lacks the customary prompt and snappy manner? Or was it because he was just taken aback by the get up I’m wearing, or was it my waxed finger combed hair?
I need not dwell on that, but it maybe because something he had for breakfast didn’t agree with him and he needed to relieve himself, PRONTO! Eeeeeew! But here he was, opening that glass door for me! That door which accepted hoards of people over the years, from bill collectors, delivery men, government officials, politicians, lawyers, police, military, ex-military, our friends and family members, etcetera.
To some, it may just be one of those things that companies do especially the growing ones, for them to put up that facade of progress or any other reason one might be able to think of. I just wish it were the same for us. No, we are not in the red. The company is still okay in spite of all that’s been happening to us lately. But that is not my concern. Not this day. No, definitely not today.
I have very deep memories in this edifice. For me, it has really been more than 11 years. From the day the first stone was turned for the groundbreaking ceremonies to the very first time my father brought me in the building. There were days when I needed to use resources to finalize reports for school, days that I have no place better to go to but here. Never have I imagined that one day, I would be part of this building as one of its daily inhabitants. A member of its workforce. Friendships were made, old ones enhanced. Professional and personal turmoil were overcome within the confines of this chocolate brown building I consider my second home.
As I stare at the boxes now filled and secured with packing tape, I took to myself and thought of all the good and bad things I have had here on this very floor, this exact spot where I am at. I stare as the movers carefully stacked the sealed boxes and tables. I can’t help but feel a slight pinch somewhere within. It is really happening.
We are really leaving. There is no turning back now. I can’t help but feel that I am leaving a dear friend behind. A friend I saw rise from the ground while I was growing physically and mentally as well. A friend who has nurtured me and protected me from the elements all these years. The confines of its walls, ceiling and floors filled with memories both good and bad.
I can’t help but feel nostalgic as I sat and puffed on my third cigarette within the hour and between sips of instant coffee. I uttered a silent prayer in my head while snapping pictures for posterity of the controlled chaos we are in at the moment. Pictures that I will keep like my father did of all his memories within this building. I extinguished my cigarette butt and lapped up the last drop of my coffee. Enough with nostalgia for now. It’s time to move on.