My new neighborhood, Kapitolyo, looks and feels like an upgraded Bajada. High-density, mixed-use development. A walkable mall in every direction. 24-hour fastfood chains everywhere. Shops of every conceivable enterprise are tucked away in the residential blocks. The place screams busy and convenience like a battle hymn.

From a studio apartment, I have moved to a one-bedroom condo unit. Feeling safer, yet lonelier. At least in Dona Vicenta, I could still hear my neighbors laugh or sing karaoke or quarrel. Here, only the swooshing sound of the cars can be heard from my seventh floor window. I have not even seen a soul walk along my floor’s corridors. First impression: it’s a cold and dreary place.

People always seem to appear busier than myself. Friends relegate me to their weekends. No one can be bothered. Do people here see each other only by chance? Lahat ba ng plano dito, drawing lang? In Davao, it’s easier to keep commitments, because going around is cheap and choices are limited. Here, life is less predictable. Something always comes up. And it’s almost always beyond my control.

It’s a transition. So I am giving every circumstance the benefit of doubt and hope. I will not resist the changes. I will embrace the discomfort. I will focus on what is important and blur the rest. I have been in this situation before. And as always, I will figure things out.