Here’s where I walk my dog on weekends. The river park is just below our street.

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On Monday mornings, it’s my dad’s turn to walk the dog. I’ve been joining him lately. We like to buy vegetables here. It’s fresher and cheaper than the ones in the market. Some enterprising people planted vegetable patches (see above photo) and sell their crops to joggers, bikers, anyone walking along the river park.

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I feel like I’m in some place other than Metro Manila whenever I go here. And then I see the smog in the horizon (that’s Quezon City). Oh well, I am in Metro Manila after all.

However, I’m glad that even though Marikina has become a city, it has pretty much retained its small town quality. We live in one of the oldest parts of the town, er, city. I’ve never lived anywhere else. It’s where my mom grew up, and my grandfather, and I guess the first generation of our clan. I like it here because of the familiarity (most of our neighbors are relatives of various degrees), safety, accessibility and convenience. We’re near the church, market, city hall, transport hubs, mall, and the main highway.

Maybe this is another reason why I still can’t leave Metro Manila no matter how sick I am of it. I still always go home to a beautiful, peaceful place.

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