Saturday, June 13, 2009

Southerners Up North

I've lived in the South since four years old. Before relocating here in Paranaque, we had lived in Makati central, but I could only remember bits and pieces of it. I grew up in the South and I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Southern towns are self-sufficient and peaceful. It has developed into a family hub sprawling of villages and condominiums. We have our own set of entertainment and restaurants to choose from and if that's not enough, we're always near Makati and Manila anyways.

That's why anywhere beyond Makati for us entails a lot of effort and psyching. I seldom go to the north. It was only when I relocated in Cubao for Accenture, was I open to what's happening in the northern area, but usually I go there via MRT. It was also past 2 years ago when I got to consider Greenhills as an option, but before that Makati is really my end point. I imagined that if my car broke down in the middle of QC, I wouldn't know what to do. I might as well just sit down and cry.

With all the traffic and the distance, I only go to QC or anywhere up north only if I have to especially if there's an important agenda at hand. I don't go there just to hang out and pass the time. It would be stupid. I'd only be wasting gas, time and effort. That crazy traffic, long drive and busy thoroughfares are enough to keep me at my boiling point.

Places like Tomas Morato, Timog and Q Ave are just names of places to me. I have no idea how to go there, where it's exactly located and what it has to offer. That was until Mitch became more exposed to his photography. Ever since he became serious with his art, he began attending photo shoots in different studios and most of them are in QC. His new friends and photo colleagues are all from QC that's why he is the one left to adjust. From clueless fellow, he now goes to QC with ease. That's also the reason why I get exposed to it from time to time.

Like today when I got my senses ready for lunch, Mitch and I were squeezing our brains out for possible things to do. We originally wanted to go to Tagaytay but his brother who had been there ruled it out since almost everyone we know is there and based from experience, the traffic is insane.

Makati and Fort are completely at the end of our option since we spend most of our week there that it's becoming sickening already. We were going nowhere with an empty stomach when Mitch offered to take me to Mister Kabab, a famous persian restaurant in the metro. Mister Kabab is solely a north establishment, which means people from the south really have to travel all the way to West Ave to sample their cheap, but succulent persian dishes. Since I haven't eaten there and with nothing else planned, I quickly agreed as we manipulated to use my sister's gas-friendly Honda City for the long drive.

Going there really felt like a journey. Even though there were only minimal traffic jams in EDSA, I still got to feel the entire stretch of it. It was even worse because my stomach was growling. I kept on asking in my mind..are we there yet? Going there, I thought we could have just easily settled in Makati. But when we got to West Ave, where incidentally Harvey was born, we saw lots of specialty restaurants left and right. Some establishments are even original. Quezon City is sprawling of stand alone restaurants and original establishments. Makati might project that all restaurants are to be found there, but the Northern commercial avenues gave birth to most of it.

The trip going there demanded us time and gas consumption, that's why I have to really enjoy my late lunch at Mister Kabab. As soon as we settled in their large and open restaurant, I ordered their best seller Kabab sizzler with ice cream and ice cold softdrinks. Their Kabab, for the price is savory and generous. That's why the restaurant retains its popularity even for Southern people like us because they have a very good meal for a very good price. Mitch would often say that the line in Mister Kabab during dinner go in circles at the parking lot.

After the Kabab experience, with nothing left to do, we went to Katipunan to have dessert in Banapple, a brainchild of his podcentral friend. Whenever Mitch is up north, he always tries to buy me a slice of their bestselling Banoffee pie. Again, this is only located up north that's why southerners really have to "journey" to sample their luscious desserts and dishes.

At around five, we decided to go home via C5 to rest after a stuffed afternoon.

I admit it was something spontaneous, maybe others might think too spontaneous for our taste. Basically we just traveled up north to eat. We didn't do anything else. We didn't meet with anyone else. If practicality caught us off guard, we would've lashed ourselves for actually doing it, but both of us at that time wanted to do something out of the ordinary. We want to go somewhere new and it doesn't get newer than QC for both of us. As long as the desire is unwavering and the gas meter is at its fullest, then up north we can go. But we could only take so much of course because we are and always will be southerners by heart.

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