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Now Settled

a 1952 house in Moncada, TarlacFriday, 13 October, I slept early in the morning right after the night shift. My husband and I have been working at home and online for a small web company based in New York. I had a rude awakening when my husband called frantically for me.

THE CALL

It was a long distance call from my 90-year old father. He told me that he had broken his arm after suffering a fall. That woke me up and I told him that we’ll be going to the nearest orthopedic hospital. Honestly, my mind thought of taking him to the National Orthopedic Hospital in Quezon City. Maybe, I wasn’t fully awake then.

It was only a few months back when my husband, our daughter, and I spent a month of vacation in Moncada, Tarlac. For days, I tried organizing the house to make it look like a home. But time was too short for me to do that.

After an hour or two of packing my computer and a few pieces of clothes, I went to Cubao to find a bus that would get me to Moncada the soonest. I found a Viron Transit bus that would leave by twelve thirty. Good!

AND I’M BACK

I arrived in Moncada at four o’clock. My father was away when I arrived. They said my cousin Jason brought my father to the Tarlac Provincial Hospital for a check-up.

As expected, the house was disorganized. Old newspapers piled in cartons, photocopied articles lying around, and so much stuff had collected dust for months (or years, even).

But first things first, I had to bring my father to an orthopedic doctor. He already had his X-ray and as I’ve mentioned earlier, they went to Tarlac Provincial Hospital. Unfortunately (but fortunately I would say), he wasn’t able to talk to a doctor so they returned home.

We were referred to an orthopedic surgeon whose clinic is in a different hospital located at Tarlac City, an hour ride away. We went there the following Tuesday. After showing the X-ray result, the doctor put on a cast on my father’s arm which will last a month. No surgery needed, thank God.

But that also posed another question: how long will I stay here? So my husband and I decided that I’ll be working here while taking care of my father.

As I started making myself at home again here in the province, I began cleaning up this old house. I threw out garbage and stuff that shouldn’t be lying around inside. It took many sacks and plastic bags of different items and garbage to clear the spaces. I went up and down the stairs numerous times to do these things. I moved tables, chairs, and cabinets until finally…

MY OFFICE SPACE

my office table After a month, I set up my office space. I made use of my grandfather’s old office table. It is made of wood and has its original rattan seat.

The window sill behind me transformed into a temporary bookshelf as I use the closed windows as my backdrop if ever I’ll be on Skype video calls.

Two rattan seats are settled side by side on the right, their backs facing the big window facing east. The sofa and another seat are in front of the table facing me. The side table is also on the right side, with some books, the Bible, and a scented candle. That way, we can entertain guests in an office-like living room. the side table

It seems I’m ready to open my business here in Moncada.

SPEAKING OF BUSINESS…

Although I brought my pocket wi-fi with me, working online plus other web surfing proved to be limited. So I have to get my own Internet connection as soon as possible.

I went to the PLDT Office in Paniqui, Tarlac and applied for a DSL connection. After a few days, I received a message that the lines are now unavailable in our area.

Plan B for me was to go to SM Rosales in nearby Pangasinan and apply personally at Globe. It worked and my broadband Internet was installed last month. That’s one item off my list.

One day, I went to the Municipal Hall and inquired about registering my business.

I’ve been a freelance writer for fifteen years and in order for me to publish my books, I need to have an ISBN. And in order for me to purchase ISBN, I need to register myself as a business. Marissa N. Uycoco-Bacsa DBA (doing business as) Issa Bacsa may do.

So I took a form and filed for a business name and permit.

MONCADA AS OUR NEW HOME ADDRESS

After informing my husband that I already applied for an Internet connection, he decided to stay with us here. So he brought our new laptops and when he arrived, he said, “I’m home.”

For many years, we’ve been planning to move out from our Quezon City home and stay in somewhere peaceful and quiet. For us, as long as there’s Internet connection, a good supply of electricity, and a working computer, we’re all good. So staying here in the province proved to be the answer to our prayers.

Moncada may not be Tarlac’s capital but it is still considered a class A municipality. Our house is along McArthur Highway, the major road going to the north. So going to Baguio or any part of the northern region would be easier. Across the street is the public market and a short walking distance is the Municpal Hall. A true-blue poblacion.

One thing that we have to get used to is the fact that almost all businesses here close at six or seven o’clock. So we have early dinners and early bedtimes. Good thing there’s a 7-Eleven store nearby.

We still work at home, online, and at night. But we are now settled somehow.

Thinking about it now, that call became a sign for us to move out and settle here for good.

Published inFrom Abra to Zamboanga