Home for the holidays
and every moment in between
For this friend group of creatives, to live in proximity of each other is a way to approximate a shared experience of longing for a physical and proverbial space
There’s a time in the day when even in those west-facing windows, sunlight is at its warmest hue and yet it doesn’t sting. Your eyes can feel the intensity but your skin doesn’t. A luminosity buoyed by a breeze, characteristic perhaps of the onset of Amihan season.
The units owned by a group of friends in this Poblacion building all happen to be on the same side: west where the sun sets. We spent half a day chasing sunlight as it rains down on their uniform floor plan units’ big windows, flooding each of their own spaces with warmth—both light and humidity. Thank god for air conditioning.
They are all creatives, one way or another, not bound just by an impulse to create but also to revel in life’s moments. All have moved into the building in the last two years—in the pandemic, nonetheless—from another buzzy neighborhood or from the comfort of their family homes. Either way, there seems to be a force that caused them to gravitate towards this address: in most cases, materialized as a friend or peers who used to live there, or shared memories of the neighborhood previously from a detached perspective.
Despite differing reasons, Mano Gonzales (artist and stylist), Jan Pineda (creative manager), Bea Te (DJ), Judd Figuerres (advertising director), Ipe Cervantes (sales manager), and Carla Villanueva (stylist, production designer, and creative director) all share a similar longing to have and carve out a physical and proverbial space for themselves in proximity to each other.
Long-time common friend Denise San Jose describes the group as “Very nurturing and caring, but in a chill and kind of nonchalant way. They want to have a good time without negatively impacting others. The true definitions of ‘walang basagan ng trip.’”
They are of a generation grappling with the idea of “home” away from “home” knowing the precarity of the real estate market and the doomed possibility of ever having a room of one’s own; A generation that might never own a house but is content to pay rent well aware that we are not staying for a long time but for a good time.
And they are at peace with that. They’ve made amends with the fact that someone has lived in the house before them and someone will probably usurp them—and are better off for it. But how do you make a space “yours” when on paper it is not and nothing is assured?
You make do and make moments in spaces lived in but never fully anyone’s.