Eugenio Street, Krus Na Ligas

May 12, 2022

In this article, I pay tribute to my family in Eugenio Street in Krus na Ligas, UP Diliman, the place I called home for 16 years.

A lot of memories have been flashing in my head lately. Sometimes, I would dream about the places that have made quite an impact on my life. At times, they would just randomly pop up in my head. I’m not sure why but I weirdly attribute it to aging. I think my brain is trying to remind me of those old and mostly colorful memories before it finally erases them from my memory bank.

My old home in Eugenio Street, Krus na Ligas
My old home in Eugenio Street, Krus na Ligas (screen grab from Google Maps)

Eugenio Street, Krus Na Ligas


Anyway, one of the images that would unintentionally flash in my head from time to time would be that of my old home in Eugenio Street in Barangay Krus na Ligas inside UP Diliman. It was not really our house, I was just renting a room in that compound since I started college in 1998. The funny thing though is that I never left that house until I got married in 2014.

That’s around 16 years of my life spent in that house. Having said that, I want this article to also serve as an appreciation post to the family of Tatay Ising and Nanay Minda that “adopted” me as their very own member (I was even called “bunso” or youngest child/sibling by the daughters of Tatay Ising and Nanay Minda who were older than me).

I was supposed to leave right after graduation and go back to my hometown San Antonio. You see, when I started college, my plan was to find a job in Nueva Ecija and continue my old life in my quiet little town.

However, my plans eventually changed. I decided to look for a job in Metro Manila after graduation, thus, staying in that house would be the most practical thing for me to do. I said that I would stay for another four years and then look for a bigger place when I had the money. That didn’t happen. Admittedly, I had already become comfortable with that house and the family of Tatay Ising and Nanay Minda that considered me as their own.

Speaking of that family, they are really kind people I think that’s what really endeared them to me. They always had food reserved for me when I get home from school and even in the first few years when I was starting out at work.

They wanted me to text them if I were going home late so that they’d know when to expect me. The old couple were like my parents here in Manila and their children were like my siblings. They also had lots of stories for me, especially during the olden days when there were just a few houses in Krus na Ligas. They told me that there were a lot of trees and plants around, I imagined it to be like the outskirts of my town which are still thick with undergrowth.

They were informal settlers because they built their homes on lands owned by UP Diliman. However, since they’ve been there for a long time, they told me that nothing could move them off their land. Just the same, throughout my stay in Eugenio Street, I never witnessed any violence between UP Diliman representatives and residents of Krus na Ligas.

I believe the old folks when they told me that Krus na Ligas is an old community. In fact, there are farm lands that still exist inside Krus na Ligas which they told me was there long before UP Diliman was built.

The Holy Cross Parish Church in Krus na Ligas
The Holy Cross Parish Church (photo from Lakbay ng Lakan)

Furthermore, Krus na Ligas’ church, the Holy Cross Parish Church, is a Spanish-era edifice. Old photos of this small church indicate that it’s been built centuries ago. In fact, Krus na Ligas Church and Plaza Sta. Ines, the land where the church stands, have been declared by the National Historical Institute as a historic site.

It’s funny though that I have just been inside Krus na Ligas Church once and that was to have our wedding ban posted. That’s because, in the few times that I attended Mass here, it was always full of people.

I also liked the simplicity of life on Eugenio Street. Our household’s routine was to eat dinner at around 6:00 PM while watching the evening news and then tune in to telenovelas right after that. By 9:00 PM, I would already bid them good night because I’d have to do school work.

After college, I found work, transferred to several companies, and then left in April 2014, a week before I got married.

It’s just sad though that Ate Alma, the youngest daughter of Tatay Ising and Nanay Minda, passed away in January 2014. She died in her sleep. Nanay Minda, meanwhile, died in 2018 and Tatay Ising died in 2019. I went to Nanay Minda’s wake but I wasn’t able to visit Tatay Ising’s wake.

One of my biggest regrets was not telling them that I was already getting married, I could have at least sent them an invitation. I really didn’t have a good reason why; maybe because I wasn’t just used to revealing too much about myself to them even if they were my second family. The closest explanation that I could think of was I wasn’t comfortable, then again, I still couldn’t pinpoint the reason why.

I still think about them though, my old family in Eugenio Street, Krus na Ligas. I remember our house and that little store in front operated by Ate Alma. I missed that place very much so that I tried to look Eugenio Street up on Google Maps. It's a good thing that it's available in street view on Google Maps; that's the closest thing to me as to visiting that place again.

When Tatay Ising and Nanay Minda died, they eventually closed their store down. I may not always be too talkative around them or I may have wanted to keep some things to myself when I was with them but they will forever be in my heart.

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