About two-and-a-half years ago, I came to Marikina City searching for an ideal place to rent for a veterinary clinic that I wanted to put up. Now if you go to any unfamiliar city, taking the commuter route would almost always lead you to the city’s center, and that’s what I did.
I landed right into Marikina’s “bayan” as they call it, the area where Marikina City Hall, Marikina Sports Complex and public market were all located, along with other major government offices and big private companies like major banks and food chains.
Right into the center of Marikina “Bayan” is the famed Shoe Avenue (so named to promote the shoe industry in Marikina), the major road that transects this area of the city. Along the stretch of Shoe Avenue are various small businesses that lie side by side with each other, such as dry goods stores, computer shops, small restaurants, printing and photocopy services, bakeries, and so many other businesses that make Shoe Avenue vibrant and exciting.
Shoe Avenue is also the area where our veterinary clinic is located. We have been operating this clinic for more than two years now, and more than two years of working in Marikina City has been such a wonderful experience and an exciting journey. From day to day work experience, these has been the best days of my life working as a vet.
A day’s work typically begins with me looking for a parking space along Shoe Avenue, and in most days you could easily find a spot to park along one side of the street. However in some days, parking is not readily available, as this is also a very convenient spot where market goers park their cars, where there are no imposed parking fees, free to use for everyone.
I have grown very fond of the neighborhood, and just walking pass by them gives me the feeling that I am home, even though me and my family currently resides at Antipolo City. Two years have been enough for me to befriend and know some neighboring store and shop owners, have done business transactions with them, and also them bringing their pets to our clinic.
At times I needed to do some errands like going to the bank, or buy something from the hardware store or from the supermarket (I have learned the most ideal days and times to go to the bank when they are least busy). These establishments are just two minutes walk away from the clinic and I have the luxury getting out of the clinic sometimes and just enjoy the moment walking around the area.
Sometimes as I walk on sidewalks I would happen to bump with some clients and polite smiles and small talks would follow next. Sometimes I would get a phone call from my assistant letting me know that a client is already at the clinic waiting. Sometimes I would even bump with some clients with their pets as they make their way toward the clinic.
When it’s not busy, sometimes I would just sit at the park just in front of the Marikina City Hall and watch other people go about their own businesses, but most of the time its mostly students using the park to practice their dance steps or just simply hanging out with each other.
I have been in house calls here and there, and have learned and familiarized myself with the usual and unusual routes to get in and out of Shoe Avenue. Shoe Avenue is a fairly disciplined street, where traffic officers man the road and would catch a person who goes jay walking. Most times people crossing the street are disciplined and would willingly use the pedestrian lanes every time.
Throughout nearly two-and-a-half years of doing veterinary work here in Marikina bayan, I have never felt like “working” as I have always enjoyed what I do. Maybe because the clients in Marikina are the best clients any vet can ever wish in the small animal practice. They are very receptive to recommendations with regards to the health of their fur babies, and some would even happily recommend our services to their relatives, friends, and workmates.
Knowing what I now know, with the environment and the clients that I deal with in Marikina City, if I ever have to start all over again, will I ever do veterinary work here again? Oh yes sure I will gladly do it over and over again. The journey will never be completed, and we will continuously provide veterinary services with a joyful heart.