Trip Back To Paco

Paco, Manila.

This is where I grew up.  Going back to this place almost took me on a course back to the past.

This was were, as a boy, I could remember walking the streets with flip flops to my father’s hardware store bringing him Mandaring cod (Lapu-lapu) on misua (a fookien rice noodle) soup, or maybe some squeezed oranges.

I could remember the house that I was living before in Kansas St with my feet hanging down on the windows enclosed with decorative steel weaves that are so typical of Manila’s 60s.  I could remember walking the streets of Herran (now Pedro Gil) and getting bullied by some kid who I think is trying hard to be cool as a jerk, eventually getting ‘saved’ by a classmate, Bernie, and became ‘untouchable’ afterwards.

The once popular Sterling bookstore was gone, and the vocational school were I learned to type at an early age during summer was long gone as well.  The local movie house, Bellevue, where featured double films were shown is now a store.  The Iglesia ni Kristo church is still majestic in proportion to most buildings surrounding it.  I think it is one of the structure in Paco that still holding up to Paco’s fabric of life aside from the market.

I wish I could go to some other places like my elementary school, Paco Chinese School.  Part of my character was formed from the teachers that taught me good study habits, encouraged me to study, and offered lasting impressions of how small gestures of faith on one’s strength could be a platform for a person’s success to the future.

Dart St (now Angel Linao) has also been transformed.  I remebered an alley to a neighborhood where my mom used to have her clothes made by Aling Loleng.  I don’t know why but subconsciously I could still remember the cat poof.  I used to take this alley as a short cut when I walk around the block from Singalong St (no, it’s not sing-along as CJ say it).

The corner building facing on the entrance to the market is still intact.  It’s an social icon of Paco Market.  There used to be a portrait studio on that building before and it’s also the place where I had my teeth taken out by some dentist.  Restorative dentistry was not the game before.  It’s easier to take it out than to fix it.  I should have know better.

These places have shaped up the life that we have, sculpted the persona that we have with  friends and peers.  There’s a lot of changes that have happened on this city.  And some structures has remained the same and is in dire disrepair.

Like our lives, a lot of change has happened and there are areas that needs change.  The only thing that remain constant with change is time.  Everyone has the same amount of time each day.  Might not have the same length of life, but same unit of time that we’ve been given.

I have been self reliant most of my life that I failed to see the dynamics of how tapping on to other people’s strength can help me use what God has given me to shape up something for His purpose.  If there’s anything that has become evident in my life in recent weeks is my opening up to other people the door that allow them to become part of my life.

I have now tread on to a new phase of my life.  Not trying to achieve success to impart to other people how to achieve success, but to become part of other people’s success to become a success for God’s purpose for my life.

8 thoughts on “Trip Back To Paco

  1. joseph leon

    Hi George, Iam also from Dart st., Paco.We have a restaurant there, its the Paco Cosmos Panciteria. How about you, what is the name of your hardware? I graduated my elementary grades also in Paco chinese School.My english teachers at that time is Miss Flores, Miss de la Cruz, How about you? What is your email address? Iam now in New York, New york.

  2. George Manlangit Post author

    Joseph, your name ring a bell but I could not picture you anymore. Who could not forget Ms. Flores & Ms. de la Cruz (both of them).

    I won’t forget Ms. de la Cruz. She encouraged me a whole lot when I was in 6th grade. There was a time when I improved on my studies and I just missed I believe 2 points to make it for 3rd honor roll and she bumped me up by 3 points to get into a tie at 3rd honor.

    Ms Flores, got me motivated into studying English better. And speaking it better.

    Blessed those teachers.

  3. nestor perez ong

    Hi George and Joseph,

    Greetings.
    I, too, was a product of Paco Chinese School. I remembered Ms Flores and the DelaCruz Sisters. I also remembered Ms Jordan who eventually married Phantom. And who can forget Karate who can make a perfect circle using only his hand and chalk. I used to hang around the stairs of the stage while waiting for our bus, the second trip Pandacan school bus.
    God, how simple life used to be.

    Kindest regards,
    Nestor P. Ong

  4. George Manlangit Post author

    I regret not being able to at least to get in touch with the De la Cruz and Ms. Flores. Ms. De La Cruz inspired me to do well in school. Mrs. Flores was instrumental for me to study English very well.

    I can’t recall Karate’s face anymore. I wish I could see my graduation pix during the 70s.

  5. Tess Ang

    Hello! I was just browsing my fb and thought of searching Paco Chinese School and was so glad to see George name, his name rings a bell.

    I’m a product of PCS too and my father used to work inside the school altho he’s not a faculty but happen to work with Paco Chinese Chamber of Commerce and have his office inside.

    For the record: I still get in touch with the Dela Cruzes until last week. I went home last May 2011 and called them. Ms. Lourdes Dela Cruz passed away June 12, 2011 and I went to her wake and saw Ms. Aurelia. She and her youngest sister Fe still lives in their old house in Sampaloc. I was able to talk to Ms. Pastora Reynaldo too( I think shes used to be Ms. Zorilla)

    Thanks guys for bringing back old memories of our alma mater.

  6. Tess Ang

    ops sorry I mean I have contact with them until last year not last week . . I wish I could do it more often.

  7. George Manlangit Post author

    Tess, thanks for the update. I won’t forget the de la Cruz’s. Your mention of Ms. Zorilla do bring back memories of discipline that once permeates the school system of yesteryears.

    I went to the school on my last vacation this year and when I get the chance, I’ll post the slides of the pictures here.

  8. Hi guys... My name is Ernesto Evangelista and is a product of Paco Chinese School too... I used to remember Ms. Pastora Zorilla (she's Reynaldo now?)... she's a disciplinarian, gosh, but remembering her, I owed her too much because of her teaching style..

    I studied in PCS in the 60′s. I miss the school, once I cried upon seeing it on Paz St. and came near it…

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