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.