So I donned my Japanese sandals as my friend sends me a message that they are already at Quiapo Church. I replied that I just need 5 minutes and Ill be out on the streets. It's quite another hot Saturday but at least there is no rain.
We met at the Church as agreed upon as I listen to the final blessings of the priests. Then like most Churches nowadays people clapped like the show has ended. That puzzles me a lot.
Weaving through the Carriedo going to Escolta for the Saturday Market (at the First United Building) there. It's the usual Artsy-Fartsy people with their over priced hand made products. I was just there to check the Washi tapes and maybe some postcards. So I ended up buying nothing because I was not motivated enough to buy the washi tapes and the postcards are fucking expensive. There were lots of old stuff there from the bygone years of cassette tapes and vinyl records, magazines of stars who have just lost their way into the dark and lots of hand made stuff priced too much. I wish they make their prices reasonable so they can get more sales.
Then we headed off to Ongpin passing by the view of the Sta. Cruz Church. There is a side market there with old coins and stuff salvaged by people at a much cheaper prize compared to the Artsy-Fartsy Market. We glimpsed the stores where you can buy gold and jewelries (just be careful some of the gold there are fake).
As we walked we did our talking about things in work and in life. I told them of the places where you can buy stuff and what special things they have for sale like fried siopao and hopia.
We ate had noodles at Masuki where my friend enjoyed the simple noodles for 120 each bowl and you can share that. At the time we were there the owner was there was entertaining some media people. There was a talent show contestant named Makata who I don't care and even know.
We passed by people on the streets selling fruits and vegetables and some charms as well. We went in to Salazar Bakery, Monteland and Holland Bakeries and bought some hopia. And of course tasting the hopia as we walked and went to Binondo Church.
Before Binondo Church we passed by Sto.Cristo de Longos and I asked if my friend wanted to offer some joss sticks. It was akward of course at first but you can give it a try and there is nothing wrong with that. Even as an atheist I had to do it so that she would have an easy time with the ritual.
On the Binondo Church we had some rest while looking at the awful things they have done to the old Church. The pillars were covered with cheap marble and doesn't suit the old architecture of the place, the same goes for the grills and cheap stained glass they put at the back. And you are really with a bad taste if you enjoy the neon green confessional.
After enjoying the rest in Binondo Church we passed where the Insular Cigar Factory and the Hotel de Oriente was going to the newest and classiest place in Binondo the Lucky Chinatown Mall. This mall is made for the class A people where you can buy Chinese stuff at a pricier way. Makes some people feel rich I say. The mall has a feel of those malls in Eastwood but this one is clearly modeled after Macao. Unlike most mall who have a chapel this mall has a small shrine for Buddhist where you can light a joss stick and pray.
Then going to Divisoria as my friends looks for a hair blower and shaver for a cat. Of course with the many shops at 168 and 999 and the new one I just saw near Tutuban Center. You will be just overwhelmed by the interesting stuff you can buy. Most are just utter interesting but useless stuff.
The roads are still under repair and they made it quite high. I don't see how that can help the problem with floods. The streets are still littered with all sorts of trash in plastic and paper and whatever. Yes, there are lots of people already especially these Pakistani students whom I call my friend's friend, and God they stink a lot. In Philippine culture it is impolite to smell and stink.
The wonderful thing about Divisoria is that you can haggle prices and be proud that you are such a cheapstake and never have to pretend shit like in the mall. We sat at least in three food courts and rested for once in a while, looking at people and talking about them.
The one thing that I find interesting in all of these is the way the Filipino sales lady calls the shoppers. They say the following:
Pasok lang! (Do enter)
As if you can really enter their small stall. And if I do enter so what?
Pili lang. (Do choose)
Why is this for free? Will I get big discounts?
And my favorite: Anong hanap nila? (What are they looking for?)
Which my friend replied, "Kapayapaan (Peace)." I was yeah can these people give me what I am looking for? What if I am looking for a treasure or someone?
Anyways we know what they are talking about considering that Tagalog works much on the context of the place and the conversation rather than have lengthy English langauge boring talks where you can also do the same.
By now my feet are red with the Japanese Sandals I am wearing.