jorge's library

little observations...

A month ago, the bridge spanning the nearby Estero de Sunog Apog (which connects Gagalangin to Isla de Balut) was closed for much needed repairs. All traffic was rerouted to the spanking new V. Del Fierro bridge a couple of blocks away. Although I know that it’s just a temporary inconvenience and I’m glad that the local city government is doing something proactive, it’s just a bit sad. It’s gotten so quiet. Well, relatively quiet by Tondo standards. Plus, we now have to walk a few blocks in order to hail a jeep, which kind of sucks since all we had to do before was to open our front gate. Hahaha!

Anyway, the new jeepney route has forced us to go through a part of Tondo that I rarely pass through, and it’s quite interesting.

… I’ve found that quite a few of the old houses still exist. If I had time, money, and the clout needed, I’d love to document them. These are the pieces of old Manila that people rarely see (or refuse to see) nowadays. I wish I could show you the details I’ve seen --- beautiful colored glass that still adorns some windows, intricate designs of iron grilles, delicate lacework on the eaves, and wood carvings on door panels. I can only guess at the spaces within. And these are still living, breathing houses. I mean, they’re still in use. Some are in disrepair and some are lovingly tended to. I smile when I spy one that’s been recently painted, even if the palette is a bit garish --- at least it’s still standing!

… There also seems to be a lot of new construction going on. Orange slate seems quite popular nowadays. I’ve counted at least 8 houses in various stages of completion that sport it as their main décor. I haven’t anything against it, and it could be attractive --- in small doses. It’s just that everything seems so… so orange. Hahaha! Well it could be worse. Yesterday I spotted a house in pink, red, and white. *shudder*

… Roof decks seem to be a recent fad too. It must be due to the fact that almost every household has its own Magic Mic --- thus the deck is perfect for celebrating someone’s birthday every other week. *double shudder*

… Since printing on tarpaulin has become so cheap, every Juan, his wife, his mother, and his four siblings have had their faces emblazoned on tarpaulin. It’s not bad at all --- easy décor for a party, and at least you can easily tell who’s celebrating what. It’s just funny to contemplate how people reuse the tarp after the event. I’ve been riding in pedicabs more often now and many a time I've felt awkward at resting my feet on the broadly smiling face that lines the sidecar’s floor.

Anything new in your part of the world? ;-)

i've always wanted to document the old houses in our town. very few of them made of wood and nipa are left. it would be sad to just watch them go. everyone's going for the stronger concrete houses kasi. sad...

and tarp printing is good business! specially during election season. sometimes it may be good to get one of those candidates whom you didn't like and maybe use it as a doorstop or dartboard. (evil laugh) haha!
i am trying to imagine what you have seen and i think it is quite a sight! i do not like tarps. i am not sure how good they are for the environment.
When we go home and stay in Manila for a while, I usually visit Divisoria with my sisters. I find the antique look ng mga buildings fascinating. Ang ganda ng pagka luma ng lugar, kung may camera din sana ako na maganda, gusto ko rin i-document ate. :-)

- Sarah