Monday, January 22, 2007

Revisiting Old Places

One night I paid a visit to Dennis Villegas' blog, and the pictures he posted of the 400 year anniversary of the Black Nazarene, had evoked feelings of nostalgia. I was so happy to see pictures of my old stumping ground; my favorite haunts when I was young--from a tender age of 7, when my mother would take me with her--until I finished college. The belfry of the Quiapo church, a very familiar sight, reminded me very much of the time my mother and I used to go there to pray to San Antonio, the saint of lost souls. But it saddened me to see the interior of the church. It had been remodeled to a more contemporary style, which does not match at all the architecture of the exterior. Preservation should have been the key to keeping the original architecture of the interior.

The street along Quinta Market is where I used to catch a bus to get home. The bus would pass under the bridge (ilalim ng tulay) and go straight then make a right on to another bridge. I have forgotten the names of the streets and bridges after all these years.

Thinking of the places and writing about them bring back sad memories that almost always bring tears in my eyes. The people I was with--my parents, my siblings, cousins, and other relatives, friends and neighbors now all come to mind. I miss them all; the happy times I spent with them in those places.

Avenida Rizal my favorite haunt has changed. That was one of the places I would go to shop and watch movies. But, alas, it's now so crowded and with an overhead street just above the avenue. And I thought, "What did they do that for?"

A lot have changed. I've been away for so long, and , of course, as expected progress and population explosion would change the place. The only unchanged landmark that I can remember is the church (the exterior) and I'm glad, it remained intact.

The Chinese style ham that I missed so much, at the Excellente Ham store makes me wish for a piece of that mouth watering meat; the queso de bola, I have longed and craved for when I first got here. Sure we have cheese here--all kinds, sizes shape and flavor--but queso de bola has a taste of its own, and it's a must-have for our holidays; the roasted chestnuts (kastanyas) makes me wish I'm back home munching on some.

Ah, memories of days gone by have resurfaced through those pictures...those days of my youth.

7 comments:

Dennis said...

Hi Mari,
Oh I understand how you miss our beloved country now. Indeed, there's no place like home. Nostalgia is such a sad and sweet experience, a longing to return to the old time..and I can feel that in the future, you will really have to visit our beloved country.

Nini said...

mari, here's the matakaw in me hoping to get a recipe of how they cook those chestnuts back home...

anyone?

thanks,

Nini

Fatima Mohamed said...

its always so sentimental to walk down memory lane... wow we are all moving on huh

Mari said...

Dennis: Thanks again for visiting. Yes, I miss the old country; the old places, and the people. If only it's that easy to go back there every now and then, I would. Thank you so much for posting those pictures...it truly evoked feelings of joy and sadness.

Nini: Lol. Here's hoping that someone who visits here knows how to and gives us the recipe. For me, I would like to know where I can get the Chinese style ham over here. Not to cook...I'll probably burn it. LOL

Fatima Mohamed: It's a sentimental journey to the past, and, yes, we move on. Thanks for your visit.

Mari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nona said...

many places in Manila had been renovated, meron ding naging maganda like the Roxas Boulevard...
Although some of us preferred the old looks...seems like you haven't been to Phil for quite a long time mari..

Mari said...

Yes, Nona, I heard Roxas Blvd. was revamped. And, yes, I have not been home for a long time. I hope to visit next year.

Salamat sa bisita mo dito sa blog ko.