Calle Esperanza

Avenida-Rizal Pt.1
July 13, 2008, 8:34 am
Filed under: Old Manila | Tags: , , , ,

I could hear the silent whimper of the street whose memories of grandeur is being slowly driven away into the dark pages of our history.

The sound of the train echoes from above, here in this once glamorous street under the LRT, I was soaked by the rain. It was 2 years ago when I discovered this place and always keep coming back. It’s my own chaotic paradise in this once proud city.

Avenida-Rizal, the place to be, with all its glitz and glamor, the Broadway of Manila—but that was years ago, it’s now reduced to this place of cheap thrills, ranging from pirated items to live shows. This place was nowhere near cheap before, the street was dotted with fine dining, cinemas, theaters all the amusement for those who frequented the place.



Things eventually change and this place did change—for the worse. Gone are the theatres, gone are the luxurious shops and restaurants, replaced by shady cinemas, unscrupulous “live shows” where the only thing they showcase is meat (and not animal meat), and the shops are now cluttered with pirates, and bargain bins.

Being a resident of Metro Manila, I’ve always frequented this place but I never did catch up to its glory days. I first set foot in Avenida-Rizal when I learned that the local Mayor Atienza (during his term) was having this place rebuilt and all vehicular traffic was forbidden to enter, it turned into a pedestrian wonderland. Still people came flocking, not because of its history but because of the things that you could buy here. I came here looking for history but ended up with bags of stuff. What happened to history? I forgot once I saw the low price tags.

It’s a pirate’s den, all manner of pirated goods are sold here. There’s a lot to love for voracious movie goers, bag lovers, designer shirt whores who couldn’t afford the high price at Makati. DVDs here are cheap and it’s going to get cheaper with the steep competition. I was witness to numerous battle for customers and prizes soon went down and down because of all the haggling that going on. It’s good to remember some tips when you’re buying there though;

  • Tip 1, if you want it cheaper tell the person that you are buying from that it’s cheaper at another store(even if it ain’t true).
  • Tip 2: Almost all the shops have the same assortment of stuff because they have only one supplier so if one shop doesn’t have the one your looking for, its likely every one of them don’t have it.
  • Tip 3: Never ever get yourself caught up in a raid, its an exciting and tense situation. I got caught in one and I was left not knowing what to do.
  • Tip 4: Some stores offer updates on new items through text. Argghhh

Then there’s the cheap stuff, from earrings, bracelets, bags and clothes. If you’re in a bind and don’t have that much money to spend on someone on their birthdays or Christmas, then come on over. You could get a gift as low as 5-25 pesos, that’s roughly half a dollar. I went Christmas shopping here and it didn’t make that much of a dent on my wallet, being cheap kicks ass.

But in the end, in all that frivolous search for the quick bang on the buck, people easily forget the history of the place. The buildings are being torn down, replaced by car parks or some shopping place. It’s a sad thing to think about, the city is being slowly ripped of its identity.

Despite the makeover done by the local mayor, the street still cries in pain. As I linger here, looking at the passing of time, I could hear the silent whimper of the street whose memories of grandeur are being slowly driven away into the dark pages of our history.

Save Avenida, Save Manila



18 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I like the concept. Take me with you when you go out hunting for pics of the cities of Manila. I’ll borrow a decent camera for our purposes of glorifying the urban decay and regrowth of Manila.

Comment by Chris

Do you have a camera chris? I lost mine and without it I would have a hardtime posting pics.

Comment by Pandabear

Haha my dad lost his. So I don’t have mine yet. I don’t want to bring the SLR masira ko pa mamaya.
I’ll wait until dad gets a new point and shoot.

Comment by Chris

WHOAAAAAA! MANILA! MY MANILA! My beloved city. I considered making a blog about Manila before I conceptualize Lakwatsero. I love this blog as I love Manila! Ahehehe! Sama din ako sa tour Panda. Taralets! Binondo, Ongpin, Paco, Tondo, Sta. Cruz, Sampaloc, Quiapo… libutin natin ang Maynila, hehe!

Comment by lakwatsero

Salamat Blue, dahil ang hilig kong libutin ang maynila. Kaso nawala ang camera ko so hindi ko na siya madocument ng maayos. Plano namin ni Estelle magescolta one of these days.

Comment by Pandabear

sama nyo ako, malapit lang ako sa escolta, blumentritt/sta.cruz lan ako

Comment by lakwatsero

San ang blumentritt? 21 na ako hindi ko parin alam kung nasan yung mga lugar na yun. Nakapunta na ako intramuros though. At Baclaran c/o Aljon. At parts of taft. Mukhang maganda maglakad sa Manila.

Comment by Chris

blumentritt ay northern part ng sta.cruz, near chinese genereal hospital/manila north cemetery, boundary sya ng qc and manila

Comment by lakwatsero

Yep maganga maglakad sa maynila pag hindi ka maarte.
Ayos Blue Hahaha near Manila North Cem ka pala. Gusto ko daanan yun one of these days.

Comment by Pandabear

tara na at libutin natin ang maynila 😀

Comment by lakwatsero

Oo pag may camera na tayo! hahaha sayang pag wala eh.

Comment by Pandabear

maganda yung wall paper mo. Pero hindi ka parin nagdadagdag ng entries! haha Ako baka 1 buwan pa mag-aaral muna ulit ako.

Comment by Chris

Weird guy kailangan natin dagdagan to! Maganda na yung concept pati yung picture chaka yung title ng blog mo. Kulang na lang content!!! hehehe

Comment by Chris

[…] Metro Rat […]

Pingback by Avenida « Metro Manila Revisited

Potangna shrek! Wala ka na bang idadagdag? Hahaha

Comment by domesticatedman

Pag may SLR na ako batch

Comment by Pandabear

Very nice, I heard that they opened Avenida Rizal to vehicles again.

Comment by nold

Hi Jp! Wala ka paring SLR ano? punta ka na lang sa blogs ko wala lang. Di ko pa alam ano mas gusto ko e yung blogger or yung na blog. Hmmm

Comment by chris

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