Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nostalgia Manila

Manila  was crowded then as it is today, except that there were few people in the sidewalks and the calesas still roam  the streets. The VIPs cruise in their Chevy Fleetlines donning mini flags instead of wang-wangs. I wonder if the traffic officers back then have already invented the word before kotong. Cool air lets cabs have their windows rolled down, and while taximeters work in analogue fashion, it doesn't charge passengers 4 pesos every 300 meters.

Ten cents would do. 

Ambulant vendors ply their trade in bilaos. I say tradition stays no matter how times have changed. It's not much different from the wooden stalls we have today. Except that there was no MMDA to steal their goods and China-made imitation were still generations behind from coming out of  rickety production lines. Notice how the homeless live in shacks with little wheels. Good for them, at least they can move from place to place and not worry about squatting in one's land.  The last time I walked the street at night, I saw an entire family including little children sleeping under the stars.

Back then, kids sell large paper bags instead of polymer canal choker.  Helium balloons were round and made of rubber. Lottery came in the form of Sweepstakes that were sold by peddlers instead of having to scratch a card in a Lotto outlet. Broadsheets had monochrome photos and 8 column format which have all disappeared the day publishers splashed color over a newsprint's nameplate

They say  life was better in the old times - a fact the elderly would fondly cherish in an age when Twitter sparks revolutions abroad and phone text messages take the role of written love letters. Back when there was less people,  the air was fresh, the streets were safe and people were enjoying a quaint life. The romantic in me would love to see a world when teens still swim across the Pasig River and kids still play in the neighborhood as swathes of masses venerate the doll of Nora Aunor, a pop-star who in old age would be detained abroad and would be forgotten by the rest of the nation.

This is how everyday life was in the 50's

But seeing the difference between then and now is like taking away the calesas and replacing the Chevys with Hondas.  There is not much to ponder, only despair. For no matter how nostalgic the reel was,  it seems as the scenes tell that life - as we know it - remains the same.

Everything in the world is constant.



Désolé Boy said...

I constantly lament the fact that the Metropolitan Theater couldn't revive itself. Such a pity.
On a different note, what happened to your title font? ;D

dabo said...

this post is a bleeding love..

Xall Percé said...

Later on, the future generations will post about how better our time is compared to theirs and that's not what I am hoping for.

Spiral Prince said...

I was very wistful when I first saw this video. I guess losing what was present then was the price we paid to 'develop'.

Louie said...

It pains me to see that while its neighboring cities and towns have evolved to be some of the magnate cities in the world, Manila was left behind.

Nabasag ang puso ko when once a Fil-Am balikbayan friend told me: "Are you sure that this is the country's capital city? It doesn't look like one." :(

RainDarwin said...

I agree, Manila seemed to be unvarying for almost a century now. Nature of businesses and establishments has never changed a bit. If in 50’s Manila boomed as center for barter and trading, now the concept of business is still the same – LOCAL RETAILING.

While nearby cities dominate as the frontier of global conglomerates where top graduates and high caliber workers used to work, Manila would still be the home of embryonic local retailers and small-time traders. No room to compete for economic progression.

Good reflection Papa Joms. Isa ka talagang versa!

Sean said...

wag lang tayong mag-regress at maging katulad ng mas exotic nating mga karatig-bansa.

Desperate Houseboy said...

Nasasayangan ako sa Maynila. Nonetheless, its historical past is still alive in the hearts of many. Sana lang, maging maunlad ito sapat para ipagmalaki natin. (Refer to Papa Louie's comment)

orally said...

gotta agree with Sean, if that happens kawawa naman ang mga susunod na henerasyon

daniel said...

I constantly wonder ano kaya ang feeling living in that era.
Kaya naman naghahanap nako ng DVD ng Rosario. Mahilig ako sa mga movies na nostalgic ang settings.

Things would be a lot different : )

Godbless sis' : )

Yj said...

i once saw a book The Manila We Knew... a collection of short stories... hindi ko siya binili... at hindi ko na nakita ulit...

pero feeling ganitong ganito ang nilalaman ng libro... :)