Growing Up in Pasay

Growing up in Pasay City, I hate it when there’s a commotion going on. From experience, it’s never good.

This morning, while walking to the Taft Station in MRT, there was another crowd starting to grow. In the midst of it, I saw a woman, about late twenties, lying on the ground. Another woman was with her, trying to shake her awake. I wasn’t able to see much of it, because I was hurriedly being carried away by this sea of people, all rushing for work this morning. I hope she’s still alive though.

When I got at the top of the stairs, I saw one of the most depressing things today. A poor little boy with crutches. He wasn’t begging for money, instead he was trying to go down the stairs. His other hand gripping carefully the hand rails and the other, gripping tightly on his crutches. I wanted to talk to him and tell him that there’s an elevator he could use, even if I’m not sure myself if it’s working properly. But I later realized that he was with an older man, who I’d like to assume as his father. I wonder.

These are just some of the things I occasionally see in the morning on my way to the MRT.

Everyday, I pass by the beerhouses and clubs along Edsa, not surprised anymore that there are early customers already. I mean, come on you Pasay City people, get a life! Seven bottles of red horse already at 9:45 in the morning?

…. -_- I have been thinking of getting out of here. But sadly, when I think hard about it, Pasay is actually a strategic place. It’s in the middle of where I want to be. I used to work in Alabang, I could go there in less than hour. Now I work in Quezon City, which takes less than an hour now that I know the quickest way. It’s not so far from Las Pinas and Paranaque, where most of my friends are. It’s very near Makati and MOA, who I now call my second homes. It also has a house and a lot which belongs to our family, so we don’t pay any rent.

When we were younger, our neighborhood was okay. But people eventually move out and get to be replaced by, well, your typical Pasay City people. When Mom was still single, they told me that they were among the first few families here in our neighborhood. Vacant lots stretched for blocks and everybody, since they were only a few respected families, knew each other. But as years went by, people from all over came. Then the squatters came.

Yeah, our house is near the squatters. But they are not in our area. When a fire breaks out in the shanties, we are one of those who immediately scamper with our stuff because we live near them.

But  we are relatively safe there. Most of the people knew us, considering that our mother is the doctor. Years ago, I see people being brought in with stabs on their arms, some with cut hands – Mother told me they were those wanted snatchers and holdapers who live in the squatter’s area. Most of them can’t afford to pay the treatment, they just leave with a thank you and will tell us that they owe my mother a lot. Which was okay, we get repaid by the assistance we get from them when we need to haul up the fridge and washing machine when the flood gets inside our house, when I go home late and people stay away from us because they know me as “anak ni doktora,” therefore lay off.

The person living beside us, is believed to be someone who sells you-know-what. Which was also said to be the reason for his unexplainable, filthy wealth. (Hello Mr. Aguado, like you read my blog.) His house is about 3 stories high, with their 3rd floor just on the same level as our roof. There are times when we hear footsteps on our roof. There are also some times when I could smell someone smoking on our roof. Weird. Sometimes, I ponder on changing our Wi-Fi access point SSID to “I-Can-Smell-You-Smoking-Weed-On-Our-Roof-Jackass” or something.

The person whose house is right in front of us, used to be a Pasay City police. We call him Mang Tony. Now, Mang Tony used to have a couple of very big dogs. I was told that they were being used for dog fights where a small fortune were placed on the dogs that seem to be winners. Mang Tony also owns several of those Pasay City Beerhouses. He even held one as a venue for his baby grandchild’s birthday. But Mang Tony, being my mother’s ‘kumpare’, also has perks.

I’ve learned that having connections with people who belong in the government, even if unethical, can be very beneficial for the family. We get extra protection. I guess that’s the way it goes and that’s how it will be. Know the rules and play better than anyone else. Is this the beginning of the corruption in the Philippines?

Well, I gotta go eat lunch. :]


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2 thoughts on “Growing Up in Pasay

  1. Shinji Ikari

    I definitely can relate to that.

    One of our long-time neighbors started as a “dog-napping” syndicate in the late 80’s or 90’s. Now they own the tallest building in the neighborhood, running all sorts of “special” and “profitable” “businesses” such as “car parts”, “computer parts”, and “alternative medicine” among other things. They enjoy “free” electricity and water supply too.

    What’s ironic is that their building is right next to the residence of a high-rank police officer, who of course is not the perfect “law-abiding” citizen you would expect.

    Fortunately, their family have been in very good terms with my grandparents since the 80’s, so by default, giving us some form of police “protection” and “immunity” from “evil elements” in the area.

    Living in Tondo has its share of “benefits” too. ^_^

    • Lolz “car parts” =)) Very profitable I see.

      I guess this is pretty common in the Philippines as a whole. Especially in places outside of subdivisions. I guess in subdivisions, common lang ay mga celebrities, politicians, celebrities turned politicians, and bank branch managers. ;))

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