Some places brings us nostalgia, yet old photos brings the most. It also brings tears to our eyes, the scenery, the odor. Everytime we visit a certain places, it brings back thousands of memories.
I grew up in Mandaluyong, in the slums of Addition Hills. Though some may say, this is the place of the dammned, as many sinners and saints lives here. A place of many informal settlers, barong-barongs, tangled cable wires, street vendors, stray dogs and more. But i grew up here, and still, i considered this place as my true home. I mean, i have been in many beautiful places like Laguna, Batangas, Cavite and more. I even travelled overseas, but there is something in this place that keeps me coming back. In some perspective, it shows how bad this place is. But a true identity is not base on what we see, sometimes we have to look at the other side.
A certain place bears a destinct odor. In my place, it is the smell of Hot pandesal and the smell of champorado or sopas being cooked in the morning, The smell of hot aspalt road under the sun in the afternoon, And barbecues being roasted in embers on the evening.
A typical Philippine neighborhood, but more of a “nayon” because bayanihan still exist. But its not the bayaniham that some of our textbooks in elementary had show us you know?, the one group of men carrying bahay kubo?, it is the friendship. Everyone is lending their hand if someone needed it, like when catastrophe strikes or like when preparing for fiestas. Though some douchebags may asked for payments and probably, they needed it to suffice their drug addiction.
But atleast they’re not ashamed of their bad habbits. Someone in a street brawl may shout in his enemy, “Adik ka! adik!” and the former may answers, “Oo adik ako! pero atleast hindi ako magnanakaw tulad mo!”. Or in some neighbors change of insult, ” Patay gutom!” ” Ano naman? atleast di ako nag papa tira para magka pera!”. But some of these people are the reasons why i love being here, a pure entertainment. Specialy when two of your neighbors are trashtalking eachother. Its like fliptop on youtube but lacks of someone like Anygma who will shout “Time!” to stop their uproar. Instead, their husband do the job and they are the kilabot of the streets, doing their dringking sessions from 6 in the morning until midnight. I even think that they patronized San miguel, No not the saint but the brand of an Alcoholic drinks. But all of em, are real fine, generous and happy people. Not like the others, they know exactly what “pakikipag kapwa” means.
Out of this place bears the glamour and glitters of high rise condos and malls. The city’s shopping district, the infamous Megamall that sits beside the luxurious Shangri-la plaza, Saint Francis square and Starmall. It is its central business district. Lies in the middle of the city is the city hall, this one is famous for its “Pasko-pasko sa Mandaluyong” event, where the whole maysilo circle is covered with christmas lights.
And as i say earlier, this place brings tears into my eyes. Whenever i’m in this place, it brings nostalgia, i’m kinda emotional, specially when reminiscing the old days, old friends and old games we’ve played in this place. A true time capsule, though i can return in this place, but not in the past. It has a sentimental values, a true treasure for me to keep, that’s why i keep coming back in here. I’m not trying to be a hypocrite when i say that i can’t never turn my back on the place that mades me. Cause really, i can’t. It lives inside my body.