Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Divisoria Day


Of late, I can deem no visit to Manila complete without a pilgrimage to the shrine of shrewd (and smelly) shopping that is Divisoria. I have no particular attraction to the place; in fact, it repels me. I much prefer someplace quiet where I can work and reflect.

But personal preferences go out the window when financial opportunities rear their lucrative heads. Let's just say I've struck a thin vein of gold in Divisoria (the details of which are laughably silly and hence will remain secret.) While I don't depend on it to keep me in comfort, my compulsive self won't let the occasion pass. So off to market I go.

Today I decided to surreptitiously snap some pics. Not hard to do with a cellphone camera (though one has to be careful when and where to let the camera out, unless one looks like a goon...)

To go to Divisoria, I take the MRT to Araneta Center. There, I switch to the LRT which goes all the way to Recto. And what should meet me as I descend the terminal, but this sight?
Ah, yes, did you know that you can have any sort of document processed in Recto while you wait? Need an International Drivers License? Or a birth certificate? How about a land title? And while you're at it, round it off with a double PhD from Harvard University and MIT! You can get it all here!

From Recto station, it's a short jeepney ride to Divisoria. One would think that this transport is the monopoly of fish-smelling market women, but no! The occasional beauty deigns to descend once in a while. Now that I think about it, my hit rate to sit across a pretty girl in Divisoria jeepneys has been better than half.

And once at Divisoria, what else would you expect to see?

Today, though, brought an unexpected surprise. Police were conducting a surprise clearing operation. Illegal sidewalk vendors (which account for, oh, all the trade along the sidewalks) scampered for safety with their wares. In but a few moments, the streets were eerily clear.

I suppose I could have sympathized with their plight. But by then, I was too laden with my own purchases (albeit not running) to be anything other than grumpy.

Ah, Divisoria!