Padre Faura is enclosed by a centuries-old park constructed by the first colonizers on one end and a relatively new and shiny high-rise condominium with inscriptions familiar to new superpowers on the other. In between are remnants of a bustling nightlife, ruins and reuse of once opulent mansions from the American Ermita, a quaint small bookstore that has survived martial law and continue to carry titles still relevant to a new wave of consciousness akin to the former, a mall that used to be Ateneo de Manila, the country’s foremost public health institution, a block devoted to important justice sector actors, and different faces of our people spuriously scattered in between.
You walk through the broken streets attempted to be reminiscent but far from being a splitting image of cobblestone pavements that once allowed movement and you find yourself in the middle of the old and the new, the budding leaves and the dilapidated structures – these in between thoughts about hope and vain dreams, of tradition and innovation, of beauty and rot.
(This series was featured in my Facebook Page beginning on the 10th day before I my resignation from my Manila employment became effective. This uncut version pays homage to my love affair with the capital. Not all lovers are given the chance to say goodbye. This is my attempt to chronicle her beauty. #10DaysOfManilaUncut )