Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cotabato City Mega Square

This was that smaller edifice I’ve been passing by yesterday and earlier in the morning when I went to see the new city hall. Its just before and beside the city hall if you are coming from city center. Not that there was something of note I learned and needed to see about this place. The building just looked too attractive to me to not drop by, and since I was already in the area, I decided to go and see more of it for myself. While signages refer to it as MC Square, I learned that its official name is Mega Square. Some kind of a mall or commercial square. Yes the building looks beautifully designed.

I was surprised to chance upon a marker on its wall saying that the place “was built with the assistance of the American people though USAID”. Hmm, they build tiangge centers too? What’s next? A DVD square or another ‘barter’ market at another place in this country? Hmm, new realization for me! I was wrong to have assumed that the USAID only does schools, bridges, hospitals or highways. They do cater to the ukay-ukay centers too! Anyway, I would think this one was for a good purpose as far as the US Government thought. But what’s in an ukay-ukay? Your guess is as good as mine! Have you heard of the stories how those used clothing are sourced from abroad? Hmm.

I went to see the structure and not the reason why it was there nor the many fake or pirated wares being sold. So, as I said earlier, its beautiful. Could even be made into a hub of branded products or upmarket boutiques and coffee shops. As of the moment however, tiangge style or ukay-ukay style stores dominate the few stalls already occupied and open for business. Let me clarify that I don’t have anything against shops that are bazaar style like the ukay-ukays everywhere. I sometimes even patronize them. But I find it weird that a country that is supposedly the staunchest advocate against fake and pirated products would build such a beautiful building for people in Cotabato to sell them! Oh, am not sure I saw DVDs being sold at any stall. I would not wonder if there are or there will be. And of course, you can curse me if you don’t find the china phones in at least one of those stalls or future stalls hehe.

I saw a shop that sold footwear, the kind you’d see at Greenhills, Baclaran, Divisoria or Farmer’s Market. I think I also saw a bike-shop – siguro naman mga tunay ang binebenta dun. Then again, if anything comes from China, its probably a copy of something hahaha! There are food stalls and there are spaces on the second level.

I do hope it does not become another bagsakan of pirated everything – since it sits right beside the lovely city hall.

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