Saturday, September 24, 2011

What I did at Cebu’s Road Revolution 2

Walked around, as usual. And as expected hehe!

Actually, even as I listened to the news last night, I was already plotting my very own agenda on how to enjoy the event. It was mentioned that the revolution would be in the ‘heritage area’ of the city. Why don’t I go forth purportedly to attend this ‘Road Revolution 2’ and take advantage of the closed streets so I could get a closer look at those heritage markers on Colon Street?! I’ve been meaning to do so for a long time now anyway. Its just that, even on a Sunday, I couldn’t do it as I would be in danger of being run over by the thousands of vehicles that pass there. Hmm, nice opportunity!

So, when I woke up this morning, I immediately hit the showers and leisurely set out to go and see what might be there to witness. Took connecting jeeps to the Metropolitan Cathedral for I knew it was somewhere there that roads would be closed together with the oldest street in this country, Colon. Whoa, quite a crowd of unusually dressed for church people in and around the cathedral. Hmm, on a Saturday? I squeezed in, peeped in and listened in. It was already homily. Ah okay, some kind of a mass wedding ceremony was in progress. No wonder too many of the barangay vehicles were all around the vicinity. The mayor was ‘principal sponsor!

Walked to the basilica, usual crowd but no vehicles along the streets. Walked to Plaza Independencia, hmm, no trace of the revolution there but the mass wedding reception was all set. Must be expensive as I could see that the catering outfit is not so-so. Walked back to Plaza Hamabar and onwards to Colon. Wow, if only this place could be so empty at least once a week! Wow really! So okay, here was my grand plan… check-out all those historical markers along Colon Street to learn more about what they are supposed to be telling us. The obelisk alone was a starter enough! How many times have I been here or passed here but I never really got to take a closer look of the things that are written at its base (since its in the middle of a busy thoroughfare). Now I know what “panon” is and now I know what “plota” is hehe. Do you?!

Hey, Vaño was Ilocano. That’s nice to know. And I wonder where the words “rescedence” and “emporter” come from. I just know those were used to describe the Rallos abode of yesteryears hehe. Oh, Lu Do was the father and Lu Ym was the son. They were the biggest in the Far East circa 1896, they still are now. Do you know on what? Now how about ‘Block 12’? Do you know about that? Wow, one intersection, four corners and four schools! UP inclusive! Must have been a busy intersection then as it is today. Especially if you’re a ‘maroon’, do you know what a “colleage” is? Go and find out at the former Tamayo residence. No am not telling here hehe! Ay, here’s more… Januaria Osmena Sison, wife of Tamayo is mentioned in the Tamayo Residence marker. A neighbor is also named Januaria (Cabrera), wife of Don Victoriano Osmena. Now who are Juanita and Juana Osmena? Hmm, am not telling too, though the marker says it was excerpted from pages 22 to 26 of a book. Cebuanos, do you know that book?

The marker that tells about Dona Modesta Singson-Gaisano is slowly being concealed to obscurity by a healthy flowering plant. I think its called 'yellow bells'? And the place is now home to DVD vendors, carinderias and men with nothing to do but sit around, who glanced and glared at me when I attempted to part the leaves of that vine so I could see the marker well. Hmm, maybe they thought I was going to steal that big multi-colored umbrella over their heads hahaha! Across was the residence of Don Tomas Osmena, uncle of the late president Don Sergio Sr. The ex-mayor, now congressman was named after him. Over at the corner is the Visayas Institute of Don Vicente Gullas who bought Club Inglis to make his school bigger. I was a bit alarmed reading “NPA” on the marker though I realized it meant “NIPA” – the light material used as roofing in those days. Hey, next time someone asks where the Sinulog will hold its showdown, I’ll tell them “at Cebu Intermediate School”! Oh ha?! I learned that from this marker in front of UV.

In front of what is now La Esperanza Pawnshop, there is a marker with a lengthy bit of historical information. Alas, parts of it is covered by a dangling wire with an electrical outlet that hangs from the equally hanging lamp, so I dared not touch anything! I could read though that in this place was supposedly the former residence of a Gavino Sepulveda. It continues to tell that one part of the place became Casino Espanol and another portion became Menzi Paper Company. Then in 1961 the Uytengsu family made it into their General Milling Corporation and I don’t know what happened two decades after. The marker tells of a restaurant, but the electrical outlet and some crumpled plastic bag gets in the way of history hehe. Just look at that picture! Note that though it seems stylish, that lamp is not by design. It is just about to fall off, any time a new wind blows it hehe!

Okay, intermission… I liked what I was doing so far, and when I looked from the corner near Cebu Business Hotel, the view was almost mesmerizing. Do you ever see Colon St. this ‘barren’ on any day? Oh that ‘138 Mall’ employee just came from 3 or so buses delivering boxes that some shoppers purchased from the supermarket. Who were those shoppers on buses? Ahh, the banner up front one of the buses said ‘the mayor, councilors and barangay officials of Maasin, Iloilo'. How lucky of them, no traffic!

Onwards, the big parking lot noisy with DVD and CD vendors is identified as the previous location of Teatro Junquera. Ah this Junquera, the street I mean, is really just an entertainment paradise, both then and now! *wink wink*! Then there is the former location of the Aboitiz Ice Plant. The marker actually describes the place just on its last sentence ‘when Aboitiz transferred it to this location’ hehe. Then the former residence of a Don Victorino Reynes. And then… Teatro Junquera again? Wheh, saan ba talaga? The marker is prominently tacked to the wall/post of a mall meters away from that one I just saw earlier. Even the descriptions are literally the same, except that on this second Teatro Junquera, here is an added last sentence that says… “In 1920 Don Jose Avila bought the Theatro and renamed it Cine Oriente. Does this mean Teatro Junquera moved from over at the corner to this place? Probably, but the marker should say that, right?! Oh, note to self: “Teatro and Theatro” is one and the same!

Now now… just another post on the same mall, I chanced upon this other marker that said Teatro Empira. It says it was also bought by Avila and renamed it Cine Ideal. At this point of my historical tour I came to think one must always keep an eye at these lapida makers while doing a commissioned job. Example: this marker ends with “…until the advent of permanent. Theaters.” hehe! Anyway, another post of the same mall (Colonnade) and I chanced upon the “Imprenta Avila” marker. This is by the corner of Colon and Legaspi streets already. The marker is a bit high up so I raised my camera and I got the attention of passers by, the CITOM and police officers. Some students also stopped to read what I was reading. And the mall security guard walked from his lobby to where I was, looked at me head to toe, looked at my camera and stepped a bit more forward to see the marker. I also gave him a head-to-toe look and made sure my eyes portrayed the evilest of consternations I can express.

I was waiting and ready to engage the idiot of a guard in a verbal tussle for I knew he would have said “bawal” or “not allowed”. That’s all they know anyway, right? Good that at that very moment, the police officer was telling the CITOM officers and some other guys “mayo pa ning mga taga-gawas, kamao sila unsa’y tourist spot diri sa ato-a”. I think he was referring to me he hehe he he! He continued saying something like “tan-awa nang gwardya, karon pa siguro sya kabantay unsa na diha”. That as the guard craned his neck to see what I and the students were reading. And Mr. Policeman said that to let the guard hear what he was saying. I was sure of that hehe! Anyway, I crossed to the other side of the street to read the marker on what was then La Suerte Restaurant. Hey, am not sure what “pospas” is but I think its some kind of a “lugaw”. I’ll research on that.

That was the last marker I saw and ogled at since when I walked over to the next corner, it was back to damn reality. As in even heavier traffic than usual (due to the closed Colon Street). So, I have yet to check out if there is anything more westward beyond the corner of Colon and Osmena Blvd. I will know, probably in the next “Road Revolution” hopefully closing that section of the street all the way to eMall and Taboan hehe. Oh yes, after taking this picture (of the guard's priceless lobby of a mall), I decided to return tracing my way back to the Heritage monument and onwards to Casa Gorordo.

Btw, I noticed that some of the students followed me crossing the street from the Imprenta Avila marker to the La Suerte marker. They probably got curious about what the policeman said. I could hear them talking but just pretended I was not listening. Some of their comments amused me more than the marble markers did. Examples? One kid was saying “kalingaw ani, mura tag nag-station of the cross” (this is fun, we’re like doing the stations of the cross)! Her companion replied “daghan pa ra ba ni ngadto sa tumoy” (there are still more of these way up to the end of the street)!

Oh well, I learned things, hopefully those kids would too! And come to think of it, I just remembered now... wouldn't my 'tour' have been better if 'Ka Bino was around to annotate it? He is THE best reference on these things! Eh, next time, I hope these road revolution organizers would tip him early so he could organize a grander walking tour, grander than what I just did.

I'll wait for the next road rage, ooops revolution I mean hehe!

1 comment :

  1. wow. thanks a lot for this very detailed tour. i'm one of the organizers of road revolution, i must have seen you there.

    the next road rev might not be in this heritage area as we got a lot of complaints hehehe. however, there is a grand project of architects from San Carlos to pedestrianize this heritage area; somewhere corner Gorordo avenue P. Del Rosario down to metro colon, and then the entire colon street, etc. etc. :)