November 30, 2011

Divisoria: Past Adventures and Present Encounter

Last night, as I was with my colleagues prepping for our group's Christmas presentation, my Aunt Letlet commented on my facebook status telling me to head home since I was somehow still working at 2 am. She currently lives with her family in Belgium and I've not seen her for a very long time. She's one of the people who was happy and excited with my new job and she already mentioned how much she wanted to have a copy of MEGA magazine just to check it out.

Apparently, she was able to get a copy of the November issue with Solenn Heusaff on the cover. The glamorous cover was shot at the not so glamorous Divisoria. What amused me most was that Auntie Letlet was able to watch the behind the scenes video of the photoshoot at Tutuban. She commented further saying that the video brought back memories to her.

I used to live in Binondo. Just a stone's throw away from my house was the bustling district of Divisoria where my grandfather's business is. The business wholesales rolls of uniform textiles that caters to retail clients in Divisoria and to major cities all-over the country. Auntie Letlet used to be part of my grandfather's business in Divisoria before she left for Belgium.

As odd as it may sound, Divisoria plays an important role to me. When I was younger, I remembered walking home from school and passing by Tutuban just to look around. Even in my younger days, I really loved walking around, discovering anything inspiring that I can learn something from. I always thought that there were a lot of quirky, interesting and good finds for everybody there.

Before my love affair with designer shoes, clothes and bags that cost me more than an arm and a leg, I started really small and affordable. I can never forget how I nurtured my passion for fashion and shopping. Since I was too young to drive and Tutuban was the nearest, I would look for nice shirts and jeans at Bossini, Hang Ten, Giordano and, would you believe, Bench. I even bought my first pair of sneakers from Nike at Tutuban - which I've kept until now. Through my personal experience, I imbibed the shopping philosophy that the value of money outweighs the shopping location. There's always a good steal somewhere, you just have to look around to find it.

I have one last personal story to share. I'm not a fan of wearing barong. Still, I knew I should still own one if in case the occasion to wear one arises. I wanted to first look around Tutuban since I knew that there were some stores that brings to Manila barongs with nice weaves and designs. I fell head over heels with this very simple nehru collared barong I saw which used shiny gold threads for the designs on the front. I immediately bought it after fitting. Extremely happy, that first barong cost less than a thousand pesos, and I felt like I was a prince when I wore it.

Well... Now I can't say the same. As I matured, my preferences and needs also evolved. It's quite seldom that I still decide to go to Tutuban - or Divisoria for that matter. My world has already changed and my standards have already been raised. At least once in a while, I get a reminder of the past experiences I learned a lot from, and those fun adventures I grew up with.

For details on MEGA's November issue, please visit:

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