a trip to quiapo

are you afraid of quiapo, manila?

many of my friends have never been to quiapo. they think of the place as a dour and dreary pocket in the fading city's underbelly, inhabited by crooks, witches, false prophets, and unscrupulous businessmen and women of all ethnic backgrounds, where you could die, get robbed, or get double-crossed.

but i like quiapo, and i am often there. i appreciate its character, its texture, the sound it makes, the smell of the common people trying to make ends meet. i like walking past its interesting shops and the interesting things and services they offer, although i am always wary of buying anything that's not new, lest i be charged of violating the anti-fencing law. it is always a welcome respite from the apathy and the cold of makati's glass, steel, and concrete walls.

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