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Sundays in Pasig

From the Desk


Hot Coffee or Chocolate? Pasiguenos are morning people. The cool breeze of Sunday mornings bring life to an otherwise monotonous and restless week. People are awake anticipating hot pandesals from Dimas-Alang with mantikilya and then dipped in ultra thick coffee or whatever while reading the newspaper. What a great life indeed to live in a place where there is still time to rest.


Some after breakfast or even before then would wear their trusted shoes and have a walk in the park. Jogging in open spaces or at the banks of the river. Seeing would-be fishermen trying their luck to catch some bangus or tilapia that wandered away from the fish pens in the Laguna de Bai or some monstrosity, the janitor fish that is not really part of the river's ecosystem. The sound of the taho vendor's iconic and poetic calls signals your entrance to a place tightly knit in a centuries old tradition of community living.


Wherever you are, you ought to long for Pasig with all its grandeur and even its imperfections for that makes the town "the city of man".


The author with his grandchildren in the house of General Valentin Cruz along M.H del Pilar St.


A poem composed by Pablo Tariman, exemplifies the life of a Pasigueno and how he strives to continue being a "Pasigueno" in the new normal.


PASIG SKETCHES

by Pablo Tariman


It is an eerily quiet Sunday in Pasig After a steady monsoon rain All night.


There is an early long queue At the pizza parlor And a gaggle of delivery boys In another fastfood chain.

It is another kind of calm On a Sunday you have gotten used to In the past seven months of lockdown.


As usual You miss your grand daughters And the long walk along historic streets Where this house of Gen. Valentin Cruz Still stands.


It is where the likes of Andres Bonifacio And Marcelo H. del Pilar Finalized strategies to win the war Against the Spanish colonizers.


While the good mayor is doing well Far better than other leaders in the metropolis, You still see hungry street folks Overlooked by figure gatherers.


You see elderlies and children with open palms Offering parking services At a fastfood chain near the church.


And distraught father with famished kids Begging for extra coins At the street corners With long queues at the ATM machine.


Daily a policeman drives away Sleeping beggars Where once Victoria Theater stood Near a historic river.


You realize You can’t feed them all The way you keep calm When writer’s checks are delayed And you make do With the week’s last few pesetas And keeping a dignified front In front of your grandson.


Sundays are for people like me With special pass on an appointed day To go to the wet market For the week’s food supply.


You notice forlorn faces Of fish and vegetable vendors Feeling the punch Of few buyers Limited to a few barangay.


It’s been a total of 28 Sundays of lockdown; The anger and impatience Have turned to quiet acceptance For things you cannot move All at once.


This is another Sunday You will survive The daily threat of the virus And putting on A face of calm And eerie hope For another weekend Of the long-running lockdown.


The steady monsoon rain came back And I see my potted plants Tremble And rise into the air In quiet supplication.


There is so much To learn from growing things The way they breath quietly And collectively With no visible agony On how the year Is turning out to be.


I like this Sunday For its share of calm As rain waters rush in From the rooftop Into the waiting gutters Of the city Still wearily coping With the enemy We cannot see.

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