I attended a Christian Chinese school in Manila since Kindergarten, although I resided in Quezon City before. After school, I would spend my time in my late maternal grandpa's house and printing press near Binondo. I remember that across his office was an appliance store and we would look at the kitchen appliances there. My mom loves to cook and bake. If we have any broken ones, we would search for electrolux spare parts there, which would be perfect to makes the appliances like new again.
My mom and I would walk along Benavidez, Salazar and Ongpin streets to buy fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and food for the home from Shopper's Mart. We would also spend snack-time in the restaurants there or in coffee shops in Binondo. I also used to spend time with my cousins there and we would sometimes eat sweet treats in a cake shop on the street behind our grandpa's place, after school. I looked forward to Saturdays when my other cousins who lived in Mandaluyong would also come over and we would play. I used to go there on Saturdays because of my extracurricular activities like scouting. Our grandpa really loved having us over. We also used to enjoy eating fresh Chinese lumpia together. We would sit crowded around his dining table and make our own lumpia. We would put together the ingredients by ourselves. It was a wonderful experience!
Less and less time was spent in Binondo when I entered college, started working, got married and had children. I would go there mostly to visit my dear grandfather. He was all smiles when my hubby Rix and I brought our eldest, Elle, to see him.
When I would catch a glimpse of Binondo when passing by the area for some reason, memories would flood into my mind. There had been a lot of changes since I set foot there. I wish to bring my children there when they are older, and let them experience the sights, sounds and smell of Ongpin, Binondo, even if there are bits of dried horse manure being carried by the wind because of all the calesa's there. Haha! :-)