Friday, January 7, 2005

Missing memory markers

One of the crux of maturing (or the less politically-correct term, growing old) is seeing markers of your childhood, teenhood, early adulthood being wiped out one by one. My friend Lori, who's now based in the U.S., wrote (lamented) about the impending demolition of Virra Mall in Greenhills.  I certainly share the sentiment because the Greenhills Shopping Center is part and parcel of my own childhood memories. I remember riding our 6-cylinder Plymouth headed for Unimart for that incomparable lumpiang sariwa washed down by mango shake from Mango Brutus (hope I got that correctly). While I didn't have much money to spend then, I would save my 25-50 centavo daily allowance so I can peruse some of the imported stuff in Unimart.

Fast-forward to the 90s, Greenhills became synonymous to tiangges and the best bargains apart from Divi (Divisoria) and Tutubs (Tutuban). It's the place to buy cheap software, games, stuff from. I worked briefly in the area and became a bit acquainted with the cafes and restos in the vicinity (along with the headache traffic especially during Christmastime and the sunduan time at La Salle Greenhills). While a lot of the newer, taller, more showy malls have certainly surpassed Virra Mall, it was a place filled with memories for a lot of people. Well, nothing lasts forever, and Virra Mall now has to give way to another, more glitzy mall (heard the property was bought by the SM group; as if we need another mall in this already-crowded metropolis). I'll miss it along with the fish ponds, the gadget shops, the crowded ambassador appliance store, the dimsum outlets it housed. The tiangges of pearls and cellphones will relocate but the memories of old Greenhills -- and its sentimental values -- will remain.


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