Sunday, March 04, 2007


This puddle from a broken water pipe appears to be a popular "cold spot" for the street kids of Rizal Avenue; some can be seen bathing in it during muggy afternoons. Interestingly, the structure that was recently demolished right in front of this puddle was once a major cold spot for the people of Manila -- The Avenue Theater. With its air-conditioning system blasting nonstop, many folks were enticed to shell out a couple of pesos to enjoy a cushioned seat, a Hollywood flick, and most of all, a comfortable place to cool off.

Nowadays, people don't have to pay anything to spend an hour or two in an air-conditioned place; any mall in Metro Manila offers such amenity. However, it doesn't come with any comfortable seating area; unless, of course, one opts to spend a few pesos to get something to eat. The food court, or in one of the eateries that abound, are the only places (besides the cinemas) where one may get a comfortable seat to rest his weary feet.

As for those with their laptops who prefer to surf the Net while they sip their lattes or frappucinos, there is Starbucks with WI-FI access, but for a fee, though. Which makes me wonder if Starbucks and other eateries that offer WI-FI will one day take a cue from the movie theaters of the past -- offer such online access service free of charge.

You see, in New York, WI-FI service has become the air-conditioning of the Internet age, enticing customers into restaurants and other public spaces in the same way that cold air blasted out the open doors of air-conditioned theaters in the early 20th century to help sell tickets.

Just a thought, though.

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posted by Señor Enrique at 10:26 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kids are always lured by water puddles. It has warmed up a little bit here last week (but it's cold again now), and snow melted a little bit. The more I tell my youngest one to avoid the water puddle, the more he'd want to walk through it. Result - wet boots and socks.

March 04, 2007 11:43 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

that photo is very illuminating or if that is the word I should use. anyway, puddles to kids are like flame to moths. i never could resist it, neither did you i suppose. as a result, i became a good mud pie baker....hehehehehe

March 05, 2007 12:53 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Simple pleasures in a pinoy kids life, play in a puddle of water, climb a tree, bathe in the rain.

I saw a lot of flicks on the moviehouses in Avenida Rizal. Ideal, Avenue, Ever, Odeon and as you go up north towards the Santa Cruz area, the "surot" double feature moviehouses, Illusion and Noli theaters.

March 05, 2007 5:49 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Whereas, here in Manila, Irene, we're beginning to feel what seems like a start of a long, dreary, and hot summer up ahead.

There's indeed a certain mystical fun associated with puddles; no wonder your kids would march right through it despite the wet and cold socks and boots :)

March 05, 2007 6:13 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hmmmm ... so you bake good mud pies, huh? Photo Cache? I miss apple struddle :(

Speaking of puddles, personally, I wasn't much into it as I was with flooded canals right after a major rainstorm. All the kids would make paper boats and join a race! I love it :)

March 05, 2007 6:16 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You used to see some movies in Cine Noli, Noypetes? That wasn't too far from where we lived at Misericordia and Batangas Streets!

I had an aunt who used to drag me there during some afternoons. As she fed me grilled corn on the cubs, she'd get lost in those local flicks headed by Leopoldo Salcedo, Paraluman, Rosa Mia, Rosa Rosal, Cesar Ramirez and many other stars from our stable of local stable of film and stage actors. And I'd come home with welts from surot bites which they'd have me hide from my father.

March 05, 2007 6:21 AM  

Blogger eye said...

aah, puddle of muddy water, who doesn't love them? been there, done that. kids are meant to become dirty hehe! somewhat similar to playing in the rain :)

aside from free a/c, staying in the mall is also a good exercise. you don't notice how long you've been walking coz' see you all those sights .

March 05, 2007 8:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

try any robinsons mall

fewer people with free wi-fi :)

March 05, 2007 8:58 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You ought to someday visit Manhattan, Eye, because it is one mamoth mall wherein you can walk for miles and enjoy the many retals shops along the way!

March 05, 2007 9:42 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Is that right, Tito? I should visit Robinson's in Ermita (instead of always going to SM Manila), especially if if offers free WI-FI.

Many thanks for the tip!

March 05, 2007 9:45 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Did you join the fun? ;-)

A good alternative to Starbucks are the "quality" bookstores (Powerbooks, A different bookstore, Fully Booked, etc.) where you can sit in a comfortable armchair while browsing books and magazines for free.
Can you really ask for more? You get free aircon, soft music, free reading in a nice surrounding.
Cheap if you don’t get tempted to buy that book that you always wanted to buy!
For the coffee addicts some of them have a small space for a drink and snack.

Just forget your surfing & blogging for a moment ! ;-)

March 05, 2007 9:45 AM  

Blogger Sebastiane said...

I did not know that you've to pay a fee to access the Wi-Fi there at Starbucks. Over here it's all for free; almost anywhere we can get free access to the Internet --- especially within cafes.


Man, talking about hot afternoon(s), it's humid and hot here too.

March 05, 2007 9:48 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

can't remember if i reveled in puddles when i was young.

when it comes to airconditioning these days, nothing really tops the malls. but since there are just too many people i'd opt to stay at home and chill. have all the amenities except for a/c. =)

March 05, 2007 9:51 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

...and yeah, can't enjoy much of the a/c here at the office coz my boss always turns it off! =)

March 05, 2007 9:55 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Oo nga, ano? Thanks for the reminder, Sidney!

A bookstore would be a great place to cool off, indeed. But I often go for those pictorial books whenever I'm in those places, and they're mostly wrapped shut. But the salesladies at NBS in Rizal Avenue allow me to rip open those plastic wrappers so I can browse through those books before buying any.

March 05, 2007 9:58 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You can't imagine how fortunate you are, Kyels, to have free online access! Not here in Manila; neither is it in the States altogether!

I guess, it's your government's way of promoting online access for its citizenry, because after all, information is power.

March 05, 2007 10:01 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ang damot naman ng boss mo, Carla! Ano ba yan?

I won't be able to function, let alone think properly, if the room's too stuffy. Worse, I'd get sleepy.

March 05, 2007 10:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paper boats! That's what immediately flashed in my mind upon seeing that puddle. I loved making paper boats. When it would rain, as a child, I would at once make paper boats and let them float in the puddle. Pero mas maganda kung umaagos yung tubig, di ba? But I always felt sad in the end when they would get drenched and eventually destroyed. :(

WI-FI - I think Starbucks should not ask for fee. After all, their coffee is not free.. hehe.. And it's a come on for people with laptops to hang out in the café if there's free internet access. And of course, the longer they browse, the longer they stay, and the more coffee they drink.. Think of promo gimmicks! Hear ye, hear ye! Free half hour WI-FI access for every mug of frapuccino... o, di ba? :)

March 05, 2007 1:47 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I felt the same way you did, Rhoda. And then I'd feel sad seeing the paper boats disappear into the distance as they flow with the current of the canal!

There should be more free WI-FI hot spots nationwide as in other Asian countries :)

March 05, 2007 2:25 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Yes! Cine Noli and Trabajo theater was a regular double feature moviehouse for poor kids like me in Samapaloc. We used to collect 25 Dutch Baby and Carnation Milk labels in exchange for a ticket to these moviehouses, a summer promotion sponsored by the milk companies. B/W flicks by Gil Deleon (Badjao) and Sampaguita Picture comedy flicks were some of our favorites then. We used to bring in the famous "FLIT" with kerosene to spray the seats with surot for a comfy afternoon at the moviehouses.

March 05, 2007 11:26 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

From Sampaguita Pictures, Noypetes, my elder siblings used to rave about Susan Roces and Amalia Fuentes. There was also a movie theater near Cine Noli, Dalisay was it?

Was Illusion at Echague in Quiapo?

That's funny about you guys spraying your seats first, but with a double feature, might as well make the seats as comfortable as possible. I remember the seats at Cine Noli as wooden, not cushioned. Am I right?

March 06, 2007 6:05 AM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Ah, water puddles. In the neighborhood of my childhood, they form during heavy rains, we splash its muddy water to fellow rain bathers. As for paper boat races, we held them in the nearby river, throwing stones at opposing boats for added action :)

March 06, 2007 12:46 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Throwing pebbles/stones at the paper boats was never a part of our game, Dave. The current of the water was usually too fast to allow us to do so. But that would have been really fun :)

March 06, 2007 2:39 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Cine Dalisay was in Quezon Blvd. in the Quiapo area, across Globe Theater. Fresh Lumpia was a favorite merienda after a "bomba" flick at Globe. Illusion was also in Avenida Rizal near Tayuman across the Catholic school(don't remember the name!) And yes, the double feature NOLI, ILLUSION, TRABAJO, MERCURY theaters all had wooden folding seat chairs. The stench of the dirty bathrooms, the humidity and heat, the perverts who frequents these moviehouses, the lovers busy doing their thing and the annoying vendors who walk around yelling "Pepsi, mani, popcorn, sa malamig" similar to an auctioneers call during the show, are only a few of the hassles you have to deal with in a 2 movies for .25 centavos deal.

March 07, 2007 12:14 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Noypetes, I am impressed by your sharp recall of the names and locations of our old movie houses. You will do us great favor if you could expand on this and post an entry. They evoke fond memories of childhood, and I'm sure many other blogger friends would enjoy such entry!

March 07, 2007 6:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least these kids have clean(ish?) water to play with, coming from a broken water pipe. I remember my cousins racing paper boats in the 'kanals', especially after some heavy rain. Or even looking for 'butete'. We might think it's "yuck" now but those were the simple pleasures of life. At least kids get to go out and socialise instead of staying indoors playing computer games! Good on them, I say!

March 07, 2007 9:08 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Gracing ... and I forgot all about it! Butete! Those black wiggly fish that we used to collect and put into a bottle full of water.

But nothing beats the paper boat races at the flooded canal, right?

What fun, indeed!

March 07, 2007 11:19 AM  

Blogger sheilamarie said...

oh dear! no matter how hard i try to avoid coming close to a puddle when a stolling with luis, he ALWAYS manages to dip the toe of his slippers/shoe in it. it's like having elasticboy with me :D

we have a fishpond in our garden, and i am just waiting for the time when he will get the idea of swimming in it with the poor fishes (just like i and several cousins did when we were kids)

March 07, 2007 3:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hahaha! Lahat ata ng bata ganyan!

Do you have any of those Japanese carps or koi in your fishpond, Sheilamarie? I bet Luis would enjoy caring for them because they develop certain personalities also.

Better sign him up for swimming lesson this summer ... hehehe!

March 07, 2007 3:24 PM  

Blogger sheilamarie said...

haha... yes, i am already teaching luis how to swim, in preparation for the fishpond adventure.

dad has several fishes inside the fishpond. guppies (i got those from a creek, and they flourished and MULTIPLIED!), janitor fish (they grew over a foot long!), several kinds of gold fish and the japanese carps. you can see dad in the morning feeding them, tingkering with the pump/filter, etc. he loves it! LOL!

March 07, 2007 6:18 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Senor Enrique,

A pinch of PERLA soap attached at the bottom of a 1.5 inches in length piece of wood carved in a cigar shape, makes it go on a murky puddle of thrill for a poor pinoy kid.

If you want to post an entry on old Manila moviehouses, I will be glad to add as much as I can recall of those memorable landmarks of days old. all I need is for you to trigger my memory of places in Manila you want to know more about. I'll try to squeeze as much as I can of what I can remember from my batang kalye days in Manila and maybe a lot of your "older" blogfriends can pitch in too!

March 07, 2007 11:39 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Very very wise, Sheilamarie! With kids being attracted to water, especially on hot days, it's a good idea that Luis already knows how to swim in case he'd feel like jumping into that pond.

I'm sure your dad finds it therapeutic to care for the fish -- relaxing and tranquil. Good for him!

March 08, 2007 6:36 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hmmmm ... that really sounds good, Noypetes. What I may do first is visit the National Library first or something, and then pass on to you my notes so you can add on to them.

Will work on this :)

March 08, 2007 6:39 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Have you seen the movie Cinema Paradiso by Giuseppi Tornatore?

March 09, 2007 2:51 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

A very poignant and nostalgic film it was, Noypetes. I should watch it again for I had already forgotten parts of it.

March 09, 2007 6:18 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Out on DVD for a while now is the extended version of Cinema Paradiso. More of "Toto" search for his lost love when he came home attend "Alfredo's" funeral.

March 10, 2007 2:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You mean to say they extended the part I like the least? Actually, the end was sort of jarring for me because of the startling contrast -- modern as opposed to the dreamy and charming old country during most of the film, which they should have extended instead.

March 10, 2007 6:18 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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