SEPTEMBER appears to be a significant month with songs being sung and poems being written, significant events in September. Caravan project lists at least 20 popular songs of September. Someone wrote about 9/11 which was a grief that Wednesday never came for it was a Tuesday that 9/11 came by Scarlett Treat.
So, beware of the shadows of the future.
Prepare each day as though it is our Tuesday.
For Wednesday may never come.
But September in our family is two birthdays and a death anniversary. It is the birthday of Andrew and Joyce and the death anniversary of my mother. These few months I am reminded of my mother for I use her example most of the time that I hold dialogues with market vendors. My mother has worked in the Carinderia with Mrs. Hidalgo/Aligo even when she single until she has two small children.
By the time that she has three children she stopped working in the Carinderia and came up with a sayote patch which survived even when her children were already grownups. And from the sayote patch we went to sell to the market every harvest time. When her children were all in school she took a stall in Hilltop.
I remember that well because on weekends, we the siblings take turns going with her to the market. We have a box stall and in the morning we bring out our fruits on top of the box stall and during the afternoon, we nap inside the box. My mom would put some sort of a cloth over the floor of the box and we nap or play inside. The boxes in the fruit market were uniform size and it resembles a table with all the sides covered with GI sheets.
But then the next thing I am aware of was in the 1970s when I was already in high school we transferred to Hanger Market. Those times my mother would leave the house at dawn even before the sun was up. During the weekends, I would go help her pack vegetable as it was a whole sale business. Sometimes during weekdays, I would pass by the market so I could go home together with my mom. It would save me transportation money. But that was not often, as my mom would sometimes finish selling her vegetables in the morning and then she would go home earlier than our dismissal.
I miss the old market. It was orderly and people would know where to buy things. If you buy fish you go to the fish market, you want hotcakes you go to the refreshment section and if you want flowers you just go down the stairs towards the toilets and go get the flowers. Today, it is not so. The zoning has been disregarded and in the shoe section one finds an eatery, vegetables, fruits, kakanin mixed within the shoe section.
A week ago, the vegetable section invited us for a dialogue and us they admitted that although all have a license for vegetables they now have souvenir and fruits in some of the stalls. So I asked why? They said that the change in line of business is because they have to see what is now profitable for them and vegetable seems no longer profitable brought about by too many vegetable vendors in the relocation, roving vendors and even in other sectors of the city. Some have shifted to fruits and souvenir because “isu ti magatang” that’s what people look for, especially the tourist who come to the market as it is the most accessible from the Magsaysay Avenue.
This September there will be a lot of things happening in the market. The continuing consultation on the modernization of the market, couple with it the mass clean up on September 20 and 21 when volunteers will help clean up the market. Likewise, sector consultation will continue to discuss current issues within the market. Last week I posted a picture of the Carinderia Building and so this week we had a consultation and issues were discussed.
The stall owners shared their concern that the access stair needs repair; their windows cannot be cleaned as they are fearful it would drop and break. They complain that in the morning their frontage is where the fish bagsakan was located and so blood, innards and entrails could be seen scattered in the stairwell.
Some stalls are not being opened because they are used as bodega. They feel that the building needs repair and attention. And that is what we encourage them to do, to care for the market because it is a showcase of the city but it needs also to be hygienic and attractive.
September here we come and it is to continue cleaning up for a better market with breeze.