Le Tour De Dangwa

I know there would be no other perfect time to revisit this beautiful paradise in the city of Manila but yesterday, September 13.

Calling it a treat for myself after getting a hard-earned positive feedback from my professor about my written output (which I seriously worked on until the small hours of Saturday morning!Smiley), I excitedly set out for the tour after eating my lunch at Wendy’s Hamburgers. I had exactly an hour and a half to go to Dangwa, also called the Manila Flower Center (MFC).
If you have read some of my articles during “moment of wanderings”, I have publicly admitted there that I have no internal compass and inherent sense of direction. Good news is, I am very familiar with my destination, so I need not be anxious how to go there. Going to MFC from UST (University of Santo Tomas) would take around 20-25 minutes by foot at a normal pace. Mine could not be considered the ‘usual’ speed though having been trained to move fast even in walking, thus reducing the number of minutes. This knowledge did not make me worry an iota about being caught in a heavy traffic in going back to the university for my two o’ clock class. Besides, I could always use my back-up to hasten my return – that is to run!  

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da5Being a Saturday but not a peak season (i.e., Valentine’s Day, All Souls Day, Graduation Day), I expected this “garden” to be uncrowded especially that it was an unholy hour. Like a butterfly, I began fleeting from one flower to another. Oh well, this is an understatement. Got to pluralize that – from flowers to flowers, to flowers, and to infinite flowers. 

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I took all my time adoring and taking pictures of these different genera of local and imported flower species. If I were a flower expert or a botanist, I could have provided all the names of these blossoms including their scientific names such as: Rosa for rose; Bellis perennis for common daisy; Helianthus annuus for sunflower; Dianthus caryophyllus for carnation or clove pink; and many more! But hey, I am just a human Rhopalocera visually sipping the nectar from these flowers. 
I spent a couple of minutes talking with an affable florist/owner, Lovie Pascual, before guiding my feet outside that building.
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Here, I drowned myself deeper in the scents and mystic beauty of these flowers, majority of which are grown in Baguio City. 

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As I continued my stroll, I was given my umpty-umpth glimpse on how these people in Dangwa eke out their living from broad daylight till evening just to earn enough for their family while flower shop owners in high-end malls would triple their profit from what was bought from them.

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I should know. I used to buy flowers in Dangwa when we lived near Malacanang compound. The first time I bought four bouquets for my twin sons’ respective English and Chinese class advisers during the Teacher’s Day Celebration in prep school, I was surprised to see the big difference in the price if you would be buying from a popular florist. That’s why I kidded my husband after this discovery that he could have just gone to Dangwa instead of ordering from his favorite L. Carlos Flower Shop in Taft Avenue to send or give me flowers for our wedding anniversaries or for peace-offering. Hahahaha…
Well, the tour brought me back to memorable spots in the vicinity like the Dangwa Tranco Terminal, which used to be the number one bus service to the north. This is where I rode a bus with two friends for my first adventure in the Pines City. 

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The second one was Farinas Transit, which was once a stiff competitor of DT.  

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It was near this bus terminal where I chanced upon another interesting subject after leaving the flower market.

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Her silent inquiry on what business I had in front of her simply made me say “Salamat.” My heart was crushed by this agonizing reality in our society, but I envied her innocence as I watched her resume her disrupted bath in her tub. 

I looked at my watch as I prepared to cross the pedestrian. Nothing to hurry about. I still had 20 minutes to enjoy as I retraced my steps. 

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With every stride that I did on my way to UST, I slowly replayed and replayed the scenes I had the luck of witnessing in that trip. It seems I lack words to describe what I underwent that afternoon, but looking at the face that stared back at me in the mirror when I entered the powder room, I am definite a part of me will undergo transformation. As to the question what kind of change would it be, I myself have to wait in so much suspense. 

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