Here is a midnight market I found inside out and close by in Tondo, Manila, holding by a light lamp hung on the eaves of a ravaged-made roof. The place sold the conventional convenient store goods, Philippine snacks and barbecue on the rind.
A while ago, I looked at my latest post of a bar I took, and wondered how I could have missed the thick-threaded embroidery of martini glasses and mistaken two overlapped diamonds for serpent etchings on the business market sign, being allured by the attractive bar’s main name to an origin.
Damn, how dense a miracle of analogy is, transposed from the past of an instant.
I discovered, back during Spanish colonialism, Tondo previously extended territory to a further (now) province called Bulacan. It is especially a ghost tongue nation of Kapampangan, my mother’s native province, as well.
Tondo is currently marginalized, compressed to Manila today. Its name stems from the deep root of ‘high ground’ and the orthography of homophone to heteronym from a historical multicultural arc of polity, such as from the Spanish and Chinese.
A district once luxuriously resourced and which now economically juxtaposes the rationed culture of the slums, it tallies the making of eventualities that will mark classism and the poker of one of Manila’s bleakest lands hidden in both umbrella terms “bayan” and “bansa,” which both resides a censored meaning of alliance of a nation and country.