With Father’s Day fast approaching, allow me to share with you an old post I wrote years back in in 2005 at my Friendster account, at a time when I didn’t know that WordPress or even Blogger existed. My blog hosted by Friendster was called Fat Chances.
This post actually explains the influence that my travels with my Dad had on me becoming a movie freak that I am right now. And so, please I beg your indulgences as your friend Bariles goes more personal this time.
Working in the largest city in the world for the past five weeks has been quite a walk down memory lane. My earliest thoughts of Davao was when i was barely five years old when my Dad (God bless his soul) took me on what was my first plane ride from what was then known as Dadiangas. I forgot how long the trip took but i remember puking all over my Dad’s perma-pressed trousers and rousing the entire cabin. It was a relief landing on Davao soil after what could have been an eternity.
Dad usually spends the whole morning in Davao buying everything he needs for his tailoring business, scouting the various textile and tailoring supplies stores owned by local Chinese. He however never fails to drop by into a toy store and buys me anything i fancy plus gifts for my younger bro and sis back home. Then, we visit a clothing store where he picks something for mommy, mostly top-of-the-line dresses because he sure wants to please my fashion-conscious teacher-mom.
Lunch is either at the 1st floor of Men Seng Hotel along San Pedro or at the Davao Famous Restaurant across the street. My favorite food has always been their steaming pancit canton and tasty sari-sari which we always down with Lemon o’lime (Dad says, less acidity.). Right alongside this place is Merco, where we always drop by for Fresh Milk and where I had my first real burger(!). At that time, they used pure beef in their patties and I even recall that it was quite thick.
From then on, it was movies, movies, movies all the way. For the next couple of hours or so, my Dad with me in tow, consume all the available movies showing in all the theaters along San Pedro, Ilustre, and Claveria. In between, he never fails to buy me soft dairy ice cream and barquillos inside the moviehouses’ fully-loaded canteens. Daddy made sure that all our senses are fully satiated by the last full show. The following day, it’s the same routine all over again.
Did i complain from all of these? Of course not? Who would if the movies we saw served as my flying carpet at that time and are now forever etched in my memory…. memories of those private precious times with my Dad? Classics like The Graduate, Yellow Submarine, Psycho, McKenna’s Gold, That’s Entertainment, Dr. No, Godzilla, Bonnie & Clyde, The Hand, Funny Girl, The Big Boss, All Mine to Give, and even Banaue have more or less transported me into worlds far beyond what my young mind could imagine, teaching me lessons on love, life, loss and even lust…. and gradually molding me into what I am now.
Now, while walking along the streets where these theaters used to stand before and trying to relieve the past, everything seems to have faded into oblivion. While I tried to scour these old Davao streets for these landmarks that have become so much a part of my growing-up years, all i see now are but remnants of it…. ruins….. skeletons.
But walking slowly and closing my eyes, however, everything gradually seems to be just fine. The familiar sights return, the fragrant smells again beckon and the sounds once more take me back to those times in the city of Durian when Daddy was just beside me holding my tiny hand while walking along its busy sidewalks, ensuring me that everything was all right and the words “death” and “decay” were never even part of my infantile vocabulary.