I have long wanted to take photos of the Gen. Santos City Central Public Market and the streets surrounding it from above and find out how it looks like from that vantage. I remember doing it once when I still had my first digital camera, the first models of Sony Cybershot at 1.5 megapixels so you could just imagine how visually limited the outcome were.
But last week, with a much better camera, the Canon 300D using a 35mm Ultrasonic lens, which I have been using for almost all the pix in these blogs, I got permission from a kind front desk staff of Anchor Hotel to go up their rooftop and take my shots from there of the Central Public Market.
I never realized how clean our streets were, especially those of Santiago Boulevard and Cagampang street until the time I was editing these pictures today. That CLEANEST CITY AWARD in 2004 from Malacañang was really no fluke, if you may allow me to say so. Even the Gensan Public Market won as one of the recipients of the Top 5 Cleanest Public Markets in the country.
Cagampang Street was where I and my siblings spent a portion of our childhood, when our Dad’s tailoring, Avelman’s Fashion and Haberdashery used to occupy the frontage of the ground floor of the two-storey Golden City Theater, which was the first arcade in these parts in the 60s.
The arcade also hosted a hotel on its 2nd floor (managed by the Clarin Family) plus a billiard outlet, a barber shop, a canteen, another tailoring (Valderrama’s Tailors), among others.
That’s me, little Bariles going down the stairs leading to the balcony of Golden City Theater with the Golden City Hotel manager, Mrs. Clarin.
Golden City and the whole of the the public market across our shop was my and my siblings’ playground. Our playmates were the kids from the stores, offices and shops within the vicinity, most notably the Tugbangs (Grecille and Ronnie) whose father, Dr. Tugbang had a clinic beside our tailoring and Raymond, son of Dr. Mendoza, who has a clinic farther up the road.
The arcade had a wide atrium in the center where I learned to roller skate courtesy of my older friends from nearby Lapu-lapu Street, the Alcasid Brothers (of Korelco) and their friend, a son of the Pacana‘s who regularly drop by after school. (God! If only my Mom was still alive, she could have furnished me most of the details and names here. 🙁 )
Golden City Theater burned down in the 80s and in its place, another commercial building rose, now occupied by a chinese retailer. Beside it are shops selling Maranao items and fabrics from Southeast Asia. The whole of Cagampang which is now cemented looks so much different from those times when it used to mean the whole world to me and my siblings.
Here are the photos of the GenSan Public Market and its outlying streets which you may each click for a larger view. 🙂