Divisoria: A Place of Opportunities – An Eye-Witness Story

For someone who grew up in a highly protective environment,  like myself, getting to Divisoria would really be an exciting adventure to look forward to. I heard so much about Divisoria and I couldn’t wait being actually there to experience and witness everything all first hand.

The sun was barely up when I left home early in the morning as I have decided to get to Divisoria before rush hour to avoid traffic jams along the way. This is the reason why it was still early when I got there. The stores are just starting to open, the vendors are just calling in customers , while some of them are having their breakfast in the confines of their stores. A number of customers are also building up. The parking areas are starting to get fully occupied by vehicles from various points of origin.

Our car was parked near Jollibee where we decided to have breakfast before wandering around the place. It is the area where fresh fruits and vegetables are sold.  A picture of a busy yet productive place is what I witnessed as I was quietly observing while having breakfast with my family.

“ Tabi, tabi, dadaan lang!”,“Manong, wala bang tawad?”, “ O, bili na! Bili na! Bili na! Tatlo isang daan!”  These are just some of the remarks that welcomed me as soon I set foot outside Jollibee after breakfast. As I explored, I have observed  people from all walks of life, haggling for the best deal, filled the place. There was a cacophony of overwhelming voices of vendors and  customers, loud honks of vehicles and of every imaginable street sound. Incessant mumblings, coming from all over were begging for my attention. The distinct smell of food, clothing and stench of a nearby sewer filled the place, inspite the unbearable heat and humid air. But as I walked further, I realized something else. Yes, it may seem like a very unpleasant place but I discovered a whole new exciting world.

At the surface, we may be very inundated by it’s seemingly chaotic environment but walking further, I was really surprised to find out that Divisoria is not just a market district in the heart of the City of Manila, very well known for its wide variety of low-priced merchandise and wholesale and bargain shopping, it is in fact a shopping capital for practical shoppers.

Walking further, I found myself surrounded by items of every kind, displayed here and there. Products of every sort cost inexpensively without sacrificing quality.  Tiangge-style bazaars, street shops and shopping malls are the main components of the place, because of this, Divisoria is considered one of the National Capital Region’s premiere economic centres.

As I spent more time wandering within the vicinity, besides the affordable prices and the assortment of merchandise, what struck me the most is the common behaviour of   people.  The way they deal with things, the way they act, the way they see things, the way they make decisions, the way they talk, the way they work actually left me in awe. Their attitude, their actions, their abilities, their perspectives, their moods, their voices, their words, their emotions… There’s just something about them. The people are the life of Divisoria. Without them, Divisoria’s dead.

Observing further, I’ve also witnessed practical marketing, having observed how vendors and customers deal with each other and how they end up closing a deal after few minutes of actual negotiation. How they act and interact with each other caught my attention, this is why I decided to observe more and dig deeper.

Vendors remain buzzing with excitement whatever happens. They work so hard and try to be very enthusiastic, presenting their best selves just to attract more customers and to gain more income, despite feeling sweaty and exhausted. It’s truly remarkable how vendors could stay pleasant, patient and polite despite all the challenges of what they do. It was a truly enticing sight.

On the other hand, the customers are equally amazing, considering that they came from all parts of the Philippines. Some are elite, some belong to the middle class, some are really from the lower class, but they all have the same objective; to be able to get good merchandise at very low prices, to practically be in tune with the trend without having to spend so much. They would really make an effort to go through everything just to get to Divisoria. They have all gone out of their way just to enjoy everything that Divisoria offers risking everything just to find the best trades.  Regardless of social status, they were there pushing their way deep into the ocean of people, unfolding every good deal, one after the other. They have invested time and effort, determined to get the best out of Divisoria.

At Divisoria, I was able to see various pictures that depicted the Filipino culture: industry, hospitality and determination are some of the qualities that are apparent as I looked around the place. Both vendors and customers exhibit these qualities.

Talking to the vendors, I learned that most of the store owners are foreigners, but the stores are manned by Filipinos who work hard to earn for their living. The foreigners  are the investors who provide sources of livelihood for the Filipinos from the lower bracket of the society. This picture exhibits the relevance of underground businesses in our present economy. In addition to that, I found out that most of them are just paid on commission basis depending on the number of transactions they successfully accomplish in a day. Being informed about these made me respect these vendors more. They try their best to be nice in accommodating all of their walk-in customers with the determination to get their merchandises sold. It is a picture of how industrious and practical Filipinos are.

Customers go all the way to Divisoria from all walks of life to have unlimited shopping for less as their common goal. They go all the way there, looking at the possibility of getting the best value for their hard earned money, yearning for the opportunity to acquire nice items at practically lower cost compared to the ones available at the air conditioned malls in the metropolis. At Divisoria, everything is available including replica of items with signature brands at the lowest possible cost. They would find imported goods such as candies, fruits and vegetables tax-free that is why the buyers coming from the upper class normally buy goods in bulk. They also buy clothes, shoes and bags because they find it more practical than going to the malls. This is a picture of practicality and equality. Regardless of social status, people from all walks of life get to Divisoria with one common objective, to get the best value for their hard earned money.

Distance never became an issue for the customers who made their way to Divisoria, because their main objective is to go shopping for less.

It was truly amazing that I was able to see so much and learn so much after spending a whole day in the place. It actually opened my eyes to the reality that shopping doesn’t really have to be very expensive. The price of five blouses at the Divisoria stalls is equivalent to the price of one blouse that I got from the mall in Makati.

Divisoria is not just a place where cheap merchandise is found, it is in fact a place where everyone gets equal opportunity. The store owners take the opportunity to sell and earn profit out of every successful transaction. Vendors give their best to get their items sold to earn their day’s wage to support themselves and their families. And customers get the best possible deals and get items with the best value for their money.

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#OrSem2013

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It was the time of the year again… the time of the year where the Ateneo launches a very big and exciting event just to welcome the incoming freshmen of the university. The event that would mark one as an Atenean. I am very blessed to be part of the community that made this year’s event possible! OrSem 2013! OrSem Layag! (June 6 and 7, 2013) The event may have been short but it is indeed worth remembering! The experience was very fulfilling! NO OTHER UNIVERSITY DOES IT THE WAY WE DO.<3 ❤ ❤

Just last year, I experienced my own OrSem. Being new to college, I was very clueless.. I was excited, but also nervous and a bit scared. I don’t know what to expect. Looking back, I was a VERY awkward freshie, shy and silent. But then, being welcomed by people with really big smiles, killer dance moves and undying energetic vibes made the big step to college life easier!  PACIFIC RING OF FIRE, BANANA and CHUGA… OrSem wouldn’t have been that FUN without our insanely awesome TNT’s and ever-supportive SEC-MOB’s. (Shoutout to my TNT’s Enzo and Kari && SEC-MOB’s Sarah and Carly! HAHA <3) There and there, I told myself… I wanna be like them. I wanna be part of that big step that the freshies are taking.

It was the first week of April when the sign ups for SEC-MOB’s were open. I took the step. I signed up.

20th of April- I filled up the application form.

24th of April- I got a text. Sadly, due to conflict in schedule, my application was rejected. I tried fixing my schedule but it was too late… I was so sad. I just thought of it this way, if it was for me…it will be.

14th of May- my SEC-MOB, Carly, posted in my block’s FB group. “Hello everyone! Meron pa ba sa inyo gusto mag-secmob for orsem 2013? :D” And I thought, THIS IS IT!

15th of May- Carly asked me to add Jay in FB, this year’s SEC-MOB Deputy for Volunteers. AND….

16th of May- I was added to the SEC-MOB group! YAYYYY!!!! :)))) It was for me after all! =)))

18th of May- I attended my first SEC-MOB training, the make-up training of the first training! I met new friends! (Shoutout to KARAGATANG INA MO! HAHA) And for the first time, I experienced the SecMobStrong!

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And with my partner, Faith, I also got the block of my first freshies! WOOH! (Shoutout to Block U1!)

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That training was followed my 3 more trainings…

25th of May- Dry run of the tours and situationers

31st of May- We met our TNT’s (Shoutout to Basille and Ivy!)

1st of June- We met the Log people…AMAZING RACE!

Then finally, the real deal. June 6 and 7… BEST 2 DAYS OF MY SUMMER 2013!

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I may not have spent my summer this year in the beach or anywhere somewhere out of town, but I do not regret anything. Those days might be very tiring but I enjoyed every moment of it. Awesome is an understatement to describe the experience. Such a very special event in my life, truly unforgettable. I will cherish it in my heart forever. I am indeed out of words. I would like to be part of the wonderful experience again! It was all so worth it!

To my first batch of freshies,

Thank you for the memories! Thank you for making this year special for me! I wish I got to spend more time with all of you! I hope I’ll be able to get to know each of you better! You are one special bunch! You have bright futures ahead of you guys! Good luck with college life! Be active! And remember, I’m always here to guide you.. It doesn’t end in day 2 😀 See you around the campus! Forget me not! ❤ ❤ ❤

To my TNT’s Ivy and Basille & my SEC-MOB partner Faith,

I wouldn’t ask for other people to share this first OrSem volunteering experience with. You guys are awesome! Cheers to a new friendship! Love you guys! ❤

To SecMob Batch 2013 & SecMob Core 2013,

I found another family in you guys! You guys are the best! I love this batch so much! Thanks for sharing this experience with me! Love you all! ❤

Here’s a link of a video showcasing the highlights of  this year’s OrSem: OrSem Layag 😀 Check it out! 😀

My celebrity look-a-likes =))))

My celebrity look-a-likes =))))

When I was younger, and the first PBB teens was shown, people have told me that I look like Niña Jose…

In highschool, some people have told me I look like Kim Jones from one of ETC’s shows, ETCETERA …

… but most people (since high school) have told me that I look like Katy Perry, it even became my identifier in high school =))) hahaha…soo watchathink? who do you think most resembles me? =)))

It’s Doppelgänger week on Facebook; change your profile picture(though I won’t make it my profile pic hehe) to someone famous (actor, musician, athlete, etc.), you have been told you look like. After you update your profile with your twin or switched-at-birth photo, then cut/paste this to your status.

HAPPY Doppelgänger week! 😀

Blessed <3

February 8, 2013

I would just like to honor God through this post. 🙂

God is good all the time and He is always right on schedule….

Earlier this afternoon, I lost my wallet with 2 VIP Paramore tickets, 2,500 + worth of money, flash drive with all my school papers and important files, my ATM card and all IDs , etc..basta everything important, I didnt stop praying although I was crying so hard na. I called my mom and she started praying narin. Immediately, right after we ended the call, my ‘kada told me that they found my wallet! a kind hearted fellow atenean found it and returned it to me! 😀

To God be the glory, with Him no one can be against us! God is a faithful God! Thank You for everything! ♥

Top 10 of 2012

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It’s January 3, 2013 and so we have come to the third day of the brand new year… Another year ended and another had begun. Around this time, people usually make their lists of their New Year resolutions and try to fulfill them, but for myself, I decided to make a list of the highlights of my 2012. I believe that it is important to be reminded of the things we went through first before we can even change. I wouldn’t like to draw much focus on myself but rather magnify God’s righteousness and faithfulness in my life. Listing all our blessings in a year can give us self-assurance that may begin the New Year with a bang.
I would like to be able to look back at these milestones, breakthroughs and memories anytime, especially when it is really needed… to remind myself that things can be done; I’ll not just make it through these obstacles, but even rise above and beyond these situations.

2 of 2012

1. Graduating with Honors from Highschool

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I don’t mean to brag, but I really am grateful to have graduated with honors from High School. Only because I entered the university feeling that it might be hard for me to aim for such things coz unlike my batchmates who have already established their name in school, I, who just transferred in 3rd year, has still a lot to prove and still need to adjust. I thought that I might have no chance at making it to the honors list. But I did! And so I learned that I should not limit what God can do for me. I may not have the capability to do it by my own my might, but God is there and He can! By His grace, I can do anything, if it is in His Will. And so my achievements will always remind me that My God is unlimited, and this sets me free from a life of doubt. In Him, nothing is impossible!

2. Getting accepted in my dream school in the program of my choice

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Getting accepted in The Ateneo de Manila University is really a dream come true! I’ve been dreaming about studying there since I was little and I really am been praying about it. And just as what God have promised, he answered my prayer for I believed in it.

3. Chruch involvement: highlight-TFT moving up

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I believe that it is important for us to give back something to the Lord for He has blessed us with so many things. Not only that, it is also a joy in my heart that I can serve, praise and worship God in the way that I can…and that is through singing. It is a gift from God so I should honor God using this gift. I am very thankful that God has given me the privilege to serve Him through the music ministry in Victory Fort. I have been a volunteer in That Friday Thing ( one of their youth services ) for 3 years now and the experience is just such a blessing. I did not choose this, God had chosen this for me, therefore I should strive hard to give Him what He deserves..nothing but excellence. I am still praying that I would continue to grow in Him and would be able to bring more people to Him. I want to be a part of the advancement of His kingdom. 🙂

4. New hair : first dye

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This is included here in my top 10 just because it is my first time to dye my hair :)))) I consider this a milestone :)) I’m sorry, i’m a little attached to my hair =)))

5. Smallgroup

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This is Chessie Guerrero. One of the worship leaders in TFT and she also studies at ADMU. And so when she learned that I would be studying there, she invited me to her smallgroup in the campus. It is indeed an answered prayer! I’ve been really praying about having a small group for I believe that we all need people to walk with us in our spiritual lives to continue to grow. I just pray that this year, I would have the luxury of time to attend every meeting 🙂

6. Getting accepted in BluREP and ACGC

Even before entering ADMU, during my senior year, I already have my eye on these two orgs in Ateneo. Getting accepted in the BlueRepertory, a musical theater org and Ateneo College Glee Club, a well accomplished choir would really be a dream come true to me..so I was just beyond happy and excited when I passed the auditions in both orgs! Another answered prayer indeed! But then, due to unfortunate circumstances, I needed to drop BlueREP for a while. It was just heartbreaking for me for performing on stage has already been a great part of my life. Now that I am more stable in college life, I might give it a another try. It’s not too late…I believe so.

7. Madz et al

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I am so glad I took the risk. We, the trainees of ACGC was given a chance to join this major concert if we could learn the piece in a week! I prayed, I believed and I did it! My first major concert with ACGC! I just felt so blessed! It’s the beginning of something big in my life and I was just sooo excited to see what else God has in store for me!

8. Blue Harmonies

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This is the first major school event that the ACGC sponsored after sooo many years. And I am just sooo grateful to be a part of this! It was such an honor and was such a treat! Everything was soo worth it! 😀

9. Block exposure trip

So my block went to an orphanage where there were little boys. It was such an experience! We played with them, bonded with them, ate with them, laughed with them, danced with them…it was such a privilege to have experienced such! I have always loved kids! And taking care of unfortunate children is such a treat! I am so glad that we were able to impart something in them in our short stay; that we were able to bring happiness to them in the simplest ways. This experience has brought me to many realizations and I would always treasure this moment in my life.

10. Relationships: old, new, restored

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IMG_0443 Himig Rosena ❤

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SEC walk peeps ❤

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ACGC ❤

I really am blessed with awesome people in my life. I am just so thankful! I couldn’t ask for more! Thanks for making my 2012 worth remembering! :’)

I made this post to show you guys how great our God is for he had blessed us so much throughout the year ☺ My prayer for all of you is that as you read this, you will be able to look back on the previous year and every blessing from God will come to you in a way so fresh, so that your joy and gratefulness will be just as fresh as they day you received them! Happy New Year!

The Photo Challenge <3

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED  =)) ❤
1) A Picture of Yourself and Ten Facts.
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1-I’m an AB COM student at the Ateneo de Manila University
2-I love singing, writing,composing songs and dancing!
3-I lalalove kids…little children! they’re just so adorable!

4-I’m easy to please♥ (in short,mababaw)
5-BUT I’m very reflective (malalim din at the same time..haha)
6-I’m the eldest sa family ko, and cousins ko (both father’s and mother’s side…ate ng lahat!)
7-I love MUSIC and MATH and FOOTBALL!
8-I dream to be a film director or a journalist someday and to form my own band like Hillsong, Planetshakers, Citipointe…touring around the world to spread God’s word through Music.
9-I enjoy beautiful sceneries like sunrises and sunsets and clouds and stars…well you get my point :))
10-I am the daughter of the king of kings..therefore, I’m a princess.♥
2) A Picture of You and the Person You have been Closest with the Longest.

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My parents ❤

My Bestfriends….Mommy, Daddy! I love you sooo mucho mucho :* 🙂 Thanks for everything!

3) A Picture of the Cast from Your Favorite Show.
Image New Girl definitely 🙂
4) A Picture of Your Night
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Fireworks and paper lanterns! what a wonderful sight tonight ❤
5) A Picture of A Favorite Memory
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first year highschool days! vvvery memorable! iba talaga ung bonding eh..very united! we’re like brothers and sisters talaga! sooo tight! these guys are amazing!♥Mandelites! just remembered all of you!!! I miss you mucho mucho! You’ll always have a special place in my heart! ♥ 😀
6) A Picture of a Person You’d Love to Trade places with for a day

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a little girl!:”>
life is so much different then, simpler and less complicated….fun! fun! fun!
7) A Picture of Your Childhood Crush
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…orlando bloom…
From the Pirates of the Caribbean movies..
8) A Picture that makes you Laugh
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9) A Picture of the Person who has gotten You through the most
Being more of an introvert, I’m not much of a sharer…So, I can’t actually think of a person but I can whole-heartedly say
that God is always there, every second of my life. He didn’t give up on me ..he will always be there…he’ll not leave me nor forsake me…
I want everyone to realize that…that when the whole world turn its back at us… God will always be the one who will stand up
for us.
10) A Picture of the Person You do the oddest things with
My siblings and cousins 🙂 we’re really tight! Love you guys! ❤
11)A Picture of something You Hate
I hate it.PERIOD.
12) A Picture of something You Love
Being creative or CREATIVITY itself!wala lang…I love moments where i could just express my creativity….arts and crafts, music, fashion….etc! I just love it! 🙂 ♥13) A Picture of Your favorite Band or Artist

..besides Planetshakers, Citipointe and Hillsong…PARAMORE! :D14) A Picture of Someone You could never Imagine Your Life without15) A Picture of something You want to do before You DieDefinitely, SKY DIVING! \m/ :D16) A picture of someone who inspires you.God. Through his words…the bible 🙂

17) A Picture of something that has made a huge Impact on Your Life recently

Moving to College. This is a huge step indeed.

Excitement. Responsibilities.Pressure.
This or just 3 words to describe it 😀
18) A Picture of your biggest insecurity.
I have such big feet. It’s so hard for me to shop for shoes! HAHA
19) A Picture of a letter
J for…… Julia 😉 That’s all =)))
This is how I write the capital letter J in cursive by the way :))
20) A Picture of somewhere you’d like to travel
EUROPE! <33333
21) A Picture of something you wish you could forget.
My recent heartbreak. It was my first soo. 😡 <////3
22) A Picture of something you wish you could be good at.
GYMNASTICS! And cool eh 🙂
23) A picture of your favorite book.
Besides the bible…
The Hunger Games Trilogy talaga…<3
24)  A Picture of something You Wish You could Change

Not to be cheesy and all ….but really…honestly….my answer to this question will always be “the world”…It’s just soo sad to see the reality nowadays…how the world is right now. I know there’s still hope…
25) A Picture of your day
Went to church andfamily bonding today wearing these :’) ❤
26) A picture of something that means a lot to you
TRUE LOVE. It covers everything ❤
27) A Picture of yourself with a family member
 My Vanity Buddy, My little sister…we love taking pictures of ourselves :))
28) A Picture of something you’re afraid of
No. not ratatouille! the real thing! RATS!
i tried searching the real thing sa google images kasi i’m thinking….it would be fine….they’re just pictures…but little did i know, those pictures still sent me goosebumbs…eee….so i quickly pressed back and searched ratatouille instead :)))) hihi =)))
29) A Picture that can always make you smile
Babies! Toddlers! Little children! I love ’em! ❤
30) A Picture of someone you miss
My Gorgeous Aunt! Tita Khrizta! We miss you sooooo much! when are you visiting us again?! love you mucho mucho! xoxo ♥PS. I love this photo of you! lalalove it so much! you’re forever gorgeous talaga! 🙂
THE END ❤ Mission Accomplished! :))

Thank You, Goodbye

Oh look how time flies! I am now a graduate of High School. I am now closing a chapter of my life and starting a new one. Yes, I know, it’s all happening so fast! In just one blink of an eye, everything turned into just memories…just pictures of the past…just lessons that we’ve learned. But I guess, this is life. We learn, we move on, we grow. That’s the beauty of life.

Yes, it’s sad to leave the past behind but we must learn to start anew to explore the possibilities of life. We must learn to keep an open mind and be open to new opportunities to be molded into better individuals.

For me, music is my voice…I write songs to let people know what I feel. I write songs to relay my message. This song below is for my batch mates.

Thank you, goodbye

By: Alison Julia C. Tabong

I.

Funny we are scared to say the simple word goodbye

Here we are making the most in everything, always feeling high

Every single thing we find awesome and special

Knowing that we have too little time left

Pre-Chorus:

Coz the time is near

And we have to move on

Even if it means letting go

Chorus:

Thank you for the laughters, thank you for the tears

Thank you for the smiles, thank you for the sorrows

Thank you for the memories

They will always be kept in my heart

Thank you……………….goodbye

II.

Laughter fills the halls, enjoying every moment with you

Fun is all around

Looking back at the time we first said hello

Hey, I don’t wanna let you go

Pre-Chorus:

But the time is near

And we have to move on

Even if it means letting go

(Repeat Chorus)

Bridge:

Till then we meet again

Soon after we embrace our dreams

Let’s then profess how good our God is

And how beautiful life is

(Repeat Chorus)

To the people who made my High School life so awesome, thank you for the memories! They will always be kept in my heart! To my batch mates, till we meet again! Good luck with college! I love you! God bless! 🙂