One Fine Day at the Baywalk: Reintroducing Manila to My Children

7:31 PM

While going out of Aristocrat Restaurant after a hearty lunch, my children's attention were caught by many people, particularly tourists, having their pictures taken just across. When they asked my husband and I what that place was, we told them it was the Baywalk. The very instant we said that, we knew we have been guilty of not properly introducing them to the City of Manila, a place where we were both born and spent most of our young lives in. 

Manila Boy, Manila Girl

That is how my husband and I have always been - Manila-dwellers, courtesy of his mother who lived since birth in Paco and my father who had his roots in Quiapo and Sta. Cruz. Although his father and my mother hailed from their respective provinces, we never got to the point of actually living in them and so it has always been Manila for us. We were happy living in Manila as we grew up but certain circumstances made us decide to raise our family outside it.

Strangers to Manila

We wanted a quieter place essentially. That decision resulted to my children being strangers to Manila. I hate to admit it but the things that stuck to their mind most about the city is its noise, dirt, and danger.  Now we know, we should have tried harder to balance that view. 

Discovering Baywalk

One look from my husband and I knew we were going to do something about it. Instead of getting inside our car to go home, the four of us crossed the street, hand in hand, to discover Baywalk with our children. Of course, the first thing they requested was to ride the calesa, and so we did.

Then came the picture-taking with the statues that were placed along the stretch of Baywalk. There was the statue of Arsenio Lacson, the legendary mayor of Manila. There was also the statue of Maximo Soliven, a prominent Filipino journalist and newspaper publisher. Of course, we didn't miss the statue of Lapu-Lapu, the first native who resisted Spanish colonization, just across Baywalk, specifically in front of Malate Church. The experience was actually like a fun way of learning.

My Say

This simple experience certainly provided my husband and I the chance to reintroduce Manila to our children. Though it will never be perfect, it will always be a city worth discovering. Now they are asking if we can go to Luneta, Manila Zoo, and other places which my husband and I have frequented in our childhood days but have somewhat felt "too ordinary" for them to visit because of the high-tech generation they are moving in. We couldn't have been more mistaken.

That said, I hope we can still make up for lost time so that Manila will never be a blur in my children's minds.

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