Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Return to Greenhills

It was my nephew's birthday a few days ago and I decided to accompany him to his tutor class. The idea was to buy him something after his session. So I filed the leave forms and was free for the day. While waiting for him to finish his class, I went to the nearest mall, this was Greenhills. It had been a long time since I had a real proper walk around Greenhills. This was the place where I grew up. So much had change and still so much had remained the same. For one thing Virra Mall was gone. In its heyday, Virra Mall had two cinemas and several shops to cater to one's pastime. I remember the stalls that used to sell PX (Imported) goods, the video shop where you can buy the latest pirated movies on VHS and betamax. You can actually buy porn video and exchange it for a new one each week, if you bought the machine from their shop. There were also several computer shops and nestled among them was a shop called Shop & Lift, where you can buy magazines and rent video of classic movies - I remember renting Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo from this store. There were even a couple of pet shops Tetra, Bio-research and Fins & Furs. Virra Mall is gone now. And the Greenhills theatre has been cut and diced into a mall and two cinemas. Greenhills Arcade has undergone a transformation no more Fun House and the place where you can buy comics and chewing gums with Star Wars card. Shoppesville and Unimart are still there. And it would seem the large UFO-shaped lights that illuminated the parking lot are gone. During idle moments, I used to imagine them as space ships over Greenhills. The big canal that demarcated the commercial center from the houses are now gone. Greenhills changed with the times. At first it was mostly PX goods and computers. Then came the shops selling video, pets, toys, comics, and books. Then came the cellphones, the pearl market and the ever-changing baratillos. Soon Greenhills, not surprisingly, really Greenhills became the bazaar of pirated software, vcds and DVDs. And a few years later, Greenhills transformed itself. A major rebranding was in progress. New structures were being built and old structures were being refurbished. Now it looks like a different place. But ... a walk around the place revealed that it still had the old stores around, one way or the other. Over at Shoppesville they were still selling comics, action figures, animes and other collectibles. And in the new parking lot several cellphone and computer resellers were there. Now that the canals were covered, stores like National and the Chinese Deli Decs were just outside. New cinemas were built and new restaurants as well. And in due time they would opening the new Virra Mall. Some of the old and reliable establishments were still around. Unimart Grocery stood virtually unchanged. And there still is the Old Orange Julius stand, although I do not think it is named differently now. The two Le Chings are still around and so is the old Aristocrat Restaurant, which had the distinction of being the only restaurant open during the EDSA I revolt. As I walked along the cellphone stores I heard a familiar set of voices chanting, "DVD, DVD, Boss?” Yup, it would seem the more things change the more they stay the same. Additional Posts Buying Second Hand Books Christmas?!


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