Search and You Shall Find in My World

05 January 2008


There's a place in Cebu I am especially fascinated with. Many would tell a different tale, some have experienced them, others have heard it through the grapevine, giving the place a moniker of notoriety and fascination. This is the place where ordinary people (read: masa) come and go and the kuripot rich shop.

Stories of big bargain and freshest of goods collide with snatchers, drugs, and murderous minds. Colorful items and views mismatched with the stinking smell of body odor and decaying flesh. Chinese affluence with beggars. Technology with binisaya medicine.

I heard so much of it that I got mixed feelings every time somebody brought up the idea of going there, either I would sulk, feel afraid or just plain excited to go there.

The place is called Carbon.

Yesterday I happened to pass through the area coming from Guadalupe via jeep. I finally congratulated myself for doing this despite of the fact that I was only a distant viewer and not really immersing with the crowd. Like a tourist, I stared and gawked at almost everything. The smell was intoxicating. My head throbbed like I had a bad hangover. The view shone in its magnificence.

People eating right in the sidewalk.
Utensils washed in buckets of murky water.
Half naked men pushing carts.
Beggars constantly getting your attention.
Imitation jeans and colorful clothes hanging on the sidewalk.
Fresh flowers of different colors, sizes and kinds.
Yummy-looking fried chicken being cooked.
Someone washing her laundry.
Colorful vegetables and spices right at your feet.
Smelly dried fish attacked by flies.
Piles and piles of fruits.
Horse-drawn karetelas I never knew still existing in Cebu.

I wish I could take out my mobile phone in a longer period and took pictures of the scenes but fear of losing it kept my phone struggling in my pocket.

Someday, when fear is gone, I will be walking around Carbon and take pictures of the wonderful life there.


Chie said...

Carbon, one of the last few places I would visit here in Cebu. It is filthy and risky. However, despite the conditions, people who live in Carbon are luckier than I am. They have money. They have savings. Hehehe...

Miki said...

actually, i am more fascinated by Colon... still full of people and has withstood the advancing mall culture outside the old "downtown". i especially grieve for J.M. Basa in Iloilo City with its boarded up establishments --> killed by Henry Sy and his ilk

Edik said...

thanks for the comments guys. carbon is like a matter of getting used to the place. if you shun the place, you have not been to cebu hehehehe. try it. it's fun.