SHARE

Several things happened for me when I set foot into the serenity that is Paco Park. First, I realized how much smaller the world around me seems as an adult when compared to the memories of childhood. Paco Park is an immense oasis of green in my memory and the chapel on the grounds is an enormous ancient temple. The reality is that it is quite small, maybe a city block back in the states. The chapel is a small building. Just about the only thing that remained faithful to my memory was the ancient feel of the place. Second, I was struck by how amazing it is that my father – a white kid from Indiana – married a Filipina in the heart of Manila without any friends of his own or family present. Third, I was reminded of how sad my Mother’s life has been. I’m so familiar with the sadness that has been present in her these past ten or fifteen years that I have forgotten how hard and foreign her childhood experience is to my own.

Paco Park sits in a bustling area of Manila with intense traffic, wall to wall people and an almost incomprehensible number of little shops and street vendors. It is also the first area of the city I’ve visited since arriving where I have seen an abundance of homeless and begging people. A lady outside of the park (which is open to the public but requires a small donation to enter most times) was begging with her three very small children. She said she lives there, on the corner outside the park.

The atmosphere outside the park is loud, busy and often more than slightly depressing. This is one of the neighborhoods my mom grew up in. The insanity of the area a distant but clear memory in her mind. Paco Park was where she went, often with her baby siblings in tow, to get away from the hustle and to hide from her own mother’s fits of rage.

For my mom, Paco Park was truly an oasis within the city. A place of refuge. Her happy place. Within the walls, amongst the funeral niches of fallen Filipino heroes, she found hope and comfort.

It is no wonder that when she was facing the choice of where to get married she chose Paco Park. Thankfully, I have recorded a conversation with her on the grounds of this sacred place. I will be posting the video as soon as I can get to a place where the internet will allow a large upload.

In the meantime enjoy these photos of this magical place. The start of my parents married life – 40 years ago this year. The beginning, in many ways, of my own life.

Paco Park.

SHARE
Previous articleAlex Merkin
Next articleLotti Pharriss Knowles
Hi. I’m David, your host at The Intellexual Network. I’ve been a fan of podcasting for years – having first been exposed to podcasting as a Radio & Television Communications student in the early 2000s. I started my first podcast in 2005 as a part of the marketing blitz for a feature film I produced here in San Diego called “What’s The Vig?” I’ve tried more personal shows off and on over the years, but in 2013 I found my voice with the “Voices of ’93 Podcast” which I hosted and produced for my high school class as a celebration of our 20 year reunion. The success of this show, and the overwhelming response of my classmates to continue it past the reunion, has inspired me to round up my extremely talented family and friends and launch The Intellexual Network. A place where we can produce the types of shows that we would listen to, and we think you’ll enjoy.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here