As part of this year’s Christmas in the city 2009 series, the Urban Roamer takes you to one of the most famous streets in the metropolis during this season.
Located within the vicinity of Barangay New Zaniga in Mandaluyong City, is a street known as F. Policarpio. I have yet to find out who exactly is F. Policarpio but I can surmise he’s some Mandaluyong politician or some prominent figure there. While it looks just like any other middle-class neighboorhood typical here in the metropolis, this neighborhood shows a different face every Yuletide season. A face some may find too flamboyant or extravagant. But hey, it’s the Christmas season so we can at least cut some slack on that.
Since 1995, the residents of this little street make an effort to show off their own brand of Christmas celebration. While the number of households participating in this affair seemed to have dwindled due to a number of factors, the Christmas spectacle still remains alive and has become a modern tradition that has been embedded in the Christmas culture not only among the people of Mandaluyong but also among the many visitors who flock this little street as a Christmas pilgrimage of sorts.
And these “pilgrims” will not be disappointed with what they see. One such attraction is a house I’d like to call the “House of Lights.” As the name implies, this house is literally lighted all over on all corners. From the outside gate to the telecom tower at its yard, the whole property is all covered in multicolored Christmas lights. The owner of this house must have some Christmas light fetish of sorts, but hey, it’s one fetish I’m sure the Manila Electric Company does not mind seeing.
Right across the “House of Lights” is a house that proudly declares itself as the “House of Santa.” Now we have a house whose owner has a fetish of sorts for Santa Claus. Spectators are greeted by a sheer number of Santa Claus figures in all forms and sizes, even dancing St. Nicks that you will see on the balcony who sing Christmas carols.
Here’s one house whose lights look like it’s a bar or some night spot.
And then there’s this house which proudly shows off a life-sized Belen or Nativity scene on top of the house (with a fountain of sorts and a Chinese lion to boot.
If there’s one thing the residents of Policarpio St. have shown, it’s their dedication to keep the Christmas feeling alive in their own way, in spite of the negativity in the world around us.
© The Urban Roamer