[This post is dedicated to My beloved relatives in Luzon, to mention a few, they are Dr. Andres Panganiban(now lives in Cavite), Tita Pacita Panganiban (now lives in Gumaca, Quezon), Dr. Apple Panganiban Jovellano (now lives in Cavite) and to her siblings, my cousins in Muntinlupa, Engr. Venz Grantoza and to his siblings, somehow played a great role in my career path. With their grateful assistance, I was able to land a good job in Makati.]
How would I appropriately remember this place? Aaah!! A question that connects me from my past life and experiences in Manila. There are lots of experiences that I have been through, but I cannot remember anymore the others. Maybe I could only share some of those experiences.
Away from Home, Single and Independence :
One of the purpose why I ventured to work here in Manila after passing the board exam was to fully become an independent person and away from my parents. All my school life was tied up with my parents and so dependent on them. So, my feet brought me here in Manila , aside from securing my professional license, I also bravely looked for a job.
Truly, I was accepted in a construction company with the help of my uncle, Dr. Andres Panganiban of Gumaca, Quezon. He referred me to one of his friends there. In short, I was accepted and landed a job as a laborer with a hiring rate of P130 per day. I asked my Tita Pacing Panganiban at Sampaloc to stay there as her boarder. She gave me a favorable rate at 50% from a regular rate. To find a boarding house for a first timer job seeker like me was truly a difficult thing to do if you do not have some connections or relatives. Good thing that my Tita Pacing were there in Sampaloc with her children. That was in 1991.
My First Day of my first job :
On my first day of my job, I was assigned in one of Land Bank's projects in Taft Avenue fronting the PGH. I was so blessed that time that I was hired with only P300 pesos left in my pocket. I reported to work in the middle of the week. So I have to budget my P300 pesos that time. I even experienced to ride a jeep standing at the "Estribo", because that time, Taft Avenue was so traffic and Jeepneys were outnumbered with lots of commuters.
I commute daily from Taft Avenue (our PGH Project) and then chose to walk along Sta. Cruz, Binondo, Manila in going to Avenida and then to Bustillos, because of my limited resources at that time. Every day, I did that in going to my boarding house. I opted to walk because I wanted to familiarize myself in this bustling, crowded, traffic and busy Recto Avenue and the so called "University Belt".
When I revisited this parish church and saw the Sta. Cruz inside. I prayed and asked the Divine intervention to protect me on this travel.
Sta. Cruz Parish Church is one of the churches when I laid down my prayer petition to land a good job during our Visita Iglesia in 1992 with my cousins, Engr. Sam Ilagan and Engr. Amvett Ilagan. The third church before the 14th station (Quiapo Church). This two cousins played also a great role in my first journey in life. A journey to look for a good job. I am also thanking them for letting me stayed in their boarding house after my Tita Pacing's place. This post is also dedicated to these 2 Engineers. My drinking partners in Jocson Street, Sampaloc, Manila.
As I got outside, I bought 4 scapulars from a vendor at the entrance gate @ P25 pesos each. She then told me to have them blessed with holy water. When she learned that I am heading to Quiapo, she then told me to take care especially my wallet. I vowed a little and thanked her for that thoughtful word.
So as traveler, lest you are cruising this place, spare a little time to visit Sta. Cruz Parish Church, and lay down your prayer petition.
This is how to get there. If you are from Monumento, take the LRT and your drop off point is Avenida Station (Rizal Avenue), same if you are from Baclaran or Rotonda. From there, just walk a little passing along the Chinese District or Ongpin. The approximate distance from Avenida is about 300 meters. Below is the site map for your guide.