I was in Gloria Jean’s Cubao enjoying my Vanilla Caramel Chillers. I was sitting next to this large glass pane where I could catch a glimpse of all the people walking outside the coffee shop, I would look up occasionally from what I was doing and I would scan the people outside hoping to see someone interesting.
Sitting there in that coffee shop, in the middle of Cubao sipping my chiller, enjoying the free wifi connection. I suddenly felt an overflowing nostalgia for the Cubao I once knew.
I remember when I was a kid growing up in Cubao. Every Sunday was a special day for me. It’s our family’s grocery shopping day. We usually go grocery shopping not in Rustan’s Supermarket but we opt for Queen’s Supermarket in Cubao, the prices there were not only cheaper but my mom likes their grocery bags, because its made of paper. Probably that’s why when it burned down sometime in the 80’s, nothing was left, the paper bags they kept probably fueled the fire hehe.
After shopping, the family would usually troop together to Fiesta Carnival. I remember the giant paper Mache clowns all over the carnival, which scared me when I was a little younger. The rides were fun and cheap. Then we would grab a bite in the numerous food stalls inside the carnival.
It’s where the cheapest hotdog waffles are found and fruit salad in a cup can be had.
During the Christmas season, when all of us kids would need new clothes for the school Christmas party. My mom would take us to, where else but SM Cubao. And after shopping for clothes and shoes, the family would then go to Ali Mall to look for gifts items. While in Ali Mall, My sister and my brother would do a few rounds of roller skating in Skatetown where I would just usually look at them skate because I was too young to do it my self. The smallest size roller skates were still too big for my feet. Ali Mall was just right across Rustan’s and Marikina Shoe Expo and AutoCentro, and who’d forget COD. After watching the moving mannequins in COD we usually head straight home but my mom would always buy a dozen of Winchelle’s donuts if ever one of us kids would suddenly have an urge to eat in the middle of the night.
Before classes start every year. My mom would take us to Quezon Arcade to buy bags and school uniforms. Quezon Arcade is a flea market type shopping center long before Greenhills made it fashionable to buy in tianges.
Also there was the original Aristocrat’s restaurant in Edsa Cubao, with its navy blue roof, the Farmer’s Market and The Farmer’s Garden, The Love Bus depot in front of SM Cubao, The Choo Choo Junction Spagetti House near the steel tower also in front of SM Cubao. And a lot more places that probably I won’t be able to remember anymore.
I had a lot of happy memories growing up in the only place I call home. Cubao may be changing but the imprints of the old Cubao would always stay in my heart. I thank my parents for bringing us to this wonderful place and making me a true blood "Cubaoeño".