Happily Lost in Divi

I really enjoy hanging out with my mom. She’s probably one of my most favorite persons to be with. When I spend time with her, I get that “Moses glow.” You know, the one where Moses came down from the mountain after being with the Lord and he had this glow on his face. She has that affect on people. I’m not deifying her. I’m just saying that she is such a positive, laid back, and light-hearted person that she energizes whomever she is with.

During instances when I would be notable sweet towards Edric, he used to jokingly say, “Have you been spending time with mom?!” He knew that a little dose of mom was all I needed to get my wife head screwed on right.

Yesterday, my mom and I had the brilliant idea of going to Divisoria to look for fabric. She needed to buy fabric for some couches she was upholstering and I needed to look for fabric, too. We had no idea where we would find what we were looking for. But I asked my mother-in-law who tends to know these things. She gave us some vague street directions (bless her heart, she is awesome, too). It was enough to go on — Juan Luna Street and past Soler Street — so we confidently went out in search of a 2-storey building that we thought would be easier to find than it turned out to be.

Divisoria is of course, a wonderful mess. Everything about it is disorganised but if you keep your eyes open, you will find just about anything and everything you need and don’t need but suddenly do. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the place. I asked security guards and people on the street and they really didn’t know which direction to point us in. Anyone who lives in Manila knows that security guards are probably the least likely people to know anything. (That sounds harsh but I’ve experimented and this assessment is quite accurate.) The best persons to ask are public transportation drivers…especially tricycle guys. And that’s what we did. A tricycle guy in a purple shirt said he could show us the way. Okay, I didn’t tell my husband, Edric, that we let some stranger into our car and paid him 80 pesos to be our tour guide through the streets of Divisoria. My mom thought it was a great idea. What was 80 pesos anyway, for some valuable enlightenment?

The guy turned out to be a really kind man. Plus, he didn’t have that mugger kind of look and he wasn’t a mugger. Whew. We had to walk a ways from the Binondo church to I’m-not-sure-what-street. I have the worst navigational skills. I get lost in parking lots. But it looked credible. Along the way, I discovered, as most of the Philippines already knows, that Divisoria is the best place to find what you need for all kinds of normal and odd hobbies. Some of the things that stood out to me were fish nets, corks of random sizes, reflector vests, furry animal hats, big sheets of card board (don’t ask me why I care, but I do), a portable sewing machine that looked like a stapler (okay, mom got suckered into buying one of these for much more than she should have but its a handy little gadget.), burlap, all kinds of string, and yes, fabric! Like, dirt cheap fabric that doesn’t look dirt cheap…40 pesos a yard for upholstery fabric that was 60 inches in width. It was unbelievable. Of course, you really have to look through the piles and options, but still…I would re-upholster everything in my house and the walls if that’s all it costs for fabric! My mom, being the same kind of cheap-o that I am, thought it was awesome, too.

I’ve got to add a bit about my mother here. She is in her 60s but she carriers herself like she is in her 30s — full of energy and life. And because she doesn’t have a single drop of prima donna in her, she is able to make the most out of inconveniences and uncomfortable circumstances. When she was getting tired, she spied a buko stand and bought herself a coconut and she was the happiest person.

She has the ability to find joy in the simplest things. I don’t attribute this to her perfection but to the relationship she has with Jesus. She is a Christ-centered woman. A trip to Divisoria with no real plan but with someone like that can turn into a fun adventure. And that’s exactly what we had! We also ate banana-cue and corn. Yum!

We made the most of our ignorance. Even though we never did find the building that my mother-in-law was talking about, we prayed that God would help us get our objectives accomplished and we did. Within four hours, we were in and out of there with all the fabric we needed plus lots of mother and daughter bonding time. Between you and me, that was the part that made my day!

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Comments

  1. I just LOVE mother-daughter love stories! <3 I hope when I get to a certain "mature" age & my daughters have families of their own, they will also look forward to spending time with me the way you love spending time with your mom! 😉 This post is just precious! 🙂 And can I just say? Loving your mother/daughter matching RAWR (or are those snakeskin) outfits! 😉

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Ha ha ha. That’s funny Jane, about the outfits. I actually didn’t realize it until I took the photos!

  2. Can you please describe (as best as you can remember) where you found the fabric store? Thank you!

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Okay…here goes…park your car at binondo church and then walk down to divisoria on Juan Luna street. Keep going about 10 minutes until you get to an area where they are selling fabric in the open. You will also see a building that you can walk into for all kinds of fabric. Good luck!!!

  3. I love your stories! And also there are fabric stores near Sm taytay. Less messy than divisoria.

  4. I’ve wanted to go to Divisoria for so many years but have always been told that it’s not for the faint of heart. Reading your story, hmmm …. might just try it next time we go home. Also, just wanted to say – Love your posts, they always lift me up! (but when do you find time to write?)

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Hi Athena! You can do it. Divisoria is so fun. Not the cleanest or sightliest of places but if you psyche yourself up for a shopping adventure, you will have a good time!

  5. sam miranda says:

    Been googling where to find in Divi the type of thread I need until I found this site. Great story. Very brave of you (and your mom) to meet guy who is truely kind. It’s very rare specially in the Metro.

    My wife and I go there almost every other weekend for her “sideline” business and me for my many to mention hobbies lol!

    Anyway, moving forward, if you have any plans of going back there, you might want to dress down a little bit. No earrings, fancy make up, etc. If it”s possible, you may want to be in your “pambahay” outfit. You don’t want to be a victim of those guys na “namimitas” ng earrings.

  6. I agree with the previous post. When in Divisoria, wear your pambahay outfit and avoid accessories. Also avoid bringing out of gadgets. There are really not so good people in the area but still, it’s a good place to shop. Just keep an eye on your stuff. 🙂

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