March 27, 2007

Nostalgia Bloggista: Mary Ann Tinsay

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Name: Mary Ann "Me-An" Tinsay

1. Where did you grow up, and what made that place special?
I have spent most of my life in Manila and I wouldn't have chosen anywhere else to live. What makes it so special is that it has lots of character. I was able to explore so many places with so much history and meet interesting people while growing up that I thought everyone else must have a similar experience. It was only when I swapped stories with friends and classmates that I got to realize how truly lucky I was. I can still remember walking along sun-dappled, tree-lined streets of Manila with the carelessness of youth. Back then, it wasn't as scary to go out and make friends with the neighborhood kids. I was also fortunate to have experienced buying candy (Tootsie Roll, Lips Candy, Orange Swits, Bazooza Joe and Tarzan bubble gum, Pop Rocks) from the motherly owner of the nearby sari-sari store whom we all fondly called Aling Rosa...

2. What was your favorite tv show, cartoon, or children's show growing up? What did you like about these shows that made them your favorite?
Oh my! I am proud to say that I am what you'd call a Sesame Street kid. I was hooked on SS (before it was translated into Filipino), Electric Company and Saturday Fun Machine (from Super Friends, Great Space Coaster, Sigmund and the Sea Monster, Archie, Yogi Bear, Wacky Races). I also loved Voltes V, Daimos, Mekanda Robot, Mazinger Z, Voltron, Candy-Candy, Ron-Ron, Thundercats, Carebears, Smurfs and Gummi Bears. Of course, who'd ever forget Charlie's Angels, Wonder Woman, Little House on the Prairie, Love Boat, A.L.F., Perfect Strangers, Falcon Crest, Dynasty, Flamingo Road, Dallas, Knots Landing, Remington Steele, Three's Company, Different Strokes, Facts of Life, The Cosby Show and Battle of the Network Stars. On the local front, I enjoyed watching Champoy, T.O.D.A.S., Iskul Bukol, Chicks to Chicks and yes, even (the often ridiculed, and considered super cheesy) See-True, GMA Supershow, Big Ike's Happening and That's Entertainment. Hahaha! I also liked to catch up on all the old Sampaguita flicks being showcased by Channel 9 in the afternoons. That's where I got introduced to Jose Mari Gonzales, Susan Roces, Rosemarie Sonora, Eddie Gutierrez, Liberty Ilagan, Barbara Perez and the rail-thin but already funny Dolphy. And remember FEN station being broadcast from the US Naval base in Subic? That was a guilty pleasure for me too. So sue me - they helped make me a more rounded individual. Kids nowadays are being fed the most inane shows. I mean, Teletubbies and Barney, for pete's sake! Plus all these telenovelas (Pinoy, Spanish, Chinese and Korean) proliferating the airwaves. Ay caramba!

3. Favorite music group or artist? Most memorable song?
For some strange, inexplicable reason, my parents almost always made me sing along to Sharon Cuneta songs so I know almost all her old songs like Dear Heart, High School, Forgive and Forget, Cross My Heart, etc...

4. Share with our readers one of your fondest memories of growing up.
Am proud to say that I was my lola's favorite apo. Each evening, without fail, she would take me along and ask the driver to bring us to the CCP Complex along Roxas Boulevard just so I could eat my favorite siopao asado being served by the deaf-mute canteen there. Then we'd sit near the breakwater and watch the waves crash against the seawall. The air was fresh and invigorating and you could still see the myriads of tiny fish in the clear waters of Manila Bay. Other times, she'd take me to my second home, Bookmark bookstore in Ermita so she could buy me a Nancy Drew book to add to my collection. Then we'd walk next door to the Spanish restaurant (the name of which escapes me now) so we could savor the most delicious churros con chocolate ever made.

I also reminisce about those Sunday afternoons spent with the fam eating in Shakey's Malate (before it gained notoriety for its drunken brawls) after mass in nearby Malate Church. Back then, it was THE best pizza parlor. Sometimes, we'd walk across to Aristocrat Restaurant to have dinner then I'd order pistacchio with bubblegum ice cream from Coney Island right beside it.

5. What do you miss from back then that's not available today?
Places: Tom Sawyer's Fried Chicken (Greenhills), Coney Island ice cream, Selecta Dairy House, Rustan's San Marcelino, Bungalow Restaurant, Fiesta Carnival.

Stuff: Kung-fu shoes, chinese jackstones, LPs played on turntables, cassette tapes, hand-written, pages-long letters lovingly sent by friends! :)

More Nostalgia Bloggista: Gigi Santos-Castaneda

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Nostalgia Manila said...

According to our friend Pepsi, the Spanish Cafe in Ermita Mary Ann is referring to, he/she believes, was "La Cibeles". It was known to serve the best churros, chocolate, Yema Y Torta de Madrid EVER!

*Thanks Pepsi for the info!

ribbiticus said...

yep, the place was indeed la cibeles. confirmed it with my mom. great memory, pepsi! ;)

Anonymous said...

the siopao place is in LUNETA not CCP complex.

Unknown said...

There was also a Spanish reso accross Manila Pen in Makati that served churos with hot chocolate

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