Sanctuary in the Heart of a Pandemonium

Thursday, June 21, 2012

By Kathryna De Bustos, Jan Eidrienne De Luis, Inna Patricia Lameyra, and Almira Bianca Landicho

Amidst the contrasting algid air from the air conditioning unit and the ardent fire of compassion in the hearts of the 3JRN2 students, packed like sardines inside room 104 of the University of Santo Tomas’ St. Raymund’s building, a tall woman awkwardly stood up to share a story that shifted the mood of the entire room.

Kathryna De Bustos is a fine sensible lady until she disrupted the solemnity brought by the inspiring stories earlier told by some of her blockmates. As a gesture of courtesy, she warned everyone that despite the touching stories they have heard, she was there to make a difference and talk about her bizarre adventure in malls.

“Recently, I went to Divisoria to get my necessities for this school year/dorm life. And I discovered a treasure located at the heart of Binondo and that is the Lucky Chinatown Mall. I was exhausted and famished as I exited the sweaty crowd of people making last minute shopping bargains in the busy, busy stalls that they call “pasilios” in 168.” she said.

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After Newport Mall, Eastwood City, Burgos Circle, and Venice Piazza, Megaworld now opens the Lucky Chinatown Mall at Reina Regente Corner dela Reina Street, Barangay 293, Zone 28, Binondo.  Together with this shopping haven is the high-rise residential development — Cityplace.

She was surprised to see these immense towers of what seemed to be condominiums placed smack in front of her.

“I entered the vicinity and there were still closed stalls and something else caught my attention: a sign that said “This way to Lucky Chinatown Mall” so I nudged my mom who was currently looking at moderately-priced blankets and we immediately headed towards that direction.” De Bustos added.

© Google Images 
And there it was, high-glassed doors, gleaming store signs, and the smell of freshly-baked bread from Bread Talk. She knew that this had to be The Lucky Chinatown Mall. It was a change from the usual cramped structures around Divisoria and it seemed to remind her of the usual sight around the Metro.

Speaking of the scrumptious sound of Bread Talk, De Bustos titillated her blockmates. “My mother and I headed towards Bread Talk and too bad, their famous floss bread was still in the oven, people really withstood the long lines just for their bread and it really made me want to consume the bread on my tray as I patiently waited for my turn. There was a melting pot of people in the mall as we moved along to scour the different parts of the mall. Cinemas can be located at the top floor of the building and there were already a handful of designer stores on the ground floor, and we’re just getting started!” she said.

De Bustos, as if inducing her blockmates to go to the Lucky Chinatown Mall immediately, talked about one of the famous coffee shops in the world. “We settled to have our caffeine fix at Starbucks and as a coffee enthusiast, I must say that it was one of the most unique Starbucks stores that I have ever seen.” She said in awe of the coffee shop that was surprisingly inside the mall.

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“It had an oriental touch to it and it was different from the usual American feel that the establishment gave you and having actual Chinese people around me made me feel like I was in China or something.” she added.

“Enjoying my Green Tea Soy Cream Frappé, we resumed to exploring the floors of this exceptional commercial center. Aldo, Mango, etc. was set to open soon and there were also Chinese restaurants that also looked enticing.”

All good things come to an end.  Unfortunately, De Bustos needed to head back to her dormitory for her class the next day. Bringing their shopping bags, she and her mother travelled towards their vehicle which was parked in a seemingly machine operated platforms. Zoom. Zoom. One by one, the platforms moved and their vehicle was on the ground.

As her mother was about to exit the parking area, De Bustos needed to look back. She needed to have a glimpse of her discovery, the new taste of Metropolitan living in the heart of a busy and filthy “pasilios” of Divisoria. Truly, Lucky Chinatown Mall is a sanctuary in the heart of a pandemonium.