I made a visit to my birthplace in February 2010 and took some time to go around the city, just to take photos here and there.
I took the bus from Pili, which is about 15 kilometers and 30-45 minutes away, and got off at the Central Bus Terminal – a short walk away from the recently opened SM City Naga.
Judging from the number of motorcycles in the parking lot, it seems that the motorcycle fever has hit the Nagueños.
The lot where SM City Naga now stands used to be just an empty space, the railroad running parallel to and separating it from Panganiban Drive – the main road going into Naga City proper.
Magsaysay Avenue was nothing like what it is now back when I was in high school. It was just another alternate route going in and out of the Naga City proper. Together with the Diversion Road, it forms a circumferential road, with Panganiban Drive cutting right in the middle. Magsaysay Avenue was lined with residential homes back in the day. It was very quiet – so unlike the commercial area it is now, with numerous bars, restaurants and other establishments sprouting along the road at what I can only describe as a fascinating pace.
I took another tricycle to bring me to the Naga Cathedral…
… and during the ride, took random photos of places we were passing by.
I asked the tricycle to drop me off at the corner of Elias Angeles St., right where my alma mater stands.
The Universidad de Sta. Isabel (USI) is a private Catholic Vincentian university owned and run by the Daughters of Charity in Naga City, Philippines. It was established by the first five Daughters of Charity that arrived in the country (Philippines) in January 1868 with Bishop of Caceres, Most Rev. Francisco Gainza, O.P., the founder of Colegio de Sta. Isabel (1867) through the royal order of Queen Isabella II of Spain.
On April 12, 1869, the school was inaugurated. Colegio de Sta. Isabel became the first normal school for women in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
Formerly Colegio de Sta. Isabel, the Universidad de Sta. Isabel achieved its university status in August 2001.
Having graduated in 1999, we still refer to our school as Colegio and can never be comfortable enough to refer to it as USI.
The school stands right from across the Naga Cathedral, the Naga Parochial School and a street away from the Ateneo de Naga University. In fact, school buses use the Naga Cathedral parking lot while waiting for students from all three schools. I have never used the services of a school bus (or jeep) having lived in Barlin Street, right in front of the Naga Cathedral, in my first year of high school and having took the public bus for the next three years; but the parking lot was where almost everybody passed by.
From the Naga Cathedral, I walked the length of Elias Angeles St, in the direction of the Plaza Quince Martires.
I passed by the old Wharf Galley Rock Cafe, owned by my childhood friend and pre-school classmate Richard James Estrada. The cafe was located in one part of an old cinema, and designed by my high school friend GP Priela.
Along Elias Angeles St. can be found an astonishing number of food and fruit carts.
I was actually looking forward to taking photos of the Plaza Quince Martires and the San Francisco Church, but alas, when I got there, it was already dark. I guess I took too much time buying fruits. *laughs* Maybe next time…