Manila Bay just behind the Cultural Center of the Philippines is a 30-minute bike ride from Revillen Street along Pasig Line in Sta. Ana, Manila. We used to swim there, diving from the rugged breakwater, until the day my solo false tooth fell into its murky depths, as I surfaced from a long dive for a gasp of that pungent salty air. My friend Wa, snatcher-par-excellence, tried diving for it, but he ain't no son of a Badjao or a pearl diver either.
My false tooth was courtesy of a wayward elbow from Andit of Almaguer during a class cutting mid-afternoon basketball game in a dusty street corner somewhere in Bambang. Its replacement, by the same dentist who made the first one and who know resides in Canada, got caught in a stream of puke ignited by a nasty hangover a night after Kuya Michael's installation as master of his Lodge last month. I wore that piece 24-hours for the last 22 years since the first sank in Manila Bay. I had a third one made but I thought it would not fit so I had it tucked somewhere as I tried living life with one front tooth missing.
But the story here is about San Marcelino Street which we have to cross on our way to and going back from Manila Bay. Early this year, I discovered the Church of San Vicente de Paul tucked along that street within the Adamson University area. That church's story started from a chapel built in 1883 for the parish of Paco which in 1912 was replaced by the present structure.