I'm just a small fish in a small corner of this big Laguna, and this is how I've been swimming it

04 April, 2011

South Supermarket

  Standing next to the Caltex station at the corner of Laguna blvd. and the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay national highway, the South Supermarket looks as if it has always been there.  It just opened in time for the Christmas holidays last year, and the neighborhood is there all the time. I run into someone I know each time I'm there, and that's nearly every week.  The staff knows many of us by face, in the same way the old Rustan's Express staff down the boulevard beside the St. John Bosco parish does.  Perhaps sadly (?) for Rustan's, many of our faces are...missed.  However, I'm sure it remains a destination for after-work, after-school and after-mass.

  There are still a few items South Supermarket does not carry, that Rustan's stocks up on, though. Things like Likas Papaya soap, and Antonio Pueo Excellente Chocolate tableas.  So I have been back to Rustan's occasionally for these. One of those times, the manager happily (and reassuringly, it seems, to her subordinate) reported to me that Shopwise is soon opening in Nuvali.

  Many Filipinos in the neighborhood are Alabang folk, and previously made the drive to the Alabang branch of South Super for their groceries. When we moved to Sta. Rosa and took the long route to the SM Sta. Rosa--via the bayan--we saw the old South Super Sta. Rosa along the way. It was "out of the way" for this side of Sta. Rosa, and the parking lot was EMPTY. So it was not surprising to hear they had closed down. Opening on this side, and smack in the middle of the busy intersection of Paseo and Laguna blvd, is, if I were a competitor, extremely enviable.  It is not only an after-work, after-school, after-play destination, it is also a stop for those traveling further to Tagaytay or Batangas.

  My own history with South Supermarket goes way back to my childhood in the Pasay-Paranaque border.  It was also the neighborhood store, very homey with red brick walls.  We would stop by South Super for groceries after school, or for supplies for school projects, or for a quick snack. There was a soft-serve ice cream machine, where a very kind gay man cheerfully served up twists of bland, creamy vanilla and chocolate twists of ice cream.  She/he knew us all as well, and if you were as kind to him/her, you could get an extra tall serving.  He/she later had to man an ICEE slushie machine as well. Remember that slushie drink with the Polar bear logo, and flavors colored ice blue, brown for cola, and red?  I later realized he/she watched many of us grow up, as I had a college friend from the same neighborhood who claimed he was a favorite of this server.  I wonder where he/she is now.  I wonder what happened to the ICEE brand.

   In South Supermarket Sta. Rosa, the barbecue kiosk lady who now knows us by face is fast becoming my kid's version of my ice cream vendor.  Now that I think about it...she looks familiar because she looks like that ice cream vendor. Or at least that is his/her smile I remember.  How uncanny.

No comments:

Post a Comment