Last weekend Maja Olivares Co asked me if I could host their cultural event at Paco Market. Maja is the Project Designer and Head of Culture and Education of the redevelopment of Paco Market. She has told me about the work she’s done here together with ABS-CBN Foundation’s efforts to rehabilitate the Pasig River. I had always wanted to see how they’ve transformed the old market and cleaned up the ‘estero’ but never had the chance. So I thought even though it’s a weekend, this was a good time to give back and have the kids learn a few things about our city and the environment.
Paco Market was built in 1911. Through the years it fell to decay and became one of the main pollutants of the Estero de Paco. When Maja started the restoration plans, some of the beams were structurally unsound. It took a lot of donations from the private sector and government to get this project going.
Vice President Binay came early because he had to leave early. But the children of Paco Market held up a sign and chanted, “Vice President, Stay,” so he stayed and watched them perform. Check out how the market was restored. Lots of natural and artificial lighting and cross ventilation.
Hard to believe it was once completely filled with garbage. Imagine all this feeding into the Pasig River?! The newly rehabilitated market not only got a physical makeover. The tenants and nearby residents were taught and trained about proper water and waste disposal.
Watch Anna Coren’s report on the rehabilitation of Paco Market in CNN’s Eye on the Philippines…