• Pao Vergara

Old barbershops



Manila Cathedral, Cabildo Street, Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines

Photo by Mara Rivera on Unsplash


Old barbershops are the Metro’s unofficial museums, containing traces of why Old Manila was “the pearl of the Orient”: photos of treelined boulevards and trams, old cups from cafés, odd Portuguese, German, and Japanese vinyl records. Advertisements annoy when they are current, but are endearing as mementos of yesteryears, as the Coca-cola ads from the 1920s show. Filipinos are often accused of short memories, but maybe the jury glances but does not see. Perhaps greed kills memory, and the loss should be attributed more to the people handling highway funds, signing building permits, and chairing commissions.


Pao is a creative based in Metro Manila whose works have appeared in Youngstar PH, ANC-X, Scout Mag PH, Northern and Southern Living, and Art Plus Magazine. In truth, all Pao wants is to become a cat whisperer. (This one's for the Fajardos who once lived in Sta. Lucia.)