The Story of Colon Street


Today, I dropped by good ole Colon. I ordered a bowl of Chowking’s Lomi and I downed the hot serving while taking pictures of the magnificent human drama unfolding just below me (I was on the second floor).

One college professor told me that Colon is one long telenovela. He said that if we just try to observe the dynamics of Colon, we will understand that it is telling a story. I didn’t get what he was trying to say, then.

But as I sat there and observed, I began to slowly understand. And before I could finish my Lomi, I knew what he was trying to say.

Colon tells a very wonderful story. But if you’re too busy (or too paranoid) to stop and gaze, you won’t even know where the first page is.

Although Colon, strictly speaking, is just a street (the oldest in the Philippines, if you must know), the name can be used to refer to the entire downtown area of Cebu. So, to most Cebuanos, ‘Colon’ has become sort of a district and not just a street.

3 by mycebuphotoblog.

A busy street in ‘Colon’.


At the center of it all is Metro Gaisano. This ‘small giant’ survived the influx of modern day malls and can safely be considered the most successful ‘stand alone’ supermarket in Cebu.

4 by mycebuphotoblog.

Presenting! The cast of Colon’s story:


We have the friendly bagger from Metro.


We have the piña vendor blocking the pedestrian lanes. LOL


Then, there’s the occasional visitor who can disappear into the crowd.


And those who try but can’t. Hehehe.


You have the gun-weilding friendlies.


Then there’s the sidewalk vendors and their customers.

10 by mycebuphotoblog.

You can also see the visitors who own half of the appliance centers in the area. Hehehe.

11 by mycebuphotoblog.

Also, you get to see the kids who’d rather play in the middle of the road.


There’s the ‘travelling salesman’.


The skaterboy.


And the countless faces that tell different but interconnected stories about life in Cebu.


The next time you visit Colon, look around, absord, observe. Then see if you can read Her story.


31 thoughts on “The Story of Colon Street

  1. Colon Street is lively, full of life! I was there with my sisters, we ordered pancit & siopaos at the Visayan Restaurant (take out), it was very good!:-)

  2. This was my birth place, Colon St. my parents used to have a carenderia during the time when infrastures were built around these areas. i believed they were squatting then. I was made, born, and grew up for few years till we moved to Hipodromo.

    I had a very bad experience the last time I was watching a movie-that movie house used to be 1st run, I dozed off quickly coz of the heat outside was exhausting, when I woke up the sight of what I saw was despicable. Hope it has improved now.

  3. COLON ROCKS MATE.I was once a student studying at ANS and every afternoon after school i and 30 or so of my classmates would walk all the way to COLON to catch a jeep home.It was an awesome sight looking thousands of students from different school congregate in one place and disappear in a few minutes.

  4. Colon is the place to be! I remember a really small cafe in Colon back in the 80s named “El Tesoro” Their spaghetti and arroz caldo were my favorites. Hay!

  5. Pastilan diri man gyud na ang akong istambayan sa una. Laking Colon intawon ko kay taga Bonifacio man ko magdako.

  6. Landmarks nga wala na sa Colon ron. See how many you can remember and add: Gazini Plaza, Gaw, DYDR radiostation, International Kitchenette, Star theater, President theater, First Tea House, the old USIS, Limchin Trading, Statefair Restaurant, that Indian Emporium (I forgot the name) where the Metro Gaisano now stands, Lane theater, another theater where the Gaisano South is, and another one near the Cosmos Funeral Parlor, ManilaBank and yes.. El Tesoro.. he,he (my age is showing). Nice unta to ug may pictures nga na preserve. Walang internet kasi noon.

  7. hi billy, wow, you remember El Tesoro! Ang spaghetti, peche-peche ug arroz caldo ra akong mahinumduman.. We had to enter a timepiece-shop and go up a narrow staircase to get to the cafe. Pirme lang gyud to puno. My mom loved their dugo-dugo with puto ug arroz caldo. I could still point where in Colon El Tesoro used to be.. 🙂

    1. Hi! Totally enjoyed wallowing in nostalgia. I have fond memories of El Tesoro but that would be for another post. Your description “enter a timepiece shop and go up a narrow staircase to get to the cafe” brought back so many memories. Anyway I just wanted to say that El Tesoro was technically not located at Colon St., but near enough. It was along Juan Luna St. near the corner of Manalili Street. Thanks for evoking the memories.

  8. ang ako fond memories sa colon kay nag revolve gyud sa metro colon ug wimpy’s pizza. hehehe. if dili ko palitan ug balloon sa sto. niño sauna, dritso mi sa foodstreet sa metro or wimpy’s pizza. hehehe

  9. Ley,

    Nindut na article ni da. Nalingaw ko but I am trying to recall the name of that fruit na yellow na baligya kuyog sa manga na hilaw sa imong photo! Unsay name ana oi kay lami kaayo na sya ituslob sa asin! Goodness, nag-panilap uroy ko ga-huna2x. Not atis! Not lumboy! Not orange! Not Pongkan or whatever…HELP! 🙂

    COLON – I remember back in my younger days, murag ang Colon mao jud ni atong shopping ground…How I used to traverse this street and enjoyed the departments stores like Gazini Plaza, Fairmart, Gaisano Main, Shoemart, Gaisano Metro, Plaza Fair and the small clothing bazaars that parallels Colon. Daghan sab kaayong sinehan diri…pero kuyaw sab kaayo ug reputation ang mga sinehan, ikaw makuyawan! 🙂

    Nalingaw ko gatan-aw sa police on motorcycles kay I had a very funny experience diha sa corner sa Metro! Ibutang ta lang na abtik kaayo na sila manakop diha ug mga jaywalkers…hehehe…

    VIVA COLON! Thanks Ley!

  10. sa college days pa, ang mga taga san jo naay pila ka units sa Gaisano Metro, which means, tambay didto pila ka oras kung walay klase, nya, tabo sa banay para sa shopping galore sa mga girls, then usahay, naay sinugba nga isda diha mahapon duol sa family appliance center, lami pod tu ba . . . .

  11. i have fond memories of colon before the malls came. i used to look forward going there, especially during christmas season. bibo kaayo tan-awon. and yes, a trip to colon was not complete without el tesoro- their fresh lumpia, peche-peche and dinuguan. it was always a treat! wala na diay el tesoro? have they moved somewhere? thanks for bringing back old memories ley!

  12. plaza fair, Gaw ug ang Rositas sa tumoy . . ang monding’s carenderia pod nga sikat kaayo sauna, ug sa katong wala pa ang SM, ang Ultra Vistarama ang kanunay puno kay nindot kaayo ang sounds sulod sa sinehan….:)

  13. i still had the t shirt that i bought in GAW way back 1993,
    ug kusog kau ko mopalit ug masi sa side vendors,
    kaon pod me sa Michael Resto (may kilid kilid diay to),
    ayy! kalame sa santol, can we name UV too

  14. Inday Myrna, thanks for mentioning the masi, paborito kaayo na nako, atbang ra sa akong eskuylahan. I used to tell the tendera to give me the inside ones ’cause the outer ones were exposed to the dust. LOL.

  15. ay sus, san jo girl bya ko. inig human klase sa hapon hapit dayon gaisano metro, mangaon dayon ug steam rice didto sa foodcourt unya adto sa silong mopalit dayon ug pakwan seeds aron sima-simaon sa jeep pauli kay sa talisay pa man mag-ulian. makahinumdum pa gyud ko sa mga konduktor didto dapit sa gaisano south magsige ug syagit ug “a-nilla, nilla” meaning minglanilla. magkatawa lagi ka magtan-aw sa mga pasahero nga bitad-bitaron sa mga konduktor hehehe. sa una, ang colon two-way pa na sya pero karon one-way na diba? unya di pa gyud tanan nga jeep makaagi, diba? naa pa ba ang brutos nga duol sa Gaw atong una? before ang mga Mall karon ang Gaw atong una mao pa to ang class nga tindahan. unya cg dayon ko pahangin sa fairmart, tan-aw tan-aw aron ingnon hehehe…………ayyy, memories. thanks for bringing back such good ones thru these pics. nagpaila lang gyud unsa na ko katiguwang hehehe

  16. Leylander,thanks for the memories.Let me include this famous meeting place for old timer like me.Vision theatre,Majestic theatre and its famous chinese restaurant.USIS(our flirting ground)oh boy ,how I missed this byone days.Count me as one of your fan,ilove your blog.
    Nang Becca of Brazil

  17. in fairness, this blog is very good! nako ang colon despite sa kasamok..hehehe…usahay lami na kaayo ipangtuklod nang mag-atang-atang sa dalan nga ikaw this blog..

    thanks to you.

  18. nice kaayo sir ley.. batang colon sad ko sauna, akong mama naay news stand gawas sa monding’s carenderia – it just so happen nga igsoon sila ni monding.. LOL!
    story ang show…nice, nice, nice! karon lang nako nabasahan 😛

  19. hi mam nicey. hehehe. asa gani nang monding sauna? ang akong dili malimtan nga restaurant diha kay kanang naa sa luyo sa metro gaisano. kanang gamay nga eskina duol sa gawasanan sa mga employees. sus kalami sa ginaling didto. hangtud karon, di pa gyud ko kalimot sa taste. dayon katong ngohiong house tupad sa sanjo. katong naay second floor. permi gyud mi didto sa akong parents sauna bata pa ko. hehe

  20. hi i’ve been in this place noong kumuha ako ng exam ko and i meet a lot of friends like kuya kim and kuya roldan hope to see them again kaso di ko alm kung andon pa sila kuya im was working @ freeman beside the gaisano main and kuya roldan working @ dew foam i don’t have any communication of them after i got my my registration for being an rn hope to see u guy’s again

  21. Dude! My Grandmother and Grandfather owns Gaw Mall! I still have the mug of our company! Man, this makes me remember those days…..

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