Monthly Archives: May 2016

BEFORE ABREEZA THERE WAS KOROKAN BAR

Everyone knows Abreeza in Davao City.
I doubt the youth of today remember Korokan Bar.

I am talking about Korokan Bar that used to be along Rizal Street, Davao City, in the late 70s, early 80s.

Does anyone remember Korokan Bar?
Does anyone remember the era of Korokan bar?
Does anyone remember the folk houses where “people folk each other”?

Korokan Bar was bombed at least twice.
A close family friend was shot 28 times as he was going home.
People like me used to have guns in our clutch bags.
My colleague Luz barely missed a shrapnel when a grenade exploded in front of our office.
A man was shot in cold blood in front of our office, in front of Lamplighter.
Nicaragdao.
My mother-in-law’s house was strafed at least once.

I am a 1975 graduate of the Davao City High school.
From UP Los Baños in 1979, my first job was as a financial analyst in Davao City. Our office was at the corner of Anda and Bonifacio Streets.
A block from Korokan Bar.

The area around Davao City High School was a dumping ground for “salvaged” bodies. Walking to to and from school, it was normal to see corpses in rigor mortis.
One “lapad” is the cost of one “kill” contract.
Going to General Santos, Kidapawan, and all these places I used to pass “cashpoints.” They did not accept checks.
I could never tell whether they were military, NPA, or MNLF.

That was 30 years ago…

Korokan Bar is gone.

Today, we have Abreeza.

Thank God.