Colon street vendors’ Christmas wish: A spot back on the sidewalk
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Trodis Edanio, 66, has been selling gift wrappers and bags every Christmas in the last 30 years.
Edanio, who hails from Barangay Tisa, used to sell socks, towels and hair accessories along Colon Street until she was asked to relocate to the Tabo Sa Banay at F. Gonzales Street in Barangay Ermita on September 28.
Although the Tabo sa Banay is a haven of retail finds in downtown Cebu, Edanio says it has not translated to sales for her.
She only earns a daily profit of P20 when she used to earn a daily profit of P100.
Edanio has six children and several grandchildren; some of them she still financially helps.
With her profit down by 80%, she was worried that she will not be able to provide for her family.
So when Cebu City’s night market reopened in Colon Street last November 29, Edanio was elated hoping that she will earn the P100 daily profit and even more this holiday season.
“Kun wala ning night market guol unta akong Pasko,” said Edanio.
(Without this night market, my Christmas would have been sad.)
This is a temporary respite, however, as the night market will end on February 2020.
After that, she is fearful of her livelihood again.
This is why her Christmas wish this year is to regain her spot in selling along the street.
Edanio was one of the 200 street vendors who was relocated to Ermita’s Tabo sa Banay in line with the order from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to local government units to clear their streets of sidewalk vendors and relocate them to a suitable vending place.
Like Edanio, 38-year-old Joseph Al Veloso is hoping that the Cebu City Government will hear their plea of bringing the vendors back to the Colon Street.
Veloso, a father of two, used to sell pillows and pillowcases along Colon Street.
Because he was not one of the 200 vendors who was transferred to the Tabo sa Banay, Veloso has stopped selling since October 2019.
Life has been a challenge since then.
“Lisud ang kinabuhi. Halos walay makaon ang akong pamilya. May na lang ni ang night market kay naa mi ma-kwarta para Christmas ug New Year,” said Veloso.
(Life has been difficult. My family almost had nothing to eat. At least the night can market can help us earn money for Christmas and New Year.)
It has been a difficult adjustment period for Veloso as he used to enjoy a vibrant business activity for four years along Colon Street.
He has placed his faith in God so he can provide for his family, including his wife and two children.
“Akong wish kay makabalik unta mi sa among pwesto. Hatagan unta mig maayong lawas sa Ginoo,” he said.
(My wish is that we can go back to our spot. May the Lord bless us with good health.)
Edanio and Veloso make up at least 300 vendors, who now are selling at the Cebu City night market, which is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. from November 29 to February 2020.
They know that the night market will end in three months.
But for now, they are grateful.
They can feel the lively atmosphere, vibrant interaction with customers, and the opportunity to sell along Colon Street again. / celr
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