GUIGUINTO, BULACAN, PHILIPPINES — It isn’t everyday that you’d encounter an abandoned train station. With the current situation of the mass transport systems in Manila, one might wonder what caused the closure of the old train stations & railways that were built during the Spanish Colonial Period.
I was out on a morning walk before suddenly deciding to buy fresh produce from a nearby market in Cruz, Guiguinto. As my camera was with me, I opted to pass by the lone train station on a vacant lot beside the market to practice taking pictures.
I used to live in a subdivision near this market, with the train station clearly visible from the windows of my former bedroom. I’ve paid no attention back then.
When I first stepped inside, the morning sun was dancing on the Spanish brick walls. No doors, no windows, just bricked partitions. Although weary with age, the walls are still remarkably well-intact and has stood up to the forces of nature and human intervention quite well. Except for the graffiti artists, metal thieves, and dog feces.
The Guiguinto train station was part of the now-defunct Northrail line of Ferrocarril de Manila y Dagupan, the first railway system in the Philippines built during the Spanish Colonial Period (1890s). The Guiguinto train station is next to the Balagtas-Cabanatuan terminus, Bigaa (Balagtas) train station. The company temporarily stopped operations during the World War II due to extensive damages to the train facilities and right-of-way. The Northrail line, including Guiguinto train station, has permanently closed during the 1980s.
Rebuilding the Northrail line up to Pampanga, that includes several stations in Bulacan, has commenced in 2009. After all, mass transport is part of nation building. This however, has come to a halt in 2011 and was forgotten since then. Thus, leaving behind unfinished constructions and a regret for wasted taxpayer’s money.
Now, back to my true purpose for going to the market: what to eat for breakfast. How would you know if it’s a fresh catch?