Do you need diplomas, birth and marriage certificates? No problem, you can have one in Recto Avenue of Manila in a just a few minutes for an affordable fee. In fact, almost all important documents required by schools, companies and government agencies can be purchased in the vicinity of Recto. From thesis to affidavits, driver’s license and passport, you can easily acquire them without the hassle of waiting for days and paying costly processing fees.
Pirated VCD and DVD copies of local and Hollywood films also abound in the area. The best collection of memorable TV and film series in the country can be bought not in the classy malls of the metropolis but in the dingy alleys in Recto and Quiapo. Kids can also buy their favorite computer games here.
Near-perfect imitation of designer clothes, bags, shoes and cellphone accessories are also found near Recto.
Indeed, the area surrounding Recto is the fake capital of the country. It deserves to be recognized as the national center for counterfeit products. But because we Filipinos love to brag our achievements and even our follies to the world, we might as well try to boost our claim that we have the fake capital of the world.
This would not be a difficult task since we can point out that the infamous Recto Avenue is very near to the Malacañang Palace, the official residence and office of the President of the Philippine Republic. It would astound Ripley’s and perhaps even Guinness that just a few meters away from vendors selling fake documents is also a fake president with a fake mandate and a very insincere smile pretending to lead the country.
We can entice tourists to visit Recto, Mendiola and Malacañang Palace: the only place in the world where you can find the biggest trading ground of fake goods thriving too close near the nation’s seat of power presently occupied by a sham president.
We can surprise even more our visitors by explaining that in the midst of this fantastic lawlessness is the university belt, the biggest concentration of universities in the country. Churches also surround the area.
Is it odd that everyday students go to school, people flock to churches and government policies are drafted by a bogus president in the fake capital of the country? Well, not if you’re in the Philippines.