Those who study in any of the universities at the so-called University Belt do not just know where Recto is but also what it is there for.
Recto is a place of contradictions. It can give you super low prices for the second-hand college books that they sell. And they do sell a lot - like a lot! The entire street is filled with lines upon lines and towers upon towers of pre-loved books. You can find books on chemistry, biology, accountancy, management, finance, law, even novels.
I remember buying some of my Stephen King novels there back in the day also my Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High novels.
Recto is a place of contradictions.
These are great reasons for Recto to remain open to students and bookworms. But there is one other reason why Recto is quite famous - and it is a not-so-pleasant one.
Recto University is called as such because Pinoy college students go there to buy essays, theme papers, theses, and even dissertations. Those who want to have an instant college diploma or transcript of records could also buy them there.
This is one ugly thing about that place and, yes, an ugly part of Pinoy culture. Many Manila mayors have come and gone, one was even referred to as Dirty Harry because he did not have patience for rascals, yet Recto University had remained.
I did not even have the heart to take photographs of those who made such fake documents. I feared for my safety 'coz they were so many. I do not know how long they would remain there I am just wishing that one day, someday, Recto would just be a haven for bibliophiles and nothing more.
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E.S. Villamor has made a career in writing for a decade now. Her online business - GIML (Gabriela Isabel & Miguel Lucas) Publishing started in 2014. She advocated for women's rights and was once enamored with imparting financial literacy through training and blogs but she is now focused on propagating all things Filipino. This site is also being groomed as a rich homeschooling resource.