This guy has balls. Fish balls, that is.

Juanito Co, fish ball vendor.
Mang Junito's motorized cart
Mang Junito’s motorized cart

by Kyla Camille | via |

Juanito Co is a familiar fixture in the BF Parañaque-Aguirre area especially when on the lookout for a cart to fill your tusok-tusok cravings.

If you go to the local Puregold grocery or hear mass at the Presentation of the Child Jesus church, then you’ve probably seen his cart at the bridge area.

As I have noticed him there in our almost weekly Sunday mass schedule, I decided to take a shot at interviewing him for this feature on SouthofMetro. And, yes, including buying twenty pesos worth of fish balls!

Mang Juanito has been at his trade for more than 17 years. His fave and most lucrative spot is the Aguirre bridge. He claims to have the best-tasting fish balls in the village.

Kahit mo mayayaman, pumaparada po dito tuwing hapon at bumibili ng mga bag ng fish balls, said Mang Juanito (Even the rich park here to buy their fish balls by the bag)

This device keeps him company, and his customers in the mood to buy.
This device keeps him company, and his customers in the mood to buy.

A former tailor, Mang Juanito said his age made him abandon his former trade. “Di ko na makita yung butas ng karayom,” confessed Co. As his eyes continued to fail him as a tailor, he decided to put up a fishball cart. He attached a motorcycle to the cart and boom! He lives in Fourth Estate subdivision, and thus, the motorcycle allows him easy and fast access to his place of business.

What's cooking?
What’s cooking?

Does he earn his keep?

More than enough, Mang Juanito says. His two kids are now grown-up and he has less expenses. He even intimated that all his siblings are abroad and that he still is independent despite their “padala.”

What keeps him company for the long hours is not a transistor radio like what most old vendors bring. He has his own downloads on a device connected to a speaker. How cool is that? But wait, he plays tunes from the good old days. Now, that is what sets his rich customers in the mood to buy, eh?

When you’re passing by the Aguirre area and craving for some fish balls, stop by Mang Juanito’s cart. He’s open till just about the sun sets. Whatever time that is.

Tara na!