Manila Weekend

Fujin By Fujin, 10th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>Philippines>Manila & Around

This talks about my recent visit to Manila and my thoughts and observations of the city

Manila Weekend

Project: Live

Unlike the past two years' ambitious breakaways to Palawan and Hong Kong, this year's escapade was a spontaneous and quick 2-day stop in the Philippines' concrete jungle, Manila. If not for the Ocean Park ticket bargains we got a hold of at super discounted rates (thanks to Kris by the way), the musketeers wouldn't have enjoyed the wet weekend getaway.

Apart from visiting this big aquarium that lies in the metro, I fulfilled a life-long quest to explore a fraction of this by navigating its teeming streets through various kinds of public transportation. Yes, dear reader, I am a newb (rather totally scared) at this in Manila - I can get lost there! But because I survived Hong Kong's busy streets riding the MTR, city flyer, buses, and a lot of tormenting walking, I figured bravely strolling in this capital will give me answers as to how many survive here.

Alas, Manila. It is indeed a city of extremes where, as quoted from Arlene Chai, the poor are very poor and the rich are very rich; true enough with what I perceived while riding the MRT, jeepneys, taxis, and a lot of walking again. It was good that we took the train from GMA Kamuning to Taft, as this gave me an overview of the bustling metro.

Take for instance the stretch of Roxas Boulevard. I was at awe admiring the ginormous, towering buildings backdropping the boulevard's eastern skyline. Living pompously with the view of Manila Bay from every glass window of luxurious condominiums standing parallel to it must be oh so breathtaking! How I would love to watch sunsets from there every clear day.

The baywalk on its adjacent side is adorned with palm trees and city lights, adding up to the natural beauty of the bay. I bet it would have been jam-packed with people anticipating a short spectacle of the sea's waves and colors the sunset would portray if it were a clear day. Instead, because of the gloomy weather brought about by hanging habagat, I saw a few, most with tattered clothes and barefooted, lying along its benches and sea walls and drenched from the drizzling day. I must say they have the most authentic view. They do not only see the beauty, but also the wrath both the sea and city can bring.

Manila is swarmed by a sea of people pouring in from the hinterlands and from the country's other 7,100 islands - all hoping for a better life the metropolis promises, but I have never been a big fan of chasing dreams in bright lights and big cities being the probinsiyana girl that I am. I remember scouting for jobs in my youth, unchecking Manila among my choice of job destinations on job search websites. It was always my last choice. It was not because I was anxious about sacrificing the comforts of home; I was even able to survive and enjoyed years of working in Ilocos Norte with the independent living. Maybe because of my practical thinking that living somewhere that entails high cost of living could be a pain in the a** that I was lucky enough to land on a dreamt-of job that did not require me to leave home and my family.

I am lucky enough, so far.

We left the hotel the next day with heavy rains, making it difficult to get a ride to the terminal. A soaking wet, barefoot lad carrying foldable umbrellas for sale offered to find a taxi cab for us. He scampered despite the downpour, got back minutes later with the cab and begged enough amount of money in return.

He, among others like him who would risk everything he can, will do everything to survive the jungle of dreams that is Manila. This, I am yet to surpass.


Manila, Manila Ocean Park, Philippine, Philippine Tourism Authority, Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Tourism

Meet the author

author avatar Fujin
I am currently working as a financial analyst in a manufacturing company. Traveling, cooking and blogging are my past time hobbies.

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