Manic Manila

There are those that would endorse Metro Manila to you for whatever reasons. I have to confess to not being a fan of this collection of cities personally, and I’m far from alone in that sentiment. I don’t want to sound negative, but with so many problems, you can’t fail to see it.

There are many parts of the metropolis that may not be considered attractive. There are a lot of poorly maintained buildings, dirty, polluted with mounds of litter despite daily garbage collections, sometimes smelly with awful traffic chaos, ankle breaking holes on walkways, some big enough to consume a large mammal, and to me, it’s a place that doesn’t have the well-being of its citizens in mind very much at all.

For some time now, I’ve been observing a lot of new buildings which they say are good signs for the economy. Many are office and commercial premises as well as warehousing units, residential units from condominiums to new gated villages. All these have been going on for awhile, before the current administration.

A Harrowing Experience

Living in Metro Manila, or at least some parts of it can be a harrowing experience. It reeks of selfishness and you definitely get the impression that the people don’t care about their environment, their neighbours, or mankind in general, and in its busiest spots, it’s every man for himself. But despite these things, Metro Manila is somewhere you have to see for as many good reasons as bad ones.

Just don’t expect to be overly impressed. The good thing to say is that it has vibrancy and life that never stops. That doesn’t appeal to all but it is something that some would enjoy. But to make sense of what you are seeing, you have to know a little about what Metro Manila is made up of.

In short, it is made up of everyone and everything. Bizarrely, for many, it is a city of dreams. People from all over the Philippines come to Metro Manila in the mistaken belief that they have greater opportunities, and they will make their fortune. The problem is that there are millions with the same dream, and the result is a dirty, overpopulated, underemployed, manic, undisciplined, crazy place with every vice imaginable.

Malls Here, There and Everywhere

Malls are the temple of most Filipinos. Malls are being built everywhere. It seems no matter how many they build, they are never short of people who come to shop, eat or often just to hang around. Malls are a sanctuary for many, and to be fair there are some fantastic malls in Metro Manila.

So, what does any of these mean to the visitor? I’m telling you that this city isn’t worth a look, you may think. Well, that is not what I’m saying at all. I am saying that as you take in Metro Manila, you will encounter much of the problems, poverty, traffic chaos, over-crowdedness as well as excessive noise, poor services,stress and general madness, that is Manila. But it’s still a place worth the experience.

Much of the tourist brochures are pretty uninspiring when it comes to offering suggestions on places to go, and things to see and do. Much of it is a let-down. But the best fun is away from all that. The many markets whilst chaotic, often are great places to look around. Many of the eateries are nothing to get excited about, but if you’re adventurous enough to try a few out then you do find some good ones. This is also where you can interact with locals who would be delighted to see you trying Filipino food.

Let this site, together with its contributors, guide you a little as to how to maximize your stay safely and enjoyably. Manila is definitely manic, but as you go down those side streets and taste a little of the madness, it may seem overwhelming, but it’s well worth doing. Don’t get carried away, try small steps into the world of the Filipino. It really isn’t like anywhere you have ever seen before.

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Filed under Impressions, Manila, Philippines

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