Metro Manila, the Positive Post Some Desire

Blindfolded writerAllow me to begin on a serious note. Criticisms have not been much really and I could possibly be accused of making too much of it. But after having posts deleted from a group and comments from people (never directly to me) with some complaining my posts have a negative tone and requesting my posts not be allowed into certain groups, well this is my simple answer to you.

Also, to a very unpleasant expat group that objected to me because somebody who blogs for no money is apparently spamming. As it’s the internet, I thought it was normal practice to share your blog. This blog I write for free and I have not even earned a cup of coffee nor did I get a doughnut for anything I have written. I do it because I love to write and because I want to see something good come out of it one way or another.

I also ask that group of people who believe I am doing their country down to actually read the posts and not make judgments after the first paragraph. Also, remember I am writing about Metro Manila predominantly. After I get to spend a day on the beach lying with other fat whities like myself then maybe I will say it’s great. As nobody is inviting me to paradise, I write about Metro Manila. I invite anyone to correct me when I’m wrong, and said that from my very first pieces.

However, to emphasize my point, I will give you what you want for today if only to show the ridiculous nature of your claims.

Metro Manila, Paradise on Earth

When I wake in the morning, often awaken by happy dogs locked in cages, and screaming, lovable, adoring children whose ever smiling fathers are blasting music from a tricycle, I often think how great life is for 12 million lucky people.

As I open the window and fill my lungs with smog, I often say to myself, thank you lord for giving me the opportunity to be in a place where anywhere will seem like paradise after. I’m lucky just like the other 12 million happy smiling inhabitants of the metropolis.

Not wanting to miss any of the excitement of a thriving buzzing city, I step out where happy adoring locals are shouting out “hey Joe” and laughing at me simply because I’m foreign. Delightful and makes me feel so good to be alive.

As I skip down the road happily, playing a game of “don’t fall down that bloody hole”, I enjoy seeing the piles of garbage that only go to show that the good people of Manila have empty bins in their houses, and share the contents of their lives with all of us.

It’s time to catch the bus. I go to the smiling sari-sari store owner on route to get some personal requirements and I’m quaintly told how they cannot change a 500 peso note. But still, it reminds me how lucky I am to have a 500 peso note for them not to be able to serve me due to the simple, adorable characteristic of not knowing that businesses actually operate using money.

So I merrily wait as 12 buses pass me by full, and eventually manage to catch one that has a space on the dashboard for me. I chat with locals whose breath and armpits are in my face, where else can you be so close to the people who are so accepting of my armpits and arse in their face, too.

Whilst traveling with my head lodged in an armpit, I notice a downpour which refreshes the air and brings down the smog; it’s going to be a lovely day. As I step off the bus into 2 feet of water, I have the opportunity to soak my feet.

Even more delightful, I then have an opportunity to be bounced off a polluting stainless steel jeepney, and enjoy all the cultural significance of being run down by a vehicle with so much history behind it. By now, I’m full of the spirit of living in a thriving city and heartily smile at the children who charmingly ask me for money. I notice other little darlings who selflessly pick up all the plastic to keep the city clean. Where else can you see so many little abandoned children happily trying to survive? Life is good and I feel so lucky as I am not in the shoes that they don’t have.

Smell the Coffee

I was going to go on as I was enjoying myself for a while but I think I’ve made my point. Before offense is taken, please note this is a spoof post and none of it is meant. It’s just trying to say that if I’m going to write about one of the most overcrowded capitals in the world where poverty is rife and that it is that way due to controlling interests of the elite whom local people give power to then it’s not going to be easy to say solely positive things. I don’t know what’s outside others’ windows but I’m in Metro Manila, and that’s what I see every day, how do I not mention it or skip past it.

I am searching out positives and I always offer explanations for some of the crazier things that go on in this collection of cities. My purpose is to do good by reporting what for me is the truth. Anyone is welcome to challenge me and if you’re a member of the elite or have a certain position in society then I guess life is more positive.

I am fully aware of history and know there are many good things to do here. What I am eventually going to promote are some of the more novel and interesting things about Metro Manila. That won’t come quickly as I’ve only posted 23 pieces to date, this being number 24. I wish people would read the about section of this blog where I explain that this is primarily designed to introduce foreigners into a difficult to comprehend culture and make some attempts to give a little reasoning for some of it. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing and I have expressed that this is written to guide outsiders through culture shock and help them accept and adapt as well as promote mutual understanding. I still vehemently deny the accusations of just a very few. I just thought this was the right time to say it.

I am not a travel agent. I am not trying to book people into resorts and get paid for it. I have no reason to lie, I just write and I do not only say negative things. I believe the few critics I have had, had only read selective pieces where the subject matter was not meant to be positive, but simply an account.

A Filipino just today decided to blame me for all the wrongs of the British Empire, too. I had to remind him I wasn’t there, it wasn’t me. Doubt he got it though. In other words, I feel things with some are getting distorted. I ask people to read all my posts before they rush to judgment. But above all, please don’t ask me to not see much of what is happening whether good or bad, it’s not my fault.

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13 Comments

Filed under Culture, Impressions, Manila, Philippines

13 responses to “Metro Manila, the Positive Post Some Desire

  1. Dave

    I get that “Hey Joe” nonsense all the time, on several occasions, if the guy is with several buddies, I would walk up to him and ask him ” Do You Know Me”, and if by chance he understands and can speak english, he will answer “I don’t think so, why?” I respond, “How did you know my name?’. If any one of his buddies has a couple of brain cells, they will catch what i am doing and start to laugh. Usually the guy who made the remark will just sit there with a blank, jaw dropping look on his face.

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  2. Brilliant it sums up a normal day in Manila spot on.

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  3. David

    Interesting articles. I don’t mind proof reading the grammar and structure of your posts before they go live if you want!

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    • Hahahaha. The irony is my proofreader and editor is a Filipina who speaks better English than me. I have no idea if she makes mistakes but i always insist that English and not US spelling is used. I will tell her what you said. She’s a grammar Nazi so she won’t be happy :). Me as the writer, im self confessed dumb when it comes to how to write English properly. State school education maybe 🙂
      Thanks for the kind words though Dave and your input is more than appreciated.

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  4. To me “hey Joe” is no kind of insult because they don’t know me, but are greeting me while not saying “hey asshole or hey dickhead.”

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    • Yes its not meant insultingly thats for sure. I sometimes get a little miffed as its an assumption of being American. However i soon come to realise that in general its now a term for all foreigners and i don’t get so sniffy about it anymore.Not saying anything wrong with being thought of as American, just a slight annoyance as i’m not. I think its not about GI Joe anymore.But i still say “my name is not Joe”. Trying to hang on to my identity perhaps 🙂

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  5. Ryan

    I was called chingchongchang by a kid while I was walking around the Acropolis, ‘Hello Money’ by a tea picker in Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka, ‘Hello One Dollar’ by slum kids in Siem Reap, Cambodia and ‘Ni Hao’ by some random Iranian dude on the ski slopes north of Tehran. I am not Chinese. I am not even East Asian. I swear I want to have a shirt printed saying that I am not Chinese. I have to make it clear in Kazakhstan, Maldives and even other Filipinos that I have no Chinese blood.

    So yes, much ado about ‘Hey Joe’ to be honest.

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