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“Is Manila really bad as locals say?”

Reporting in the blog, a foreigner who spent six months in Manila revealed what generally Filipino natives themselves think of Manila as a residence.

Manila by Goggle

Mr Stephen Fletcher asked, “Is Manila really as bad as Filipinos say?”

Manila like every city in the world has its problems, it is overcrowded, with many living in poverty, has a woefully inadequate public transportation and road network . But is Manila really as bad as people say ?No. Manila is a vibrant cosmopolitan city which welcomes visitors with open arms and a smile. The people are some of the friendliest and most welcoming in the world. Who will often go out of their way to help or assist. I have never felt threatened or in danger when walking the streets at any hour of the day or night.

Yes the road system is terrible , with such gems like the Malate one way system, which rather than improving traffic flow, funnels traffic down the narrower and narrower roads, which are already full of jeepneys! Till they are forced to stop at an intersection because no one will give way, at which time it becomes a contest to see who has the loudest horn! The road system has for it’s crowning glory EDSA. Which for most of the day, has vehicles reaching the dizzying speeds of 5–10kmh, and are shrouded in a strange blue grey haze of exhaust fumes. ( black if you are next to a provincial bus).

The MRT and LRT is an alternative and does provide an incredibly cheap way to get around the city, if you don’t have any luggage, and don’t mind being squeezed aboard like a sardine in a tin. But it’s a great way to meet people, and a great way to get around the city to visit the malls or markets. But just remember to make your return journey before 9pm, for it is at this hour just as the malls are closing and staff and customers are forced to depart, that they find that the MRT and LRT has also closed! Forcing the travelling public to play the exclusive Manila game of hunt the taxi. During the day you can’t walk more than 20m without a taxi pulling alongside trying to tempt you in. At 9pm finding an empty taxi is like big game hunting, you know they exist somewhere, but are so incredibly elusive, probably all stuck on EDSA.

If you can’t find a taxi, you could find yourself lured into one of Manilas many bars , restaurants, and karaoke establishments. Here if you are lucky will find live entertainment being provided by one of Manila’s finest bands. Enjoy an evening of great music, a few beers and a meal for around 1500php (which is significantly less than the price of a couple of beers in London.)

Yes Manila has its problems, but it is these problems and the way that the people cope with them, which makes Manila the city that people love, and return to time after time.