Friday, May 17

Buhay Maynila!

I've been here in Manila for almost 2 years now. I must admit at first I was a little bit skeptical as to whether I should continue my plans to work here. The lifestyle is a so much different with what I'm used to back in Negros. Anyways, here's a list of things I've observed in my stay here so far:
  1. Riding the MRT can be a nightmare. I remember my first rush-hour ride on the MRT and it was really scary. People were squeezing themselves in between lines in the hopes of catching a ride on the next arriving train. I don't mind the squeezing tight or some people being douche bags and skipping through the lines, it's the occasional sweaty passenger that really gets to me. Imagine yourself on your way to work when suddenly a really sweaty, stinky guy stands beside you inside the train. The train car is jam-packed with people and you have no other choice but to endure close proximity with his sweaty arms for the next 15 minutes. Later when you go down at your stop, the back or side of your shirt is stained with sweat, and the sad part is it's not even your own.
  2. Everyone seems to be in a hurry all the time. I fondly remember back in Dumaguete, there were days I just relaxed and took a leisurely stroll down the boulevard, or walked around the campus for the purpose of just chilling and passing the time. You can't do that here in Manila. Even going to the mall or watching a movie can be very rushed.
  3. There are so many, many, many people. Every day I am one of the thousands of people who travel along EDSA. Some ride a bus, some ride shuttle vans, some (like me) ride the MRT, some ride taxis, and some take their cars or motorcycles. Day and night the major streets are filled with people. During weekends the malls are packed with people trying to relax and take their mind away from their busy work schedules. Back in Dumaguete, the only time I get to see more than a hundred people was during Founders Day or Buglasan, or any other major event. Here I get to see hundreds upon hundreds of people every day.
  4. People's affinity towards lines. I have never before been so keen with falling in line in my entire life up until now. Lines for the MRT, lines for the shuttle vans, lines for movie tickets, lines for when entering the theater, lines for buying food, lines for groceries, there are so many things to fall in line for that I've gotten so used to it. Of the 1 hour I spend travelling to work, 45 minutes is spent falling in line. This is related of course to item #3; because of so many people, the tendency is there have to be lines for almost everything. Even buying your favorite buko juice.
There are other things that I've observed, but so far these are the four most prominent things I can remember with my life here in the Metro. After all it's still a little over a year since I've been here, so I'm sure there are still a lot of things to find out.