When I was sixteen years old I had nothing but excitement to finally experience what it felt like to live in Manila for a very long time. All my life before I’ve only been in this super small town and I hadn’t really been elsewhere so you could imagine how astonished I was for a significant change in my life.
The first few months turned out to be a constant amazement for me to witness the city and learned the dynamics of how people live there. I was happy to be living on my own without any parental restriction whatsoever.
However that magical feeling only lasted for a couple of months. The city that I was dying to live in ended up the city that I would come to hate.
I think it was in my second year of college that it did dawn me how ugly Manila is. It was like looking at a person from afar and you thought he was good looking so you were intrigued to have a glimpse of him but then when he got closer you realized how wrong you were in the first place. That’s the simplest way I would explain Manila to everyone.
Manila was over polluted, over populated, dangerous, and disgusting. With only a drizzle of 30 seconds the whole city would become a traffic jam going to hell. With only 30 seconds of walk in the streets could cause you to sweat a three days worth of exercise. And nope I’m not exaggerating. I lived in Manila for 5 and half years so I basically have facts to support my arguments.
But regardless of these dilemmas laid out in front of me, I had no choice but to stay for another 3 and half years because of college. I would remember going to school early in the morning cursing because I was already upset just 5 minutes that I got out of my dormitory. Sure there were a lot of advantages that you could point out by living in Manila like easy access to the malls and cool night life but you could only feel great about those things for a while because they were nothing but artificial. Next thing you knew you were too used going to the same place over and over again.
I am aware that Metro Manila is a vast place and there are still elite places to hang out such as Makati City or Taguig City. I wasn’t able to totally experience to live for a day or two in these cool places and the fact that I only got to stay at a bad spot in Metro Manila could give a crack about my statements but Makati or Taguig weren’t a good representatives of samples to draw a conclusion about Metro Manila. I believe if you’re going to see Metro Manila as a whole you can easily notice how bad it really is.
Now that I am entirely abandoning Manila, I don’t think I would totally miss the place. I know I grew a lot by just staying there for five years but Manila isn’t really a good place for me. I am the kind of person who doesn’t want to be stuck up in a single place and wants to keep moving and explore so leaving Manila for me is such a huge relief. A lot of young people dream to live in Manila and I understand them for that. I mean, I’ve been there. The chapter of my life in that place is now closing. And thank you Manila for all the contributions to my learning and growth.