I realize that I haven’t posted much about Manila.
It’s probably because I’m not very happy here. Honestly, Manila isn’t bad. It’s not really Manila’s fault that I’m not happy. The annoyances here are things that I should be able to live with, with less complaining. What’s bothering me most is that I’m not working yet. I expected to be working about six months ago. I should just enjoy being a lady of leisure while I can, but it gets boring (and expensive!).
I’m lucky to have friends that I spend time with. I’m very happy with the relationships I’m building. I hope that my part-time status at work will help me to maintain their friendships.
Manila really has a lot to offer. It’s a very big city, with a metro population of 11,855,975 (source: Wikipedia), and many city skylines. Since space in Manila is limited a lot of buildings go up. The architecture here is creative, awe-inspiring, and beautiful. Unfortunately we don’t see much of that from our one-story house, but when we drive around, or end up in a high-rise it’s so much fun to look at. The view at night on New Year’s Eve from the helipad of a 57-story building was breathtaking (figuratively and literally – especially for someone as afraid of heights as me).
Food! There is very good food here. Unfortunately I haven’t found a lot of Filipino food that I like. I do, however, enjoy Chicken Adobo and Lumpia (their version of the Spring Roll). The funny thing is that the best Filipino food I had was in San Jose, Costa Rica from a Filipino friend that we knew there. There’s so much other cuisine to enjoy here. We’ve found great Thai, Chinese, American, and Tex-Mex (this is a new discovery, and is actually about an hour and a half out of Manila near Angeles. And only John has had it, and he just had it today. He said we will be going back to that place. Most American expats (especially those from Texas) will tell you that legit Tex-Mex outside of the US doesn’t really exist). We’ve eaten lots of places, and I couldn’t think of them all. This is one thing that Costa Rica can’t hold a candle to versus Manila. And I wouldn’t say that about much.
Filipinos. The Filipinos are so nice, and very helpful. Sometimes Americans are overwhelmed by the helpfulness. While American customer service is generally pretty good (minus all American airlines (except Sun Country – they’re always awesome)), it pales in comparison to Filipino customer service. And it ALWAYS comes with a smile and a “mam-sir.”
Non-Filipinos. I truly have some great friends here. This is usually the case with expats. We know that even though our in-person friendships may be short, it’s worth it to put yourself out there. I’m very lucky here to know some awesome people. It’s a very interesting group of people. I’m able to be as mature or immature as I want to be.
Sunshine. I love the sun. It gets cloudy and it rains a lot during monsoon season, but the sun is bright and warm (and hot!) in Manila. If you like sunshine you’d be happy here.
Singing. There’s lots of singing here. I love that I can sing in the grocery isles and no one looks at me (well, they look at me because I’m white, but that’s different, and belongs in a different blog post where I complain).
I’m realizing that I could spend a lot of time writing about why I like/love/enjoy Manila. But y’all don’t need a novella on it.
If you’re gonna be in Asia – or you just can’t stay away from us please stop by. We love visitors, and I think you’d love Manila.