Baguio vs. Manila
Trip Start May 15, 2010
15Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
University of the Philippines Baguio, Baguio Residence Hall
The air is fresh and cool, the food is inexpensive and delicious, and the people are really nice and hospitable. The jeepney and taxi drivers in Baguio are so polite and courteous that if you paid fare they would always give the change even if it's down to 25 cents.
Life in Baguio is very laid back and enjoyable. The weather is cool and you can take long walks past the parks, the pond and the gardens that are scattered throughout the city. It is one of the rare places in the Philippines where you can experience cold, thick fog and sometimes, even a bit of snow.
I spent several years of college and several years thereafter in my first job in Baguio City. After some time I resigned from my supervisory job in Baguio and got an entry-level job in Manila. Manila is really a totally different story from Baguio. Almost everything is polluted: the air, the water, the streets, the food, etc. The taxi and jeepney drivers are soooo horrible! They choose the passengers they want to carry and they choose the destinations they want to go to. Apart from that, the taxi meters are almost always tampered with to go faster than what's legally prescribed. The drivers always ask for 30-50 pesos on top of the metered fare or they ask for a flat rate of P300 and above. For several months I had a really hard time adjusting to the life in Metro Manila.
The people in Manila also go by very different lifestyles. The busy work day is just as hurried and harried as the busy night life spent in bars and clubs. Mall-ing (or going to Malls) is a very crucial past time to get away from the hot and humid weather. Mall-ing is the way to keep cool under air-conditioning without having to foot the high electricity bill. Traffic is most horrendous. I've never seen so many impatient and manic drivers in my entire life. The maneuvers that some drivers do tend to give me a heart attack.
After some time I got used to life in the metro. On the flip side, one can say that Metro Manila is the center of the Filipino world. The news usually contain events and personalities found in the City. A lot of great concerts, restaurants and good events are hosted by Metro Manila. And through time I also learned to be tough on taxi and jeepney drivers as well who try to weasel more money out of passengers.
But when did I really start to become a bona fide traveler and not just a migratory maya bird who settles from one place to another? It all began with a heartbreak. In early 2009 I experienced major heartbreak which will not be further described. In early 2010, breakthroughs started to come to me in unexpected ways. And that, my friends, is where our real travel stories begin! So I hope you join me as I share my experiences here in this blog. I thank you for your time in advance and I hope that you delight in my writing.