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Monday, September 24, 2007

OUR TREASURES: Manila







Manila is one of the world’s megacities. There are more people here than all the island nations of the Pacific combined. In the era of “Oriental Chic” of the 50’s, Manila is in the league of oriental cosmopolitan cities of Shanghai, Singapore and Saigon. Ordinary Europeans may not know where in the world is the Philippines -- but they know exactly where Manila is.

We took Malaysia Airlines flight 704 from Kuala Lumpur and landed at Ninoy Aquino Airport around 4pm yesterday. The very first time I came to Manila was when I was 18, Sofia was here 3 times before but Morgan and Akihiro are first timers. We didn’t pass immigration so, no “picking-on-the-immigration-officer” stories this time. We were swiftly escorted out, through a private hallway and herded to a car. Our passports was given back to us at our hosts’ house! To be quite frank... I hope they didn’t do that! I wanna pass through immigration just like everybody else. And I don’t wanna lose my passport in a foreign land! Uncool.

The Manila that we know internationally is actually a group of 16 cities forming a huge metropolis which – Manila City, the Capital of the Philippines – is part of. The finance center is Makati City (where I am right now) and other government offices are in Quezon City, the former capital.

Manila used to be a Muslim sultanate before the Europeans came. It was ruled by 3 Malay aristocrat rajahsSulaiman, Matanda and Lakandula. Spaniards coming from Cebu Island attacked Manila in 1570 and easily fell. It then became the center of Spanish colonial rule 50 years after their first arrival on Mactan Island.

Ever wondered why Manila doesn’t have much building older than 60 years old? It’s because this city was literally flattened in the 2nd World War. The whole city is relatively new -- Historical buildings are either rebuilt in the 1950s or just demolished altogether. That’s why in the 60s and 70s, Manila showed us how a modern city should look like.

Manila has 2 population figuresday and night. At night time it’s more than 11 million people but when day breaks, it soars to a whopping 16 million! Whoa! 5 million workers from the suburbs and nearby provinces come before 7am and go after 5pm. Just imagine the chaos on the transit system everyday! The best way to go around Manila is by taking the Light Rail System. Just like Kuala Lumpur, taxis here doesn’t have a nice reputation.

Manila is the only SE Asian capital that shares it's name with other places abroad -- Manila, Arkansas and Manila, Utah in the United States. *I bet you didn't know that.*


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13 Comments:

Tweety said...

Welcome to Manila guys! I sent my contact number on your email. Come by and visit my place too!

Anonymous said...

Ah! You finally made it! Don't forget our date tomorrow night. I got some pleasant surprise for all of you. - Casey

Trouffles said...

Hello Bisnook! Akihiro is gorgeous! But he is not as tall as I imagined. Hehehehe... my sister said you will come by La Salle University later? Please do. I am going to show you off to my classmates! <3

Reyville of Simply Manila said...

Welcome to Manila, Guys.

There are actually 11 Manilas in the US: 2 in Alabama (Clarke County and Dallas County), 1 in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia. And there's one in Paraguay. So, there are 13 MANILAs in the whole world. I've made a research before for our geography class.

Enjoy your visit.

markymd said...

welcome to Manila guys! Enjoy your visit!

Q The Conqueror said...

Welcome to Manila!

Yeah, Taxis here dont have a good rep. Beware Manila Taxi Drivers. They like taking advantage of foreigners and people from the province, as much as possible you should never agree with them when they say that it P200 will get you to some place. Just tell them that you should follow the metro and that you're gonna report them to the LTFRB otherwise.

But then, there are also really strange and interesting drivers. You just gotta watch out for them :)

diwata said...

you guys have fun there! arghhh... i fee so envious right now! he he he...

Laibeus Lord said...

Hehe... that's SOP for the guests of traditional "Clan"-Families ;) prominent or not :p

It is more like a 'welcome' or a 'teaser'. Also more of pride for the Clan one belongs to.

expressmen said...

i didnt know that, thanks for the trivia

expressmen said...

i didnt know that, thanks for the trivia

JOSH said...

HEY a warm greeting to all of you visitors of our native Manila! Keeping on clicking ur cameras so u'll have lots of memories to blog about! :)

travelphilippines said...

I miss Old Manila.

danyhael said...

what's the sense of exploring manila without visiting the beautiful tondo and batasan hills in quezon city?

it's really beautiful there. gazillions of eurasians are living in those area but they didn't even know they're eurasians or they just don't care they're eurasians. cool.

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