Friday, April 30, 2010


I Just received the sweetest letter from a guest of my tour. Aw. It's letters like these that make all that sweating underneath the Manila summer sun worth it. My favorite line about Manila: "She’s like a complicated lady who dresses badly and wears weird perfume"

Hi Carlos!
I was on your tour last Sunday, April 25 with the rest of the TOSP-NCR gang. I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of Manila. If we played a word association game then, the first words off the top of my head would’ve been pee and pollution. Not exactly flattering descriptions of our capital city, but I have always dreaded a trip along its tumultuous and traffic jammed streets.

After the tour however, it occurred to me that Manila has so much soul. So much spunk. She’s like a complicated lady who dresses badly and wears weird perfume, but when you get to talk to her and take her out to dinner, you’d get to see that she’s full of wonderful personality and interesting quirks. She may not be your type at first, but you’d definitely take her out on endless dates just to get to know each and every one of her fascinating facets.

I live in Makati and I am quite happy with the convenience of everything. Also, the luxury of walking down Ayala Avenue without having to go paranoid over my laptop bag or loosely held wallet is something that makes me wanna live there forever. But. The thing that saddens me about this ultra-modern city is its lack of soul. Come Saturday evening or the entire day of Sunday, it’s as if Makati is a ghost town. During weekends, I realize that it is just a virtual city. People come here to work, go to fantastic malls, grab late-night drinks and maybe pick up a girl/boy or two, but once their business is done, they go back to wherever it is that their soul lies. For my part, I go back to my hometown in Iloilo to get in touch with my psyche. The drudgery of daily life in this business district can wear you down even to the point of desensitization. Contrast this to Manila, which, despite many of its obvious flaws, is a city that has incredible character. It is resplendent, not because it offers humanity the best luxuries in the world, but because it is the cradle to the very essence of the Filipino spirit. You can never be numb to the humanity that Manila presents you with on a daily basis. Whether it be good or bad. There is always something to be said about the splendor of its rich history and the squalor of the urban poor.

So thank you for showing me the many wonders that are hidden under Manila’s skirts. I’m looking forward to another soul-satisfying date with her fabulousness.


Thanks J...