16 June 2011


It is quite interesting what a year can do. I was last in Manila in 2010, visiting for five weeks. Now, it is 2011, and I am here in Manila again for five weeks. There’s been a lot of changes, and somehow I am amazed at them, since I never expected Manila to change, not to mention for the better.

First, I already observed the change at the airport. Things were quite nice and clean and pretty, contrary to how I remembered it. I used to remember Ninoy Aquino International Airport to be a rather musky and smelly place, rather dark, and not the greatest place to catch an airplane. But when I got back a few weeks ago, things were different. The walls were bright and white, and there weren’t no long lines to endure. Whoa.

I have to say though, that the weather is still hot. Hot and sticky.

Next we went to the South Luzon Expressway. The traffic jams aren’t there anymore. The elevated highway (the Skyway) is already complete. The road is smooth, well-paved and well-lit. That’s new.

I also saw new establishments go up in the old neighborhood. New shopping centers have been erected in places that used to be empty spaces.

Even my parents’ house changed: now they have air-conditioning!

I guess modern amenities have been catching up with the Philippines, after all. It just takes a little time. After all, there’s still power outages every now and then, the Internet can still go out for hours, and the weather is still hot. Oh, did I forget to tell you that the weather is still hot? Oh well, I don’t think I can do anything about that.

(Grass Room, from my Ollantaytambo Series)


  1. Asia is developing so fast! Which is good I guess. Better roads (but too many cars), peope living a better life overall... I just hope development won't spin out of control.

  2. Zhu,

    I wholeheartedly agree. Development is okay, as long as it doesn't destroy one's cultural heritage, among other things.

  3. Hahahahaha! Well, you do live in Buffalo. :) Yes.... It's hit in the Philippines. :) I'm glad you enjoyed your vacation. Hope you got back safely. :)

    I wish i could vacatiion home too.

  4. Toe,

    I'm back safe and sound! Unfortunately, it's also back to work...

  5. It's good to see development in the Philippines. I just hope we don't build too many malls.

  6. Slim Whale,

    I agree. It's weird come to think that the Philippines isn't the richest country out there and yet given the number of malls, you would think that the population has all the money in the world to shop.

    And yes, I am still a Mall of Asia virgin.