When I was first asked to write about the things I love about Manila, I was a little apprehensive. I love this city, there’s no doubt about that, but it isn’t because of any one thing (or any twenty things for that matter). If Manila was a person, it would be a 100 year old veteran of several wars, a romantic, cultured but slightly off kilter, and broke. It would have a ton of character, would be a little seedy, would probably refuse to take a bath every day, and might stab you at the slightest provocation. But it would also be very charming and lovable, if you knew where to look.
Filipinos, as an organic whole, are a tricky lot: an assortment of people with a warm, genuine friendliness curiously juxtaposed with an overpowering racial insecurity bordering on the insane. Where else would you find people so easily incensed by obviously truthful descriptions of Manila, then turn around and say the same thing about the city they were so quick to defend in the first place? Continue reading