It pains me to say this, but I’m not a huge fan of Manila.
Sure, there’s lots of places to go around. It’s the corporate mecca of the Philippines so there’s always a new business or a possible shopping experience to indulge in. Almost each and every event happens in Manila (like the papal visit to the Philippines this 2015 or the upcoming concerts by international artists). Sure, I also have lots of friends who work and stay there.
But – and this is a matter of personal preference – I don’t ever look forward to visiting the city. Other than the prospect of seeing some friends again, I dread going to Manila.
I mainly attribute it to the traffic.
The city’s highlight as the capital of the country is also it’s biggest weakness since this, naturally, meant that the urban jungle, literally, has a teeming and ever-growing population of businesses and people. More people = more buildings and heavier traffic. I have nothing against the “more buildings” part. It’s the “heavier traffic” that turns me off.
Of course, it’s not like the city can help it. There’s already so much roads and overpasses, trains, jeepneys, and cars that it’s hard to imagine the city as anything less than bustling and ever-growing. I just personally prefer the simpler, less demanding life of the regional cities like Cebu and Cagayan de Oro. Again, it’s all just a matter of personal preference.
And, of course, my friends from Manille are definitely determined to have me fully enjoy the Metro Manila experience.
We all planned to go to a club and party like crazy. But before that, we needed to get buzzed first. Fortunately, a kind gentleman decided to treat us to a few drinks at the Dungeon Bar in Camelot Hotel, Quezon City. The drinks were good, the music was chill and the performances of the night were super exciting! It was a fun way to get buzzed.
After a few drinks, we planned to go to another bar then party at a club nearby (Guilly’s). We then went to Cubao to check out some of the cool hole-in-the-wall bars in the area. We went to this one bar (I forgot the name) where the installation consisted of cool skeletal figures and dreamcatchers. The place was small but it was laid-back and perfect for just lounging around.
After having a few beers, we then visited Cubao X. Now, here’s the funny part. I stayed in Manila for two years but I have never visited these areas that my friends are taking me. I’ve definitely been to Cubao, but I have never been to any hole-in-the-wall restaurants, bars, and diners. It’s a terrible shame actually because if I had known about them sooner, my perspective of Metro Manila would have totally changed. Of course, I’ve heard about them but, like most of the best things in life, they’re best experienced for yourself.
So, we went around Cubao X where we checked out the shops and the bars. We had a few more drinks, checked out the skaters and the events nearby then called it a night. It was actually more exciting and I know I should probably write it that way but by this time, I was already quite drunk so I can’t vouche for my memory since I’m vaguely aware it may not be as accurate as I hoped.
Of course, we ended the night with a few more drinks and a few more laughs. No worries, it wasn’t a sequel to The Hangover but the actual hangover did prove that last night was definitely epic.