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When in Metro Manila- a survival guide

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Written by   93
5 months ago

Imperial Metro Manila is the dream of every child in the province. Why? Because they see it on national television every day. They watch their favorite series and dramas featuring their dream artists.

Manila has a lot of wonderful architecture- from the malls, museums, recreational parks, resorts, hotels, restaurants, etc. It is the city of light and fancy life.

But Manila is not all that splendor and glamor. It is brutal. How so? Because you won't make it here until you have the guts. Only the strong survive in Manila so if you or anyone of your family or relatives plan on going to Manila, let them be prepared so they'd survive and "di uuwing luhaan".

To be honest, living here in the Metro molded me to become a fighter and a survivor. I was once a sweet, naive "probinsyana" who only wanted to work and provide for her family. I didn't want to live and work here at first because I wanted to be in Cebu where the beaches are nearer and I could still have that "provincial life feels". But the circumstances changed when my grandma decided to let me live with my aunts and cousins so I could be looked after. And I became a Manila girl.

I first hated the traffic, the long lines and long wait times, the pollution, the danger but I got used to it as years have gone by. And whenever I go home to the province, I get sick because my body is longing for Manila's environment. (Naging toxic eh joke).

Let me ask you once again, do you wanna live in Manila? If yes, here is how you'd survive:

Make sure your legs are strong enough

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Why is this my number one requirement? Because the jeepneys and buses won't stop or turn back for you unlike your experience in the province. You have to make sure that your legs are strong enough for chasing transportation like bus, jeep or FX otherwise, you will be left behind. Here in Manila, things move on easily, you can be easily replaced by more eager passengers so beware.

Look like a tiger

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"Are you freaking kidding me, Hermani?"---> Me, looking back at you with my poker face on. Don't I look serious?

Because if you look sweet, innocent, vulnerable people will take advantage of you. They will know that you are a stranger in the place just like what happened to me. The tricycle driver knew that I came from the province because of my accent and I looked desperate so he offered me a ride and brought me everywhere far from where I wanted to be. Good thing he didn't plan on taking me somewhere else to do something really bad but he asked me for a higher fare. I was afraid that he might force me to give all my money so I gave what he wanted. And I walked a lot just to get home.

When you are new in Manila, you have to appear confident. Know where you are going, bring a map with you or memorize the routes and landmarks of the places so the drivers won't fool you.

Have a lot of coins

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Especially when you are on a bus, prepare a lot of coins because those conductors will "totally forget" your change. So if they do that to a number of passengers every day, how much are they earning?

When you talk to the conductor, talk confidently because if they sense fear or hesitation, they will accuse you of not paying the ticket yet, and sometimes, they won't give you your change. You got to be confidently assertive when saying, "Mama, sukli ko po." Always remember how much you paid or the type of bills that you gave so you can rebut them. If they say, "We don't have a change of this denomination yet", then prepare your coins in exchange for the bill and ask them to give your money back to you.

Be familiar with the places you're going

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Before you go out, make sure you have a map of the place or your destination, know the transportation routes, what to take, how much the fare is, etc., or just prepare a lot of coins for your fare.

If you don't know where you're going, always ask the security guard. Beware of asking people on the street, I know we should not judge but better safe than sorry.

Make sure you are full before you go out or have extra money for food

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Manila is a place like no other, you will be awed with everything you will see on the streets until you realized you are already famished. So make sure you either eat first before you go on an adventure or have extra money. Jollibee or McDo will be your best friend because of their value meals. If you're not familiar with Jolli Jeep, it is a food stall that you can see mostly on the streets of Makati where most people eat. Just make sure you check the food some of them aren't that clean- I don't want you to be sick.

Do not overdress or wear too much jewelry

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If you look rich then you will probably be followed by either pickpocket or hold uppers. Just dress simply. Do not show your gadgets, text, or call, while on the streets or inside a jeepney. If you can afford to have an extra regular phone, do so. Do not display your iPhone or whatever latest gadget that is. People need food and your phone is the easiest to sell.

If you wear jewelry, keep it at a minimum.

Just sharing.

My aunt always looked "regal" whenever she goes it. It means she'd always look rich and with full-on makeup even if it's a simple outing. One day, she met a hold upper and told her to remove all her jewelry. She told him they're all fancy. To the holdupper's dismay, he told her to swallow them. I am pretty sure she didn't but that could have been avoided if she wasn't overdressed in the first place.

"Dress to kill" on special occasions- not all the time.

Wear your bag to your front

This habit saved me a lot of times. But there was really nothing to get inside the bag unless it is my payday. I don't put a lot of important stuff in my bag to avoid inconvenience if in case it is stolen or snatched.

Avoid using a clutch bag, purses, and handbags in crowded areas. Either use a sling bag or backpack and put them in front, not on the back because it will be sliced especially if you are in a crowded place like Quiapo, Pasay, or Guadalupe. Also, don't open your bag or wallet on the street, do it when you're somewhere safe. Prepare your fare and put it in your pocket. Make sure to place an extra bill, an amount that is enough for you to go home, in a secret place like another pocket or in your shoes in case of emergency.

Wrapping up

Those tips I have mentioned above will surely help you survive Metro Manila even if you're a noob "probinsyana". It will also be helpful if you have contacts to some of your good friends so you have company especially if you're applying for a job or looking for a place to live.

Believe me, those are the things that I learned while being here for quite a long time. In case you're looking for either a place to live or work, I suggest you work around either Makati or BGC. The environment is much "calmer" than Manila. You'd only hear few people cursing and cussing. Of course, you can't avoid them but I felt the big difference living in Makati after being in Manila for 2 years.

"Iba Kami sa Makati" lol. (I don't intend to promote Makati or its politicians, okay?)

It is advisable that you live near your work location in case of typhoon or any calamities because when that happens, you will either be required to render an overtime or not going to be able to work which will affect your pay. Be smart.

I think I've said enough already so thank you very much for reading this.

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I am very thankful for my sponsor's support and I am grateful for the increased number of subscribers. You guys always push me to do my best.

All content is mine unless stated otherwise. All images from lead to the rest of the images were from Unsplash.com

April 27, 2022

©HermaniGinger

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Written by   93
5 months ago
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Comments

I will surely take note of this survial guide since I will try to explore manila and find a job there after I graduate.

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Sounds like applicable to every city. I've never dreamed of living in Manila. Every time I go down there, it's not pleasant and I always wanted to go home right away lol!

$ 0.01
5 months ago

It is really stressful po lalo na sa Metro Manila where you have to do "patintero" with the buses and jeepneys, plus the pollution hehe. That's why I moved to Makati and worked in BGC. Traffic was heavy during peak hours but I loved it during weekends :)

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Nagdako sad ko sa manila sis before mi ni balhin diri sa province tungod sa akong apuhan, pero mas bet pa nako mu puyo jud sa Cebu city kontras manila Kay nka puyo man sad kos Cebu,mas bintaha jud ngadto. Dili nko ganahan mu balik manila,mahal pa sad plite😅 Sakto jud na tanan nimung mga tips sis, hehe

$ 0.01
5 months ago

Puhon puhon lagi sis makabalik unta kog Cebu, lami kaayo mga pagkaon hehe.

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Thanks for this Survival tips

$ 0.01
5 months ago

You are welcome.

$ 0.00
5 months ago

all of these here, are practiced by our brother who has been living in Manila for so long. He's much wiser than the locals. He always dons a look that made him look simple and even a Hold upper hahaha. That's why he is always safe, so street smart hahaha.

$ 0.01
5 months ago

You gotta be street smart on the streets of Manila otherwise, they will eat you alive. Good job to that bro of yours.

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Sus ka relate jud ko sis mabuslot ako sling bag kadto nag adto mi ug divisoria nya sig katawa ako elder bro ky ang sulod sko bag ky mineral water ug payong lang ky sudlan nko ug pinalit namo sko sister. Suko jud dw ang kawatan ato ky way nkuha nga maayuhon hahaha.

$ 0.01
5 months ago

Hahaha kalouy sa kawatan sis walay nakuha :P Lagi sis, magbantay jud dapat pag naas Manila daghan kaayoy mga bugoy.

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Matay jud ug katawa ako bro ato hahaha. Kabuang na lng dw napala sko bag. Aware nmn ko bsta Manila ug Cebu jud sis ky ingnan nmn daan ko nila.

$ 0.00
5 months ago

I only went to Manila a couple of times and I literally experience one of the fastest race to get into the jeep just to ride. Because literally there is a lot people in place where the jeep starts and you have to be fast to be able to ride it. I remember that I am still young that time and I was literally being pulled out by my father for us to be able to get in. In that time I am so confused about it because in our place we don't have to fight over to get into the jeep because there are jeeps that will arrive immediately if we didn't get into the first one.

$ 0.01
5 months ago

Hahah the struggle was real, right bro? In the province the jeepneys are after us but in Manila we gotta race to get them.

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Hahaha Manila sounds like an exciting and dynamic place!😀 This guide is so fun and useful! Lot of coints is needed here too, but for a supermarket, they never have a change.😀 Here, too, we wear bags to our front, especially in public transport, where they will take it from you and you won't even feel it. 😀

$ 0.01
5 months ago

Those pickpockets do have "smooth" ways of getting things lol. Yes, dear Jelie, Manila is an exciting place :)

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Kalisod man d i anang sa Manila sis oi. Kanang sa Dili magsuot ug mga too much jewelry ug kanang bag nga naa dapat sa front, maka-relate ko Ana basta naa mi sa Colon sa Cebu City kay grabe sad kaayo ang mandukutay diha dapita. Mao nga kung kami manlakaw, magpagawas ra mi ug kwarta nga igo lang ipamasahe niya ang kwarta or wallet nakatago sa bra, hehehe

$ 0.01
5 months ago

Hahah wala pa nako natry nang magtago sa bra sis pero maayo jud na buhaton ba. Daghan sad mga mandurukot sa Colon no. Not sure if nakaadto ko dira kato nanlaag mi sa Cebu pero daghan street food dara di ba?

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Na sis, daghan jud diha sa Colon. Kana bitaw mag kwentas or mag butang ug earrings nga mga tinuod Luoy kaayo. Matingala nalang ang nagsuot nga nisakit na ang ilang dunggan kay nakuha na d i ang earrings...Oo sis, diha ang daghan ug street foods

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Naexperience nako nga masnactchan ug kwintas sa may Quiapo sis. Silver ra sya pero gitripan pa jud. Lami diay molaag dara sa Colon puhon.

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Nindot na suruyan sis kay daghang pungko² diha. Makatipid ka sa pagkaon kay barato ra man ng sa pungko² nga mga pagkaon...Pwede baya gihapon na nila mabenta ng silver nga kwentas sis, Mao siguro napag tripan

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Dili kaayo ko salig sis sa mga street foods dari kay daghay magbinuang. Lagi sis, siguro mura lang ug dali mahalin bantog natripan akoa kwintas.

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Hahaha! Relate na relate ako sis. Dati rati takot ako sumakay ng bus dahil di ako marunong, tapos napakamahiyain ko pang magtanong pero ngayon di na uso sakin un. At sobrang thankful ako in my 20 years here di pa ako nadudukutan pero may nakasama akong holdaper sa jeep, mejo na feel ko kaya bumaba agad ako ng jeep.

$ 0.01
5 months ago

Iba na talaga ang senses natin sis pag medyo may alam na tayo sa mga mukha at kilos ng mga mandurukot lol. Kumapal na din mukha ko sis as the years had gone by.

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Korek, nakakatakot talaga sis kaya never akong nagccp sa jeep noon kahit mumurahin lang phone ko, pinapatos pa rin kasi ng magnanakaw un. Naku walang lugar para sa mahiyain dito sa Manila kelangan super kapal ng face😅

$ 0.00
5 months ago

Naalala ko tuloy yung may mga nagmodus ng bubble gum at laway sa jeep deadma lang ako. Wala silang nahita saken.

$ 0.00
5 months ago