Recently updated on: October 1, 2023
It's been some time since I left my old corporate job in Metro Manila to pursue a career away from my college degree. That decision may have surprised some, but I am confident about my chosen path.
I love the simple life in the province, which my friends say suits me. But there are still times when I can't help but miss some aspects of life in the urban jungle of Metro Manila.
However, I am just grateful to have fully committed to returning home most of the time.
The community quarantine may have some effects on my sentimentality. So, I reflected upon them and wrote to use my abundance of time.
Table of Contents
Three Things That I Surely Missed
Living in Metro Manila has its pros and cons, and the opportunities it presents are definitely one of its advantages. But personally, here are the things I surely miss about living in the urban jungle of Manila.
1. The Opportunities for Lifestyle Events
I enjoyed my weekends when I lived in Mandaluyong and Pasig, particularly its accessibility to other cities.
One of the adulting skills I learned during that time was planning. Since events are always happening in and around Metro Manila, I carefully selected events with closer proximity.
Gigs, concerts, seminars, and sales are regular occurrences, so preparing my guilt-free spending budget was crucial.
There are many ways to look for events in Manila, but I commonly use Facebook Local and Everbrite - some events are paid, while some are free.
Out of all the happenings in Metro Manila, the events I surely missed are the annual Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) and the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival (PRWF).
The discussions and talks at those events were instrumental in my pursuit to read and write more.
2. The Variety of Food Choices
There are so many places to choose from around Metro Manila when it comes to food - there may even be restaurants to represent different countries.
The ramen places offer authentic and sometimes overpriced Japanese noodles, the eat-all-you-can restaurants we often go to during team-building activities, Korean and Pinoy versions of samgyeopsal, Chinese cuisine in Binondo, and even the street foods certainly bring back mouth-watering memories.
3. Running and Hiking Events
I am an outdoor person, so running and hiking events are things I want to do again soon.
Communities are abundant for runners and hikers around Metro Manila, and the event's organizers are as plentiful.
These events' beauty is that they test the body and the limit of the human heart - providing a sense of community and camaraderie with one another and a moment of shared pain and glory.
Three Things That I Dislike About Living in Manila
Though there are plenty of opportunities, these three are the things that I am glad to leave behind after leaving Metro Manila.
1. Traffic and Commute Times
This is a no-brainer for anyone working in Metro Manila. Many will put traffic on top of their list as the worst thing about living in the city.
For instance, my daily travel time to work used to be 2 to 2.5 hours (each way) from Mandaluyong to Eastwood (QC) on a typical day.
However, the travel time adds at least an hour during payday Fridays, rainy days, and when accidents happen (which is quite often).
The funny thing is that walking to work will only take about an hour (I am a fast walker). The reasons not to do so are pollution, entering the office drenched in sweat, and the risk of mugging.
There was also a growing bike-to-work community when I left. However, the risk of accidents may outweigh the benefits - thanks to the reckless drivers of jeeps, taxis, and buses.
I remember a conference I attended. The speaker was from South Korea, and what he pointed out was memorable. He said the government should make public transportation so efficient that using your car to work is impractical - and people will laugh at you.
2. The Fast-Pace Living
Oh, the hustle and bustle of city life. A city that never sleeps - thanks to the BPO industry.
It's not hard to notice that people move with great haste everywhere you go. They live so fast they no longer have time to appreciate the surrounding beauty.
People worked hard during the weekdays and played hard on the weekends. It's not the lifestyle that fits me.
I also used to work in McKinley Hill in Taguig, and it was not until I resigned that I finally noticed the elegance of the place - maybe because I was often working the night shift.
3. The High Cost of Living
Fifty pesos does not account for much in Metro Manila. It can't even buy you a decent snack. But here in the province, my usual pocket money is P50; surprisingly, it is more than enough. A big part is my proximity to work, less than a 10-minute walk away.
The price of primary needs is also far compared to housing, transportation, and wet and dry goods. Almost everything is cheaper here.
That is why, even with a reduced salary, my lifestyle stayed mostly the same when I was still in Manila.
The secret is to know and understand the difference between wants and needs. Once it is settled, things will be a lot easier.
Every decision has its own set of pros and cons. So, we must be discerning to identify them. Some aspects weigh more than others, and some may even put you in a dilemma.
But rest assured, if we put our trust in God's plan and purpose, everything will just fall perfectly into place.
He said it in His Word, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
I don't know where I am heading and what needs to be, but I know and have faith that I am where I should be.