10:49 pm PHT

Reading this post by Drei made me want to post about something that I’ve learned in my life. I love Metro Manila. I guess I’m just your really typical [sub]urban boy.

Unlike most other people I know who have provinces to go on vacations to, my family does not have provincial roots—technically. My father’s family all came from Taguig while my mother’s side are in Valenzuela. (Then again, back in 1975, before there was even a Metro Manila, Taguig was part of Rizal and Valenzuela was in Bulacan.)

The closest thing I have to having a province is in Obando, Bulacan, where the maternal side of my mother’s family were hacienderos. But Obando is sandwiched between Valenzuela and western Malabon, so it’s still practically urban country.

I love the metropolis, despite its choking atmosphere, infuriating traffic jams, and above-average crime rate. I love looking at the tall skyscrapers of the Makati Central Business District. I enjoy driving through the city’s thoroughfares late at night (when there’s little traffic). I savor the visits to the classy malls and hangouts like Greenbelt, Eastwood, and Malate. I like window shopping in Megamall and going out on gimiks with friends.

My family thought a few times of migrating elsewhere, whether it be to Canada, the States, or Australia. But I’ve resisted the thought. I’ve been to Canada and while I must say that it’s extremely nice, clean and orderly there, I don’t see myself enjoying any lengthy stay in that place. I’d miss the cosmopolitan Manila culture, the food, the faces, and the general chaos that seems to be in the Filipino nature.

If there was a foreign country that I’d be amenable to going to, it would be Singapore. Based on everything I know about that city-state, it’s the one closest in nature to Manila, minus the discipline.

But nothing beats Manila. There are nicer cities in the world, but I’d just be a tourist there.

I’m in love with the Metro the same way New Yorkers love their Big Apple. It’s the only home I’ve ever known.

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