Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Oh, Manila!

There were a lot of reasons why I went back to Manila a couple of weeks ago. There was the graduation ceremony of my two sisters, the celebration of a new member of the family and the fact that everybody went home so I kind-of-had-to-also. But there are a lot more reasons why I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Manila – the place I still call home even after many years of not living there.
I promised to my husband that as soon as I landed in Manila – my Facebook shout out will change to…”Oh, Manila!”.
And that was exactly what I did!
I wanted not only him but also my friends around the world to know that Manila has a big place in my heart. That, despite years of not being there it still remains the Manila, I knew growing up.
Today, I will share with you some of my favorite things and will always be about Manila and the Philippines.
I’d also like you to listen to the song below and feel the warmth of Manila in your own hearts:
“O, Maynila!” – if I were to translate that in Filipino is my appreciation of the beauty and the wonder of my homeland!
1. The sun sets beautifully there, especially in ManilaBay.
2. There is a sense of tranquility and contentment. The classic picture of palm trees, relaxation over at the Sofitel Hotel.
3. The great Filipino dishes shared with family members at the Crisostomo in Eastwood City Libis,Quezon City.
4. The all-time Pinoy favorite fast food restaurant, Jollibee for a quick bite! McDonald’s, I love you too but Jollibee has an authentic Filipino taste in its spaghetti and french fries, that you can not copy.
5. Oh, yes the ever-green and environmentally friendly Papemelroti – whose paper products, gift items are truly a reminder of my childhood paper/stationery collection!
6. The beautifully carved wood furniture that Muebles de Abubot along with many talented furniture designers in the country offer. Narra, the national tree of thePhilippines remains a valuable and a long standing resource for furniture makers in the country.
7. Street Dogs or “askals”  act more than your average pet! They are your own police dog, your alarm clock and your own beloved pet. They are amazing!
8. The capiz-made vintage windows that are installed in my grandmother’s house. Her windows always remind me of the handwork that artisans put into each of them; the artistry of them all!
9. The coconut tree – considered to be the “tree of life”. What comes to my mind whenever I see a coconut tree are the farmers and individuals who harvest the coconut! Their strengths are extraordinary and their strategies in getting to the top of the tree are just a work of a genius!
10. The sights, colors, sounds and the many characters of theManilaroads. You’d see jeepneys, buses, tricycles, cars, motorcycles and what have you! The streets are lively and they do not cease to give me surprises!
11. Mangoes are great – but fresh green mangoes, right off the backyard are heaven’s gift!
12. Of course, you can not go around the city without your Philippine Pesos. But the beauty of your dollars, is that it will go a long way in thePhilippines.
13. The lovely tropical flowers, such as the Santan is truly poetic! I remember growing up and picking through each petal of this flower and sucking the sweet, sweet, sweet nectar of it – oh, it makes me want to become a bee!
14. The exotic fruits, typically grown organically such as the Singkamas (turnips) and dipping it into a bowl of vinegar and some salt and pepper will make you want to throw your pizza away! And, yes you do not buy them by weight you buy them by bulk.
15. The ”united we stand” philosophy that the  “Walis Ting-Ting” (broom made from the stem of the coconut tree) signify.

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