Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Glimpses of Paradise

Manila. The mere mention of the name conjures up images of smog, trash, beggars, crime, traffic and all things negative. No wonder we see more and more people leaving Manila for either Western countries (read: clean and modern) or smaller towns (read: clean and safe).

I have yet to meet anyone who would admit to enjoying Manila living. I wouldn’t admit to that myself! Yet there are certain things that has made living in Manila bearable, and even fun.

Amidst the dirt and grime, if you look hard enough, you can see glimpses of paradise.

*On the daily commute:
a. Observe how you can confidently pass your jeepney fare from one passenger to the next and have it reach the driver even if you are sitting on the farthest spot.
b. Observe how, when you have a seemingly deaf driver, everyone helps you scream “para” when the driver zooms pass the spot you’re suppose to get down.
c. Observe how everyone helps bring the little old lady’s heavy basket into the jeep so she doesn’t have to struggle getting on the jeep and struggling with her heavy purchases at the same time.
d. Observe how drivers sometimes crack jokes at each other while trying to beat each other to the next stop.
e. Observe how many funny incidents you’ve experienced from your daily commutes.

*In your neighborhood:
a. Observe how you can still swap stories with your neighbor who sells yummy (and cheap) breakfast and lunch meals.
b. Observe how people can often patiently endure hellishly awful karaoke singing by obnoxious neighbors. (although I’ve heard of tragic endings that befall those who insist on singing ‘I Did It My Way.’)
c. Observe how children play with the simplest of toys with glee—hardly annoyed that they are robbed of the right to a proper playground.

*On the streets:
a. Observe how you can still find somebody who would gladly share their umbrella when you’re caught in a sudden downpour.
b. Observe how you can still find concerned citizens who will tell you to zip up your bag when you’ve forgotten to do so, and thus save you from pickpockets.

There could be more one can add to the list. Glimpses of paradise, touches of God’s grace---helping us endure the harsh realities of living in Manila.


Beng said...

Sadly, I had the experience the cruel reality of Manila leaving this month when my phone was snatched. But hey, your post reminded me that out of 1 bad experience, there are still 99 more good experiences I can thank God for. While reading your post, I catch myself saying, "Oo nga!"

confidante said...

mare ganda nito. daming puso ng sinulat mo. yan ang gusto ko sa yo. authentic compassion. Sige, susundin ko ang payo mo, pero hindi ako sa manila naglalagi. dine sa amin sa batangas, ang lahat ng nakikita ko ay nasa loob ng bahay. kaya dapat magaling akong tumingin. otherwise, ano pa kaya ang makikita ko?

Gypsy said...

Hehehe. Salamat Mare. Mahirap na ma-depress sa nakikita natin sa paligid. Mabuti na yong gawing positibo yong pananaw para hindi maloka.:-8