Ain’t No Place Like Manila

One of the highlights of my Philippine vacation was meeting some of my friends from Our Lady of Grace Academy (now St. Mary’s Academy). We have not seen each other for 20 years and I was really happy getting reacquainted with them. I still see the “Gracean” in them after all these years. (Our old school is a Catholic School for girls) Very well mannered, good conversationalists, very well poised (HAHA!). Thank Goodness we were raised well by the sisters of the Religious of the Virgin Mary :). See Annalyn Jusay’s post on our reunion here


Ervi Lacson – my very very good friend since the first grade.
Me (in the middle)
Cecille Ayubo (to the right)


Annalyn Jusay (in the middle) – Visit her blog : http://www.annalyn.net
Magnolia Domingo (Right)

Honestly, I was really surprised about how my friends look!!! They are more beautiful now than they were 2o years ago. It is a shame that I didn’t have so much time with them. I have such good friends during my Gracean days, I just couldn’t figure out why I did not get in touch with them after graduation. I am making up for it.

This is the place where the biggest Mall in Asia is being built

I grew up in the Philippine Metropolis, Metro Manila. It is consist of 17 cities and municipalities. The main language in Metro Manila is Pilipino which is based from the dialect, Tagalog. English is widely used. There is approximately 12 Million people living in Manila ( I do not think anyone knows how much people there are in Metro Manila— Hey but who’s counting!).

When I was in Romblon, I met a Danish man who said that Manila is not a nice place. Goodness knows what disease you might have when you are in Manila, he said. It is not the first time I heard someone makes a bad remark on Manila. I have to admit that some of the remarks I have heard are true and I think one has to live in it before one can trully appreciate it. I will not specify all these comments because I would end up defending and making excuses why Manila is what it is today.

I miss Manila. The heat. The excitement. The sound. The warm smiles. My husband and I has one good description of Metro Manila —- Boiling. I love Manila.

Glorietta (Makati City)

Shopping….

Greenhills Shopping Center

More shopping…

Greenhills Shopping Mall. A place where you can buy original Designer Clothes, Bags and Shoes but you can also buy all kinds of immitations- Breitling, Tag Heuer, Gucci Watches, LV bags, Shoes, shirts, pants, pirated Cd’s and Dvd’s and more

You can just guess what I had in my luggage.

17 thoughts on “Ain’t No Place Like Manila”

  1. Hi Al,
    I was looking for the website for OLGA and could not find one not knowing that they changed their name to SMA.
    By the way Ervi Lacson was my neighbor back in the Philippines and so was Irma Ibasco. No wander your faces were so familiar when I saw your visit to the Philippines. We ride the same jeep service that takes us to the school. I graduated after your batch did. Great to see some GRACEANs out there. – Teresa Acerrador-Brown

  2. ej chasi, nabasa ko rin yan ha!

    di ako nahuli sa balita. hehe

  3. So true, Sidney. As a tourist, one would only see the poverty, pollution, flood and garbage. I am glad that a European, like you, appreciates Manila.

  4. At first glance Metro Manila is another ugly polluted mega city. It needs some time to discover the hidden beauty of Manila. I don’t think you can do this as a tourist. You need to live in Manila and feel the daily pulse of this amazing city.
    I am getting hooked to this city. And I am sure the day I will need to go back home I will miss Manila !

  5. Charles, I didn’t know that a person can have bf for only one month. πŸ™‚ Napakamanang ko talaga!

    Beng, I hope that next time I would be able to meet more of my schoolmates. I wasn’t able to meet some of those I am in touch with. Like you, a lot of them are now residing somewhere else.

    Tell me when you are going,,, baka magabot tayo. πŸ™‚

    Neng, kasi naman mahirap magshopping dito sa Europe lalo na dito sa amin, mabubutas ang bulsa ko. Kung sana manalo ako sa lotto (ooops di pala ako tumataya)

  6. best place talaga ang Manila kung shopping rin lang ang pag-uusapan!
    lang binatbat ang europe. hehe

    nice pics Al!

  7. How lucky of you to have met some of your old friends/schoolmates. I feel so alone when I come home because all frends I had in Manila are now abroad. I don’t have many because we moved in several places when I was young.

    And by the way Al, delikado pala kong tayong dalawa ay magkasabay umuwi…pareho tayo ng hilig eh…kain at shopping. Hehehehe.

  8. I am single! He was just a bf-for-a-month and that was our agreement since he doesnt have plans yet to travel to Europe yet. But we are still friends and call him from time to time of course. He was like my chauffeur in Makati when going back and forth from the Norwegian embassy. I was so like a princess.

  9. Ethel, hehe… mahilig ka pala sa shopping!!! πŸ™‚ I think the malls of Manila are world Class. When it comes to traffic… The solution is to take the LRT or MRT.

  10. Cool pics Al.
    Manila…hhmmm for me the malls only hehe..kase naman very traffic.

  11. HEI TALAMASCA, During my time, it was not called St. Mary’s although it is run by the same congregation – RVM. It was called Our Lady of Grace Academy. It is located in Kalookan City. Manila has its own charm. Don’t worry a few years from now, Cavite will be like Manila. Wait and see….

    Charles, Makati is so cosmopolitan! I like Makati too. I worked there for 7 years. Not only do I like the nightlife but a large selection of restaurants. Are you and this guy still together? I thought you were single…

  12. The one thing I miss is certainly Makati. Before I travelled here to Norway, I stayed for a month in Dasmarinas Village with my bf-for-a-month. He is 30 years old and rich and cute as well…. hehehehehhe He made my stay in Makati quite magical and exciting. We almost have barhoppings every night. I do miss him as well.

  13. You’re from SMA? Where? Two of my cousins studied at SMA Pasay and got loyalty awards. πŸ™‚ Well, having experienced living in Metro Manila all my life, all I can say is that it rocks big time. Everything is just alive: from huge shopping malls, 24-hour convenience stores/24-hour delivery service, technology, towering buildings, the hip people, to name a few. Too bad that we moved to Cavite already. I soooo miss Manila! You know what? Here in Imus, Cavite, they don’t deliver pizza beyond 9 PM, unlike there, they’re still open at 12 midnight or so. Bummer! LOL. πŸ™‚ Hey, if you want to link exchange, just holler back over my blog alright? Later…

  14. Hei Sari2. I think the reason why they get the wrong impression on Manila is because people do not know where to go. You are right, no place like home.

  15. I agree you have to live in Manila to really appreciate it. I like it because anything goes, it is so alive. On friendships, I always look forward to see my former classmates when I visit. My husband is quite amazed by the fact that I am still in touch with some of my grade school, high school and college friends. Indeed there is no place like “home”.

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