What I missed living in Manila

I was young when I had an idea that living in Manila can give you a comfortable life – and when you live there, you should be able to experience a different lifestyle.

Living in a rural area far away from the ‘civilized’ world gave me impression that life is better off somewhere else. It’s the usual thing that we usually think when hearing a place that is more advanced, as we can see in television.

Time came when I was 20 years old and the dream became reality. It was a long story why I was able to live and work there – but it was a product of calculated risk taking, given that age, the goal is to get a good job and start living in a dream that everyone in my community had dreamed of.

At 30, I left Manila and now living in europe but I am missing the life I had there way back then. When you live in a place where you speak the same language with people around you, you get a sense of comfortability all the times. Feeling at home is different than living somewhere else where people have different culture, color, language, etc.

So here are the things I’m missing most of the times while living alone abroad.

    • Unpredictable transport. There is no fixed schedule when the ‘jeepney’ or bus is going to arrive and when you are able to ride. When you go out, you don’t bother checking the time.
    • Filipino food. I would say that Philippines does not have famous signature cuisine unlike its neighbouring countries but when you are used to the dish like rice everyday and ‘adobo’, ‘tinola’ or ‘pakbet’ when you go to restaurants – you will definitely miss it when you live in a place where the food is different.
    • Seafood. As a seafood lover, I miss this every time I eat as fish, shrimp and crabs are my favorite.
    • ‘Tuyo’. I even brought ‘tuyo’ when I moved to Prague, even it is not considered as ‘healthy’ food.
    • Crowd. The city is home to more than 10 million people, more than the population of Czech Republic. Somehow, I find it awkward that when you are used to seeing a lot of people in market or shops, then you are in a place where you only see few people – it feels like there is loneliness.
    • Customer service. Of course this is given because generally, Filipinos are hospitable. When you go to malls or wherever, people are happy to assist whenever they can so you’ll definitely find help.
    • Traffic. This one is not a question to anyone who lived in Manila and even to those who are currently living there. You can finish a book before you arrive to your destination. Imagine that there are times you are travelling in just few kilometers but you are in the road for about 2-5 hours.


Wherever you go – you will never forget the days when you live a life that is different than what you have now. Even bad or good, reminiscing the past is the only best thing you can do. I wish we are able to put back times and experience the life we had before without losing the life we have now.

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