Manila traffic is ranked 10th worst in the world on a list of cities, according to Numbeo (the world’s largest database of cities and countries). What could take you a ten minute drive during the day on a Tuesday, can turn into an hour and a half on a Friday night. Worst still, many places that are within reasonable walking distance, are not pedestrianized so you have no choice but to drive. Can I also add that I’m also terrified of driving here! If you can drive here, you can drive anywhere, except maybe India.
2-THINGS GENERALLY TAKE LONGER TO GET COMPLETED HERE
The Philippines carries that island vibe, I can't hate on that. All those of you who are islanders, or have spent time on tropical islands know what I’m talking about! There is no such thing as rushing, or having a sense of urgency. Urgency? What’s that? This was one of the hardest things I had to adjust to, especially having come straight from New York City. If there is one thing that Manila has taught me, it's how to deal with frustration, and to dig deep for more patience. Realise that sometimes I just have to let things go and not kill myself when trying to keep to a schedule.
3- THE WEATHER
There are two seasons in the Philippines, HOT and HOTTER. The so called “cooler” dry months are from December to February. To the locals, this is considered to be COLD WEATHER! I have gone through two “cold weather” seasons, and it hasn’t been below 73 degrees farenheit. Help me God! It gets so hot here, that I have to keep my lipsticks in the fridge. Don’t get me wrong I can handle humidity and hot yucky uncomfortable weather. But, only on one condition, and that is knowing that there will be a significant change in temperature in three to four months. I’m talking hats, scarves, boots, and all that jazz. And... I never thought I'd hear myself saying this.
4- FILIPINO TIME
Why oh why???????!! This just makes me sad because I’m such a punctual person. Time is money and time has to be respected, especially other peoples. Being late without communicating it prior, makes me even more sad. Not showing up without explanation is not respecting time at all. People tell me to just be late since everyone else is always late. But I just can’t do it! Tell me friends, is it just FILIPINO TIME, or worldwide FOREIGNER TIME?? Comment below! What is the difference between Filipino time and Real time???
5-THE AIR QUALITY IN MANILA
This only refers to Manila because that is where I currently live and breathe. Even being in a car stuck in traffic (which is the norm in Manila) ca even be felt on the lungs. Therefore, running outside hasn’t been much of a pleasure either. I may even be doing myself more harm than good. Waaaa!!!!
6-PEDESTRIANS NEVER HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY
Maybe this is an "Asian thing." Some of my friends tell me it's worse in China. Vehicles WILL NOT STOP for you in the Philippines. Of course, you may get the odd car that would stop but most of them don't even yield when they come out of parking lots, which gets me really angry. There have been some incidents when I have been walking with my one year old in a stroller, and cars have not been willing to stop to let me cross the road. So yes, cross at your own risk!
So there you have it. Please bear in mind that this is just my personal opinion and just as there things that are not so great about a country, they always have better things to compensate. Philippines, you get me everytime! What are your opinions? Did you have difficulty adjusting to life in the Philippines? Please comment below!