Monday, February 08, 2016

Pokemon Rules the Superbowl...Wait, What?

Today, the Chinese celebrate their New Year, and some folks will celebrate it with them. I wrote about what you can do in Manila during CNY last week, so I won't write about it today. Instead, I will greet every one of you celebrating this with a happy Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Meanwhile, the ones who aren't celebrating the new year are celebrating / commiserating about the Superbowl. A year ago, a friend from the US asked me if this was a big thing in the Philippines. While I couldn't reply properly—I didn't really follow the Superbowl, or most sports, for that matter—I know that some of my friends keep track of the NFL, so I guess it does have some sort of a presence here.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Five Ways to Celebrate the Chinese New Year In Manila

Fil-Chi Friendship Arch

I don’t normally celebrate the second new year in the Philippines, otherwise known as the celebration of the Chinese New Year. But this year, the celebration happens to fall on the birthday of one of my nieces. I was a kid once, and realizing that your birthday is also a holiday means you get to stay home from school, and celebrate without having to offset to the closest available weekend.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A New, Old Watering Hole

I was supposed to continue my Manila retrospective this week, but the fact is that my week didn’t really give me much time to write. I was simultaneously busy with work, busy meeting with friends, and then I had to deal with a flu, so by the end of the week – which was yesterday – I was bone-dry tired. I’d come from an afternoon out with family, and basically fell into my bed by the time I got back home. Slept for around nine hours, and it was glorious.

But since I’m already here and writing, I’d like to talk about one of the places I’ve been frequenting for the past few weeks. This would be the Oarhouse in Malate, a friendly neighborhood pub that would be the closest equivalent of Cheers in Manila.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Manila Series: Parks of Manila

The other day, I read the post of a friend who was ranting about how Manila can only be beautiful when seen from a specific light. I could understand what he means, because Manila is the center of traffic in the NCR. The poor are here in full force, the most corrupt policemen are here, and honestly, there is no discipline whatsoever.

But here’s something that I’ve discovered. You walk Manila. You don't drive it. It isn't the most walkable city in the world, but what can be seen when you do walk it is fantastic. And when you walk around the city, you don’t encounter the corrupt cops (because they’re going after the drivers), you don’t deal with traffic.

You can’t do anything about the poor, though. Unless they’re doing something productive, and not just begging, I avoid them. If they’re cleaning up trash, or something similar, then I give them cash.