This is Dawn's personal blog. The blog name Orchids in Formaldehyde hints of sweetness and darkness in her views. A paradox of perspective that is sometimes confusingly unpredictable.

3 Things You Need In Manila that Others Won't Tell You

This list could only be applicable to lower class to middle class citizens. I'm sure the rich ones could find a way around it.

So, when visiting Manila, what are the things you need in order to survive? Well, aside from pocket money, board and lodging, these are the most essential (for me, that is). I'm sure you would be grateful you read this post because this would be very helpful.

1. A pair of good walking shoes.

That's my silvery gray Rusty Lopez loafers.

You cannot survive in heels everyday. I've tried it, it will kill you. And make you despise Manila in the long run. There'll be a LOT of walking. From a jeepney terminal to the MRT station, to the bus stop. You'll be getting on and off a lot of vehicles and more likely than not, the terminals aren't adjacent to one another.

Plus there'll be a lot of foot bridges and underpasses. There'll be a lot of walking, I promise you. So if you don't have the means to take taxi cabs all the time, then please, prepare to bring with you a good pair of walking shoes you would be comfortable walking hours in.

2. A trusty umbrella.

That's my Watsons umbrella with a cute print.

Everyone uses umbrellas here, rain or shine. Even guys use them. It's funny, because my boyfriend used to reject an umbrella back home in Zamboanga (he probably thinks it isn't macho) but here in Manila, he is using an umbrella. I tried teasing him about it, but I guess even "macho guys" have to adapt to the environment sometimes.

It rains like crazy here! Not crazy like Zamboanga's tip-the-bowl-over downpour. But during the wet season, it rained almost everyday. It may not be a crazy downpour, but it's wet. All the time. Zamboanga's rain only comes a few times in a month, it feels refreshing when it does. Manila's rain is gloomy and damp and wet and plain annoying.

And during the sunny days, it is crazy hot as well. The sun rays feel like penetrating through the skin. So to protect yourself from this crazy weather, have an umbrella ready in your bag whenever you go out. Don't feel like it's a burden (like I feel when I bring one in Zamboanga). It's not here. You would be grateful you have it. And besides, everyone's bringing one too. You don't want to be caught in the rain by yourself, waiting for a kindred soul to invite you under her umbrella and filling your ear with scolding and talk. :/ Experienced that as well.

3. A way to pay the jeepney driver.

This is important. It differs in every city. In Zamboanga you say, "Pabor pasahe" (literal translation is - please, fare. It could also be translated to - please pass my fare) You usually pay right before you disembark the vehicle, tapping your coin on the handrail to signal the driver you're disembarking.

In Cebu and other bisaya city you say, "Pliti" (fare). Forgot the other customs there.

In Manila, to pay for your fare you say, "Bayad po" and "Makisuyo" for asking your fellow passengers to pass the fare along. You usually pay as you embark, not before you disembark as is as customary in Zamboanga. To signal the driver you're disembarking you say "Para" (stop)

So that's it. I hope this has truly helped you in preparing for your trip to Manila. Enjoy your stay!

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