Crowded, Yet Colorful

This is Manila today. Crowded, yet colorful.

For a large portion of my life, I’ve lived in a place where every single second should never be spent on useless things, and where every single penny matters. I’ve lived around people who constantly talk about business and financial status. I’ve been spoiled and I got tired of it. One day in your life, you will get tired of everything that holds you back from doing whatever you want, and you’ll find yourself being content with just living a simple life.

And so, when I moved to Manila two years ago, I fell in love with its simplicity. Yes, it may look very crowded and unsafe, but if you’ve lived long enough to explore everything, you will know how good it is to actually live in it.

Five Things I Love the Most About Living in Manila

01 The trees, the sky and the busy streets

I know that every city consists of countless buildings and busy streets, but there is something about the buildings and streets in Manila. When I look at them from afar, I feel contentment. I feel satisfied of where I am and what I have.

02 The native delicacies, native food and the fruits

These are called Patupat — my favorite rice cakes perfectly shaped triangularly, covered in banana leaves and then steamed for hours. I love that they’re salty and sweet at the same time!

Did you know the Philippines is one of the biggest exporter of bananas??? There are so many bananas in Manila, and they’re so affordable. I especially love lacatan bananas (the ones in the photo above).

When I was younger, my parents and my grandparents used to tell me that if I eat twin bananas (like the one above), I’d get twin sisters/brothers. I never got one. Not even a single one. *frowns* Not only my parents do this, though. I think this false idea is widely known and spread around until now. 😀

03 The people

Filipinos are one of the happiest people in the world, did you know that? I am not being biased because I am Filipino. I read an International news article one time saying that despite calamities and poverty, the people will still find a way to smile.

Filipinos are also known to be generous and hospitable. Even the ones who don’t have everything will be willing to offer you anything you need just to make you feel comfortable and secured. They like to feed their visitors and give presents even when you tell them they shouldn’t bother.

04 Cost of Living

The cost of living is not too expensive compared to other cities. Everything is cheap. Well…maybe not everything. But most of the things you need to be able to live are very affordable. Rent is cheap. Food is cheap. Transportation is cheap. I only spend more or less 10, 000 PHP every month for my basic necessities. That is 212.47 US dollars. Hah!

This bowl of heaven is only around 200 PHP (around 5 USD)

05 You don’t need a car.

Yes. I think that having a car in this city will just be a pain in the ass. Oops. Traffic jam happens 24/7, and there’s public transportation everywhere. Fortunately for me, I only need to take the train to be able to get to work.

These are just simple things, but all the simple things make everything worth it. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this post! Don’t forget to tell me what you think! 🙂





  • Yey! Beautiful Manila 🙂 Very nice and interesting post, Diana. And, as you say, the simple things make everything worth it.

    • Thank you so much, Monica! I hope one day you get to personally see Manila! 😀 Do you love to travel?

      • Of course I love to travel. I hope I will visit you someday 🙂

        • I would love to meet you one day, too! I hope we can make it happen! Nothing’s impossible. 🙂 <3

          • Yes, you’re right 🙂

  • Great post Diana. All those food pictures are making me hungry. I noticed that in those pictures that you had the biggest and prettiest smile! Great job dear.. 🙂

    • Thank you as always, Kevin! I’m glad you liked the photos even when the food made you hungry. Haha!

      • I love everything that you post Diana. Keep up the great work.

  • Amazing blog post! This city looks really beautiful! I am so hungry now when i saw these pictures with food;DD

    • I am glad you find these photos beautiful, Brigita. I hope you’re able to get some food after reading this! 😀

  • Beautiful pics and I am amazed…214 USD is sufficient!

    • It really is. And my neighborhood is really good, so I have no regrets. 😀

  • Manila looks wonderful 🙂

    • It does. Thank you! 🙂

  • I wanted to share a funny (!) cartoon with you
    Won’t let me 🙁

    • Oh I wasn’t aware we could do that!

  • Diana whenever u write something or show something it aroused anxiety in the minds of readers. If Manila is so cheap O am going to defer my programme to settle in Sydney Well wonderful sketch of ur native place Keep writing like that

    • Hehe! Thank you! I’m glad this post has convinced you. I hope you get to visit one day!

  • Jim

    Wonderful pics. Now I’m hungry.

    • Oh no! I’m not sorry at all! Haha! 🙂

  • There’s definitely something about the colorful roofs for sure, But the food!!! :O

    • #ULTRAMOUTHRAPE right? Hahaha

  • I’ve recently fallen out of love with Manila. Just the opposite of this post. Heheheh. MAnila is not for everybody, it has its pros and cons like every place I’m sure, I’ve now retired in the province of Pampanga. And one thing I miss the most from Manila is all that all the happenings are concentrated there. I am a fan of filmfests and they don’t have provincial screenings for most movies. I have to go to Manila for that.

    Good shots, btw. What is that bowl of heaven? I want to try that someday when I have the chance to go back to MNL 🙂

    • I was just about to say that bowl of heaven is Pho Ga. Haha! I know right. It’s a good thing Pampanga is not very far from Manila, though. You can just travel to Manila whenever you want within the same day. 🙂 So, when are you coming back? December is almost here…which means MMFF is fast approaching! 🙂

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