Manila: a ‘dump’ according to travel blogger

A certain Geoffrey James wrote a scathing review of the Philippines or rather, as he quickly pointed out, a scathing review of it’s capital, Manila on Travelblog.org. I’m glad he decided to be specific because the country as a whole is not ugly. Nonetheless, I am pretty sure Manila was once as beautiful as the rest of the scenery that can still be found in the countryside. It is the total lack of sound planning and neglect of the infrastructure that is making the country’s cities look unattractive. Even with the new developments in the heart of the city like The Fort or Rockwell, the traffic chaos on the roads leading to these new business districts or what they refer to as “little havens” still doesn’t make Manila enticing enough to international travelers.

Manila's awful traffic

The words James used to describe Manila left a lot to the imagination of his readers. What I’m trying to say is, those who have not been to Manila will most likely keep reading through his article because of his use of provocative descriptions such as “a dump”; “a disgrace”; “a shambles” and not to mention, “awful”. After reading such a review, potential first-timers will most likely skip the Philippines as a holiday destination. Tsk tsk…what a shame!

As predictable as the sunrise, many Filipinos were offended by his biting opinion of our country. A few were saying that it is not fair of Mr. James to let his recent stay at the Discovery Suites, a “plush hotel” as described in their website, dictate his view of his overall stay in the Philippines. After all, as some of those who disagreed with him would say, there are many new hotels around town that would have given him a truly “exuberant pampering” and would have allowed him to appreciate the “beauty” of the Philippines.

Yes, Mr. James would have had a more pleasant hotel experience if he were willing to pay a premium for his accommodation. Like they always say, you get what you pay for. But at $119.00 a night, it wasn’t exactly cheap especially after you convert it to pesos. That’s like a month’s salary for a an unskilled laborer. He can be forgiven for expecting more for his buck considering the hotel was located in one of Manila’s busiest business districts, Ortigas Center.

That said, those who criticize Mr. James for being a cheapskate are missing the point. The point is, like most things in the Philippines, the Discovery Suites that James used to find satisfactory has deteriorated. He claimed that he has been staying at the same hotel since it opened 15 years ago. Obviously, he was happy with his stay in the past, otherwise he would not have kept coming back. But he went from being one happy camper to one unhappy one after his most recent stay. In his own words, Mr. James said, the owners of the hotel invested nothing in its upkeep. It had the same furniture, the same carpet; and smelled musty. The TV is years old. The water heating system provides limited hot water for his bath. Furthermore, his room was not cleaned until he requested it to be cleaned. After reading that, I would have to agree that his experience must have sucked.

Well, it seems like the alleged condition of Discovery Suites is a microcosm of the condition of the infrastructure in the entire country. For all the protests and expressions of indignation that most misguided Filipino “patriots” direct against criticism published by people like James, the evidence speaks for itself: Filipinos cannot sustain the love for their country long enough. It is unlikely that their great grandchildren will enjoy the same infrastructure they grew up with. James was spot on when he said that the “Philippines can be described as an extractive or exploitive economy, not one where people want to build sustainably long term.” And sadly, he is not even talking about foreign investors. Even local investors look like they couldn’t be bothered with the upkeep of their own investments.

Just because there is a new airport does not mean we should neglect the old one

James showed no mercy in his assessment of the Manila international airport. This is what he had to say about it:

Let’s start with the international airport. Ninoy Aquino International is exactly the same as it was all that time ago; the same awful green lino when you arrive, the same over-crowded Departure Hall, nowhere to sit if your check-in desk isn’t open. Once through security you find the same down-market shops, toilets that don’t work or are “under repair” and very few F&B places.

I pay the extra $15 to go up to the Sampaguita Lounge just to get out of the crush of people. No, despite the fact that I’m an inveterate traveler I DO NOT LIKE crowds of people! The travelling public en masse is a necessary obstacle that has to be endured and overcome.

It’s not just James who is uncomfortable with the presence of the maddening crowd in NAIA. It is simply an assault on the senses for any individual to be exposed to too many people and too much noise immediately after arriving from or just before boarding a flight. And the ambiance in the old airport is just not something anyone would look forward to.

James even complained about the lack of good food in Manila’s airport, comparing it to that of Cambodia, a formerly backward country that he says can now serve him “ham and cheese sandwiches on foccacia, freshly brewed cappuccino”. Of course some Filipinos would say that we have many delicious foods. Yes, we do. But what is delicious to us may not be to other folks from other countries. So our international airport should also cater to international travelers.

You’d think that the incumbent President who is also the only son of the slain senator after which the NAIA is named would do his best to maintain a respectable image for our airport. But President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, who admittedly said he does not like traveling, does not seem to have fixing the airport in his priority list. And that is too bad considering the airport is where visitors get their first and last impression of the country and its people.

The still not fully-operational NAIA-3

As of this writing, the construction of the new international airport NAIA-3, which is mired in controversy hasn’t been completed due to the lawsuits filed by its private investors against the Philippine government regarding their compensation. The completion of the construction has been stalled for almost a decade with the German firm Fraport suing the Philippines initially in 2003. The NAIA-3 is “reportedly 97 percent completed even as valuators [are] still determining the actual value of the facility to determine the full amount of compensation that would be given to the shareholders as ordered by the Supreme Court (SC) in its writ of execution in March this year.”

With messy deals like the construction of the new international airport, I wonder which foreign investor would still want to deal with the Philippine government? I guess having PNoy in Malacanang has not made a difference in the disappointing way Filipino public officials deal with investors.

After a year in office, it is very obvious that there is no improvement during PNoy’s term. He may have eliminated the abusive use of those obnoxious sirens by motorists, which he refers to as wang-wangs but other than that, as James aptly put it, the Philippines just might disappear from tourists travel map or go under the radar if Filipinos don’t do any “upkeep”.

Someone told me that due to the humidity and grime caused by the pollution, it would cost a lot to maintain the luster of both private premises and public infrastructure in Manila. Only a handful of buildings in the city retain their immaculate appearance after years of exposure to Manila’s corrosive air. It’s one thing for the public sector to give little priority to keeping public infrastructure in pristine condition, but it’s quite another for the private sector to show the same lack of enthusiasm. Once again, we can blame the lack of interest in the upkeep of their premises by the private sector to a weak sense of nationalism in general. It has always been said that most elites bank their money abroad for safekeeping instead of pumping it back to the Philippine economy. As discussed in a previous article of mine:

Yet in many cases, even members of the elite have their other foot out the door even while the other is still hanging on and waiting for things to get better at home. In fact, it has been a practice of many members of the Philippine elite to try to obtain dual citizenships for their children as a “just in case” measure ”” insurance against the real possibility that any minute a bloodthirsty mob can start rioting at the doorsteps of their McMansions…

It could also have something to do with another cultural quirk inherent in Filipinos called ningas kugon. Loosely translated in English, ningas kugon means losing interest after starting something. And the explanation as to why some people lose interest in what they started is simple enough: they don’t think things through before venturing into something.

Some Filipinos go into something merely because they copied it off someone. And because they copied someone doing it, they don’t necessarily possess the same passion in the business as the first successful guy who did it. Therefore, it is no surprise that in the long run, they lose interest. So someone who went into the hotel business for the simple reason that a friend of his went into the same thing might not be able to sustain the same enthusiasm he had in the beginning along the way. While international hotel chains overseas like Travelodge maintain their professional service and look consistently functional and clean everywhere in the world, most local hotels in the Philippines just aren’t up to par.

Lately, I have come to realize that most Filipinos quickly lose interest in something when the novelty wears out. It’s like they only want to support an establishment when it is new. I often wonder why most balikbayans are always in awe when they see that something hasn’t changed. It’s like they either expect it to be replaced with something new and bigger or they do not see the value of heritage sites. This is why there are only a few buildings left from the bygone years. Sadly, most Filipino developers love demolishing old historical buildings and replacing it with either a mall or…another mall. This is why things don’t look the same anymore — developers would rather detonate than preserve. While it may look like things are improving with all the (for now) gleaming new buildings going up, the city’s character goes out the door along with the razing of old buildings.

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264 Comments on “Manila: a ‘dump’ according to travel blogger”

  1. Mr. James needs to know that you cannot judge a book by its cover. Beneath the rough exterior of Manila you will find Filipinos with hearts of gold. Mr. James can have superficial beauty if that is what he wants. But he will soon discover that one will tire easily from shiny things without substance. Sa Las Vegas ka na lang pumunta Mr. James. But ask yourself, would Jesus go there? No, of course not. Las Vegas will make Lucifer feel at home though. Jesus will definitely visit Manila because he likes to be around poor people with good souls.

    God bless the Philippines!

      1. We had Tita Cory in the past, she is our saint that overthrew evil Marcos, the dictator, who killed innocent Filipinos during Martial Law

        1. Oh please. Cory, may she rest in peace, was not a saint. I’m sure she’s a good person and all, but she was a pretty rotten president.

      2. And then turned the whole country upside down. Brownouts left, right, and center… Mendiola Massacre… Wanted to bomb her own countrymen during a coup d’etat… How many coups did she have to endure again? I lost count, thank you very much.

    1. Manila IS a dump. No matter how much one sugarcoats reason with “it’s not the place, but the people, that matters,” it still remains a dump.

      By the way, to generalize the Filipino people as having “hearts of gold” is a bit theatrical.

      Why don’t we, instead of consoling ourselves with infantile outbursts and band-aid solutions, remove our blinders and see the post for what it truly is? It’s a wake up call!

      We want international acclaim, this is hardly it.

      1. Betchay,

        I find your lack of faith in the Filipino spirit saddening. Please don’t lose hope. Remember: “The optimist lives on the peninsula of infinite possibilities; the pessimist is stranded on the island of perpetual indecision.”

        I will pray for you.

        God bless.

        1. To Bechays defense, I don’t think she has a lack of faith in the Filipino spirit. As harsh as it sounds, What she is saying is quite true. Remove the blinders! Make long term improvements! Change old habits and old ways. This is an article based on impressions and opinion and If you can’t roll with it then roll out. As much bible thumpin you would like to do, I would bet that given a chance to get out of this god forsaken island and move to greener pastures literally and figuratively, you wouldn’t miss that chance would you?

      2. Tulungan natin si Tito Noy. Alam nya kung paano mapapaunlad ng bayan. Iwasan natin ang pambabatikos sa kanya

        1. hahaha…sana nga ipakita naman ni Tito Noy sa atin lahat hinde lang kay Vincenzo. He is keeping it to himself. 😉

      3. Dear Pastor Ernie, I don’t get it. I think that finding the silver lining every single time that something bad happens or is said about the Philippines will not help in the long run. We have to ACCEPT that Manila IS indeed a dump first before we can have the courage to fix. Just like an addiction, ACCEPTANCE is the first step to recovery. I hope you realise that.

      4. I agree..most of my foreign frends call me misanthropic because I never boasted about the Philippines. They may be right. The thing is there’s so little about the PH to talk about. Probably, I just don’t believe in the Philippines, but I had my fare share of its bad side..I never even felt safe riding a cab in manila..once they knew i’m a “bagong salta” they overprice the fare..I can’t even take the bus nor MRT/LRT, but I can in other countries..I may be so negative about the Philippines, but there’s so little I can do about it. It has to start with in us, but I doubt everyone would agree with that.

        1. I’m soryr it may be a dump but the fuck i care about some foreigners, are they my masters? Wake up call? Yeah because a foreigner said so and it becomes bible truth alreadu. Be proud of who you are not just bec of what other people define us. And do you even know that we are increasing in tourist arrivals, and yet you take thia guys word as truth that we wont get any tourist arrivals weird. You know change for thepeople in the citty not because of some stupid foreigner pleaaaseee let go of this mentality, nothing bad about wanting change but i ipe it’sfor the right reasons and fyi e’re predicted to dominatehei ecoomc in a cople of years so i wouldnt trust wht thisbhmuck is saying. Also no matte how ugly ou mom is you wouldnt allow her to be disparaged that way right????

        2. I agree with you christine. I’ve lived in the U.S. for half of my life and I would hear our fellow filipinos call our country “dirty” and “disgusting”. After living here for 4 years, NOW I KNOW WHY. All these people on here can whine and bitch and defend philippines all they want. But in reality, they hate themselves for being born here and having to live here for the rest of their lives. I thank god I have the opportunity to live in the U.S. And when I go back in April. I AM NEVER COMING BACK HERE.

      5. You said it right sister! Take a look around! All i see is slums, slums, slums and red light districts. The few “havens” which is Global City or Rockwell do not compensate for the ugliness the image and attitudes I see around Manila.

      1. Ilda,

        You may call me anything you wish but you cannot deny the beauty of the Filipino spirit. Would you rather date an ugly guy with a golden heart or a handsome guy who has a rotten soul?

        I will pray for you.

        God bless.

      2. Dear Pastor Ernie — what beauty are you talking about here? Isn’t it that “You shall know them by their fruits”? What kind of fruits does this collective Filipino spirit has produced over the years? What kind of CITY do we have? Rubbish!

        1. Pastor Ernie, IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED. Most of the filipino men around here are either jobless or “tambay”, Labor Workers, or GAY. Not to mention most men these days don’t even have their own car, their own house, let alone a real job!

      3. Extortion, racist slurs, theft, undisciplined behavior, and the dirtiest most disgusting manners of bums scattered in every corner of metro manila. If that’s the definition of heart of gold then yeah we have plenty of people with heart of gold. Stop sugarcoating shit you can’t hide its disgusting odor.

    2. deduction fail, pastor ernie.

      first define to me this so-called ‘filipino spirit’. if it is the kind of spirit that rejects criticism simply because it hurts, or if it is the kind of spirit that would cover up glaring mistakes with multiple coats of tipp-ex in order to look good, then i am sorry but that is wrong on so many levels.

      i have been to enough ‘tupperware’ parties, pastor ernie, to know this “spirit” that you speak of. it is abhorrent, juvenile, arrogant, and delusional.

      1. @ pastor ernie

        Are you really a pastor? Jesus said “the truth shall set you free” but you, on the other hand, wants us to lie to ourselves. One commentator said here, “you will know them by their fruits” – that is in the bible. Your other responses do not agree with principles of the holy book but more of self-denial. You must be a pastor but not one of Jesus’.

    3. If Filipinos have hearts of gold, it sure isn’t reflecting on the country’s condition. It’s more like they have closed their hearts to God and have become to lazy to change things when they need to.

    4. Mabait ang Pilipino dahil tayoy mga Kristiyano. Nagtiis tayo sa hirap na dinanas n0oNg panahoN ni GMA dahil prayoridad ay pagnanakaw at hnd publiko. Panahon na upang tulungan natin si Tito Noy na muling pagandahin ang Maynila.

      1. Just because a person is a Catholic doesn’t mean he or she is kind. Same goes with other religions. Don’t be too narrow minded.

        BTW, nagtitiis din ang maraming Pinoy ngayon while your Tito Noy “allegedly” spends more of his time dating women, buying flashy cars and practicing shooting.

        1. Hindi mabait ang Pilipino dahil lang Kristiyano sila. Should I even mention the fact that most of the Philippine population go to church out of obligation and not true faith? Some might say that kung sino pa ang palasimba, sila din ang mapanglait, matsismis at sinners. Just because you step into a church and hear the “word of god” does not make you a good person. Being good, doing good, not talking about others and respecting others makes for a good person. NOT CHURCH.

      2. “We had Tita Cory in the past, she is our saint that overthrew evil Marcos, the dictator, who killed innocent Filipinos during Martial Law”

        And Cory and his family killed the innocent farmers of Hacienda Luisita during 1987. And she’s no saint because she rejected 90% of Marcos’ wealth in order to pay the foreign debt.

        “Mabait ang Pilipino dahil tayoy mga Kristiyano.”

        Woe to you, Vincenzo! You hypocrite! BTW, I’m a Protestant yet I treat Christianity more a RELATIONSHIP than religion. Catholicism is an example of a ‘crisis in faith.’ Kung talagang mabait then why there is sabong, alak, sugal after mass? And idolater ka rin, Vincenzo. Worshiping Mary statues does count.

        1. and may I add the growing amount of students claiming to go to “church” but instead checking into cheap motels to have some fun for an hour or two? and also those hotel attendants letting these kids check into their hotels just to make a profit. TRAVESTY!

      3. VBA, DK:

        Hey, buddies, I’m a Catholic, but I’m no medieval nutjob, thank you very much. I leave the work of Caesar to the men of Caesar.

        And that last statement of yours, DK? I can answer that, but that’s for a better place.

      4. Have you ever dealt with foreigners Mr. Arellano? Do you know how many times people have opened the doors of elevators and shops for me abroad, how many cars have yielded to me being a pedestrian crossing a street, and said hello as a stranger?

        I haven’t seen even a fraction of these among Filipinos! Everyday I commute and people keep on pushing each other to death in Metro Manila’s streets! Bus drivers yelling “kilos! kilos!” as if we are their slaves!

      5. Filipinos are not Christian…they are pre-dominantly Catholics…Christianity is about having faith in Jesus Christ and in His words…and I don’t think Catholics do that?..’coz if they do…they won’t need a pope…the Bible is more than enough to teach them how to live a real Christian life…

    5. Pastor Ernie, You are right that the Philippines is the favorite mission field of Jesus Christ, but Mr. James is a tourist not a missionary or an evangelist. I am also a Christian doing my ministry and even Christians are entitled to secular activities or enjoy some temporal relaxation that are not immoral. The DOT in particular and the Philippine government in general do not need a foreigner or even us Filipino citizens to pin point the “dumps” in the country. What Mr. James pointed out are glaring truth anyone sees day-in or day-out.

      1. What Mr. James pointed out are glaring truth anyone sees day-in or day-out.

        Good on you Germi! Pastor Ernie seems to be living under a rock.

    6. No offense, Pastor Ernie but what you said is trying to escape reality. I’m a Christian just like you but do you think most Filipinos are like that? Actually, it’s better to be rich in the eyes of God but do you think its better to make a difference to improve our society? Kung palagi tayo “think positive”, then how can we see the problems? “Filipino Spirit”, eh? If it means MEDIOCRITY, the God will say “Son, I am disappoint.” No thanks na lang.

      I’ll always pray…. for the Filipinos to wake up in order to make a change. I can change everyone by sharing the Gospel and at the same time, make a change in the community and to use wisdom for the greater good. Unlike the Filipinos who take Christianity as a way of being ‘in’, the South Koreans treat it seriously.

    7. do you read the bible?si jesus(peace be upon him)said that he came to treat the sick,meaning the sinners.he will go definitely to las vegas because he is needed there.lucifer surely will not go to las vegas dahil tsokaran na niya ang mga makasalanan doon,instead he will turn his attention to the philippines dahil hindi niya tsokaran ang mmarami doon.

    8. what?! what are you talking about “you cannot judge the book by it’s cover”?! he has been here to the Philippines SEVERAL TIMES already! what the hell are you talking about? did you read it through? i did. he has been to the Philippines for the last 15 years. hirap sa ating mga Filipino, minsan tanga na nga, nagta-tanga-tangahan pa eh

    9. Ang problema pastor iyung “cover” na iyun ay isa sa mga bagay na tinitingnan ng mga turista at investors para mag-invest at bumisita sa bansa natin.

    10. No, the biblical Jesus Christ wants to be around sinners but are willing to repent…He Himself said that He came to the world for the sick (sinners) and not for those who doesn’t require medication…the question is?..is the Philippines ready to repent and accept the salvation offered by God?..by the way they are trying to make Cory a saint…I don’t think the Philippines is ready to repent as of the moment…

    11. Honestly, there were some things that Mr. James said that made a good point. It is true that he shouldn’t and shouldn’t had judged our country in the appearance and all. It’s not his fault that those offensive opinions came out from his ignorant mouth because I too would say that if I were to put myself in his shoes.

      Who wouldn’t say those if you were a first timer going to Manila or Philippines? What would say or think if you see Philippines’ dirty, pitiful slums? You would feel sorry and send your sympathetic remarks to God whose always listening to the prayers of the people who asks for the same intercession–to rescue Pinoys from drowning into the never-ending abyss of poverty. Who do we blame for this ridiculous mess? Surely all Filipinos will announce “Ang gobyerno!” “si GMA yan” “dahil yan sa pagkurakot ng mga senador, congressmen etc.” My question is…
      How and what can we do to renew Philippines’ current state? If we were to blame the government, well slap yourself and think WHO VOTED FOR THESE CORRUPT OFFICIALS? If you’re politically smart to answer that, then you know the answer. For the noobs, the birdbrained answer to the shallow question is that Filipinos VOTED for the wrong officials. The entire population of the Philippines want change for the country, society, and for themselves. They want to live in a country where assurance is always guaranteed everywhere they go and for their future. All of them hungered long enough for equal rights and freedoms. For that long, Democracy lost its purpose.

      I read a lot of the replies from this article and from what I observed there are some opinions that made an exceptional point but regarded as an offensive one. Lack of faith in the Filipino spirit perhaps? I don’t think so…those are the precious words that an opinionated citizen would say to announce his/her view of the current state of our corrupted country.

      1. ……..and Mr James has not encountered the beggars and the other denizens of MManila. I wonder if he will ever come back. The sad thing is, he will talk about
        Manila in a bad light by the “word of mouth” advertising.
        Certainly, it is not more fun in the Philippines as many foreigners would aver.

    12. tanggapin na lng natin natutuo ang mga puna satin at gumawa tayo ng solusyon upang malutas to….tama naman sya sa mga puna nya..ikaw kung bago ka sa isang lugar at ang makikita mo ay buhol buhol na trafic..kaliwat kanang basura..naglipanang mandurukot at kung anu ano pa..ano babalik kpa ba sa lugar na yon..imbes na magreklamo kumilos na lng tayo kung pano pagagandahin ang ating bansa…amen

      1. @Jerry

        imbes na magreklamo kumilos na lng tayo kung pano pagagandahin ang ating bansa

        Kung walang magrereklamo, hinde kikilos at titino ang mga nasa gobyerno dahil ang iisipin nila ok ang ginagawa nila.

    13. Jesus has nothing to do with this situation. But it’s these type of comments that make Filipinos sound very backward ” Jesus will definitely visit Manila because he likes to be around poor people with good souls.” This does not help make the country a better place at all. Having a heart of gold hasn’t helped our country get better.

    14. Mr James could not have put it better – this is Manila as we see it too. There is no denying. We cannot say, do not judge a book by its cover, because for a foreigner, the first impression lasts. That is the nature of the traveler. What he sees at first glance is what he experiences. He does not have to go deeper than what he experiences as soon as he lands at the airport – the NAIA 1.
      I am also saddened that the Discovery Suites, once acclaimed as an excellent hotel, has gone “the way of the dogs”. What a pit really. I would not like to pay P5000.00 + a night for a hotel that has not seen a major refurbishing 15 years after it first opened.

    15. As a Western male, Manilla seems like a worse version of Bangkok. It seems like it is busier, like there is more corruption, more prostitutes, more poverty, bigger crowds, less education, and more crazy religious nuts who are sometimes hypocritical and damage the image of the Philippines (These religious fools also tend to look down upon poor girls working in the sex industry to support their family but will do nothing to actually help them – praying does not feed families). I don’t say any of this to criticise; I say this because Manilla and the Philippines are often overlooked by travellers. You might say that a lot of Philippinos are great people, but most travellers don’t go to a country to meet great people – they want to relax, unwind from the stressors of their daily lives, and enjoy new experiences in an environment that allows one to emancipate into tranquility. Manilla creates stress, not abates it.

    16. The place is NOT as good as Mr James describes it, he is being really NICE. And as much as I hate to be the harbinger of that which you dont want to hear, the WHOLE of the Philippines is much the same – just an absolute S HOLE. I am so sorry for saying this but it really is the truth – the place stinks, poverty rages, corruption rules and no one is doing any thing about trying to fix the joint – it wont be fixed in the next 100 years and looks like getting far worse….is that possible???

    17. You are an idiot!! Don’t dare say for God to bless that disgusting country!! Those ass holes Eat cats & dogs! That place is hell! Its nasty, has the worst people & its just down right pathetic!! There’s garbage every where & they have whores in every damn corner!that country I shameful & horrible!! Nasty!!

    1. One reason for that is it has lost its character and charm. You see all these new buildings but you just can’t relate to it anymore. And unfortunately, after a few years, only a handful of these new buildings will likely maintain its glory.

    1. Dahil yan sa garapal na pagnanakaw ni GMA, ang mga pondo dyan dapat ibigay sa mhirap, eh ano ang ginawa? Derecho sa bulsa. Tapos ngayon sakit sakitan. Gumising na tayo

      1. Tama, gumising ka na rin Vincenzo. Bago pa ang pagnanakaw ni GMA na sinasabi mo eh meron nang korupsiyon at garapalan, kahit ngayon pa lang sa administrayong Noy.

        Get real, Vincenzo. Don’t be blind (follower). All politicians are the same.

        “Are you blind? What’s wrong with your eyes?” – Shaq

      2. Kung magnakaw kasi si GMA, garapalan, harap harapan, lahat kinukuha, said na said. Kaya marami ang nagagalit sa kanya. Wala syang pakielam sa mga mahhrap

      3. Umm saan mo nakuha iyan? People blamed PGMA because the media highlighted her faults and made her supposedly anti-masa. Obviously, you got that from the medias (mostly ABS-CBN). Mahilig ka talaga sa chismis. LAWL. Not until Noynoy steals money in front of your face!

        Ikaw ang dapat gumising because you’re been brainwashed by the Yellow Propaganda Machine. It was CGMA who helped financed the Millennium Loan while Noynoy just get the credit all by himself.

        Siyanga pala, you’re vocal on GMA being ‘evil’ yet never realized that the corruption of the Aquino-Congjuanco family is a lot more worse. Hacienda Luisita, HELLO!? 😛 Walang patutunguhan ang isang taong tulad ni Vincenzong Chismoso.

      4. Dyan naman magaling ang kasalukuyang admin…sa paninisi…pero kung titingnan mo…anu nga ba ang nagawa ni PNoy kahit noong siya ay tongressman at senatong pa lang…nasa poder na siya noon…pero wala rin naman siya nagawa…nagbutas lang ng bangko…habang panay ang tanggap ng pork barrel…hindi pa ba sapat na tawaging isang uri ng korapsyon ang ginawa?…o talagang nagbubulag-bulagan na lang ang Pilipino sa katotohanan?…talk about Filipinos being “Christians”…when they themselves cannot handle the truth…

      5. I’m not pro GMA, in fact I voted for her number 1 contender, and is praying for her to pay her dues. But let’s not make her our scapegoat to what’s happening in our economy and the whole Philippines. Corruption existed long before we did and the crisis in the PH didn’t just stem out of GMA’s administration only..You seem to have studied your history to know that. Filipinos being poor isn’t solely the government’s fault..WE ourselves are responsible of what we become. The philippines is blessed with natural resources esp in agriculture, but what do we do? We shun away from the promising agricultural lands in the villages awaiting to be tilled. We are blinded with the shimmering lights of the cities and live in the slums then complain of its ghetto state. What the!!!! Make sense people!

  2. I have visited the philippines for over 50 years.
    Manila was once ranked in beauty alongside paris and new york, but now it is a joke, and with no sense of heritage or appreciation of culture it has been destroyed over the years with no long term vision or plan just easy money for corrupt officials,( lim you should hang in shame) and without a great capital the rest of the country inevitably suffers both in reputation, and economically in terms of investment and tourism.
    Baguio is another example. It could have been a world heritage site with its past beauty and architectural importance, but now it is cheap, tacky, overcrowded and dirty, full of bag snatchers and beggars.
    The houses are falling into disrepair with no attempt to renovate – summer capital! Joke.
    The country has no pride, other than in beauty queens or videoke singers.
    What the americans built has been destroyed, and nothing put in its place or built upon.
    It only shows the country cannot manage itself.
    The wealth was and is there, it simply goes into personal bank accounts rather than infrastructure etc.
    What of importance and beauty has been built in the past 40 years?
    A good resort in boracay or palawan is hardly testament to the country or sufficient reason to travel when there are similar resorts w/wide in countries of beauty, and people who understand quality of service.
    I travel every week to different countries and see how others are adapting and growing whilst the philippines falls behind more and more

    1. When you go to other countries in Europe, the things that add charm and character to places like Italy for example, are the historical buildings that have been preserved for over hundreds of years. Filipinos don’t seem to care about these things.

      One more thing I noticed is that most Filipinos seems to be uncomfortable with silence. Everywhere you go there is music blasting away. Sometimes I can’t hear myself think when I go to an establishment. It’s like they don’t want to be in a state of self-reflection, which is why they always want their mind occupied.

      1. All your comments are bound to unbecoming a Filipino Citizen..you always pointing your index finger to others but you didn’t notice that other four finger are pointing towards you! Stop these non-sensible, biased and unproven criticisms to our leader…perhaps start to contribute essential to our country that will benefit the rest of the Filipino race.

        1. Stop discouraging people from voicing out their dissatisfaction with our public servants or with Filipinos in general. Being vocal is how we can help make our public servants work for us.

      2. Being vocal to our government and exercising our freedom of expression are not proven enough specially if it is not supported by a very strong evidence. WE can “HELP and MAKE our public servants work for us” if WE Filipino Citizens’ start the CHANGE within ourselves. I am just discouraging people NOT to use word defying criticisms and self-centered opinion against our leaders. Believe me, majority of our countrymen specially those we always seen in the streets making noise will not be contented whoever the leader is. Try to be a leader, you might find all your answers and you might see a difference.

        1. Our taxes pay for these public servants and don’t forget, these public servants wanted the job. So if we are not satisfied with the way they are doing their job, we need to let them know. Why do you care if they get offended? They are supposed to be working for us. Please think twice before commenting because you are not making any sense.

      3. This is true. I can’t even ride a bus without being bombarded by dumb shows from network television. Do these bus operators really have to impose their culture on me?

      4. I think it is not being unbecoming Filipino citizen by voicing out our observations. What Ilda’s comment was to state her observations and the point there was whether her observation is correct. And I agree to her observation as to some extent I need two weeks to adjust to this noisy environment whenever I am back in RP. Nobody can question the validity of one’s experience as it is subjective.

    2. Si Marcos ang nagumpisa ng lahat ng ito, tignan mo, hindi lang buong bansa sinira nya,pati na ang ganda ng mga Maynila, pinuno ng basura at pinabayaan.

      1. It was AFTER the Marcos regime that things began to deteriorate. I am not a Marcos supporter, I was too young when he was president, but as I was growing up, I myself noticed the changes in Manila, how it slowly decayed and how our “democracy” worked. We stopped caring for everything else because we thought we were “free”.

      2. Yup, lalong lumala AFTER kay Marcos. You’re just too dazed to notice things AFTER Marcos regime. Even most of my friends and other Pinoy people living here in SG for more than 25 years state that, admittedly, Philippines was at par or even betten than Singapore before during Marcos regime.

        Now compare Philippines vs Singapore, Vincenzo. Which is better now? Which has the better, current administrator now? Singapore before was a “dump” even poorer than Philippines before Marcos regime. But look at them now, and look at us now.

        “Are you blind? What’s wrong with your eyes?” – Shaq

      3. Si Marcos ang nagumpisa ng lahat ng ito

        And PNoy can’t seem to end the culture of impunity and corruption even after almost two years in office.

      4. Hindi na muling nakaahon pa ang bansa dahil sa pagnanakaw ni Marcos, kita mo wala nagamit na pondo si Tita Cory para gamitin sa muling pagangat ng bansa.

      5. LAWL, talking about double standards, eh?

        Tama sila: mas lumala ang lahat after Marcos. And Cory never borrowed money hindi dahil sa “pagnanakaw” ni Marcos kundi she is busy paying her media friends to make things look good in her term. Tuloy pa rin ang pagnanakaw sa panahon ni Cory. She was loved by autists like you so you never realized what was REALLY going on.

        The 1987 Constitution benefited more the Aquinos, Congjuancos, Ayalas than the Filipino people. In short, PAGNANAKAW din iyan.

    3. Your right on the spot Nona. I’m from the Cordilleras, and I claim Baguio to be the city where I spent most of my life. Although, I always come home to this city for there’s still no place like home; your observation is right. It has become a boring city apart from being small, there’s nowherelse to go. You can’t always hang out at SM or other Chinese establishments? It’s so sad, but I myself can’t see any improvement. Looks like Baguio people lost their sentiments and are going towards self-destruction through the so-called industrialization if it really is. There’s nothing wrong about this though. It’s just that Baguio is losing its luster and glam. The used to be peace loving, non-fame hunger Igorots are following the trend of hypocrisy, capitalism, and vanity. Replacing heritage sites to chain of malls and restaurants.

  3. Agreed with most things Mr James said, but I do think he could have pointed out that if you come into Manila via Clark airport the experience is much better. I don’t include the lack of transport away in that, just the airport.

    1. Not all international travellers have the option of using the Clark airport. And that is just too far from the business districts. Just imagine if you only need to spend two days in Manila for a meeting with someone from ADB. You’ll have to spend a few hours travelling from Clark to the city.

      And just because there is Clark airport, it does not mean that NAIA should be neglected.

      1. Yup, yup. All of our airports and even budget terminals are like… whatever?! I find NAIA 3 so simple, even though it’s clean, not even comparable to the things you can see even in SG budget terminal (the shops, the internet kiosks, the bars, the mini-bookstore, the choices of food, budget terminal na iyan ah at sabi nga ng ilang uncles dito eh mukhang “factory lang” eh mas marami pa akong nakikitang leisure and relaxation dito kesa NAIA 3).

  4. What you see when you arrive in the Philippines is the reflection of the incompetence of the government…If you see anything deteriorating in a dismal condition, and is named after an Aquino…it reflects the truth of their being…they’re incompetent…

    1. How dare you call the Aquinos incompetent. They are incorruptible. Kung hnd dahil sa kanila, wala kang kalayaan ngayon. Look at Tito Noy, kht anong batikos nyo he treats it as compliment.

      1. Si AbNoy nga ang pinaka-pikon na naging presidente ng pilipinas. Madaling tablan ng mga criticism. Masyadong image-conscious kasi. Already at his 50s, immature pa rin hangga’t ngayon.

      2. Dapat mga Aquino nga ang magpasalamat sa mga taumbayan. Kinaawaan lang sila, kaya sarap ngayon ng buhay nila kahit na lalong naghihirap ang pilipinas.

      3. This is what you call freedom? The country is stuck in debt. Sometimes I feel like the government dictates how much the Philippine Peso should be against the dollar. USD depreciating, but prices of prime commodities still keep rising. The 1,000 USD I send every month to my family used to be exchanged for P50,000, after only a few years, today it’s about P41,000. It’s like losing P9,000 every month, and to top it all off, the cost of living keeps rising.

      4. Because of the people, the Aquinos and their minions have been in power since 1986. They should thank the people.

        They are not above corruption. They even prioritize their Kaibigan, kaklase and kamag-anak.

      5. If I could call my carabao :”incorruptible”. So be it. Kalayaan…we have not been free. Free from poverty. Did the Aquinos freed his tenants-serfs/slaves at his Hacienda Luisita. No sir, his mother ordered them massacred…He is not incompetent, because, he is there soliciting “Honorary Doctorate Degrees, from foreign universities…
        Sometimes when you deceive people; you believe in your deceptions ultimately, as truth…then, you suffer from paranoia…a secere mental illness…

      6. Paranoia is a severe Mental Illness. You cannot distinguish reality. Your falsehood and deception are your reality…you badly need a good Psychiatrist…

      7. Hndi naman totoo yang kamag anak inc. Kalokohan lang yan ng mga naninira na tulad nyo. Eh si GMA? ZTE? Fertilizer scam? Midnight appointees? Garapal! At hnd magagawa ni Tita Cory na pumatay.

      8. LAWL. Most of the things na binaggit mo on Gloria are more like alleged. Samantalang kay Cory is natabunan na iyon thanks to her propagandist.

        My answer? Read “Greed and Betrayal” by Cecilio Arillo and “Neither Trumpets nor Drums” by the late Salvador H. Laurel. Especially on Doy because he revealed about the corruption during Cory’s time and on Arillo’s book, it was also revealed that Cory’s allies are behind the Mendiola Massacre. She gave up her shares on Hacienda Luisita yet she gave it her relatives.

      9. you think so because your pro ninoy..nothing wrong with that..i’m not a fan of his, but i’m not anti-ninoy either..he’s got a long way to go..i’ll wait and see then talk..but in your case be more objective in seeing things..is it solely because of the aquinos we got out of the grip of the marcoses? c’mon? is it being pleasant amidst criticisms the key to better Philippine economy and relations? well it’s a factor, but not everything..there’s more he has to become and do..

    1. Tagal na nuon. A lot can be done in a year but look at what your tito Noy has done in almost two years. Not much. He is just continuing the projects that GMA started.

      1. Dahil matatalino kayong lahat, tulungan nyong baguhin ang batas. Lahat ng lumang batas na di na naayon sa makabagong panahon. Gumawa ng batas at ipatupad ng walang awa sa mga lumalabag. Bitayin ang ang mahatulan upang maging aral sa lahat! Tama na ang sisihan at siraan, walang kayong mapapala kahit anong ingay nyo! Sanay na ang mga yan!

    2. TROLL HARDER.

      Like I said, Cory had nothing to offer but ABS-CBN, canneries, and breweries. And hey, have you enjoyed the daily brownouts back then?

      BTW, tuluyan na nasira ang Pilipinas due to Cory’s stupidity, especially on paying debts since she’s busy paying her media friends.

  5. Si AbNoy nga ang pinaka-pikon na naging presidente ng pilipinas. Madaling tablan ng mga criticism. Masyadong image-conscious kasi. Already at his 50s, immature pa rin hangga’t ngayon.

    1. Recently, I watched this documentary about “Thrilla in Manila”. – The famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World.

      Not being much of a historian, it was a surprise for me that it was held here in Philippines specifically in Araneta Coliseum during the Marcos Era.

      It was said that the boxing match served as a diversion from the social turmoil experienced after having declared martial law three years earlier.

      For such world renown boxers to come here, Manila must had at least a good tourism image by that time.

      1. I don’t know about tourism.

        Before Thrilla in Manila, there was the Rumble in the Jungle. Zaire must have also been awesome then. I wonder who their dictator was. Do I hear Mobotu from the audience?

    2. Right..although marcos led the Philippine economy to destruction, he did something worthwhile during his ‘good-spiritted’ days which in the end he destroyed..if the Philippines had not succumb to mismanagement, it would have become a better place to live in and would still be next to Japan in terms of economic state.

  6. A thought:

    On my way to Seattle I stopped over at Taipei Taoyuan airport. Naturally I would be drawing some kind of glowing comparison over NAIA.

    But then it occurred to me that Taiwan also has the Songshan airport which is actually in Taipei. Most big international airports today are actually built outside of the downtowns they serve. This, apparently, is the idea behind GMA Airport (like I’m gonna refer to it by her daddy’s name :P) Even SeaTac airport is closer to Tac(oma) than Sea(ttle).

    Which leads to the question…should we just leave NAIA to the wastes and work on building GMA Airport into the real international-standard “gateway” of the Philippines?

    1. Which leads to the question…should we just leave NAIA to the wastes and work on building GMA Airport into the real international-standard “gateway” of the Philippines?

      One of the points I am trying to make is this: both the public and private sectors seem to have little ability to maintain, preserve or improve on the current facilities we already have. Some developers run things to the ground or in some cases, abandon it for something new. It’s just disappointing.

  7. the incompetence of work shy abnoy
    will make no difference.
    his only role is to be cojuangcos puppet
    and ensure there is no FoI, no open competition, no carp implementation and investment in clark, subic and tarlac.
    with the arfoyos in exile the plan is clearly to try and take over the economic jewel of pampanga and forget the rest of the country.
    only the brainwashed yellow cult members cannot see that the corruption is as bad as ever and there is no progress and a significant decrease in foreign investment. the world waited, gave a chance and has made up its mind. aquino is not to be trusted

      1. same with Cebu..many Koreans and americans i’ve met at work labelled it as sex haven..never been there and no idea whatsoever..but from stories and evidence, i don’t feel proud about it..when i said evidence of it being a sex haven; they clearly pointed out to me when i tried defending cebu; from where do mestizos and mestizas come from? they are almost all cebuanos/illongos?.. who are their fathers? mostly westerners..do they live with them? no most are products unwed moms.. now you tell me i’m wrong..i’ll rethink my thoughts towards cebu..promise

        1. Agree. The mestizos and mestizas that the locals are so crazy over and strive so hard to be like with their whitening creams and lotions don’t realize that most of those “tisays” and “tisoys” are the result of foreigners coming to our country, paying and fucking the women, then leaving them impregnated. I can’t even call them “lovechild” because obviously, most of the time, there is absolutely no love involved. In your face! to the girl who used to belittle me for being tan. YOUR MOTHER WAS A WHORE! THAT’S WHY YOU LOOK THAT WAY! 😀

      2. cebu girls are nice but like so many not much in the brains or breasts department.
        price – mid range 1000 pesos
        manila – 3000
        baguio/ angeles – 2000
        davao – 500

    1. Pikon din sya. If he’s not then why did he react on former Ambassador Kenny’s comment? He’s more like gullible and a leader should never act like that.

      If he never shapes up, he’s a lot more worse than her mother. Still, you’re not educated on the issue of politics here in our country.

  8. Ilda,

    With the way you put it, I think I agree with Mr. James. The main point is: nothing will stay beautiful forever. If Manila was a gem back in the old days, it certainly isn’t now. Now, what are we going to do about it. Cursing critics without appreciating the points just shows a resistance towards change.

    Now, if only Pinoys will get their heads out of their asses, things will really start to change. 🙂 Puro brain fart eh.

    1. @Brianitus

      Countries with historical buildings spend money on maintenance. This is a concept that seems to be totally alien to the Philippine government and some of our local investors. No one seems to value our heritage. Just look around Manila and you will see buildings that look abandoned. One of them is the CCP complex. It is such a shame that the government is just letting the facilities there rot. Nowadays, most Filipinos just look to the malls for entertainment and “culture”.

      1. hi ilda

        parang wikang pilipino lang yan eh, napapabayaan kaya naluluma at bumababa ang halaga.

        pilit na sumasabay sa agos ng pagbabago pero hindi panapangalagahan ang pinagmulan.

        ningas cugon, bahala na, wala akong paki… mga kaugaliang di maalis alis sa pagiging pinoy.

        1. Hi aljad

          I don’t think we can compare our infrastructure with our language. Infrastructure can be maintained and improved given the right budget and attention. Our language on the other hand is very limited in vocabulary. We have to constantly borrow words from the English language in order to communicate effectively. Tagalog it seems is a language that is evolving too slowly.

      2. Oh, but there is a lot of culture in the malls — jejemon. :p

        Actually, it saddens me whenever I see videos of Old Manila. Too bad we were never able to restore it to its former glory after WWII. Add the increased population and trash, Manila today is a stinker.

        Oh, I actually took a boat ride a couple of years ago in one of the esteros. We took part in the cleanup. Ang dami basura and people actually live there. Nakakalungkot, Ilda.

        1. Unfortunately, the country’s infrastructure cannot cope with the increase in the population. It seems like the people in charge do not have a five year plan at all. In other words, they have no vision. Add to that, both the public and private sectors cannot be relied upon to care about our heritage.

        1. Even some moneyed people don’t have taste. It’s more to do with our lack originality. Most Filipinos tend to just copy what is in vogue in the West. Unfortunately, some of us are bad copycats.

        1. Just look at the kind of mentality Aquino supporters have. They immediately label PNoy’s critics as GMA’s ally even without any basis. Tsk tsk…mukhang negative talaga ang influence ng mga yellow supporters. Melodramatic at may “victim mentality.”

          *sigh*

        1. The only reason you think that way is because you seem to display this characteristic of a person who is not above accepting money to be PNoy’s irrational defender on the Net. Which is why you easily conclude that people who criticise PNoy are receiving some kind of monetary reward too.

          You do not have an answer to any of our points so you are using another tactic. How pathetic.

      3. I agree..magagaling lang tayo sa umpisa. pag bago maganda..but hindi tayo marunong sa maintenance. After one year naluluma ng masyado and no more maintenance. I went to one of the Makati private offices..ok pa ang building sa labas but pagpasok mo madumi na pati ang mga offices nila madaming kalat at hindi man lang pintahan ng bago ang paligid. Puro ayaw gumastos

      4. To aljad..i agree in some ways..sorry ms Ilda..Filipino to me will soon become a “joke” ..i honestly can’t speak filipino fluently..it sure is evolving but what kind of evolution taglish or gay lingo? worst, jejemon? ..it is same as being dead if that’s the case..

    1. Are you on drugs?

      Pinaganda nga ni Marcos ang Maynila eh, tapos nung nawala siya at pumangit ang Manila, siya sisisihin mo? Kung meron kang pinauupahang apartment, may tenant ka for 20 years, pinaganda ng husto yung pinauupahan mong bahay, tapos namatay siya, at pinaupahan mo uli yung bahay mo ng dobleng halaga dahil mas maganda na kaysa nung una, tapos yung mga bagong lipat, pinapangit yung bahay mo, hindi inalagaan, sisisihin mo ba yung unang tenant mo na nagpaganda ng bahay mo? May common sense ka ba?

      1. Kalokohan mo! Siyempre pinaganda nya nga. Tapos yung mga gnamit na pampaganda pa sana ng Maynila, itinakbo sa Hawaii. Ninakaw. Ayan ang hangarin ni Tita Cory dati kaya gnawa nya ang PCGG.

      2. Vincenzong Magnanakaw:

        Kalokohan mo rin LAWL!

        Even the PCGG is a mediocre organization chasing Marcos’ “ill-gotten wealth” so para matago din ang pagnanakaw ng mga Aquino. Para sabihin ko sa iyo: Marcos spent 200 million in his 20 years while Cory spent 1 trillion.

        And Cory is an idiot because she refused to accept 90% of Marcos’ wealth na pwede sanang pambayad sa utang. All she did is busy whoring on Tom Cruise during that time.

      3. @Vicenzo, how sure are you? Do you have proof to back those words up? Si Marcos naipakita niya sa Pilipinas ang “proof” dahil pinaganda niya ang Maynila, at inamin mo rin yun, oo pinaganda nga niya, ikaw na rin may sabi. Oo lahat ng pulitiko nangungurakot. Ang kaibahan lang ni Marcos, at least may nakikitang improvement sa bansa, may visible, tangible improvement. Di katulad ng mga successors niya.

    2. After Marcos, pumangit nga ito but not his fault. Cory never bothered na pagandahin ito because she is busy paying her media friends to make things look good in her term.

      Wala kang common sense dahil paniwalang-paniwala ka sa Yellow Propaganda. All I hear is nothing but hearsay and LOL evil Marcos. 😀

      1. Correct, up to now, masama pa ang loob ko sa Mendiola Massacre noong 1987. Why dont they let hacienda Luicita owned by the farmers, the real owner of the Hacienda. Pnoy can do something to help it but he refuse to.

    3. @VBA, what is all about this presidency debates? Shoving them aside, the citizens themselves are making the city and the country worse every single day. I think what we need is an iron fist.

    1. Justice is not yet served! Tignan mo yung mga ninakaw dati ni Marcos hanggang ngayon binabayaran pa rin ng ating taxpayer. Khit na patay na sya, magpakailanman sya maaalaala bilang kriminal.

      1. Yeah right Marcos was a crook because he was pointed by media pundits being one. Please read Cecilio Arrilio’s “Greed and Betrayal” because marami ding ninakaw si Cory.

        Hindi mo lang alam iyon. 😛

  9. Also rotten corrupted mind and stupidity of Filipino masses pull their ass to poverty. Catholic faith is not economics, it’s spiritual, so don’t blame the church of our economic downfall.

      1. Boohoo do you think siya lang? Binibilog ka lang ng media, Vincenzong Kurakot.

        BTW, like I just said, you’re just TROLLING on everyone with useless conspiracy theories and baseless comments with no backing whatsoever. In fact, it’s easy to say GMA is corrupt while we Filipinos are corrupt. If corruption is all about ung ‘nakawan sa kaban ng bayan’ then you’re totally wrong about it.

        TROLL HARDER.

      2. “Tita Cory did her best,pero dahil nga walang pondo, nahirapan sya.”

        Yes, because Cory herself never borrowed money and didn’t give back to social services either! And considering she was too busy paying off her media friends to make things look good in her term when it was just as tumultuous so asshats like you will believe everything that comes from the Cory Hype machine. And try sound intelligent trying to defend her family name. 😛

        Think about it, 20 years all she has to show for was ABS-CBN, canneries and breweries. If that is your idea of progress, then thank god I’m still laughing at your stupid ass miles and miles away.

      3. “Tito Noy is not related anymore with Hacienda Luisita.”

        He DOES! He is also the administrator of Hacienda Luisita at the time na may massacre dun.

        Kaya nga “Republika ng Haciendero” e. Even he’s not related to that anymore, siya pa rin because he gave it to his other relatives. Makes sense?

  10. Manila is a terrible, unlivable place. Rubgy boys, snachaers, hoodlums, crackheads, holdupers, prostitutes everywhere. Prostitutes are looking for foreigners most of the time hoping for dollars and green cards.

    1. Some would say, not all are rubgy boys, snachaers, hoodlums, crackheads, holdupers, prostitutes. But like you, this might be the general impression most travellers to Manila will get because these kinds of Filipinos are all over the place.

      1. yeah they are..partly cuz they wanted to become one..didn’t wanna work their muscles out–went to easy money..another thing, they’re pushed out and are victims of circumstances..

    2. Unti unti nang nawawala ang crime sa bansa dahil tumaas na ang morale ng ating mga pulis at sundalo. Unlike dati na nagnanakawan sila sa AFP at PNP under Arroyo.

      1. You’re WRONG on the corruption on the AFP and the PNP. Nandyan na iyan before Gloria came into power.

        TROLL HARDER.

      2. i don’t think so..the crime rate may have been downgraded but not because of that..it ain’t just being religiosly noted..if so, the brutal, facist-like killing in tineg abra-car region..why was it silenced immediately and was even celebrated..massacre in ARMM region..ain’t those heinous crimes?

  11. Being a poor third world country, we should not be surprised and defensive when someone from rich first world country make unpleasant and honest description of our capital city. It is what it is and there is no one to blame but the people living in it and the politicians they elect to manage it who don’t give a damn about improving its appearance. We can’t stop foreign visitors expressing their opinion, good or bad. Unless something is done to improve it, there is nothing we can do but suck up all the criticisms thrown our away.

    1. You idiot, its about graft and corruption. Dahil nga sa impluwensya ng ating nagdaan na presidente ay lahat ngayon ay magnanakaw na, tgnan mo gagawa ng project tapos tataasan ng 200% yung proceeds. Ang masama pa, minamanipula pa ang botohan kaya yung cnsbi m0ng kasalanan ng ating mga botante ay mali. Buti at nakaupo na ang tamang presidente na magbbgo sa stwasyon sa bansa, si Tito Noy

      1. Kahirapan ng Pinoy ay hindi dulot ng graft and corruption kundi kabobobohan, sobrang pag-party at katamaran. So what do you expect on an authority figure who is not acting as an authority figure.

        Those who can make a difference are the onse who DO, idiot. 😛

    2. I agree. Much in the same manner, we all express our dislike of things that don’t pass our “standards.” It’s only fair that we dish out and receive criticism. To do otherwise is falls a tad short of conceit. 🙂

  12. That airport was definitely a mess. I love the Philippines but I have to agree 100% to this writer. the airport was very disorganized..the restrooms are awful and lots of corruption. Except for some employees who I believe are still hard workers and honest that airport is horrible in all aspect. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful homes and other establishments in the Philippines, why can’t they have a better airport.

    1. What bothers me is how some elites in our society, the frequent travellers can stay silent about the condition of the airport. Some of them have the resources to put some kind of pressure on whoever is in charge of the upkeep. We hardly hear them complain about it though. They should be up in arms asking our public servants to fix the facilities and the service there. Unfortunately, they act so indifferent to the situation.

  13. A German’s perspective of the Philippines for 3 years:

    First of all: I love the Philippines and I love the Filipino people. No where else in the world are you greeted with big smiles and such an unanimous “hi, good morning” when you walk through the door of Starbucks.

    But in the 3 years I have been living in Manila, there have been no major upgrading to anything in the country (except the Skyway to Alabang). Have you ever traveled to places like Bangkok? Bangkok was a mess in the 1990s when I lived there but look at it today. 8-lane elevated highways connecting the airport and all parts of the city. mrt and elevated rail lines running all over. while we in manila are still getting screwed by the old EDSA everyday. suvarnabhumi airport a great, clean, modern facility. NAIA is still the same piece of shit.
    Before coming to the Philippines I lived in India for 11 years. And oh my, what a dump Delhi had been! But look at it now. Big new T3, extensive MRt network, new highways – within 5 years. now compare that to manila.

    an airport is the gateway to a country but NAIA does not portray the beauty of the philippines and its people. tear it down and start again somewhere to the south of manila coz that was just a big fail!

    and corruption. police is in it, LTO and all other gov officials are in it. that’s just in the mentality of filipino people, practice corruption and take care of myself instead of improving the common good. the fact that all the money lost in corruption is missing in the gov budget and cannot be used for infrastructure and fighting poverty is ignored.

    and foreign investment in general, the NAIA T3 issue. regardless of who is right or wrong or if fraport deserves compensation: what kind of picture does that incident give to foreign investors? come to the philippines, where your money will definitely be lost! what other (German) company would ever make big investments in the Philippines again???

    When my friends first told me the philippines used to be richer than singapore I could not believe them. you guys have great english skills, are a Christian nation, willing to work and have a good education. you should be doing so much better. YOU COULD BE RULING ASIA right now.

    one more note on tourism: we repeatedly tell our family back in Germany to come visit us. but guess what! they rather go to Thailand……….I wonder why!

    1. Like I said before, most Filipinos just shrug problems off as “God’s will”. And because of this, some of them become incapable of critical analysis. They treat their public servants as celebrities instead of people who are paid to maintain and improve our public facilities and infrastructure. Which is why these public servants get away with mediocre work and still get re-elected in the next election.

      1. and those public servants are more concerned about filling their own pockets, or, as I was once greeted by a police officer when he pulled me over for “reckless driving” in November: “Merry Christmas”…
        I wonder who would call the Philippines a developing nation, because nobody is actually willing to develop it!
        another interesting bunch of numbers, found in the DOING BUSINESS REPORT 2011, where Thailand ranks 19 and Malaysia 21 (out of 183 countries).

        Guess where the Philippines show up: 148!

        I rest my case

      2. Ilda,

        I don’t think “shaming” the Pinoys will work. I have a feeling that a lot of Pinoys don’t really even know what these “elected” officials are for. Because people don’t know, they think that the cash/gifts/projects that politicians give out come of their personal pockets. In the politician’s mind, as long as people don’t complain, it means that they’re doing an awesome job.

        1. Some Filipinos actually think that the politicians are being so generous when latter give gifts like when they act as “ninong” or “ninang” at their wedding.

    2. *clap, clap, clap* I cant agree more.
      An airport portrays the country and in this case NAIA saddly does. The airport is as run-down as the country is. Everybody just watches how everything is falling apart. Nothing has been invested and nobody wants to invest to improve the country or at least the airport.

    3. Yeah. Some people think this country is only good for cheap whores and cheap knockoffs. HMM. I wonder why….. *eyeroll*

  14. These Filipino politicians are only generous, because the money and gifts they’re giving to people came from the people themselves. They steal these money from the Filipino people and pocket the rest. Or should I say they keep most of the money they steal from Filipinos and give the pocket change back to them. And the people vote for them.

    1. It’s mind-boggling why most Pinoys don’t realise that. Some people I know even brag about being connected to a politician. It’s like a status symbol in our beloved country.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Vincenzo is a shooting buddy of PNoy.

      1. Hello!!

        I have read some articles from Antipinoy and GRP, and I can say the articles explain the painful truth that we shall accept, but yesterday was the first time I read the forums. I suddenly began LOL-ing around the words of this someone named Vincenzo B. Arellano, who suddenly spout out these Pro-Noy words and stuff. Anybody knows this guy? Let him speak up, because I want to LOL at his words that make him look like a fag. I can’t wait for him to vomit his own blood.

  15. the bottomline is: Diyos narin ang humusga s mga kasalanan ni Cory s pamamagitan ng pagkakaroon nia ng colon cancer n nagpaaga sa pagtatapos ng kanyang buhay….RIP…

  16. Go to any part of Japan and use their PUBLIC TOILETS. You can sleep on the floor. No exag.

    Dito, na sa “1st class” ka na, nandi-diri ka pa rin. It is not only a matter of maintenance but it is also HOW the PEOPLE USE it.

  17. pardon me for straying a bit from the topic but will somebody tell me what “bopels” mean? It is a pejorative word, isn’t it?

  18. @Ilda
    Still, I want to read more of his comments here and the other site, because I get to read the extra logical and funnier rebuttals that you and the others write up against him. Such funny words of logic and wisdom reminds me of my favorite Philosophy professor, he is really funny, yet very enlightening.

    Anyway, the articles show the reality of the Philippines behind the propaganda. As it is, I definitely want to believe that the Philippines should just be nuked, because it’s hopeless. Culture dies hard, they say, and the Filipino culture at present is too flawed to be even reconsidered.

    The Philippines should have been hit by the earthquake, not Japan!! Well, the Philippines will never learn anyway from their mistakes so, that’s how it is supposed to work then.

    Hard to accept, but yeah, Philippines is just too gay, while other countries are like real men(I am typing figuratively, no offense, but I really just don’t see light at the end of the tunnel anyway for the Philippines)

  19. There is clearly a problem being pointed out here, and most of us are too busy being offended that the author didn’t mention the plus sides. He’s omitted the good things about Manila because there’s been nothing BUT good things to read about Manila. All the bad stuff has to be addressed too. I mean, when the hell are we going to address all these problems piled upon problems? “…But we’re nice naman eh…”

    1. Typical bulls###. You know what? This place isn’t of ‘sunshine lollipops, rainbows everywhere…’ like in that song. Please get out of your own little box full of delusions and chocolate covered muck that you so glorify and so proud of.

      Are you an adult? Then face problems like one. I’m not even half way through my 20s but I’ve decided to face the music as it is. No, I don’t live in Manila but it’s obviously a dump of all the stupidity in this culture. Please don’t influence us youth more of your ignorance. You’re not helping us improve our society by further lying and spreading more lies, denying the most obvious flaws and not correcting it.

      Indeed, we are an infant society. Infants left to their own devices without a parent around to help them improve is what filipino society is. People call me unpinoy when I favour non-filipino films over say, Lino Brocka. Is it a crime to like them over a filipino filmmaker who I’m aware of is good in his own way? Jesus! It’s people like you who possess this masa culture that’s putting down the freedom of individuality, creativity, innovation and open-mindedness. So you want me to look at the +++ signs of this country?

      First, acknowledge our flaws then you’ll get respect from the other ones who are sensible enough to call out wrongs that are plaguing our society. No, don’t be an arrogant infant to call this dump heaven. Talk about wolves cloaked in sheep skin.

  20. Personal opinion.
    I am a foreigner who regularly frequents Manila.
    Yes it is messy in some parts, certainly there is much pollution and definitely it is utter chaos.
    And I LOVE every bit of it – very few places I would rather be.
    If any tourists bypass Manila and the Philippines due to this article, then they are doing themselves a huge injustice – they will have missed something truly great.

    1. @Brad

      Yes it is messy in some parts, certainly there is much pollution and definitely it is utter chaos. And I LOVE every bit of it…

      Is this your way of saying, “Keep up the good work”?

      Thanks but sorry, your standard is a bit low.

    2. So is your favorite part of Manila Quezon Ave after the sun goes down? Sounds like you like this country poor because the women are cheaper that way.

  21. He’s right. And unless we don’t face the full brunt of it and continue to excuse that not all parts of the fruit is rotten, nothing will happen. It hurts yes, but I hope more will hurt us until we can’t take it anymore . Aah, if we only had a Napoleon without the warfreakishness…….

  22. I’ve never stayed at Discovery suites but for over $100, yes, I would expect a good service and a decent, comfortable stay at the hotel. I grew up in Pampanga, left the country 6 years ago but came back for a visit last year. I admit, Manila is still as dirty as I left it. San Fernando Pampanga, on the other hand, managed to clean up the ‘palengke’ area and it doesn’t flood or smell of fish anymore. That’s just one little proof of good governance and good use of the people’s money. I was utterly shocked and didn’t expect that kind of improvement at all from a small province.
    Philippines has a lot to offer; Plawan, Boracay, Puerto Galera, to name a few. Manila, I think, is not our country’s best to offer to the world but it has it’s good areas.
    Like San Francisco, it’s predominantly a tourist spot but it has its Tenderloin area that reeks of urine, crack addicts, etc. Vancouver, Canada has its East Hastings area (approximately the size of Malate) who is occupied by homeless people, crack addicts and prostitutes. It’s a sad state and to be honest, it looks more depressing than walking along Quiapo.
    All I’m saying here is that James blog was just heavily influenced by his unfortunate experience in the city and painted the rest of Philippines with the same color.
    Do I think that our manila city needs improvement? Yes. Did I see any improvements when I came back a year ago? Yes, albeit, very minimal. I guess the gov’t is more focused on making Greenbelt and Ayala Ave prettier rather than expanding those makeovers to other parts of the city. The government need to start tackling the pollution problem and implement a stricter transportation maintenance so they’re not covering the city with their black smoke. Change is gradual but it has to start now, and at a faster pace if we want to compete with other Asian countries because truth of the matter is, we need these tourists to boost the country’s economy. We can’t rely on Overseas workers alone to send dollars to our country.

    1. @CheriBeri

      I guess the gov’t is more focused on making Greenbelt and Ayala Ave prettier rather than expanding those makeovers to other parts of the city.

      Don’t credit the development in Makati to the government. You should thank the private sector, particularly the Ayala corporation for what you call “makeovers”.

  23. “I would rather have a country run like hell by Filipinos than a country run like heaven by the Americans, because however a bad Filipino government might be, we can always change it.” Manuel Quezon

    1. I guess what he failed to take into account was the apathy of modern day filipinos. Lets all take about it and blame some one else for our problems instead of owning them and coming up with solutions and putting them into actions. I used to love the philippines when I first got here almost 4 years ago. I loved the hustle and bustle, the nightlife, the easy women. Now after years of being taking advantage of countless times, several kids who are constantly coughing from all the pollution prevalent in the air here, I cant wait to leave and take my family to the States as soon as my wifes visa is processed. Maybe we will return one day if their is actually change, but I highly doubt it

      1. If you are earning dollars like if you are an expat or something, then you will more than likely feel like some kind of god in Manila. Your dollar will take you a long way. But if you are earning pesos, then you will more than likely get a dose of reality no matter how big your salary is. And the reality is not that good. It doesn’t matter how well some people sugarcoat the truth about the state of the Philippines, there is no denying the fact that there are a lot of places in the country that looks like a dump.

  24. Mr. James has been to the Philippines SEVERAL TIMES nga. It wasn’t his first time there like some of you dense ones allege. Which is even more unfortunate since this is a testimony from someone who has seen the deterioration & stagnation of the country through the years, NOT A FIRST-TIMER. To those quick to complain, PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE (AND OTHER FUTURE ARTICLES) CAREFULLY NEXT TIME. Hay…

  25. This article is a wakeup call, not something to depress Filipinos and to degrade our country. It’s just the truth. Instead of fighting over what should and shouldn’t be said, we should just start doing something to make it better. So the Mr. James said Manila is a ‘dump’. It’s what he saw and it’s what other people are seeing, Filipino or not. Let’s just take this as something to push us to make our country and our society better.
    This article states the truth, and you can’t just shun the truth with optimistic insights that are just trapped on words. Do. Something. About. It.

  26. It is just a big example of how political will is severely lacking in this country.

    About maintaining the exterior of buildings, well, I do not know how to tell you this, but no matter how hard you try, you will excessively spend on just the upkeep of the exterior because of the state of the air pollution here. We are still on Euro 2 fuel standards while the world is at around Euro 5. We also let loose the “rebuilt” old engines that are really not clean. No need for smoke belching tests for that, yet as we can plainly see, the government doesn’t do a thing about it.

    About traffic, the simplest solution for public vehicles is predefined stops. I understand taxis dropping you off on specific point along the thoroughfare, but buses, jeeps and fx? You have got to be kidding me. And no, building a chicken wire fence “stop”/”terminal” doesn’t cut it. It needs to be a niche along the road, not on the road but to the side of it. That way it does not impede traffic and it allows PUVs/PUJs/PUBs who do not stop to continue forward and it makes the “yellow lane” concept a valid and useful one.

    We have planners for that. As Palafox et al (although sometimes I wonder why they only come out of the woodwork to say they have done right when the problem is “popular”) can clearly show, but sadly political will to execute what is proposed, what is planned and what is an envisioned whole that destroys the very balance that these ideas/concepts/proposal seek to maintain.

    So when someone who visits the country, expect them to have the statements of Mr. James to stick (consciously or subconsciously).

    But don’t deny what is in front of you for the sake of a false sense of nationalism/”Filipino Pride”. It is what got us here in the first place.

    1. Re: traffic, aside from undisciplined drivers there’s also the fact that the number of vehicles – private and public – seem to just increase and increase. To make things worse our urban planning flat out SUCKS.

      1. Well, yes. The “Color Coding” campaign was GENIUS! Reduce 20% of cars on 1 day, increase the possibility of using other cars by 80% on the other days. Genius really. Hehe! I don’t have hard facts but it’s easy to see how that happened =)

        About planning, I know Mr. Daniel Burnham had a whole masterplan, and it was to be done by Phases. Somewhere along the way, the plan to be executed on the subsequent phases was never followed.

        Then we get the new Urban Plans that are made to help us with our planning woes, but it is either the LGUs don’t execute them, or they butcher them in execution.

        Also, old cars need to be phased out of circulation if they are deemed not road worthy, but I haven’t heard of that here. Nor have I ever seen it being done. Impounding is just a temporary solution, crushing them completely would be ideal.

        1. “Also, old cars need to be phased out of circulation if they are deemed not road worthy”

          THIS.

          I don’t know about other countries but Singapore takes a car off the road as soon as its life (as per the manufacturer) is exhausted. The government buys it back at salvage cost and exports it to other countries.

        2. @auriga

          Well I wouldn’t go as far as selling it off to someone else/another country. It’s just like you are passing a problem to someone else.

          Although, technically, the Philippines is on the buying end of 2nd hand imports. Some are good/great in quality but those are a bit few compared to those that are in need of repair.

          So rather than sell it off as a car, treat it as scrap. What metals can we salvage from it? Are the plastics recyclable? Are the cushion able to made into a different furniture? Can we grind the glass and mix it into new glass or asphalt (through mixing glasphalt).

          In the end you don’t have junk lying around but you have items that were once considered waste back into the production cycle are “raw” materials.

          Oh, proper treatment to the fluids/refuse of course. I do wish that when they do it, they don’t just let the fuel/oils leak out.

        3. That would be a very attractive option indeed.

          But yeah, our government really needs to take an active role in controlling the number of cars in circulation.

        4. Yup. True. I know others may view it as going against their “rights” but if you look at if from those they affect, it’s kind of the like the government’s half hearted “no smoking in public” campaign, which was improperly implemented and I actually don’t even know if it’s implemented anymore. Maybe the enforcers forgot.

  27. I travel between Manila and HK a lot.

    I enjoy HK a lot. I hate Metro Manila with as much gusto as I like HK. Granted that HK is as densely populated, there are no crowds there, people respect each other’s space, they appreciate silence, and because of these, all things are convenient.

    In Manila: noise. Jeeps, taxis, and buses honk to get riders (what kind of idiocy is that?). don’t get me started of 12db jejemon music blaring everywhere.
    People purposely block your way, or don’t care if they do cause inconveniece to others. Sasadyain nilang hadlangan ka.

    Chek Lap Kok is a mall with an airport attached. Nuff said.
    NAIA is a cattle pen that pretends to be an airport.

    There are poor districts in HK, but they don’t look like slums.
    In Manila, squatter mentality prevails. People will do their best to drive their neighborhood into slumness. And by the way, turning a place into a slum is almost a protected right in Metro Manila (i.e. Pasay and Paranaque)

  28. I cherished as much as you’ll receive performed right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you want be handing over the following. unwell definitely come more beforehand again since exactly the same nearly very steadily inside case you protect this hike.

  29. Alas, Manila is indeed a disgrace and an unlivable city. That’s why I live in the provinces. But I believe Manila will one day be okay – possibly when my son has grand children. He’s just turned four!

    1. We can only hope. But it occurs to me that the same hope was expressed by the previous generation and we’re still praying for it now.

  30. Manila is not safe for tourist. Getting places is very difficult and there are no information on how to get where you need to go. There are no infastructure. There is alot of interesting history in Manila, unfortunately they are not well promoted. There is a lack of culture and nationalism in Manila. It is way too Americanize in a bad way. Most of the restaurant are in the mall or nearby malls and are not good quality food. Food scene is not as exciting either.

  31. Manila sucks
    the worst city i’ve ever been, food is not nice, lots of scammer, streets are filled with sorrow and sadness as you travel, while the smell of urines and garbages are flowing everywhere with the wind (this is in marina bay and rizal park) Airport is horrible especially toilets

    malls is just ok with its American branded stuff, no real shopping even the cheap stuff is crappy, rather go Jkt or Bkk

    nothing to do there the city is generally dull,,, ugly and boring, its nightlife is quiet vibrant i admit but the rest is sh*t, nothing sceneric nothing beautiful

    1. I have travelled extensively around the world and to southern Philippines. Manila is the most filthy disgraceful place I have seen. The air quality was terrible, the roads so bad, the airport a low class mess, and in general the place was the third world slum I had heard it was. Do not come here for a holiday.

    2. I feel sympathy for anyone living in this dump. The food is horrible, cooked in cheap oil which obviously has not been changed for a long time. The level of corruption in The Philippines is obvious as no money at all has been spent on air quality, rubbish removal infrastructure such as roads, the airport, removing slum ghettos etc. what a horrible place.

  32. Poor Filipinos, we are victims from our own selves and our fellow men who lack the love for their society and the country. Anyone can be a radical nationalist in words, but reality will always speak for itself. God bless the children of this country.

  33. ..we cant blame the unfortunate historical events or anybody. . this country came in late..in 1521. . may world map na ang mga pilipino nakabahag pa. .. pinalala pa ng kulturang sabog . . . cultural revolution? . .it will never happen. we cant do the killing..but we can live in another country na swak sa ating panlasa…

  34. 2 years later and Vincenzo and his kin has been ultimately proven wrong.
    Everything has gotten WORSE under Aquino’s term.
    Obvious cheating has been rampant in the recent elections.
    60-30-10 comes to mind.

    Soon, all of this will escalate into something that even the yellow media can’t hide anymore.

    The clock is ticking

  35. I love going to the Philippines for vacation. The pollution, the dirt, the bad smell, garbage and the heat gives me so much nostalgia. The same goes with cheap labor prices so paying $250 in luxury hotels are pretty cheap compared to luxury hotels in the US.
    A humbling experience every time I visit. Manila reminds me of my life as a student with little pocket money and having 500 pesos is a big deal. Reminds me how fortunate I am now that I’m working in the US as a nurse.
    Manila is not really exciting or anything special. Shopping sucks, gap/banana republic is considered a luxury brand and is lined up with high fashion brands like yves saint laurent, prada, LV… Food is bad to mediocre at best, if you want good food prepare to shelve out $100 to $500 to hotel restaurants. Transportation sucks but at least taxi is pretty cheap for me 500 pesos ain’t bad compared to taxi services here in the US. What I really hate is the banking services is so super outdated. It’s hard to get money from the bank and it’s risky carrying a measly $300 around because of the chance of getting rob.
    I do not recommend having vacation in the Philippines for foreigners but for balikbayans it is always a treat to go back to the Philippines.

    1. Comparing taxi fares between US and Phils is plain out of context my dear. We have relatively different purchasing capacities and daily minimum wages..Of course, 500 is cheap for you coz you earn $30 an hour I suppose? as compared to 400 pesos a day… Traveling is not about comparisons, it’s about learning cultures and being grateful you don’t reside in a country in shambles…And oh one more, anywhere you go, it’s risky to carry cash around if you’re stupid. Even europe’s infested with pickpockets dear…And as for banking, I’ve talked to several bank managers in the US , and guess what, they’re oblivious about banking investments and procedures. Probably the reason why the banking system crashed in the US. The bank managers need several brain cells for that, not just an American accent… Get to travel more, you’ll find out what other countries are made of…Start with Argentina perhaps?

      1. If you are really are an MD why don’t you take your head out of your lobot and see Manila for what it is? Also, the banking system here is archaic. It is not even possible to do online local transfers between banks so don’t talk rubbish about investment banking.

  36. I went to Manila hoping for a good time. Instead, I found Manila to be one of the worst cities I’ve ever been to. Seriously. Yes, people are friendly, in the sense that they smile frequently say “hi, sir” or “yes, sir.” But there’s no way that those things can outweigh all of the awful things that go on there:
    (1) The traffic is just atrocious, worse than Los Angeles, where I’m from. Getting anywhere is a nightmare.
    (2) People try to cheat you. All the time. Taxi drivers, hotel workers, restaurant waiters. It was a severely disappointing experience. (I know that they are poor and are looking for a little extra money, but that doesn’t justify immoral behavior.
    (3) The food, generally, sucks, even for the “good” restaurants. A lot of overpriced restaurants as well.
    (4) The weather sucks.
    (5) Terrible pollution. But if you want to experience terrible smog during your vacation, you should certainly go.

    I really was hoping for a good time. But if you are trying to find a good vacation spot or thinking of moving there, please, don’t go. A lot of better places in this world. But perhaps it will get better some day. I sincerely hope it does.

    1. go to manila at your own risk. there are tons of better vacation spots in other parts of the philippines. you may want to consider palawan, surigao, and dapitan. that is, if you’re fond of nature.

  37. I just got back from Manila yesterday. It was a horrific experience for me. I was scammed on both Taxi rides to and from the airport.The streets were chaotic and dirty, I was constantly harassed by beggars and people wanting tips for nothing, the traffic awful. I felt stressed and on edge walking around the city. My gf became sick from the food on the last day. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe Manila is an awesome place – but unfortunately I had a terrible experience, and at this point can’t think of anything good to say about it. Paying the 550 peso to leave the country was a kick in the face after the amount of money I had been scammed out of during my stay.

    1. My suggestion is you pick up the girl you are coming to see and get the hell away from Manila. Make sure your girl has her passport and head to Thailand, Hong Kong, or Singapore. Much better value for money in my opinion. I’ve been here 2 years and would say, PASS on visiting Manila as any sort of vacation destination.

  38. I lived and worked in Manila for a couple years and I can say that all these observations are true. Infrastructure lacks upkeep and development and the traffic is unbelievably horrible. Vehicles drive inches from each other, motorcycles speed and squeeze into the smallest places they can, people jaywalk all the time, and the smallest spot of rain congests the traffic so badly that you might as well stay in.

    The comments are probably hurtful to a lot of Filipinos but they’re the truth. It’s hard to accept criticisms about your own country especially if you’ve never set foot out of it and seen how things are in more developed ones.

    Some of the other islands/beaches are better tourist spots. I definitely would not recommend the capital.

    1. Sorry but I have to disagree. I used to live in Manila for 6 years and now in Cebu for 4 years. The infrastructure is as bad, the traffic is horrible and the city is dirty, polluted and boring. And like in Manila and everywhere in the Feelippines, the foreigners are seen as walking ATMs, constantly harassed and treated with little respect, even by kids. I am tired of the “Hey Joe, give me money…”.
      I know Filipinos have sensitive toes and do not tolerate that foreigners criticise their country, but they have to face reality.
      I am looking forward to the end of my mission here.

      1. Cebu has got very crowded on the roads in the last ten years with no discernible improvement in infrastructure. It is becoming as bad as Manila but just not so big. Even now it is a trial to visit the city from Mactan island.

    2. sorry but davao city > cebu city in every aspect that’s worth anything.

      i am not from davao though but i can objectively compare and contrast the two cities.

  39. I agree with the author that international airports should also cater to international travelers. Kindly tell international airports in other countries especially those in Europe that their restaurants should also serve rice.

  40. Ilda: And in the intervening years absolutely nothing has changed! What an absolute scandal and shame for all residents of this country!

  41. Very good article. I agree with most everyone and especially the author. The corruption scamming and filth here is terrible. All the products are cheap copies from China and just junk. Very sad indeed. Driving at night with no lights seems to be ok also, and on and on! Why would anyone expect investors to come to the Philippines?

  42. Tbh, yeah this is kinda true. I’m Filipino and sadly I live in Manila. But I think only Manila and other commercialized places are like this. Y’all should try to go to the other provinces like Vigan, Ilocos Norte, Davao, Batanes, and all those other places with less civilization. Better air and better places to go to.

    Btw, what do they expect from a 3rd world country lol? They should get mad when we’re 1st or 2nd world country with a city like that.

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