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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Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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

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Pastor Ernie
Guest
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.… Read more »
http://twitter.com/#!/Rakehell_Obi
Guest

Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha would visit Manila because that is where more of the corruption exists.

Jesus threw out all the moneychangers from his temple. He can do the same to the Damaso CBCP, where vileness makes their home.

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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

katrina
Guest

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.

Aegis-Judex
Guest

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.

bechay
Guest

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.

Pastor Ernie
Guest

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.

jenna
Guest

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?

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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

bechay
Guest

vincenzo,

talaga lang ha. may alam ang tito noy mo sa pagpapaunlad ng bansa, ha.

hindi halata.

Ver
Guest

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.

christine
Guest
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… Read more »
Paulo
Guest
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… Read more »
jenna
Guest

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.

jenna
Guest

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.

bechay
Guest

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.

bulutongboy
Guest

@ 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’.

ChinoF
Member

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.

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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.

Daido Katsumi
Guest
“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,… Read more »
jenna
Guest

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!

Aegis-Judex
Guest

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.

Ver
Guest

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!

jenna
Guest

WELL SAID!

Tony
Guest

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…

Ming
Guest

Hala sige, “God is on our side” pa kayo diyan

Don’t wait for manna to rain from the sky. Work for it >:)

Germi Sison
Guest

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.

Daido Katsumi
Guest
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… Read more »
balitangkutseroo
Guest

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.

Tony
Guest

I believe Jesus doesn’t need peace…for He Himself is peace…

Gabs Narazo
Guest

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

jenna
Guest

LOL. I can’t help but agree with your comment Gabs. Ang tawag diyan. “LATA” galing magingay, wala naman laman.

Julian
Guest

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.

Tony
Guest

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…

benign0
Admin

To answer that question, you will have to be more specific as to what exactly Filipinos should repent from.

and so on and so on
Guest
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… Read more »
ED VALENCIANO
Guest

……..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.

jerry manuba
Guest

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

CheriBeri
Guest

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.

jenna
Guest

“Poor people with good souls”?!?! BULLSHIT. Even the rich people don’t have good souls here!

ED VALENCIANO
Guest
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… Read more »
Jim West
Guest
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… Read more »
Hildergarde Hammhocker
Guest
Hildergarde Hammhocker
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… Read more »
Sandra Dragan
Guest

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!!

http://twitter.com/#!/Rakehell_Obi
Guest

Hated Manila in 1991 and all information I have received since then have not changed that opinion.

http://twitter.com/#!/Rakehell_Obi
Guest

Where else in the Philippines do people re-cook garbage and sell it? I hope it’s only one city.

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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

Anti-V
Guest

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

Ming
Guest

Your trolling sucks :))

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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

Daido Katsumi
Guest
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,… Read more »
Tony
Guest

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…

christine
Guest
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… Read more »
nona
Guest
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… Read more »
Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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.

Michael
Guest

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”.

Anti-V
Guest

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

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

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.

chris
Guest
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… Read more »
John Cockell
Guest

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.

Ver
Guest

Even CRK is not even close to budget terminals in SG and KL. It’s like a box you go through.

Anti-V
Guest

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).

Hyden Toro
Guest

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…

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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.

Felipe
Guest

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.

Felipe
Guest

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

Michael
Guest

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.

Hyden Toro
Guest

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…

Hyden Toro
Guest

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

Aegis-Judex
Guest

Incorruptibly incompetent, VBA.

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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.

Aegis-Judex
Guest

And Der Fuhrer’s KKK? Do explain that, mein herr.

coolface.jpg

Daido Katsumi
Guest

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.

chris
Guest

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..

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

N0ong mga panahon na yan, bumabangon pa rin ang bayan mula sa paninira ni Marcos at pagsabog ng pinatubo

Daido Katsumi
Guest

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.

Felipe
Guest

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.

Michael
Guest

Compare how Manila looked like under the Marcos regime to the Manila we have today.

End of discussion.

Anti-V
Guest

Amen to that.

kabayongtao
Guest

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.

brianitus
Guest

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?

chris
Guest

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.

Frank
Guest
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… Read more »
nona
Guest
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… Read more »
Ming
Guest

Manila must have been a bad place to start. Try somewhere else in the Philippines :))

Daido Katsumi
Guest

Cebu na lang. CEBU!

chris
Guest

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

jenna
Guest

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! 😀

nona
Guest

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

chris
Guest

But no one would agree to start with Bukidnon aye aye? No one would start with Sagada, too?

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

Hindi pikon si Tito Noy, alam nya na mapapatawad nyo din sya sa future.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

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.

Felipe
Guest

Ipinikita nyang numero uno siyang pikon. Baka umiiyak pa yan mag-isa bago matulog.

brianitus
Guest

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.

Anti-V
Guest

Dali Vincenzo, magkano naman binayad sa iyo para maging spokesperson ni Pres (Ab)Noy? Daig mo pa si Ricky Carandang ah sa posisyon niya. :P:P

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

But look after Marcos, unti unti nawala ang ganda. Kasalanan nya ito.

Michael
Guest

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?

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

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.

Michael
Guest

@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.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

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. 😀

Santiago Vargas
Guest

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.

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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

kathyx
Guest

pamangkin ka yata nila eh..wake up man!

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

Tito Noy is not related anymore with Hacienda Luisita

chris
Guest

@santiago vargas..because they are not pure pinoy..ain’t they? who among asian race sticks to monopoly? –chinese

Ver
Guest

@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.

kabayongtao
Guest

He’s dead for more than 20 years already. Grow up.

brianitus
Guest

That’s a message for the entire country — Grow up.

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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.

Kamen Rider ETERNAL
Guest

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. 😛

Santiago Vargas
Guest

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.

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

Basta may nabasa akong corrupt, si GMA ito. Si GMA ang may kasalanan nito

Kamen Rider ETERNAL
Guest

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.

Kamen Rider ETERNAL
Guest
“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… Read more »
Kamen Rider ETERNAL
Guest

“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?

kathyx
Guest

oh talaga?buti ndi marcos…i thank you..sa mga nababasa ko din ung tito at tita mo ang garapal!

Santiago Vargas
Guest

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.

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

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

TROLL HARDER.

chris
Guest

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?

concerned pinoy
Guest

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.

Vincenzo B. Arellano
Guest

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

Kamen Rider ETERNAL
Guest

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. 😛

brianitus
Guest

Um, di pa tapos ang termino ni Tito Noy mo. Mahirap magsalita nang tapos ha.

Pulitiko pa rin yan. Payo lang.

Michael
Guest

brianitus
Guest

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. 🙂

tony
Guest

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.