I find Manila interestingly charming. This may not be the city I want to live in because of its flood-prone and narrow streets, but I still continue to find myself going here at least once a month to experience her alluring vibrancy and chaos. Her rich history and underbelly piques my imagination like no other city in the Philippines. Her invaluable role in the country's politics, religion, trade, education and culture sets her apart from the rest.
Despite her grim appearance, she still possess that indelible character that made her an enviable city in the Far East during her golden, pre-WW II age. One only needs to take a walk to explore and re-discover the remnants of her once glorious past. You'll be surprised how most of them survived, despite utter neglect.
I know there are still more to discover and experience in this city. And I resolve to re-acquaint myself even more with her this 2012.
And to kick-start this resolution, here are some of the photographs I took at the Bonifacio Memorial Shrine beside the Manila City Hall. I alway pass by this area, but never really took the time to stop and ponder on these larger-than-life sculptures. This time, I'm glad I did! I realized how picturesque it can be especially on a sunny day! It's also interesting to observe the people walking by -- some are nonchalant (perhaps, they've seen this thousands of times), while others are also taking pictures.
But what really caught my attention are these kids who seem to have found a playground and a safe corner where they can hide their "valuables" with that imposing statue of a priest. Now, if only all churches would help take care and provide the basic education and nutrition needs of every poor children, there will be no more need for a Reproductive Health Bill.
Just open your eyes wide when you visit Manila, and you'll see what she's really trying to tell you.