On traffic and slowing down


Stay in Manila long enough and you’ll likely associate the words hectic, hot, and impatience with the city, but there is so much more to it than that. Beyond the smell of diesel and the sounds of honking, tsinelas flapping, and roosters cooing at all hours of the day, you will be sure to notice a city of people who are always joyful despite the poverty that surrounds them, amazing food, and a vibrant culture.

I can still remember my North American self being frustrated at the pace at which the traffic was moving, but I soon realized it was easier to take in my surroundings this way. It’s funny how something that can be such a nuisance back home is considered commonplace, albeit still a nuisance somewhere else. It reminded me that sometimes it’s alright to not be in a rush and to slow things down, especially when you’re somewhere new.

I created a website that would host my portfolio (a.k.a my best work), as well as my journal because I believe that one can’t exist without the other. Sure, I could only post the most aesthetically pleasing and best composed photos, but it’s often in the outtakes that you get a really good glimpse of what a place is really like. It also tends to encompass the best memories!

Or… Maybe I’m not skilled enough (yet) to do both at the same time. I’m okay with that, too.

Anyway, here are some more photos from my family’s trip to Manila:

I’ve always wanted to start vlogging so I figured a three week international trip was the perfect place to start. I didn’t know what kind of style or vibe I wanted my videos to have, or even what kinds of shots I wanted/needed to take, so I just took as many video clips as I could. Not only have I started on a  video making path that I’ve been loving so far, it’s also provided me with a bigger surplus of memories that I can look back on.

The following are the two vlogs I put together that summarize our time in Manila! If you’re curious, you can check out the rest of the vlogs from our trip here!


Some practical info:

  • Allot extra time to get anywhere. It took us over two hours to travel just 30 km… At 8pm!
  • Grab/Uber is a super common alternative to actually driving places yourself, and I definitely recommend using the service. We had at least 10 rides during our trip and only paid about $50 CAD! Also, it’s just better to be in the hands of someone who is used to the disorganization, driving style and the notorious “everyone for themselves” attitude.
  • BYO toilet paper. Many public bathrooms either don’t supply toilet paper or you have to pay to use the “better” facilities.
  • Power creamer is commonly used instead of liquid cream, which really only serves to lighten your coffee as opposed to diluting it. It wasn’t really my cup of tea (or coffee, I should say)!
  • Filipinos love sweets and not much is immune to that, not even spaghetti! Again, not my cup of tea, but it’s worth a try!

Getting back into blogging has got me feeling so refreshed and happy! Thanks for your readership and general awesomeness. Catch you next time!

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