Reflection on Manila

I’ve been insanely busy this month as you may have deciphered from my lack of posting. The past three weeks have been a torrent of stress and work; but in the end it’s all worth it. At least I have some vacations coming up – 9 days in Bali at the end of March and 5 days in the 1000 islands (Pulau Seribu) in April.

I was in Manila, Philippines last week for a few days – returning on Monday at 2AM only to have to get up by 6AM for work. Been out of the gym, off of Muay Thai, not taking photos, not posting, not even hanging out with Novita or friends. I’ve been on lockdown and isolation in many respects; and yet, I’ve not been happier in a long time.

Manila was wonderful. I didn’t have much of a chance to go around, and was based in the Dusit Thani hotel in Makati. I only explored that area and Fort Bonifacio, but what a wonderful area! I realize completely that the ‘real’ Manila is not like Makati, but I was nonetheless thoroughly impressed. Green, posh, and wide-open, pedestrian-friendly streets removed my need for taxis.

I was there on a professional level, not a personal one, but still managed to explore the Greenbelt, etc on my own. The restaurants, outdoor cafes, and museum, etc were fantastic. I enjoyed a couple afternoons at the outdoor cafes reading and enjoying the slightly cooler temperatures. I even managed to get a foolish sunburn while at the pool for a couple of hours on Sunday. I’m used to Jakarta’s pollution protecting us from sunburn. I imagine Manila’s air is a little less polluted to induce such burns?

The Filipino people I met were exceptionally friendly and talkative. It was a little odd to see how prevalent English is spoken – Philippines is the third largest English speaking country after the States and U.K.!

There’s a lot I’m not ready to share at the moment. Anyone who’s dropped by the blog for a while knows I can be open yet cryptic; personal, yet reserved. (Even after nearly 7 years of posting on the blog, many people still ask what I do day to day for work.) I’ll decide when and how to filter some news to you soon, but just know that I’m doing exceptionally well.

Life is good.