I am a Manileña – born and bred. Some of you may already know this, but it’s something that’s worth repeating because my first article as a guest writer in Sarah’s blog is about the city I love dearly.
Of course, each one of us always has the tendency to be proud of our hometown. Some may even believe that it’s the best place on earth, and I am no exception to that. I love Manila, despite everything. I feel I have grown to like the hustle and bustle of the city. As a matter of fact, I love it so much that I can’t imagine being anywhere else.
Then there are some understandable instances that one craves the peace and quiet as well as the relaxing view of nature. Manila, being a progressive city, is almost devoid of such things, except for the occasional clumps of trees found on some streets around the metro. One can’t blame the desire of many Manileños to go to different provinces in summer, just to get that sense that they are communing with nature.
I, on the other hand, am fortunate enough to live near Manila Bay, and although the place is no Boracay, it is my own piece of the Philippines that brings me the peace I typically desire.
Manila Bay is essentially one of the biggest bodies of water in the area of Luzon which also serves as a port for the city. It faces the South China Sea and is surrounded by many provinces in the north, including Sarah’s hometown, Bataan. Manila Bay has played a significant role in the history of the Philippines, including the battle between American troops (led by Admiral George Dewey) and the Spanish fleet. Close to two years ago, the sea walls of Manila Bay were destroyed because of Typhoon Pedring.
However colorful the history of the place is, I still have my own reasons why I have named the Baywalk as my spot in the Metro.
When I was a child, my cousins and I would usually go to Manila Bay to watch the sun rise. After it has risen, we all knew that it was time for us to go biking near the bay. A few years back, I rediscovered my love for the area because of my intense longing to become more physically fit. I started walking from our home (which is about 2-4 kilometers away) to Manila Bay. I would continue to brisk walk my way for about 2 more kilometers, until I would decide to go back home. That was my everyday routine for about 6 months, and every once in a while, I still go there to meditate and to just stare out the horizon. There is something about the openness of the bay that makes me feel that my aura is also expanding. Every time I take a deep breath, I am filled with a sense of happiness that only being near the bay brings.
The Baywalk area is also a good place to do some people-watching – another pastime I enjoy. Here, you will see lovers who are trying to sneak a few hours away so that they can be near each other, older couples who are looking for a change in scenery, runners and joggers who are training for a marathon, or who, like me, are hoping to lose weight, and so on.
There are plenty of places to see around Manila, and for the next few articles, I will discuss them in detail. Maybe this will encourage you to visit me, or us in the Philippines soon? And if you do, I promise to bring you to my spot.
From Manila-born Pia the Explorer: not-so-under the sea adventure