Quintessential Manila


It’s feels like ages since I last posted on this blog — so I thought I would start posting again with a quintessential image of Manila. This isn’t just an image of Manila, it represents a way of life here: traffic.

The traffic here can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. It’s a blessing when you want time alone to think. What better time to ponder the nature of the universe than when a usually 20 minute cab ride turns into an hour and a half trip? But it’s a curse when you actually need to get somewhere at a certain time.

Residents of Manila use the traffic excuse every chance they get. Why was the CEO of a large company two hours late to his own board meeting? Traffic. Why did you spend an evening home alone when you could have gone out with friends? Traffic. Why were you late paying your phone bill? Traffic. Why did the chicken cross the road? Traffic, of course.

(By the way, this photo was taken on EDSA, the main highway that is notorious for being more of a parking lot than a highway.)

One comment

  1. Patrick says:

    Ahhh, the joys of Asian traffic jams. I’ll never forget one of the messes I witnessed in Shanghai, which is supposedly officially more ‘developed’ than Manila, in April 2005. I took a picture of the traffic jam, and a 15 second video of the traffic jam…strangely enough, both of them displayed exactly the same amount of movement.

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