"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall..." - Nelson Mandela
(17 -20 September 1999)
Manila is located on the west coast of the Philippine main island of Luzon and surrounded by fertile plains. The city straddles the delta of the Pasig River, a short navigable stream that connects the freshwater lake of Laguna de Bay with the huge natural harbour of Manila Bay and the South China Sea. Hot and humid throughout the year, Manila’s climate is slightly tempered by the sea breezes. Typhoons sometimes occur in May and November.
|(Relaxing at one of the beaches)|
Manila today is a sprawling chaotic agglomeration that exercises a disproportionate influence on the entire country and is a lesson in contrasts. The dichotomies of wealth and poverty are evident, with the palatial neighbourhoods around Makati contrasting with squatter camps along the river, where the destitute scavenge to survive. So much of Manila still remains mired in the Third World and democracy has brought little change as yet to the poor. The city’s chaos also reflects the Philippines’ cultural diversity – there are more than a hundred cultural minority groups living in the country.
Manila is an overpowering city and can certainly prove to be hectic if you are not prepared for it. A combination of the bustle of the traffic, noise, pollution, poverty and often-shabby infrastructure makes the city seem intimidating. However, Manila’s energy and the good humour of its people become infectious.
The sun shines everywhere.
It lights even the tops of clouds.
Why do I gnash my teeth at daisies
Just because I'm not at home?