My 2018 Manila Experience | Blushing Geek

My 2018 Manila Experience

It’s almost a month since I’ve returned from my two months stay in Manila but it’s just now that I finally decided to write this article, haha. Sorry about that, I’m really having a hard time getting used to blogging (after being a no-show for two months) plus I’ve been so busy juggling with my new schedule.

As may you have already known, I’m a freelancer no more and now an office-based worker. Yay! And for two months, I stayed in Manila for work training and though I haven’t told anyone about it, I was extremely worried about it. Ofcourse I was excited and nervous but I was also worried. I’ve been to Manila before but it was only for a short time so I didn’t got the chance spend a lot of time with the locals. I’ve heard some good and bad things about Manila and I was really anticipating the bad to happen lol. But I was really surprised that it went so well.

Ofcourse I got home sick, the annoying adjusting phase, got stressed out, got a hard time budgeting my money and ofcourse met some people I wish I never got the chance to meet but my overall experience in Manila was really unexpected. It was so unexpected that I’m not ready to leave yet. Actually, all 11 of us (my fellow trainees from Cebu) feels the same way too, haha. Except for the budgeting, it just seems so carefree living there.

The fellow trainees

Cebu trainees in Manila | Blushing Geek

Fellow Cebu trainees with team lead in the center

While I was in Manila, we stayed in some old apartment building in Makati. It was old but definitely not decrepit, if that’s what you think about old, haha. While staying there, I need to live in the same apartment with 6 other people whom I’ve just met twice. I thought it’s going to be a disaster or uncomfortable but during our stay in Manila, it felt like I’m already having a second family. Scratch that, we’re already a family, *smile

All of us instantly hit it off that our Manila co-workers thought that the 7 of us knew each other already, but in truth, we only just met during the contract signing. Ofcourse we have some differences but since we’re already a matured working individual (which I hope I am, haha), we worked past our differences and made our living arrangement better, well, it was actually great for all of us.

One of the things I am thankful for in this experience is that I’ve got to live with them in the same house and because of that I’ve got the chance to really know all of them outside work. Which I think why we’re all so comfortable working with each other (well, I’m not pretty much sure with some though, haha).

The environment

Buildings in Makati | Blushing Geek

Outside view of our apartment in Makati

I actually like the place. Our apartment is just a 1 jeepney ride away from the office plus it’s very accessible so no complaints about that. We also happen to live in Makati which is one of the busiest (and not to mention, expensive) city in Manila but since we’re just near the office, we seldom get a problem with the traffic which is what Manila is known for.

The infrastructure was also spectacular. I live in Cebu city where there’s also buildings everywhere but it’s no match compared to Makati (or Manila in whole). The buildings we’re so tall, so modern and just so urban. It was also my first time to try riding an escalator outside the mall lol. It’s just that in Cebu, we use normal stairs in our overpass and not escalators, haha.

I guess the only concern I have while staying there was the traffic during peak hours and when it’s raining, which is pretty normal when you’re living in a busy city actually.

The security

My 2018 Manila Experience | Blushing Geek

LRT

One of the bad things I heard about Manila is the security. Pickpockets, kidnappers, riding in tandem, bomb threats and many others. But surprisingly, I felt safe during my two months stay in Manila. I guess one of things you need to do while you’re there is to be vigilant, never flaunt money or expensive jewelry everywhere and just be careful.

The locals and their culture

I was in total culture shock during my first few days in Manila. I’ve been watching tv dramas, reading books and news about Manila but never anticipated the culture shock, haha.

I’ve been taught to use “po” only to elders but I was bombarded with so many “po” especially in the workplace. It was crazy. And it’s not just “po” but with “thank you” too. People keep saying thank you everywhere that sometimes I look like a complete jerk for not saying it often. Ofcourse it wasn’t a bad thing but, in the place, where I came from, we only say thanks once and not all the time or it’ll irk them, lol. And the third one would be the warm welcome. People we’re so friendly that I feel so bad about being so judgmental. I’ve heard numerous stories about the Manila locals discriminating people who came from the province just like me and I was so ready to face that during our first day at work, but surprise, surprise. They’re all so friendly, *smile. I actually met some really good friends there and we still keep in contact.

There’s some few more but I think those three were the biggest cultural shock I’ve encountered during my stay in Manila.

The work

My 2018 Manila Experience | Blushing Geek

#ctto

I was assigned in the video department which I was really surprised to find out at first. I don’t have any background at all plus I kinda gave a hint during the interview that I so want to code, lol. I thought its going to be discouraging but heck, video editing especially motion design is as challenging as programming itself (although I still prefer programming, haha) so it wasn’t a bad deal after all. Plus, I’ve got to work with some interesting set of individuals and I love the working environment!

I was also surprised to find out that the company that I am currently employed with doesn’t discriminate. They don’t care about what school you graduated as long as you work hard and you provide what’s need to be provided. Plus, they are so willing to train. Isn’t that something you’ll want your company do? Heck yes!

Overall

Contrary to what I expected, my stay in Manila was really so pleasant. I’ve made some good friends, got to learn and experience a lot of things, plus I’ve got to travel too (although not as much as I’ve expected, haha). So am I coming back in Manila? Definitely! (but hopefully for a vacation, a pretty long one *wink)

My 2018 Manila Experience | Blushing Geek

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