Sunday, March 27, 2005

Green & Easy Sunday in Makati

Green & Easy Sunday in Makati

Manila city is very quiet because of the Easter holidays. A lot of the shops are closed and I believe many of the people have gone back to their hometowns in the provinces. The emptiness of the Makati business district--where my hotel is located--made me feel lazy to make any explorations around the city. So I mainly vegetated back in hotel, doing some light reading and drinking beer at the lounge.

When I arrived yesterday evening at the airport, I was keen to see if a lot has changed in Manila since my last trip here five years ago; I was happy to observe that they are still very fond of the colour green. Filipinos seem to like that colour very much--the floor of the airport is green, all the signages are green, roofs are green and when you go on the streets, you notice that even the letters on the car number plates are green.

The other thing which caught my attention previously was that there seem to be more coconut palm trees in the Philippines than anywhere else I've been to before. Even right here, from my hotel window in the middle of the business district, I can see them sprouting up in unexpected places, their drooping branches adding an air of langour to the place, making me feel even lazier.

I've lost contact with most of my Filipino friends; many have emigrated to the US. I've got to start making new ones here again, which shouldn't be a problem because Filipinos are among the most friendly and easy-going people I've ever met. They are always ready to laugh and have a good time. I get along very well with them.

I mentioned about the terrorist treat in the Philippines yesterday. The Philippines Daily Inquirer I read this morning however was very reassuring: it quoted the police as saying that the capability of the Abu Sayyaf to carry out bomb attacks in Metro manila has become "almost nil" following their seizure of almost 600 kilos of explosives recently. But an AFP report today says that police have defused an explosive device found near the Spanish embassy building right here in Makati yesterday evening.

But life goes on as in any other city in the world which faces terrorist treats. When you are here, it doesn't feel so bad. The "greenness" of the environment and the easy-going nature of the Filipino people puts one at ease immediately. I could easily get used to living here too...

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