Happy Valentines Day lovers! Today I have zero wisdom about romance but lots of thoughts and feelings about loving the place you live. And yes, you read the title correctly. The title is NOT, ‘Dating IN Manila,’ but really, ‘Dating Manila.’ We often view our place as just a place and not much more. However, our places are so much more than a physical space. The cities in which we live shape our lives, hold our pains and sorrows and are the road for future generations to embark on. Yet how often have we thought about our relationship with our place? If you have been here for a while then you know I am a big believer in the concept of place-attachment. Let’s be curious today and look at Manila differently, focus on your relationship with Manila.
What does that even mean, Amber? Keep reading, I have a few ideas.
Here are 5 ways to fall in love with Manila (or any city!):
1| Notice Her Beauty & Uniqueness
Some questions to ask yourself:
What originally attracted you to Manila?
What makes Manila a unique place both regionally and globally?
Challenge yourself to find beauty and magic at least once a day in Manila. I know I sure can. I am particularly fond of baskets, but you already knew that, and kindness. Everyday I can find something beautiful and I love to share it on Instagram to promote positivity through my hashtag #perksofpinas.
Uniquely Filipino: A Sarao Jeepney and church in Ugong Pasig
2| Get To Know Your City
We feel most connected when we know each others stories, this concept applies with cities as well. Visiting museums, art centers and other cultural education centers and experiences will help you understand Manila better and feel connected to her.
Hang a map of Manila in your house and get to know the different barangays. The more you know, the more you know. :)
National Museum of Natural History
3| Date Your City
That’s right, date Manila. What are you interests? Find something where the overlap of your personal interests and Manila’s offerings coincide. Manila is a massive place, there is surely something for everybody here.
4| New Perspective
Mundane repetition can easily sneak into the routines of life and we forgot how incredibly diverse Manila is. With pockets of variant urban life all over this place, Manila is like an onion with many layers. Be curious and explore more! Here is a post of one of my favorite walking dates I used to do with my kids.
A perspective shift can simple be done by walking your neighborhood instead of driving it.
Make a list of different parts of the city you would like to experience and start setting goals and plans to explore and see Manila with new eyes.
Manila American War Memorial BGC, welcome for free to the public
5| Apologize And Try Again
Traffic complainers anonymous here I come. But in all seriousness, I often times play a game called, ‘Yes….But,’ and what this game does is allow me to recognize the annoyances but also praise the positive. Yes we have horrible traffic BUT I can get most things delivered. Say sorry to yourself and your city and try again.
A two way relationship involves reconciliation from both parties and while Manila will not give it verbally, look for signs that she (her people) are trying. For example, road repairs, paper straws and those security checks - this is her way of doing better (even if it is small and painfully slow).
If you aren’t satisfied, which I hope some of you take this seriously, take it upon yourself to make it better! Be aware of local city ordinances, laws being passed and ways you can be active in the community.
the spirit of communal unity, work and cooperation to achieve a particular goal.
This is the first and last piece I will ever write on romance, ha! When we challenge ourselves to create place attachment we are in fact creating more happiness for everyone involved and nothing but good comes from that.