I’m on my third day in Manila (the capital of the Philippine Islands) and I’m beginning to get into the groove of the city. It’s no Caribbean island, but it has its own charm. As my expat friends toured me around, I noticed that the place is a clash of many cultures. Like most modern cities, I see that the Western world has greatly influenced and molded what the metropolis is today. Downtown is a hodgepodge of buildings and malls and buildings and more malls. Everywhere you go, there is bound to be a mall in the corner.
But when I went to the residential areas, the gentrification stands on a stalemate on the older structures of the city. I see the Spanish influences in architecture. And yet there is also a marked sense of Chinese and Polynesian sensibilities in the mix. Curious think that this is the only country in this part of the world that is predominantly Christian (most of the countries around the Philippines are Muslim).