I was kinda surprised when one of my friends asked me "What would make you go back to Manila for good?" Seriously, it was an unexpected question. I normally hear people asking "Why did you move?"

This is my friend who asked the weird question!
I know those questions sound similar, but, I could give a positive or a negative response depending on the question, I guess. I could either tell an assload of reasons why I left the city I was born in or write a poem about how my heart's been captured by this new town I'm living in. Before I moved here, I've spent some time weighing the pros and cons of moving to a country side. I had myself mentally prepared for it. I read a lot of stuff about how people find the guts to do epic shits such as ditching the city and totally changing a lifestyle. I read blogs (lots of them), books and other online stuff that basically talks about changing one's lifestyle. It all comes down to your STRONG WILL to do something different. That's the only way I know how to do something impossible. Once you have that will, everything else will fall into their proper places. I know that sounds totally cliche but that's the truth. A path would definitely open up as long as you start walking.

But you might still ask what is it that really pushed me to move out of the city?

Well, I'm here to share some of them...

1. Air pollution
First and foremost, I left the city because I literally can't breathe. I do not have asthma but had I stayed longer in the city I'm sure to develop that soon. There's pretty much nothing I can do about the pollution, not even the politicians can do anything about it. People have abused the environment so bad that it seems like a point of no return. It scares the hell out of me, really. My fear is that one day I would need to order oxygen from a store just so I could have something to breathe. Yes, pretty much the same thing we're doing now for water that used to be clean and free.

2. Traffic/Transportation
I only enjoy getting on public transportation (MRT, LRT, jeepneys and city buses) during holidays, because then, I won't have to trade faces with the other passengers. I'm very sensitive when it comes to personal space, and every time I get on a public transportation, I feel like everyone around me does not know anything about it. I seriously need a good distance from people (I'm a freaking empath!). But people label me as a snob when I'm giving an attitude when I feel like my personal space has been invaded. I didn't wish to be born like this. When I moved here in Baguio, it feels liberating that I don't have to queue for an MRT or LRT ticket or get pushed nor stepped on as I get on the train. I swore to myself that one day, I won't have to do it anymore. It was quite fun when I was younger; I'm used to the fast-paced life. But when I felt like I was losing my agility, I knew I had to move somewhere I'm allowed to slow down. 

3. Awful temperature
This has a very great impact on my obsession to leave the city. I knew that the government cannot do anything about it. Again, this is something out of my control. But do I really have to endure the hellish temperature and lose my shit all the time just because of it? I already know what would happen to me should I reach my limits when it comes to dealing with temperature. I don't want it to happen again.

4. Depressing sites
I know I am lucky enough to never experience living on the streets. But, seeing how other people live their lives on the street has been a life-long torture for me. I have no idea how people in power could keep a cold shoulder on this matter for decades. But I give up; I just couldn't take it anymore. It kills me that I can't do anything about it. Everywhere you go in the city, there would be street children roaming around every corner, asking for food, money or attention. I hate seeing them when they are sniffing rugby, but when I learned that they are doing it to forget their hunger, I wanted to slap myself so bad for hating them. The shanties, the never-ending rallies and forced relocation, I just couldn't take any of that anymore.

5. Unhealthy food
With the growing number of malls and restaurants in almost every corner, it's definitely tempting to try all kinds of crap just so you could brag about it. People are addicted to buying whatever new food is being introduced. It doesn't matter if it is loaded with calories and fake ingredients. If it's new and expensive, it IS cool! It's a MUST try. No wonder people die at younger age these days. They keep loading their bodies with unhealthy food. Why? Because fresh, real food are not available. If they are, they usually cost an arm and a leg. So, what's your next best option? To go for the cheap, fast food. 

6. Physical and mental health condition
I've read quite a lot about the link between poor decision-making and the environment you live in. Take road rage for example. Why do drivers on the road hate each other first thing in the morning? Why are some people so desperate to get early to the place that they hate anyway? Seriously, this is so retarded. Yet, they call it life. They say they have to make a living so they kill themselves in the process of doing it. The result? An assload of stress and stress-related diseases! I get it that some types of terminal diseases are hereditary, but, nowadays it's like we're living in a 'create-your-own-cancer' kind of society. I certainly do not want to be a part of that freak show anymore. 

Teens and young adults who were raised in the city seem to be more depressed than ever. They never seem to get any satisfaction despite the huge amount of entertainment the city has to offer. The bright lights became the number one distraction to what's supposed to be a quiet night after a long day at school or work. People seem to be chasing something that may or may not exist in the future. They tire themselves over and over hoping that one day they will stop being tired. Sad to say, it won't happen. We will always get tired. But, wouldn't it be great if we get tired doing something we love instead? We hear people saying 'You're just wasting time!' But what if you are 'wasting' time doing something you really like, would that time still be considered wasted when in fact you feel more productive than ever?

If making loads of money is your personal heaven despite what you do in order to make them, then by all means continue doing whatever you have to do. I have no right to ask you to stop if that's what makes your heart happy. But this new life that I chose was greatly inspired by the story of the fisherman and the rich businessman.

The rich businessman with a Ph D in Business Management tried to talk the fisherman out of the life he's currently living, just so he could get back to it but only after going through a lot of shits first. The fisherman is already living the life that he wants so he does not feel the need to change. I kinda feel the same way somehow.

Yes, it's just a story, but, it certainly is a good one to reflect on. I don't understand why it's hard for some people to realize that they have the power to live the life that they want if they want it bad enough. It's not up to other people whether you'll be happy or not. It's totally up to us! And I think we all know that happiness is a key factor in living a long life - unless perhaps you were diagnosed with a terminal disease.

Living a long, happy and healthy life~ yeah these are the things most people wish for, right? What's the point of having tons of money when you're dead? Your surviving relatives would just kill each other over your earthly possessions. Would you be able to rest in peace with that? People nowadays are so greedy that they are willing to fight for something they don't even deserve. You simply can't trust anyone. Why not let your descendants inherit something that they would never run out of no matter how long they live? Like skills and talents or strong will to live? In a time wherein almost everyone welcomes a suicidal thought over a simple matter, wouldn't it be nice to raise people who have high respect for life?

I want to live longer; I still want to see what I'm capable of. I don't see myself living that long if I get stressed over traffic jam every single day of my life before I even start to work. It's hard to tell how long it would take before I explode while queuing for an MRT or LRT ticket/card. I cannot afford to talk to a psychologist about every single thing that makes me lose my shit. I knew I had to do something about it. I need a place where I won't harbor thoughts of violence.

Life in the city was pretty much like running on a hamster wheel. The more you move, the faster it spins. It's not like I never learned anything from it, I actually learned a lot ~ like a building stamina for example or realizing that I can get things done even if I don't feel like doing it.

I've learned to stand my ground, keep a straight face and develop presence of mind especially in public places. I know that any moment, I could lose my stuff in a blink of an eye. I've learned how to be a keen observer; I've learned how to avoid danger. I've learned how to chase after the things that I want. But the life I am living now is somehow telling me that I don't have to chase them anymore. This life is telling me that my dreams and I could run together at the same time. They are right next to me, all I have to do is take a good look at them from time to time to remind myself of what I came here for. 

Now, if I have to answer the question "What would make you go back to Manila for good?", maybe if I could get something better than what I am experiencing right now, then I would go back for good.


  1. Yeah, I can totally understand now. I was one of the people who asked you right? Usually, one of the reasons people move to Baguio would be because of a broken heart. The people in Baguio are nicer too! If not only for my family, I would also move here for good.

    1. "The people in Baguio are nicer too", so true!!! haha! Though I don't know about the 'broken heart' part~ haha! I came here head first~ ^.^

  2. keep walking those hills and see if your muscles don't grow like a true baguio girl, haha!

    1. haha~ it's a very good leg workout po! ^.^ effortless workout!


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