Signs of Progress

(click image for source)
(click image for source)

This morning, I passed by the biggest mall here in the city on my way to the smaller one I frequent. I noticed that the expansive free parking area was still empty, which was not really surprising since it was only a few minutes before mall hours begin. But it wasn’t the first time I’ve observed it looking so vacant or less than half full.

In contrast, the smaller and much older mall was teeming with people again. Probably because it’s a payday weekend and classes are about to start so school stuff shopping’s in full swing.

Of Malls and Wo/Men

I’ve often wondered about a lot of things in this city even after the four years since I’ve been back. One of the things I’m curious about is the people’s “malling” habits. The popular mall chain I passed by earlier have several sister establishments strewn around Manila. All of which always seemed to be congested with people, and their respective car parks, with vehicles. But it’s different here from what I’ve observed thus far. Either there’s less people to crowd such a humungous mall or they just don’t spend most of their days hanging out in there.

Of Public Libraries and Parks

Apart from the growing number of shopping malls, I’m seeing a lot of ongoing constructions everywhere. Buildings are sprouting like mushrooms in a city seemingly developing at a rapid pace. And yet amidst those signs of progress I keep looking for some things that would make this place feel more like home.

Just early this morning, I was mulling over the idea of spending my weekend mornings boarding a ferry that would take me to a 10 to 15-minute ride to Samal Island so I could go for 1 to 2-hour walks in the island’s quieter and scenic roads.

I just wish there are more lush, verdant parks than concrete to walk or run to in my city. And that there are more public libraries than malls. I just want to live where there are places to read, trails to explore, and vibrant landscapes to see even if it’s in the heart of a bustling city.

My idea of development must be way off-base and out of sync with the usual scheme of things.

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