My 2018 Manila Experience | Blushing Geek

My 2018 Manila Experience

It’s almost been a month since I’ve returned from my two months stay in Manila but it’s just now that I finally decided to write this article, haha. Sorry about that, I’m really having a hard time getting used to blogging (after being a no-show for two months) plus I’ve been so busy juggling with my new schedule.

As may you have already known, I’m a freelancer no more and now an office-based worker. Yay! And for two months, I stayed in Manila for work training and although I haven’t told anyone about it, I was extremely worried about it. Ofcourse I was excited and nervous but I was also worried. I’ve been to Manila before but it was only for a short trip so I didn’t got the chance spend a lot of time with the locals. I’ve heard some good and bad things about Manila and I was really anticipating the bad to happen lol. But I was really surprised that it went so well.

Ofcourse I got home sick, the annoying adjusting phase, got stressed out, got a hard time budgeting my money and ofcourse met some people I wish I never got the chance to meet but my overall experience in Manila was really unexpected. It was so unexpected that I’m not ready to leave yet. Actually, all 11 of us (my fellow trainees from Cebu) feels the same way too, haha. Except for the budgeting, it just seems so carefree living there.

The fellow trainees

My fellow trainees - My 2018 Manila Experience | Blushing Geek
Fellow Cebu trainees with team lead in the center

While I was in Manila, we stayed in some old apartment building in Makati. It was old but definitely not decrepit, if that’s what you think about old, haha. While staying there, I need to live in the same apartment with 6 other people whom I’ve just met twice. I thought it’s going to be a disaster or uncomfortable but during our stay in Manila, it felt like I’m already having a second family. Scratch that, we’re already a family, *smile

All of us instantly hit it off that our Manila co-workers thought that the 7 of us already knew each other before meeting at work, but in truth, we only just met during the contract signing. Ofcourse we have some differences but since we’re already a matured working individual (which I hope I am, haha), we worked past our differences and made our living arrangement better, well, it was actually great for all of us.

One of the things I am thankful for for this experience is that I’ve got to live with them in the same house and because of that I’ve got the chance to really know all of them outside work. Which I think is the reason why we’re all so comfortable with each other.

The environment

Buildings in Makati, Manila - My 2018 Manila Experience | Blushing Geek
Outside view of our apartment in Makati

I actually like the place. Our apartment is just a 1 jeepney ride away from the office plus it’s very accessible so no complaints about that. We also happen to live in Makati which is one of the busiest (and not to mention, expensive) cities in Manila. Eventhough we’re just near the office, we still usually get a problem with the traffic which is what Manila is known for.

The infrastructure was also spectacular. I live in Cebu city where there’s also buildings everywhere but it’s no match to Makati (or Manila in a whole). The buildings we’re so tall, so modern and just so urban. It was also my first time trying to ride an escalator outside the mall lol. It’s just that in Cebu, we use normal stairs in our overpass and not escalators, haha. 

I guess the only concern I had while staying there was the traffic during peak hours and when it’s raining, which is pretty normal when you’re living in a busy city actually.

The security

Manila Trains - My 2018 Manila Experience | Blushing Geek

One of the bad things I heard about Manila is the security. Pickpockets, kidnappers, riding in tandem, bomb threats and many others. But surprisingly, I felt safe during my two months stay in Manila. I guess one of the things you need to do while you’re there is to be vigilant, never flaunt money or expensive jewelry everywhere and just be careful.

The locals and their culture

I was in culture shock during my first few days in Manila. I’ve been watching tv dramas, reading books and news about Manila but never anticipated the culture shock, haha.

I’ve been taught to use “po” only to elders but I was bombarded with so many “po” especially in the workplace. It was crazy. And it’s not just “po” but with “thank you” too. People keep saying thank you everywhere that sometimes I look like a complete jerk for not saying it often. Ofcourse it wasn’t a bad thing but, in the place where I came from, we only say thanks once and not all the time or it’ll irk them, lol. And the third one would be the warm welcome. People we’re so friendly that I feel so bad about being so judgmental. I’ve heard numerous stories about the Manila locals discriminating against people who come from the province and I was so ready to face that during our first day at work, but surprise, surprise. They’re all so friendly, *smile. I actually met some really good friends there and we still keep in contact. 

There’s some more but I think those three are the biggest cultural shocks that I’ve encountered during my stay in Manila.

The work

Some of my workmates in Manila - My 2018 Manila Experience | Blushing Geek

I was assigned in the video department which I was really surprised to find out at first. I don’t have any background at all plus I kinda gave a hint during the interview that I so want to code, lol. I thought it’s going to be discouraging but heck, video editing especially motion design is as challenging as programming itself (although I still prefer programming, haha) so it wasn’t a bad deal after all. Plus, I’ve got to work with some interesting set of individuals plus I love the working environment! 

I was also surprised to find out that the company that I am currently employed with doesn’t discriminate. They don’t care about what school you graduated as long as you work hard and you provide what’s needed to be done. Plus, they are so willing to train. Isn’t that something you’ll want to do? Heck yes!


Contrary to what I expected, my stay in Manila was really so pleasant. I’ve made some good friends, got to learn and experience a lot of things, plus I’ve got to travel (although not so much like what anticipated it would, haha) too. So am I coming back to Manila? Definitely! (but hopefully for a long vacation, *wink)

My 2018 Manila Experience | Blushing Geek

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