Deciphering the Metro: A quick look around Metro Manila
A metropolis made up of 16 cities, one town and 11 million people, my place of residence is one I wholeheartedly admit I have not scoured thoroughly enough in my 21 years of existence but for the parts I frequent and do know of, I can attest to its diversity of places and its abundance of people that will surely leave a mark to every wanderer out there.
The Metro (and the culture)is conveniently colloquially divided into the North and the South. The line that draws the two, however, is hazy at its best. For anyone who is planning a trip to the Capital and who suddenly encounters the North-South divide, let me impart some of my understanding on how this city works.
All the cities that move towards the north and near one certain Quezon City are classified as the Northern Side. Makati City is where my South begins so everything from here and southern wards is the whole South cluster.
To the foreign students who are planning a trip in the Philippines or are already booked for one, the airports are all clustered in the South so this part of the Metro is the one you will see at first view. It now depends on your trusty pick-up which sides of Manila will he/she let you see first. Admittedly, not everything is clean, modern and well-kept in the city but should this happen, do not give up on the Metro just yet, it has infrastructures and cities that can hold up against the most developed nations in the world.
Someone who has lived in the South her entire life would automatically say that the North is too condensed for her life and to some extent, it is true. The cost of living is much cheaper in the latter as most business centers and commercial areas are in Makati and Taguig. If ever, however, you are going to be situated in the North, there will not be a shortage of commercial centers you can go around in. In terms of shopping, whatever the South has, (I was told) the North has too.
Education wise, there are a lot more universities up North as 3, University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University and University of Sto. Tomas, of the big 4 universities known in the Capital are settled in there. De La Salle University is easily classified to be in the South as it is more accessible via that area. In the recent years, however, there is a boom on International schools in the area of Bonifacio Global City. Most expats, as they can afford the high cost of living in the area, reside here and consequentially send their children to these schools.
If there is one place I can recommend in the Southern Area, it would be Bonifacio Global City as the place, unlike other sectors of the Metro, was planned from ground zero. Everything is accessible via walking and traffic is not as bad as some other areas. I have classmates who live up North and one thing they always have to say about their daily commute is that the traffic is bloody long.
As for people, some would say Southerners are more “chill”, where house parties are the trend, long walks are the norm, and close knit communities are the usual. This is in contrast to the image of Northerners where clubs and bars are the usual hangout areas, jeepneys and vans, the normal commute and big social networks are in the works.
There are so many more distinctions that you would find out once you get into the Metro life and as much as I want to list down each and every one of them, it would, at my hardest try, sound foreign and corny. In the end, the entirety of Metro Manila is still one metropolis and that stereotypes are there more for fun than actually delineations (well, aside from the economical factors behind it).
Check out these links for more quirky North-South Trivias!
Fun facts (that are actually very true) about north and south girls:
Try to decipher the courtship styles of North and South dudes: