Monday, May 05, 2008

Things I learned about life in Manila

Be armed... with 20s
Taxis usually shortchange. The less money they can rip from you the better. 20 is a good small number. So the most you can lose is 5-10 pesos. 500s or even 100s are dangerous!

Mistakes are costly... minimize them
You take the wrong ride home or to your destination using mass transport and you can end up in a place far from it. Corrective trips cost money and in the likely event you take a taxi instead remember the above topic. Same goes with finding a place to stay. You come in with insufficient info and you may end up spending a little too much for your home.

Sleep on your belly... when going to overnight outings
The place is crawling with fags so who knows one might try to grab you by the balls in your sleep.

Ask for more... starting pay
I.T. is always short on manpower. In the end, it's not about the skills - it's about the need. Supply and demand!

Try not to make a career... out of job hopping.
Every month someone gives you a call offering a 25% increase in your current salary. By the time you land your 3rd job hop you'll probably be earning 3x than before but at the expense of your reliability. This vice can be very obsessive.

Use mass transit... cars are useless here.
I recommend the MRT since there's no traffic and it's faster. Cars don't get you anywhere if you're stuck in traffic two-thirds of the time. Imagine the fuel loss and environmental impact!

No smoking... if possible.
You get your daily dose every day while you commute. :p

Be wary... of scams.
Don't use credit cards in shady business establishments. Unless you're explicitly looking for a cheap bargain item don't buy anything considered "brand new" in unknown stalls. That being said, mainstream stores costs 15%-20% more but you get peace of mind. Decide at your own risk. Be wary of people approaching you about investments or other financial matters. Just say "NO". Never claim to have a credit card when someone asks you.

You get what you pay for... in restaurants
I never grow short of a good meal in good restaurants here. Sometimes I get more than what I pay for. That is, of course, in comparison to my hometown where I barely get a full stomach on a P250 meal. :)

Tagalogs love... their celebrities.
I wouldn't dare mention that I have an utter distaste for their icons whose names and faces are a complete mystery to me.

Tagalogs hate... Arroyo.
Because of the point above, being a Cebuano means I could come under fire as to why we helped her win instead of FPJ. Go figure!

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