When I got to Manila, I spent the first 4 hours in a car eating cookies, drinking water and writing emails, while listening Pilipino love songs. We didn’t get lost or took a road trip, we were just trying to drive to Intramuros, which is only 12 km away from the airport. This has been the first thing I learnt about Manila: traffic and chaotic streets can make few kilometers last forever.
As soon as we got to Intramuros, which means inside the walls, everything was different, all the chaos and traffic stopped.
The morning after, I had the pleasure to meet Marco Antonio Luisito Villanueva Sardillo III, administrator of Intramuros, who explained me how they are creating a model for Intramuros that can be replicate in the rest of Manila.
After our meeting at the Palace of Governor, I went with his security guard to see the eldest schools of the country, the HQ of Manila’s Newspaper, Manila Bulletin, the rest of the fort built during the war and also some of the poorest areas, to understand better how people live and what they need the most.
What really impressed me were the bright, beautiful colors and how everything was organized, even in the poorest areas. It felt like everyone agreed on respecting the same rules, with no discriminations. You could see signs that prohibit to smoke near the schools, as well as warnings to slow down on the street and pay attention to pedestrians.
These little things are helping people to be more aware of other and make the city more livable for everyone. Respect is always the first step towards civilization.
Enjoy the rest of the pictures,