Manila, we need to talk.

October 26th, 2014, 10pm

It was 25°C with scattered clouds. The wind was calm.

Deep down, I already know that it’s a matter of if, and not when:

I am going to leave you.

I don’t even know where I’m going yet, but I am so sure of it that once I can, I know I will.

I know you’ve been around for a long time, have seen more people come and go than I could ever imagine. Yet you sit there, seemingly unperturbed by this monster you’ve become. Indifferent to the lives your people lead.

You weren’t always like this. We’ve had some good times. You’ve given me an easy life. But you no longer give more than you take.

Maybe someday, you could become the city your people deserve. But I can’t plan that far ahead. I am not being selfish —- I simply refuse to suffer for the sins of those generations before me whose lack of competence, imagination, and care have turned you into this wretched thing: the capital of futility.

So while I still have a choice, I am making it. There are places in the world, some not too far away, that will welcome me with open arms. You, too often, welcome me with despair.

David Wade, Robin, Peter, Christine and 4 others said thanks.

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Aaron Palabyab

Filmmaker. MNL and the world.

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