For travelers used to efficient public transport, wide roads and a general sense of order, Manila’s careening jeeps and buses, overflowing trash and a globally “hated” airport are a shock to the system.
Bill Davis, an American missionary and editor based in the Philippine island of Palawan, calls it “benign chaos.”
“That’s how it seems to many foreigners,” says Davis, who has lived in the Philippines for 30 years and visits Manila several times a year. “Frenetic activity. Almost inconceivable numbers of people everywhere you look. All in motion. Noise, music, voices … [Filipinos] have a tolerance for crowds and noise, and actually consider it masaya (fun) …”
Fortunately, the Philippines is waking up to the harsh realities underscored by world rankings and social media rants. Using our trademark ingenuity and resourcefulness, we are now starting to address some of the biggest things that travelers hate most about this gateway to the Philippine archipelago.
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