8 Unexpected Places In Manila
Can Get A Recharge
By Wincy Aquino Ong
Simply put, introverts are people whose nervous systems are too sensitive to external stimuli. These things may range from the crush of crowds to ear-splitting noise pollution to the garish color schemes you find in billboards along Guadalupe. And, ahem, not to mention, the unavoidable douchebags in the office.
And if you’re an introvert eking out a living in Manila, chances are you’ve been a chronic sufferer of sensory overload.
Fear not, Dear 8list Reader! We’ve put on our thinking caps on, huddled for a good brainstorm, and came up with 8 unexpected places in the city where us turtle-people can get our energies replenished.
No, we’re not being morbid here. But, it’s true, cemeteries are great places where you can bask in silence under the canopy of acacia trees. Finish writing your novel in the company of dearly departed loved ones. Walk around with headphones and invent stories about the ancient names you’d find in the headstones.
Given that the city lacks pockets of green, cemeteries are the next best thing. And yes, we’re sure the ghosts of your Lolos and Lolas wouldn’t mind the company.
Have an early morning picnic at your neighborhood’s playground, when kids and their yayas are still hours away. Revisit your childhood thoughts on the swing set. Think of life and death on the merry-go-round. Make a sandcastle while you’re at it. Or simply enjoy the sunrise as it dazzles your eyeballs.
6. University campuses (on a weekend)
On a school day, sure, campuses all over the city bustle with so much energy that the place becomes crackling loud as a stock exchange. But have you ever been to UP Diliman or Ateneo de Manila on a weekend? It’s pure and unadulterated introvert bliss.
The only people there are the gardeners, whistling as they water their plants. Lose some calories as you walk through your old college haunts. Bring along your journal and let those empty corridors jog your memory. Snap some photos of the sun-kissed Art Deco statues while you’re at it.
5. Private libraries
Private libraries? In Manila? They exist. There’s the Filipinas Heritage Library in the Ayala Museum. And there’s the Ortigas Foundation Library in Meralco Avenue.
You’ve never experienced this kind of silence since your days of studying in college. Whip out that book you’ve been dying to finish, as the cardamom-smell of old books assails your nostrils. Or if not, snuggle up to a bundled-up sweater and take that much needed power nap.
4. Roof decks
Now that most city-dwellers live in condos, there’s a good chance you have access to a roof deck—which often comes with a swimming pool or an outdoor garden. Time your visits when there are no children around. Lie down by a chaise-lounge chair and listen to your favorite podcasts. Also, the bird’s-eye-view of the city should surely calm your nerves. On evenings, you can scowl like a pretend-Batman if your building has gargoyles.
3. Massage parlors
Nothing like darkness, essential oils and yoga music to repair your beat up nervous system, right? Not to mention, your own La-Z-Boy chair! Ha!
Getting a 30-minute foot massage as you go through all the bookmarked articles you’ve been meaning to read is surely an introvert’s escape from the toxicity of our metropolis.
2. Empty malls (on weekdays)
There are malls like EDSA Shangri-La and Rockwell that surprisingly can be relaxing places in the middle of the week. The foot traffic on these days is so low that you practically have the mall to your own. So enjoy the coolness of the air-conditioners as it dries the sweat beads on your back. Watch a movie by your lonesome without the company of talkative plot-spoilers and crying children.
1. Hotel lobbies
Ah, the expensive paintings. The piano music. The faux-Roman architecture. The flowers. And of course, the lack of loud-mouthed palengkera-types of people.
Just order a cup of chamomile tea and a macaron or two, and the entire place can be yours for until you like. (As for the coffee shop with the mermaid? Nah, the baristas will give you the evil eye.)
If there’s too much blood in your glutes, get up! Take a stroll by the swimming pool & gym area. Enjoy golden rays of sun on your cheeks and smile like a shiny, happy introvert.
Do you have any more suggestions? Share them with us below!