Gates of Hell


Welcome to the gates of hell, my city where I spend 3 to 4 hours of traffic gridlock with the rest of thousands of commuters, in the heat of around 34 degrees. The few elevated train lines that ply major routes in Metro Manila become packed like sardines, especially during morning and afternoon rush hours. Manila, where the stench of Pasig River, the rubbish on the streets, the thickest smog and the slum areas tells us teeming poverty is thriving and people go their normal ways. Where I don’t feel safe, as pickpockets roam the city and corruption is widespread. Where my home could be broken and things stolen. Manila, where I keep coming back.

Manila, my home
Poverty, traffic like hell
But life goes on

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

For: Haibun Monday # 23 – contemporary cityscape by Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

18 thoughts on “Gates of Hell

  1. I was in Manilla probably about 10 years ago, with my job. There for two days only. And yes – I was struck by all of this but I was also struck by its gracious and friendly people wherever I turned. You write of this well. The rosebuds round your site speak to you as one of her people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed this. In spite of pickpockets, theives, poverty, the several times I visited Manila and various other parts of the Philippines, I was always truck by the courtesy and kindness of its people and…avocado ice cream….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for sharing your duality. As an American I feel shame for the way Filipinos were treated after the Spanish and before the Japanese. I also feel a strong kinship because of WWII and wish that the politics were not so adversarial.

    Liked by 1 person

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