Thursday, June 03, 2004

old and new

I visited a client in Ermita, in Old Manila this morning. It's a completely different place, with older structures surviving the onrush of new towers, single proprietor eateries next to glitzy fast food joints, a church two blocks away from a love motel.

People seem more laid back, less stressed and friendlier in general.

This afternoon, I visited my client in the eastern part of the metropolis, in the Libis area where C-5, a major artery, has encouraged the growth of all sorts of businesses of varying sizes. Restaurants line the road, representing everything from Spanish cuisine (Patio Alba) to Chinese (the famous Smart Chicken of Binondo) and everything in between (boutique-type restos and gigantic enterprises like Dampa sa Libis). Sports centers, spas, saunas and gyms sit side by side with girlie bars (Sybil)and big corporations (Universal Robina).

Everything seems quiet during daytime, but from early evening onwards, the place begins to pulsate with life, with a beat just as vital as Old Manila's.

Every year, people say business will be horrible and that companies will close. But for every one that shuts down, several others spring into existence. Short of earth-shaking catastrophe, business goes on, even with the laughable parody of the elections and the interminable canvassing going on.


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