One of the mindfulness exercises that I do whenever I visit our youngest sister’s house in Malate is seaside walking along Roxas Boulevard. I also intend to conclude it with the same activity on Mall of Asia’s Seaside. The latter is still a part of the boulevard stretch and is a relatively new spot to me, visit frequency wise.
Setting foot on the esplanade of this part of the boulevard again last February 22, 2023, reminded me of the very first time I incidentally got here in 2002 (college days). The sunny climate and the smell of a recovering seawaters greeting me were absolute delights. The rays were scorching but reflecting so glossy on the pulsating waters of Manila Bay. It felt as if it was just like the first time even though it was what also made the most recent vacation’s penultimate day meaningful and memorable as the second visit in the above reel, August 2022.
The once dull and gray place, as I remember it back then, has turned into a bright one that’s full of life. It’s interesting to note that it also has a giant eye now that could give visiting riders a panoramic view of the city from a unique vantage point.
What particularly got me though during the latest transitory stay was watching the montage of life excerpts taking place at this tropical juncture. I’m originally a countryside native. I didn’t get to the city until I turned eighteen. Somehow, the routine that I’ve been into for a decade now, since working overseas, made me gradually forget the, for lack of a better word to describe it, “nuances” of Manila that were incorporated into my system once upon a time.
I’m not talking about the common sights or cynical views constituting a third world country, or worst, something to the effect of how Dan Brown described Manila in one of his books pertaining to that quoted word. It’s this ephemeral life form taking place during the busy hours at this part of the bay.
Put these scenarios on repeat in your mind: People passing by hastily and leisurely on this esplanade; people patiently holding their cameras to capture this bewildering nature feat on time-lapse; people sitting on the ledge washing their worries away with the magical pull of the ebb current; people convivially sipping a cup of coffee while witnessing the seamless convergence of everything said all at once.
We have the local government and DENR to thank for their rehabilitation initiatives that kicked off in January 2019. These amusement park rides, like the Giant Ferris Wheel, are only a few of the many transformational developments that took place since then. Truly, the place has transmogrified into something hopeful and zesty—tourism wise!
Compared with so many other attractions in Manila as we speak, I can now say that I’d be preferring this part of city every chance I get. I’ve been ignoring it since college days because of its not so good reputation when it comes to cleanliness but as you can see now, that’s no longer the case.
Spending an alone, nature moment at this part of the metropolis is a great form of quality time. How can you and I say no to the inviting sunset and glistening water over the shores of Manila Bay?
If you haven’t been to this part of Metro Manila, consider the above reel, these photos, and the blog post reasons to do the same. They might give you the kind of turning point you need in this busy world that’s already taken over by blue screens.
PS, I bought a piece of South Sea Pearl at MOA’s KULTURA store after the sun has completely descended over Manila Bay’s horizon.
What to Do in Manila: 15 Tourist Spots & Top Things to do (guidetothephilippines.ph)
MOA Eye | Manila, Philippines (lonelyplanet.com
10 Instagram-worthy Places to Visit in SM Mall of Asia (traveloka.com)
SM Seaside City Cebu, “The Biggest Mall in Visayas and Mindanao” (pinoyadventurista.com)
Why Mall of Asia is a Huge Tourist Attraction in the Philippines (thephilippines.com)
Best Restaurants near Seaside Blvd, G/F, Pasay, Metro Manila (m.yelp.com)
All About IKEA Mall of Asia, Philippines (outoftownblog.com)
Top 5 Tallest Ferris Wheels In The Philippines (pinoyadventurista.com)