Metro Manila

Metro Manila — my current home — is a metropolis of extraordinary contrast.  Referred to as the National Capital Region, it is the workhorse of the country, housing about 12.8% of the total population and producing about 38% of national GDP.  Metro Manila is a key contributor to the country’s dynamic and vibrant economy, which has been among the fastest growing in East Asia in recent years.  With glittering high rise buildings, a Starbucks on seemingly every corner, and bustling commerce wherever you look, one could be lulled into thinking that the citizens of Metro Manila all have a comfortable life. But this is far from the reality.  When we first moved to Manila last year, my youngest daughter was startled to see during our tour of her new school, a huge shanty settlement – houses upon houses – just outside the school wall.  For a young teenager, she’s well-traveled and has lived in big, rapidly urbanizing cities in China and Turkey... —