This story is episode 04 of a blog series.
The pathway we took revealed to me a reality that's facing Manila's urbanity now. Manila is the capital city of my beloved country but she is facing challenges right now.

► The Recto LRT Station has shown me realities in life. I felt privileged. I felt lucky. I felt grateful. I felt the luxury...

► I've never seen in person a sad reality in this scale. There's so much people sharing a space that's less than enough for them

[Manila, National Capital Region, Luzon Island, Philippines]
RECTO LRT STATION, MANILA
| 1 | [MANILA] ► SOME PEOPLE (NOT ALL) WHO HAVE MORE IN LIFE ARE NOT GRATEFUL BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW IT FEELS LIKE TO HAVE LESS IN LIFE.
We reached the Recto LRT Station in Manila and I was so happy. I thought this train ride was done, but Alex and Lou told me we need to transfer to the other station called Doroteo Jose LRT Station that's already part of the Line 1. I found out later that Recto LRT Station is the last station for Line 2 for this side of Metro Manila.

We walked through an elevated pathway connecting the two stations and there I saw the glaring overt poverty displayed in Manila's key areas. I saw slums located very near the Recto LRT Station and this scenario put me into random introspections.

MANILA SQUATTER, SLUMS
| 2 | [MANILA] ► IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BEAUTIFUL HOUSE. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BEAUTIFUL HOME.
MANILA SQUATTER, SLUMS
| 3 | [MANILA] ► TRUTH HURTS, BUT TRUTH SETS US FREE.
I subscribe to the belief though that the slums of Manila do not necessarily define the economic standing of our country (Canada and the USA also have homeless people) because homelessness and poverty issues are complex issues that could not be solved overtime. Take note that the poverty rate in the USA is 13.4% (2017) while 34.8 percent of Greeks (in Greece) live in poverty or in danger of poverty (2018). The Philippines has 21.6% poverty rate in 2015.

Although the Philippines has a bigger figure per capita, USA would still overtake us in numbers if we talk about the quantity. The 13.4% in the US translates to ~43 million poor Americans vs ~22 million poor Filipinos.


► Thoughts from Recto LRT Station


Moving on, these slums do not necessarily reflect our economic standing because some people living in the slums also have smartphones and television sets. Probably, some reasons like scarcity of living space could be considered. Some people would just want to stay in these areas because it's near their place of livelihood or for reasons of sentimentality. I am not an expert but I'm just entertaining the substance of other points of view.

I'm telling the above observations because I witnessed it myself. We also have a squatter area in ▼ #VIGAN
but the residents have motorbikes, appliances, concrete homes, smartphones, and some are studying at the private schools. They are not really poor, they are just living in a squatter area. So when the government offered them a new place to live, they obeyed because they could afford to buy the lots offered to them. Yes, Vigan is not Manila, I'm just justifying my above statement that the slums of Manila do not define the standing of our whole country because it's a different thing here in ▼ ILOCOS
. Anyway, poverty figures should not be a subject for debate here. Let's just hope for zero poverty, whether here in the ▼ PHILIPPINES
, United States or elsewhere in the world.

RECTO LRT STATION, MANILA
| 4 | [MANILA] ► OUR FACE IS MAGICAL. IT REFLECTS WHAT WE FEEL. IT MAKES US UNDERSTAND EMOTIONS.
Reaching the Recto LRT Station, I couldn't help myself but to document this journey. Lourdes and Alex were observing. I didn't know what's running inside their heads that time but I was pretty sure they wanted to tell something.

We exited Recto Station and there was a pathway leading to the other LRT Line. I thought it's already the end of my first LRT ride but my companions told me we have to transfer to the other line. Ok, I got it. Recto is the last station in this other side of Line 2 and we needed to transfer to the other line to reach our destination.

MANILA squatter slum
| 5 | [MANILA] ► THE HIGH BUILDINGS ARE SYMBOLIC OF THE HIGH HOPES OF THE POOR TO ESCAPE POVERTY.
MANILA squatter slum
| 6 | [MANILA] ► IN LIFE, THERE IS A ROAD TO POVERTY BUT THERE IS ALSO A ROAD TO SUCCESS. THE ROAD YOU SHOULD FOLLOW IS NOT A MATTER OF CHANCE, BUT A MATTER OF CHOICE.
MANILA squatter slum
| 7 | [MANILA] ► THE CLEAR BLUE SKY CONSTANTLY REMINDS US THAT BEHIND THE CLOUDS, THE SUN IS STILL SHINING. WE CAN WIN THE POVERTY WAR BECAUSE WE CAN.
The pathway we took revealed to me a reality that's facing Manila's urbanity now. Manila is the capital city of my beloved country but she is facing challenges right now. I saw a polarizing scenario as I walked on the elevated pathway. From afar are business districts with imposing high rises showing the wealth of Manila. Just below the elevated pathway is a slum showing the poverty of my dear country.

I felt bad about what I saw (and I think no sane individual would be happy with this). I've never seen in person a sad reality in this scale. There's so much people sharing a space that's less than enough for them; a space they could call their home, but not their own.


► Ending Notes


The Recto LRT Station has shown me realities in life. I felt privileged. I felt lucky. I felt grateful. I felt the luxury of having our own house (although our house is not that beautiful or big).

Poverty may be a pressing issue facing our country today but I believe in the saying that "If you are born poor, it’s not your fault, but if you die poor it’s your mistake". The display of poverty near the Recto LRT Station made me realize how blessed I am. I felt rich compared to the set-up I saw, hence allowing me to feel that sympathy and compassion to people who have less in life in terms of financial status. I specified that these are the people who have less in financial status because the scarcity of their resources doesn't necessarily make me "more" or "better" than them. I'm pretty sure that people living in dire situation like this have also more in life. They are resilient. They are strong. They are capable of living happily without the convenience we experience. The foregoing qualities I mentioned are already enough to consider them as people who also have more in life because they possess the qualities that people with better financial status may not have. That means that if they will escape this kind of situation, they will be wiser because they already experienced how it feels like to live in a dire situation. Surely, their standard of happiness will be very low and I believe they will find happiness in every simple thing they never had before once they escape poverty.

After the Recto LRT Station, we transferred to the other line. Where are we going? This LRT ride is taking so long. Again, what is the significance of this LRT ride in my nursing career? | to be continued... |

▼ BLOGSERYE 006
► BLOGSERYE 006: MY FIRST LRT RIDE | You're on the Episode 04 of this series.
MANILA LRT STATION
▼ Episode 01
[METRO MANILA] ► My First LRT Ride: Thoughts And Reflections | Imagine that good feeling when I experienced the Metro Manila LRT for the first time and it exceeded my expectations!
▼ Episode 02
[QUEZON CITY] ► Cubao LRT Station: My First LRT Station in PH | I was with fellow nurses. We were going somewhere, a place where we could do the first step of maximizing the potential of our nursing career and this LRT station was part of that journey.
▼ Episode 03
[METRO MANILA] ► Cubao To Recto Via LRT: Symbolic Ride For The Nurse In Me | You cannot be your old self all the time. You need to transform for the better and powerful new you.
▼ Episode 04
SANTA CRUZ CHURCH, MANILA[MANILA] ► Recto LRT Station: Why I Felt So Rich? | You're currently on this page.
▼ Episode 05
DOROTEO JOSE LRT STATION[MANILA] ► Doroteo Jose LRT Station: Grabbing an Opportunity | ...listening to the words of the experts are fascinating but hearing the stories of normal individuals are more heartfelt and genuine because they share stories based on what they feel and what they have experienced.
▼ Episode 06
SANTA CRUZ CHURCH, MANILA[MANILA] ► Why My Principles Changed from Y.O.L.O to REALITY? | While it isn't bad to travel non-stop, the question is could you sustain it without compromising your future?







Maps Showing the Location of #MANILA

MAP OF MANILA
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

✈ This post was filed under the category "Train Stations and Railways" See more posts related to this below.

✈ The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

✈ All photos are mine.

✈ The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try the activities or see the properties/places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time.

UPDATE HISTORY FOR THIS BLOG POST
► 12-March-2019: Series tracker lay-out updated. Link to Episode 06 added.
► 14-February-2019: Link to Episode 05 added in the series tracker at the end of the post.
► 10-February-2019: Some grammar issues corrected.
► 04-February-2019: This post was published.


LATEST STORIES COVERING MANILA | SEE ALL IN A SEPARATE WINDOW

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SPEAK YOUR HEART OUT. C'MON! DON'T BE SHY. I PROMISE TO REPLY EXCEPT FOR TROLLS.

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EDMAR GUQUIB

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano. Genuine Bigueño. Sucker of Long Land Trips. Loves the Highlands. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For sponsorship, advertising, event invites and collaborations email me at edmaration@gmail.com.

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