The Philippines has more than 7,100 islands and countless cities and Manila is just one of them. Our CitySlickers are here to explore them with their analogue ammunition and to document their adventures through their wistful words! Here is Jane, one of Manila’s CitySlickers, and her introduction on her beloved city!
Name: Jane “Jules” U. Gaspar
City: Laoag City
Occupation: Contemporary artisan, freelance graphic designer, dog walker, family cook, fairy-tale reader
My first name is an adjective so I’ll just put it in a box safely locked away. People know me by my second name: Jane. But sometimes I also go by a nickname: Jules, use either and I’ll still turn my head for you whenever you feel the need of talking to me. I live in a little city called Laoag. Say it with me—LA-WAAG—Laoag City. In our native tongue it would roughly translate as ‘shine’. An 8-hour bus drive from Metro Manila, this dreamy suburbia of yore is also my lovely hometown. But most of all this is now my daily muse.
I’ve been living in the big city of Metro Manila for at least 5 years for the sole purpose of studying… and doing things like job-hunting after my graduation. Or so that was the plan. A year had passed since I got my bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design and all I had was some contractual job as a graphic artist. A month after my contract ended I was again broke, miserable and starving. It was decided, no inner conflicts whatsoever, I was to go back home. I’d like to call this as the definitive U-Turn phase of my life.
I have seen the light…figuratively. Truth be told? I used to hate it here, probably just teenage angst before or a deep loathing for boredom back then or both. My quest for an amiable job in the Metro might’ve been fruitless but now I enjoy my every day vacation back home. And let’s not forget, free food lads. Also I get to sleep in a real bed! No more lumpy futons (I HATE LUMPY FUTONS). I was taking a whiff of freshly laundered sheets under the sun on a daily basis! Gone were the days of soiled socks!
Sure I miss my friends, but never have I imagined I could be happier in a place where basic necessities are literally taken to a superlative point of view. Everything I mostly need is just an arm’s reach. This is my kind of adventure, my return to Suburbia Wonderland.
Stay tuned for our Manila Cityslickers’ analogue adventures as they roam their cities with their film ammunition!