Jogging In Manila is Like Smoking a Pack of Cigarettes, But With Benefits

By Mark Wiens 14 Comments
Jogging down the street in Manila

Jogging in Manila requires that all human senses be maximized to full potential and then some.  You will surely be evaluated and put through a personal examination that will fully test all human capabilities.

Just so you know, you will be forced to kick a few cats, hurdle countless stray dogs, and scatter aimless looking roosters.  One minute you are scattering a zoo and the next minute you are swag surfing through a muster of hawkers.

A waterfall will surely form at the tip of your nose and run down the entirety of your body getting trapped in your apparel.  Your skin and clothing will instantaneously be sopping with salty wetness.

You will be harassed by wires that are invisible until they have strangled  your neck.  You will be forced to dodge craters in the sidewalk, extra re-bar that managed to stick out of nowhere, and you will need to navigate the sidewalk or road that resembles a music equalizer from the side.  Along these roads you will pass convenience stores, mechanical shops, and the highly daunting (as you are jogging in jeopardy) funeral service homes.

Jogging in Manila
Sights jogging in Manila

While avoiding various obstacles, you will accidentally brush up against a man urinating into a fence and he won’t look the least bit surprised or embarrassed.  You will unleash a smile and continue onwards.

Your lungs will instantly char from the rancid spewing of everything from mega buses to homemade vehicular devices.  The stench of rotting garbage will coat your inner nostrils as you putt, putt, along.

As you gag for you next choke of oxygen, one breath closer to emphazima, is when you will think to yourself,

“I may as well be smoking cigarettes, instead of jogging in Manila, one essentially reaps the same consequences.”

But then you think again while peering out of your half closed shuttering eyelid and start to realize that because your senses are forced to be so acute, that there are many cultural and valuable things that open right before your eyes if you have the energy at this point to be attentive.

People we be sprawled out in the most peculiar positions but looking so comfortable while catching a random power nap.  You will hear the cries of children, the agony of the much less fortunate, and the laughs of excited boys.

Men will be hanging out and when you zoom past they will call out a random country they suspect you could potentially possibly be from such as “Netherlands.”  Without any energy to chat, you will nod and continue jogging as the men cheer or laugh at you.

You will see a mother with young ones orbiting around her while selling rice-licious deserts from a tiny wooden stall.  The kids will scream and possibly chase you as you go past.  You will watch as people bite the heads off 1 day old chickens, dip their squid balls into vinegar, and swat flies from pork carcasses.

You will see people living lives, some doing well, others struggling.  But hopefully it will open your eyes, help you to realize whats going on around you, and encourage you to help others directly or indirectly.

Taxi drivers will attempt to get your business as you continue to jog.  They either think that you will collapse soon and need a ride or that you will go from a straight run to hopping into the backseat of their car.  When you give the driver the thumbs down, he will eek out a smile and realize that this time instead of being lazy, you are trying to perform a little exercise.

At the end of your adventure you will be ecstatic you survived a jog in Manila.  Your body will feel slightly paralyzed and you will want to curl into the fetal position somewhere under a tree.  Your feel as if you sat around smoking a package of cigarettes.  Then you will realize that your jog unquestionably had many many more valuable benefits.

Whatever the scenario, jogging is one of the most interesting things to do in Manila (click here).

-Mark Wiens

14 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • vishal kaushik

    3 years ago

    Historical blogs Mark. Thanks for share!!

  • Tin

    11 years ago

    If you come to Manila again next time, try to jog at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. My school’s academic oval is pollution-free and it’s open to the public. It’s lined with huge acacia trees that could provide shade and can help you breathe easily. Haha, thought I just had to share this 🙂

    I’m a fashion blogger, but I always read travel blogs. I randomly stumbled upon your blog and I must say that it’s really awesome! I love it!

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Hey Tin, great to hear from you! Next time I’m in Manila, I’m going to take your advice!!

  • Joel Tillman

    13 years ago

    You forgot to mention the HUGE puddles of mud/water you either A) Take a seemingly 1/2 mile detour around or B) wade through the knee-high water/mud.

    But it’s all worth it when you stop to enjoy a fresh cut mango for that little energy boost.

    • Mark Wiens

      13 years ago

      Hehe, right about that Joel! Jogging in Manila is really like running a steeplechase, there are so many obstacles, but it’s all worth it!

  • Mark Wiens

    15 years ago

    @Kat, I would definitely buy and play that video game, you should make it happen.

    @Natalie, sounds like jogging in Romania is also an adventure. I hope I can get there sometime!

  • natalie

    15 years ago

    (via bruner)

    love the explanation. its almost identical to running in Romania. i mean, verbatim.. :]

  • nataliedall’olmo

    15 years ago

    (via bruner)

    love the description. and oddly enough… its pretty much identical to running anywhere in Romania. i mean, verbatim. :]

  • Kat

    15 years ago

    This post brings back to mind that video game idea my uncle & I had about Manila, ala Grand Theft Auto 😀

  • Mark Wiens

    15 years ago

    Thanks man!

  • Anil

    15 years ago

    Great post title!