Life in Mandaluyong (December 2, 2018)

Greetings and salutations from Mandaluyong! In case you were wondering, although I’m still in Metro Manila, I recently moved away from Bonifacio Global City (BGC) over to Mandaluyong (only a stone’s throw away, but still takes an eternity to get to during rush hour traffic) in an attempt to try something new…

Well, I’ve got my reasons for being here…

Anyway, I realize that not all readers are well versed in what life is like in Manila, and for all I know, you might be thinking the entirety of the Philippines looks like BGC…

Here’s BGC at night (view from Uptown Mall)…

BGC is: shiny, shiny, shiny… You know, something like this…

I assure you, though — Shiny, shiny, shiny is absolutely NOT the usual case in the Philippines; BGC is really a diamond in the rough, one of a kind, and the apple of most everyone’s eye (if you’re living in the Philippines/Manila region)…

 

Don’t believe me?

Go ahead, ask around…

I have…

And to date, I have never met a single person living in Manila who didn’t feel like BGC was the de facto best/safest place to be in the Philippines…

 

No, I’m not knocking on the rest of the country, and in fact, I’m actually having a smashing good time in Mandaluyong right now, but to keep things on the real, there’s no way you can compare the two cities…

It’s really a night and day difference, and BGC wins hands down by a country mile…

In any case, here’s what Manda looks like…

The Greenfield District is actually quite nice, and really happening at night…

There’s a nice quad area where they feature: live music, night market, and there’s plenty of bars/restaurants/coffee shops in the vicinity…

Very festive right now, as we approach Christmas…

Ain’t no place like the Philippines around this time of year…

Moving on…

Unlike BGC, where jeepneys are mostly “banned” and can only access very specific routes, these loud + polluting gas-guzzling transport machines pretty much run the town anywhere else you go in the Philippines…

And Mandaluyong is no exception…

The lines are most fierce around rush hour (5:00-9:00 PM), after work…

I got nothing against jeepneys, really… They’re NOT the most comfortable ride out there, but it’s affordable, and if you wanna be one with the locals, get onboard and experience it for yourself…

Just keep in mind, there’s no air con in one of these things, and in a country where there are only two seasons (hot and hotter), it can be a challenge sometimes… You’ll definitely feel like you’re in a sweat shop riding in one of these…

One of the largest (if not the largest) shopping malls in all of the Philippines is located in Mandaluyong, SM Megamall.

Waiting for the doors to open at 11:00 AM in the morning…

Mandaluyong is very much a hard-working class city… Here’s a photo from bright and early around 7:00 AM in the morning…

Shaw Blvd is super busy, and very loud and polluted… You got the nightmare that is EDSA highway and the MRT light rail…

The following depicts pretty ridiculous traffic, but it’s the way of life around here in Manila (what EDSA looks like almost 24/7…)…

And the “slow and steady” MRT…

If there was ever a region in Metro Manila that could really use electric vehicles, it’s Mandaluyong… but that’s probably a paradigm shift that is at least 10 years away… Hopefully sooner!

A view from night from the underpass of the MRT at Shaw Station…

Whereas BGC is squeaky clean, here in Manda you’ll constantly find trash/debris/junk on the side of the streets…

As I was saying…

But I mean, Mandaluyong on the whole is still pretty well-developed… This isn’t a province that we’re talking about, especially near Shaw Blvd which is right next to the “high end” Shangri-La hotel/residences/mall…

Here’s a view of Shangri-La from high up…

I believe these are the residential towers…

And here’s near Ortigas Ave, which is the original Central Business District (CBD) of Manila…

To be perfectly honest, Mandaluyong/Ortigas is modern enough that it pretty much has all the amenities one would need to attempt early FI here…

It’s just kinda rundown and old, so like if you’re clumsy like me, it’s easy to stumble and trip sometimes (a lot of times)…

Gotta watch out for potholes and uneven surfaces…

Again, it’s all not really a big deal, but I’m just saying you can’t really compare Mandaluyong to BGC…

For early FI, if you wanna be a total snob like Idiot Fighter, sure, you might find yourself more comfortable living in a place like BGC…

 

But, for those who are just really sick/tired/burned out from grinding 9-5 everyday around the clock, there are other (cheaper) alternatives to BGC…

 

Check out how much cheaper Manda is, compared to BGC…

From Lamudi.

From Lamudi.

Prepare for sticker shock (in a good way)…

A 1 bedroom/1 bath studio unit in a good part of Mandaluyong goes for “only” ~3.15 million PHP (~$60,000 USD)…

 

Boom!!

 

Just like that, $60k USD, and someone could be well on their way to achieving early FI…

 

I mean, sure, you would still need to account for daily expenses, of course, but you could knock out housing (by far the biggest, most onerous expense each month for the majority of people in the world), just like that…

 

In comparison, a 1/1 studio in BGC starts at around $100-120k USD….

 

But as always, different strokes for different folks…

 

As for myself…

 

Yes, when it comes to investing/speculating and wanting/coveting to own World Class Tier 1 assets in my own portfolio, I can be a total snob, indeed… I desire “the best of the best”…

 

But please keep in mind, how one invests/speculates isn’t a good (accurate) reflection of how one needs to live day-to-day…

 

In my own eyes, BGC is a “nice to have first world problem” for a schmuck like me, but if anyone really knows me, you’ll probably agree that I’m a super simple guy who doesn’t require much to be happy in life…

Like I said, I’m really enjoying my time out here in Mandaluyong right now (believe it or not), and I really don’t see why a place like this couldn’t/wouldn’t work as an early FI destination for many peeps out there…

 

No doubt, BGC is much safer/cleaner/more modern than Mandaluyong, but I mean, the day-to-day living stuff like: restaurants, shopping malls, amenities, etc. is pretty much the same across the board (and a lot cheaper out here in Manda)…

 

Here’s what my view from inside Shang Mall looks like, where I’m writing this post from…

Pretty damn nice, and more than good enough for blogging, if you ask me…

 

Anyway…

 

That’s a quick peak into Mandaluyong for you…

 

Keep up the good fight!

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Tanya SmithCC Recent comment authors
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I’m originally from Manila. So I’m loving all your posts about living there. I hope one day to return and retire semi-permanently there. Have a grand time!

Tanya Smith
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Tanya Smith

I have never been to Manilla and i want to visit. I cant believe its so cheap i can retire there tomorrow

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