Manila on Mobile: 3 Apps You Need to Make the Most of Manila

Let’s face it: Filipinos are a people obsessed with mobile phones. Even before the smartphone boom of the early 2000s, the mobile industry in the Philippines had been one of the strongest across the world, with the country reportedly generating the highest volume of SMS. At its peak, the mobile industry in the Philippines accounted for 10% of all SMS messages sent, with 2 billion messages being sent every day.

These days, our phones serve as more than mere tools for easy communication. As smartphones become more affordable and more and more people shift from feature phones to smartphones, we’re slowly getting more use from our mobiles. Studies reported by the company that creates the mobile slots on Pocket Fruity have shown that across the world, people have used their smartphones everywhere from in church to at school or at work, while in class and in meetings, and while waiting for public transportation. Some have even missed meetings and classes from playing games on their phones, or being too distracted doing other things like browsing through social media. But our smartphones can give us more than just recreation; by getting the right apps, they can be extremely helpful, especially when moving about a digitally-connected city like Manila.

More than apps like Waze, Uber and GrabTaxi, there are several apps you need to try in order to truly get the most out of your smartphone as a Manileño:

Not everyone is comfortable hitching rides with total strangers, and not everyone can afford to pay hefty flagdown rates and the like for cabs. For those who would much rather discover Manila on foot and take public transportation, offers a wonderful solution. You can use the app to discover a variety of different ways to get to where you need to go, complete with estimated fare.

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2. Zomato
Zomato has become a name recognized across the world for excellent restaurant reviews and updated information, and it’s never been better in the Philippines. Recently, Zomato has been hiring new food critics to go around the Metro to find undiscovered havens. From Makati to Maginhawa and back, you’re sure to find a restaurant to sate whatever craving you have.

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It’s a sad reality that traffic is a fact of life in Manila, but with the help of the MMDA App, things can be a bit more manageable. With up-to-date information on the traffic situation in various places across the Metro. It’s a great help no matter what time of day, or where you’re going, and can really be useful when planning out the day.

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Do you use any other apps to help make living in Manila survivable, or have you found other ways to make use of your mobile phone in Manila?


Life at 25 – Expectations VS Reality

In less than two months, I shall be saying goodbye to life at 25, which for me, like many others, marks an important milestone in life.

When I was a child, I thought the climax of life was at 25. This was the age when I was supposed to have everything figured out. I’d be rich, marry the man of my dreams, and live happily ever after. Well, here’s the reality check:


1. Am I rich? Far from it! Yet, compared to when I was a child, I’d like to believe that I now have a less simplistic view of what makes a person rich. I may not be exceedingly rich financially, but every day, I grow richer in experience and knowledge through my work, travels, and the people I meet.


2. Have I married the man of my dreams? Nope, but now I know that the fulfillment of a woman’s life does not solely rely on marriage or having children. Unlike when I was a child when life seemed to be about waiting for Prince Charming, growing up allowed me to see that there are infinite ways to be happy in life. There are so many things I can see and do! I may marry eventually, but it is not the only purpose that drives me forward.

3. Do I have everything figured out? Not quite. There are still so many questions that I don’t know the answers. For instance, I still don’t know exactly what it is that I want to do. Will I be in digital marketing forever? Do I want to be a writer? Do I want to start my own business? I haven’t figured the answers to these yet, and sometimes, it really frustrates me. If only I had a clear path like others in my generation who have already found their passion and are pursuing it. Yet, only time and a bit more discernment will give me the answers I seek. For now, patience is my friend.


4. Am I living my happily ever after?   What is a happy ever after? Is it that point in life where everything just falls into place? Does such a moment even exist? Perhaps waiting for the happy ever after is not the best way to live life, because how can we ever know which part of life is it? Unlike a play, the significant moments in life do not occur in a linear time line, such that the climax always comes in the middle. Nor is it like a fairytale where happy ever after always comes at the end. Instead, throughout life, we experience several moments that deeply affect us, so maybe life itself is a series of turning points and happy ever afters that ultimately give it meaning. Hence, there’s no need to wait for happily ever after, because we are already living it.


Many have warned me about the quarter life crisis, and sure, I’ve had my moments. Now that that look at it, though, I realize that there’s no need to feel too much pressure that I am not yet where I have envisioned myself to be at this age when I was a child. From the perspective of a child, 25 seemed like the edge of a horizon where everything ends. The thing about horizons, though, is that the closer you get to it, the more you realize that it doesn’t end where you you think it would; it simply expands.


What I’m wearing: T-shirt and Skirt from Zara, Shoes from Nike