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Kalakhang Maynila – Metropolitan Manila

Guess what–I got to write a feature column on Metro Manila for topos Magazine! It’s my first time to be part of an international publication, and it’s thrilling to be able to tell foreign readers about our side of the world.

topos is based in Munich, Germany, and is an international review of landscape and architecture.

It started out in September last year. Anja Koller, the Editorial Manager of topos, sent me an e-mail to ask if I could contribute to their column Metropolis Explained. She said she came across this blog, and said that their team also approached other urban writers and bloggers for the column. (Check out Constant Cap of Kenya, he wrote the column in the issue before mine, and he featured Nairobi.)

It was both exciting and intimidating to say yes to the job, because of the readership of topos, and of course, the prestige of the magazine. Also, I had to write about the ins and out, the details, and a macro-perspective of sixteen cities and one municipality in around 4,000 characters, which isn’t much to work with.

But that was the challenge. It took me a couple of hours from day to day thinking how I would frame the essay–should I put stories? Which city elements would matter? If I had never been to the Philippines, would this essay make sense? But when I got to writing, everything poured out, and I’m really happy to share the result:

Anja was very kind to send me a physical copy of the magazine after it came out in December 2018, but it got lost in the mail. She tried to send me a second copy, but that also got lost in the mail, most unfortunately. But at least I have access now to the e-copy. 🙂

Edit: My long lost copy suddenly arrived in the mail! And after I called customs and the post office, and they told me they couldn’t track my package. Here it is:

You can also buy issues or subscribe to topos at Happy reading!

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