When in Manila and struggling to adapt to the city life, just read the following promdi tips and you’ll be okay.
One thing most people don’t know about me is that I graduated from a random high school located at the foot of a mountain in Camarines Sur, Bicol. As such, I am what you would call a “promdi” and before I got used to the Manila lifestyle I had to go through many interesting experiences and revelations.
Promdi: Adjective or Noun -Filipino modern word for people or a person who grew up in the province then goes to the city (usually to Manila).
Promdi Tips #1: Things are more expensive.
You know how a hundred pesos can get you everywhere and back when you were still in the province? You’ll probably have to say goodbye to that because city living gets very expensive. Being “kuripot” helps, but it can only do so much, especially when Starbucks is right around the corner.
Promdi Tips #2: Don’t let stereotypes define you.
I graduated from a university known for alleged “conio” students who didn’t pass in other universities. Back then I found this misconception really insulting but eventually learned to ignore them. Like me, you will get offended by these stereotypes from time to time but in the end, only you have the ability to shatter them. Besides, there are good stereotypes, too.
Promdi Tips #3: Promdi you may be, but try not to look like one.
The number one trick to getting robbed, hoodwinked, or taken advantage of is by looking entirely hapless about where you are. To avoid this, you need to project an air of confidence that will make shady people (like some taxi drivers) think twice about giving you a one-up. Always be aware of your surroundings, or at the very least try to look it.
Promdi Tip #4: Sense of time becomes weird.
In the province, a period of one hour can get you approximately a hundred kilometers from where you started out from. In the city, the same time won’t even get you from Makati to Mandaluyong during rush hour, especially not when it’s raining. Weirdly enough, it still feels like it takes you longer to get to your destination when in the province compared to in the city. WEIRD.
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Promdi Tips #5: You will miss the trees, stars, and fresh air.
Even if you aren’t a tree hugger, you will often find yourself walking to your next class missing the trees and clean air you simply took for granted back in your hometown. That is, unless you’re a UP student, in which case you’d have plenty of trees and (relatively) fresh air to enjoy. Still, the city atmosphere is completely different and you’ll always want the sight and smell that being home offers.
Promdi Tips #6: Learn to cross wide highways.
My first times crossing EDSA and Commonwealth Avenue were pretty harrowing experiences. And considering I was on an overpass and not on the road playing leap frog with speeding cars, you get an idea of how dangerous crossing a street can be in Manila. The dinky roads back in your province will seem like a walk in the park once you’ve gotten used to dodging speeding traffic in the Metro. Just always be careful because drivers be crazy.
Promdi Tips #7: There are jeeps and buses 24 hours in a day.
Anyone from the province knows that jeepneys and tricycles (no taxis) only run until a certain time at night. After that, and you’ll be driving home or walking home. Back when I was a freshman we went to the UST Paskuhan; it was 11pm, I had to beat a 12pm curfew, and I really thought the only choice was a cab. Good thing I had my friends to tell me otherwise or I would have had to shell out a 150 PhP cab fare!
Promdi Tips #8: People are weirder, but you get used to them.
Every place has its quirks, but in Manila people are even weirder and more diverse. It’s natural, I guess, considering Manila is a collection of people from all parts of the Philippines. In class you will meet all kinds of people whom you will love, like, hate, admire, avoid, and everything else so if there’s one skill that would serve you well, it would be knowing how to get along with others. You’ll learn eventually whom to befriend and whom to stay away from like the plague.
When in Manila and feeling lost as a probinsiyano, just remember these promdi tips and that most of the people you meet are more likely promdis as well. If they aren’t, it’s no problem at all, because you’re both people who would eventually share a love for Manila. You’ll know this is true when you finally see the signs you’ve been living in Manila for too long.
By the way, if you’re coming from the province and going to the city, please bring pasalubong.
Promdi Tips from a Promdi College Graduate