Where is Upper East Side, Manila?
An essay on Real State and Fine Living
At a certain age, some of us preferred ice cream and chocolates over toys and clothes. Particularly, this is when we entered the checkbox 15 to 25. A terrible scheme remains undaunted during these age interval, and I call it the SELF Factor.
I, heading west to the island of the Commoners: Gateway, breezed like a phantom on a window shield, wearing my recent Chuck Taylor shoes, dainty DKNY Jeans, a Forenzza sweat shirt and a brown clutch bag that I carried for ages. The Gateway mall is a huge space for ice cream lovers and chocoholics. In particular, on areas F2 and F3, certain fashionable pastry boutiques are wildly visited by locals and foreign cocoa-enthusiast. Calling myself a choco-freak, I went to this French restaurant and bought myself a three-piece milk chocolate with almond nuts inside.
Every culinary persona can tell how wonderfully carved the choco-bells were: a fascinating treat but a burn in my wallet. A trio purchase of choco-bell delights cost a rough amount of P200 pesos. I took a jeepney on my way home for that reason.
I told my friends about it and they were shocked to know that this particular expense on food is a greater risk of not eating on a Sunday or any given day than flapping around computer shops to play computer games. Most city dwellers and also some non-city dwellers call this insanity, especially to those who eat potato chips and Krispy Cream. It makes sense now.
So where is Upper East Side, Manila?
A note: Upper East Side personas are not a typical breed of socialites. They are what you call the power breed. If there could be much of a reality living with socialitos and socialitas meet my uncle Chito. He is rich, powerful, single and gay. Common Upper East siders are not stunted for a singular trip at Trinoma or even in Paris, but my uncle, he has this power to drive a lifestyle for cars and travel enough to cross four golden cities in the world. HE is an executive for a regional investment and loan firm in Legazpi and he holds stocks in market. He has a brand new car just this summer, and he, with every petty of the world gave me have of his wardrobe every Christmas. Not that I love shirts, and Prozac-filled signature apparels, they were just too precious to even think about. Wearing one Lacoste polo shirt and a Forenza jacket is not even the edge of them all.
Looking outside, I was thrilled and yet misplaced at the same time. Is it really this the lifestyle I was dying to have? Or a reasonable claim that in a lifetime a part of that would be this? Where does the upper side of my life reside? Or more importantly, where is my direction?
On a peculiar side of living alone, drawn to malls and real estate, I knew where I was going. I scurried towards Ayala, Makati to eat lunch. The wayward wind is flaunt and suppressed as I walked towards the corner of Herrera and Ayala. Much of the visual impact of how a D & G (Dolce and Gabbana) wearer ‘over-flawed’ me, I consider taking the underpass and walk west side to Makati Central District. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is Upper East Side, Manila (so far). There were expensive condominiums on top of everything. The place was clean without Pesto pastas on the sidewalks. The level of air is intoxicating. Coffee shops emit an immensely detoxifying and grand odor. Only that there should more than this.
Of a three hour stride around Manila I couldn’t help but wonder on leaving everything behind for luxury and class. Leaving behind the usual country life I had, the usual orange-colored days at the balcony, or the fresh star apples from the neighbor’s back yard. Yes, country life is a different thing. But is it worth leaving it behind and staying on a multi-million apartment up at Makati Central District? Or leaving the country to really be in Manhattan?
Every socialite wonders, of the luxury, couture and lifestyle, is there more from that sunny side of life? Where is really that Upper East Side that we all should live in?