Past vs. Present Day Philippines: Are We Better Off Today?

The Philippines is known for its rich history and culture. Filipinos have fought, died, and took back what is ours. But as time passes by, the Philippines changed and so does our lifestyle, fashion, structures, etc.


But the big question is, which is a better time to live? The past or the present day?


Travel & Transportation


Travel and Transportation


Past: Calesa, Jeepney, Banka/Ferry Boat, Tricycle, Pedicab, Trains, Electric/Real-Horse Tranvia. These are the known transportation from the old Philippines


Did you know that there has been rail transport in the Philippines for over 120 years? On June 25, 1875, King Alfonso XII of Spain promulgated a Royal Decree directing the Office of the Inspector of Public Works of the Philippines to submit a general plan for railroads on Luzon.


The plan, which was submitted five months later by Don Eduardo Lopez Navarro, was entitled Memoria Sobre el Plan General de Ferrocarriles en la Isla de Luzón and was promptly approved.


The construction and running of the railway were done by Manila Railway Company Ltd that was a British owned company. The first rail tracks were laid in 1891 and its first commercial run was in 1892.


Present: Almost all of the transportation from the old Philippines are still here except for the Calesa. The Philippine National Railways, Manila Light Rail Transit System, and Manila Metro Rail Transit System are also added for the “convenience” of people.


So, which of the two are better? In my own opinion, I’d choose the past for the category of Travel and Transportation since there’s no traffic, vintage cars look amazing, and the streets are clean. Imagine, an Electric Tranvia in the streets of Manila? I would really love to see that




Filipino Fashion


Past: During the Spanish era, Filipinos wear Baro’t Saya and Barong every day. And in the 60s,70s, and 80s Filipinos are very into fashion. You would see Filipinos walking in the streets wearing Americana suits, dresses, heels, closed shoes, with gorgeous hairstyles.


Present: After the fashion era has faded, Filipinos chose to wear simpler clothes. And the only time that we wear Barong and Baro’t Saya are when there’s a special event or if it’s “Buwan ng Wika”.




Filipino Courtship


Past: Of course, we all know how sweet and romantic courtship was. Harana or serenade is also a big part of the courtship. 


The man would sing love songs outside the woman’s house at night. The woman will then open her window to see and listen to him sing.  After the Harana, the man will be accommodated inside the woman’s house.


Present: Today’s courtship is wayyy different than before. People often use social media to court the person that they like. But not all Filipinos have forgotten the traditional courtship. Some men are still into Haranas, gift giving, and old school dates.


Environment and Structures


Environment and Structures in the Philippines


Past: Is it just me, or the structures in the old Manila are really nicer that new one. Well, maybe because I’m really into vintage stuff but I’m not a professional when it comes to structures so you guys decide.


But I think we would all agree that the environment in the past is cleaner than now, right?


Present: Today’s structures are more into modern style. Hotels, casinos, coffee shops, and many more are into simple yet elegant style.


So, which is better, the past or the present? Well if you’re gonna ask me, I think both of them are important. The past built us and the present is what and who we are. The Philippines had changed but we changed for progress. 

Samantha Baluyot

Sam joined Remit this 2018. She is a Journalism graduate who loves to see the world in different point of views. Her goal in writing is to inspire her readers to have a better perspective and to live a meaningful life. She may look aloof but she’s a very friendly and a happy-go-lucky person.


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