Author: Edwin Wise
Manila, City of Islands evokes Manila's rhythms, colors and sights, capturing the city's totality uniqueness. Wise avoids the sententious cliches of the bad rich and the good poor. There are no heroic guerrillas or demonic Americans or redemptive romantic nationalists. Rather, he subtly explains urban behavior as a result of tensions between kinships and strangers, technology and history, and therefore explores in a clear-eyed manner the multiple layers of private cities that comprise Metro Manila, from the gated cities of the rich to the private worlds of the poor. The traditional public spaces of both the classical and modernist city have been almost eviscerated.