Manila has been written about a countless times. An enjoyable read is "The Manila we knew," a compilation of essays by several literary and opinion Filipino writers. Insights and historical relevance were narrated by the popular writers from their personal perspectives making me picture how Manila that I knew then.
Manila has too been a favorite subject among filmakers and documentary makers. The most recent that I watched was "Astig," a Cinemalaya entry of director GB San Pedro to the 2009 festival. Film dramatizes the grit and struggle of 4 young males in Quiapo in the several notorious streets. Well produced and excellently presented, the film presents the side of Manila the mainstream residents would ignore.
Both works of arts provide solid reasons for staying in the city. The color, struggle and the challenges Manila present bind the affinity between the place and its residents both established and transients.