Makati, hard to get in, harder to get out. One may find the journey to a comical relief on how apt this Central Business District’s catchphrase is – Make It Makati. Whether it jokingly means to make it to the bus, jeepney, or the office on time, it demands from you one thing – hustle.

We often talk about how streets and walls speak about a place. Beneath the skyscrapers and astonishing landmarks, they can also tell you things you don’t see on paper. They’d talk about the steps that led to success and defeat. Which path led to people realizing their dreams, and which traps people fell on. They talk about how diverse faces dish in a concrete jungle to do the same thing over and over.

When you walk along the streets of Ayala in the morning, you may find yourself staring at pedestrians. Some in their corporate uniforms, others in their casual attires. Some carry laptop bags, while others carry envelopes containing documents of their successes and the lack thereof. They all have one thing in common, they all want the same thing – to be a success story, to make their dreams happen, and realize new ones.

Journey to find yourself a spot.

Places, cities often inspire people; some would even relate their dreams to these places. Others find it where fate brought them. I’m one of those people; I found mine here, in the very streets of unashamed Ayala Avenue, more than a decade ago. Setting up goals after goals, starting from ‘get a job that pays the rent’ to ‘get that promotion you’ve always wanted to have.’ People inspire me, but it’s this place that gave me a new purpose.

It’s filled with people racing to finish first – taking the same path you take, doing the same thing you do. This jungle taught me the truth about surrounding yourself with like-minded people. They give you that push you need, but they could also drag you straight to the gutter, knocking you off the spot you’ve settled in – and that is fair in the sense that we fill spots that are either vacant or unguarded. When you realize your dreams and make them happen, the first thing you should do is find a stable ground; without it, you will lose balance from all the weight you put on your back. And when you find one, muster all your strength to protect it.

Some journeys don’t need conclusions.

It may sound so absurd that in a single lifeline, one could spend years, even decades, doing something only to find out it’s not serving them. Cliche-ridden it may seem, it’s true; sometimes, the journey is far more important than the destination. These are the kind that mold us, toughen us, and make us smarter.

We realize these journeys while walking along the streets, sometimes with nothing but the lampposts and flickering lights leading us back to our way home – wherever and whatever home may be. We often ask ourselves if we are on the right path or if there is a different way to get back home. Then we realize that there are many ways to get to a place. Learning that there are other ways is far more valuable than the outcome. It gives you a different perspective, a different view, and if you’re lucky, you might find a better one. That makes the journey mean more than the tape.

Sunk cost fallacy

It’s not, at all, and by any means, a waste of time to take a ride and get off before reaching your supposed destination. Whether it be because we see something beautiful or later realize it’s not where we want to be. Considering past costs when making choices may no longer be relevant at this point. Your next step matters way more than the time and effort you already spent because you can no longer take them back. To keep doing something that no longer serves you just because you have already given so much will leave you losing more.

The streets of Makati CBD taught me these things. In parks, I find peace; its warm lights gave me comfort. The sea of people fighting their own battles, set to their journey with guns ablaze reminded me that I determine my success, and I should do the things I see fit, not because I worry about the past cost or what others are doing. 

Never risk being derailed by clinging to your past endeavors to determine your future. If you manage to navigate through these pitfalls in life, that, in itself, is already a success story. When determining your future, every time you avoid thinking about what was already given can draw you closer to a better place, whether it be in a concrete jungle or the confines of your own home. Never be afraid to start anew or start somewhere else. You determine your success. After all, didn’t they teach us that whether we think we can, or we think we can’t – we’re right?



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