Migrating towards the center of trade and commerce is an eventuality in our fast-growing global economy. Urban Survival has evolved to be the mantra of those who wish to endure the challenges posed by living in cities, subdivisions and communities within the metropolis where almost everyone is in such a fast-paced lifestyle. Survival though is not just about making the most of a rough situation and fairing it through. It is using every bit of one’s personal ingenuity, skills and knowledge to make life meaningful for you and your family.
So for this article I took the liberty to interview Mr. John Louie Domingo, an urban living expert and former property consultant for his take on how we could all survive the urban jungle.
Q: How would you define Urban living in General?
A: Well basically, urban living is a sociological occurrence where a person tries to navigate one’s lifestyle vis-à-vis the challenges posed by the social realities of the city and its infrastructures and limited space, or to simply put it … its living in a place where “contemporary” is just a normal word. And like in the “jungle”, urban living requires being savvy to find access to one’s basic necessities, which includes finding a suitable home and job to make one’s daily existence bearable. Moreover, it means seeking meaningful relationships amidst skyscrapers and/or high-rise buildings where people don’t even bother to say hi to each other because most of them are constantly in a hurry, and like busy bees seeking the limited “honey” the city brings.
Q: You mentioned the word “contemporary” side-by-side urban living, what does this mean?
A: “Contemporary” describes the historical period that is immediately relevant to the present, and based on what we are experiencing right now, it pertains to our industrial and technological advancements that propel us to experience a fast-paced lifestyle. As fast as it is to move liquid investments in a “click” of a mouse, each and every individual locked in this cycle is forced to cope with this reality. And it is sometimes such a pity that we are forced to move with the speed of a computer. But, all is not lost (smiles) … technology was made for man and not man for technology.
We are the “subject” and not the “object” of these advancements, so the solution is still within our immediate control.
Q: Is urban living a necessity now-a-day? And would you care to explain.
A: Honestly, urban living is a sociological phenomenon driven by the societal realities of our time, and is therefore a contingency and a necessity. We can choose to live a “simple life” but even rural living is still dictated by the overall worldview of our current timeline. So, I guess the term “simple” is relative. We can choose to cope with the challenges of living in the metropolis but at the same time “take control” of our lives towards an uncomplicated lifestyle by shunning away from too much commercialism. Living in the city poses too much temptation to live outside one’s means, and to go on a spending spree. Live life only according to your income and resources.
Q: Aside from living that “simple life”, what other tips do you have for one’s urban living?
A: 1) Learn to compose yourself and don’t panic: A fast paced world would tend to always keep you on the go to meet deadlines. When this happens, take a deep breath and be calm. Haste makes waste. 2) A sound mind in a sound body. Keeping your wits to survive the urban jungle means staying alert. You can only do so by eating well, being in good shape through exercise and by hydrating oneself with lots of water. 3) In Filipino we have a saying, “Walang manloloko, kung walang magpapaloko”. We can only be outsmarted in the urban jungle if we allow them to do so. And because times are hard now-a-days most especially in the city, we must constantly be informed of all possible modus operandi of those who want to get the better of us. And protect yourself by not showing your vulnerability. 4) Choose a suitable and strategic housing unit. Travelling in the city is most often a budgetary problem, plus the fact that unexpected and unavoidable traffic consumes a great amount of our precious time. So securing a good place to live cam help alleviate us from this concerns. And finally, 5) Don’t give up. Urban living will always pose its challenges. But when you surrender you will only be eaten alive without a fight. Exercise mind over matter. If you believe you can do it, you will. Push yourself to your limits.
Q: Any last words to our readers?
A: Use the hardships of urban living as a means to motivate yourself to survive. Let’s face it … life is not fair; living the good life will never be served to you “on a silver platter”, if you want to live the good life, be responsible for yourself. For me, whether you live “in” or “outside” the city, do your best and always deal with what reality brings to you, and for you to wisely familiarize yourself with your surroundings and to adjust to it. Strive to be flexible and to “settle in” to all the changes around you.
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