City vs. Province: Which is better?

One ongoing debate that remains unsettled up to now is this: is it better to live in a city or in a province? As living in a city vs. living in a province will inevitably be among your considerations as you go through #adulting, we have to settle this once and for all. Below are some perspectives to help you decide which is better: the city or the province?

TRAFFIC

According to Tomtom’s 2019 Traffic Index, as reported in this article, Metro Manila’s traffic situation is the 2nd worst in the entire world. In the entire world! People who have to report to their offices at 9 am need to leave their houses as early as 5 in the morning just to make sure they won’t be late. To add to that, they also need around 2 to 3 hrs to go back home.

If you have to spend close to 15 hours of your weekdays traveling and working, how many hours do you still have left for other important things like family, social life and lest we forget, sleep? As we obviously can’t stretch a day to more than 24 hrs, we need to find another alternative.

On the other hand, traffic is significantly better in the province than it is in Metro Manila. Although some may argue that some provinces have it bad also, like in Cebu recently, it’s still not as bad and as stressful as it is in Metro Manila. Imagine all the work-life balance you can achieve when the majority of your day is not spent on working/commuting? Ah, the possibilities!

Obviously, living in the province wins this round, City:0, Province:1.

SPACE AND CONGESTION

According to the guys at the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there are approximately more or less than 12 million people living in the National Capital Region. 12 million people! No wonder mall-wide sales are always jam-packed and there’s always a line in your favorite milk tea shop.

With over 12 million people occupying space, driving cars, and basically just living near each other, it’s bound to get cramped and congested at some point. In addition, anyone who’s ever been to Metro Manila would agree that the air people breathe there is not the cleanest anymore, not with smoke belchers and other air pollutants all around.

In contrast, most provinces offer a much bigger space with much lesser people. People’s daily lives are quieter, calmer and less hectic. You don’t need to compete with a lot of people for space and privacy as you probably have to do when you’re in the city.

You get to commune with nature and be more attuned to yourself. You also don’t need to worry much about the air you breathe as air in the province is much cleaner and safer especially for those with delicate respiratory conditions.

 This round goes to living in the province again, City: 0, Province: 2

CONVENIENCE AND LIFESTYLE

There is no denying that living in the city makes you close to almost everything. Hospitals, shopping malls, government institutions, schools, and almost everything that will afford you a very convenient living. Shopping, dining and service options in the city are limitless – from shopping malls within 30 mins away from each other, to 24/7 delivery options.

You can even get a team to clean and disinfect your home from the comfort of your couch. Basic utilities such as water, electricity, and the internet are also readily available. Although some may argue that the strength of the internet connection signal in the city will vary from location to location, the availability of several options to choose from makes up for it.

In addition, in times of a medical emergency, the best hospitals offering top-notch care and facilities are within driving distance and may be reached within minutes (depending on traffic) should you need it.

Living in the province maybe a little less inconvenient if you’re used to getting things done easily. As big malls and fancy restaurants may not be very abundant (at least not yet), you may have to adjust to living life without them. Internet signal, although increasingly becoming more available now than previously, will still be slower compared to its speed in the city. Health services are also more limited when you live in the province.

This round goes to living in the city. City: 1, Province: 2

WORK 

As more industries, with the exception of industrial parks requiring a vast physical space, are inclined to set up their business in the city, there are obviously more available work opportunities there than it would be in the province. This is perhaps the reason why some Filipinos choose to leave their provincial homes in search of a better opportunity in the city. BPO industries are very abundant in city business districts and these companies employ thousands of people, giving them stable monthly paychecks.

Another point of living in the city. City: 2, Province: 2

KEY TAKEAWAY

Now that we’ve had some perspective, it’s high time that the debate is settled, in the battle between living in a city vs. living in a province – no one option is really the winner. Although one is better than the other in some aspects, each option has different merits of its own and both are worth considering. This may be the case in general, but remember, there is always one option that is better for YOU – one that is suited to your taste, choices, and lifestyle. Which one is it going to be? 

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