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I had lunch today at a restaurant called The Bayleaf in Intramuros, which in Latin is “within the walls”. It is the oldest district and historic core of Manila, also called the Walled City.

The food at The Bayleaf was pretty good, you can have yourself a lunch buffet for 680 Pesos. This was a rare occasion for me of course, as I’ve had to minimize my spending – by a lot!

What I was more fascinated with was the view of Manila.

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Staring out into ‘the Walled City’, my mind started to drift…..

These walls were built for defense by the Spanish colonial government in the late 16th century to protect the city from foreign invasions, now, here I am, along with other foreigners, walking around and taking in the magnificent view, remembering the history, at least that which I am familiar with which is not a great deal unfortunately.

Then of course my mind as usual wonders off in even more directions, (If only I had a stop button, or leash to pull it right back, but I haven’t found one yet)…

Thinking about a country such as the Philippines, which is home to some of the warmest and friendliest people I have met, I wondered about the nice people I have  in life, and how many have had their own personal boundaries invaded, being taken advantage of by people foreign to them, and how perhaps this could have been avoided if only they had their values set, thought about their values, planned their boundaries, and set up their own personal walls so no one could step over these boundaries, or at least limit any unwanted invasions.

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Life gets tempting for all of us, but at least if we have strategically planned ahead what we want or will allow in our lives for the long term, then we can limit our ‘falls’.

Our values are our walls. They protect the valuable things inside us and keep evil invaders out. So guard your walls! I’m glad I understand this now. 

People can step into our space when we are trying to figure something out in life, or make decisions, or trying to fix something, and offer us help, but the truth is, when a stranger ‘someone foreign to us’, offers us an easy way out, it usually turns out to good to be true, a quick fix that ultimately ends up worse off in the long run, with us even further behind than when we started.

I’m sad to say it’s not often I have experienced in life people offering genuine help with no ‘strings attached’, with nothing they can gain for themselves. That being said, I would also say these walls looked ever so familiar to me, as I have built several of them around me to protect me and help me get on in life, and those very special people to me who have been inside those walls with me, fighting my battles with me, and picking me up when I fall, know who they are. They are the few people who really know me.

I wish for everyone else too, that you would be more careful with who you allow past your walls, I do believe it is much more special to have few friends who will be inside those walls fighting the battle with you, than many friends who try to destroy those walls, the very thing you built to protect yourself in life :)

Faithful Friends are a Rare Treasure
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 (NLT)