Afer roaming the Philippines (Cebu) for a little over 2 years now, I learned a lot about the Philippine culture. The way they think, they way they behave, the do's and don'ts. As a foreigner I have to accept all of those traits even though they are 180 degree opposite to the Dutch, European and western way of thinking. What I am trying to do for those 2 years is to grasp and understand WHY they are so different in their behavior and way of thinking. To name just a few examples: The delikadesa, the mano po, Tampo, "Juan Time", "hya", no man is allowed to witness the birth of his own child, its impossible to address constructive criticism directly to a pinoy/pinay, the inefficient public transportation system (buses, jeepneys & tricylcles). My favorite website so far, by far is http://getrealphilippines.com.
My question is quiet simple: Can someone explain me WHY those people still think so different compared to us? The Philippines live today, like we lived 50-60 years ago (if not longer ago)
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Dear Oliver Sta. Maria,
Thank you for your elaborate response.
You say that most people in your country do not have the knowledge. Why is that? What were they taught in school? Nothing? How do they use the internet? Only chatting, only social media? There is a world out there to be discovered by using the internet. Whenever I read or hear something that I want to know more about, I will Google that topic and/or I will visit Wikipedia.
What about all those OFW's? They are in foreign countries and mingling with many foreigners. Dont those OFW's start to learn to look at things differently simply by the fact that they are abroad? Or will they only mingle with people coming from their own country while being in that foreign country?
How do you think I learned so much about the Philippines? I did that by using my eyes (observation), listening and reading. Then I started to think about it and try to see if it had some merit and/or advantages for me so I could do the same as they are doing. Unfortunately, nothing that I saw was beneficial for me. But then again, many Philippine laws hinder my personal freedom as well as many cultural "laws"/traditions hinder my personal freedom.
I am very much amazed that so many Philippine people still believe in god and that nobody is ever critical about his existenze and critical about the bible itself. (the bible is full with contradictions and very female-unfriendly)
I am very much amazed/shocked that PDA (Public Display of Affection) is frowned upon.
I am very much amazed/shocked that so many Philippine people still procreate when they have no dime to spare.
I am very much amazed/shocked that a country needs a RH law to regulate the population (it only needs your logic and your brains. If I dont have a dime then I wont take any kids). You know what our mom told us: "we (my parents) want you (her kids) to have a better life than we ever did". I am sure my mom meant that both quality wise as in all other aspects.
As far as seeing the ruins etc that you mention I can say this that I am a little bit bound (limited) to Cebu island. But for sure, I hope to see them one day (soon)
(Tuesday 29 October 2013 at 07.18PM Dutch time)
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Hello Robert, thank you very much for coming to our country and you are always welcome to be our guest. I am writing to try to answer your question:
Can someone explain me WHY those people still think so different compared to us? The Philippines live today, like we lived 50-60 years ago (if not longer ago)
ANSWER: I am an expat living outside of the Philippines and I do not think that we Filipinos think differently, but rather we think or act based on what we currently know and what we have (resources, knowledge, etc). Most of our people back home just doesnt have the knowledge to think like those who were born i the first world countries (like in the west) or like their compatriots who were now either migrated or working (living) outside the country where innovation is at its best because of the resources that the advanced countries have.
The Philippines is an ARCHIPELAGO located in the FAR EAST. We are just FAR from the rest of the world, most of our people doesnt have the means to go out of the country to explore (and experience) and bring back new ideas. Although we have some modern cities, the expansion is very slow because of our geographical structure.
I am sure that you noticed that FILIPINOS smile a lot and very welcoming - thanks also to this geographical structure that we have because most of our people treat people from other islands as their GUEST, even though they are compatriots.
The Philippines has started to be "seen" again in the world map. THANKS TO THE INTERNET - our tourism campaign says "ITS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES" - I am sure you had some fun already, but there are more to see. I have read on your previous posts that you were looking for ruins, parks, etc. you are lucky to be in the Philippines because it is every where! You just need to plan your vacation well - like you can visit INTRAMUROS and FORT SANTIAGO for some great historical sites. We have lots of Spanish era churches specially in Northern Luzon and you can visit VIGAN too where they are preserving Spanish era city. You can also see the Rice Terraces, you can have an adventurous trip to different volcanoes (Mayon, Taal, Camiguin, etc). Beautiful beaches are everywhere. We have big parks like LUNETA and BURNHAM park in Baguio City where the weather is cool. Or if you want to see some more beautiful things, DIVE in our beautiful underwater parks and shipwrecks (spanish ships, japanese planes, etc) - you just need a professional travel agency/guide to bring you to those placess.
I would like to say more, but I am trying to make this short. But reading between the lines, I hope I made you smile and think about my answer.
Come back to the Philippines again!
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I really hope we will get to those places and spots. If and when my partner (regardless of her nationality) would be here, I would and will show here not only the place (city) where I live and the province but also all other interesting places in my country (outside my city and outside my province). I just expected from a city like Cebu City to have a park like Hyde Park (maybe not as big and huge). Thats all. Cebu City has a population of 800,000. Metropolitan Cebu City even close to 2 million, if I am correct.
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If you miss those things then i strongly suggest you better flight to Manila and see some places like Tagaytay, Baguio City, Ortigas, Makati City, The Fort and lots of good spot here. I guess your partner not yet also familiar with such places so it will be very nice if you tour her around too. Good luck and God Bless!
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I will take your advice to heart. Although it must fit in our schedule. What I did miss seeing in CC (Cebu City) was/is a city park (like Hyde Park, London or Central Park, New York or Luxembourg Jardin in Paris, France) where a couple can lay on the grass doing nothing but listening to the sounds of bird's singing or laying on the park's grass while listening to music from our phones or iPods; I miss seeing great (old and/or modern)architectural buildings.
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Your only staying in provinces that's why u only saw same routines everyday and same lifestyle. I guess I will suggest to you to try to travel also in some of industrial City like Ortigas, The Fort in Taguig or either Makati City etc. you might find the place and lifestyle your looking for in City near Capital of the Philippines.
Furthermore, In every places in the Philippines has different lifestyle different way of living and different perception. Your not yet exploring the Philippines more, 2 years is not enough and staying in same place my friend. On Your next visit, ask your partner to visit NCR. However, about traffic its normal, even in Kuwait there are places having worst traffic too even they have wide road,same also in Philippines not all places.
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Dear Jessy Celo,
I visited Cebu City twice(each intant about 21 days) to meet my partner. We both travelled also to Dumaguete City (just for 24 hours). I enjoyed both CC (Cebu City) and also Dumaguete City. But I didnt like the chaotic traffic, the in-efficient jeepneys (no fixed time tables, no fixed jeepney stops). Overall, everywhere we go, I met nice and kind people (always smiling, which is strange because each individual can be grumpy and moody now and then).
If DOT's slogan really is "Its more fun in the Philippines" and that slogan should attract more (foreign) tourists, they should start installing fixed bus/jeepney stops and fixed time tables. On top of that, make jeepneys and buses higher so that tall foreigners wont bump/hit their heads all the time. And please stop calling "provincial roads" as "highways".
Its really absurd that a distance of 67 km should take 2 hours by bus driving on a so called coastal "highway".
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It's very interesting. Yes, what you're saying is truly admirable and should really be done. You can't just say that we don't do anything, Robert.
Perhaps the people you've met never talked about it but we do, we do tell our concerns to our officials. However there's a loophole in the government system here. Even if we don't vote for them, they still get the seat. LOL
Nobody likes the inefficiency Robert and we address them to the proper channel, the question is do these people address our concerns?
I do what I do and contribute to what I can do. If you think we are not as vocal as you then perhaps we're not that is your opinion but this doesn't make us a person who's not concern at all. We've been wanting a better government system. We fought for what we think is right and that's why there were actions done here and there. Again, we're in a democratic country but is it really democratic?
We all have the right to protest. We've done that. We're still doing that.