When the nail sticks out

rants, raves and randomness

Shocking things about the Philippines (that I sort of forgot)

So I’m back. Every time I go home, I feel this mild “culture shock”. Mild, because I come home pretty frequently and I just need to sort of “remember” how things are. Although these may sound like a rant, they’re actually just observations. Okay, complaints. Fine.  At the very least, I tried to tone down my writing. Remember, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. The truth hurts.  DISCLAIMERS: If you can’t take it, don’t read it. 

1) People. There are people everywhere. Tokyo has a big population, but somehow, Manila feels denser.

2) Is it because of Christmas? Because the malls are crowded even during office hours. What’s up? Don’t people work? It’s not vacation yet.

3) Asshole drivers. I’m used to being the priority when I cross the road on foot. Tokyo drivers almost never honk and they let you pass in peace. The Filipino drivers are the exact opposite. Never mind that the road is congested all the time and that letting one pedestrian pass will not in any way affect their arrival time. To be fair, I was also a driver, and I must have been an asshole too. But I’m not driving now. So.. I got to see life as a pedestrian.

4) Traffic is horrendous. I paid 700 for cab from Makati to airport and back to Makati.

5) Filipino time is shitty time. No one respects the time here. Not even if you’re the customer. I called Genesis bus station yesterday to buy an advance ticket to Baler. Before going there, I called to ask what time they open the counters. They said 9 am. So I went to the station around 930, only to find the staff still having their regular Monday meeting. Inconsiderate. They could have told me they open from 10- it was after all, according to the manong guard, a “regular” thing.

6) Cab drivers act like your change is their birthright. And what happened to the receipts? They were issuing them the last time I was here…

7) People tend not to fall in line if they can get away with it. Hello MRT.

8) People are less inhibited about  approaching/interacting with / arguing with others. While checking books, I have been approached today by a random stranger, selling a used Iphone for PHP5000. A bit later, I was caught in the crossfire of a verbal warfare between a lady buyer and the the shop clerk.

9) No one walks on the escalator. It’s all slow lane.

10) There is no trash segregation. I segregated my trash (can, papers, non-burnables) only to have them dumped  all together again.

11) The customer service is terrible.

12) The people are incredibly rude. But to be fair, it’s as if they don’t realize they are being rude, as if somehow they lack self-awareness or morals. No different from children.

13) Never mind that we are an archipelago, almost all the food = pork. And I don’t eat pork.

14) Tea is sweet. Everything is sweet. For package meals, you can’t change the accompanying iced tea to a bottled water. Drinking water means getting out of your way and paying more. No wonder people are getting fatter and fatter..

15) It’s a survival of the fittest here. Almost everyone on the street is out to rip you off. You have to be willing and able to fight: for your right and for what’s right.

16) A lot of young people. Tokyo is full of jiji and baba. (granpas and grandmas)

17) Hardly any pedestrian sidewalks.

18) VAT is 12%. Plus service charge. grrrr!

17) The pollution is really really really really really hellish.

18) So many idle people. Why is there 1 shop clerk for every square meter of the shop?

19)Why do shop clerks follow me wherever I go?

20) Fake baggage check is the guard’s past time.

21) Guards. Why do they have this attitude?

22) Public transpo = nightmare

23) Crimes and accidents happen on an everyday basis. Yesterday morning: Don Mariano bus accident. Night time: it was the martilyo gang.

24) No draft beer. Sad.

25) Everything takes long. Disorganization is the name of the game.

Philippines, I don’t hate you. In fact, I love you. It’s just that there are some things you need to improve on to make me want to stay for long. And let’s face it, you never loved me back. Never mind that you withheld 30% of my income tax, that I continued to pay vat and all other taxes for all other services, you hardly gave anything in return. No pedestrian side walks, no clean roads, no  protection from evil doers. I can’t take this shit from you, at least not for long. I hope you understand,  it takes two to tango. The more you mistreat me, the more I will stay away. And many others. But I will love you forever. From a distance.

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2 comments on “Shocking things about the Philippines (that I sort of forgot)

  1. MrsPresson
    January 26, 2014

    ^ hear hear

    …and that’s some of the reasons why I’m not homesick. LOL.

    • ikalwewe
      January 28, 2014

      Thanks for your reply Eky. I do get homesick once in a while (namely when it’s cold and I can’t surf) but the people do drive me crazy at times.. *sighs* More GMRC, please.

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This entry was posted on December 17, 2013 by in people and friends, Philippine society and tagged , , , , .
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