When the nail sticks out

rants, raves and randomness

Repatriating and Re-adjusting to life in the PI

Note : I repatriated because of my pregnancy and other personal matters. I’ve been living here since July. And yes. I finally have a decent internet!!!!

An American dude that recently moved to the Philippines to be with his dad asked for tips and advice on living the island life. I find that foreigners as well fellow Filipinos who have lived abroad may find these tips useful. We tend to forget how it was, and may experience some culture shock.

1)Bring tissue/wet wipes when going out. There’s no comfort in the comfort rooms

2)Filipinos seem rude when you share public space with us. Some of us are, but some of us do it without bad intentions. In short, don’t expect people to be disciplined and courteous like the Japanese. People sing in the elevators, chat loudly in public, talk on their phones on the train. People are just less inhibited and less conscious of others.

3) Filipinos tend to ask personal questions. Taxi drivers especially tend to be talkative and ask a lot of questions. If you’re not comfortable answering questions, just say so politely. You have to set the boundaries yourself .  You don’t owe them any answers.

4) Filipinos just can’t help being late. There is a generous tolerance for being late. Having lived in Japan, I am always on time. Unfortunately, Filipinos who visited me in Japan still tended to be late- this proves you can’t take the Philippines out of the Filipinos. You’ll end up burning a lot of bridges if you’re anal about time. And there is nothing you can do about it – it’s the culture.  Just set your expectations right and accept it as a fact of life.

Here’s the thing – if you tolerate them being late, then they’ll tolerate you being late. Use this to your advantage.

5)Be mindful of your things. Avoid being distracted when outside.You need your senses on full alert when around strangers!!

6)Pedestrians aren’t the priority. Even if you’re on the pedestrian lane and it’s green for you, some a**hole will honk at you to get you out of the way. Make sure you look both sides when crossing the pedestrian lane.

7)That said, traffic rules only apply when there’s someone to implement it.

8) Customer service is terrible here. Tinderas will expect you to pay them in small bills (You have to go through the trouble of exchanging your bills yourself) or they may refuse to sell you anything. Prepare small bills in advance. When riding regular cabs, make sure you have coins or cab drivers will take the change as their tip (What happened to issuing receipts?)

9)Personal touch is important. if you’re a regular customer of an establishment. Be nice to those who serve you. Eventually they’ll remember you and go the extra mile to make you happy, just because you remembered their names or smiled at them.

10) Avoid tap water. I swear, before living abroad I could drink tap. Upon returning my body is no longer used to it. Be careful of ice in drinks.

11)Living on an island? Wear sunscreen. (Ok, maybe not now…)

12)Cant afford to lose it? Don’t lend it. Applies everywhere, but needs to be said.

13)People tend to take offense if you say no. But sometimes you have to. Don’t feel bad about saying no to people. Remember, you need to draw the boundaries yourself. And don’t let them guilt you about it either.

14)If someone offers a service, don’t pay upfront. Pay after the service has been rendered.

That’s all for now. Will add more later.

Featured image from polandball.wikia.com. Used without permission.

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