Accepted behavior of expats in the Philippines

There is a big problem when it comes to media in the Philippines as they will often open up with speculative arrests with loosely put together information as if its a tight clad conviction. Yet from the Expat community you often here that nearly everyone who gets caught is an innocent party framed by the local PNP (Police) or that there was some kind of misunderstanding but how much are by accident or even more so how much is it the Expat is actually guilty?

The odd thing is very few stories ever seem to be followed all the way through as one thing I found doing research myself over the years is its often more complex than it first seems and most of the time the Expat has been doing something they shouldn’t be. A big part of this is that many don’t see what they are doing as wrong and if you take for example Joseph Christian Bogo who was arrested for the “naked cat fighting” where he told police it was for personal consumption and in the last couple of days someone sent over this link :- I can’t show any images due to not knowing the ages of the people competing in the videos that are being “SOLD”. But wasn’t he doing this to give the girls some extra money? Maybe P1,000? but hang on he’s selling the videos from nearly $30 upwards per clip wonder if they are aware the videos are being sold internationally?

Now the thing for me is do not contest if its right or wrong simply because its just strange but the fact many, many people get caught doing things like this all the time then swear innocence and often Expats will give them a bit of moral support although the rise of the internet also means often Expats stick the nails in the coffin by being able to track things down easier than a lot of the local police can. There are more people coming with a different mindset and a different outlook on how to make a living and it doesn’t involve exploitation of local children or other members of the public.

But anyone that is thinking of doing something odd or something business related it does pay to work out the legalities of things but also using a bit of common sense goes a long way as well.


13 comments for “Accepted behavior of expats in the Philippines

  1. Swarfy
    April 25, 2011 at 2:08 am

    What a dummy, and that is a perfect example of people, sorry dumb expats, feeling they can do anything they damn well like with impunity, a few peso under the table won`t cut it here, hey i have no problems with tit and ass but selling it, what a sleaze!
    Another huge area where lads get into lumber is guns, everyone will tell you, oh you are a big man here now, you have the money tree! people are bad, i know where you can get a weapon, suckers, use it and see, a pinoy yes but expat no, but so many are gun barmy and continue to get in big trouble, frankly i tire of feeling sorry for what are obviously idiots with a self destructive streak, have a nice day now.

    • Tropicalpenpals
      April 25, 2011 at 2:42 am

      How many times do you hear I know the mayor, I know the local PNP officials etc?

      In reality most of these guys are like the vulture in the trees just sitting waiting for the expat to do something stupid before dropping down and swiftly nibbling at the wallet.

      An example of this was someone’s son who was arrested then released after P250,000 was extracted (although the son was a minor and legally if they had contacted local social services they would have had him released instantly purely because he is a minor). But anyhow the cash was extracted and the reply from the expat “I know people now who can help me out”. Wrong answer the PNP involved now know the guy has money and can do something else to him in the future because he can and will pay. There are no free rides here unless we are the people paying!

      • Stevephil220148
        April 26, 2011 at 4:00 am

        I often hear expatriates condemn the Philippines and other “third world countries” as being corrupt. But the moment they are in trouble or the moment they want to have their way these very same expatriates will resort to bribing their way. It is a bribe and nothing more. They are the biggest contributors to the “corruption” they accuse these countries of committing. Having a “name that you can use” is nothing more than opening the door to corruption. My suggestion is that accept the society for what it is, warts and all and stay out of trouble. A “sorry” is often cheaper that 250,000 PHP or my life. If it got to the point when I felt that I could not take it I will pack up and leave – nothing more and nothing less! At least I can do that – something many of the locals cannot – or dont want to do.

        • Christine
          April 26, 2011 at 9:22 pm

          I concurred on all points Phil. But you know, I think many expats whinge but stay because back in their own countries, they will just be another nobody, a mere mortal.

          • Stevephil220148
            April 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

            Thanks Christine. Agree with you too.

    • Christine
      April 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      Indeed! Many, many foreigners (not just Kanos) come to the Philippines thinking they can buy their way out of trouble. While this is true in some cases, this is also untrue with others. A case in mind was a Kano in my town who got charged for discharging a firearm in public. Being a foreigner, the gun was registered under his wife’s name, but there were witnesses who identified him as the the one fired the gun. He was charged for discharging a weapon in public. What he was probably trying to do was scare the Filipinos into turning down their loud party music. First big mistake. 2nd big mistake was using a weapon not registered to him. And 3rd which sealed his coffin was, he then tried to bribe the Police who charged him. He was deported, leaving his young wife and a fancy mini-mansion by the sea. He might come back sometime, or he might be back in the Philippines now, but certainly he won’t be living in the same area, because Filipinos can sometimes have very long memories and will simply make his life very uncomfortable. Living in paradise sometimes means having to make allowances for the local citizen’s shortcomings.

      • Tropicalpenpals
        April 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm

        Agree.. also its an easy option that develops over time that the “local problems” aren’t ours when we live here. I am happy to be a guest and leave all the local stuff to people here. The beggars don’t receive anything from me and unlikely to receive anything in the future unless they are prepared to do a days work. The thing with that is notice its always the women and the children where are all the men? Are there any statistics of the number of alcoholics and drug abusers in the Philippines?

        The music thing does become a problem at times although generally I only experience it on birthdays and fiesta’s. This year seems a lot less than previous ones so far. No point getting annoyed about it as most locals wouldn’t even understand what your annoyed at. I come across it all the time with everything from people urinating on walls in front of others to heated arguments. Best advice is just close the gate and leave them to it, can’t change it no point trying.

        • Christine
          April 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm

          I think I should rephrase the term “the local citizen’s shortcomings”. After all, to the Filipinos, it is not shortcomings. It is custom, culture, call it what you may, but it is what we do, and it is only “shortcomings” to Kanos who come from a perfectly ordered society. The Philippines is very, very different in more ways than one.

          And indeed Matt, loud music is again something that is the “norm” over there. I mean it is in Australia as well! Reason I moved to a semi-rural area, for peace and quiet. It really comes down to – if you can’t put up, or shut up, then pack up.

          • Tropicalpenpals
            April 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm

            Problem with the shut up or pack up is that in other countries they firebomb immigrants and attack them in the street to remove them. At the same time like I say and most people I know do they generally remove themselves from too much local politics. E.g. gambling, drinking, joint business ventures. Its just not worth the hassles 90% of the time. The local culture here I accept as “local” and nothing to do with me and its the best way to deal with things. Doesn’t mean I hate anyone as a lot of it isn’t to do with culture mind its manners and respect. Not just the Philippines see a growing number of problems developing in the UK with the same mentality. Gun culture, gang culture, drug addiction, inability to function as a human being wanting to be the next “billionaire” yet struggle to write their own name or read never mind the fact they can’t sing. Only thing I can honestly say though is the world is slowly changing and it may be the kickstart for many or the end. All this stuff in the middle east is nothing to do with democracy its to do with food prices which are all affected by oil prices. The UK is seeing a jump in its costs yet is burdened with around 1/3rd of the population being carried in some form then another 1/3rd working for the state. Australia on the other hand your still stable on the mining front but not sure about the food resources?

            Anyway the average Filipino doesn’t bother me in the same way I don’t bother them everyone to their own and if they want to sit with a stereo full blast now and again its fine as one thing is for sure if I did want videoke for my birthday nobody would care if was full volume until 6am the following day. Although to be honest these days happy to just sit with headphones and a bit of a comedy show rather than music must be getting

          • Christine
            April 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm

            HA! If you’re old, then I’m antique, as I’m the most intolerant of noise, loud noise in particular. Perhaps owing to me being spoiled in this place I live in, that in some days you can almost hear a pin drop, while in most days it’s just the sound of nature, birds and the like. Filipinos carry their love of Karokes anywhere. And a party here is not complete without someone belting the “matud nila”. I attend parties to catch up with friends. So the moment everyone compete for the microphone, I make my excuses and leave.

            Well, at least in the Philippines we haven’t resorted to firebombing Kanos yet. Outright murder maybe. Still, if you’re a foreigner in any country and chooses to stay despite the mounting animosity, right or wrong, you only have yourself to blame if you choose to stay.

            Australia is still booming in many ways, except our crops have been devastated because of the flooding and heavy rains. So we can expect to import food next year if the farmers can’t sow crops this year. A kilo of bananas here at the moment is $12, and it’s poor quality too. I am just holding myself from buying it because I can get it for free in my family’s farm in PI. So I will indulge then. I think though, Australia is generally an expensive country to live, and the likes of me get taxed heavily. Mr. Taxman took $18,000 as tax out of my income last year. It sucks, but that’s the way it is.

          • Tropicalpenpals
            April 26, 2011 at 1:56 am

            The thing is racism exists everywhere. The odd thing is the belief that everyone can live together. People sub divide all the time and the Philippines is no different when I hear people talk about Tagalogs in Cebu or the different sub sections of society. Being a Foreigner is just as much of that as anything else.

            The food crisis is going to continue to get worse especially with the oil not going to recover. Its the whole reason behind the middle east being a complete mess and getting worse. At the same time though countries that can support themselves are going to have a field day which is why we are seeing China and India not having too many problems.

            Noise only irritates me to be honest when its bad timing.. e.g. parties starting in the afternoon which then makes it difficult to concentrate on things I need to get done. Besides that people can do what they

  2. Swarfy
    April 25, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Yup my Dutch buddy used to carry a card with THE tel # on it, got in trouble over a parking slot with the Mayors bodyguards, he spent a week in the Mayors lock up, the # was for some pissant judge who the Mayor had transferred to the back of beyond, Josie got him out with lots of apologies, personaly i feel a pratt when i HAVE to apologise, ok if i`ve actualy done something wrong mind. He has THE guns too, a shame his nhead is made from wood as well as the boots!

    • Tropicalpenpals
      April 25, 2011 at 3:45 am

      Using a head is a lot more useful than digging a bigger hole.. I have had a few small things happen but apologies as well as a swift exit work a lot better than trying to be someone. At the same time being diplomatic without actually offering anything solid has worked as well. Can’t go into detail but it did make things very smooth yet I hadn’t actually promised I could do anything but just that “I would ask”. Bump into the same person from time to time and I did what they asked the guy has their phone number and I explained who they were. Wasn’t a false promise did exactly as it says on the tin 😉