Generally Expat’s call themselves Expats but locals call literally anyone not from the Philippines as “foreigners” which is a wide scope which may not seem too much of an issue except with the media as everyone gets tagged as a foreigner. E.g. a Korean restaurant owner gets in a dispute with his employees he will be reported as a Foreigner not a Korean which then makes “foreign incidents” look worse than they really are as there is no separation into ethnic groups to define who is who. Unfair? not really as the majority of Western Expat’s aren’t here doing business or involved in too many things as they are retired, where a lot of the Asian nations have people here that are still carrying the same Foreigner flag. This has a knock on affect as generally media is based round negativity I rarely read about positive aspects of foreigners being in the Philippines the media just concentrates on the murders, Filipino’s being treated badly or other negative aspects of “foreign life” here.
Positive things I have seen and know about here is that most Foreigners from the West at least are willing and trying to help their local communities in someway or at least tried at some time. Many frustrations get thrown up but at the same time at least they tried! but most of this positive parts of life are rarely shown and to be honest if people want things to improve at a community level embracing the foreign nationals who can and are willing to help is an important part of Philippines life the country badly needs. Why? you have to look at many of the people here who are retired or business professionals like myself. The country could be gaining agricultural specialists, engineers, doctors/medical personnel, international business people as well as 101 other things but often the local community wants to do it own thing instead of embracing the fact Foreigners come from “foreign” lands and understand how outside the Philippines functions so developing modern methods on everything from farming to running community projects could benefit everyone but often doesn’t.
Now I don’t want to give up on the Philippines for projects but its often joked about by many of my local friends as they see it as impossible to deal with. The local politicians get offended by the fact you start to develop things they SHOULD be doing as part of their obligation of service but also the Expat community as a whole doesn’t function as one either as I can see some things very visually beneficial to the Philippines that would improve relationships with the same people that aren’t too happy when people try to interfere or change things.
Prime example of this is a formation of a tourist Police which is formed up of Expat’s who are willing to put in a few hours each month to help assist Police with foreigner issues. There is a stigma with the local PNP which involves corruption and at the same time no doubt the PNP don’t want the hassles of things like drunk foreign nationals but in many cases I have seen the situation gets inflamed because of the fact locals and foreigners don’t understand each others cultures. A sharp shock explaining to someone if they keep causing a disturbance they are going to jail for at least the night if not longer by someone from outside of the local community in many cases is enough to send people off home to sleep off the affects of alcohol. Also at the same time liasing with more serious cases to help people at the initial stages of enquiry would be important in keeping a balanced view as well as giving an external presence that may help both parties. Could it work? it works in Thailand why not here?
Now there is one thing I can and will say is that anyone doing something please share it with the good the bad and the ugly! so that we can work out what does work here and what doesn’t no point throwing money at projects that can’t get off the ground at the same time working on projects that we know works saves time and builds communities.Not going hippy by the way just can see a lot of things I personally want to help with but often even me I struggle to make sense of things. The forum at Tropicalpenpals.com/forum has just gone through a small overhaul to start developing things, I have piled a few E-books in there as well and looking to expand it out in the future depending how many people are interested in the same way I am (no point uploading gigs of stuff to share if I am the only reader).
Originally posted 2010-11-24 01:30:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter