Foreigners in the Philippines

Lately I have been letting a lot of anti-Filipino talk online get under my skin. From the guy with his retirement village telling people to buy up at least a hectare of land just so they can’t here Filipino Karaoke to the general grumblings of Expats. I just want to say to everyone “don’t forget your a guest”. Immigration fees go up, the TV shows are repeatative and you may think every Filipino you meet is trying to rip you off.. But if that’s the case why are you here?

The TV shows who said you have to watch them? Immigration fees I will give you that but not because of the increases but the fact they regularly change and they don’t keep people informed.

But the Philippines isn’t going to change and that is the fact I live with every day. Getting up to be at the SSS office for 5am just so my wife can get an ID card because they can only process so many in  a day I would here a western answer “why don’t they do overtime?” or “why don’t they get more staff” it isn’t going to happen its part of life here. Processing takes a long time so expect it infact my 13(a) residency visa is already complete and we asked to delay collecting it. It is the laid back attitude which brought so many people here in the first place and you have to take the rough with the smooth. I have neighbours with a multi-cab with excessive speakers which shake the building sometimes. I could complain about it but generally it doesn’t bother me because he is only there 5 mins before he drives off. Last week I had to go out for a break. Will Irwin’s response who I wrote about in a previous article was to buy 2 hectares to basically create distance between him and his neighbours.. The truth of the matter it was his ramblings that irritated me in the first place not the music. Because the truth of the matter its the grumpy old men that are getting under my skin. The constant whining and in fighting between several of them. The fact some will bad mouth others behind peoples backs to cut them out of contract work. I’m not on about my work by the way just something I know that went on between a local translator and two expats. Not sure what the one expat said to the translator but she stopped talking to the other Expat who had work for her. Why? because the one expat has issues with the other. Yet the other Expat it is all water under the bridge. These disputes between Expats are the sort of things why so many fail in the Philippines. The cutting ones nose off to spite the face is something I have seen too much of in the last two years and often why I look to stop writing as I’m disappointed with so many of the Expats that come to the Philippines. What stops me from quitting though is the Filipino community here and abroad who read the blogs because they enjoy my ramblings from a perspective that sort of sits between an Expat and a Filipino. Why my ramblings are a little different is probably due to my upbringing with a military family moving from country to country finding that you live between Military and local people in some sort of balance.

If you want to make a difference in the Philippines while living here teach people who want to learn. I’m not on about lecturing at a college etc. but the education of the kids that roam your area during the day. Maybe they lack the interest or money for education (moneywise schooling is free but all the add-ons cost money as the school uses it to help with its funds) but that is why its more important to teach them things that they will find interesting or useful. Starting with responsibility with such things as anti-graffiti and anti-littering as both of these contribute to degrading an area but also the clearing up of your area will hopefully stimulate others to take responsibility. I am currently just awaiting the concrete work to stop on the external of the Apartment as we will be adding plants along the roadside with fruits etc. free for people who want to pick them offering a small source of food but also cleans up the road a little adding a bit of colour.

It is always easy to be negative and it drags everyone down with it. The truth of the matter is you need to look at how to improve things not make them worse. If your in the Philippines respect that people are different here but at the same time if you want them to change you have to accept you need to change as well. You can hunt down literally thousands of negative posts on the Philippines but isn’t it about time people started posting about what they did to make things better instead?