When I see things in the Philippines I often wonder what decade are we in? Its not all bad by the way as feminism hasn’t taken hold of the nation although do think a more balanced society would improve things. The biggest TV celebrities all seem to be over 55 and roll into song which I haven’t seen in any other country since at least the early 80s, same as the old duos similar to Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise although not as funny as I don’t speak Tagalog. Followed by Weekend shows using the same celebrities they had on TV all week except trying to dance and sing in a Butlins style of show.
Now before anyone thinks I am complaining just have one question why? Willie Revillame used to boast about his high salary at P1million per day so it can’t be money that’s the issue. Distorted advertising possibly as even the cooking shows always go “I would like to thank our sponsor today blah blah blah” normally a Tuna manufacturer or mayonnaise that finds its way into every recipe they do so would say the sponsor should thank the TV show for being able to come up with so many recipes on a generic product.
Many of the other things such as slow government paperwork processing and the way some of the cities are still going through development does make me wonder what happened? As looking back in old photos the Philippines was a thriving economy with new cars, new developments and on the rise. Everything looked forward but now it seems time stopped in those photos and its remained stagnant while things fall apart. Its something I have to admit I just don’t understand at all as it makes no sense even for the rich families with the tight grip on the country as they are making a lot less money than they would if the economy and country opened up not only to world trade but even within Asia its holding itself back from its neighbours. When people’s inspirations are to work abroad and not here its not a bright future but it could easily be one by letting the doors open to modernisation and trade.
I often here “but this is the Philippines” followed with a laugh but is it? I hear the same words used from a child abuser or sexpat as I do from a Police Officer or government official “but this is the Philippines”. As if its acceptable to let things run aground or to do what you want even if you know its morally wrong because this is the Philippines. I do pity OFWs as the ones I have met abroad not only work hard but are some of the best workers I have come across not only in ability but attitude. Why is it so many people at home though feel they have a right not to be doing the same?
The importance here is comparisons to things I have seen over my lifetime as the Philippines has many aspects of the UK the Philippines has a remittance culture of many sitting back taking money off relatives abroad the UK has unemployment benefit with many people never finishing school never mind finding a job. Alcoholism, drug abuse, violent crime all exist in the UK at the same time I find the crimes in the Philippines especially on the violent side are tit for tat where in the UK its often random. I have yet to hear of someone just being attacked in the street in the Philippines on the way home yet its become almost a normal part of society in the UK. Corruption is also in both countries but the difference is in the UK its better hidden and those involved know it will end a career if the media get hold of it. Yet here we find in the Philippines its a constant flow of big corruption stories but very rarely do I hear the word “conviction” or even repossession of assets. It pretty much seems that get big enough bury it in the courts for years and by the time it eventually starts leading anywhere its all forgotten or the people involved have either disappeared or died of old age. UK you also find corruption look at the News Of The World phone tapping scandal and how certain Labour politician’s didn’t want to get caught up in it due to Murdock being a financial supporter.
Also going back in time to the times in the UK we didn’t have people starving or suffering from real poverty in the way the Philippines does today but I do remember being a kid when most families had very little. But then again most people were content and happy with what they had. Today it seems everyone wants the next best thing yet they haven’t learned to use the last one, this is one of the things Filipinos are losing and should fight to hang onto, simply being content with life. I remember around Christmas someone had the TV on in the background when a local celebrity was telling people to remember to send they’re loved ones a Nintendo Wii or iPad. Really this is how they think? Education, food on the table being able to enjoy Christmas is important not token gifts that have no practical function in a country where over 70% of its population is poor.
Odd thing is I do wonder if its me getting old until I talk to other expats and then you find there is a common ground with many things and the ones above are pretty much many of them. The biggest one being the fact your a splash in the ocean doesn’t matter what you try and change there will be plenty of things to take it back to square one. Doesn’t mean give up just have to be realistic and keep chipping at things you can do and more importantly concentrate on your own family to encourage a strong work ethic and responsibility.