The problem you find in the Philippines is people that live here a long time are well aware of all the issues the country has and generally work round it. Those who are new on the first years and first Filipina love think everything is fantastic, the problems come about often when you need to engage in local issues. If your a pensioner or work overseas spending your money in the Philippines its unlikely you will come across many of the issues unless your unlucky. Here long term and you start to see the cracks in everything from the food in the supermarkets to trying to get paperwork processed. I have been here three years and in the last year been pro-active in trying to do business here. You find doing business everyone wants lazy money (money they haven’t earned) I have got business opportunities that could churn millions of pesos in short periods of time but a lot of the ideas due to the way the system fights against business growth simply makes it easier to go to another country and do it.
People I know have setup businesses here and had a constant battle on their hands ranging from staff thefts to fake cases filed against the owners because employees got fired for being imcompetant or not doing their work. Ranging all the way up to custom officials acting like localised mafia forcing businesses to either pay a regular bribe or be forced out of business. These issues started to make me look deeper into the problems in the Philippines and also how some people seem to be making a lot of money while others struggle to get off the rungs of the ladder. One alarming thing I found is the connection to the sex trade and many of these people involved maybe not pro-active in sexual activities themselves but often the ownerships of the bars and clubs were a mix of rich foreigners and locals alike many with political connections.
Im not here to change the Philippines by the way and I am not on a witch hunt to expose people who are doing things they shouldn’t as simply this isn’t my country its Filipino’s that need to fix their own problems. But what I will say is my own business ventures here are shifting in a completely different way to remove my need for many employees to a skeleton type business. Prototyping of some of the things I have been working on will be built here but the manufacturing and sales will be in other countries. I tried and people may say I shouldn’t give up but all I will say in response to that is I have given a year already and unless something drastically changes its unlikely my mind will.
Doesn’t mean the year has been unsuccessful mind as its been the first time I have been extracted from the business society of the United Kingdom where the drive is daily to earn an income in the Philippines we had already established an annual income before I even came here so I could quite literally have just sat and done nothing. 2010 – 2011 was a social and business experiment that in a positive way saved me a lot of money and in a bad way removed the opportunity of me creating several hundred jobs over the next 5 years.
A typical key problem though is I don’t think the average Filipino understands the issues within their own country to get an understanding of why things don’t or can’t change. I take for example news stories which are often speculative and missing facts completely, the fact that a Filipino celebrity dating another takes priority on news over political and factual media. I say factual as often these “dates” and turmoil spouts in the media are fake and more about drumming up trade for a new movie or TV series. The way context is also misused in the media such as the issue with Taiwan currently where the Philippines media sees Taiwan as “clannist” the whole of Asia is and the Philippines is one of the worst countries for doing it! You look at a mayor, a politician or a major business company in the Philippines how many of the people do you know have had family names controlling power for many decades if not more? How many were in the TV circuit before going political so that the can use the publicity gained from the TV to make people know them when it came to voting?
The odd thing here is I see many things changing in the UK over the last 10 years that are taking the UK into a more protective society in a negative way as well and the Philippines shows how these things can really be manipulated.
How would I change things if I could? first thing I would do is grab the TV set and throw it out on the lawn, its inviting corruption into your house. Fake advertising from everything to super milks to vitamins that pre-long life are all lies. There are virtually no educational shows on there as well as the fact the media cycle is so small its not worth watching certainly not worth wasting the electric on. You have the most powerful media on the planet attached to your PC the internet. If you can afford a second PC get one for children’s education and “BLOCK” social media sites or even better sit with the children as an owner of an internet cafe it disappoints me that everyone is orintated around Facebook yet they have everything right in front of them and even more importantly I don’t mind helping people “learn to learn”. I can give people more information on things like permaculture, aquaponics, aquaculture, welding, electronics, computer studies, programming and pretty much anything else they want to learn for virtually no cost. Why? because information sharing is the future educating the minds of our children needs to be brought to the front of every parents minds. You may not be able to change things yourself but having children with a better understanding of things gives them half a chance. I just hope others are as keen as me in sharing their experiences and knowledge and even more so that kids actually start wanting to learn. At the same time I am willing to share what I can with adults as its not only the Philippines in educational decline but much of the Western world as well.