Living in the Philippines as an expat its strange how your perceptions and thoughts change over time to the way life was as you seen it to how you now understand it after several years here in the Philippines. Its not all negative and often for an easier life living in the Philippines as an expat most of what you first thought you wanted to help with or change you should just let slide like water off a ducks back.
Sounds a bit unfair but most of the problems within the Philippines are not ours and if most can be ignored by the locals why shouldn’t we do the same? There is no moral high ground and discussing the matters often causes a flurry of negativity with people saying “how dare you say such things about my country” even though its true and they know it they prefer to just leave it as it is. The mentality of some will grind you down and you won’t change it many an NGO with millions of dollars has failed here so why do you think you can make a difference?
Defeatism? not really as I believe in just picking the battles you can win than the war that is already over before its begun. Improving the area that personally live is something that enhances a community and cheap to achieve. Starting a feed program causes a drain on resources and you will only find the queue gets bigger every week as its counterproductive.
But charity isn’t why we are living in the Philippines as an expat in the first place which is why I say avoid it there are thousands of organisations out there that are supposed to be fixing everything from energy issues to water supplies and education if you choose to hang out with one from time to time it can be worthwhile but generally do your own thing and for many its simply to retire here.
Moving around the Philippines islands is cheap and helps boost local economies with internal tourism and for myself its the real value of being here is the more native ways of life and natural beauty of the country. Only way to find it is to go and find it but as an expat you have the time and if a developed income also have the resources to get the most out of living in the Philippines.
Within the expat communities you find people from all walks of life, some interesting some not but the whole point of of joining the communities is fitting into your own niche rather than expecting to get on with everyone.