Never being told or being told last minute – Cultural opposites from the West to the Philippines

One of the most frustrating things I find is when people tell you after you are asking why something hasn’t been done when you assumed its already complete. You can set a budget, pay for something to be done and then you often want to forget about it. But what happens some times is a couple of months down the line you just double check for its completion as its already been organised and paid for to find out its still awaiting something due to a minor glitch you could have resolved months ago but nobody thought it was important enough to tell you.

In western culture generally people will tell you as soon as its happened or need to get something sorted purely because it “needs to be done”. The end result of ignoring things generally works out more expensive, more time consuming and more stressful.

I know its probably one of the most annoying things foreigners face in the Philippines yet its something that could be rectified so easy. Some of the problems when it happens is huge. I have had friends return to the Philippines expecting to be moving into new houses to find out people haven’t done anything saying “we thought it was better you deal with it when you got home”. Which goes down as well as a lead balloon as all the hopes and dreams go out the window and the mild attitude of a foreigner going on vacation for a month to his house with his wife ends up in an instant switch to stress and anger. Westerners generally handle knowing things as soon as they happen a lot better than if its left for months. Because culturally leaving it for months in a Westerners eyes is a lack of caring or respect. It feels more like sabotage than simply someone telling you late..

So if you do leave things until someone finds out please change the habit as it causes a lot of problems in peoples marriages as well as how foreigners will see you in the future. Foreigners are generally looking for people long term they can trust and build relationships with why let something so minor become so major to jeopardise future opportunities?