Sometimes I get the odd email complaining that TropicalPenpals shows the Philippines in a negative light which is unfair. In all honesty I show it in its true light nothing more or less, its the same reason the majority of readers are Filipino’s not foreigners as I say a lot of things they are thinking and not prepared to say themselves. The culture here is an odd one and I am not sure if the biggest fear for a lot of people is being outcast by their families or fear of politicians and corrupt officials. Its well known that people do disappear for being outspoken especially in universities where the government is well aware that political rivalry starts at grass roots and often in establishments that either encourage free thinking or more active parts of the community. Universities are that grass root culture here in the Philippines the stepping stone that ties one with the country before leaving and never coming back. Because the one thing many misunderstand is the pride of being a Filipino as they conclude its tied with the state of the country and the corrupt officials and self serving rich but its none of those. The hate for these things are alive in every Pinoy but they remember the family bond that got them where they were going and the fact the ties remain strong even though the Philippines is probably in one of its darkest times in history.
It is not for me to contest my political views on the country which is why I do not get involved in one politician or another but simply state the fact the problems are across the board. Its the Filipino’s right to choose right and wrong not mine. On the other hand I do maintain my right to complain about how foreigners are treated here as I am one of them and its not all about moaning its more about people listening and learning that things need to change. If that doesn’t happen things will continue to worsen purely because the rest of Asia is developing at a much faster and more “flexible” rate. When I can find prices jump by 60% purely because people assume I will pay it because I am assumed I can afford it does not mean I am bloody stupid.. I am not the naked king who walked through the street told he was wearing the finest silks! I am here to do business and will continue to be a bee in the bonnet for some time to come and if it doesn’t work here its fine I will move off to somewhere more friendly and willing to do business as I have opportunities opening up in other countries. The downside for this is though that once it succeeds in other places it will once again highlight the failings that have become normal practice here. But that is in time to come and with larger scale projects currently the localised ones I am looking at neither need imports or exports. So removing customs and permits from most of the issues keeps many things under the radar.