My wife mentioned that “I hate it here” the other day in regards to the Philippines followed by if I didn’t hate it what did I like?
The reason being is I do complain a lot but its more about stark contrasts in the Philippines than anything else that bothers me as you can grow flowers and plants to beautify an area and you will find every drunk urinating over it every night on the way home as a thank you. Yet the same people will help you if your struggling with groceries or push start your car both without payment or request.
Its these sort of contrasts that go throughout all levels of society here rich and poor from people willing to share their last bowl of rice with other family members to shooting the same people over land disputes later.
Its a society without balance and often what would be unacceptable in other societies are just completely blanked out here as if it never happened. Which is why I seem to complain a lot because I am always asking things like “why are you urinating on my wall when you just left your house?” or “why are you trying to overcharge me because I am a foreigner? its called racism”. Makes people very awkward being confronted at the same time fares are supposed to be fixed price and the wall is my wall not a public toilet.
But I don’t hate the Philippines just find its a headache a lot of the time when it doesn’t need to be if more people thought of how their actions affect others. Democracy pretty much doesn’t exist here and probably never will, it has a ruling class and pretty much everyone accepts it except for the disputed regions and I would even question most of that motivation as it always seems to lead to land and money rather than for the benefit of the people.
On the positive side I have a lot of friends here and its the people without politics that make the country worth visiting. To be honest if the politics didn’t exist here or the people lived elsewhere I am sure society would be better for it as the Philippines needs its remittances to keep the rich,rich and the poor afloat but if there were no people the rich would have to do a days work themselves for a change. The recent 9/11 victims husband who built a village for the poor is an example of fate taking its hand where he lost his wife and returned to a country he hadn’t been to for a long time. The life of paradise in the Philippines still shone on him as he came from a wealthy family as well as having a different vision of what Manila is really like today. The fact life took a bad twist on him and his wife sprung a positive action to help the poor that they had promised to help years before in some way. This is one of the things I do notice is people are easily forgotten here, people come, want to help and promise to do something when they return home but then nothing as daily life in the West takes over.
Education is the one thing I think not only the Philippines but the UK could benefit from by teaching people the true value of education as well as the fact it can lead anywhere in life depending how hard you work at it. Wages are terrible in the Philippines at the same time so are they in India yet you see more and more online developments pouring out of India in positive ways. Education leading the way, if there is one thing I dislike most in the Philippines though is the exploitation of the people in the one thing that can lift them out of poverty and that is education. I don’t need to expand on it as you can find many a politician connected to schools as well as the church both grabbing cash from students and their families year in year out.