Living In The Philippines Forum

Living in The Philippines => Expat life in Philippines => Topic started by: michael16136 on March 21, 2008, 08:37:11 AM

Title: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on March 21, 2008, 08:37:11 AM
I don\'t know if others ever have these feelings or if perhaps this is something unwelcome that just happens to me, but the pervasive futility of the country is finally, after five years, starting to get to me. The endless corruption at all levels, the paucity of education, the number of young children begging in the streets, the certainty that things will never be better here in my lifetime, all of it is starting to pile up, much as it once did for me after five years or so in Africa. I don\'t know if this perception that the country as a whole, is utterly hopeless engulfs others out there from time to time, but it\'s certainly starting to affect my life and it\'s obviously affected the way I few the country.

Poverty is on the increase. The greed of the politicians is rapacious, and the educational system is a joke. Though working in a development program, I know that things can and do get better in isolated instances, in restricted geographic areas, somehow this doesn\'t offer me the solace that it once did. Every week I speak to more and more Filipinos and Filipinas whose highest ambition in life is to get the hell out of here and get to a place that offers some opportunity. It\'s the only place I\'ve ever lived where more than 50% of the citizens indicate that they would leave for another country if only they could, and I just don\'t see things getting any better any time in the foreseeable future. None of this is new and none of this will come as shocking news to anyone who lives here. What\'s new for me is that it\'s all starting to get to me in ways that I never thought it would or could.

Anyone else out there get swept up from time to time in these feelings of utter hopelessness for the country? If so, what do you do about it?

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: steveinvisayas on March 21, 2008, 10:24:29 AM
I don\'t know if others ever have these feelings or if perhaps this is something unwelcome that just happens to me, but the pervasive futility of the country is finally, after five years, starting to get to me...What\'s new for me is that it\'s all starting to get to me in ways that I never thought it would or could.

Anyone else out there get swept up from time to time in these feelings of utter hopelessness for the country? If so, what do you do about it?

Thanks for sharing.

This country, the US, there\'s lots of good reasons to be sad, plenty to go around. Yes we are powerless over the big picture, sadly. What to do about it? Talking, bringing it here is good, helps to process, builds support. Then maybe \'the hopeless place can tell you what it needs and wants\'. Only you would know what that would be, for sure.

Just some thoughts
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: RUFUS on March 21, 2008, 10:33:27 AM
Stuff sucks all over.
Here, there and everywhere. Worrying about it will just make you depressed...
Become prepared for whatever life throws at ya, Kick back and have an ice cold RedHorse.
Good and bad are going to happen whether or not you stress on it... so enjoy..

Cheers

RUFUS
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: GregW on March 21, 2008, 10:57:20 AM
Quote
The endless corruption at all levels, the paucity of education, the number of young children begging in the streets, the certainty that things will never be better here in my lifetime, all of it is starting to pile up 

If I could change the word children above to people then that\'s how I feel about the US.  I ditto Steve.  I could also add, the congestion, the pollution, the selfishness, the going into debt to keep up with the Joneses syndrome and politicians who haven\'t the faintest idea of what it is really like to live in the world that they have created. 

Michael, I always enjoy your posts but gotta\' disagree this time.  In my eyes, RP is still the better option.  Perhaps Rufus has a good idea.  Have a Red Horse and tomorrow\'s another day.  Or in my case, a SMB.  Gettin\' too old for that \"strong\" beer.  LOL.

Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on March 21, 2008, 11:48:18 AM

Anyone else out there get swept up from time to time in these feelings of utter hopelessness for the country? If so, what do you do about it?

Thanks for sharing.

I understand how you feel, but as individuals there is little we can do beyond the family and local community. Even as a group, the work that could be done would have little effect on the country as a whole. However, this is not a good reason for not doing it. The only suggestion I have would be to send your post to a national newspaper so that it gets a wider audience. Then of course there is the \'Red Horse\'  :) Unfortunately my doctor has put me on an alcohol free diet  :(

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on March 21, 2008, 12:14:01 PM

 Unfortunately my doctor has put me on an alcohol free diet  :(

Colin


Aah!  ;) That explains your sunny disposition  ::)

Stuff sucks all over.
Here, there and everywhere. Worrying about it will just make you depressed...
Become prepared for whatever life throws at ya, Kick back and have an ice cold RedHorse.
Good and bad are going to happen whether or not you stress on it... so enjoy..

Cheers

RUFUS

Rufus,

Stop torturing Colin  :(
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on March 21, 2008, 04:11:47 PM
Dear Colin,

I am sorry to hear of your difficulties sir. Please be well, okay? Best wishes for good health and happiness.

Kind regards,   Steve

Thanks for your good wishes, very much appreciated.

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on March 21, 2008, 04:15:43 PM
:D So Colin,

Inviting you over for a Pizza and Beer night might not go down to well whilst you are here in town, eh mate.

Just be careful you and the Doc don\'t become Butt Buddies...

All in good fun  ::) ;D

Wayne

Yeh, well I guess I really am just a pain in the back side  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: John Amend-All on March 21, 2008, 04:18:53 PM
Mike

I, too, always enjoy your posts and am sorry to hear you feeling like this.

What I do when feeling overwhelmed by the sheer hopelessness of what I see, is to focus on the micro, not macro. The country may not really change but you can, and I\'m certain you have, made a difference to those you are in contact with; family, friends, your helpers, those who have done work for you. People will be better off financially because you were generous with them or happier because you showed them something which helped in their lives.

Even so, I would reject the idea that nothing can ever change. Who would have believed the communist bloc would crumble as easily as it did, or apartheid would be overthrown in South Africa? We have already had peoples power here and it could happen again, soon. Korea is, as they admit, corrupt, but a successfull economy. South America is, little by little, throwing off the yoke of the Catholic Church.

I think we expats could help by, first, stop calling these islands, paradise. As you say, a country where more than half the inhabitants
are desperate to leave cannot be regarded as paradise. We could also stop patronising our hosts in saying \"Ah, look how they smile through all their terrible problems.\" Maybe a little less smiling and a little more anger would fuel the push for change.

My best hope is the returning expats - not us, the Filipinos/nas themselves. Those who spent decades in the west are not likely to put up with shoddy work, incompetence from officials and all the rest of it. I know my wife gives anyone like that a fearsome dressing down. If the numbers returning are increasing (I don\'t know) that has to be another factor.

I have said a few controversial things here I know but I hope it will be allowed through. this is a forum and I think will be the healthier for a little debate.

And I hope you are feeling better!

Best wishes

John
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on March 21, 2008, 05:47:38 PM
Guide note:

The posts started by Colin with reference to getting a colonoscopy is worth its own topic, so has been split & moved to Medical services

http://livinginthephilippines.com/forum/index.php?topic=797.0
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on March 22, 2008, 09:20:36 AM
Thanks for all of the responses. In my case, it\'s not beer but red wine that\'s the preferred \"kick back and relax\" mode of choice, and I do that as often as possible, though it gets a bit expensive.  The focus on the \"micro\" is an excellent thought, and it\'s what I do most of the time. As I think I\'ve said before, I work in individual communities and don\'t try to change the system, which is, in any case, immutable.

It\'s true that with the incompetence of the Bush administration and the massive damage it\'s done to the US reputation and economy, there\'s a lot to be depressed about as well. On the other hand, he\'s got less than a year to go and there\'s at least reason to hope that his successor will be better. Here\'s there\'s no such expectation. In fact, if you look at the \"front runners\" for president in 2010 here, they\'re all from the same small pool of oligarchs that spawned Gloria, which is assurance enough that the same kleptocracy will be perpetuated here in the immediate future.

Anyway, thanks for the positive feedback. It\'s somehow reassuring to know that others too are occasionally experiencing the same sorts of feelings.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on March 22, 2008, 09:42:06 AM
Mike as for the red wine, I have a case of crappy red wine from china you can have cheap, it might not be so bad after a couple of bottles of the good stuff. Its a bit like Gallo red in a cask.

As for the Government here, my asawa is getting tired of me asking her serious questions about the leadership here, why there is not the same type of checks and balances that exist in other democracies like the US. We all know there is pork in all governments, but why the so obvious kickbacks and commissions here are not handled seriously, or is it that everyone on Government here expects them and they are such a normal way of life that to remove them is to liken it to removing the air they breathe.

I don\'t know why some of the things that are done here, government wise and the bidding process and awards etc.. are done that way. It seems that Malacanang has all of the power, even to dismiss a governor of a province. So how is it different to a dictatorship, it looks like Marcos all over again, it just has the face of GMA.

So Mike to engage you in serious discussion and others as well, although we cannot have any input it might help us all understand a little better what the processes are here and how we can influence things at our own level.

I know at the Provincial level, when I first came over here years ago, I had some tourism ideas, made an appointment and just walked in and spoke to the Provincial Government about them. They were very accessible, you could not do that in the US. My point being, is that where a lot of us live, at the provincial level we actually have a lot of access and a lot of influence if we choose to get involved or just choose to make a mark like Fishako.

Wayne
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on March 22, 2008, 09:50:52 AM
Thanks Wayne. I agree, you can (and I do) get involved at the local level. Of course, with some exceptions, the provincial governments are as thoroughly corrupt as the national government, but it is possible to effect some change sometimes at the municipal or barangay level.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: RUFUS on March 22, 2008, 02:09:29 PM
A little wisdom from the 60\'s.....
From \"ten Years After\"

Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity
Tax the rich, feed the poor
Till there are no rich no more

I\'d love to change the world
But I don\'t know what to do
So I\'ll leave it up to you


Population keeps on breeding
Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy
Life is funny, skies are sunny
Bees make honey, who needs money, No none for me

I\'d love to change the world
But I don\'t know what to do
So I\'ll leave it up to you

o yah

World pollution, there\'s no solution
Institution, electrocution
Just black and white, rich or poor
Senators stop the war


I\'d love to change the world
But I don\'t know what to do
So I\'ll leave it up to you
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on March 22, 2008, 04:24:14 PM
Thanks Rufus. As the recently-deceased Kurt Vonnegut said:  \"Still and all, why bother? Here\'s my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.\"
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on March 23, 2008, 11:01:48 AM

I can understand how you feel about your son. When my first wife left me, I insisted that my two daughter, then in their late teens, stay with me, they were my family and I felt responsible for them. However they caused me a lot of problems, and even more when I married Bing two years later. I eventually had to throw them out of the house, they were my children but I had my own life to lead.They are now 38 and 40, and have basically made a mess of there lives. I do phone them occasionally, but I do not feel any guilt.

Colin

As I\'m busy letting go of my current home and shifting to being in my new home, a lot of stuff like that is wanting to come up. I\'m glad to hear your experience Colin since it is so similar to mine. Maybe the fate of my son doesn\'t rest on my shoulders after all. Hmmmm, yes I see. Well good then, I will set out with a lighter heart.

Thanks

Glad that my, sometimes painful, experiences could be of help.

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Mike M. on March 23, 2008, 04:02:44 PM
Hi Mike,

Sorry to check in on this thread so late, we have been on holiday with the fam.  I feel like you do about the value of trying to bring change here.  I try to prop up my own efforts by thinking selfishly about how good it makes me feel and then watching the results of my efforts evaporate like a drop of water in a thristy desert, i start over again, reinvested in the idea of making change.  This seemingly futile recycling of energies that would in the US provide me serious financial help as well as have explicit results along with teams of others has to have some meaning db?  Trouble is, in the US I am aged out of the work force, others who are younger and have better skills and more recent education are pushing the rock up the hill.  So like an aging robot, I continue to pump out the psych evals in a country that doesn\'t recognize psychology.  (I pride myself on writing goals and interventions that are workable here if there was someone to use them). 

I am lonely here, made more so by an increasing recognition of how deeply alien I am.  I have long tired of the nightly drinking and eating with the barcada.  I see more deeply into the Austroasian mind as time passes. The Spanish made a dent in it and brought it the Church, and the Americans brought them Coca Cola and Nike but no doubt about it, this is still an outer world. So, sort of like the mutineers from the Bounty I watch the ship sailing back to the organized world- a Machavailian choice.   

Like the others of my kind writing on this thread, I find its beyond me to find an answer. This is a job I hadn\'t counted on when I came here years ago.  Sand, beautiful women, sunshine and stars was my goal.  Better to look in my cups.  Thanks Mike for having the honesty to make this point, maybe someone who has thought more about it will come along to lead us.

Mike M.   
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: rainymike on March 24, 2008, 12:43:25 PM
Not to sound like the pollyanna here, but perhaps it might be useful to reflect on the changes that the RP has gone through over the last 30 years.

30 years ago, did the RP have personal computers and cell phones and pinays webcamming it up with potential suitors from the West?

30 years ago, did the RP have the 7-11\'s, the McD\'s, the Pizza Huts, the KFC\'s?

30 years ago, did the RP have cable tv and HBO?

30 years ago, did the RP have gangsta rap, and hiphop, and karaoke?

30 years ago, did the RP have the huge modern malls and the huge amount of investment that they require? Not to mention the mass consumption that has to occur to sustain them?

30 years ago, did the RP have so many sweet young things trotting around in blue jeans?

Sure, on an average basis the RP is behind the US in many characteristics. But so many economic and social indicators suggest that progress is occurring.

It took Japan a good 30 years to recover from WWII. And Korea about 30 years to recover from the Korean War. Hot on their heels to modernization is China and some Southeast Asian countries. The last year or so, the RP has been one of the better economic performers in Asia.

Yep, there\'s poverty and bad things in the RP. But in another 30 years, I can only imagine where the RP will be and look forward to living through that change first hand. Poverty and corruption are still likely to be around, but probably on a smaller scale than now.

So my solution to feeling down in the dumps is to take the long view. Why 30 years? Well my parents are 30 years older than me and still kicking, so with any luck, I\'ll have at least 30 years left to watch the changes happen. Of course, it doesn\'t hurt to have a cold san miguel also, but you know I\'m kind of getting sick and tired of listening to the stupid news about the US presidential election, the rise in gas prices, the mortgage crisis, governors and replacement governors up to their ears in hookers and sin ... so maybe we just had a bad day.

Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on March 24, 2008, 12:52:48 PM
I wish I could share your optimism, but national and regional statistics suggest that the problems here are getting worse for most people. Thirty years ago, the Philippines was viewed as the emerging \"tiger economy\" of SE Asia, with the best educational system, the most vibrant economy and one of the highest, if not the highest per capita GDP in the region. Now, it\'s at or near the bottom in virtually all of these categories.

Don\'t confuse the emergence of Internet cafes and McDonalds, and other manifestations of Western consumerism with progress. The fact is that 30 years ago no country had PCs, and McDonalds was in its infancy. More telling statistics such as improvement in personal economic circumstances, improvements in the quality of and access to education, the growth of inward and outward investment, and a weakening reliance on donor funding, are all trending toward the negative here. My prediction is that in 30 years (and probably within less than 10) this country will be at the very bottom of the heap in relation to all of these factors. It\'s almost there now. Vietnam, whose wars and war consequences are far more recent and more severe than those of this country has surpassed the Philippines in all of these respects, as have China, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on March 24, 2008, 02:51:29 PM
Not to sound like a downer here, but there are some serious economic problems here that are not being addressed by the government as if we did not know. With all of this so called increase in the economy there has been an addition 5 million poor added to the list of those who cannot afford to feed themselves.

Rice here in the Philippines is a major economic indicator just like oil in many countries, in the last month, rice has added 8p a kilo or more to its value, pork is becoming out of reach to the average consumer at 170 - 180p a kilo and although we source our oil from Dubai, which is at a much lower price than say Brent crude, well a couple of bucks lower anyway, its all going up. We import the bulk of our diesel from Singapore already refined as there are not sufficient refineries here to cope with domestic demand.

So guys whilst we are feeling bad for and about ourselves and our outlook here, I am in the same boat, considering packing it in and heading back to US or Oz. My problems stem from wanting Filipinos to do as they say they will do instead of what they actually do, its hard to run a business when you can\'t count on suppliers who don\'t turn up, employees who lie as if its normal, and potential employees who want to argue about money before they have been offered a position or the ones who accept a position and just don\'t show up for work period. I want to be able to count on someone who will do as they say, when they say and not have some excuse when the time comes for them to fulfill their word.

In RP today it is the rich getting richer and the poor, where most of the population is are getting a lot poorer. It is my prediction that rice may double from it current price in 3 months, there may be riots and fighting breaking out because of the cost of this staple. When you consider that wheat has trebled in price in 1 year, Australia has lost 50% of its production due to drought and in Asia Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, China and Korea are cutting back on the amounts of rice they export to feed their own economies, RP which imports more rice than any country in the world is on the short end of the stick. The UN predicts it will have to send 1.8 mill tonnes of rice to RP this year alone up from 1.2 Mil tonnes last year. And a recent tender for bid on providing this months order of rice to PI was 550,000 tonnes. The best offer was for 355,000 tonnes so the problem is going to be exacerbated in the coming months. PI is supposed to have a 90 day reserve of Rice, currently its at about 55 days and dropping.

So if you want to do your families a favor, go out now whist the price is still manageable and pick up 200 - 300 kilos before it disappears.

Wayne
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on March 24, 2008, 04:09:11 PM
An excellent analysis Wayne, and while all that you describe is going on, the Government, as part of its perpetual sleight of hand, continues to proclaim the robustness of the economy and to eulogize its own success in managing the economic growth of the country. This is a place, as Wayne implies, that\'s never more than a millimeter from economic and political implosion. The only thing that\'s prevented it\'s collapse to date are:  (1) the inertia of the population most of whom are convinced that things are never getting better; (2) the enormity of the remittances sent by the OFWs, who prop up the foreign reserves; (3) the island geography which precludes the true mass movement of people and (4) the US\'s (and other Western powers\') determination to prop up the regime at all costs.

I like the suggestion of stockpiling rice. Maybe I\'ll try to purchase several sacks as a hedge against future prices rises.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on March 24, 2008, 04:59:57 PM
In Manila at the start of the year the cheapest rice was 22p a kilo, that same rice as of yesterday was 28p a kilo and it is due to increase rapidly. The rice that we purchased for 27 is now 35, and where previously I had seen rice at 40p a kilo it is now over 50p a kilo. It would seem that the more expensive rice is increasing faster a supplies drop in favor of the cheaper rice which is being purchased in higher volume. So for those of you who traditionally purchase rice at 35 - 40p a kilo expect to be paying 50 or more now or in the very near future, for an average family of four, thats an extra 300p a month to find, not much for you and I, but for our average Filipino it will push many over the edge.  >:(

So for our lend a helping hand section maybe the purchase of rice at the moment would be a good investment, as you can extend this to neighbors when times get tougher than they currently are, a kilo or 2 of rice at the right time will be seen as a better handout than some of the things we would like to do, as eating is of a higher priority to most than having somewhere to bathe or use a clean CR, only surpassed with the need to drink water and use it to cook the said rice. Also Noodles and Sardines if you feel so inclined. :D

Well it has happened again, one of prospective new employees has just canceled on us, as they had decided they only wanted to work over the summer and then go back to school, they also wanted fare from the province to here in Manila. When I said I would only pay fare for 12 months work, they dropped out. And 2 potential employees whom we have only spoken to on the phone, from Isabella, decided we should advance them fare, sight unseen and increase their salary, as they thought themselves to be in a negotiating position. I might desperately need them but they will never know that. So the search goes on. Any one got a baseball bat so I can beat myself senseless.

Wayne
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on March 24, 2008, 05:37:28 PM
So for those of you who traditionally purchase rice at 35 - 40p a kilo expect to be paying 50 or more now or in the very near future, for an average family of four, thats an extra 300p a month to find, not much for you and I, but for our average Filipino it will push many over the edge.  >:(



Well it has happened again, one of prospective new employees has just canceled on us, as they had decided they only wanted to work over the summer and then go back to school, they also wanted fare from the province to here in Manila. When I said I would only pay fare for 12 months work, they dropped out. And 2 potential employees whom we have only spoken to on the phone, from Isabella, decided we should advance them fare, sight unseen and increase their salary, as they thought themselves to be in a negotiating position. I might desperately need them but they will never know that. So the search goes on. Any one got a baseball bat so I can beat myself senseless.

Wayne

Wayne,

How do you reconcile the two seemingly opposing statements above? P300 extra may push over the edge but you are unable to get staff to work for P2500 inc board & lodging.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on March 24, 2008, 06:46:22 PM
The 2500p is cash in their pocket, I provide a place for them to live and all of their food every month. I cover all of their expenses whilst they are here, except for medical and what they do on their days off. At the end of 12 months work they are entitled to 2 weeks paid vacation. Depending on their work, I may even include their fare back to their home province.

If you take the average family here, the mother often stays home to raise the children or they are taken care of by Lola if she lives nearby. If not the mother stays home, your average employee pulls in after tax 6000p. In the province it can be even less than that. By the time you add the expense of living somewhere, another 1000 - 1500p, if it is just a room somewhere, so now we are down to 4500 - 5000p subtract another 1500p to feed themselves, 1800p to get to work and back, washing etc, keeping their work clothes looking good and replacing items as required, subtract more for cell phone load and it comes down to less than the 2500p I am offering. After their probation period I will cover their philhealth as well.

If you compare that to the average salary paid to a non-college graduate in the Province or even here in Manila, its often less than that unless you are working for a major company that must report all of its earnings and all of the salaries paid to its employees and their taxes.

So with that said and looking at average daily expenses, if you need to find an extra 300p, where does it come from? Do you take a child out of school, not get purified drinking water and use tap water instead - risking your children\'s health, walk an extra 2km or more in the morning instead of taking a tricycle, not eat at lunch, turn off all of the lights at home and live in the darkness, not shower or bathe to save water?

Most people working for us would send most of the extra money home to their parents or families who need to be looked after, maybe as supplemental income for their pensions. Or if they are married, send money home to their spouse who may not be working.

As Ron can tell you, if you are pulling in 5k a day in revenue, you are making 700 - 800p a day or 24,000 a month. And it can vary on any given day, none of this is fixed guaranteed income. My expenses with electricity for the store, water, fuel for the car to go to the wholesalers, fuel for 2 bikes, payments for 2 bikes, payment for one freezer, salaries for 2 employees who are family, as well as the inevitable losses from spoilage, the occasional rat or mouse in the store. That leaves enough to feed us, and a couple of luxuries, if we close early I take everyone to the movies once a month or a night of Karaoke.

Wayne
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on March 24, 2008, 07:34:09 PM
Wayne,

Maybe I didn\'t phrase my question clearly. The point I was trying to make is why, if the additional P300 a month increase in rice, in your words \"would push many over the edge\" but jobs at a salary of P2,500 inc room & board and you can\'t get any takers. These two things seem to be at odds in that you are offering jobs in a country with insufficient work & where as stated by you P300 may be the difference in having enough food or not.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on March 24, 2008, 08:05:51 PM
Guide note:

The topic started by Steveinvisayas within this thread, is an important subject in its own right. It has been split from this topic & renamed Problems leaving our children & moving to RP. The new thread can be found within this board.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on March 24, 2008, 08:48:06 PM
I think Keith, it has to do with people and I\'ll generalize here as it applies all over the world, that think they are better than the position offered, hence most try to get me to pay better wages, if it paid more there would be more takers. Also the fact that I want a 12 month minimum commitment, locks people in, makes people promise to work for a set period.

But I have also noticed that many people here tend to be oblivious to the changes going on around them, as most don\'t own cars or motorcycles, the price of Petrol does not affect them directly. Its the other price changes that affect them, like an increase in transport charges for a jeepney ride. The price of pork has jumped dramatically, so it is noticed immediately, but as the price of rice goes up a peso or a half peso at a time, it is not as directly noticed, rather I have noticed they they tend to notice the quality of the rice they buy rather than the cost of the rice.

If I could find a way to advertise this position in provincial towns, I would not find any problems acquiring takers, as pay rates there are smaller compared to Metro Manila. Its one of the reasons I was asking others here on the forum, many people in provincial Philippines can go through State High School for almost no money, but have no chances of going further as this costs 1500 - 2000p a month just for schooling and extra costs being higher on top of this.

Honestly Keith I don\'t know the reason I can\'t get any takers, maybe I am advertising in the wrong locations. Not so much here, but in other locations here in our town.

Wayne
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on March 24, 2008, 08:57:01 PM
Wayne,

Good answer. Makes a lot of sense - thanks.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: stillbilly2002 on March 25, 2008, 04:41:06 AM
did notget to post this weekend ...............Colin, your never a pain in the rear ,always keen to hear your opinion..............billy
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on March 25, 2008, 07:07:21 AM
There\'s no real inconsistency in Wayne\'s posts. Many people here display an alarming tendency to act consistently against their self-interest, though I\'ve never figured out why. It seems to me that Filipinos in general, often are able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and to do so time and time again. Whether this is poor impulse control, a total failure to correctly analyze given situations, an inability to plan for even the short-term or plain stupidity is something I\'ve never been able to figure out, but I\'ve witnessed it many times. This tendency seems to prevail more among the uneducated, but not always.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on March 25, 2008, 07:22:51 AM
Michael the behaviour that you describe can be observed in most if not all countries, most recently in developed nations where many people have got themselves so deeply in debt that they will never be able to repay it. \"Poor impulse control, a total failure to correctly analyze given situations, an inability to plan for even the short-term or plain stupidity\"? Who knows, but we\'re all about to pay the price for their actions. I doubt very much that Filipinos can be universally stereotyped any more than Englishmen, Chinese, Jews etc.

It is however true that Scots are mean and Irish are dumb. Scientific fact  ;D.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on March 25, 2008, 10:17:54 AM
It is however true that Scots are mean and Irish are dumb. Scientific fact  ;D.

Ahh Ken lad,

That would explain why is is I have a mean streak through and through, and why I feel so dumb sometimes...

Wayne
Scottish, Irish and Australian Through and Through
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on March 25, 2008, 12:51:42 PM
Michael the behaviour that you describe can be observed in most if not all countries, most recently in developed nations where many people have got themselves so deeply in debt that they will never be able to repay it. \"Poor impulse control, a total failure to correctly analyze given situations, an inability to plan for even the short-term or plain stupidity\"? Who knows, but we\'re all about to pay the price for their actions. I doubt very much that Filipinos can be universally stereotyped any more than Englishmen, Chinese, Jews etc.

It is however true that Scots are mean and Irish are dumb. Scientific fact  ;D.

I agree, but here the difference is quantitative and not qualitative. While the same tendencies doubtless exist in all countries and subcultures, the total inability/unwillingness to think through the consequences of anything, even the most simple action, is more pronounced here than I\'ve seen anywhere outside of Africa.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: rainymike on March 25, 2008, 05:22:11 PM
Don\'t confuse the emergence of Internet cafes and McDonalds, and other manifestations of Western consumerism with progress. The fact is that 30 years ago no country had PCs, and McDonalds was in its infancy. More telling statistics such as improvement in personal economic circumstances, improvements in the quality of and access to education, the growth of inward and outward investment, and a weakening reliance on donor funding, are all trending toward the negative here. My prediction is that in 30 years (and probably within less than 10) this country will be at the very bottom of the heap in relation to all of these factors. It\'s almost there now. Vietnam, whose wars and war consequences are far more recent and more severe than those of this country has surpassed the Philippines in all of these respects, as have China, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
Go back and seriously look at some of the numbers, not just those that you want to see. I see a different story altogether. Whether one likes it or not consumerism is one clear indication of change that is taking place - in terms of discretionary income, infrastructural changes, emergence of a middle class, etc. Granted the wealth has still a long way to go to reach the lowest socio-economic classes, but there are a lot of indicators suggesting that current trends are positive ones.

I guess we\'ll have to disagree. And the stats that I\'m referring to cover a range of economic, social and demographic data that really suggests that the RP is starting to undergo the kinds of changes that preceded growth in other developing countries.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on March 25, 2008, 05:48:28 PM
Mike, I spend my life looking at these numbers, I I guess we\'ll just have to disagree on which ones are important and about what it all means. Admittedly my perspective might be somewhat skewed because of my exclusive focus on Mindanao, the poorest region in the country, but I do get the macro numbers from a lot of different sources. For you, the glass is half full while for me I guess it\'s half empty.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on March 25, 2008, 05:56:51 PM
I think if the numbers are generated in RP they are more than likely false made up to look good, I am on the ground, I don\'t see the changes that the numbers represent. If they were generated by an external organization it might be a different story, but anytime an external organization generates a report be it the approval rating of the President, Extra-Judicial Killings, or the recent mass murder of villagers whilst the army was looking for a kidnapper trader, anything not generated by the RP Government itself is looked upon by outsiders as true and insiders as false because they did not make them up in the first place.

Wayne
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Beatle on March 25, 2008, 09:20:03 PM

I understand how you feel, but as individuals there is little we can do beyond the family and local community. Even as a group, the work that could be done would have little effect on the country as a whole. However, this is not a good reason for not doing it.

                                                                  Collin


     I believe Collin has hit the nail on the head, If any one of us looks at the all of the problems of the whole country, yes, its very overwhelming, but if just one of us looks at a single problem locally that - that one person could change for the better or actually make a permanent change for a long period of time or for good , would give that person a real sense of accomplishment.  one of the reasons why is that he sees it everyday and knows for certain that it got done , not just some rumor.  Now if we all got involved using whatever talent we have ( ie   financial, physical, engineering, appropriations etc..........) we could make a larger change or just make more smaller ones and it would be something to be proud of , because you will have changed lives of others for the better. Now if only this would  catch on thenwe could we see a change in the nation.

                                                                          Ray
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: rainymike on March 26, 2008, 05:29:09 AM
Mike, I spend my life looking at these numbers, I I guess we\'ll just have to disagree on which ones are important and about what it all means. Admittedly my perspective might be somewhat skewed because of my exclusive focus on Mindanao, the poorest region in the country, but I do get the macro numbers from a lot of different sources. For you, the glass is half full while for me I guess it\'s half empty.

Yeah, I think we\'re operating on different assumptions about what good is, because in reality ... lol ... I think the RP glass is only a quarter full. But given my soon to be retirement income, the States is looking less and less desirable for me, I see more potential with a less full glass in the RP than a much fuller glass in the US. But having lived in third world countries and worked in poorer areas in the US, I fully understand that it is really discouraging to look at people who grow up in a culture of poverty. But somehow, over time, the world still moves on and the changes kick in. And yeah, sadly a lot of people fall by the wayside, but hopefully those that do survive will make a different world.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Pidreamer on March 27, 2008, 01:52:13 AM
I am still living here in the States and feel much the same helplessness you feel there. My solace is that I have a loving family in the Philippines that I have had the privilege of helping over the years. Five kids put through college and all but one have gotten decent jobs inside the country. We can only do so much and the the best way is to touch the lives of those who are nearest us. I tell all my extended family if I help you I expect you to help someone else. Wise advice, but not always taken or acted upon but that is the way I live my life. 

All things considered we are much better off than most there and we have the insulation of our dollars, pounds and euros to get us through almost any adversity we might face. So all I can suggest as has been mentioned find something that lets you make a difference even if is a small way. Hey you just might inspire someone else to do the same.

Of course, the occasional a beer or rum and coke won\'t hurt either. I enjoy hearing all of your perspectives.

9 months and 5 days to go.
Frank \'Stephen\' Shemake

Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Beatle on March 27, 2008, 05:52:14 AM
Frank said;
. So all I can suggest as has been mentioned find something that lets you make a difference even if is a small way. Hey you just might inspire someone else to do the same.


                 I couldn\'t have said it better myself!


                                    ray
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: John Amend-All on April 01, 2008, 09:19:03 AM
Great story well told, Jack ;D ;D

Something else that happened to me recently. In a Manila mall food court I had to be different and go for the Japanese sashimi. There was this appetising light green creamy looking sauce which I spread liberally on a prawn. Took one bite and OMG it was the Japanese raddish! Nobody told me and I had to sit still and silent for several minutes till the fire went away. English mustard has absolutely nothing on this so be warned if you have not come across it before.

John
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on May 05, 2008, 02:43:11 AM
I hope it\'s better than Phoenix, AZ in the summertime!
We plan on moving to Zambales soon.

No matter wherever you go, there you are.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Gray Wolf on May 06, 2008, 09:28:17 AM
I hope it\'s better than Phoenix, AZ in the summertime!
We plan on moving to Zambales soon.

No matter wherever you go, there you are.

It\'s nowhere near as hot as AZ in the summertime, but it does get extremely humid, which is another dimension to be aware of. 
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Beatle on May 08, 2008, 10:40:17 PM
  Hey All,
              At this posting there has been 1127 views of this thread, which started as \" This place is starting to get to me \" which also is the highest number of views of any thread on this forum if my searching is correct.
     Why in your opinion is this number so high? is it really getting to people?
 or are others just curious as to why it is getting to someone else  :-\\ :-\\ :-\\

         Ray
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Gray Wolf on May 08, 2008, 11:25:32 PM
  Hey All,
              At this posting there has been 1127 views of this thread, which started as \" This place is starting to get to me \" which also is the highest number of views of any thread on this forum if my searching is correct.
     Why in your opinion is this number so high? is it really getting to people?
 or are others just curious as to why it is getting to someone else  :-\\ :-\\ :-\\

         Ray

My guess would be the latter
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on May 08, 2008, 11:41:17 PM
I think Ray, so many of us have posted here and that we often check back to see what has been said, in support or asking questions ourselves. We all have questions and many have the answers, it just asking the right question to get the right answer.

Wayne
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on May 10, 2008, 10:18:18 AM
Maybe it\'s a function of what I do for a living, or maybe it\'s just a twisted fascination with the empty and meaningless soap opera of politics in this country, but the longer I\'m here, the more contempt I have for the self-serving greed of the political system. On the other hand, I\'m learning to balance the contempt with the happiness I\'ve found here that I probably could not have found in the US: my wife, the lifestyle I\'m able to sustain here; the friends I\'ve made, and the basic kindness of the people all seem to compensate somehow for the craven indifference of the politicians. Of course, it also helps somewhat to realize that as awful as the politicians here are, they pale in comparison with the current administration in the United States and the extensive havoc that it\'s managed to perpetuate both in the states and the rest of the world, in seven short years. At least the damage done by politicians here is limited exclusively to the Philippines.

I guess this means I\'ve attained some sort of personal equilibrium that will let me thrive and remain here, at least for the next few years.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: stillbilly2002 on May 14, 2008, 12:54:20 AM
 8) think id rather have Jack (greywolf) take control then the wolves of Bejing who only look like their smiling at you.............. ;D ;D deba??
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: JT on May 19, 2008, 03:00:06 PM
 A PREFACE: I am a Catholic, did all the things catholics do growing up. Then one day I saw a man about 20 years ago holding hands with another man I thought I recognized from church. As I drew closer I did recognize him as a priest. He did not have on his collar that would have identified him as a man of the cloth. The two men entered a small restaurant and sat in a booth away from view. I went inside and the two were actually kissing. I left the catholic church for 20 years and did not return until my wife, A Filipino, me to return. I had many arguments with her about why the priest no longer wear the sacred collar that would identify them to the public, a sort of uniform like a police officer or pilot etc., that would maybe cut down on some of the things that have transpired over the last decade or so regarding molesting young boys. So I asked one of the priest at my church why he didn\'t wear his collar and he looked at me with awe and said where have you been for the past dozen years. Good answer huh!!!! I continue to go to church because of my wife, and sit through the 20 minute sermon that sounds like preaching to small children. Now my point: Why has the Catholic Church in the Philippines refuse to consider a divorce with a good reason. Why has the church been allowed to influence the political atmsophere of this country. Why hasn\'t the Pope come out against bishops that meddle in the affairs of others ie., burials etc.,  of course its ok to believe in extraterrestial beings, LOL
As one of the poster said earlier, some will disagree with me, but some one said many years ago: \"I shall fight to the death for your right to say it\" Out of here Jim T.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on May 19, 2008, 05:22:39 PM
A PREFACE: I am a Catholic, did all the things catholics do growing up. Then one day I saw a man about 20 years ago holding hands with another man I thought I recognized from church. As I drew closer I did recognize him as a priest. He did not have on his collar that would have identified him as a man of the cloth. The two men entered a small restaurant and sat in a booth away from view. I went inside and the two were actually kissing. I left the catholic church for 20 years and did not return until my wife, A Filipino, me to return. I had many arguments with her about why the priest no longer wear the sacred collar that would identify them to the public, a sort of uniform like a police officer or pilot etc., that would maybe cut down on some of the things that have transpired over the last decade or so regarding molesting young boys. So I asked one of the priest at my church why he didn\'t wear his collar and he looked at me with awe and said where have you been for the past dozen years. Good answer huh!!!! I continue to go to church because of my wife, and sit through the 20 minute sermon that sounds like preaching to small children. Now my point: Why has the Catholic Church in the Philippines refuse to consider a divorce with a good reason. Why has the church been allowed to influence the political atmsophere of this country. Why hasn\'t the Pope come out against bishops that meddle in the affairs of others ie., burials etc.,  of course its ok to believe in extraterrestial beings, LOL


As one of the poster said earlier, some will disagree with me, but some one said many years ago: \"I shall fight to the death for your right to say it\" Out of here Jim T.

Being an atheist, I naturally feel that the church should not have any influence on anything. This is a very emotive subject, and I wonder if this is the right place for such a discussion. Perhaps the moderators should make a ruling on this.

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Gray Wolf on May 19, 2008, 11:01:16 PM
Jim, Colin and all,

As long as we discuss this as adults and don\'t allow the discussion to devolve into flames or accusations, I see no need to \"rule\" on it.  I will say this however.  There is no way we can come up with an answer that will satisfy your questions.  It\'s beyond our capabilities and is not in line with our mission, which is to promote the Philippines.  We\'re not here to promote the Catholic church, or the Baptist church, Methodist church, Church of Christ or any religious order.  So talking about religion in terms of \"fixing\" them is futile.

The Catholic church, right or wrong, has been in existence far longer than any of us.  They have survived for centuries and will continue to survive far past the day we pass on to the afterlife.   Why they do things as they do is beyond our ability to comprehend.  You either accept it or you don\'t.  No one is forcing any of us to believe one way or the other.  It would be equally wrong for any one of us to try to convince someone that the religion they have practiced for their entire life is a farce and deceptive. 

As far as the problems the Catholic church has experienced over the last few years with priests that have been accused, rightfully,  of sexual misconduct, I can tell you firsthand that almost 1000 priests have been removed, mostly from the US.  Will this solve the problem?  No, but it does show that the church takes this seriously and has done and continues to do something about it, even to the point of closing select churches because of a lack of priests.

As far as divorce is concerned, this is simply a matter of laws of each country.  Some countries allow divorce, some don\'t.  It doesn\'t matter to me, because I have no plans to divorce my wife.  Gloria are you reading this?   ;D  Giving people the right to file for divorce would solve no problems that I can see.  If a woman in the Philippines is dissatisfied with her husband, she does have recourse.  She can file for an annulment.  Giving them the right to file for divorce would not be less expensive or less time consuming. 

As far as the church influencing politics, I see no point in discussing this.  If the Catholic church didn\'t exist in the Philippines, does anyone think that the remaining prevailing religion would not concurrently influence the political atmosphere?  Does not Islam influence the political atmosphere of the Muslim nations?  Certainly it does.  If a person wants to live where there is no \"religious\" influence, I fear they would have to live alone in the middle of the desert somewhere, or perhaps immerse themselves in a jungle and live like the animals.  Freedom from religion exists in very few places outside of communist regimes.  Perhaps those people would feel more comfortable in China or Myanmar. 

The bottom line is that the Philippines is primarily a Roman Catholic country.  We all knew this when we married our current wives, probably in a Catholic church, di ba?  That the church has influence in the political arena is inherently predominant, conjecture and debate notwithstanding.  Our purpose here is not to try to change the Republic of the Philippines, but merely to accept what is and make the best of our personal situations.  YMMV, but I can promise you one thing.  If you fret and worry about why things are, it will only cause you personal pain and misery. 

Jack
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: stillbilly2002 on May 19, 2008, 11:07:04 PM
chief greywolf will address this no doubt....ill wait till i see his reply to newbie and Colin....
 before i open my big mouth,,.,....billy2002 :)
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Beatle on May 20, 2008, 06:32:15 AM
A PREFACE: I am a Catholic, did all the things catholics do growing up. Then one day I saw a man about 20 years ago holding hands with another man I thought I recognized from church. As I drew closer I did recognize him as a priest. 

   JT ,
           All men, including priests are sinful, which means they are far from perfect just like the rest of us thats why we need a Savior. So don\'t put your confidence in man but do put it in God because He Loves you

       Ray
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on May 20, 2008, 09:23:06 AM
I don\'t believe anything can be achieved by discussing religion. It is a belief that you either accept or you don\'t. My wife is a Christian and in the very first few letters we exchanged I explained my point of view, and told her that I was happy to accept her opinions providing she accepted mine. It has worked for 20 years without any problems. The only thing that do disagree with is the denial of evolution. How can you weigh a pure belief with absolutely no evidence against a lot of scientific evidence? I think those with a belief in God could find a way around this, but it cannot be dismissed out of hand. It will be interesting to see how this discussion developers, but I suspect it will have to be blocked at some point.

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: GregW on May 20, 2008, 10:47:32 AM
I agree with all of you.   ;D 

Colin is correct though when he questions if this is the right place for this discussion.  I see no good coming out of discussing the advantages/disadvantages of each other\'s faith, or lack of. 

However, I do agree that I would love to see the RP government function independently of any church.  The RCC (Roman Catholic Church) has way too much influence.  My pet peeve is the discouragement of birth control.   >:(

Jack, you\'re right.  We all knew what we were in for when we enlisted.  That said, if you don\'t like the RCC there is always Iglesia Ni Cristo.  Or a mosque.  Don\'t know of any temples in RP but there must be some around.  Or just stay at home on Sunday and watch football.  \'Sup to you.

Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: JT on May 20, 2008, 05:49:48 PM
I apologize for the over the hill remarks about the Catholic church. I will think twice before I publish anything on religion or politics. I live here in the Philippines by choice and I have more good stories than bad ones. Sometimes, I do feel the place is getting to me, but then I look at my ina-anak (Godson) all of 2 years old, and the great nephews and nieces that make my life worth living in my golden years. Of course my sweet wife makes all the difference in my day to day existence. So with that said, thank you all for the responses.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on May 21, 2008, 05:46:40 PM
The first time I was dating with my Hubby here in Belgium & attending parties with his colleagues, they started guessing if Im Chinese, Thai, Singapore, Spain   ::) or South American  :o. Enough people, Philippines does exist.  After  knowing  my nationality the next question was directly, why Philippines is poor, is that mean Filipinos are lazy?  Feeling nervous with my first encounter with a bunch of Aliens & waiting for my response.  I just response a simple line, well that\'s the fact that already existed since I was  born.  There\'s no way I can help the whole Philippines if I can\'t even help the members of  my vast family tree that needs help.  The important things in my life  are family & health .  I better  pay attention to the things that are critical to my happiness, that is  time to someone that I love. But I try to do some small steps to help, that is to love the unlovable, give hope to the hopeless, give friendship to the friendless, and encouragement to the discouraged (this one is dedicated to Hsiao hahahaha! Where are you? say something ha).
 
Ahhh the mystery of life is difficult to solve. I will just try my best to find & think that life is better than I could possibly have foreseen.  To understand life we must face the pleasant & unpleasant ones.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Robm on May 21, 2008, 08:38:28 PM
The first time I was dating with my Hubby here in Belgium & attending parties with his colleagues, they started guessing if Im Chinese, Thai, Singapore, Spain   ::) or South American  :o. Enough people, Philippines does exist.  After  knowing  my nationality the next question was directly, why Philippines is poor, is that mean Filipinos are lazy?  Feeling nervous with my first encounter with a bunch of Aliens & waiting for my response.  I just response a simple line, well that\'s the fact that already existed since I was  born.  There\'s no way I can help the whole Philippines if I can\'t even help the members of  my vast family tree that needs help.  The important things in my life  are family & health .  I better  pay attention to the things that are critical to my happiness, that is  time to someone that I love. But I try to do some small steps to help, that is to love the unlovable, give hope to the hopeless, give friendship to the friendless, and encouragement to the discouraged (this one is dedicated to Hsiao hahahaha! Where are you? say something ha).
 
Ahhh the mystery of life is difficult to solve. I will just try my best to find & think that life is better than I could possibly have foreseen.  To understand life we must face the pleasant & unpleasant ones.


Very well said!!!!

Robm
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on May 26, 2008, 03:15:30 AM
I better  pay attention to the things that are critical to my happiness, that is  time to someone that I love. [/i] But I try to do some small steps to help, that is to love the unlovable, give hope to the hopeless, give friendship to the friendless, and encouragement to the discouraged (this one is dedicated to Hsiao hahahaha! Where are you? say something ha).
 

My pc at home is useless last time.  Need new one na, but too lazy to look for one ha.  But I\'m glad to babysit your son this evening then I can read a little bit here.  Oh I see, that\'s why you have all kinds of friends including the deaf, the blind, & the mute  :).  Is it part of your small steps  :D ?
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on May 27, 2008, 05:00:16 AM
I know you\'re laughing hard describing their physical empairment  :( (yeah, yeah, I know alright!).  Owwss you\'re just jealous  :D that I have complete set of friends who see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil ( they are not Monkeys ha !).  They are wise human beings, and they are more real people compare to your Elitist friends who always have comments about everything even about nothing, just to prove how smart they are.  Sometimes their mouth is faster than their brain ha  :D! But don\'t underestimate the power of a handicap, the blind one (Macy) can type 20 words per minute without mistake.  And Lily she may be deaf but if you try to talk to her you won\'t even notice that she\'s deaf (she can read your lips Inday, just don\'t speak chinese) she\'s pretty good with languages. that is including Deutsch, Dutch, English, French & Spanish  :o.

But they said, they are not handicaps that\'s just their characteristics. But Ego is a handicap.  ::)
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Steve & Myrlita on May 27, 2008, 11:50:25 AM
I know you\'re laughing hard describing their physical empairment  :( (yeah, yeah, I know alright!).  Owwss you\'re just jealous  :D that I have complete set of friends who see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil ( they are not Monkeys ha !).  They are wise human beings, and they are more real people compare to your Elitist friends who always have comments about everything even about nothing, just to prove how smart they are.  Sometimes their mouth is faster than their brain ha  :D! But don\'t underestimate the power of a handicap, the blind one (Macy) can type 20 words per minute without mistake.  And Lily she may be deaf but if you try to talk to her you won\'t even notice that she\'s deaf (she can read your lips Inday, just don\'t speak chinese) she\'s pretty good with languages. that is including Deutsch, Dutch, English, French & Spanish  :o.

But they said, they are not handicaps that\'s just their characteristics. But Ego is a handicap.  ::)
My compliments Marie. Very well spoken, very wise. Rare qualities these days.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Beatle on May 28, 2008, 01:38:51 AM


     Very well put Marie,
                                     I have a sister with downs-syndrome and she is smarter than alot of people who are quote \"normal\".   One aspect of her life is that she loves unconditionally, she will shake hands or hug someone who you and I may think is unlovely. Amy went to a school with other kids with Downs and I have had the chance to meet most of them. Just about every one of them would do the same thing, they never prejudge any one and if anyone says anything that hurts their feelings they don\'t get mad they just stay away from that person. I believe God gave us these precious gifts to learn from, on how we all should treat each other.

               Ray
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on May 28, 2008, 04:35:14 AM
Daghang salamat guys!

Right, that\'s why Ray, I think they are more real friends ( well, except Hsiao  ;D, she\'s real, she\'s 3x a lady :D).
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on May 29, 2008, 09:02:52 PM
I know you\'re laughing hard describing their physical empairment  :( (yeah, yeah, I know alright!).  Owwss you\'re just jealous  :D that I have complete set of friends who see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil ( they are not Monkeys ha !).  They are wise human beings, and they are more real people compare to your Elitist friends who always have comments about everything even about nothing, just to prove how smart they are.  Sometimes their mouth is faster than their brain ha  :D! But don\'t underestimate the power of a handicap, the blind one (Macy) can type 20 words per minute without mistake.  And Lily she may be deaf but if you try to talk to her you won\'t even notice that she\'s deaf (she can read your lips Inday, just don\'t speak chinese) she\'s pretty good with languages. that is including Deutsch, Dutch, English, French & Spanish  :o.

But they said, they are not handicaps that\'s just their characteristics. But Ego is a handicap.  ::)

You really know me well Inday :-[  :).  Surprised to know the languages that Lily spoken.  But I saw her the other week in the Black Market in Tessenderlo.  She said, it\'s been a months she don\'t have contact with you as they are busy travelling and helping other handicaps.  I guess she also speaks Italian, he was with an cute Italian guy  :D that day and they are communicating with his language  :o.

You\'re right about my friends though.  Sometimes your tears started to fall down before they know they hurt somebody\'s feelings  :-[  >:(.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on May 30, 2008, 01:15:25 AM
Oh ja! Her bf is Italian super cute nho  ;D  :D!

 :o What tears? Don\'t be ridiculous!  Well, if you really did cry for them, don\'t do that again.  The guys are pretty cool, they enjoy your presence & respects you.  But I think the girls are very jealous of you, especially the one that looks like a thumbtack  :-X  ;D.  So be careful  :( don\'t tell a secret, they surely can\'t keep a secret I SWEAR!  Anyway, enough about that we\'re out of topic nha!  Bon Voyage!
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on June 01, 2008, 11:03:37 PM
Oh ja! Her bf is Italian super cute nho  ;D  :D!

 :o What tears? Don\'t be ridiculous!  Well, if you really did cry for them, don\'t do that again.  The guys are pretty cool, they enjoy your presence & respects you.  But I think the girls are very jealous of you, especially the one that looks like a thumbtack  :-X  ;D.  So be careful  :( don\'t tell a secret, they surely can\'t keep a secret I SWEAR!  Anyway, enough about that we\'re out of topic nha!  Bon Voyage!

Ok Mrie thanks.  As you\'ve said it\'s my game it\'s my card to play.  But sometimes I really need to see your card then I can check which card I will throw first  ;)  :).
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: sba@era on June 18, 2008, 08:17:02 AM
Hi everyone, this is my first post(on any forum)

I just feel that the subject is to important to let go on without a comment. The diversity of comments and statements make great reading and demonstrate the makeup of this forum\'s population. It\'s very healthy to be able to talk about it.


I am not living in PI (next year I hope) so I cannot comment on how it is there, but I did live in the USA for a few years and I felt I could relate to a lot of the comments made about the Philippines. Now I am a lot older I can see we have many of the same in Aussie......and its getting worse by the day.
So no matter where you come from or what background you have, I don\'t think societies problems are too different, it\'s all a matter of perspective.....the retired \"Golfer\" living in a gated community or the \"Family\" man living in the Provence\'s, we all see things differently.

THE IMPORTANT THING IS ALL YOU GUYS ARE TALKING ABOUT IT AND  THAT IS GOOOOOOD.

For my comment on what I see.....the comments on locals returning back home, and demanding changers, seem to hit the mark. We must remember that it is their country.
Cheers to All
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on June 18, 2008, 10:50:24 AM
Hi everyone, this is my first post(on any forum)

I just feel that the subject is to important to let go on without a comment. The diversity of comments and statements make great reading and demonstrate the makeup of this forum\'s population. It\'s very healthy to be able to talk about it.


I am not living in PI (next year I hope) so I cannot comment on how it is there, but I did live in the USA for a few years and I felt I could relate to a lot of the comments made about the Philippines. Now I am a lot older I can see we have many of the same in Aussie......and its getting worse by the day.
So no matter where you come from or what background you have, I don\'t think societies problems are too different, it\'s all a matter of perspective.....the retired \"Golfer\" living in a gated community or the \"Family\" man living in the Provence\'s, we all see things differently.

THE IMPORTANT THING IS ALL YOU GUYS ARE TALKING ABOUT IT AND  THAT IS GOOOOOOD.

For my comment on what I see.....the comments on locals returning back home, and demanding changers, seem to hit the mark. We must remember that it is their country.
Cheers to All


I think all of us would like to see changes, but ones that would benifit the Filipino People

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on June 18, 2008, 06:37:25 PM
Meaningful change here, if it ever occurs, will, I think take a long time. Part of the problem is that the country is comprised of 7,400 islands, each with its own culture, so unified action of any kind is difficult to achieve. This is compounded by the fact that, at least here in Mindanao, a feudal culture has existed for so long, that a single individual really can control tens of thousands of votes and voter\'s actions. There\'s no tradition whatsoever of accountability and the justice system is a joke. I think that change on a national level, given such circumstances, is not feasible in the immediate future.

What is possible though, and what is happening in some places, is gradual change at the local level. The problem is that since elected political office is virtually hereditary, the possibility of change depends on the commitment of whoever is getting elected from the ruling family, so it\'s very much a hit or miss proposition since electoral reform is not about to occur any time soon.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: fancydelancey on June 20, 2008, 01:29:04 PM
hi there.my name is kenneth delancey.i am 53 years young and i can\'t bear living in california.i hate the town that i live in and basically i am one unhappy american.the economy stinks,gas is 4.60 a gallon and the other day i payed $1.17 for a single tommatoe in the grocery.on top of all these things im in a rotten marriage and my business is failing.i was in the navy back in the 70\'s and spent some time in the philippines.i liked it very much.i have approx 60,000 and i am seriously considering divorcing my wife and moving to the phillipines.actually i will probably spend some time here in the us as well.i just don\'t think i can go on like this.i have that money now but the way the economy is right now im afraid i am going down in flames here.my wife will probably give me the boot then anyway.i know that 60,000 is not much but i am only 7 years away from a ss check for 800.00 per mo.and things are dirt cheap there.do you think i am being realistic or not i would really really appreciate any advice from those of you already living there.is it to dangerous to come over there right now due to terrorism.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: BenK on June 20, 2008, 03:07:02 PM
hi there.my name is kenneth delancey.i am 53 years young and i can\'t bear living in california.i hate the town that i live in and basically i am one unhappy american.the economy stinks,gas is 4.60 a gallon and the other day i payed $1.17 for a single tommatoe in the grocery.on top of all these things im in a rotten marriage and my business is failing.i was in the navy back in the 70\'s and spent some time in the philippines.i liked it very much.i have approx 60,000 and i am seriously considering divorcing my wife and moving to the phillipines.actually i will probably spend some time here in the us as well.i just don\'t think i can go on like this.i have that money now but the way the economy is right now im afraid i am going down in flames here.my wife will probably give me the boot then anyway.i know that 60,000 is not much but i am only 7 years away from a ss check for 800.00 per mo.and things are dirt cheap there.do you think i am being realistic or not i would really really appreciate any advice from those of you already living there.is it to dangerous to come over there right now due to terrorism.

One of these other threads seems to be the advice column but since you asked a question pertinent to current events (no matter how ridiculous those seem to have become), I\'ll make a quick comment: whatever you hear about terrorism in the RP in the states is seriously exaggerated. That is not something you need to worry about at all, unless you\'re absolutely determined to go live on Jolo or Basilan, in which case you\'d be in big trouble. Philippine terrorism was overstated before I left the states five years ago, and since you brought it up, it sounds like it still is. As for the rest, well...knowing these guys, that will probably be a lively discussion topic later.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on June 20, 2008, 03:24:52 PM
If you divorce your wife, the 60 will become 30. First thing to consider, but you will have to sell the house so you may make something back there. Figure with renting a place you will burn through $1000 USD a month, some do it on less like myself and others require more, if you like to golf and socialize figure spending more.

So 60 would get you 12 yrs, if you don\'t buy anything major like a car etc, and if invested wisely could add to your available funds here. If you are here by yourself, you will be needing a tourist visa to be renewed every couple of months and its associated costs, and every 2 years flying out of the country so you can come back, renewing your eligibility to stay here. So you need to add that to your projections, also add in the fact that health care has to be paid from your own pocket, there is some insurance available, but not alot, you can search the forum for that info.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on June 20, 2008, 03:36:01 PM
If you haven\'t been here for over 30 years it could be a good idea to come over here for a holiday first. Not only has the Philippines changed in that time , but also your outlook. If your are in a bad situation, it is very easy to see anywhere else as good. Remember the saying, \'the grass is always greener over the other side of the fence\'. A lot of us like it here, but as Jack would say \'it is not for everyone\'.

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Gray Wolf on June 21, 2008, 02:29:49 AM
Ken,

Most likely the biggest problem you\'ll encounter is selling your house in the US.   ;D  I\'m sure that when you divorce your present wife, she\'ll make you pay, one way or another.   :(

Colin\'s advice to visit first is very sound.  Many things have changed since you last spent time in the RP.  But many things are also the same, if not better. 

Wayne\'s advice about your finances is also very sound.  Look for a place to stay, like a pension house, where you can live temporarily while looking for a place to rent.  You can\'t own land in the RP.

I understand your feelings and share many of them.  I wish I could move today, but must wait while my present wife, a Filipina, finishes her \"projects\", gains her US Citizenship and becomes eligible for her pension plan.  We\'ll relocate in about 4 years.

Your idea to move to the RP is a good one, as long as you keep in mind the things we advise you on.  Read everything on this forum that you can about visas, laws pertaining to foreigners and other subjects that will apply to you.  You\'ll find this group is very helpful but we won\'t blow smoke up your skirt.  We\'ll tell it like it is.  Take what we say to heart and you\'re transition to the islands will be far less painful.

Good luck, buddy!
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: GregW on June 22, 2008, 10:46:07 AM
My two centavos.  $60K is not near enough.  Personally I couldn\'t see anybody moving to RP without at least $150K plus a pension.  I figure I\'ll need $300K and am worried that won\'t be enough.  I would have $150K in mutual funds to supplement my social security and $150K for purchase of land (in my wife\'s name of course) and the building and furnishing of a house.  I\'m tempted to wait unitl I have a little more.  Lord willing, I\'ll make it in a couple more years.  If not, I continue working here until I can have what I think I need. 

Stay in the US and work a few more years and save, save, save.  Maybe put that $60K in some nice mutual funds so it can grow while you work and save more.


Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on June 22, 2008, 11:17:16 AM
My two centavos.  $60K is not near enough.  Personally I couldn\'t see anybody moving to RP without at least $150K plus a pension.  I figure I\'ll need $300K and am worried that won\'t be enough.  I would have $150K in mutual funds to supplement my social security and $150K for purchase of land (in my wife\'s name of course) and the building and furnishing of a house.  I\'m tempted to wait unitl I have a little more.  Lord willing, I\'ll make it in a couple more years.  If not, I continue working here until I can have what I think I need. 

Stay in the US and work a few more years and save, save, save.  Maybe put that $60K in some nice mutual funds so it can grow while you work and save more.




It sounds like you have got a good plan Greg. $150k should give you a nice place, and once you have settled in it should not cost you too much to live here.

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on June 22, 2008, 12:39:09 PM
I agree that $60k is not nearly enough to be at all secure here, especially with the galloping inflation and the increases in food and oil prices. However, I\'m not sure that investing $150k in real estate--or for that matter investing anything in real estate--is really a good thing to do with your money. There\'s so little here in the way of resale information, and, at least where I live, such a turgid real estate market that it\'s tough to get accurate valuations. You might be better off just investing the $150k and renting for a while until you get a real sense of the market.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on June 22, 2008, 01:28:40 PM
I agree that $60k is not nearly enough to be at all secure here, especially with the galloping inflation and the increases in food and oil prices. However, I\'m not sure that investing $150k in real estate--or for that matter investing anything in real estate--is really a good thing to do with your money. There\'s so little here in the way of resale information, and, at least where I live, such a turgid real estate market that it\'s tough to get accurate valuations. You might be better off just investing the $150k and renting for a while until you get a real sense of the market.

I would recommend renting for at least 1 year and spend a lot of time looking around the area that interests you. That way you will get a real feel for the values of the properties.

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: dan tucker on June 23, 2008, 01:15:58 AM
  I am new to this forum and noticed your entry right away. I spent two and a half years in the Philippines in the mid sixties and shared your feeling at times back then. When we went out through the gate at Clark we would be met by begging children and general poverty. I felt like you after a while and just wanted to get out of there.
  On the last two trips I did not feel put off as much since in my maturity I realize that all I can do is give out five peso coins and realize that I did not bring this on the people and that the cause is beyond my control.
   If you can not handle it and your feelings do not change in time, I would say you might consider moving. The US is starting to have it\'s problems, however. The cost of living is going higher as we speak. Raising commodity prices, mid west flooding and energy prices are making life rough, here.
   Take care of yourself and your family first and realize your limitations. I hope that will help, anyway.

Dan Tucker
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: GregW on June 24, 2008, 10:54:12 AM
Michael 16136 wrote;
Quote
  You might be better off just investing the $150k and renting for a while until you get a real sense of the market. 

That $150K is for all household expenses.  We (ok, my asawa) already own a lot.  Might sell that though and buy elsewhere when we move.  We\'ll see.  Anyway, that $150K is to build a house, furnish it, buy my wife the car she wants  ::), buy me a multicab  :(  or a scooter and provide a supplement to our first year income.  There will be another $150K that will remain invested here in the US to supplement my social security.  This all, of course, is Lord willing and the creek don\'t rise.

Colin wrote;
Quote
I would recommend renting for at least 1 year and spend a lot of time looking around the area that interests you. 

Ah yes, renting.  That my good friend is exactly my plan.  Although we already have a lot on Mactan Island, Cebu I think we\'re now leaning towards Talisay City, Cebu.  Yes, plan is to rent until we\'re satisfied with what we want.  She wants down by the beach.  I want up in the hills for cooler breezes.  Oy vey!   ;D

Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on June 24, 2008, 11:02:22 AM

Colin wrote;
Quote
I would recommend renting for at least 1 year and spend a lot of time looking around the area that interests you. 

Ah yes, renting.  That my good friend is exactly my plan.  Although we already have a lot on Mactan Island, Cebu I think we\'re now leaning towards Talisay City, Cebu.  Yes, plan is to rent until we\'re satisfied with what we want.  She wants down by the beach.  I want up in the hills for cooler breezes.  Oy vey!   ;D



We were thinking of a beach lot, but found that NikNiks (sandflies) could be a problem in some locations and at some parts of the year. They do not seem to bother the locals but did not make me too happy  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: jryals on June 24, 2008, 12:22:34 PM
I know what you mean the wife wants in Naga one day then the next week its Cavita so I,m not planing on anything other than waiting till the day we both say \" Thats the one, that place right there is our heaven\" till then I,ll just smile and say yes dear.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: GregW on June 25, 2008, 11:05:44 AM
jryals wrote;
Quote
  till then I,ll just smile and say yes dear

Smart man.  I see a bright and happy future for you and the missus.   ;D ;D ;D  LOL
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on June 30, 2008, 01:38:00 PM
Michael,

The real difference is the openness here at all levels rather than the secretive tactics in other countries.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: steveinvisayas on July 14, 2008, 11:55:09 AM
I know the original thread was referring to the Philippines getting to me but I haven’t been here long enough to claim that. I know back in the 60s before my family moved to California Manila was starting to get to me, the then 18 year old Steve. Mainly because any city, anywhere starts to get to me. See, it’s not the culture of the particular country it’s the population density and what it does to people and to me. Not good, my opinion. Higher crime rates, pollution, abusive noise levels, the innocent getting slaughtered as we know. This is as true in the one city I did live in for many years, Sacramento, as anywhere else, here or there. I thought it was kind of cute when my father slipped the traffic cop P20 and then had to up it to P30 when the cop complained, ha.  In those days a peso was about 30 cents. Maybe it wasn’t so cute when he had to bring the suitcase full of money to the government office for some transgression as reported (spitefully) by good old Mom. He made it sound normal and I believed him, still do truthfully. I’m glad he did it as it served to prolong our stay in the Philippines for a few years.

Most recently the United States was starting to get to me. True I recently got divorced over there but my situation was very good in most ways: good job (ok a little stressful in public mental health), nice house and cars in a small, safe town, regular vacations, beautiful area in coastal northern California, friends, plenty of money due to a workaholic wife, ha. I got a settlement before real estate cratered (ongoing sadly) so I was sitting on a nice chunk. I agree the political and economic systems are cynically corrupting away over there. The economy and currency are heading for a big tank and it’s all the logical result of individual, corporate and governmental greed and sickening stupidity. It was really getting to me! And I had my youth to remember in Mindanao and the means to come over for a visit, which I did last fall. Loved it here, met somebody and hastened my plans to return soon. I connected with this group and some of the folks here offered practical help and all were encouraging, supportive.

Now I’m here and I have zero plans to gripe about this country or to try to reform any of it. I had my fill of that with 15 years in social services! Efforts at reforming others, brutally hard work. Maybe I can help a few here or there and I do respect those who work to reform certain aspects of the country. There is nowhere I’d rather be than right here. With my baby and the kids, riding our bicycles and taking jeepneys. We go to Cagayan once a month for shopping and mainly immigration. I’m not having to be anybody, being an Americano is enough. The kids say I’m half pinoy which is pretty true. This month we’re going to live in our budget of $1000, earlier there were a lot of one time set up costs and transportation, shipping. We are renting a nice 4 bedroom for $200 / P8000 per month. It’s for sale for 2 million pesos and they will take payments. We’ll see, no rush. I don’t see real estate going up anywhere these days.

My few friends in California are writing less and less and I don’t care anymore. Fortunately I connected with some of you in this good place. It’s as important to me now as it was before I moved over, maybe more so. Thanks for being there!

Steve
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: GregW on July 15, 2008, 10:27:59 AM
Hi Steve.

Good to see you posting again.  Sounds like you\'re enjoying your life on the big island.   :) 

Please keep us informed as to how your assimilation goes.  I, for one, am interested in hearing of your accomplishments as well as any frustrations you encounter.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: stillbilly2002 on July 16, 2008, 01:59:05 AM
 ;D good job ,reforming and griping, i have no plans for that either. stillbilly-san
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Evan on July 17, 2008, 04:51:09 AM
Hi.long time no posted, but allays here!. What a success this topic!. It seems to me that any topic \"right from the heart\" is met with a great interest  in this forum. I posted a similar one about your wives if they wanted to stay in the PI or move to your respective countries. Many replies and right from the heart stories. I admire many of you still hanging in there, I gave up after 5 years, This place really was starting to get me! I paid the high price of getting out, with a wife not speaking the language (French) with two children 12 and 9 the same, and me 60! With very little money after Invested more than 100K us Dollars! with a dream house sitting in Panglao and now don\'t know what to do with!
If I understand every one of you, I can also see that the main reason of going there is financial. There is no way you can survive in the US or in Europe with 800 or 1000 US dollars. But the problem is, pretty soon you won\'t in the PI either!... You already feel the crunch by the exchange rate and an inflation third world level. Let\'s be honest to admit, that if you had another alternative, all of you will desert the country as fast and in numbers as Filipinos exit the country.I knew many foreigners in Bohol they wanted to get out, and we are talking here in good times, when the dollar was rated 50 to 55, when the gasoline was 25 a liter, we are talking year 2003, not long ago, many  felt trapped, they invested all their life savings, with no exaggeration, many they couldn\'t afford a plane ticket for them and their family to live. For those fortunate coming from Europe, even arriving with just their belongings in a few boxes, the generous welfare system will take care of them and their family. Others, especially US citizens, be ready for a homeless life style. Sorry of being so pessimistic, there is much more I should say, but that\'s enough cents for today
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on July 17, 2008, 06:50:54 AM
Hi.long time no posted, but allays here!. What a success this topic!. It seems to me that any topic \"right from the heart\" is met with a great interest  in this forum. I posted a similar one about your wives if they wanted to stay in the PI or move to your respective countries. Many replies and right from the heart stories. I admire many of you still hanging in there, I gave up after 5 years, This place really was starting to get me! I paid the high price of getting out, with a wife not speaking the language (French) with two children 12 and 9 the same, and me 60! With very little money after Invested more than 100K us Dollars! with a dream house sitting in Panglao and now don\'t know what to do with!
If I understand every one of you, I can also see that the main reason of going there is financial. There is no way you can survive in the US or in Europe with 800 or 1000 US dollars. But the problem is, pretty soon you won\'t in the PI either!... You already feel the crunch by the exchange rate and an inflation third world level. Let\'s be honest to admit, that if you had another alternative, all of you will desert the country as fast and in numbers as Filipinos exit the country.I knew many foreigners in Bohol they wanted to get out, and we are talking here in good times, when the dollar was rated 50 to 55, when the gasoline was 25 a liter, we are talking year 2003, not long ago, many  felt trapped, they invested all their life savings, with no exaggeration, many they couldn\'t afford a plane ticket for them and their family to live. For those fortunate coming from Europe, even arriving with just their belongings in a few boxes, the generous welfare system will take care of them and their family. Others, especially US citizens, be ready for a homeless life style. Sorry of being so pessimistic, there is much more I should say, but that\'s enough cents for today

Your post is exactly the reason why I dislike the idea of promoting the Philippines and describing it as a paradise. However I disagree with your view that the Philippines is a bad place to live. I am now in the process of selling my house in the UK to be able to build my dream home here. The exchange rate did drop, but it seems to be recovering now, and does the increasing cost of living here really make a difference to foreigners with an income from abroad. Even the doubling of the cost of rice can, at the most, only add a few pesos to the cost of a meal. In my view it is a mistake for anyone to move here without a reasonable external income.

The other point you also need to consider is the rising cost of living in your home country.

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Gray Wolf on July 17, 2008, 06:57:01 AM
Good luck in France, Evan!  Oh, and the language thing?  You\'d better start learning Farsi, or you\'ll be the one not knowing the language.   ;D ;D
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on July 17, 2008, 07:52:48 AM
Evan wrote:
Quote
Let\'s be honest to admit, that if you had another alternative, all of you will desert the country as fast and in numbers as Filipinos exit the country.

Evan,

Not this Brit! If I had a nice house & double my income, I still would not return. I and many I know will never leave here. They are right where they want to be. As for the exchange. The GBP went from 100 down to 80 but it is back to 91. It is called fluctuations in the market & is nothing new.

Perhaps in your next post, instead of talking about your views about what we think you could tell us why you gave up. You make it sound like it was a 5 year struggle that finally beat you, so you grabbed everything, family & all and fled the country, leaving all you owned behind. What was so bad? What was so unbareable? What if anything could you have done different so you would have been as happy here as my asawa & I.

If it is because of your kids bullying, as I said before:
Quote
Evan,

I believe children get teased & bullied in EVERY country especially if they are different. You said yourself she was \'tall for her age\' but being different isn\'t itself a guarantee of bullying. A neighbour here is African & his 2 boys are always leading pinoy kids in games. Also a Norwegian friend in Cebu has 2 teenage girls who definitely do not want to leave their group of filipina/o friends.

If so, then I feel for you as a father but this is not the countries fault. Bullying can & does happen in every country.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Gray Wolf on July 17, 2008, 09:18:46 AM
Evan wrote:
Quote
Let\'s be honest to admit, that if you had another alternative, all of you will desert the country as fast and in numbers as Filipinos exit the country.

Evan,

Not this Brit! If I had a nice house & double my income, I still would not return. I and many I know will never leave here. They are right where they want to be. As for the exchange. The GBP went from 100 down to 80 but it is back to 91. It is called fluctuations in the market & is nothing new.

Perhaps in your next post, instead of talking about your views about what we think you could tell us why you gave up. You make it sound like it was a 5 year struggle that finally beat you, so you grabbed everything, family & all and fled the country, leaving all you owned behind. What was so bad? What was so unbareable? What if anything could you have done different so you would have been as happy here as my asawa & I.

If it is because of your kids bullying, as I said before:
Quote
Evan,

I believe children get teased & bullied in EVERY country especially if they are different. You said yourself she was \'tall for her age\' but being different isn\'t itself a guarantee of bullying. A neighbour here is African & his 2 boys are always leading pinoy kids in games. Also a Norwegian friend in Cebu has 2 teenage girls who definitely do not want to leave their group of filipina/o friends.

If so, then I feel for you as a father but this is not the countries fault. Bullying can & does happen in every country.

It\'s gotten so bad in the US public schools, they\'ve coined a new word, \"Bullycide\".  And Yes, I do mean that kids feel so bullied they commit suicide.  Believe it.

I, too, would like to hear what made you leave Evan.  I for one would give my left testicle to be able to leave the US right now and move anywhere near my family in the RP.  I\'ll take the exchange rate any day over the expensive life I\'m forced to live here.  I live in Kentucky which has one of the lowest cost of living rates in the US ( number 48 out of 50 ) and it\'s still a daily struggle to get by.   
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on July 17, 2008, 11:04:33 AM
Surely it is, and will always be, about achieving some sort of balance between the things you really like about the country and the things that just eat away at you. For me, there are lots of items in both categories. Of course, my situation is different than that of most people on this forum in that my job is here and if I left, I would have to find alternative employment. Having been here for five years, and looking at the prospect of another five, I\'m not sure I want to stay here beyond that, simply because I think--from the standpoint of improving quality of life--the place is pretty hopeless for the average Filipino. I fully understand that when the balance shifts too much into the negative sphere, it\'s time to pack up and go
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Evan on July 17, 2008, 03:57:44 PM
If it was just a matter of kids in the school  could remediate and leave with that. You probably referring to another of my post about a foreigner who left Bohol because his tall girl was teased all the time. That wasn’t my child . From my two children in school only one complained but not to the point of  making the main reason of leaving.

I arrived in the Philippines at the age of 55, with savings but no income coming from abroad, having to wait at least until 60 to get the French portion of my retirement.
I built a 350 sq meters living space in a 3000 sq meters land  under the palms  and securely fenced but no offensive to the locals who hates “prison like fences” as they call them in my neighborhood.  My wife been a passionate gardener and nature lover  landscaped it at her taste. But no matter how big the fence and covered with beautiful bombelias  I could still see through the kids passing by skinny, malnourished, walking 30 minutes distance to the school wearing at best a pair of chinilas ready to give up and no sure to be replaced by a 30 pesos new one. I have never been able to be used to that. It’s just a matter of  sensibility  .

I have been involved in business, doing community service in a couple of International organizations working in the “inner part of the island”, make it the jungle, working with officials and foreigners “missionaries” to realize only one thing: The country is not only corrupted to the political level as we all know, but in all levels from bottom to the top, from this elementary school teacher asking 120 pesos from each kid for “a project” another 120 to repair the curtains of the classroom that the previous year the kids’ parents in the same class paid already, from this guy working in the LTO giving him 500 pesos your car  “no technical control  needed  for registration renewal” to the one who asks 2000 “for faster processing” your land title  papers, refusing, not only will not “go faster” they will never be processed! There will always be missing a paper! As for those foreigners missionaries, philanthropists, “trying to resolve their problems” think again on their integrity and attentions. These are only a few examples, the most…innocents.  I would go on and on forever.  “The place Is starting to get to me” Is just a matter  of sensibility.
How about hospitals and doctors? Oh well, you are in good health and not your problem yet, but it has been mine and one of my children. And  that big Assawa’s  family where everyone needs money for studies and hospital? It breaks your heart but you have to say No!
I better get out of there! Is not for me! For those without children, who have been able to settle once and for ever the desperation of Assawa’s family, those who are able to live in a total abstraction of every day’s reality and inconvenience, those who really want a quite style of life but not afraid to get bored, then, welcome to the county.
But please, start with one foot only, no need to give your left testicle,  no container, just suitcases, see if is for you and go from there.

I hope I answered to your request of explaining what you wanted to hear: Why I left. But did you really read something you didn’t already know about the country? I’m not sure. The point here is : Is or isn’t this place starting to get to you? As for the Wolf’s quote “You make it sound like it was a 5 year struggle that finally beat you”, that’s exactly what it is! Once again, I struggled to accept this reality and failed. I enjoy it better coming every year for 2 months only and go, just on time before the place.....
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on July 17, 2008, 05:11:31 PM
Evan,

Thanks for your candid reply. You are most certainly correct in that the Philippines is not for everyone but neither is France (i\'m English  ::) ) or UK or US etc.

You wrote:
Quote
those who really want a quite style of life but not afraid to get bored, then, welcome to the county.
But please, start with one foot only, no need to give your left testicle,  no container, just suitcases, see if is for you and go from there.

I totally agree, certainly about testing the water 1st. We all generally agree that renting 1st for a year is the best plan unless you are absolutely sure you have the right place to settle. My asawa is from Naga, Cebu & we both changed our minds about settling there & chose Laguna, Luzon instead.

I think so much about what you said comes down to your location clearly being wrong for you. Few of your comments apply to where I live. That is not to say I don\'t think it happens, I know it does but not everywhere or to everyone. It seems you would have been better looking around for the right location before leaving the country but I think by then you had already decided the whole country was like your town. To a degree, I think you confirmed your wrong location choice with my quote (not graywolf)
Quote
You make it sound like it was a 5 year struggle that finally beat you”, that’s exactly what it is! Once again, I struggled to accept this reality and failed.

Perhaps you shouldn\'t have fought so long & accepted the mistake earlier & relocated to a different part of the RP. Your story could have been so different

I am glad that you are not so turned off the Philippines & are able to still enjoy it 2 months at a time. Perhaps one day you will find somewhere here again but until then I hope you find what you are looking for in France.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on July 17, 2008, 08:31:43 PM
What Evan described is exactly what eats at me much of the time. I too work in development and I too see the small communities where the daily struggle and, in most cases, utter hopelessness of life makes folks old by the time they hit 30. I too cope with the consequence of unending, entrenched, institutionalized corruption and unbridled greed every day, and I understand why and how the despair can ultimately cause someone to leave. I\'m not French, but I\'ve lived for years and years in Paris and consider it my home city, and there\'s not a day that I do not miss the culture, the food and the people.  I also miss the language, and there\'s very little that one can do to compensate for that. Having said all of that however, I\'m not quite at the point of making a firm decision to leave the place because, at least so far, the things that I enjoy about my work, my friends, the country and the people (slightly) outweigh the negatives. When and if the balance tilts toward the other side however, I\'ll go and, as I did when I left Africa for many of the same reasons, I won\'t look back.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: BenK on July 18, 2008, 01:55:27 AM
I\'ve moved around a lot in my life, but it wasn\'t until I came here that I realized that having a reason to go somewhere works out for me, but that finding a reason to leave a place almost certainly will not work out. That\'s just me. I had a very good reason to come here. I have not yet been given a reason to go somewhere else. Until that happens, I will be content to compartmentalize my life here -- there are times to fret over some really atrocious and unacceptable conditions (which, having lived in or spent considerable amounts of time in three distinctly different areas of the country, are pretty general, sorry to say), and then there are times to enjoy what is really a pretty nice situation for me personally, and some new experiences I\'d be sorry I missed. And in the meantime, for my wife and children\'s sake, I can hopefully make some positive contribution to this country. 
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Evan on July 18, 2008, 06:45:27 AM
Quote
. And in the meantime, for my wife and children\'s sake, I can hopefully make some positive contribution to this country. 

I\'m really interested to read what this positive contribution to the country might be....
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on July 18, 2008, 07:15:33 AM
Quote
. And in the meantime, for my wife and children\'s sake, I can hopefully make some positive contribution to this country. 

I\'m really interested to read what this positive contribution to the country might be....

Evan,

Don\'t we all make a positive contribution in our own small way by spending our money here? I know the worker who did a quick job for me & got P200 (half a days pay for a 30 min job) thought so. We can\'t change the overall wrongs of the country just like you can\'t change the reason for the immigrant youth riots in France. If we can influence one persons life for the better, isn\'t it worth it?
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on July 18, 2008, 11:35:42 AM
I have been discussing the entries in this thread with Bing and thought I would post our combined views on the subject.

When we lived in the UK, Bing went to work to send money to her family. I had been retired for a number of years, but had to drive her back and forward to work. Because she finished at 4 pm it made it difficult to go out for the day to be certain of being home on time to collect her. We had spent several periods of 4-6 months in the Philippines and I looked on it as my second home. I decided that we should move to the Philippines because the lower cost of living would compensate for Bing’s loss of earning, and we could spend more time together. Bing liked the idea because, as well as being near her family, she could also relax. The relaxing part has just not happened yet, and Bing has said on several occasions that perhaps we should move back to the UK. Part of it is the corruption and poverty here, but also the fact that it is frustrating that some of her family have become dependent on us. They are not at all demanding, but they would have a very poor life without our help. Bing was very upset when she saw the medical condition of her sister, knowing that she would have died if we had not been here. Also the poor job prospects the younger family members would have had without our help.

I remember that when I was having problems in my first marriage, I used to surround myself with a mental shell, switch off from all the problems around me; it was the only way I could survive. I think this idea is necessary in the Philippines. There is very little any of us can do to change the overall problems of corruption, but we should shield ourselves against the effects it can have on our lives. One way would be to live in a gated community, not my choice, but my house will have a high wall around it with large steel gates at the front.

We give generous tips to everyone and plan to support a local school when we move. Bing is planning to start her own business for the benefit of the family. We have been giving them fish, now we want to teach them to fish. When I die Bing will still have half my private pension, but she will go as well, eventually, so we want to make sure the family can survive without us. It will also give them some pride to be able to manage for themselves.

I applaud the people that put a lot of effort into helping communities, but they should have a place to retreat to, to unwind before starting off again. If they feel the need to leave the country then the help ceases.

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: BenK on July 18, 2008, 02:56:02 PM
Not to beat my own drum too loudly, I think I contribute in a lot of ways. There is, of course, the small sphere of influence I have on a personal level, within my (very large) family and the community in which I live. And then there is the consultative work that I do for the benefit of businesses, NGO\'s, and different levels of government. The way I look at it, my task is not to teach people better ways, but to work with them to teach them how to think of the better ways on their own. And yes, that is a huge job, too big for me to ever finish. But every success, even a small one, is one more than there would have been had I not stuck my nose in someone\'s situation, and when someone -- like one small business client of mine who\'s gone from personally selling her wares door-to-door to having eight outlets in major malls in just over a year -- calls up to say thanks, that is enormously gratifying. And pretty profitable for me, not incidentally. Good for everyone.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on July 18, 2008, 03:02:32 PM
Thanks for the insights Colin. I do live in a gated, very well secured community, and for me it\'s a place of solace and normalcy. It helps to cope with all the rest. I can also relate to Ben\'s points about the satisfaction of small successes, and for a while, that was enough for me, and it too helped me cope. It\'s simply not sufficient any more. Maybe, because of the work I do, I see too much and I\'m constantly reminded how basically hopeless everything here is. Personally, I have a great life. The problem is that I cannot stay inside the gated escape from reality forever.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: John Amend-All on July 18, 2008, 03:50:37 PM
Colin, you\'ve done it again! Every time I think I have come up with a half-decent response you are there first and articulate it better. Perhaps it will come with age. :)

A mental shell, that is exactly right, and how much easier now with computers and the internet. Sometimes I think that my head is still in England, only my backside is in Philippines. Whatever it takes, I suppose.

Thank you, Evian, for your honest and thoughtful post. It is more valuable, I reckon, to read of someone for whom things did not work out, helps people to decide if it may be right for them or not. One thing puzzles me, though. It seems like you were unaware of the thoroughly corrupt society and extreme poverty when you arrived. Surely this would be common knowledge for anyone who did a little reading around and I think this group has been going more than 5 years.

I can\'t agree that it is hopeless. Change happens and when it does, it comes quite suddenly. We just do not know what will happen next.

I am in the discovery stage, learning all I can about the country, customs, languages, history, flora and fauna. I want to travel all over, see some of the beauty. Whatever else, It isn\'t boring.

John
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on July 18, 2008, 04:08:26 PM
Colin, you\'ve done it again! Every time I think I have come up with a half-decent response you are there first and articulate it better. Perhaps it will come with age. :)

John

Sorry about that John, I will hang back a bit next time to let you get in first  ;D ;D ;D ;D

Unfortunately there are other things that come with age, and I would be glad to swap some of them  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Evan on July 18, 2008, 09:05:41 PM
Quote
One thing puzzles me, though. It seems like you were unaware of the thoroughly corrupt society and extreme poverty when you arrived.

John

Yes and no. About the corruption was more a matter of interpretation than ignorance or naivety. As for the extreme poverty I only knew about poverty, but not extreme. I realized the magnitude of both by doing community work within \"known and above suspicion\" International community service organizations, where the corrupted weren\'t Filipinos but foreigners making millions out of those indigenous that if you haven\'t walk the jungle by foot and not being afraid by the NPA\'s you\'ll never guess the existence and the level of poverty. They were supposed to help with money receiving from good people living in the first world, instead, they were enriching themselves giving them only a fraction of the money they were receiving.Should I provide you with a link about my web site? Oh well, may be it will be out of subject in this forum.

Quote
From like one small business client of mine who\'s gone from personally selling her wares door-to-door to having eight outlets in major malls in just over a year -- calls up to say thanks, that is enormously gratifying. And pretty profitable for me, not incidentally. Good for everyone.

Ben, I prefer your approach of being useful to the country. What you mean here, if I got it right, is that you provide a service for a fee, and giving them for their money. And may be more. A realistic and lasting way of poverty alleviation. Did you say philanthropists and volunteers? There isn\'t such a thing!.. Is just a job for profit where marketers and cons wearing the mask. 
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: BenK on July 18, 2008, 11:56:01 PM
Quote
One thing puzzles me, though. It seems like you were unaware of the thoroughly corrupt society and extreme poverty when you arrived.

John

Yes and no. About the corruption was more a matter of interpretation than ignorance or naivety. As for the extreme poverty I only knew about poverty, but not extreme. I realized the magnitude of both by doing community work within \"known and above suspicion\" International community service organizations, where the corrupted weren\'t Filipinos but foreigners making millions out of those indigenous that if you haven\'t walk the jungle by foot and not being afraid by the NPA\'s you\'ll never guess the existence and the level of poverty. They were supposed to help with money receiving from good people living in the first world, instead, they were enriching themselves giving them only a fraction of the money they were receiving.Should I provide you with a link about my web site? Oh well, may be it will be out of subject in this forum.

Quote
From like one small business client of mine who\'s gone from personally selling her wares door-to-door to having eight outlets in major malls in just over a year -- calls up to say thanks, that is enormously gratifying. And pretty profitable for me, not incidentally. Good for everyone.

Ben, I prefer your approach of being useful to the country. What you mean here, if I got it right, is that you provide a service for a fee, and giving them for their money. And may be more. A realistic and lasting way of poverty alleviation. Did you say philanthropists and volunteers? There isn\'t such a thing!.. Is just a job for profit where marketers and cons wearing the mask. 

A couple of my projects, actually, have been with \"international community service organizations\" as you describe them. And while I wouldn\'t generalize, I too have seen a few things that rubbed me the wrong way. But I think that\'s a topic that is better examined elsewhere.

One thing I\'m learning from this extended conversation we\'ve all been having is that the way we see this country and how we accommodate -- or not -- living in it is a pretty personal matter; there is no \'formula for success\', if you will. I don\'t, in all honesty, learn anything about how to improve my experience from reading about all of yours, but what it does do is make me think, perhaps in different ways than I might have. That\'s the real value of it.

I\'m actually pretty pleased with myself for being able to earn a reasonably good living from what I do, and I unapologetically believe I deserve it. I have roughly 10 years each of post-secondary education and management-level corporate experience, three graduate degrees, and whatever natural talent I was born with, and I work very hard to apply all that to provide lasting value and benefit to my clients. And that ain\'t free, sorry. I do most of my work with people here in the Philippines by dint of my being here anyway, but I do have clients elsewhere. The project I am finishing up this weekend is for a U.S. firm, for example, and actually has nothing at all to do with the Philippines.

One aspect I have worked with a couple companies on is \"corporate responsibility\", and in a way I practice what I preach. I provide some support to my extended family, and I dedicate some time and resources to helping my community. Not \"propping people up\" but HELPING. There\'s a difference, one has value, the other is no more than a bandage. I would not understand that difference had I not come to the Philippines, because (I\'ve said this before) however it happened, coming here has made me a better person in many ways. So even though I see the same problems everyone else sees, I see them through my own lens. Everyone does that, and that\'s the personal part of it all; the real challenge is understanding that for yourself. It\'s not enough -- unless you actually do want to cause yourself a lot of stress and confusion -- to think about what you see, you also need to think about why you react to it the way you do. That\'s the exercise I get out of reading all these posts, and that\'s why you guys are ok by me.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: steveinvisayas on July 21, 2008, 10:02:05 AM
Hi Steve.

Good to see you posting again.  Sounds like you\'re enjoying your life on the big island.   :) 

Please keep us informed as to how your assimilation goes.  I, for one, am interested in hearing of your accomplishments as well as any frustrations you encounter.


Hi Greg,

We are in the process of evaluating houses to buy as we do want to live in this area. I\'ll let you know how that potential accomplishment goes. Main frustrations have been: the relative who always wants more, more, more. Fortunately Jenny deflects all this and we moved to another island, ha. No problem now. Also moving money over here in any quantity is a hassle from my US bank, like enough to buy a house. Small amounts slowly so far, ugh. Been using Xoom and PNB plus using the ATM but can\'t wire any as I\'m not able to walk into to a Bank of America branch over here! Any suggestions appreciated from the Forum.

Stay cool in Sactown,

Steve

Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Kakueq on August 01, 2008, 08:37:44 PM
I watched a movie called \"Pass it On\" about a young boy who began a movement to help others.  He encouraged everyone to do at least one thing to help someone else.  He stressed having people do something that was meaningful both to themselves and to the recipient.  To someone worried about their next meal, getting fed once is significant, but to most of us, giving away a 1000 peso meal is trivial.  To meet the metric set by the story, we\'d have to give enough so that we ourselves might miss a meal.  Maybe we should all do our own little part whenever and wherever we can in the hope that the sum of these individual efforts will slowly change the world?

It\'s true many Philippinos yearn for better opportunities found abroad and some of them realize their dream.  When they return for a visit or permanently, they bring back ideas about better ways.  Inventions like the Internet have opened the eyes of the world to different cultures and made information widely available.  Over time, these ideas will have an impact on Philippine society.  Maybe not the current generation but in the future.  Thanks to the information highway, the entire world is becoming more global.  As the cliche goes: How you go\'in to keep them down on the farm after they\'ve seen Paris?\".

Don\'t lose hope.  As paraphrased from the prayer of St. Francis:

   \"God give me the strength to change the things I can.  The patience to accept the things I can\'t and the wisdom to know the difference.\"
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on August 01, 2008, 09:15:57 PM
Kakueq,

Welcome aboard our motley bunch. Great 1st post. Can I suggest you visit our \'Meet your neighbors\' board & get to know some of us & perhaps introduce yourself. Starting with the story behind the unusual username.  8)
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: geno555 on August 01, 2008, 11:09:59 PM
Welcome to our group Kakueq. Very insightfull and thoughtfull first post.Hope to hear more from you soon. ;D

Murf
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Demonseed on August 02, 2008, 07:12:29 AM
I watched a movie called \"Pass it On\" about a young boy who began a movement to help others.  He encouraged everyone to do at least one thing to help someone else.  He stressed having people do something that was meaningful both to themselves and to the recipient.

You sure the movie wasn\'t \"Pay it Forward (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0223897/)\"?
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Gray Wolf on August 02, 2008, 09:21:33 AM
I watched a movie called \"Pass it On\" about a young boy who began a movement to help others.  He encouraged everyone to do at least one thing to help someone else.  He stressed having people do something that was meaningful both to themselves and to the recipient.

You sure the movie wasn\'t \"Pay it Forward ([url]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0223897/[/url])\"?


Yeah, I was thinking the same thing earlier.  I remember a great movie called \"Pay It Forward\" based on a true story, if my memory serves me correctly.  Great movie all about doing good deeds, and how those good deeds make their way through a community.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: jcjimc on August 03, 2008, 07:59:54 PM
Hi Folks-After travelling back and forth to the Philippines since the very early 80\'s I also considered what would happen in time should I retire there.
Like the original author of this thread I also worked and lived in Africa,Nigeria to be exact but a little longer than him 10 years in total.
In November ending this year we will retire to Bukidnon to live in our house which we built there in 2005.
I realised that if I did not keep myself busy I may dwell too long on whats going on around me and sink into the depths of despair.So with the old adage in mind \"Idle hands make work for the devil\" I have over the last four years prepared a list of the things I want to do when I retired and I guess after going over it recently I will have to trim it back a bit otherwise I may as well continue working here in the UK and get paid for it.
Here is a link to my own blog just to give you an idea what will keep me busy when I get to Bukidnon to live in November.        http://journals.aol.co.uk/jcjimc/BethanyChristianHomeforChildrenT/
In addition I want to grow vegetables,raise chickens for meat and eggs and plant fruit trees and dabble in growing Bonsai and Orchids. That way I hope not to let the place get to me.
Best regards.
Jim. ::)

Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: GregW on August 04, 2008, 09:33:56 AM
jcjimc wrote;
Quote
Here is a link to my own blog just to give you an idea what will keep me busy when I get to Bukidnon to live in November.        [url]http://journals.aol.co.uk/jcjimc/BethanyChristianHomeforChildrenT/[/url] 


Wonderful.  One never stands so tall as when one stoops to help a child. 

I have the same burden for children as you do and hopefully will find a way to help the poor street children of Cebu City someday.  Breaks my heart to even think about them.  God Bless and God Speed Jim.

\"Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these\"  Matthew 19:14
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: jcjimc on August 04, 2008, 03:53:10 PM
Hi Greg-The motto of life is to give back a little of whats been given to you.
When I worked in Nigeria a friend once said to me \"Don\'t ask the old man upstairs for anything,just thank him for what you have as there is someone somewhere worse off than you\".
All the very best with your own venture.
Kind regards.
Jim.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on August 05, 2008, 06:31:59 AM
It\'s not possible to disagree with helping the children however you\'re able. My suggestion here is to target whatever assistance you\'re able to give to specific children rather than trying to provide some sort of assistance to larger groups or to a school or community. One possible approach is to help a few kids go to private schools. The public schools here are appallingly bad, and really do not prepare kids for anything much. There are however, private schools that are very inexpensive and that do a much better job. The two kids I\'m sending, for example, cost about Php1,500 each per month, and this for class sizes of no more than 20, real books and what seems like real instruction from some pretty dedicated teachers.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on August 05, 2008, 08:41:11 AM
It\'s not possible to disagree with helping the children however you\'re able. My suggestion here is to target whatever assistance you\'re able to give to specific children rather than trying to provide some sort of assistance to larger groups or to a school or community. One possible approach is to help a few kids go to private schools. The public schools here are appallingly bad, and really do not prepare kids for anything much. There are however, private schools that are very inexpensive and that do a much better job. The two kids I\'m sending, for example, cost about Php1,500 each per month, and this for class sizes of no more than 20, real books and what seems like real instruction from some pretty dedicated teachers.

We live about 100yards from a very large public school and a lot of the pupils there are badly behaved, and a school teacher living next door says that some of them are hard to control. We see boys climbing over the walls to get in and out, and hear girls walking past out house swearing. They overturn dustbins and we had to disconnect our gate doorbell because they kept pressing it. There are several other adjacent junior schools but they seem OK, and we have a niece and nephew attending one of them. We pay P2000 a month for an older niece to attend the best private high school here and plan to send the younger children there later. It is used by all the richer families here including those with foreign parents. They even teach Chinese at this school.

Colin
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on August 05, 2008, 09:19:26 PM
The international standard for investment in public education is about 6% of GDP; a standard that is met or exceeded by virtually all developing countries and others striving to develop quickly. The Philippines invests less than 3% of its GDP in education, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about how the national government here really feels about the issue. The result is an inept, thoroughly corrupt and incapable system that fails to educate in anything but the very most basic connotation of that word.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: geno555 on August 06, 2008, 06:47:06 AM
Michael16136

Sir, I have had well in reality on one small difference with you in the past and I was wrong on that one. With that said the more I read your post the more impressed I am with you in your both humanity and the real grasp that you have on what is the real truth about social economic situations in the RP. My wife has read your post with some interest, as she is a school teacher, elementary only, public school schooled only got her teachers degree from Philippine Normal University Augsan del Sur, passed her teacher\'s exam and could not find a job locally in Bayugan so took a job in the remote area Northwest of Butuan in Rebel territory, I called in Rebel territory for I am inept at knowing the exact name of these local tribes and tribal leaders call it from day to day.

None the less when I met her she filled me in on the hardship of these children she was trying to teach, first they were partially starving, partially clothed, could speak no Tagalog , could speak no Bisaya, only their native tongue so she was left with no TIC (teacher in charge) to guide her in what to do. She told me she cried herself to sleep for the first 5 days, went home on a 3 -4 hour trip to Bayugan and said she would never return. But return she did, within a month, she could understand some of their language enough to create a simple lesson plan where she could start teaching them the basics of Tagalog, but she soon learned they wanted more from here, where did she get such sandals, where did she get the hair clip in her hair?, why was her hair shiny and black.

She had one boy who said to her \"mam, can you give me a 2 batteries for my flash light and I will bring to you tomorrow all the frogs you wish to eat. She gave him the batteries out of her flash light and in the morning he was outside of her premises with a whole bag full of live bull- frogs, he said, \"mam i will clean them for you what do you wish, when she said just the back legs, he said with glee so you mean I can keep the bodies and the head she said of course i don\'t eat them. Story told.


Michael, I owe you both a big apology and the world owes you a debut of gratitude for the work you do in the RP. I thought I knew a little of the RP when I found this site, but I realize more and more all the time, I am just but a babe in the woods, when it comes to coming close to understanding the real underpinnings of what keeps this very fragile third world country above board.


Without people like you and some others on this forum the Philippines would be a much sadder and uneducated place. Thank you for your effort in trying to change what at times must seem to you the \"unchangeable\"

I salute you Sir, that means I know little to you, for you do not know me, but I hope someday, some way, in a small place far, far away from this well protected environment of where I now reside I can meet you in the real world, with real people, who have real problems, and we can share a small cup of maybe \"dragon coffee\" together and say at least good morning to each other.

With deep Respect

Murf
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on August 06, 2008, 07:56:37 AM
The international standard for investment in public education is about 6% of GDP; a standard that is met or exceeded by virtually all developing countries and others striving to develop quickly. The Philippines invests less than 3% of its GDP in education, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about how the national government here really feels about the issue. The result is an inept, thoroughly corrupt and incapable system that fails to educate in anything but the very most basic connotation of that word.

Michael,

With respect to your obvious research into the stats, I fail to see how you make the jump to \"inept, thoroughly corrupt and incapable system that fails to educate in anything but the very most basic connotation of that word\". My wife took great exception to that because she & her family went to & send their kids to, the local public school in Naga Cebu & all are well educated, bright & well mannered. One has already started college with the next in line, going next year.

No one in their right mind would say this applies throughout the Philippines, the same as with schools in parts of US etc. The difference as usual here is poverty. Even at public schools there is a fee, may only be small by our standards & books/ uniform etc to buy. This is where the differences are. Like so many school systems geography & upbringing can play an important role in whether you are going to even get to go to school & if you do whether you will be interested in learning.

To imply that, as with so many other blanket statements made about the Philippines, that this is how it is for all, is misleading. As with choosing where to live in the UK or US or anywhere, the standard of the schools, medical & general facilities come into the equation. Do some not have a choice, well like many US/UK inner city kids, unfortunately no  :(
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on August 06, 2008, 09:50:05 AM
Keith,

I don\'t think it is that people are not educated, for Education comes down to teachers teaching and students learning. I think the bigger issue is the level of education or what passes for education here. Why is a Degree Holder from the Philippines not recognized as a degree holder overseas, why can\'t a doctor trained here practice as a doctor in the US, but instead as a nurse. Teachers here do not receive equivalent pay scales as what is in other countries, economy aside it is not on a par. Schools are under funded and over crowded. The student to teacher ratio is over the top, in some cases 60 or more students in a class. And two shifts using one school with students attending the first shift from 6 am till 1pm and the second from 1 pm till 7pm.

The schools are often built in only the most rudimentary fashion, 4 blocks walls, a door and a roof. Sometimes the classrooms have glass in the windows but more often they don\'t. I don\'t think Michael was maligning the students, but the education they receive courtesy of the government. When the classes don\'t have sufficient text books or reference books for each student, a school library for study and reference. When most of the students realize that for them to go to college or university after completing high school, unless their parents are in a middle income bracket or willing to subject themselves to abject poverty, often more than their current situation, is simply not an option.

Even when this degree is completed, there is more testing for them to prove they actually know what they have studied in order to get a job in their chosen field, no certificate no work. And if you earned your degree in any but a select few Universities or colleges, your chances of finding work in your chosen field, with or without a certificate are slim to none.

It is the school system that is lacking in funding, not the teachers desire or the students drive to learn.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on August 06, 2008, 10:36:19 AM
Sorry about the length of the post, but this caught my eye whilst perusing the GMANEWS website.

(http://images.gmanews.tv/gmanewstvlogo.jpg)
Poverty, hunger prevent Filipino kids from getting basic education
JOHANNA CAMILLE SISANTE, GMANews.TV
08/04/2008 | 01:09 PM


MANILA, Philippines - Despite the annual increase in the budget for basic education, fewer children are enrolling in schools. The reason: poverty.

Twelve-year-old Marian (not her real name) is one of the millions of Filipino children whose education has taken a backseat due to poverty. The fifth of eight children, she fled her home when she was 10 because she said her jobless parents hurt her. Marian is supposed to be in the sixth grade this year, but she’s currently enrolled as a Grade 1 pupil, learning basic language lessons and math skills in a public elementary school in Cainta, Rizal. A certain “Ate Rowena\" took her in and convinced her to go back to school. Marian has to face challenges in school. “Marami pong nanlalait sa ‘kin dahil Grade 1 ako pero malaki ako…hindi ko pinapakinggan yun kasi ito na po yung simula para maipagpatuloy ko po yung pag-aaral ko at makatapos po ako (Other children tease me because I’m still in Grade 1…but I don’t mind them because this is my chance to continue and finish my studies),\" she said. Despite the challenges, Marian is lucky compare to thousands of other Filipino children.

1 out of 6 kids not in school

One out of six school-age Filipino children is not enrolled, figures from the Department of Education (DepEd) and the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) revealed. The net enrollment ratio (NER) or participation rate at the elementary level for school year 2006-2007 was 83.2 percent, down by 1.2 percentage points from the previous school year and a far cry from school year 1999-2000’s 96.95 percent. The NER is the ratio between the enrollment in the school-age range and the total population of that age range. That means that out of all Filipino children aged 6-11—which is the official age range for elementary pupils—17.8 percent or almost one-fifth are out of school.

DepEd figures also show that from 1999 to 2007 participation in elementary education decreased, save for a 0.19-percentage point increase in 2002. The rate of participation in secondary education is even worse. From 2002 to 2007, almost half or 43.7 of all Filipinos aged 12-15—the official age range for high school—failed to enroll. This is lower than the participation rate of 65.43 percent in 1999-2000. With these figures the country is still far from achieving the Millennium Development Goal of providing basic education to all, the NSCB said in its report. The Philippines is also far from achieving its own Education for All 2015 Plan, which serves as the blueprint for the country’s basic education.

Disparity among regions


It is not just the overall figures that reflect that the country is unable to meet international and national goals for education. Government data show that there is a wide disparity in education figures among regions, with most of conflict-ridden Mindanao trailing behind urban centers. The National Economic and Development Authority in its 2006 Socioeconomic Report observed that despite a 0.38 percent increase in the enrollment of children in 2006 compared to 2005, the figure is lower than expected.

NEDA’s figures show that 12.91 million of the 19.25 million children enrolled in 2006 are elementary pupils while 6.33 million were in high school. The overall figure is slightly higher than that of the previous year by only 72,969 children. “An assessment of the situation points to poverty as the main cause of this lower-than-expected increase. This is further exacerbated by the high cost of schooling-related expenditures. High school students seeking employment to augment family income also contributed to the low increase in enrollment,\" the NEDA report stated.

The Department of Education admitted that the country’s “volatile economic situation\" is preventing children from going to school. Even with the “zero tuition\" offer of the government, poor families are hindered by lack of employment, hunger and malnutrition, among other problems. “Time and again parents have complained of financial obstacles,\" said Kenneth Tirado, communications officer of DepEd.

Poverty to blame


Poverty is one of the main causes of the country’s poor education record and has affected participation in education in more ways than one, according to “Education Watch Preliminary Report: Education Deprivation in the Philippines,\" a study done by five advocacy groups including E-Net Philippines, Asian South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education, Action for Economic Reforms, Popular Education for People’s Empowerment, and Oxfam. Citing data from the National Statistics Office 2003 Functional Literacy, Education, and Mass Media Survey, the study said the top reason of people aged 6-24 for not attending school is employment or “looking for work,\" with almost one-third or 30.5 percent citing that reason. Lack of personal interest came in second at 22 percent, while the high cost of education came in a close third at 19.9 percent. Other reasons include, among others, housekeeping, illness or disability, failure to cope with school work, and distance from school.

“The lack of interest among school children indicates a weakness on the part of the school system to make education interesting for the students. This may be due to poor teaching quality, inadequate facilities and supplies and poor infrastructure. Poverty, social exclusion, school distance and poor health are, likewise, factors that weigh heavily on children and dampen their interest to pursue schooling,\" said the report. “The challenge, therefore, is how to make the school interesting and encouraging rather than intimidating; how to make it inclusive, non-discriminatory and poor-sensitive rather than exclusive and elite-oriented; and how to make it accommodating rather than restricting. Finally, the education content, process and experience should be made more meaningful to the children’s life experiences by ensuring appropriate, culture-sensitive and values-based interventions,\" it added.

Increase in budget does not help


Government figures show that the budget for education has increased over a 10-year period – from P90 billion in 1999 to P149 billion in 2008. It does not include the P4 billion acquired in 2007 from the private sector, a dramatic increase from 2003’s P400 million after Education Secretary Jesli Lapus re-launched the Adopt-A-School program in 2006. Despite the budget increase, government agencies observed a gradual decline in the net participation rate of students in the past nine years, especially in the regions. Luzon has the highest NER, followed by Visayas, with NERs on the opposite side of the spectrum, and Mindanao with the lowest percentage of school-age children going to school.

The National Capital Region and Region IV alternately topped the NERs for elementary education, with the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, having the highest NER from 2004 to 2006. Even NCR’s relatively high figures—at least 92.6 percent since 2002—have declined by about 0.6 to 2.2 percentage points, except in school year 2006-2007 when it increased by a meager .03 percent. Region IX or Western Mindanao posted the biggest NER decrease of 12.1 percent, from 89.7 percent in 2002 to 77.6 percent in 2006.

Surprisingly, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao placed 4th out of the 17 regions, with no less than 85.8 percent net enrollment rate. Unfortunately the trend didn’t continue until high school, where ARMM ranks lowest, consistently placing 17th with only 23.7 percent to 35.6 percent when it peaked in school year 2005-2006. The figures went down by three percentage points the next year. In school year 2006-2007 alone 13 out of the 20 provinces with the lowest elementary NER were from Mindanao, while in secondary education 17 were from the area. “Various programs have been created to cater to the lagging provinces in Mindanao. DepEd has been implementing these projects with assistance from the private sector and Official Development Assistance from the US Agency for International Development and the Australian Aid for International Development,\" said DepEd’s Tirado.

Tirado said AusAID’s Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao is seeking to improve the quality of and access to basic education, while USAID’s Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills focuses on targeting high illiteracy and drop-out rates. “These two projects have contributed to the success of DepEd’s education interventions in Mindanao,\" Tirado said. Another project, the Strong Republic Distance Learning School, was established in 2003 “to provide disadvantaged, impoverished sectors access to formal and non-formal school systems.\" Tirado said the 2008 General Appropriations Act has a special provision for the construction of classrooms and school furniture and the hiring of teachers in the ARMM.

Peace in Mindanao needed

Education advocacy group E-Net Philippines pointed out that since poor education in Mindanao can be attributed to poverty and armed conflict, a long-term solution to address its declining enrollment would be to bring peace to the area. “During armed conflicts, schools are used as refugee centers, thus disrupting classes. At the same time, children and teachers suffer from trauma which prevents them from effectively learning – or teaching, as in the case of teachers,\" said E-Net’s national coordinator, Cecilia Soriano, in an email interview with GMANews.TV. She also said that since there is a concentration of Muslim students in Mindanao, the curriculum “should be founded on the Muslim wisdom while incorporating the core competencies that will provide children and youth the necessary knowledge to ‘compete’ in the labor market.\"

The group is also calling for a budget allotment of P70 million for Learning Centers in indigenous communities in Davao del Sur, Agusan, and South Cotabato, where education is virtually inaccessible, as well as an allotment of P800 million for alternative learning services targeting out-of-school youth. The DepEd provided P420 million to ALS in 2006, according to its March 2008 Performance Report from July 1998 to March 2008.

Hunger, malnutrition


In a March 2008 report, the Education department said hunger and malnutrition are also barriers to participation in education. In 2007, DepEd improved its school feeding program, with 300 percent more beneficiaries compared to the previous year. Tirado said that to make the distribution more effective, the DepEd-Health and Nutrition Council implemented a “targeted scheme\" that categorizes “priority provinces\" according to the severity of lack of food and vulnerability to hunger. DepEd started implementing the Food for School Program under the Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Plan during the last quarter of 2005. It was done with the Health, Social Welfare departments, the National Food Authority and local government units.

A daily ration of a kilogram of fortified rice is given as subsidy to families through preschool and Grade 1 pupils. The program, which covered 6,304 public schools nationwide and benefited 111,584 preschool and Grade 1 children, distributed a total of 25,338 bags of rice. E-Net Philippines said the strategy is flawed. “As a motivation to go to school, it sends the wrong message to poor children: go to school to get one kilo of rice instead of the value of learning; it is also an added burden for children as poor parents encourage their children to attend classes to be able to avail of the daily ration,\" said Soriano.

Strategy for patronage

Soriano said the scheme has become a strategy for patronage as local government units select the beneficiaries of the program. “In fact in 2007, in April, when there were no classes, and just before the elections, the DepEd released rice to preschool and elementary and high school students,\" said Soriano. “There were also problems in implementing the [strategy] which were exposed during the 2007 budget deliberations, such as alleged overpricing of rice, deficiency in deliveries and low quality of rice,\" she added. E-Net believes there are other strategies to keep poor children in school instead of giving rice. Addressing health and poverty situations that prevent access to education are among the group’s proposals. Aside from the Food for School program, DepEd has also proposed increased funding for interventions aimed at children aged 5-11.

(DepEd claimed that there were significant boosts in budget allotment to certain programs in 2006. These include the Preschool Education Program, which went up to P2 billion from P250 million, the settlement of unpaid prior years of teachers’ benefits, PhilHealth and GSIS premiums, which were given P1.94 billion from nothing, and a P345 million boost in Alternative Learning Services.) E-Net’s Soriano, however, said there should be “more targeted education programs for child laborers, indigenous people, children and youth with disabilities and adult illiterates and other marginalized groups.\" Despite the odds, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus is optimistic. “The key reforms and well-focused policy directions to improve basic education are slowly but surely bearing fruit,\" he said, adding that the Education department “has been concentrating its human and financial resources on key performance indicators aimed at improving classroom instruction.\"

If it’s up to DepEd, the result of the National Achievement Results this year, where the mean percentage score increased from 59.94 percent in 2007 to 64.81 this year, the government’s Education project is a success. Whether this indicates that the country can inch its way toward achieving the 75 percent target MPS by 2010, or if the Education for All plan and the Millennium Development Goal can be met by 2015 is still to be seen. One thing is certain though, efforts at boosting education will only be futile if the poverty situation is not significantly, immediately improved. – GMANews.TV
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on August 06, 2008, 10:53:42 AM
Wayne,

Let me make myself clear. I am not saying I think that there are no issues with public schools here or that I disagree that they are inadequately funded but even a cursory Google search can find similar stories in US, for example:

  \"We don\'t have the money to employ and retain high-quality teachers,\" said Everette M. Dean, superintendent of Marion 7, one of eight South Carolina school districts involved in the lawsuit. \"Our students aren\'t being given the opportunity to attain an adequate education.\"

Photographs submitted to the court by Marion 7 show schools with leaking roofs, decrepit wooden buildings, unpaved parking lots and makeshift science labs. Dean compares his district with neighboring Horry County, which includes the resort community of Myrtle Beach and can pay $10,000 bonuses to good teachers. By contrast, he said, Marion 7 can afford supplements of only about $300.

Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20727-2004Jun6.html)

I am sure I could find similar stories from all over the US & probably areas of UK/Austratlia also. Certainly I know of schools in the UK that I wouldn\'t want kids sent to, if I was expecting them to get a sound education.

I was objecting to the blanket statement \"inept, thoroughly corrupt and incapable system that fails to educate in anything but the very most basic connotation of that word\" as applying to all public schools here. My wifes experience & that of her family is counter to that statement. I am sure they are far from unique.

I certainly agree with much of what you said also. I am sure that Michael will come back with a well considered reply that will further explain his POV or to modify the statement.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on August 06, 2008, 11:04:52 AM
Wayne,

Poverty, hunger prevent Filipino kids from getting basic education
JOHANNA CAMILLE SISANTE, GMANews.TV
08/04/2008 | 01:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Despite the annual increase in the budget for basic education, fewer children are enrolling in schools. The reason: poverty.

Which is what I have been saying, thanks for finding it.

Quote
The difference as usual here is poverty. Even at public schools there is a fee, may only be small by our standards & books/ uniform etc to buy. This is where the differences are. Like so many school systems geography & upbringing can play an important role in whether you are going to even get to go to school & if you do whether you will be interested in learning.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on August 06, 2008, 11:12:32 AM
Keith,

I think if we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, in the US and Australia, can\'t speak for the UK, but imagine it is similar, each state is responsible for its own education system, therefore the budget of each state is responsible for the education and the standards and cities or counties for the upkeep of its own schools. Not so here, DEP ED, is responsible for the nations schools and for where the money gets allocated, to whom and in what amounts.

When the resources come down from on high, it is open for rampant corruption like the pork we see so often in the US. But in the US, the pork is for communities and not for individuals like it is here. If the schools here in typhoon prone areas were built to standards that would allow them to survive the storms with little or no damage then the funds from DEP ED, would go a lot further. The Philippines is in a constant state of rebuilding because good enough is the accepted standard. The Philippines is not the only poor Asian country visited by Typhoons, and I am sure it is not the only one with poor quality construction and certainly not the only one with rampant corruption. It is the people who suffer in the long run.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on August 06, 2008, 01:47:42 PM
I\'m not sure how well considered my reply will be, but I\'ll try as follows:

1.  Yes, you can find schools in the US, the UK, Australia and other large, developed countries that leave a lot to be desired. The difference is that these schools deviate from the norm and we\'re appalled that such schools are permitted to exist in our societies. Here, such schools are the norm, and the general public is neither appalled nor surprised by the lack of resources, the poor quality of teacher training, the over crowded classrooms or unsafe buildings. They accept it as a matter of course.

2.  As I\'ve often said before, you cannot compare countries that spend, on average, $8,000 - $10,000 per child per year with the Philippines, which spends approximately $120. To somehow equate the two, or to have reasonable expectations that some degree of equality is possible given the enormous disparity of investment is totally unrealistic.

3.  The country spends less than 3% of GDP on education. Surrounding countries, Japan, countries in the West, and other countries that are actually serious about their overall educational quality spend 6% of GDP (the UN-mandated international standard) or more.

4.  Poverty is an easy, but false explanation. The fact is that 25 years ago Singapore was poorer than the Philippines, as was Malaysia, yet both developed commitments to investing in education as one of the means to alleviate poverty, and they are now light years ahead of the Philippines. Vietnam is still (though barely) poorer than the Philippines and yet it\'s finding a way to invest more than 6% of its GDP in public education. The Philippines lacks the will, and the interest to do likewise.

5.  The Department of Education is reckoned to be the most corrupt agency in the government here. This
\"fact\" has been trumpeted for years, yet I have yet to hear of anyone being held accountable for the enormity of the problems--for the theft, the patronage, the \"selling\" of administrative jobs.

The fact is that, despite its publicly-expressed concern over the deteriorated quality of education, the national government is totally indifferent to the quality of education being offered to what are mainly the children of the poor. The fact is that ignorant, unskilled masses are probably easier to bamboozle, more satisfied with less, have more limited expectations, and are more prone to believe the empty promises of the kleptocracy that governs this country.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on August 06, 2008, 01:52:59 PM
Before coming to the Philippines a little over 12 months ago, I had discussions with my partner in crime in Australia, and with some of our contacts here in the Philippines. We had discussed doing some large scale infrastructure projects here and the comment that kept coming back to me at the time was that there was no money in the Philippines.

After 12 months on the ground, it is an eye opener, it is not that there is no money in the Philippines, but rather that getting the money from those that have it, a handful of families, to those that do not, everyone else is the real area of contention.

The main infrastructure here is owned by very few people, Here are the most powerful business people in the Philippines based on an informal survey:

1. The LOPEZ clan -- Despite financial difficulties in several companies of their diversified business empire, this politically astute Ilonggo family wields tremendous political clout with the country\'s biggest and robustly profitable television and radio media group centered on ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. In fact, a corporate official even once jokingly said that the \"ABS-CBN Party\" is actually stronger than the hodgepodge coalitions such as Lakas-NUCD or Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP). The country\'s two leading vice presidential candidates Noli de Castro and Senate Majority Leader Loren Legarda made their mark as ABS-CBN television broadcasters before entering national politics. Eugenio \"Gabby\" Lopez III of ABS-CBN is supporting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in this election.

2. Eduardo \"Danding\" COJUANGCO Jr. -- The enigmatic chairman of the Nationalist People\'s Coalition (NPC) has not publicly endorsed any presidential candidate. Though his NPC has members supporting both President Arroyo and rival Fernando Poe Jr., the movie actor has a longer history of alliance with Danding, and was his active campaign supporter during Danding\'s ‘92 presidential bid and was celebrity endorser of his beer products. Despite political foes criticizing him as a Marcos and Estrada crony, Danding has impressed even his bitter critics by the strong financial success and aggressive international expansion of San Miguel Corp.

3. Mike VELARDE -- Rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches Mike Velarde is more well-known as a religious leader of the massive El Shaddai Catholic charismatic movement, but he continues to dabble in business. Assisting him in his family\'s various business ventures is his entrepreneurial son Franklin Velarde. Unlike presidential bet Bro. Eddie Villanueva of the Jesus is Lord Movement who was once a communist youth leader and who has since rejected Marxism, or the Iglesia ni Cristo boss Eraño \"Ka Erdie\" Manalo who is no businessman, Mike Velarde started out as a real estate developer. Is it true he is still brokering unity talks between Poe and Ping Lacson?

4. The ZOBEL-AYALA clan -- This Hispanic clan has survived the Philippine revolution against Spain, the Philippine-American War, the bloody Japanese military occupation and other crises. They are entering the 21st century stronger than ever in the most strategic industries such as telecom (Globe Telecom), banking (Bank of the Philippine Islands and BPI Family Bank) and others. They remain the biggest landlords in the Makati financial district and have recently teamed up with immigrant taipan Jose Yao Campos of Unilab to gain control of the massive Fort Bonifacio project. Although Jaime Zobel de Ayala once served as ambassador to Great Britain during the Marcos regime, he eventually became closely identified with the People Power regime of President Corazon C. Aquino while his cousin Enrique Zobel backed Marcos.

5. GOZON and DUAVIT families -- The Gozon and Duavit families control the aggressively expanding television and radio group of GMA Network Inc., which is now seriously challenging ABS-CBN\'s No. 1 position. Though chairman Atty. Felipe L. Gozon\'s brother-in-law Menardo Jimenez relinquished management to him and the Duavit family in 2001, the Jimenezes still retain substantial shareholdings. Jimenez is a director of San Miguel Corp., officer of many corporations and his eldest son, PLDT official Menardo \"Butch\" Jimenez Jr., is being urged by top business people to someday run for high public office.

6. Manuel \"Manny\" PANGILINAN -- The big boss of the country\'s largest telecom firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) recently led several leaders of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and SGV Group founder Washington SyCip in a high-profile meeting with Fernando Poe Jr. on their proposed policies for whoever will become President after the May 10 election. After surviving a headline-grabbing corporate war with John Gokongwei Jr. for control of PLDT and disposing the Fort Bonifacio project at a huge sacrifice, Pangilinan seems to have reconciled with the clan of Indonesian taipan Liem Sioe Liong (Sudono Salim) and retained his top post in Hong Kong-based First Pacific conglomerate. With Pangilinan spearheading First Pacific in investing in PLDT, it may eventually become a major success.

7. The ABOITIZ clan -- Despite their low-profile, Cebu\'s prominent Aboitiz business clan is national leader in electric power, controls the biggest shipping giant WG&A and has investments in banking and other strategic industries. The Aboitizes are perceived to be staunch backers of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. During a top-level meeting of the President with the leaders of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. last year, Manila\'s four Chinese-language newspapers published photos of then Trade Secretary Mar Roxas and Endika Aboitiz present at the Malacañang meeting. Despite the clan\'s roots in the Basque region of Spain, they have close ties with the Chinese community and Aboitiz scions studied Mandarin in Beijing and Taipei. An Aboitiz executive joked that due to the Chinese-style of doing business, their surname should be \"Amoytiz\" -- referring to the old British-style spelling of the city now called Xiamen in south China. GMA\'s Presidential Social Secretary Bettina Araneta Aboitiz is the wife of tycoon Sabin Aboitiz.

8. First Gentleman Jose Miguel ARROYO -- \"Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society,\" said Michel Foucault. He might as well be explaining the perceived strong political clout of lawyer and First Gentleman Jose Miguel Tuason Arroyo, who has been a fiercely loyal political campaigner for his wife President Arroyo. Unlike businessman Dennis Thatcher who stayed quietly out of the limelight during the tenure of his wife British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Mike Arroyo is often in the forefront of his wife\'s controversial political battles. (The President\'s younger brother, ATR-Kim Eng Capital Partners Inc. managing director Diosdado \"Boboy\" Macapagal Jr., is said to be her most trusted confidant, but the extremely humble Boboy has discreetly preferred to stay out of the limelight and supports his sister behind the scenes. A summa cum laude graduate of De La Salle University with a degree in BSC Accounting, as well as a master\'s degree from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), Boboy served as Finance Undersecretary under President Aquino.)

9. Luis \"Cito\" LORENZO Jr. -- Although former Trade Secretary Mar Araneta Roxas, former Finance Secretary Lito Camacho and Energy Secretary Vince Perez were known as the three wealthiest Cabinet officials of President Arroyo, perhaps now the truly wealthiest tycoon in her Cabinet is Agriculture Secretary \"Cito\" Lorenzo. Unknown to most people, Cito Lorenzo\'s family is one of the world\'s biggest banana/pineapple exporters and does huge volumes of trade with China. Said to be one of the favorite students of GMA at the Ateneo, this Wharton graduate and devout Catholic has a lot of admirers in the business community who are urging him to someday run for senator. His late grandfather was once political kingpin of Zamboanga City, his late father was the Ateneo\'s famed basketball star Moro Lorenzo and his late aunt Mayor Maria Clara Lorenzo Lobregat was an ally of Danding Cojuangco.

10. Lucio C. TAN -- Although the taipan of Philippine Airlines, Fortune Tobacco, Philippine National Bank, Asia Brewery, Tanduay and other firms has maintained a low profile -- especially vis-à-vis politicians in recent years -- Tan is still perceived to be influential due mainly to his legendary generosity towards political campaigns. Tan is considered the senior leader of the local Chinese business community today. His best friend Bicolano transport tycoon Robin Sy is now also president of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. According to Lucio Tan -- who was in Xiamen City, south China during Holy Week -- he was busy with educational charities. He mentioned that young people in the Philippines should learn Mandarin, because the rest of the world is doing so. Plus, China offers lots of economic opportunities. Tan, whose nickname is \"Capitan\" to peers and even rivals, declined to comment on the May 10 election.

* * *

JEAN De La Bruyere once warned: \"We should keep silent about those in power; to speak well of them almost implies flattery; to speak ill of them while they are alive is dangerous, and when they are dead is cowardly.\"

We do not seek to praise or disparage these top 10 most powerful businessmen, but this writer hopes that they shall wield their political clout and other power to push far-reaching economic, political and other reforms that will make the Philippines a vibrant democracy, and the most efficient globally-competitive economy.

Power is not a privilege, not a source of pride and should not be misused to amass wealth, but is a social responsibility. We agree with British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who once said, \"Power has only one duty -- to secure the social welfare of the People.\"

It is these and many others that are the wealthy elite of the Philippines. It is these wealthy land barons, that in many ways are stopping the general population of the Philippines from achieving success as the money is controlled from the top and also largely by the Chinese.

It is not that the Philippines does not have money, just look at the high rise buildings and the skyscrapers, there is money here and money in abundance, but how to get some of it for investment in alternative infrastructure is the problem.

We wanted to setup high speed ferries in the Philippines using large scale hovercraft similar although not as large as the SRN-4\'s that made the Dover to Calais run. Using Manila as a home base, Olongapo is a 2 hr run up the coast, Puerto Galera is 2 hrs, Boracay is 5 hrs, Vigan is about 6 hrs and by adding a short bus trip we could do Legaspi City in Albay in 6 hrs. Iloilo in about 8 hrs, Cebu in 12 hrs. Although slower than aircraft it is faster than traditional ferries and the fares would be midway between the 2 options. Some places are served by bus and may not prove viable.

One of the options we looked at initially was Boracay, on my last trip there we were up at 4 am for an 8 am flight, arrived at the airport at 6 am, arrived at Caticlan at 9.30, on a Banca by 10.30, in out hotel by 12.00pm. We would do a 12 am departure from Manila near Mall of Asia, arrival on the beach in Boracay lastest 5 am, that is a dry departure and a dry arrival, right up on the beach at a selected landing zone on the back beach, not white beach. Basically we can do two outbound flights to Boracay and two return trips to Manila every 24 hrs and allow time for fueling and maintenance in between times. For those Manilaites, who want a quick party weekend, leave last thing Friday night, arrive first thing Saturday morning, leave last thing Sunday night, arrive Manila 10 pm for a nights sleep before work Monday morning.

So I am soon going back to Australia for a while, we just received another order for a large hovercraft to be built for an Asian customer, some people have all of the money, the last one we built is for Changi Airport as a rescue craft to hold 100 people and do 60 knots in 10 ft waves. Noreen will be coming with me this time, get her citizenship in Australia and then we will decide where to go from there. So we will be leaving in a couple of months for Australian Shores for a couple of years. We still own the house here and can return when ever we want.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: graham on August 06, 2008, 08:20:11 PM
Wayne,

    I get a sense of feeling from this latest epistle that you will not be returning to the Philippines. I hope I\'m wrong, we need people like you, dedicated and farsighted, while I think you are correct to get Noreen Oz citizenship, I, and the people of this Forum will be the worse off without your insight into the many and varied problems that asail this country, not to mention your contributions into fixing the ailments of our many members who have problems with those dashed things called computers!! Stay well Cobber, and return here refreshed!

Graham
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: coutts00 on August 06, 2008, 09:38:08 PM
I am not leaving for a while... Have some things to take car of like selling our car etc, Noreen\'s name change on the passport and getting her spousal visa before we depart, but I may have to scoot early to take care of some of the logistics problems for the new craft.

My buddy in Oz, has this bad habit of upsetting vendors, especially the ones we need to buy our 80K USD engines from for the craft, we need 3 this time as well, so lets hope they are still talking to us, the Germans were almost alienated last time we had this same discussion. With Hovercraft it is all about a power to weight ratio, so we run 1100hp v10\'s from MAN, they are a marine engine, but we don\'t use keel cooling, so they have a problem with us, they think we will over heat the engines and run crying for warranty support. So last time we just bought a spare engine and fitted it in a drop in cradle, we can change an engine in about 4 hrs. As this is a rescue craft we cannot afford downtime. We also installed a 2000GPM Monitor nozzle on the craft to dispense firefighting foam and pull water directly from the ocean through a dipping tube, all of this is run by variable input speed constant velocity hydraulic pump.

As for supporting the forum, where ever there is internet and my laptop, I will be also. So have no fears, I\'ll just be ahead 3 hrs. Victoria Time. Besides I can\'t leave till Brad takes me out for a Japanese meal he promised. So I will be around, I\'ll come back for my Philippine fix every year or so, have to look after the house after all.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: BenK on August 07, 2008, 12:10:37 AM
I\'m going to back Michael on this one for one simple reason: the statistic he quoted, which is indeed accurate, trust me, I\'ve got a library of this kind of information in a big messy pile on the bookshelf next to me. The UN standard is 6% of GDP, which many countries meet or exceed. That does not mean that figure will automatically guarantee a good school system in any country, because 6% of not very much money is still not very much money.

But what is very significant about that figure is that it is the threshold for a variety of UN-backed educational assistance and development programs. The rationale is that a country that is spending that 6% of its GDP has a committment to education and more than likely has the administrative framework in place to spend the funds, such as are available to them, fairly effectively. Thus, any assistance from outside added to that would also be effectively applied.

At 6% of GDP, Philippine schools might still have a long way to go. But spending only half that signifies a lack of committment, and a lack of priority on the part of the leadership of the country. Poverty is one thing, but this is really an attitude problem. And they are seriously failing the students who want to learn, and the dedicated teachers and school administrators who, despite all the handicaps, still find a way to make some places -- as you have pointed out, Keith -- bright spots in education. There are too few of those, and the country cannot rely on that happening everywhere, quite obviously, because it isn\'t happening everywhere.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on August 07, 2008, 02:23:08 AM
     I have no knowledge whatsoever of any of the wealthy families mentioned above. However, a friend who lives in Ayala Alabang gave us a tour of that subdivision last month.  Some of the houses were too far back to see or blocked by landscaping, but the most impressive house viewable from Country Club drive was the mansion of Mike Velarde. Apparently, he has not taken a vow of poverty. Either that or religion pays extremely well in the RP.

Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: stillbilly2002 on August 07, 2008, 03:27:07 AM
people come to the RP and  people leave the RP , LIFE GOES ON, MAY EVERYONE FIND THEIR PIECE OF HEAVEN ON EARTH..LOVE, stillbilly,  be happy we only have right now.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: geno555 on August 08, 2008, 03:10:05 AM
stillbilly

u r so right....yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery so all we all really have is what i like to call the \"here and now\" ??? ??? ??? ;D ???
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: stillbilly2002 on August 08, 2008, 03:22:57 AM
 My wife and I live with our in laws ,including my brother in laws brother, they have a 90 gallon reef tank with a chiller , etc. we have a yellow tang and a blue tang, clown fish ,hermit crabs, etc. My bro says in the RP you just go to the beach when you need to do a water change ;D ;D have a good day soldier!
 I say that with the highest respect and gratitude for your service.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: geno555 on August 08, 2008, 03:52:31 AM
Thank you for your kind words!.... been a long time since anyone called me \"soldier\", except my brother \"Jack\".

While it is true that in the RP especially in the provinces you may without \"trouble\" collect marine specimens including salt water without any bother there are any areas in the RP with large coral reefs that are under law protected from collection of any kind of marine life and that includes even picking up seashells!

I know of an American who lives i Cebu who maintains large marine reef tanks and collects for himself many marine specimens in the appropriate manner with no problem from the local authorities for he asked permission first. Always ask before you do something in the RP is the safe bet. It would be a shame for me to have my asawa come bail me out of a jail in Bahol for i was taking an angel fish for my tank without the proper credentials and then only to find out that after she bailed my old a?? out of jail the RP was going to deport me back to the USA when i have allready sold all my properties and car in the USA and have no where to go?  ??? God what a thought!!! ??? ??? ???

Murf
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Beatle on August 08, 2008, 05:09:50 AM


       The one thing that I do not hear anyone mentioning about the amount of GDP that is being spent on education and I feel it would give a better picture instead of saying 3% or 6% of a countries GDP.  Because if you look at the USA\'s
GDP for instance compared to the Philippines GDP, the USA has a much larger GDP than the Philippines. So, if you say that the USA spends 6% of its GDP and the Philippines spends 3% That does not mean the Philippines spends half as much as the USA does, They spend much less than that. I have looked but cannot find GDP\'s for both countries, it seems each website gives different numbers.

           So for every $100usd the USA spends, the Philippines spends closer to
$20, not $50 and substract from the $20 the portion of that, that never makes it to the schools and the portion that does make to schools but not to the students. 


        If I am way off course here please let know.


          Ray
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on August 08, 2008, 10:19:14 AM
Sorry but you\'re way off. The US and most Western countries as well as Japan spend somewhere between $8,000-$10,000 (depending on what\'s factored in and whose numbers you believe) per child per year. Malaysia spends more than $4,000 and Thailand and Vietnam spend almost $3,000. The Philippines spends about $120.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: jcjimc on August 08, 2008, 11:45:28 PM
Lets not worry about what others do, lets just make sure we do whats right.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Beatle on August 08, 2008, 11:56:35 PM
Lets not worry about what others do, lets just make sure we do whats right.


      And when we do what is right and others see how we are blessed for doing right they will want to do the same!


      Ray
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on August 09, 2008, 12:16:07 PM
Sorry but you\'re way off. The US and most Western countries as well as Japan spend somewhere between $8,000-$10,000 (depending on what\'s factored in and whose numbers you believe) per child per year. Malaysia spends more than $4,000 and Thailand and Vietnam spend almost $3,000. The Philippines spends about $120.


Michael,

To add some levity to this, you should check out the Youtube link placed by aerosick:

http://livinginthephilippines.com/forum/index.php?topic=1696.0

Offers a slightly different view of how the money is used in Western countries   ::)
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: michael16136 on August 09, 2008, 01:04:50 PM
Lets not worry about what others do, lets just make sure we do whats right.
I think this may be one of those aphorisms that sound wonderful but don\'t mean much in this context.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: wfox11 on August 18, 2008, 12:09:05 AM


I have looked but cannot find GDP\'s for both countries, it seems each website gives different numbers.




Here ya go: http://www.umsl.edu/services/govdocs/wofact2003/rankorder/2001rank.html
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on August 18, 2008, 07:24:24 AM


I have looked but cannot find GDP\'s for both countries, it seems each website gives different numbers.




Here ya go: [url]http://www.umsl.edu/services/govdocs/wofact2003/rankorder/2001rank.html[/url]


Can someone explain how the Philippines ranks 26 out of 231  ??? The OFW do a lot but not this much. Saudi, Malaysia, UAE, Singapore are all listed below and Taiwan only just above!
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: GregW on August 18, 2008, 10:02:09 AM
Keith wrote;
Quote
Can someone explain how the Philippines ranks 26 out of 231   The OFW do a lot but not this much. Saudi, Malaysia, UAE, Singapore are all listed below and Taiwan only just above! 

Just looked at the link.  Those are 2002 numbers, already 6 years old.   :(  And they\'re estimates at that.   ::) 
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: wfox11 on August 19, 2008, 09:11:29 AM
Here\'s more recent data, straight from the CIA.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2001rank.html

The PI is between Switzerland and Nigeria. Seems about right.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on August 19, 2008, 09:24:37 AM


I have looked but cannot find GDP\'s for both countries, it seems each website gives different numbers.




Here ya go: [url]http://www.umsl.edu/services/govdocs/wofact2003/rankorder/2001rank.html[/url]


Can someone explain how the Philippines ranks 26 out of 231  ??? The OFW do a lot but not this much. Saudi, Malaysia, UAE, Singapore are all listed below and Taiwan only just above!


My question still stands or is it something to do with the comment \"GDP (purchasing power parity)\"
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Flt Simulation on August 23, 2008, 03:00:33 PM
Since this whole thread started by addressing Corruption in the Philippines:

MANILA, Philippines -- \"Despite the much-publicized efforts by the Arroyo administration to curb corruption, foreign businessmen perceive the Philippines to be the most corrupt economy among 13 countries and territories across Asia\".

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view_article.php?article_id=54661

Of course, this is old news ...
_______________________________________


Table of Corruption

Zero is the best possible score:

1: Singapore,            1.13 (1.20)
2: Hong Kong,          1.80 (1.87)
3: Japan,                  2.25 (2.10)
4: Macau,                  3.30 (5.18)
5. South Korea,        5.65 (6.30)
6. Malaysia,            6.37 (6.25)
7. Taiwan,                6.55 (6.23)
8. India,                      7.25 (6.67)
9. Vietnam,               7.75 (7.54)
10. China,                  7.98 (6.29)
10. Indonesia,           7.98 (8.03)
11. Thailand,             8.00 (8.03)
12. Philippines,        9.00 (9.40)

The Philippines is a sad case when it comes to corruption, the consultancy said in a summary report made available to AFP.
       
The Philippine situation is probably no worse than in places like Indonesia and Thailand, but corruption has become politicized and is openly discussed in the media, unlike in authoritarian countries like China and Vietnam, it said.
       
The Philippines scored an almost impossible 9.0 out of a possible 10 points under a grading system used by PERC under which zero is the best score and 10 the worst.

In 2006 The Philippine Islands ranked as the eighth most corrupt nation shared by: Swaziland, Guyana, Rwanda, Gambia, Benin, Honduras, Russia and Nepal.

Haiti was the most corrupt nation.

The most honest countries are, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden. Switzerland, Norway, Austria & Luxembourg

Singapore at 1.13 (1.20)was rated as the fourth most honest country in the world.

Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: Flt Simulation on August 23, 2008, 03:15:09 PM
And if you want a real eye-opener about corruption in the Philippines, read this:

It\'s not pretty ...

GUIDE NOTE: I have edited out the link because it is, to all intent, a blog. Not put together by any respected source that I can see as it refers to \"Philippine Island police\" and \'Philippine Island justice\" not what a journalist or NGO would use when referring to the Philippines. This is one (American?) person, with who knows what his true agenda is (very anti US Embassy also) claiming many things that may or may not be true but without any way of corroborating those claims, this is a dangerous anti Philippines site.
Title: Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
Post by: on August 23, 2008, 04:28:37 PM
Since this whole thread started by addressing Corruption in the Philippines:

MANILA, Philippines -- \"Despite the much-publicized efforts by the Arroyo administration to curb corruption, foreign businessmen perceive the Philippines to be the most corrupt economy among 13 countries and territories across Asia\".

[url]http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view_article.php?article_id=54661[/url]

Of course, this is old news ...
_______________________________________


Table of Corruption

Zero is the best possible score:

1: Singapore,            1.13 (1.20)
2: Hong Kong,          1.80 (1.87)
3: Japan,                  2.25 (2.10)
4: Macau,                  3.30 (5.18)
5. South Korea,        5.65 (6.30)
6. Malaysia,            6.37 (6.25)
7. Taiwan,                6.55 (6.23)
8. India,                      7.25 (6.67)
9. Vietnam,               7.75 (7.54)
10. China,                  7.98 (6.29)
10. Indonesia,           7.98 (8.03)
11. Thailand,             8.00 (8.03)
12. Philippines,        9.00 (9.40)

The Philippines is a sad case when it comes to corruption, the consultancy said in a summary report made available to AFP.
       
The Philippine situation is probably no worse than in places like Indonesia and Thailand, but corruption has become politicized and is openly discussed in the media, unlike in authoritarian countries like China and Vietnam, it said.
       
The Philippines scored an almost impossible 9.0 out of a possible 10 points under a grading system used by PERC under which zero is the best score and 10 the worst.

In 2006 The Philippine Islands ranked as the eighth most corrupt nation shared by: Swaziland, Guyana, Rwanda, Gambia, Benin, Honduras, Russia and Nepal.

Haiti was the most corrupt nation.

The most honest countries are, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden. Switzerland, Norway, Austria & Luxembourg

Singapore at 1.13 (1.20)was rated as the fourth most honest country in the world.




Flt Sim,

This article needs to be looked at in its entirety as key comments have been left out of your extract. For example the article also says:

Quote
Inappropriate to compare

Broadfoot said credible corruption trials could convince businessmen that the Philippines was serious about fighting corruption.

The PERC managing director, however, said it might be inappropriate to compare the Philippines’ corruption rating with that of other Asian countries.

“The Philippines’ score was based only on interviews of expatriates in the country. [PERC] did not ask a single group of expatriates to give scores to all Asian countries,” he said.

Broadfoot said it would be better to compare the Philippines’ current corruption rating with its previous scores.


Also, out of 1,476 expat business men polled over 2 months, only 100 were in the Philippines. Remember facts can change minute by minute but perceptions can take a long time to change. I suggest that anyone interested in this should read the whole article in context.