Author Topic: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me  (Read 31210 times)

Offline michael16136

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The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« 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.

Offline steveinvisayas

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #1 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
Steve Crawford
Damilag, Bukidnon

Offline RUFUS

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #2 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
SO SAYETH THE RUFUS

Offline GregW

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #3 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.

Ako si Goyo.   Amerikano akong lawas pero Bisaya akong kasing-kasing

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #4 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

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #5 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
  :(

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #6 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

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #7 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

Offline John Amend-All

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #8 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

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #9 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

Offline michael16136

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #10 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.

Offline coutts00

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #11 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
Wayne  ;D ;D

Offline michael16136

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #12 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.

Offline RUFUS

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #13 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
SO SAYETH THE RUFUS

Offline michael16136

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #14 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.\"