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Author Topic: Why is it difficult for Filipinos to give precise directions/location?  (Read 3857 times)

Offline 3rdway

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They tell you where the general location of what you are looking for is to about as far as your peripherals would go. You'd have to ask 10 people per kilometer to find the place! It's crazy!

The other day I asked a shoe store where I could find shoe products. A market with more than 1 shop. He said Marakina. I thought Marakina was the name of the Market. If I didn't know better, I would have taken that information and left. But I do know better, from experience, so I Google map Marakina and it turned out to be a freaking city, with a population of half a million people!

What did he expect? That I get to Marakina and magically find it? Where in Marakina was I supposed to go? So I pressed for more info - It's like pulling teeth! Couldn't go past Marakina. I understand it's in Marakina but I had to explain that Marakina is huge, where should I go in Marakina for the shoe shops? That's a logical question, isn't it? Because the way he was looking at me was as if I was asking how I could turn water to wine. I kept mentally pausing to check if there is something I'm not getting. And it's not like he wasn't sure where in Marakina either. He buys his supplies from there!

The above is just on example. Happens all the time.

One time, at a mall, I asked a vendor where a shop was. He pointed (with all his 5 fingers) right smack at the point between the escalator, the corridor next to the escalator, ceiling and a few degrees up. So I couldn't get if he was pointing up (to go up the escalator to the 2nd floor, or down the corridor at the same floor. I mean, it was beautifully vague! I can't believe he found the only exact spot where it was ambiguous! Literally a cm in any direction would have been clearer.

You would think it would immediately be cleared once I ask a confirmatory question... but nope! Kept on pointing in the same manner. My man! I obviously don't get your direction, so repeating what I'm not getting is not going to make me suddenly get it!

And it can't be that difficult because I'm asking a yes or no question "is it upstairs? (pointing up the escalator)"..."points at that same freaking spot". "Is it that way (pointing that way)?. "Points at that same freaking spot".
So guess what I do? Give up and guess. I get on the escalator and now I hear him hollering at me "sir! This way!" "pointing, again, at the same goddam spot, but now it's suddenly clearer because, well, I've eliminated the other option. Gotta now make a u-ey at the top and come back downstairs...Aggh!

Countless other similar incidents! But seriously! Is it just me??

Offline M.C.A.

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Re: Why is it difficult for Filipinos to give precise directions/location?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2019, 07:08:00 PM »
The longer I stay here the less questions I ask and just find it myself it's not worth it and I don't think that the citizen enjoys talking to us and to put frankly they'd rather avoid conversation.

Getting out more often and finding these spots on my own sure has helped, I've walked in the market area's and malls but leave the woman behind because for me it's too stressful she's always in a hurry doesn't like to walk around much so when I ditch the family and go it alone it's a better shop for me.

The other issue is traveling to the store or Mall only to find out it's out of stock or they never carry it so I'm beginning to use the online shopping more and more.
My views would be from someone who lives out in the province close to in-laws on a pension.  Norwegian and French heritage.

Offline User444

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Re: Why is it difficult for Filipinos to give precise directions/location?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2019, 07:32:43 PM »
It could be that the random employee/person in the mall doesn't feel comfortable speaking English with you. I try to go to the Information booth at the mall and sometimes they are helpful. Sometimes they aren't. It could also be that they really don't know the answer, but they don't want to look like they're not being helpful. So they guess at it.
Never argue with an idiot who provides false information. First, they will bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

Offline JoeLP

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Re: Why is it difficult for Filipinos to give precise directions/location?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2019, 04:53:11 AM »
I learned very quickly that there is not depending on directions in terms of narrowing down exactly what you're looking for.  I just ask someone else if they even know what it is.  Say I was to look for a store names AIIA(example) I'll ask a local if they like AIIA.  If they give you a funny look, don't ask that person for directions.  You get it.
Now, the one thing I learned after I learned that first lesson is distances.  I'm on a smaller island at a resort with my family.  The people who own the resort we are staying at own another one.  The one we were at was maybe 250 meters from the small "city" on the island.  I ask a worker where the other resort was at that they owners also owned.  They point down the road towards the city and say just past the city.  I even had the name of the resort and all and decided to take a "small walk" and check out the other resort. 
I walk to the city, and as I'm about to leave it, I ask a local for how far to the resort(gave the name).  "Not far.   Just down that way a little."  So, I start my walk.  Come to a small inland lake, walk past it....bump into another local, ask the same question, get the same answer.  Keep walking. 
Come upon a house with a woman out cleaning laundry. Ask same question.  Get same answer.  Ended up being over a couple miles past the city. 
I found it, but, it wasn't "just a little past the city". 
Learned then to just take my bike everywhere and do my walking on my own terms and in areas I know.
In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

Offline iamjames

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Re: Why is it difficult for Filipinos to give precise directions/location?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2019, 04:48:52 PM »
"over there" with a vague gesture is sufficient. I can mean from 500 yards to five miles. I think the sunrise or sunset are the basic criteria for direction - but distance is meaningless.

Offline Gray Wolf

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Re: Why is it difficult for Filipinos to give precise directions/location?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2020, 05:04:09 AM »
I've found that the vast majority of the population can't tell you the difference between north, south, east or west, much less how far away anything is. Sad  :(
Louisville, KY USA - Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, PH