Squished legs

SQUISHED LEGS! IN JEEPfull Intercity bus stuffed with peopleNEYS, TRIKES, AND YES IN INTERCITY BUSES. THEY WERE DEFINITELY NOT MADE FOR US FOREIGNERS (or “For- En-Gers”  as some Filipinos would say in their broken English).  The fact of the matter is that none of the aforementioned vehicles were designed for those over 5 feet or those who are obese like me.

Lately, I have been traveling with my family to the Island of Mindoro, in the Philippines, where my in-laws live. It is a beautiful Island and yes even the trikes are built slightly bigger to accommodate foreigners. As I was traveling, from Capas Tarlac, Luzon Philippines to San Teodoro, Mindoro, Philippines I relearned very quickly that I either have to adjust Physically and in my attitude, or I will be very very miserable.  First off, We got to Capas Tarlac, from our Barangay, and were waiting for a bus. 2 HOURS. It wasn’t that there weren’t buses coming frequently going to where we were going to but rather, that they were all full. we waited for approx 2 hours before being able to catch a bus that had empty seats. (as opposed to standing all 4 hours until Cubao). You would think that I would be grateful that I had a seat, (And I was especially after waiting 2 hours) but the seats available had no leg room at all. I mean it was worse than the leg room available on an airplane (which is pretty bad). On the bus, it wasn’t piles of personal and vegetable bags (although there were some) but piles of people crammed onto a bus. I’m guessing on that bus there was probably a seating capacity on that bus of perhaps 72, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were 85 or 90 on there. The mindset of the Average Canadian is that we like to have personal space rather than being crammed in like sardines into a sardine tin. However, the Mindset apparently of Asians is that they are used to being in very tight and confined spaces and almost seem to enjoy it. (Just my perception). As for me, I find myself being a little bit on the clusterphobic side, needing some basic space.

The second bus was a little better but later in Mindoro, would find my legs falling asleep from having them pushed at odd angles in the jeepney going from Calapan to San Teodoro. Piles of personal bags, bags of vegetables and others things all were piled in the middle where our feet should have been. I know I should not complain but this was ridiculous.  My feet were just between the tingling/pain stage and falling asleep stage. My ankles, (as I would later discover) were swollen up to the size of large oranges.

So why do I write this? Do I write just to complain and whine? (well, perhaps a little). Really I write this because I want to express some of the life lessons I learned. There are many things in life that are inconvenient, cause pain, suffering, and hardship. If you travel to third world countries, you will likely see it quite frequently as I do. In North America, we get so caught up in the “nice life mentality” where things are always, or frequently comfortable, and there are few inconveniences. We have sufficient leg room on buses, trains, and other vehicles, food is (relatively) fast food where we can within 5 minutes have our food ready for us. Buses arrive frequently and on time, Customer service is good (or sometimes anyhow), Government and other agencies are more or less free of corruption (or at least it is not as noticeable); basically, many of the things that we take for granted in North America, cater to our mentality of meeting our needs in the here and now. It Caters to our mentality that We want things quick, efficient and without problems. We want things fast and on time. I have been to the Philippines a number of times now, for a total of about 4 years. I love the Philippines and in

I love the Philippines and in fact, there are things in the Philippines that I prefer over Canadian culture and practices. But despite my numerous trips here, I still find that there are things that I have to yet adapt to in terms of my way of thinking. I still have to a large degree this “nice life mentality” and largely expect that to some degree I will be catered to. I expect a level of customer service that is equal to that of North America, I expect that bus lines, Jeepney, and trike drivers will want to please their customers and give decent leg room. I expect that there will be a level of respect and courtesy gave that is equal to that of North America.Perhaps this to some degree is true.  In North America, we live in countries that are so heavy on the rights people have demanded rights but often have forgotten responsibilities.

This blog might seem a bit heavy for some, But I myself am finding myself (sitting in my home in the Philippines) being very contemplative, wondering if perhaps I am being too demanding. Are my expectations of the country, and the people in it too high? Why do I have the right to inist all theses things despite being a “guest” in the country? Yes there are expectations that people have (and should have) that are based on an expectation of goodness, what is right, fair and honest. But often we mix up however our rights and what is “owing us” or “what is rightly due”, with what is good right fair and honest.  It is amazing how being in another country can make one very contemplative, and thinking about things such as this.

This is not to say that there are not good reasons to be critical or demanding at times such as defending human rights and dignities, or having a righteous anger when one sees that so called “followers of Christ (aka believers) are falling for the lies of the devil, or that Governments or others are purposely contravening God’s PRAYING HANDS1laws purposely perverting truth and making it lies; and putting in policies into place that are clearly against God and his Word.  In cases such as these there is little we can do except pray and give it into God’s hands; letting Him deal with it.

It is much easier to complain, criticize, and be demanding, then it is to be quiet, humble, and accepting those things that one can’t change. Not to make excuses but I think that when one goes into a place where everything is different culturally, it is extremely hot, and there are many things that are backward and seem to be nonsense, (especially when one is a no-nonsense type of person) one is quick to jump to having these bad attitudes. I know that I am very quick to jump to conclusions, complain, criticize, and am demanding at times and that it is something I need to work on.  I apologize to all those that I am quick to get angry with, or be demanding of. I realize more than ever that the Lord still has a lot of work to do in me, and my life is witness to all that he has done and yet has to do so i am more like Him in every way.

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SO YOU’VE GOT TO GO ?????

A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FOREIGNER You are coming from the airport by bus to a city outside of Manilla. toilet-philippines-bucket-spigotYou finally get to the bus depot, ABOUT A 20-minute taxi from the airport; you are tired and the taxi driver seeing you were “American and rich” (anything not Filipino, and from North American) just took you for an extra p500.00 Pesos driving you the longer route to the bus depot and now, you’ve got to go. I mean you really really have got to go.(to the washroom that is) You rush to where the washrooms are (they call it CR (Comfort Room) in the Philippines which is truly an irony because it is far from comfortable!!!!! The only comfort is finally being able to relieve yourself after waiting in long lines and getting past … well, I’ll tell you all about that in a minute.

So you arrive at the CR ready to drop a load, and you depending on the location, get stopped and told you to have to pay a toll. The attendant says “Bayad” and points to a sign that says pay P5.00 for entrance. Or if your really lucky you might see the signs that say umihi (pee) P5.00 tae (Poop) p10.00. I know of a place in Baguio that has this exact sign in a park washroom. No lie!  (although I’ve always wondered how they would enforce this lol… let me check before you flush lol NOT! !!!!Anyhow I digress) So you look through your pockets and of course, you don’t have any pesos yet. You haven’t been able to get any money converted yet. “I need to get in … I don’t have any pera” Pera the word you learned within 5 minutes of getting off the airport property as all the beggars in Metro Manila (Like Toronto, Sao Paulo or other Mega-Cities which swallow up other cities) and beyond heard you are coming and holding out their hands and asking for money.  “Pera, Pera…Pera!” they say almost in a demanding tone. “No NO,  I HAVE NO MONEY!!! YOU REPEAT THIS ABOUT 10,000 times but they all seem to be deaf or stupid. Likewise, the attendant at the CR seems to have the same condition; an instant loss of hearing. You are practically holding yourself front and back as it seems like article-2339866-1A43307C000005DC-251_634x366hours since you’ve been waiting to get in. You find someone that will give you p5.00 and you rush to the toilet stall. Lo and behold a lineup. You look to where the stalls are. There are or were 4 stalls. One has no toilet, one has no toilet door (although some are desperate and use it anyways, another has been clogged for the last century leaving only one stall available.  You desperately are crawling into the stall sort of doing a funny walk trying to keep from doing it before you get to the toilet and “WHAT?” WHAT IS THIS?” It looks sort of like a toilet but there is no toilet tank and no toilet seat! You’re sort of doing the squat thing not really sure of whether you should or even want to sit on the toilet bowl rim itself but eventually out of tiredness are forced to do the unthinkable. You Sit and well you know .. do your business. Actually, it is more like a volcano rupturing upside down because the Filipino food they fed you on the plane did not agree with your stomach and the immense 34-degree heat (But feels like 39 with the humidity has you feeling as sick as a dog.  So this volcano erupts harshly downward into this toilet bowl, the water likewise is a Tsunami coming back hitting you on your rear end. You’re a mess and you need to clean up. You reach over to get the toilet paper, but Oh this is the Philippines. They for the most part (unless you are at a place that is well off or at a nicer mall that is not too cheap to buy toilet paper) don’t use toilet paper. If you are at a residence they would have a large bucket and a scoop with soap nearby which one can use a couple of scoops of water sort of wash yourself using your hand. (wash your hands please)Then you would get the soap in your hand’s lather up and, be using your hand get your backside all soapy. Then you rinse a number

th (3)

This Picture may or may not  necessarily reflect the Bathrooms of the Philippines lol

of times (You really don’t want to have a soapy backside and soapy underwear) and then you wash your hands and the soap real well. (It works real good even better than toilet paper)    (IF YOU HAVE THE RESOURCES TO DO IT BUT WE DON’T) So now, You are sitting on a dirty toilet rim of a dirty toilet in a dirty CR wondering what you ar going to do. At this point, you only have a few options. You can hope that someone comes into the stall  next to you and is willing to let you borrow some toilet paper, (Oh ya, the stalls beside you were out of service … oops) If it has a flusher (Better check, some do not and require water in a tub with a  scoop) you can flush the toilet and use otherwise (GROSS) you could use the water from the toilet bowl to wash yourself and flush again. You can hope that you are traveling with a relative or that an attendant comes in and will find some toilet paper but that is unlikely . (They often will have a dispenser of packages of toilet tissue (similar to our tissue we use for our noses that are wrapped in plastic.) for sale for p50 Lang (only). (OF COURSE, WE FAILED TO SEE THAT AS WE WERE IN SUCH A RUSH !!!!) the options are few and between but somehow the Filipinos are ready and prepared.  You finally get out of the stall and go to wash your hands. You look and there are five sinks. One with No sink (porcelain broken) another with no faucet, another with no Tap handle (to turn on water) another with no drain pipe (water just runs onto your feet) and the last one all the taps faucets etc are missing. Oh did I mention No Paper towel in this CR.

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it. The Stories have been exaggerated just slightly but not much. I thoroughly Enjoy the Philippines and see everything as an adventure.  You never know what new experience is coming next. If you can’t do anything about it, you might as well enjoy it and just have a good laugh. Take care of yourselves and I look forward to seeing you at the next blog. Comment Comment Comment, Please!!!!

 

“THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO BACK AND FORTH … ALL DAY LONG”

So,  another ExperiencFilipino Bus1e and you are looking for a whole lot more (Perhaps something on the Milder side would be better though eh?). What could happen on a bus you ask?  Well … we will get to that.  First I need to preface my comments with this.

 

There are a number of types of transportation in the Philippines Jeepneys, Trikes, Taxi’s, Shuttles, trains, City Buses and intercity buses. They are all safe. well relatively safe. I have no hesitation to put my wife and kids in a bus, trike, train, shuttle or anything else this wonderful country has to offer.  Like any other metropolitan country, with massive cities, it too has its share of disaster. Please note: the following is not intended to discourage tourism to the Philippines but rather have people see also the vast adventures in the Philippines. After all … “LIFE IS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES!”

So let’s make it very clear, just like any other country, the Philippines has vehicular accidents. In the last couple of years, we have seen accidents where the train didn’t stop

bus crash 4

A BAD BUS CRASH

and crashed at the terminal, there have been a number of bus accidents involving other vehicles, people and yes, even causing a number of deaths. It is sad to report that I have heard at least three buses in the last 4 years going off of the road over steep embankments, over cliffs and killing most, if not all it’s occupants. In fact, there was a case just recently of that happening, and amazingly, a baby and a few others survived. They say two of the contributing factors was speed and being overloaded with passengers. It is extremelfull Intercity bus stuffed with peopley tragic when something like this happens, and disastrous especially when there is a loss of life. Even one life is too much! It should never happen and when things like this happen there should be serious consequences for the drivers and the bus companies themselves who put extreme pressure in terms of deadlines (sorry perhaps not the best phrase to use here (timelines), long hours, etc. They and the conductor are expected to have the bus filled or overfilled so they can make the most profit from a job that actually pays very liitle.  OK, ENOUGH OF MY RANT! TOO MUCH SERIOUSNESS!!!!!!  packed full city bus

 

It is nomotorbikes1t unusual to see buses, trikes and Jeepneys overcrowded and way past the capacity allowed. BUT HEY, THIS IS THE PHILIPPINES. YES THEY HAVE RULES BUT ALL TOO OFTEN ARE LOOSELY FOLLOWED AND YES IT IS ALL PART OF THIS WONDERFUL CULTURAL WEAVE THAT YOU HAVE TO EXPERIENCE.  VICTORY LINER BUS.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you are getting on a bus and finding a nice seat. (I say nice because it is not uncommon for a seat to be broken so it stays in the recline position permanently or vice versa. You look around the bus and see a big TV screen at the front or if lucky a second screevendors 4n halfway back. It looks pretty decent with the seats all coordinated with the curtains. the seats, the floors, and aisles are for the most part clean and it looks like you will have a quiet relaxing bus trip. NOT!!!!! NOT !!!!! AND DEFINITELY NOT!!!!! BELIEVE ME, THE EXPERIENCE IS JUST ABOUT TO START AND YOU IN FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE. If you don’t believe me go to the Philippines, and try it! (I suggest however that you read this first lol). You got into the bus early and you found a conductor who’s English is not too broken and he explained to you that this is the bus you take to get up to Angeles and then you will have to switches buses there again to get to Capas Tarlac.  You thought you had tbuko pie vendorhem all fooled. You saw all the vstreet vendor2endors approaching you, trying to sell you buko pie, candy, pop, and water, nuts, hamburgers, hotdogs, various BBQ’d parts of Pork, newspapers, Sweet Filipina desserts, Coffee and Juices, seafood, banana cue, and so many other things and now you’re on the bus. away from them all. Or not. As people are starting to board the bus slowly you realize that some of these people are vendors now coming on to the bus to sell you these same items. There really is no stop to them. It’s like massive swarms of fliestreet vendor1s coming to your seat that you viciously swat away over and over again. Unfortunately, just when one group of vendors leave another group is there to replabananacuece them.  You almost feel like faking some real bad disease just to scare them all away so that they leave you alone.  Lol. The good news if there is something you need you will most likely be able to get it. So the bus starts filling up and filling up oh and did I say it fills up? Ok, it actually depends on where you are departing from as to how full it can be. But often when leaving a Bus terminal it will be quite full. Now, If you can imagine a greyhound bus with a conductor (takes fares), this is pretty well the Philippine intercity bus lines. In fact, there are some that operate out of Batangas Port our ferries port that are nicer than our buses. Well almost. You see If you were to continue on your journey you would after a bit discover that there are no bathrooms on these buses. This means that either nice bus 2you use the facilities at the stops or you have the bus stop and go on the side of the road.  Yes, it is not uncommon to see men peeing on the side of the road somewhere. Now, did I happen to mention that these buses are going what seems like three hundred miles an hour, weaving in and out of traffic, constantly passing other vehicles by going into oncoming traffic? Ode to sickness. (in the tune of ode to joy)

“sickness sickness how i hate you bus is fast the stops too few, vomit, vomit soon is coming slow down driver here it comes.

driving crazy, weaving through traffic, hits all bumps and up i go.

crazy drivers should be fired, slow down drivers keep us safe. we want to get to our destination, in one peice and still alive.

oh yes, and if you are near the back of the bus be prepared for bumps, lots and lots of bumps. I remember on one trip I had a real sore butt and a real sore head. the real sore head is obvious, I banged my head repeatedly on an already low roof.

Another song my 3 year old daughter sings “The wheels on the bus go round and round”  modified my yours truly,  me

The Wheels on the bus go back and forth …. all day long

The heads on the bus go bang bang bang … all day long

the people on the bus go barf barf barf … all day long

sing along with me if you know it

The people on the bus go brrr brrr brr … all day long

conductors on the bus go pay the fare … all day long.

conductors on the bus say it’s your stop … all day long

people on the bus go “glad we’re stopped” all day long

(I give you fair warning, Jeepneys, trikes, and buses are NOT  MADE FOR NORTFilipino Bus1H AMERnice busICANS.  THESE ARE SHORT, NARROW AND EVERYTHING THAT MOST NORTH AMERICAN ARE NOT. MOST FILIPINOS ARE BETWEEN 5 FOOT AND FIVE FOOT 6. ANYONE BIGGER WILL SUFFER.  DON’T SAY I DIDN’T GIVE YOU FAIR WARNING. Anyhow the sore butt is from coming down hard on myfull Intercity bus stuffed with people tailbone on the edge of the seat.  It sometimes feels like you are on some amusement park ride that throws you around constantly and you are paying for the nausea pain and suffering, not to mention high blood pressure and stress.

So you are getting on a bus and finding a nice seat. (I say nice because it is not packed full city busuncommon for a seat to be broken (to it stays in the recline position permanently or vice versa)). You look around the bus and see a big TV screen at the front AND if lucky a second screevendors 4n halfway back. It looks pretty decent with the seats all color coordinated with the curtains. the seats, the floors, and aisles. All are for the most part clean, and it looks like you will have a quiet relaxing bus trip. NOT!!!!! NOT !!!!! AND DEFINITELY NOT!!!!! BELIEVE ME, THE EXPERIENCE IS JUST ABOUT TO START AND YOU IN FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE. If you don’t believe me go to the Philippines, and try it! (I suggest however that you read this first lol). You got into the bus early and you found a conductor who’s English is not too broken and he explained to you that this is the bus you take to get up to Angeles and then you will have to switches buses there again to get to Capas Tarlac.  THEN THERE ARE THE AGGRESSIVE VENDORS. You thought you had tbuko pie vendorhem all fooled. You saw all the vstreet vendor2endors approaching you, trying to sell you buko pie, candy, pop, and water, nuts, hamburgers, hotdogs, various BBQ’d parts of Pork that we won’t mention(in this post),  newspapers, Sweet Filipina desserts, Coffee and Juices, seafood, banana cue, and so many other things and now you’re on the bus. away from them all. Or not. As people are starting to board the bus slowly you realize that some of these people are vendors now coming on to the bus to sell you these same items. There really is no stop to them. It’s like massive swarms of fliestreet vendor1s coming to your seat that you viciously swat away over and over again. Unfortunately, just when one group of vendors leave another group is there to replabananacuece them.  You almost feel like faking some real bad disease just to scare them all away so that they leave you alone.  Lol. The good news if there is something you need you will most likely be able to get it. So the bus starts filling up and filling up oh and did I say it fills up? Ok, it actually depends on where you are departing from as to how full it can be. But often when leaving a Bus terminal it will be quite full. Even when it is empty it desn’t stay that way, rather you will have people shoulder to shoulder standing in the aisles waiting for a seat to open up.  Now, If you can imagine A greyhound bus, this is pretty well the Philippine intercity bus lines  . In fact, there are some that operate out of Batangas Port when you are coming from ferries that are nicer than our buses. Well almost. You see If you were to continue on your journey you would after a bit discover that there are no bathrooms on these buses. This means that either nice bus 2you use the facilities at the stops or you have the bus stop and go on the side of the road.  Yes, it is not uncommon to see men peeing on the side of the road somewhere. Now, did I happen to mention that these buses are going what seems like three hundred miles an hour, weaving in and out of traffic, constantly passing other vehicles by going into oncoming traffic nearly avoiding other ones?  You see in the Philippines they don’t drive like us normal people, they for the most part drive absolutely crazy. Yes Crazy. They honk for every little thing and as I mentioned, Filipino drivers weave in and out of traffic and do things that most drivers do not do. In any North American country, they would be ticketed for aggressive driving,  unsafe lane changes,  and making illegal U-turns. They may be in an intersection and need to pull into traffic, Instead of doing what normal people do they will keep pulling the nose of the car out further and further into traffic until the other vehicles stop and then they can pull right into the lanes. Need to do a U-turn? No problem. Same thing. Forget about that other traffic in both directions is coming towards you or that the rules say no u-turns, just do it anyways and hope that you don’t get hit. Driving in the Philippines can be hazardous at best, but especially when you are in the bigger city centers, where driving resembles more a game of dodgeball. (I know I’ve driven here) The only unwritten rule is that the bigger trucks and other vehicles have right away.  Obvious isn’t it? Otherwise, you and your car end up looking like a can of sardines. Anyhow, I digress. Back to the bus.  oh yes, and if you are near the back of the bus be prepared for bumps; lots and lots of bumps. I remember on one trip I had a real sore butt and a real sore head. the real sore head is obvious, I banged my head repeatedly on an already low roof. (I give you fair warning, Jeepneys, trikes, and buses are NOT  MADE FOR NORTFilipino Bus1H AMERnice busICANS.  THEY ARE SHORT, NARROW AND EVERYTHING THAT MOST NORTH AMERICAN ARE NOT. MOST FILIPINOS ARE BETWEEN 5 FOOT AND FIVE FOOT 6. ANYONE BIGGER WILL SUFFER. I DON’T SAY I DIDN’T GIVE YOU FAIR WARNING. Anyhow the sore butt is from coming down hard on myfull Intercity bus stuffed with people tailbone on the edge of the seat.  It sometimes feels like you are on some amusement park ride going up, down, and side to side. Now to add to this mix, at almost every stop light, stop for passengers and rest stops you will have vendors coming on to the bus for a mile or two with you, filling up the bus further, pleading with you to buy their goods. (like that is just what you need when your stomach is upset right?) Remember there are no toilets on this bus. All these factors can make for a very interesting bus ride. Of course, the bus lines don’t want you sick (or at least some of them anyways) so they crank the aircon,       (that’s air conditioning that for those who don’t speak taglish(Tagalog-English)) to about -500 degrees (or so it seems). THIS WAY YOU ARE A POPSICLE THE WHOLE TRIP WITH ALL YOUR INSIDES FROZEN SO THAT YOU ARE NOT LIKELY TO DIRTY THEIR BUS LOL) (MY OPINION ONLY)

It is at this time I am reminded of that famous Disney song “Let it go”,

Let it go, Let it go let the vomit spew all out, Let it go, let it go, may your bowels and bladder let loose, I don’t care what people say, I stink, I’m wet, I never liked them anyway.

Sorry to Disney in Advance. Let’s hope they don’t sue me lol

Of course needless to say, when you get to Capas Tarlac in the middle of the province it is like +400 degrees (actually only 36 Degrees but feels like 40). It’s like arriving out of a freezer and walking right into a convection oven. You are alive, (this time) and happy to get out of that popsicle stand, but not so happy taking a dip into the lobster pot where in the hot season it is not unusual to need a shower 3+ times a day.

As you can probably tell, I exaggerate some. well, a little bit anyways. I hope you are enjoying the stories, the sarcasm, wit, and humor. If you enjoy this leave a comment, follow me… not literally, just this blog (stalkers need not apply) and let me know what you think. check out my other blogs too. Some are of a more serious nature and others light-hearted. take your pick. Ingat (take care)

If I offended someone, I apologize and hope you will continue to read my blogs anyhow lol

Garbage Garbage Everywhere

OAn Indian boy throws domestic garbage in...An Indian boy throwsne of the things that one often notices when traveling from North America, is that there seems to be garbage everywhere compared to other places.  Everywhere there is lots of garbage, on the side of highways, streets and other places.  Seldom will one find garbage cans, rather, any plastic or other garbage will be dropped wherever, and it will be cleaned at another time.  It seems that this mindset is changing some but it is slow changing, with it well instilled even in the children.

This is not to say that the Filipino people are dirty or unclean. They simply have a mindset that is somewhat different from ours.  Each and every morning you will see ladies in front of their homes, business owners in front of their businesses sweeping up and then burning the garbage. sometimes if there is a place where there is an over-excess of garbage it will be done multiple times a day. This is not to say that there aren’t places where no garbage abounds. It does. There are many places where garbage has just been dumped or the homeowner has not taken very good care and so there is still a lot of garbage in areas.  In these areas, you will see more cockroaches, rats, mic250px-Jaipur_cows_eating_trashe, and other vermin. This is just something that you have to get used to.  There are many barangays (suburbs/ villages) that have garbage collection once a week and this eases the congestion of garbage.

On the Flip side, Recycling has boomed. There are on many streets a home or a small business where people can bring certain recyclable items and get paid for them.  Some of the things that pays off real well are when they get the iron re-bar and the copper from fans and other electrical items. Because of the increase in recycling people are taking in their older broken things to get some money out of it, and then the recyclers get an even bigger amount when they bring it in; so it is a win-win.  They have on occasion problems with garbage getting into the drain pipes, i01_esteronto the waterways, like creeks and rivers and more open bodies of water like lakes, reservoirs, and bays. it is being recognized as being a real problem and things are being done to counter this ongoing problem. The dump areas in Manila are full of poor people going through the piles of garbage to try and find something that can be used, be sold, be eaten, or made into something else. The stench in certain areas (especially in the ppig-farms-philippinesoorer areas where the pollution problem is the greatest) is enough to drive even a person without the sense of smell loopy. Another area of great smell is when passing the large pigs farms.  Mass amounts of pig feces from all the swine at these enormous pig farms is put into a pit and later used for fertilizer for farming. when you pass these places you can’t help but cover your face to avoid the stench of pigs despite sometimes being over a thousand yards away from the nearest road or highway.

Until the mindset of the people changes, there will be little change and we will have to get used to it. In the meantime, we make people aware of the negative environmental effects on air, water, and soil. It is something that we ourselves cannot do much about so we have to change what we can and accept what we cannot. As a foreigner, the best advice I could give… consider it, and everything else in the culture that seems very backwards, as an adventure. enjoy the ride, take it in. Adapt, take pictures, ask lots of questions and try to understand from their perspective why it is they do what they do. Have fun with it, and participate in the good parts of the culture. Live like a Filipino. Learn the culture the customs and practices and when they don’t go against your conscience or God’s word get involved. Be the adventurer. Ingat (take care)187-05-street-children-philippines

 

 

EVERYTHING IS BACKWARDS!

PART OF THE LIVING LIFE IN THE PHILIPPINES SERIES. – Intro

phillipines-flag-waving-animated-gif-1

The Philippines is Backwards!

IThis was my first thought when I came to the Philippines.  Everything they do seems to be backwards and at least 25 years behind.  I mean everything. The way you bath/shower, the way you toilet, the way dishes are washed, the way laundry is done, and then there is the whole area of garbage and how they deal with that.  Everything seems very inneficient and unorganized.  Yes, everything seems backwards. Oh sure I recognize that not everything is negative.There are a lot of positives too. Here are just a few.

  • Filipinos are extremely friendly  and warm
  • Filipinos are extremely generous and giving
  • The country has so many beautiful places to see and visit,: Vast Landscapes, caves, buildings, beaches, waterparks, tourist attractions galore and big vast cities to beautiful countrysides.  It has it all.
  • Your money goes a long way here. There is just under 38 Peso to 1 Canadian dollar.

I will in this series be talking about the many cultural differences, and how one needs survives them, learns to adapt and understand them and how one changes their perception from a “North American mentality” to one that is global.