You often hear that raising your voice to a Filipino can get you deported. It is true, it can. Usually though it will take more than that. But if you are rude to a Filipino and they file a complaint with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) then you can be sure you will be at the very least explaining yourself. Chances are good, you’ll be making a settlement with the person you offended as well.

If you’re living in the Philippines you should learn what is important in the culture. We want the same thing in the USA, at least most of us do and I don’t think that is unreasonable for America and it is not unreasonable for the Philippines.

The last time I wrote about freedom of speech in the Philippines, I had several people try to tell me I was an idiot.They went on to tell me some of what they have said to Filipinos.  They held that out as proof as that I didn’t know what I was talking about. I think those people tend to be a bit narcissistic and oblivious to anything that does not go the way they want it to go.

Respect is a huge, massive issue in the culture of Filipinos. Push that too far and some Filipinos will kill you and even feel compelled to do so. Very few Filipinos want to fight with you, they want to be  your friend and just have a good time, but do not disrespect a Filipino. That is what got Jimmy and his 20 Reasons I Dislike The Philippines video into so much trouble.

This week a man was charged and arrested for oral defamation. He cursed a Filipino and even threatened to smack her in the face according to press reports. Anything you read in the press you should be skeptical of though. There is one case I know of that got nationwide attention and the facts reported in the press were quite inaccurate. Accurate or not though, this case clearly shows what showing disrespect to a Filipino can lead too.

This was all over someone’s roosters waking him up.  If you can’t learn to get over a rooster crowing, you best live in a high rise or way out away from anyone else. Otherwise, there will be roosters. The Philipines is really kind of a noisy place. I found it kind of exciting when I moved here. Now often someone’s roosters woke me up and that wasn’t exciting. Now though, I don’t even notice them. Some people can’t do that though. They feel so infringed on it enrages them and then they will likely never be able to block out the crow of the rooster.  Only brownouts still enrage me and there’s squat I can do about that.

This guy though went out at 3am and started throwing rocks. Some of them broke a windshield. The owner came out and confronted him and he called her various names that I won’t repeat here. What is odd to me is it does not appear they even bothered to charge him with vandalism.  At least it was not mentioned in the press report I read. I’ll share a link for more information on that later in this article.

Now this guy had some history. He’s been hauled into the police office before due to unruly behavior and he is generally disliked because of it in his neighborhood. It appears to me the police have tried to give him some warnings in the past. Breaking windshields, I’m sure had a lot to do with the arrest as did the threat. The police are probably tired of dealing with him. Since he can be deported for insulting a Filipino that is probably why they went with that charge. Just get rid of him.

His name is William Stephan “Spider” Ledesma and he was a basketball player. Reports say he was invited to try out for the LA Clippers but I don’t know what the outcome of that was. Like I said before, based on what I’ve found in press reports in the past, all I would really take from this is he got upset, probably over a rooster crowing, went outside, had a confrontation and is not facing deportation.

Based on this video that I found he has aspiration to run for president and even plans or planned to do so.

When you live in the Philippines, you need to learn to put that American “how dare you” temper in the closet and leave it there. Yes, I know it can be hard. When there is a problem, I usually just stay out of it and let Jessie deal with it. We both now it is best. I don’t loose my temper often but when I do, I will admit it can be explosive. I still worry it will get me in trouble some day. I go from shy to gorilla in less than a 10th of a second. haha Not something I like about me because that almost never ends well.

There have been other cases where an outspoken foreigner has gotten himself into trouble for it. I’ve yet to see an actual deportation over this alone. There was one case involving a relative of the president that got some people blacklisted but there was also allocation of pushing. Bad choice for a confrontation. Happened at the end of a long flight, when tempers are often frayed.  They were no Americans.

There  was a foreigner in Cebu that got annoyed with a group of government officials trying to get a lower price on something and expressed his views in a disrespectful way. He had to go to BI to explain his actions. I don’t know if it went any further. Probably not.

It is clear though that insulting a Filipino can put your staying here at risk. We Americans tend to be far more outspoken, we show our emotions more and that can lead to misunderstandings. Keep it in check folks.

This story came to my attention after a post in our forum. You can read more including links to the news story here.

By Rusty Ferguson

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