Living In The Philippines

If you are living in the Philippines and are in the province you are living in the original boondocks!  It is a common word in the Southern USA but it comes from the Philippines.

The word was brought back to America by US soldiers stationed here in WWII.  It comes from the Tagalog word “bundok.”  Which in its purist form means mountain.  People living in major cities of the Philippines started using the word to mean any rural area.

Bogo City Repair Crew with Ladder on Motercycle.

Living In The Philippines Boondocks

Living in the Philippines boondocks has it advantages.  Like most things, it has its disadvantages too.  Let’s talk about some of the advantages first:

  • Very Low Crime Rate
  • Much Less Pollution
  • The People Are Friendlier

Crime In The Philippines

There is crime where I live.  Living in the Philippines means less crime, not more.  I’m 120Km or about 80 miles from Cebu City.  I believe Bogo would be the largest city north of Metro Cebu.  There is crime here of course.  Within the last week, some nut case got of the bus in Bogo and started hacking people up at the public market here.  I don’t think he is from Bogo but the crime did happen here.  There was a member of the Bogo City Crime Prevention Task Force killed within the last year.  I read of one other murder  in Bogo that I can recall in the last year.  Those are pretty low rates of murder though.

Our family has been a victim of petty crime a couple of times.  Someone stole clothes off the line one night.  Someone ripped vandalized our porch in order to rip up some of the metal trim on it.  It was said, so that the thief could then sell it.  If it was worth anything, the locals assured me he would be back.  Our landlord just had it all pulled up and repaired.

I don’t hear about a lot of criminal activity in Bogo because there is very little of it compared to bigger cities.

Pollution In The Philippines

People that visit Bogo usually mention how clean and pollution free it is.  I wouldn’t say it is pollution free but there is less.     I don’t see smog filled hazy skies.  I do see way too much trash in the sea around Bogo.  But the streets and sidewalks are clean, hardly any trash around.  The mayor of Bogo puts a significant deal of effort into that.

Friendly Filipino Culture

I was really taken by the friendly people of Bogo when I first arrived.   They are still here, I am just more use to it now.  So it doesn’t grab my attention the way it use to.  I’ve run into one or two rude people at the disco on the few occasions that I went there.  But, that’s what you find in a crowded place full of drinking people.

I don’t find the people in Cebu City to be rude at all though.  I see some foreigners talk about how rude Filipino are.  I recently read one Filipino talking of the same.  He was in Metro Manila.  I suspect that foreigners that frequent Manila and especially Angeles City see a different group of Filipino.  A group that doesn’t reflect Filipino culture as a whole.   That is especially true in Angeles City (AC).

Now, I haven’t been to AC but I want to go.  I want to see what it is like.  Somehow, I suspect that even there I will find Filipino to be less rude than some of those I’ve talked to.  I do know too, it is a good place to find trouble.  Yes, I’d like to visit the bikini bars there. I might even buy a “lady drink” or two but I won’t be paying for an early work release.  Just not something that appeals to me.  AC is part of the Filipino culture.  I want to know more about it.  But it is not the Filipino culture and neither is Manila.

I’m certain though that a lot of Filipino culture can be found any place and that includes those two and other similar cities.  I have talked to a lot of Filipino from those areas.  I find some very traditional conservative Filipino from those areas and I find some that are far less conservative.  I find some that are far more Western in their thinking than you are likely to find living in the rural areas of the Philippines.  Just like any where else in the world, people living in the Philippines come in all different types.

Some of the disadvantages of living in rural areas of the Philippines:

  • Not Much Night Life
  • Some Things Are Hard To Obtain
  • More Brown Outs
  • Tsismis Spreads Even Faster

Night Life In Rural Philippines Is Limited

Yes, there is less night life.  Less modern entertainment of any kind.  We don’t have a single public movie theater in Bogo City.  Since we have less of it, we probably have less trouble.  One of the murder cases I mentioned above happened after an argument broke out at a night spot here in Bogo.  Natives living in the Philippines love to party so they do find a way.

Hard To Buy Things In Rural Philippines

Things being hard to get affect me to a larger degree.  Right now, there is a cola shortage in Bogo.  None of the stores have Coke Zero, Coke Light or Pepsi Light.  I’ve been drinking to many and if I don’t get my caffeine fix, I start feeling pretty rotten.  I’ve been trying to drink more water so I won’t be in such a rushed state.  I’ve been working like a mad man lately.  I need to slow down!  Shortages of certain items is part of living in the Philippines.

Need a cigar?  That’s a 120 mile trip if you’re living in Bogo City.  Need a computer component?  You might be able to find it here but most of the time, that too means a trip to Cebu City.  What you can find here is likely to be far more expensive.

The Dreaded Brownout For Those Living In The Philippines

Anyone that reads this blog knows that brownouts are what I hate most about the Philippines.  Probably the only thing I would use the word hate for regarding living in the Philippines.  We have more in Bogo City than one will have in Metro Cebu, Davao, Manila or any other major city in the Philippines.

Tsismis In Rural Philippines

Tsismis or gossip in the Philippines takes is exaggerated in the Philippines.  If you’re living in a rural area of the Philippines, the you can multiply that by about 10.  Some call it the “bamboo telegraph.”  Many mean that it in derogatory way but I don’t.  This isn’t all that different in the USA though and everyone knows that gossip is generally more prevalent in a small town.  The reason is obvious, everyone knows everybody else or at least knows of them.  Lets face it, it is more fun to talk about the scandal of someone you know than someone you don’t.  Also, if you know them, it is likely to just be on your mind more.  Expect tsismis you are living in the Philippines

As I type this, that old 60’s tune keeps coming to mind “Out in The Boondocks.”  I decided to look for it on Youtube and I’ll post it here.

But I love my life out in the boondocks.  It isn’t for everyone but for me, living in the Philippines was a wonderful choice to make.

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