After One Year of Living In The Philippines

Reflections and Evolution in Opinion

I’ve been in the Philippines for a few days more than a year.  I’ve learned a lot but still have much to learn.  It is pretty amazing how differently people from different parts of the world think.  Thinking of all the variations in humans from around the world, makes me a little surprised some haven’t tried to say we are different species.  Maybe the racist have, I’ve heard them speak of “your own kind.”  However, we are all the same species just very varied in our customs.

I believe that climate and wealth play a major role in our cultures.    But so much natural science determines are wealth.  So much related to wealth depends on location and usually determines climate.  I believe that has some built in redundancy in it.

I think the most significant thing I learned about the culture of the Philippines is that the culture may be vastly different from your neighbors culture.  And it will be different from those in the north, the central and the southern regions of the Philippines.  There are major differences even town to town or neighborhood (barangay) to neighborhood.

Another thing I’ve learned is that Filipino don’t care how bad they sing, they love to get on a microphone and blast out the worst sounding noise in the world and they do it with a smile on their face and the encouragement of their friends.

Its been a year where I’ve seen my spending power change by as much as P10,000 or about $200 because of fluctuations in the value of the dollar.  We went through a period where the dollar was dropping so fast that establishments in Europe refused to take it for a short time.  Now Police at the Rooster Fightwe’ve watched the dollar gain in value against the British Pound and Euro.  Most expats are anxiously watching to see where the dollar goes in relation to the Philippine Peso.  In large part,  that value  depends on the goals set by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

I thought with the shortage of dollars we were seeing at one point that the dollar  might go as high as P60.   However, due to actions of  the BSP and slowing inflation in the Philippines the Peso has remained stronger than most other currencies.  However, estimates for growth in Asia are often being revised downward and at this time there is no recession (using the traditional definition of recession) expected in Asia, that could change.

I’ve learned that cold showers are more common than hot showers in the Philippines.  Not one of my most favorite things about the Philippines.  I think its my least favorite but if that’s all I really have to complain about, then I’m doing pretty good.   Remember the water is not that cold here.

The Philippines loves festivals and there seems to be one major  and many minor ones going on at all times.  I wish I could participate in  more of them.  There is a barangay festival going on in the barangay next to mine right now.  Yesterday there was a huge rooster fight a couple of houses down from mine.  Something totally acceptable here, the police chief was there too.  Rooster fighting is part of Filipino culture and if you’re living in the Philippines you are very likely to encounter it.

I’ve learned that the Philippines is a place of low confrontation.  People here are confrontation avoidant.   Well, for the most part.  I know this one Filipina that just seems to look for a fight.  I’m sure there are some guys like that too but fortunately I’ve not had to deal with those just yet.

I’ve learned that transportation is cheap but roads are lacking.  Cebu has places where the roads can be pretty bad at times.  I’ve been on ferries that glide across the water at high speed and I’ve seen pump boats used as ferries that move at near a snails pace.

I’ve survived my first typhoon (hurricane) and it was scary.  Typhoon Frank (Fengshen) was larger than most that make land fall in Cebu.  We had Barangay Fiestaa second one develop right on top of our city.  It came from no place and wasn’t very bad but it did blow some smaller trees down.  I saw the wind coming up so we sent a helper out to get us a paper and the thing hit out of no where while she was out.  There was nothing in the paper because it wasn’t expected.

Living in the Philippines, one can expect typhoons unless they live in Mindanao. The Philippines has a different naming system for typhoons.  They also have a different wind speed classification system, going from Signal 1 to Signal 4.

Women Living In The Philippines

I’ve learned more than I can possibly talk about but I can’t make this post without talking more about the best thing in the Philippines.  And what would that be?  Surely you know that the women living in the Philippines are the best thing about the Philippines.   The people of the Philippines are the best thing about the Philippines but the women are beautiful, sexy and loving.

I know there are great women in other parts of the world but here they are the rule, not the exception.  Filipina should rule the earth.

Filipina are the number one reason to love living in the Philippines!

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