This anecdote, concerning an ‘event’ that occurred in my neighborhood some months ago, exemplifies both the endemic, epic, and epidemic stupidity of Filipinos, as well as the utter lack of consideration they display for others–especially if there’s even the remotest potential for financial gain.
On a bright, sunny Saturday morning, I heard a commotion outside, and went to investigate. There were nearly a hundred Filipinos, of all ages from toddlers to grandparents, milling about in the neighbor’s lot as if on some great treasure-hunt. It looked like half the Barangay was there! A dump truck had discharged a mountainous load of demolition debris in the front of the property; concrete rubble, broken bits of ceramic tile–the various, assorted and sundry remains of some building, somewhere. I don’t know the whys and wherefores of this; where the load came from, why it was dumped there, and who was responsible; but suffice it to say that I doubt said neighbors had any say in the matter.
As a certain political ‘bigwig’ owns property in the area, it’s my guess that this load was of ‘official’ origin and that the order was given to dump it there, because said big-shot certainly wouldn’t have it on their <i>own</i> lot, and the other neighbors’ premises are secured by fences and walls.
I asked the throng of ‘treasure-hunters’ what the deal was. Was there “gold in them thar hills”? They were frantically digging in the rubble-pile, having brought buckets, shovels, sticks and whatever else would serve. In the process they had trampled the neighbor’s vegetable patch, upon the edge which some of the dumpage had been placed, so the plants were obliterated into a slimy mass–this I observed with glee (I will get to the reason for said happiness momentarily), though it also further served to demonstrate the total lack of respect Filipinos have for others’ property.
One of the diggers replied, “We’re looking for bronze–400 pesos per kilo!” Bronze?? I can’t imagine how there would be anything of value in that debris… the only thing I could think of was maybe a few plumbing fittings? But I doubt even that, given how diligent Filipinos are when it comes to taking, stealing, expropriating and otherwise removing anything they consider even remotely ‘valuable’–for example, plastic bottles and metal food cans in my garbage, in some incidental Third-World form of recycling (not out of any concern whatsoever for the environment, mind you) are dutifully removed nary a moment after said trash is placed at the curb, the resulting mess scattered about to add to the ambiance of the area. Thus I highly doubt any bronze fittings would have been missed by the workers responsible for the demolition that resulted in this debris.
I suspect that not a soul came home ‘lucky’ that day, as there was almost certainly never any ‘bronze’ in that debris-pile. I did not see any jumping-for-joy, or buckets overflowing with golden metal. In fact, I saw nothing except a bunch of idiots slaving away in the hot sun for some vaporware.
What I do think happened was that some passing Filipino, bored and lacking the drama they so desperately seem to crave, made up a wishful-thinking ‘fish story’ and that tale spread throughout the nearby squatter area by means of the ‘bamboo telegraph’. The story–bullshit to begin with, doubtless liberally embellished with even more bullshit–thenceforth bamboozled (does that word have a similar origin?) about a hundred people with nothing better to do and nary a functional neuron between them to join in on this wild goose chase.
Regarding those neighbors, not only did I not shed any tears over their plight, I observed with great pleasure their land being trespassed, trampled, dug up and made a complete mess (or at least, more of a mess). These same people have, in classic Filipino fashion, repeatedly displayed a complete disregard for common courtesy toward me and others, so I consider what transpired that day a form of long-overdue karmic justice.
They live like squatters, even though they own their sizable (about 1,000 sq. m.) lot, in a (mostly) desirable neighborhood sandwiched between my place and some rather hoity-toity compounds, and land here fetches very high prices; so one would think they would build something appropriate to the neighborhood.
Nevertheless, they built a cluster of ramshackle shanties last year on this previously fallow ground. Despite the sizable space–which aside from a few bananas, was and still is mostly overgrown weeds profusely decorated with garbage–these ‘buildings’ were placed right up against the property line. Their CR and ‘kitchen’ (the latter being of typical provincial Filipino style) are below my bedroom. Yes, the astute reader can see where this is headed already…
Their screaming brat, who yells at the top of its lungs just for attention–usually choosing to do so in the very early morning–has had me wanting to get out the 5-pound sledge on more than one occasion so it could be permanently silenced with a tap on the head.
Their roosters add to the cacophony. Once one gets going, anywhere within earshot, they all join in to try to out-crow each other; and theirs are no exception. Again, this is typically an early-morning phenomenon.
Should a gate here or at a neighboring friend’s premises be left ajar, accidentally or intentionally, their goats wander right in as if they own the place; the brazen fuckers helping themselves to our ornamental plantings. One of these days I swear I’m gonna grab one, drag it where no one can see, slaughter and butcher it on the spot–the only giveaway that foul play occurred being the aroma of caldereta (stew, with potatoes and carrots) wafting from my kitchen that evening!
Speaking of ‘wafting’, the pungent odor of their shit often visits itself upon me, should the breeze be unfavorable; being that their CR (an outhouse) is as mentioned, directly below my bedroom–lending it a cloying fragrance that no air-freshener will dispel. Especially unappealing when it happens around dinnertime, which for some reason, it often does.
Their septic ‘system’, which is beside the outhouse, is but a meter square and deep, because it took their lazy fuck relative who dug it–by hand, with an iron bar–a week to get even to that meagre depth before quitting; ‘too hard’. Sure, when you work for 30 minutes a day and spend the rest of the time drinking and sleeping, it’s ‘hard work’! It is also <i>uphill</i> from the CR.
Naturally, it is in a more-or-less continual state of overflow–leaving on the surface of the ground around their ‘CR’ and adjoining back door a pool of unspeakably vile brew that could best be described as a frothy, turbid bacterial frappe topped with floating turds, each decorated with a filigree frosting of grey mold.
This witches’ brew also serves as an ideal breeding-ground for mosquitoes the size of small birds, which in concert with the smell, often make sitting outside for ‘fresh air’ a misery and an exercise in futility. Apparently, the occupants are immune to the appalling stench–likely having become acclimated in the manner one does at a farm, when at first the smell of animal dung is overpowering, but the nose inures itself over time.
And that’s not the worst part. (I know…) They cook with charcoal or wood, and constantly burn their garbage and dead plant material from their lot–despite its size, choosing to do so near me–so that the chokingly acrid, toxic smoke from either activity can come pouring in through my windows, which as a result I often have to keep closed despite the stifling heat lest I forget and end up with a room-full of said smoke (I don’t often use the a/c because of the sizable electric bill that results). This has happened on more than one occasion.
Complaints regarding this, both by myself and by the property manager, returned the absolutely unacceptable, yet totally expected Filipino response; “Too bad. It’s our property, and we’ll do what we want.” Of course, Brgy. Useless Hall ‘can’t’ (read: won’t) do anything about it–unless perhaps ‘paid’ to do their job.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to throw the nice folks a barbecue and drink–a Molotov cocktail party! Since they seem to like fire so much, why not introduce them to some REAL flames!Published in