One thing I cant understand after living many years in the Philippines is the level to which Filipinos go to live their daily lives “in the moment”. You know the old saying, “let’s cross that bridge when we come to it”, well that’s exactly how many Filipinos live… from moment to moment, with no thought as to forward plan or consequence of their actions.
One of the stupidest things I experience Filipino’s doing, on quite a number of occasions was to go somewhere, sometimes quite some distance away and not have money for transport fare home.
At first i thought I was being scammed but over time realized that they really do go to places and literally get stuck with no money and then start ringing around their friends to piece together enough money to come home. It was when my local friends told me stories of frantic phone calls that I came to realize this was not just a ploy to extract money from foreigners but actually really another case of Filipino stupidity.
Let me give you some travel related examples:
- Male friend flew from Cebu to Manila and was stuck over one week staying with people because he didn’t have enough money to buy a return airfare. As I recall he was terminated from his job because of his no show for work.
- Girl: caught a bus to visit her parents for holy week and then started ringing people after the weekend asking for for a bus fare back, as I recall she was stuck for some days away.
- Girl: took a boat to Mindanao and then rang me over the space of a couple of weeks asking me for her boat fare back! Now everyone’s had the case of bullshit from Filipinos asking for money (most do!) but this was a person I knew that genuinely went home and I could trust she was not lying to me that she didn’t have a return boat fare. She rreturned to find her things outside her boarding house room as the landlord thought she had disappeared and rent was unpaid.
- Girl: went for a job interview and did not have jeepney fare to return home. She sat on a bench for over 12 hours before she managed to meet a friend to give her money home. The fare would have been less than 50 pesos but too far to walk.