Proud Pinoys are spruiking about the 2015 Philippines that was. Heres my take on Philippines 2015.
How could we not forget the fallen 44 (44 policemen that were killed and the talk-fest that went on after that). But lets talk about country general things – Of course, articles that talk greatly about the Philippines are largely filipino bloggers who have usually never been out of the country and largely done trips within the country, if that. Some filipinos I have met have never been off their island and some have never been more than 50 kilomters from their home town. It therefore isnt good credibile information that when someone jumps online to spruik up the “pinoy pride” banter of the Philippines having “world class” offerings they are doing it purely out of ignorance and lack of experience. In a lot of cases, local bloggers literally jump on anything small and as Filipinos do, they take something small and magnify it 100x to build up nothing into something.
Lets look at 2015, the year that was a bit more – The acolades for 2015 for the Philippines.
Was 2015 a great year for tourism? Certainly the numbers were up but the country hides well the kidnappings that go on. This makes a lot of areas in the Philippines “no go” zones. There are many foreigners that generalise the kidnappings and killings that happen in the Philippines as “it happens everywhere you go in the world”. Well? is that so. If you think that, why don’t you go to Africa or Iraq? Please, stop comparing that Davao won some “safe city” award with other cities in the US etc.
I recall some German sailors kidnapped near Sulu a while ago, Newbie foreigners posted articles saying “this will hurt tourism” and “this hasn’t happened since the 1970s”. Whoa …are you aware that kidnappings happen not just in Mindanao re: Canadians and Norwegians kidnapped from Samal Island (off Davao City) but kidnappings (and killings of foreigners) happen in Manila too. There were in 2014 when I checked over 110 people held for ransom in the Philippines, a number of foreigners and thats just the ones that were noted to police. There must be a lot of cases of kidnappings (yes, even in Manila) which are catch and release and ransoms paid – and police not notified.
A lot of Filipinos will live in denial saying – the area is safe. I even asked people in Zamboanga who claimed the “Zamboanga seige” by militants was a media beatup and the last person kidnapped (an Australian who escaped 4 months prior) happened “a long time ago…and its safe here”.
Tourism – Filipinos think the who country is swarming with tourists. Yep, its the new MONEY MONEY MONEY nirvana for the tourist dollar. Yes, perhaps largely filipino tourists but not foreign tourists – in a lot of parts of the country. If you look at the tourism profile people fly into Manila and get the fuck out of Manila pretty quick and head to Angeles City for Sex, Palawan or Boracay. Its a little misguided that people think that Boracay and Palawan is representative of the whole Philippines as its not. You tell me? Whats there to do in Cebu City? Nothing really if you don’t like shopping at malls and fucking women all day. The other places Bohol, Malapascua, Dumaguete etc are largely frequented by expats and repeat visitors than tourists. The road is clogged to get to these spots through lack of foresight and planning by the local governments. The rest of the Philippines is largely a no go zone for most foreigner tourists through conflict or lack of services, safety concerns, etc.
Filipinos go on about the wonderful islands of the Philippines. Sure, there are nice islands but there are also many beaches that you wouldnt go out of your way for. Black sand, volcanic crops and guess what. Filipinos don’t really care about beaches. Filipinos cannot see action vs consequences.
- They burn rubbish by the waters edge,
- they dynamite fish,
- they throw rubbish off the island hopping boats,
- the fishermen throw plastics overboard,
- the councils do nothing about drainage flow and rubbish flowing to the ocean runoff,
- there is complete lack of policing of the stripping of natural resources – shellfish and development such as dredging of sand.
- People see resources to strip – no thought about the future, just here and now. I need money to eat and feed my family and want it NOW NOW NOW – Sustainability doesn’t enter into the equation.
To a filipino a beach full of rubbish seems normal, plastics in the water – to a foreigner its disgusting. Filipinos will think nothing of dropping litter onto a beach and eating packets of chips and plastic drinks left on the beach – as if magically it will be cleaning itself up. The most disgusting thing to highlight a filipino’s ignorance of the environment is being questioned “why” when I question “why” thy threw the rubbish on the beach in the first place literally 2 minutes after they said “oh wow what a clean place this is”.
To a filipino if foreigners mention this fact of rubbish and polution they are told to leave, declared persona non grata and ridiculed. In other words, This natural resource Filipino’s go on about is being ruined. They love to get praised but they show no action in preserving the natural “god given” gifts of nature. I’ve seen filipinos at the beach just throwing litter around, washing clothes with powders in the rivers (that are supposed be pristine falls), burn oil burners in caves that blackened it with soot and literally through ignorance and greed kill off any beauty in the natural resource.
Stores have been setup on a beach and fences raised so fees to enter the beach can be charged. Where else in the world does this happen? – ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES! It don’t happen in other countries I want to go to.
I found a lot of the beaches polluted with the tell tale signs of nappies, plastic bags, satchets of ex-coffee, hair shampoo etc floating in the water as I swum around. Whoever is going on about the beaches in the Philippines is in a minority (or blind) for the majority are raping the resources of the country, if not abusing it.
Lets look at some of 2015’s mentions of the Philippines;
1. Newsweek said the Philippines won the New Years Eve.
Sure, NY are good in the Philippines. Irresponsible parents let their 8 and 9 year old kids play with fireworks and drunks hold crackers and kill themselves. But? where does all the money come from to buy fireworks i wonder? Isn’t this supposed to be a poor country. The Philippines should have gotten the shame award for wastage for its just mind boggling the amount of Pesos that are going up in smoke on NY eve night for what is a “poor country”.
2. Conde Nast Traveler said Palawan is the best … again.
Sure, US-based luxury and lifestyle magazine Conde Nast Traveler trimmed down the best islands in the world list and made a top 20 in 2015 – and Filipinos (if they knew, most couldnt care a less) got 3 slots. Wow, a country with over 7000 islands and it got 3 slots. by the council rather than the Council sitting up and taking notice and saying THANKYOU. Yea, the rubbish on PG is a little out of control but don’t say anything or you’ll be declared “unwelcome”
The areas that won awards are the areas that “woke up” and cleaned up their act. Sadly, the rest of the country hasn’t followed embroiled in political infighting, power control issues and corruption, talk fests, political killings and more to make any advance. You see, Filipinos cannot see relationships, i mean between – action vs consequence as mentioned. “If i clean up the place, I will get foreigners” – Only Palawan, Boracay seemed to understand this concept and they had to instil a discipline in the local community using education, fines and policing to get their act together. Filipinos just keep doing the same stupid things over and over and over again, much like a mouse running on a circular treadmill. They will do what they have always done and get what they always have gotten – FAILURE.
Boracay was the second mentioned. Again, another part of the country thats worked out the right method – but sadly, do the tourists know the history of Boracay and the killings that have gone on for the tourist dollar? The Ate tribe and the leader amongst others killed by non-local developers OR at least there has to be a money driven incentive to kill someone there and it wouldnt be over a cold bbq chicken, let me give you the tip. Again, all this is lost, the bloodshed for some world award and for Filipinos to be proud at that should be a disgace.
Cebu got 19th best place in the Conde Nast award. Ummm not Cebu City. Its an urban jungle and a largely ugly city without parkland, walking areas on the roads, dead zones a growing sex-tourism-hotspot full of freelance prostitutes and shopping malls (also with hookers freelancing in them). Big deal. Why didnt they include places like Angeles City? – Do a lot of Filipino people know what goes on in Angeles City? It’s the worlds worst Pinoy secret isn’t it. Poor families really don’t give a shit their daughters are working as prostitutes whether for a bar or privately to send money back to them. Again, its all part of the Filipino shame. Like the word can I lend money (its swizzled to mean – just give me the money and i’ll never pay it back), the same with shaming – Filipinos just ignore realities and live in total denial not just through actions but in words.
The waterfalls in Cebu will be polluted in no time – when I saw them, people were washing clothes upstream with a whole concoction of washing powders making foam. Most places have cottages quickly springing up where you can bring your food and trash (and leave it there usually on the ground – as bins are never provided!) Oslob – well, you are guaranteed sharks there aren’t you – as theres a big net around the shark area – duh … tourists probably didnt know that one.
It will be loved to death like everything else and the greed of the mayor to increase what was once a fee of 20 pesos to over 600 pesos for people to swim with sharks may have improved the income of the area. Nothing wrong with that, only when you start going to some of these attractions as a foreigner who has been in the country over 10 years you start seeing the “skin tax” system in place how the filipino work. Foreigner pays one price, local another. But hey? what the fuck. Ive been here over 10 years, I pay my taxes, employ locals, etc but golly gosh, forever in a day I will be classed as a tourist-outsider as if i am fresh off the plane. Guess who wants acceptance when they go to the west? The waters around Oslob were full of rubbish floating on the surface anyway. Hardly anything to be proud of about “pristine”.
Spanish era churches – like who gives a fuck. They do nothing to these churches in terms of improvement and as you saw in the Bohol earthquake, they collapsed through neglect of maintenance.
Filipinos love to point to foreign bloggers writing good things about the Philippines. They cannot see that TOURISTS and PERMANENT HABITANTS ie. foreigners living here are two different things. Tourists don’t have to deal with the day to day stupidity of filipinos, opening accounts, paying bills, maintaining services, buying goods, employing people, dealing with lying, cheating family members. Simple. The tune changes when you live here and not spend time in a resort/hotel environment.
3rd comment for 2015 — Philippines got 3 spots in the 30 best airports in Asia?
In 2011 would you believe that the Philippines was voted as having the worlds worst airport – Manila? In 2012 and 2013 the same. It was in 2014 that the Metro Manilas Ninoy Aquino International airport was removed from the 10 worst airports list. But does stupidity come into this survey? remember the bullets being planted in the bags of passengers and extorting money scam in 2015?
There were 3 airports listed as teh 30 best airports in Asia.
1. Mactan-Cebu #18
2. Ilo-ilo #21st
3. Clark –
Ok, Ilo-Ilo and Clark have great airports but how the fuck can Mactan-Cebu get to 18th best airport in Asia? The arrivals area is OUTSIDE. NOTE – outside! There are power points that are showing exposed wires in the waiting area and panels in the ceilings falling down.
4th. Vigan is officially the new 7 wonder city.
In May 7 2015 the St Paul Metroplitan Cathedral in Vigan was chose as a venue to stage the official declaration of the city as the new7wonder. While that area is nice to travel, i must pull up stops on the title “wonder city”. If you have a look at past nominations, wonder cities were largely being compared with other third world countries and you could hardly call it a “wonder city” with Cebu City being nominated as a “wonder city”.
5th. Tubbataha Reef and Hibok-Hibok are ASEANS newest Heritage Parks.
So you know, dynamite fishing happens everywhere in the Philippines, Visayas, Mindanao etc. This will get ruined along with everything else eventually by Filipinos and the Chinese are creeping in unchallenged. Eventually the great floating rubbish piles of Manila bay will find its way to these reefs. Most Filipino’s don’t really give a shit anyway if it doesn’t affect a filipino, they really don’t care.
6th. A number of natural pools and waterfalls were nominated for awards in 2015
Again, in traveller blogs.
Kawasan Falls – structures removed. Typical. If something is good filipinos will love it to death by building stores, seats, karaoke areas etc right as close to the action as they can. Kawasan used to have cottages right near the falls and as far as I know these have been removed. There are other falls and hotsprings where foreigners pay 10 times the price based on their skin and ethnicity. What if christian filipinos were charged 10x the price by Muslims to swim? would they like that? Hardly welcoming given that in most cases when you take filipinos for a swimming treat, the foreigner is paying. Booo!
7th.The Filipino swimmers Failed – Who couldnt forget the embarrassment of the countries sports “stars” doing a summersault into the water at the SEAN GAMES in 2015. Enough said – apart from that christian fanatic boxer Manny Pacquaiao there were largely fails in the sporting arena. Strange – The Philippines is surrounded by water but you will be surprised at the number of filipinos that cannot swim!
8th. Filipino “Cuisine” failed in 2015 – In 2015 CNN conducted a survey in Facebook amongst its readers asking which country offered the best cuisine. Taiwan topped the list but the Philippines was placed number 2 with 1,528 votes. I don’t know about you but have you taken a Filipino to a non filipino restaurant? They look like fish out of water. I took some to a Thai restaurant and they ended up ordering crispy patter and filipino “special menu” dishes, yea, the menu for the Filipinos that don’t know anything about Thai food. Filipinos are largely closed minded and i’ve met some that want to ONLY EAT Filipino food. They are’nt generally adventurous when it comes to trying overseas food.
To be honest, Filipino food is not well known. Ask your friends “when was the last time you saw a filipino restaurant in your city”. Most people don’t know what filipino food is. Its greasy, deep fried, oily, salty, sugary – in other words food to die a slow death. No wonder Filipinas have that tell tale “spare tyre” once they start getting into their 30s. Theres hardly a scrap of green veggies eaten with Filipino food, largely Protein meat and rice. Not a very balanced diet.
The world is moving away from unhealthy food and Filipino food is largely – UNHEALTHY.
9 National Geographic said the Philippines is a Must-see in 2016
National Geographic recommended the Philippines on the basis of 20 destinations. As you might or might not be aware National Geographic articles are slanted and in some cases “rigged” by writers for readership. Google it. Did National Geographic warn people about the bullet in the luggage scam on travellers? Cops setting up travellers for extortion attempts in cities like Angeles City? The NPA (new peoples army) which are fighting in areas in the middle and north of the Philippines as well, not just in Mindanao? The treatment of workers behind the scenes slaving away for business to keep things going? The killings that happened and the power struggles?
10. Ms. Philippines conquers the Universe.
Yes, after 42 years Miss Universe goes to the Philippines. Whoopy shit. If she says anything negative then she will be booted out and out of favour as quick as you say “wheres my gift”.
see the ariticle here – about another beauty queen being declared persona non grata for comments.