United Islands Of Rubbish

This will be my second post but before I start, it might be good to give you some small info about me;

Male, 59, came to Philippines with my wife first time in 2004, mainly to visit former staff or to visit families of present staff (at that time).

From 1974 until 2011 I had a company offering Facility Management in the property business, Soft Office Management (reception desks, lunch arrangements, indoor flowers, cleaning etc).

Over the years I employed many immigrants from Philippines, some even worked from the start in 1974 and until both their and my retirement.

After my wife passed away in 2006, I started to come on my own, partly to follow up on old friendships, but also to meet new friends.

The following happened when I visited my German friend i 2007;

Ever so often it’s possible, I visit Herman in this village not far from Balanga, Bataan.

When Herman moved down here with his Philippine wife for 20 years in 1999, never would he think about how difficult life would be.

Every time I visited him, he would entertain me for hours about the stupidity of the FlipFlops (male) and the FlopFlops (female) he had to share this life with.

The following happened in 2007:

The dirt road from the village road up to Herman’s compound, were used as the local dump side. Not only scrap from the kitchens about, but also old chairs, beds, tyres, you name it.

Herman made as GREAT plan to clean all this shit up – and in corporation with the local school, the chief of the Barangay and the owner of the SariSari, he called all men and women to help him cleaning the village up.

Herman was even willing to pay for all this – and made a stipulated plan / budget for all cost.

11 FlipFlops and 2 FlopFlop signed up for the work which were planed to take 1 full day and 1 half day at work.

On the day in question only 7 Flip’s appeared 7am.

At 10am 8 Flip’s and 1 Flop were going at it, but not all the same 7 Flip’s who started in the morning were still at work, 3 had evaporated.

At 5pm – after Herman had provided lunch during the day the count were up to 10 Flip’s and 1 Flop have participated.

Next morning only 4 Flip’s appeared, no Flop’s, so Herman had to extend work until 3pm.

In the plan it was agreed that Herman on the second day would host a minor party for the village to celebrate the new clean environment.

Remember; 13 FFF in total signed up for the work – all at the Barangay office.

At paid-time 6pm that evening 38 FFF stood in line for money.

All claimed to have work for 2 whole days, sweating in the sun, blood stained backs, arms and legs.

Naturally Herman refused to pay that many people. Not only had he been going around the village at all working hours over the 2 days work, but Herman also shot 670 photos of the work in progress.

With a paycheck (cash) of 450 peso a head, Herman were right in the middle of shit – you might say; the shit hit the fan, only Herman stood in its way.

It would go to far to go in to all details, but it took Herman 2 years to rebuild his standing in the village. All Flip’s refused to say “hello”, the SariSari shop refused to sell him anything (for a week only – he was their biggest customer).

Herman asked the Barangay chief + the school head master to distribute the total amount of 5.850 peso, he simply couldn’t do it himself, due to treats and foul words from the crowd of FFF.


A total of 68 sacks of rubbish were collected + a huge pile of debris were burnt of on site.

4 month after the clean up, Herman estimated that the locals – and all their friends / relatives in the village and nearby settlements, had plundered 8-9 tons of shit on his dirt road.

Thanks for participating in the local clean up.

Published in Environment


  1. Profile gravatar of IrishPat

    Well it would seem Herman’s biggest mistake was paying Filipinos to clean up the rubbish they had dumped in the 1st place. In any civilized place he would only have to provide a skip or bags in which to place he rubbish and arrange for it’s removal.

    It’s strange that the school didn’t organize a cleanup party to assist in the cleanup or that the local Barangay didn’t organize volunteers.

    If he wanted to pay someone he should have paid a guard with a gun to stop people dumping trash. That’s what they understand in the Phils

  2. Profile gravatar of Johnny

    They only want people to do it for them. They aren’t going to do it themselves cause that is time and effort required by them. I mean, they are just standing around doing nothing, but you expect them to do something positive for their community??

    I learned my lesson with that. I did a school-supply giveaway for a small barangay during Christmas. They didn’t have much, but there definitely was a ton of trash all over the place. When we donated the items and some candies, my one stipulation was the keep the area (sitting area next to a church) clean and not to throw trash on the ground. After, we gave their supplies everyone left. I saw the area was covered in candy wrappers. I then asked some little kids standing nearby (who were doing nothing) if they could help clean up. Their response, “We didn’t get anything”. I gave them each 20 pesos to clean up.
    I learned you cannot make someone else care about their own community. They seem like they want to live in a complete shithole, live in poverty, have as many poor kids as possible, and elect ONLY corrupt people to lead them.

  3. Profile gravatar of tambok

    I walk in my rural area for exercise and I swear there isn’t a square meter of land anywhere that doesn’t have a piece of trash on it, be it plastic bag, pampers, junk food bag, its fucking unbelievable how much trash is everywhere. I had a similar experience to you. I moved to a new place and went out to pick up all the plastic bags at the road, people who passed by were laughing and after a few weeks bags of garbage started to appear at my gate. Fucking unbelievable low behavior.

    1. Profile gravatar of Denmark2
      Denmark2 Post author

      You’re right. It’s just unbelievable how this nation can’t handle trash, not even the basic facilities are at hand.
      Now, don’t get me wrong on this, but in my country we IMPORT rubbish to transform it into central heating, warm water and electricity.
      To make the same solution in Philippines are not possible due to corruption.

      Naturally I told Herman about this site and my earlier post. You won’t believe (you will); rubbish are now pilling up, polluting not only the eye, but also the entire community, stinking and by time also the ground water.

  4. Profile gravatar of John

    Through roaming in Manila, I was wondering why there is no trash can in public places! Even in front of restaurants or around squares and shopping areas, I haven’t seen any. It’s like there is no systematic garbage removal & collecting system in place in the Philippines. So, anyone can dump his trash anywhere!

      1. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
        Phil Doh

        I’m sure the reason for the lack of garbage cans everywhere is the homeless and beggars would rifle through them. Best to remove them so it doesn’t make the country look bad.

        1. Profile gravatar of Mike

          Or maybe they keep getting stolen. How many times you see a playground with metal or plastic swings, slides, merry go rounds and such?

  5. Profile gravatar of

    Have problem with the trash cans everywhere here in the PH. First I will look after a trash can for 1 hour and walk with empty can of cola, later I will get pissed off and just through it on the street like the rest of people.Why should I sufferand try to be nice when nobody care about it. In Poland we are saying if t you dont respect yourself nobody will respect you eighter.

    1. Profile gravatar of Mike

      I do the same thing. I will put wrappers in pocket until find a trash can or carry the can around. I have at times just tossed it down. I was on a ferry leaving Cebu going to Mindanao and outside drinking a beer in a can talking to a Scot and another Westerner when I finished the can and tossed it over the side. First thing that happened the Scot started jumping my ass telling me I not to throw trash over the side. I simply looked at him and asked him to point out a trash can for me, he could not. I then told him that if filipinos have no respect for their land why should they expect others to?

      1. Profile gravatar of ConCanuck

        Mike – its the principle. I know we’ve all experienced pinoy dumbfuckery, but let’s not stoop to their level. I’d like to think we’re more evolved than that. I’m a Filipina, I was born but not bred there. I was totally culture shocked when I first went back and saw how they treat their environment. I like you carry wrappers and used tissues in my pocket until I find a trash can. I can totally understand the tendency to just toss the crap like the locals, but lets rise to the occasion and show them better breeding. Tell me, am I just being naive and blowing sunshine up my own ass? 😉

        1. Profile gravatar of Mike

          Neighbors had a balcony built and the rubbish was piled against me back wall in a park, not against their back wall mind you. Well I complained to the office and the neighbors did move it ABOUT 10 foot away from my wall but still in the middle of the small park behind my house, not theirs. They told the office they were trying to find a truck to haul it away. Well that was 2 weeks ago and still nothing has been done. Common sense would say call up the company that built the balcony, left the trash and have them come and clean it up. But Noooooooooo, it’s the philippines. Now I have noticed that no matter how well off filipinos are, how nice the car, house, subdivision they are all basically fucking dirtballs.

    1. Profile gravatar of Mike

      Like going to eat at a place in the mall and have to piss. Ask where the cr is and they tell you have to use the one in the mall because they don’t have one. Where is the closest one in the mall? At the other end and up or down a floor. I just look at them and say “Maybe I should do it the pinoy way and piss on the closest wall.”

  6. Profile gravatar of tambok

    I live on a tourist island and every Monday morning the road sides are full of new bags of trash that pinoys throw out of their windows on their way home. This whole fucking island is covered with garbage. I remember going to Cebu 8 years ago. I travelled from Cebu city to an island in the north. Not one tree apart from coconut in 200kms just trash.