- Bisyo Laki sa Hirap Family - February 8, 2016
- Memoirs on a Swivel Chair… - November 13, 2013
- A Risk, And a Chance - November 2, 2013
- Flavors of Life - November 2, 2013
- A Hair-Raising Encounter - October 31, 2011
- Ancestral House - October 31, 2011
- The Hand - October 31, 2011
- Pagkatapos ng Libing - October 30, 2011
- Face to Face with Evil - October 30, 2011
- “Guardia Civil”: The Ghost of the Army & Navy Club - October 30, 2011
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Corruption – things happen faster if you bribe people. I clearly remember hearing that it takes years for people to get a phone line, but the process could be speeded up if you knew someone at the phone company. Those who have drivers licenses, what’s the percentage that they actually took both a written & practical driving test? At almost every contact I had with the government, things were slow & people would ‘offer’ to speed things up for me if I paid a little extra, which I refused.
Pollution – during my last year in the Philippines, I would get a sore throat every 6 weeks or so from the dirty air I was exposed to while riding tricycles & jeepneys. It was so bad that I had barely any voice left, and my voice was needed because I constantly spoke with people at work. Except for the tourist spots & business districts, most areas you went there was trash on the streets. It’s a common sight for people to just throw candy wrappers anywhere, further clogging the drains which contributes to the floods whenever it rains in Manila There are no trash cans or dumpsters to speak of. Some men will urinate at the nearest wall instead of looking for a public restroom. Signs like “bawal umihi dito” and “bawal magtapon ng basura dito” are ignored.
Traffic – what would normally take 15-20 minutes to navigate will take an hour or more because of the traffic. I do not want to deal with that. I remember when I was still working in the Philippines, I had co-workers who would leave home at 5:30 or 6 am & get to work just in time at 7:30 or 8:00 am. And rules of the road? I am embarrassed to say we have some of the most undisciplined drivers I’ve ever seen.
The laws are less female friendly
- In the Philippines, if you have a child and your husband or boyfriend ran off with someone else or simply abandoned you & your child, sorry ka na lang. Here in the States, even if you’re not married to the guy, there are laws in place. He is legally, not to mention morally, obligated to support his child. You can take him to court for child support & since everything here in the US is connected to one’s social security number, if he’s working, he can be tracked down & his wages will be garnished (automatically deducted) from his paycheck & sent to you. If he stops working, once he does find work again, he now owes you back payments & he will legally have to pay that on top of whatever court ordered child support in place.
- I don’t know how seriously domestic violence is treated in the Philippines, but here, if a guy merely pushes you, or even talks to you in a threatening or demeaning manner, you can call 911 on him for domestic abuse or violence. It will go on his record, & he could get into serious trouble especially if he’s in the US military.
I have many fond memories of the Philippines. I have many friends there that I keep in touch with via email, fb or skype, & I can see them when I visit. It is where I was born, & where I lived from the ages of 9-28. The Philippines will always be a nice place to visit, but it’s not where I want to live anymore. And unless a lot of things change for the better, I have no intentions of going back there to live .
by Den Dominguez