The Philippines is dependent on two things to keep its economy afloat. It needs the contributions of the OFW’s and it needs the foreign money of the tourists.  It also does not hurt if many foreigners move to the Philippines permanently, usually those who are married to Filipinas, set up a home , and spend LOTS of money in the Philippines on goods and services.  Agree?

 

If these things are true, and I certainly believe they are, then why is it that foreigners are targeted by pickpockets, scam artists, those wanting “basketball team sponsors”, the locals in the neighborhoods and even the police? Can some Pinoy answer that for me, please? I am an American who has been married to a Filipina for almost 21 years now. I have been living in the Philippines on the isle of Cebu since March of 2009 and I have personally either witnessed or been a victim of those things I just mentioned so don’t dare tell me I am exaggerating or that I don’t know what I am talking about. I do.

Just today, for example, my American neighbor from Ohio, me, my wife and some others were sitting in chairs out in the yard here at our fenced apartment complex when a young Filipino guy poked his head over the locked iron gate. My wife said, “Who are you looking for?” He said, “That FAT American there”…indicating my buddy from Ohio…and yes, he is fat.  He was waving an envelope in his hand and we all mistakenly assumed that he was with the post office and was bringing him a letter of some sort.  He was on a bicycle, which is the usual way our mail here gets delivered to us. Wrong. He was just wanting a basketball sponsor! Oh, me. John, my neighbor, did not give him anything and sat back down, disgusted, as we all were, at this silly ploy for money.

If you are a Filipino and you go to America, you will be treated with respect. You will not be excessively made fun of, targeted for scams or be the victim of a crime just because you are a “foreigner”, especially if you move to one of the southern states like, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma,  Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, or Mississippi. Folks there are very friendly and you will be treated well, I promise you. So…why are foreigners who visit or move to the Philippines treated like fools, suckers, and just rich people with money?

The first landlord I had here in the Philippines tried to steal water from my outside hydrant to water his chickens with and even tried to tap into my electric line to use my electricity for FREE….until I caught him red-handed and made him stop. What the hell?!?? We “foreigners” are people too. We have two hands, two feet, ten fingers, ten toes, one head. We are neither higher or lower in stature than you Filipinos. I am sorry if some act that way, but the ones I know do NOT act that way…and I know quite a few Americans, Australians and a few Germans here in the Philippines permanently. Tricycle drivers try to overcharge me quite often when I ride tricycles. The old ladies selling vegetables at the market will UP their prices on fruits and vegetables if I go with my wife to the market…so she usually leaves me at home so she can only pay the “Filipino” price. The car salesman at Toyota of Cebu tried to screw us out of an additional 70,000 pesos on the price of a new 2009 Toyota Altis. Cashiers at the grocery store repeatedly short us on the change we are due when we pay our grocery bill. I have heard MANY derogatory statements made about me by Filipinos who do not realize I understand just enough Visayan to know that they are insulting me. And you still expect me to praise the Philippines and encourage other Americans to move here?!??