Just Don’t Know

I have so many things I wish to talk about but at the same time I have a hard time expressing it. I want to talk about so much I have dealt with in the Philippines but at the same time, I don’t wish to bring up certain subjects which can be seen as overly biased. I have been in the Philippines for almost a year now and the longer I live here the more I see the things that are not right. I get to see how politicians here treat citizens like they are only there to fill their pockets. I see policemen who are paid by thieves and muggers to let them get away with things. The saddest part to me is that a large majority of people would rather ignore it or pretend it won’t happen to them.

DUring a typhoon in the Philippines in 2014

During a typhoon in the Philippines in 2014

I kind of laugh when I think about how some want the US to take over but I don’t think they realize how much restructuring and how much of a debt it would add. Also a lot of American businesses use the Philippines as a cheap labor when it comes to call centers and Virtual Assistants (VAs). Maybe it is just because I am a outsider that I feel this way.

Some Rude Things

So lets talk a little about etiquette real quickly. This blog post starts when my wife asked me if in America we leave our trash and trays at the table after eating at a fast food restaurant. My answer was no because it is rude, and because I have friends who worked in the industry who would probably hit me upside the head if I did. But this is just one of a few things I am going to talk about.

(Picture by Ami Zuki)

One of the things here that annoys me is when someone here says they will be there at 3 and end up being late by at least 30 minutes if not more (this is sometimes called Filipino time). I won’t lie and say I haven’t done it but it is something I always try and avoid doing since it has always been something I consider rude. When people try and get your attention here they will go psst or just sst as loud as they can. It took me almost 2 months to get used to responding to people who do that to me and it still seems like something you do to a dog.

(Comment made on Yahoo answers by Kosin)

If you ever eat at a nice mall (Mega Mall seems to have the most), expect someone to come by your table to try and get you to donate money to their religion/relief effort/scam. I really hate it when they sit down with you while you are eating and won’t leave till you give them money (I let them sit there and leave after I am done eating) because it is the only way they seem to get any money. Standing in line can get annoying too especially if you are a foreigner you will get some Filipinos who will cut in front of you and if you say something they will act like you are stupid.

(It is a gay comedy club if you are white you get made fun of the most but it is still funny. Taken by James Lytal)

Expect to be stared at if you are a white or black foreigner and expect to be called “Homie” or “Bakla”. If you get laughed at for not knowing Tagalog (or any dialect of the language) just try to ignore it because reacting makes it worse and they think they are being funny.

Now are all Filipinos like this? God no! I have met a lot of extremely nice Filipinos but just like with all things there will always be bad eggs that ruin it for the rest. Also I am sorry about not posting last week I have been on the job hunt but I am back on schedule!

Attempt at Online Work

Working in the Philippines can be tough, but looking for a job can be tougher. I recently tried for some home based jobs so I could work at home and take care of my wife while she is pregnant. Some of these jobs pay better than working in an office majority of the time. Some of these jobs have requirements that aren’t always possible.

One of the requirements that I don’t like is the internet speed. Internet speed that some require isn’t possible unless you really live outside your means (looking at you companies who want me to connect the the Netherlands and so forth). I had one job that required me to have at least 5mbps upload and download speed for my internet connection when the usual internet speed companies provide here are only up to 3mbps download and hardly 1mbps upload. So this job wanted me to upgrade my internet plan but they can’t assure me they can give me work. No wonder they spam recruitment sites because they will never find people who can meet those requirements, at least not here in the Philippines.

Another requirement that makes me laugh is SEO experience (most hardcore bloggers will have this).

While I understand these businesses only want the best that they can it can be a little annoying and daunting.

They Deliver!

I have had this conversation with both my friend back in the US and with my wife. In most of Asia a large majority of businesses will deliver to your door. Fast food being the majority of places that deliver there are also car supply, groceries, utensils, and more that will be at your door within hours of you calling or ordering online. This can be great for those days you are just feeling lazy or just don’t want to get out after a long day.

Now before you ask me why they do this I can tell you honestly that I don’t know. It is very much a convenience thing from what I have seen and there are people who are more than willing to do it. Most of these businesses also supply the vehicle for their drivers to take the delivers with. Whatever the reasons may be it does have a big influence on how people choose to order.

Kind of funny when I hear people say that the US is being out Americaned by stuff like this. Also I will only be posting on Tuesday and Thursday due to work.  

Intramuros the Walled City

I am sorry for the delay of this post I was supposed to have it out last week but I ended up getting food poisoning! So here it is now I will try and get back on schedule!

(Picture of San Agustin by James Lytal)

Intramuros also known as the Walled City is the oldest city in Manila. The walls around the city cover 160 acres of land and 8 feet think stones walls that site 22 feet tall. After World War II the only building left standing was The Church of San Agustin. The wall was reconstructed during 1951 after it was said to be a National Historical Monument.

(Picture by James Lytal)

Intramuros is a place with a lot of history behind it. If you want to learn the history fast (or to stay dry) I would advise taking one of the horse cart rides called Calesa. The drivers for the carts are very knowledgeable as well as willing to answer any questions you may have. Walking around will give you more time to take things in. Most of the buildings with any amount of history will have a board you can read to learn about its’ past while some of these buildings also second as museums.

(Picture by Ami Zuki)

Most of the buildings have a Spanish feel to them. One place I will say you should go if you have time, money, and are hungry is Barbara’s. It may take a while for you to get your food (even when there are very few people) but the food tastes great and is well worth the wait. But if you are in a hurry or just don’t have a lot of pocket money there are plenty of other restaurants.

(Picture by James Lytal)

Banana Pork!

There are always food combinations that catch me off guard. Banana and pork seem to be a big thing here in the Philippines and for good reason. Two dishes I recently had are Nilagang Baboy and Pochero.

(Picture or Nilagang Baboy by James Lytal)

Nilagang Baboy in English means boiled pork. This is considered one of the easiest Filipino dishes to cook. The ingredients can vary but the most common uses pork, bok coy (or cabbage), saba banana, pork broth, salt, pepper, and potatoes. You some versions have corn, onion (yellow or red), and fish sauce.

(Picture of Pochero by James Lytal)

Pochero is closely related to Nilagang Baboy but with few differences. Pochero has more ingredients in it like: garlic, tomato sauce, and baguio beans. Like most Filipino dishes this one also can have a few things changed: Sweet potato, chicken (added), beef, chorizo bilao (a kind of sausage, and sugar.

The bananas add a slightly sweeter taste. Also I am sorry for not posting Saturday I have been taking time to prepare for my father’s visit. This also made me realize how little touristy things I do… So this will give me time to add more tour content!