Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Travel Diaries : the Philippines through Foreign Tourists' Eyes

I think I ought to start my Travel Diaries by sharing how foreign tourists view my homeland.  I found the link of the first video on a friend's wall in Facebook.  Then I found the second one on the right side bar of the first video in Youtube.  I'm sharing these because I find them interesting and entertaining.

This first video is entitled "20 Reasons Why I Dislike the Philippines" by Jimmy.  I describe this video as -  looking at the glass half-empty.  However, almost everything he said was true, exaggerated but true. Let me enumerate his reasons and let me add some of my thoughts on each:

1. Improper covering of holes in the sidewalk - this is true in most cases :(
2. Sidewalk vendors - this part is really funny  
3. Sanitation in local wet market - this is true but you have lots of option.  Don't buy your food there if you have issues with that.
4. MILF - funny
5. Construction site - not always true
6. Whitening products - I totally agree with Jimmy here. Filipino skin color is beautiful.  But seriously, it's hard to find beauty products here that is not "whitening."    
7. Air pollution - in cities, so true.  In some rural town, this is also true because of too many tricycles. :(
8. Packaging that adds up to the litter all around you - so true.  Total waste of money (coz those little plastic bags and staple wires cost something too), time, and energy.  But you have an option here too.  If I buy small items like a bar of chocolate or a pack of Kleenex in drugstores or 711 , I tell the cashier that i do not need a plastic bag for it - simple way to help mother nature.  Buyers must be proactive too!  
9.  Litter everywhere - in some places this is true. :(
10. Shitty drivers - true in most cases.  
11. Uncomfortable comfort rooms - In some really poor areas, this is true.  But you'll be surprised sometimes because I've been to a poor and remote area once and the C.R. has a roll of tissue paper and has running water even if it did not have a toilet seat.  Oh and just so you know, not all Filipinos wipe their ass after relieving themselves because they wash it with soap and water.  Hence, not all comfort rooms have tissue paper.
12. Security guards everywhere doing nothing - not true.  I believe that there are still lots of noble security guards around here.          
13. Pissing anywhere you want - funny male practice
14. Mall entrance search - true. I hate this too.  They just touch you and that's it.  Unnecessary practice.  
15. Beep! Beep! Beep! - funny but true.  "I saw you" = beep!
16. Small napkins in restaurants and food kiosks - just so you know, there are available napkins like that in stores.  It's impractical for restaurant managers to assign one waitress/waiter to cut and fold those napkins into that size. And for a 10-20 pesos snack or drink that you buy, don't expect to get a full-sized napkin with it.
17. Beggars everywhere you go - so true.  :(  And they keep on touching you with really dirty fingers which is really irritating.
18. Chicken everywhere - funny
19. Blasting sounds from stereos - exaggerated. This is not always the case and definitely not everywhere
20. Roaches - they thrive in really populated areas. Eeeeww too!   
21. Everyone is asking for tips -  the ugly truth.  Really annoying.  Here, we call it, making kikil or asking for tong.
22. Ladyboy - funny
23. Tons of loud Koreans - hmmm... they go to our schools and universities that's why there are tons of them here.
24. Making motorcycles and scooters sound like Harley - funny. So are cars painted to look like a race car.  But what i hate are motorcycles and scooters that expel their exhaust right into you face.  That's the trend here now. :(
25. Warm beer - can't relate here. I never liked beer.

Now the second video was entitled "20 Reasons I love the Philippines - Walter Masley & Jeff Lester" .  This is like looking at the glass half full.  However the link is already dead now. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bSDl7Fi38RU) It was still available last March 15 when I started to draft this post.  It has been removed recently.  Anyway, I'll edit this post when sombody uploads the video once again.  Btw, original video of Jimmy has also been removed when I check today.  I'm glad another fellow uploaded it again in Youtube.

So anyway, I'll share some points that I can still recall which were mentioned by Masley and Lester:

1. Basketball everywhere - so true. funny clip of a flooded makeshift court.
2. Roasted chickens everywhere - yes, and we love it too!  Delicious! :D
3. Pirated movies and tv series everywhere - true. this is probably the reason why the video has been removed.  :D  
4. Haggling fun - yes, you can haggle in the local markets.  
5. Lots of transport options - this is true but somehow annoying.  Like in our town, there are toooo many tricycles and motorcycles already.  And some drivers do not have licences.  This is really dangerous to commuters.  Plus, the air and noise pollution they create is really annoying.
6. Access to alcohol anywhere and anytime of day - true.  But I'm not a fan and this is dangerous too.
Sorry but that's all that I can remember for now from their video.  

These videos are limited to the clips they gathered during their stay in the cities and in some towns.  But we should note that, these little things matter too in a tourists' point of view, not just our pristine beaches.  The first video is like a wake up call to us Filipinos.  We should really be proactive if we want to produce a lovely picture of our country. 

After this, I hope to continue my Travel Diaries and I hope to show you that not all the cities here are like that and to show you how beautiful our country really is.  :D


  1. I enjoyed reading this post! It was nice to learn a little about your homeland. I'm sure there are lots of people that would just love the fact that alcohol is available anytime and anywhere (LOL!), but I totally agree with you that it could be dangerous.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it Rachel. I hope to post more about our country and about my travels real soon. :D