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Middle Class Filipinos vs. Taiwanese Re: Foreigners

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Postby OutWest » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:19 am

MrPeabody wrote:This is in sharp contrast to what I have been hearing from "Christian Singles Registry".

Here is a link, containing hours of testimonies from Christian American truckers who came over to the Philippines to marry and can't say enough good things about their wives.

http://www.live365.com/stations/mock1950?site=pro&play

I wonder if one's perception could be altered by one's intent and behavior. For example, if someone is going to the Philippines to monger, they are going to hang out in the shit holes of the country and meet manipulative people who are out for money. Further, if people pick up that you are a monger, they will treat you with less respect, and the good people will avoid you. And marrying a poor woman who isn't religious is an ehas xtreme risk. You are really dependent on her to have the morals to be honest and marry you for love and not a hidden agenda. Your only protection is that she has values and is preferably a virgin.

I am just trying to understand the reality here. Do the above testimonies sound real? I don't know. I have never been to the Philippines.




What you say has a lot of truth to it...I can spot mongers at 100 meters. No matter how true it might be, don't
expect anyone to understand your point of view...the world view here will not allow it.

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Postby E_Irizarry » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:11 am

Terrence wrote:Don't see this a depressing, Rock. I think some people are just taking off the rose colored glasses after spending some real time in a place. But et's not forget that Philippines is not Manila, Angeles and Cebu. Real life exists out there. Look at the pics Momopi posted. I have been to some places like that.

Living in the province is a totally different experience. If someone really wanted to be happier abroad and would be satisfied with a simple life in a rural province, with a real family, and not feel the need to cheat on their girl and run around with hookers, Phils could be a great place for that. With a little money, or a simple net business, one could retire forever, be done with the rat race, and enjoy true freedom. LEt's not forget these advantages of life there.

That said, it's not for everybody. Some will not be satisfied with that and want a roaring nightlife full of different girls. My recommendation to any such person, is have money! It's not like you need US level incomes still. Also that person might consider making a hoe base somewhere they can keep up a good image, and then travel a lot and have their fun in other islands, cities or provinces. After all, do something strange in your home base and everyone will know and you ruin your chances of getting anything serious later on.

The fact is, if someone wants to constantly run around playing with different girls, they still need a bit of cash. Not a LOT, but some. If someone wants to retire, settle down and have a nice family life, Philippines can still be an ideal place, if they don't mind some of the things that exist everywhere there.


Look at OutWest...he's in a Muslim part of the Philippines, but he seems to be doing well. Some of them look BET-TER than the Christian Pinays. Actually, Christianized Pinays actually disrespected me whereas the Muslim Pinays didn't seem to laugh and talk shit about me.

Without name-dropping nor sharing cointelpro, there are remote places in the Philippines that I got some good ass pay IV puhss. Dudes are too comfy in the tourist traps. Mannnnn oh man. However, I'll give u guys a blues clue: Davao City is not all that. However, the island of Samal that is right next to downtown Davao City actually has the friendly Pinays there.

I dated a 45 year old aerobic instructor from Samal Island, Mindanao, the Philippines and she can f**k and loved me raw inside of her. Actually after a couple of months, she began to become tired of me pulling out when I jizzed, so as I WAS nutting, she put me back inside of her in order to finish me off. Niiiiiiiiiice. jajajaa lmao PS: I taped her one time. I had it on X-Tube but I had taken it down. rotflmao!
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Postby Rock » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:22 am

Abroad is supposed to be the Holy Grail on this forum. Traditionally, PI has been the most popular Happier Abroad destination touted here where it is supposedly easiest to socialize with and date the locals.

Lad has talked in length about how people here are not racist and accept foreigners as their own. I have not been here long. But I have seen a fair number of middle class vacationers here in Baloy Beach (its a holiday period) as well as the relatively rich, organized, and clean areas of Subic Bay. Guess what? I have yet a to see any foreigners socially mixed with these types. These relatively well-off locals are polite and all but they seem to keep a distance. Contrast this with Thailand, circa 2011, a place Ladislav insists is extremely racist against westerners. I often see white and black foreigners socially mixed in with apparently middle class Thais. If Thailand is so anti-western while PI is not, why does it seem easier for us to mix with non-monetary motivated locals in the former rather than the latter? That's an open question to anyone who feels they can address it.

Winston has emphasized the relaxed vibe and how easily social interactions flow here. That maybe true to an extent when dealing with some of the people from very poor backgrounds. As for the middle class and above, I have so far found them to be more standoffish than the supposedly closed and socially frigid Taiwanese. Admittedly, my experience base here is tiny. But as an additional anecdote, I once rented a room to an middle class Filipina. She couldn't even speak a lot of Tagalog, grew up with just English in Manila. She was great in that she never complained or expected anything. But she was very introverted and closed. She was light skinned but kinda short, fat, and homely (not a snob hottie or anything like that) but seemed to just wanna avoid all social interaction.

Perhaps there are places in PI which are great for westerners - Cebu, areas mentioned by Mr. S, others - who want to mingle and date locals without having to directly pay for the privilege. I still have a lot of traveling and personal research ahead of me. But up to now, most of what I am seeing and hearing suggests that my original doubts were justified - PI is great for very old, obese, or unattractive guys with some money to find a semblance of romance with decent looking young girls and social acceptance from locals, a convincing illusion. It also offers them a shot at starting a new family if that's what they are looking for. In these regards, PI is probably better than Thailand where halfway decent looking girls often have better options now. But for regular looking western guys from younger age groups, there are many much more attractive options including even Thailand.

When searching for the best part of abroad to settle in, you really should look hard beneath the surface. Its easy to get seduced by the destinations which offer easiest access to cheap sex and seemingly friendly locals. Understand, most of this is probably just an illusion to get your money. Winston in earlier days and perhaps even Lad may have been blind to the ugly side of this place.

The best places may not jump out at you and could demand a much steeper adjustment curve. You will need to put-in a lot more work. But ultimately, the real value is probably hidden in some of these gems, not the usual suspects which seem to ultimately disappoint, disillusion, and sometimes even bankrupt naive foreigners. While I don't entirely agree with his methodology, I applaud I-wanna-hot-white-chicks efforts to find his ideal destination by doing original research, not just blindly relying on other people's recommendations.
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Postby Repatriate » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:45 am

Rock wrote:Abroad is supposed to be the Holy Grail on this forum. Traditionally, PI has been the most popular Happier Abroad destination touted here where it is supposedly easiest to socialize with and date the locals.

Lad has talked in length about how people here are not racist and accept foreigners as their own. I have not been here long. But I have seen a fair number of middle class vacationers here in Baloy Beach (its a holiday period) as well as the relatively rich, organized, and clean areas of Subic Bay. Guess what? I have yet a to see any foreigners socially mixed with these types. These relatively well-off locals are polite and all but they seem to keep a distance. Contrast this with Thailand, circa 2011, a place Ladislav insists is extremely racist against westerners. I often see white and black foreigners socially mixed in with apparently middle class Thais. If Thailand is so anti-western while PI is not, why does it seem easier for us to mix with non-monetary motivated locals in the former rather than the latter? That's an open question to anyone who feels they can address it.

Then again it's hard to tell middle class Thais from the wannabes. A lot of Thai girls will dress up in expensive accessories, drive cars, go to a mediocre university, and live in places far above their living wages to impress people. These types go clubbing a lot and have a variety of boyfriends from all over to finance their lifestyle. They aren't exactly prostitutes per say but they are definitely Thailand's version of the Sarong party girls. I've met a lot of middle class Thais and they tend to be fairly conservative and wary about these perceptions. I have my doubts most of these girls you see partying it up at RCA or even clubs in "upscale" joints in Thonglor are real middle class types. The rich and the upper middle class in Thailand can be very snobby.

One probably difference between the Phillipines and Thailand's middle class might be mindset. Filipinos come from a deeply colonial background and a lot of their thinking reflects that. They are probably taught to not mix class and view foreign travelers as merely interloping guest to their cultural class system. Thais have their own worldview that is unusual, I wouldn't say it's totally ethnocentric..but it is very ignorant in general of the world.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:55 am

Rock wrote:PI is great for very old, obese, or unattractive guys with some money to find a semblance of romance with decent looking young girls and social acceptance from locals, a convincing illusion. It also offers them a shot at starting a new family if that's what they are looking for.


I have to agree with this. This doesn't mean, however, that it can't be great for younger guys, and even handsome guys who have looks in their favor. Those guys will be rock stars there. The thing is, these guys don't have to go there, if they are willing to put in some work. I know nothing about Thailand, and probably never will, but from what I understand, the English speaking is a huge part of the attraction to Philippines for both business and pleasure.

I know for a fact it is cheaper to make a movie in Thailand, but some guys I know setup shop in Philippines because of the lack of communication problems. Cebu seems to be far more English speaking that Manila and surrounding areas in my experience. I never once felt like I needed to learn the local language in Cebu, even though I was interested and tried. In Manila, though, I encountered the need to speak Tagalog almost daily.

The thing is, younger or more handsome guys don't know about other destinations. Most people are talking about Philippines and Thailand. Also, I would guess most Americans have no interest in learning another language so that closes them off from China, which can be just as cheap or cheaper than either. Look at Globe, shame he may have moved on, but he carved out a life where he only works 20-25 hours a week, has plenty of money and lots of free time. If I could do that, I would be an animation kingpin in China. (using that free time wisely while living cheaply and putting my money into my productions) I have no issue with learning the new language.

Korea is another great option. While one may not be able to match the cheapest methods of living in PI, I guarantee that they can match the relatively expensive lifestyles most westerners live in PI at a lower price and at much much higher quality. Electronic security, gadgets galore, world's fastest internet, virtually no crime etc. But who will go there? Those that do seem to be keeping it a secret. (Well the Koreans themselves are helping with that as I saw one board that wrote of the wild side of westerners and their doings which quickly made news and was closed) Those that aren't worried about money would have a blast in Japan!

So I look at this way. If I was 60+ years old and poor, I might be very interested in, and willing to put up with PI. But being young enough to pull college girls in Korea, live a higher quality life, and able to learn languages, even with strange letters quickly, I will opt for other destinations which offer more. Of course, these places, are not for mongering. In fact, they downright suck for that. But who cares for a young-ish dude who can go clubbing and pull hot young girls?

I went to PI first primarily because of the visa issues and, because of this site. I knew almost nothing about anywhere else except Japan, which I had been to twice before. I had been to Shanghai and loved it, but knew the visa was well nigh impossible. The Philippines worked for me. I could be close to Japan without the cost of living. Could be there in 4 hours if needed. While in PI, though I learned about Korea, and it seemed like an even better option for me. So I went. It was so much easier to go to Japan (only 1 hour) and there was much better work opportunities on the ground there. Then finally came China, which I think is the best, aside from the need to learn to speak and read a very difficult language. There is more work and opportunity here than in Japan, especially at the moment, and there is growth everywhere you turn. Perhaps here I can have everything I ever wanted. Of course, that very difficult language is why you don't see boards talking about here the same as PI. Well, that and there isn't exactly much easy access to cheap sex. Those looking for a real life, however, may find what they are looking for in NE Asian destinations like China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.
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Postby Rock » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:10 am

Repatriate wrote:
Rock wrote:Abroad is supposed to be the Holy Grail on this forum. Traditionally, PI has been the most popular Happier Abroad destination touted here where it is supposedly easiest to socialize with and date the locals.

Lad has talked in length about how people here are not racist and accept foreigners as their own. I have not been here long. But I have seen a fair number of middle class vacationers here in Baloy Beach (its a holiday period) as well as the relatively rich, organized, and clean areas of Subic Bay. Guess what? I have yet a to see any foreigners socially mixed with these types. These relatively well-off locals are polite and all but they seem to keep a distance. Contrast this with Thailand, circa 2011, a place Ladislav insists is extremely racist against westerners. I often see white and black foreigners socially mixed in with apparently middle class Thais. If Thailand is so anti-western while PI is not, why does it seem easier for us to mix with non-monetary motivated locals in the former rather than the latter? That's an open question to anyone who feels they can address it.

Then again it's hard to tell middle class Thais from the wannabes. A lot of Thai girls will dress up in expensive accessories, drive cars, go to a mediocre university, and live in places far above their living wages to impress people. These types go clubbing a lot and have a variety of boyfriends from all over to finance their lifestyle. They aren't exactly prostitutes per say but they are definitely Thailand's version of the Sarong party girls. I've met a lot of middle class Thais and they tend to be fairly conservative and wary about these perceptions. I have my doubts most of these girls you see partying it up at RCA or even clubs in "upscale" joints in Thonglor are real middle class types. The rich and the upper middle class in Thailand can be very snobby.

One probably difference between the Phillipines and Thailand's middle class might be mindset. Filipinos come from a deeply colonial background and a lot of their thinking reflects that. They are probably taught to not mix class and view foreign travelers as merely interloping guest to their cultural class system. Thais have their own worldview that is unusual, I wouldn't say it's totally ethnocentric..but it is very ignorant in general of the world.


Good points. Based on this and your past posts, you seem to know a fair bit about PI even though you don't live there. I suppose its hard to clearly define middle class. I even asked my mini-van driver today, just for fun, what defines middle class in PI (40,000 pesos a month I even suggested) and he came up completely blank even though he had decent English conversation skills.

Anyway, what I appreciate in Thailand are opportunities to interact with locals socially without having to foot the bill. I also like going on dates where the girl does not expect compensation besides the cost of the date activities. Many Thais I come across these days just don't seem very desperate for money. In contrast, it sounds like Filipinos nickle and dime foreigners at every turn. However, I have not experienced this myself so far.

On the point of access to casual sex with regular girls, Thailand seems to be pretty open these days. If you date a regular girl from a larger city and she likes you, you probably have a decent chance at getting sex before too long. On the other hand, if you want to find a virgin and marry her, PI is probably a much better hunting ground. There seems to be a lot of virgins here up to late 20s or so. You PI experts can correct me on this if I've been misled.
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Postby Rock » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:33 am

Terrence wrote:
Rock wrote:PI is great for very old, obese, or unattractive guys with some money to find a semblance of romance with decent looking young girls and social acceptance from locals, a convincing illusion. It also offers them a shot at starting a new family if that's what they are looking for.


I have to agree with this. This doesn't mean, however, that it can't be great for younger guys, and even handsome guys who have looks in their favor. Those guys will be rock stars there. The thing is, these guys don't have to go there, if they are willing to put in some work. I know nothing about Thailand, and probably never will, but from what I understand, the English speaking is a huge part of the attraction to Philippines for both business and pleasure.

I know for a fact it is cheaper to make a movie in Thailand, but some guys I know setup shop in Philippines because of the lack of communication problems. Cebu seems to be far more English speaking that Manila and surrounding areas in my experience. I never once felt like I needed to learn the local language in Cebu, even though I was interested and tried. In Manila, though, I encountered the need to speak Tagalog almost daily.

The thing is, younger or more handsome guys don't know about other destinations. Most people are talking about Philippines and Thailand. Also, I would guess most Americans have no interest in learning another language so that closes them off from China, which can be just as cheap or cheaper than either. Look at Globe, shame he may have moved on, but he carved out a life where he only works 20-25 hours a week, has plenty of money and lots of free time. If I could do that, I would be an animation kingpin in China. (using that free time wisely while living cheaply and putting my money into my productions) I have no issue with learning the new language.

Korea is another great option. While one may not be able to match the cheapest methods of living in PI, I guarantee that they can match the relatively expensive lifestyles most westerners live in PI at a lower price and at much much higher quality. Electronic security, gadgets galore, world's fastest internet, virtually no crime etc. But who will go there? Those that do seem to be keeping it a secret. (Well the Koreans themselves are helping with that as I saw one board that wrote of the wild side of westerners and their doings which quickly made news and was closed) Those that aren't worried about money would have a blast in Japan!

So I look at this way. If I was 60+ years old and poor, I might be very interested in, and willing to put up with PI. But being young enough to pull college girls in Korea, live a higher quality life, and able to learn languages, even with strange letters quickly, I will opt for other destinations which offer more. Of course, these places, are not for mongering. In fact, they downright suck for that. But who cares for a young-ish dude who can go clubbing and pull hot young girls?

I went to PI first primarily because of the visa issues and, because of this site. I knew almost nothing about anywhere else except Japan, which I had been to twice before. I had been to Shanghai and loved it, but knew the visa was well nigh impossible. The Philippines worked for me. I could be close to Japan without the cost of living. Could be there in 4 hours if needed. While in PI, though I learned about Korea, and it seemed like an even better option for me. So I went. It was so much easier to go to Japan (only 1 hour) and there was much better work opportunities on the ground there. Then finally came China, which I think is the best, aside from the need to learn to speak and read a very difficult language. There is more work and opportunity here than in Japan, especially at the moment, and there is growth everywhere you turn. Perhaps here I can have everything I ever wanted. Of course, that very difficult language is why you don't see boards talking about here the same as PI. Well, that and there isn't exactly much easy access to cheap sex. Those looking for a real life, however, may find what they are looking for in NE Asian destinations like China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.


I definitely believe NE Asia offers much higher quality social potential over PI for guys who don't fall into the old / fat / hideous category. Taiwan is a no-brainer for westerners. S. Korea and Japan are a little more complicated and involve a steeper adaption curve, but definitely doable for some. China is a wild card - in a state of flux and varied depending on region and city tier. Some parts of China may even still be good for guys who fall into the less desirable categories mentioned above. In this sense, China competes with both the rest of NE Asia and SE Asia as a Happier Abroad choice.

What I personally dislike most about NE Asia is the weather - the cold and/or abundant rains. Only the extreme south of mainland China, Hainan Island, and the southern half of Taiwan offer anything close to SE Asian style weather. Perhaps a NE Asian transplant in SE Asia is the ideal - SP might have been close to perfect before the private finance / real estate boom + domestic currency appreciation turned it into a very expensive country.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:17 pm

Yes. There are still some places where the old, fat, hideous guy can marry a young 20 something girl, but this is fast disappearing I think, as China progressive. There are many articles floating around that really address this in a negative way lately and I think it will disappear before long. The best thing about China, though, is there are cities where the quality of everything nears Korea and Japan but the cost is a lot closer to SE Asia. This is where the real gem lifestyles can be had.

Sadly the visa issue is the biggest hurdle, and, for some, the very high language barrier. It would be far easier to learn Tagalog than Chinese, and I say that as someone who can already speak enough to get around and I am more and more chatting using pinyin, by myself, rather than using translation software.
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Postby Rock » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:30 pm

Terrence wrote:Yes. There are still some places where the old, fat, hideous guy can marry a young 20 something girl, but this is fast disappearing I think, as China progressive. There are many articles floating around that really address this in a negative way lately and I think it will disappear before long. The best thing about China, though, is there are cities where the quality of everything nears Korea and Japan but the cost is a lot closer to SE Asia. This is where the real gem lifestyles can be had.

Sadly the visa issue is the biggest hurdle, and, for some, the very high language barrier. It would be far easier to learn Tagalog than Chinese, and I say that as someone who can already speak enough to get around and I am more and more chatting using pinyin, by myself, rather than using translation software.


1. Predicting China's future for the next 10 years or so is not as easy as it seems. The layman's consensus is that the economy will post YoY growth in the teens into the indefinite future (actually, it has already dipped into single digits), Americans and Europeans will continue to buy everything they produce until domestic economy becomes sufficiently developed to take over the primary consumption role, inflation will be benign, and the party will maintain its strong grip over the whole population. The depressed currency and limited investment options have kept the bulk of the population relatively poor while the elite classes (those with stakes in export and government enterprises) have enjoyed the bulk of benefits from China's export model. Sure, the infrastructure and quality of life has improved dramatically over the last 10-15 years. But even today, the average Chinese citizen's purchasing power is still limited. In some ways, it has even been eroded. Compare average real estate costs to average wages in first and second tier cities across the country now to ten years ago. The picture might not seem so rosy if you look along those lines. So its possible that while China continues to grow briskly, it will face hiccups, perhaps even set-backs similar to economic crises of past eras in Asia or other regions. Inflation and unequal distribution of newly created wealth makes for an ongoing risk of social unrest. Even if the country continues to smoothly grow at some 6-10% per annum over the foreseeable future and the current model remains firmly in place, there will likely be 100s of millions who get left behind and remain relatively poor.

2. What articles are you referring to? Can you post links to some of them?

3. You make China out to be a country as clean and developed as Japan or Korea (which still fall short by many measures of most western European and North American countries IMO). Perhaps its like that in Shanghai or even Beijing now. But personally, I reckon much of it is still quite backward in some ways at least. Just a few years ago, I found Beijing to be quite dirty and extremely dusty, especially in the hutongs. And the second and third tier cities were full of ugly apartment blocks with filthy stairways, no elevators, and no big picture planning (each unit was designed, fitted out, or expanded at the whim of the owners), just random disorder. I hated the food too. Most restaurants couldn't get western food right and Chinese places were generally highly inferior to counterparts in Taiwan. One of the most popular Sichuan dishes with westerners (kung pao chicken) was invariably over 80% bones in most of the restaurants I tried out in Chengdu and Chongqing. China has major air pollution in larger cities and poor quality consumables. As a developing country (which is what it still is and will continue to be for some time), quality of life often gets compromised.

4. Learning to communicate in Mandarin and read and write Pinyin may not be as difficult as it seems, perhaps even easier than Tagalog. The language has almost no grammar, word order is fairly straightforward, most sounds are easy to pronounce for a native American, and the sylable tones are straightforward - rising, falling, high, low, and neutral - Chinese dialects and other tonal languages typically have more complicated tones.

5. I've never found visas to be a barrier in any Asian country I've stayed in. Can't you just take on enough part-time work with a school to get a work permit, enroll in some sort of certified Chinese course for a student visa, or make regular trips to Taiwan or Korea to get renewals?
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Postby Repatriate » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:23 am

Rock wrote:Good points. Based on this and your past posts, you seem to know a fair bit about PI even though you don't live there. I suppose its hard to clearly define middle class. I even asked my mini-van driver today, just for fun, what defines middle class in PI (40,000 pesos a month I even suggested) and he came up completely blank even though he had decent English conversation skills.

The concept of middle class is completely foreign to most of the population in low income developing world countries. The Phillipines has huge income inequality and for people on the bottom tier anything above subsistence/service level livelihoods is considered "rich" to them. Thailand's Bangkok middle class enjoys a lifestyle that is far above and beyond your average Thai service/laborer who earns anywhere from 5,000 - 10,000 baht a day. A lot of the Thai middle class started out probably in the higher end of the income bracket because of family businesses/social connections and such. I find that they usually make salaries that are comparable with your average 9 to 5 low end western job ie.. 30,000 - 60,000 for engineers and the like and then it goes up to 80,000-100,000 a month for corporate seniority. So on the top end of the wage chain Thai management and senior staff working in technical fields can make a very good salary. I'm talking about strictly technical fields though.

The real Bangkok wealthy is pretty much just as wealthy as your "average" multi millionaire in the U.S. They own multiple condos in Bangkok, drive ferraris/lambos, have vacation homes in the U.S./Australia.

I don't consider Thai office staff working in administrative or banking counter positions making 10,000-15,000 baht a month as "middle class" even if they are dressed very nicely and graduated from a top 5 school. There's a lot of these people and they barely make ends meet.


On the point of access to casual sex with regular girls, Thailand seems to be pretty open these days. If you date a regular girl from a larger city and she likes you, you probably have a decent chance at getting sex before too long. On the other hand, if you want to find a virgin and marry her, PI is probably a much better hunting ground. There seems to be a lot of virgins here up to late 20s or so. You PI experts can correct me on this if I've been misled.

I wouldn't generalize about this too much. I believe a lot of the Thai women foreigners interact with in Thailand tends to skew perceptions. Like I said there's a subset of regular seeming Thai girls who are into "partying" a lot. They can be urbane and trendy types but they still aren't the norm. Matter of fact if they can speak english on any kind of competent level they are definitely NOT the norm by default. I have met a lot of really conservative thai women, I actually believe most Thai women I meet are fairly modest.
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Postby Winston » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:26 pm

Rock,
I told you, the definition of middle class is simple. It refers to someone who has a house, a car, and a regular job or business income.

Or, it refers to anyone who can go to the mall and BUY what they want with their own money (from their salary or family fortune, not from a foreigner) or can go to a restaurant and PAY for a meal with their own money (not gotten from a foreigner). If a Filipina can do that yet be willing to hang around a foreigner, I consider it to be a miracle... esp if she's decent looking too.

Is that a simple enough criteria for what middle class is?

Anyhow two questions for everyone:

- Why are Filipino middle class so closed and unsociable and introverted, compared to middle class of other countries?

- Why do people become closed, unfriendly and anti-social once they have money? I came from an upper middle class background, and all my peers in Fremont, CA said to me "You live in the rich area of Mission Hills", yet I never became anti-social or unfriendly to others (as long as they were friendly with sincere intentions). So why can't other people be like me? Why are they immediately changed by being middle class? Why am I different? Why can't they be like me? I can't figure it out.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:25 pm

Rock wrote:1. Predicting China's future for the next 10 years or so is not as easy as it seems. The layman's consensus is that the economy will post YoY growth in the teens into the indefinite future (actually, it has already dipped into single digits), Americans and Europeans will continue to buy everything they produce until domestic economy becomes sufficiently developed to take over the primary consumption role, inflation will be benign, and the party will maintain its strong grip over the whole population. The depressed currency and limited investment options have kept the bulk of the population relatively poor while the elite classes (those with stakes in export and government enterprises) have enjoyed the bulk of benefits from China's export model. Sure, the infrastructure and quality of life has improved dramatically over the last 10-15 years. But even today, the average Chinese citizen's purchasing power is still limited. In some ways, it has even been eroded. Compare average real estate costs to average wages in first and second tier cities across the country now to ten years ago. The picture might not seem so rosy if you look along those lines. So its possible that while China continues to grow briskly, it will face hiccups, perhaps even set-backs similar to economic crises of past eras in Asia or other regions. Inflation and unequal distribution of newly created wealth makes for an ongoing risk of social unrest. Even if the country continues to smoothly grow at some 6-10% per annum over the foreseeable future and the current model remains firmly in place, there will likely be 100s of millions who get left behind and remain relatively poor.


This type of thing is beyond my knowledge, but I do know of some older folks who bought their house for 30,000 yuan outright many years ago. I think that's impossible in any tier in China now.


Rock wrote:2. What articles are you referring to? Can you post links to some of them?


Unfortunately I went through a storm of research shortly before and after I arrived, and also many were Chinese articles sent me by my girlfriend, which I used Google to translate. I didn't save any of that stuff. If I come across it again, I will post it.

Rock wrote:3. You make China out to be a country as clean and developed as Japan or Korea (which still fall short by many measures of most western European and North American countries IMO). Perhaps its like that in Shanghai or even Beijing now. But personally, I reckon much of it is still quite backward in some ways at least. Just a few years ago, I found Beijing to be quite dirty and extremely dusty, especially in the hutongs. And the second and third tier cities were full of ugly apartment blocks with filthy stairways, no elevators, and no big picture planning (each unit was designed, fitted out, or expanded at the whim of the owners), just random disorder. I hated the food too. Most restaurants couldn't get western food right and Chinese places were generally highly inferior to counterparts in Taiwan. One of the most popular Sichuan dishes with westerners (kung pao chicken) was invariably over 80% bones in most of the restaurants I tried out in Chengdu and Chongqing. China has major air pollution in larger cities and poor quality consumables. As a developing country (which is what it still is and will continue to be for some time), quality of life often gets compromised.


I have traveled all up and down China, from the north of Harbin to the south of Guangdong. I've been in cities big and small. I've stayed in common people's homes. The only places I haven't been is way out west. I don't see the big difference. The idea that Japan and Korea fall short of western standards is outrageous to me. Now I know America is a big place. I would say my last ten years there were spent in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. I never encountered anything that could compete with places I stayed in Korea, with everything electronically controlled etc. (I won't even go into all the technology and cool gadgets, HD video screens everywhere etc. It's like a science fiction movie.) The biggest difference I see in China is no central air in some places and, yes, no elevator. (Luckily my building has one) I have yet to walk into a place as pitiful as my $1000 USD per month L.A. apartment. Maybe New York has stuff that blows the doors of Korea, Japan or China, but no place I have lived had it. They only recently got 20 Mbps/sec in L.A.

Rock wrote:4. Learning to communicate in Mandarin and read and write Pinyin may not be as difficult as it seems, perhaps even easier than Tagalog. The language has almost no grammar, word order is fairly straightforward, most sounds are easy to pronounce for a native American, and the sylable tones are straightforward - rising, falling, high, low, and neutral - Chinese dialects and other tonal languages typically have more complicated tones.


No fair! You already speak it, right? Maybe I will feel that way when I do. I speak Japanese, and some Korean, and can read both. I still say Chinese is hard. I learned Tagalog with absolutely no effort. Not that I got any good at it, but I ha no interest in learning it, and only picked it up by being around it all the time.

Rock wrote:5. I've never found visas to be a barrier in any Asian country I've stayed in. Can't you just take on enough part-time work with a school to get a work permit, enroll in some sort of certified Chinese course for a student visa, or make regular trips to Taiwan or Korea to get renewals?


I think that's what they did for me. I teach one class at a music school. But Americans can't just waltz into China like we can into Korea and Japan. We have to prepare everything in advance, get letters of invite, sponsorship and all kinds of papers. In Korea, I could just hop on over to Japan anytime for renewal.
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Postby Winston » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:49 pm

Steve Hoca concurs with our views on middle class Filipinos. Here is what he said:

Hello Winston:

I must agree with you on this one totally. When I was in the Philippines, I too noticed that people who are somewhat middle class hang only around other Philippinos and not foreigners. It's a cliquish thing that struck me. Ladislav never talked about this at all. He made it seem as if any woman there was dying to meet a nice, handsome, foreign guy which simply wasn't the case. Ladislav had me stay at this pension house that was a total flop, and at no time did any of the girls at the desk act friendly or say hello. I was so turned off by this Winston.

When I went out alone to the restaurants (mainly the fast food ones that most Philippinos cannot afford), I too noticed this cliquish attitude with these people. None would engage me in conversation, and that really hurt. The only way you can meet these women Winston is to take a laptop computer with you, and make sure you email as many females as you can in the area that are on the Filipina Cupid singles sites. Then, there are prospects right there. But, I never felt as if women there just wanted to swallow me up and take me in their arms.

Things have changed a bit I am sure, but the general rule is this: seek out women who are economically disadvantaged and not basking in materialism. If you do, you will have luck. Otherwise, you will be stuck all by yourself, lonely in your apartment or hotel room. Had it not been for one nice Filipina I met in Cagayan de Oro, I am sure my trip would have been much lonelier.

Talk to you soon.

Steve


Hello Winston:

Once again, you make a very astute point about the Philippines. It's as if as long as they have money, they want nothing to do with you as a foreigner. But, if they are destitute and poor, then you are the magic knight on a white horse coming to their rescue, particularly the women.

I am sad that this was my experience, but it was. You really have to be strategic when you're out and about trying to meet women in the Philippines. You have to go to poor areas, not upwardly more progressive ones. When I was in Cebu, I stayed a few days at this place in downtown Cebu City. The place was very busy, and there was a mall just across the street. You are right, as long as these people are making money and spending it freely, it's as if they don't need to socialize with foreigners, even Americans for that matter.

When I met the one women in Cebu, I had to have a cab driver take me over forty miles outside the city to a poor part in order to meet a woman that actually wanted to be with me.

Once again Winston, you are a genius, and you once again make more valid points. Keep up the good work.

Steve


Hello Winston:

I have to comment further about the whole leech mentality of Filipinos. In only two weeks, I learned so much about them, almost to the point where I am thinking that you are right in that they are shameless leeches lacking very little pride. When you meet a woman, she never just goes out alone with you. She brings her whole entourage. And she has no shame about it either. And you are right in that if you promise a Filipinos a gift, they not only will accept your offer (unlike us, "you don't have to do that"), but they will also hold you to your promise as if "you own it to me".

I think the Philippines is nice in that the weather there is beautiful, and if you manage your money right, you can get a 3 to 1 advantage over it. However, computers there are extremely expensive, as is fast food and beer. Comparatively, a can of beer there costs 30 pesos in the supermarket, which amounts to 75 American cents. That's about what you pay per beer when you buy a 12 pack of beer in the states. In fact, even less than that. Most electronics there are expensive. A laptop computer that costs $600.00 here in the U.S. will easily cost $900.00 there, and to Filipinos, that's like buying a very expensive used car.

Also, where the hell do these Filipinos that can afford Jollibee come from Winston? I thought that in the Philippines, most workers only make 200 pesos per day, or seven American dollars. How the hell can they afford to pay 150 pesos for a simple fast food meal? Also, fast food is comparatively the same price as it is here in the United States. For three American dollars, you can still get a value meal at some McDonald's restaurants. And there the price is the same. Go figure.

I will sum it up like this Winston: the Philippines is an anomaly to say the least. Larry Elterman made it seem as if things were cheaper there, and he is right. But, there are so many factors there I just don't understand. Will I go back there? Probably, but it's hard to say when.

Steve
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Postby Rock » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:59 pm

Winston wrote:Rock,
I told you, the definition of middle class is simple. It refers to someone who has a house, a car, and a regular job or business income.

Or, it refers to anyone who can go to the mall and BUY what they want with their own money (from their salary or family fortune, not from a foreigner) or can go to a restaurant and PAY for a meal with their own money (not gotten from a foreigner). If a Filipina can do that yet be willing to hang around a foreigner, I consider it to be a miracle... esp if she's decent looking too.

Is that a simple enough criteria for what middle class is?

Anyhow two questions for everyone:

- Why are Filipino middle class so closed and unsociable and introverted, compared to middle class of other countries?

- Why do people become closed, unfriendly and anti-social once they have money? I came from an upper middle class background, and all my peers in Fremont, CA said to me "You live in the rich area of Mission Hills", yet I never became anti-social or unfriendly to others (as long as they were friendly with sincere intentions). So why can't other people be like me? Why are they immediately changed by being middle class? Why am I different? Why can't they be like me? I can't figure it out.


1. Consider Repatriate's point about class and history of the Philippines to get some clues as to your first question. Also, why don't you ask the same question to your intellectual Filippino contact who you sometimes correspond with and post his answer here?

2. Lad has said that its the poorer people in the US who are less friendly and more closed, opposite of SE Asia. Anyway, I think part of being anti-social is having a sense of being special and set apart from the masses. In the US, middle class has traditionally been average, accounting for a huge chunk of the general population. In the US, you were part of this group so you were not at all special. But people there from more elite classes (wealthy to rich family, Ivy Leagues or top tier uni alumni, political connections, etc.) will also tend to be snobby towards people outside their exclusive groups. Perhaps in PI, being middle class is rare enough to make members feel special, better than most. With foreigners, you've got the automatic bar girl stigma which these types don't wanna have anything to do with. They are special and differentiate themselves from their poorer compatriots who leech onto foreigners by doing the opposite, totally ignoring them.

3. I don't think you are different in this regard. I know people from lower to upper middle class backgrounds in the US who are generally open and friendly. The snobs and antisocial types tend to be concentrated in the richer classes and ironically, the underclass as well. Attitude also has a lot to do with a person's social standing, age, looks, etc. For example, young hot chicks tend to be more closed socially than their middle aged fathers.

4. Its hard to make a fair comparison between poor and developed countries. What's special in one is ordinary in the other. Reading between the lines of what you have written in this thread, you are saying that Filipinos socialize with and date foreigners only for monetary benefit. Once that motivation is gone, they would prefer to have nothing to do with us, at least personally.

5. I've argued pretty much from day 1 that I suspected PI was a questionable longer term Happier Abroad destinations for the reason of motivation - locals are socializing with you to get material benefits, not because they really want to. In contrast, countries like Taiwan offer a more genuine style of hospitality and social opportunity even if it seems less friendly in the beginning. Steve Hoca was smart enough to look below the surface on his brief trip.

6. In spite of all the pitfalls, PI does offer value for some at least. Don't forget, you found Diane there and she is genuinely attached to you, right? She gave up other suitors to settle with you.
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Postby Rock » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:09 pm

Winston wrote:Steve Hoca concurs with our views on middle class Filipinos. Here is what he said:

Hello Winston:

I must agree with you on this one totally. When I was in the Philippines, I too noticed that people who are somewhat middle class hang only around other Philippinos and not foreigners. It's a cliquish thing that struck me. Ladislav never talked about this at all. He made it seem as if any woman there was dying to meet a nice, handsome, foreign guy which simply wasn't the case. Ladislav had me stay at this pension house that was a total flop, and at no time did any of the girls at the desk act friendly or say hello. I was so turned off by this Winston.

When I went out alone to the restaurants (mainly the fast food ones that most Philippinos cannot afford), I too noticed this cliquish attitude with these people. None would engage me in conversation, and that really hurt. The only way you can meet these women Winston is to take a laptop computer with you, and make sure you email as many females as you can in the area that are on the Filipina Cupid singles sites. Then, there are prospects right there. But, I never felt as if women there just wanted to swallow me up and take me in their arms.

Things have changed a bit I am sure, but the general rule is this: seek out women who are economically disadvantaged and not basking in materialism. If you do, you will have luck. Otherwise, you will be stuck all by yourself, lonely in your apartment or hotel room. Had it not been for one nice Filipina I met in Cagayan de Oro, I am sure my trip would have been much lonelier.

Talk to you soon.

Steve


Hello Winston:

Once again, you make a very astute point about the Philippines. It's as if as long as they have money, they want nothing to do with you as a foreigner. But, if they are destitute and poor, then you are the magic knight on a white horse coming to their rescue, particularly the women.

I am sad that this was my experience, but it was. You really have to be strategic when you're out and about trying to meet women in the Philippines. You have to go to poor areas, not upwardly more progressive ones. When I was in Cebu, I stayed a few days at this place in downtown Cebu City. The place was very busy, and there was a mall just across the street. You are right, as long as these people are making money and spending it freely, it's as if they don't need to socialize with foreigners, even Americans for that matter.

When I met the one women in Cebu, I had to have a cab driver take me over forty miles outside the city to a poor part in order to meet a woman that actually wanted to be with me.

Once again Winston, you are a genius, and you once again make more valid points. Keep up the good work.

Steve


Hello Winston:

I have to comment further about the whole leech mentality of Filipinos. In only two weeks, I learned so much about them, almost to the point where I am thinking that you are right in that they are shameless leeches lacking very little pride. When you meet a woman, she never just goes out alone with you. She brings her whole entourage. And she has no shame about it either. And you are right in that if you promise a Filipinos a gift, they not only will accept your offer (unlike us, "you don't have to do that"), but they will also hold you to your promise as if "you own it to me".

I think the Philippines is nice in that the weather there is beautiful, and if you manage your money right, you can get a 3 to 1 advantage over it. However, computers there are extremely expensive, as is fast food and beer. Comparatively, a can of beer there costs 30 pesos in the supermarket, which amounts to 75 American cents. That's about what you pay per beer when you buy a 12 pack of beer in the states. In fact, even less than that. Most electronics there are expensive. A laptop computer that costs $600.00 here in the U.S. will easily cost $900.00 there, and to Filipinos, that's like buying a very expensive used car.

Also, where the hell do these Filipinos that can afford Jollibee come from Winston? I thought that in the Philippines, most workers only make 200 pesos per day, or seven American dollars. How the hell can they afford to pay 150 pesos for a simple fast food meal? Also, fast food is comparatively the same price as it is here in the United States. For three American dollars, you can still get a value meal at some McDonald's restaurants. And there the price is the same. Go figure.

I will sum it up like this Winston: the Philippines is an anomaly to say the least. Larry Elterman made it seem as if things were cheaper there, and he is right. But, there are so many factors there I just don't understand. Will I go back there? Probably, but it's hard to say when.

Steve


Well this also supports what I suspected. Some people on this forum have made it sound like walking through central Cebu as a foreigner is like being some kind of rock star. If it sounds too good to be true...

As for prices, keep in mind that the US$ has lost a lot of ground against the Peso and most other currencies over the last few years. Moreover, PI has had a significant amount of local price inflation over the last few years. Combining these two factors means PI is a lot more expensive to an American visitor now than when Larry wrote his book. And electronics and certain other items have always been cheapest in the first world. Just don't buy such items in less developed areas of the world, bring them from home.
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