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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
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I would completely disagree with the claim that Tagalog is useless here in the Philippines. It had been tremendously useful for me while in the Visayas.
I just went to some more remote parts of the Visayas, and many people out in the rural areas hardly speak any English. They speak local Visayan dialects as well as Tagalog, which they may often mix up with Visayan.
All the trike and motorcycle drivers that I've hired in the rural areas speak little English. Without Tagalog, you'd have a serious language barrier with them.
Like in Mexico, I really enjoy the camaraderie with the fun, lively Filipino guys here. They're far more laid-back than the more serious, uptight Chinese and Taiwanese guys. In order to "really experience" the country, I'd highly recommend making friends with lots of local guys.
I think it's worth learning Tagalog, especially if you plan to spend time there. Just don't advertise too quickly that you can speak and understand the language. It should be very interesting to hear what the Pinoys & Pinays REALLY think of the "kano" as they talk about them behind your back. It will open up a whole new world and change your perspective of the locals, I'm sure. And at the same time, you will understand their mindset better.
A friend of mine was quietly learning Tagalog and got to the point where he could understand and speak it reasonably well. But he didn't let on right away.
When he had dinner with his girlfriend's family, they were talking to each other about the "stupid kano" (while all the time smiling at him) and making plans to scam him. At the end, he calmly stood up and said to everyone in Tagalog that he heard and understood every word they said. You should have seen the look on their faces. He told the girlfriend that their relationship is over. Then he walked out.
For weeks she kept calling and texting him that her family didn't really mean what they said. Yeah....right.
I can count on the fingers of half a hand those Western guys who have learned Tagalog beyond a few phrases. And it does not seem to affect their lives much. This filters out gossip and bad talk and they are in company of college educated middle class Filipinos who speak English. They have nice houses, drivers and live good lives. They stride around proud, head held high,
99.99999999% of poreners behave like that, spend their money and everyone is happy. Filipinos also get to practice their English outside of high school and college with a porener and they are double happy.
Tagalog will open up masses of less than college educated and many rural people for you and you will make inroads into the real Philippines, and it's just as well. You will taste the reality of a basically Hindu Asian country pretending to be Western. You will explore the deep soul of this Malay nation.
But most Western people don't care about the mystic, Russian-like soul of Pinoys. They want a nice house, good food, fresh young p---y and some booze.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!