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Manila - Awfully Disappointing

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

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Manila - Awfully Disappointing

Postby Mr S » Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:57 pm

Repost from a travel Blog discussion Board (make sure you read some of the comments too: http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/Philippi ... 42646.html

Update 12th October 2011:

This post seems to have gone viral. I've had nearly 500 comments.... most still unreviewed because I read EACH ONE before accepting them. Please bear with me.

I delete ONLY the incoherent, wholly illiterate and actually defamatory or gratuitously insulting - they are often funny, but say more about the writer than than my post - no Anonymous, I'm not a "racist faggot" and I do use my real name, LoL. However one or two are included so you can see what I mean. These insults represent about 1% of the comments, the majority of which, even when they disagree with me, are rational. Thanks for that.

I even got one comment from George Clooney (really?) - he apparently didn't get the bow to his excellent TV advert for Nescafe.... mmmh...... was it really from you George? If so, please verify and I'll publish it. I suspect someone of your eminence wouldn't bother to comment on a casual blog like this, and would also have understood the respect shown by the post. Whoever that was using his name in vain, lighten up!

I'm happy if people criticise coherently; I might (and have) learned some things. Bring it on. This blog is NOT politically correct and will never be; it is an honest reflection of my opinions...... whatever they are worth. Post your comments in similar vein and I'll publish them.

The text of the post below is unchanged, but I want to say this about my experience of the Philippines overall: I've worked there off and on since 1991. I've visited almost every part of the country, including NPA territory and Islamic parts of Mindanao. I've eaten rice with people so poor this is all they have to offer and hiked through places like Aurora. So I probably know the place fairly well, I suspect. As someone says, it is a hugely diverse country, beautiful in places, but with astounding poverty compared with many of its neighbours. I've enjoyed almost all my time there - but I DID NOT ENJOY THIS VISIT nor the Discovery Suites, and this blog reviews specific visits and my experience of them.

People have written about the good things in Manila - folks, Makati and Greenbelt are about as representative of Manila and the Philippines as Silom Road is of Bangkok and Thailand. I've visited every part of Manila, so please don't kid me.

Specifics: NAIA Terminal 3 is NOT open except to very few international flights and some domestic. It's been in this position for YEARS and is an absolute example of the failure of the government to deal with critical problems.

Discovery Suites: I kept going back because it was always good value - duh! It no longer is good value, and I won't go back. By the way, I've stayed at the EDSA Plaza and I've stayed at the Peninsular.... in fact I've stayed all over the city. DS was good and convenient. Pity.

Racist? Ha ha! LoL I'm actually married to an Asian and have lived in Asia for well over 20 years - love it. But Asians are the most racist folk in the world - ask a Thai their opinion on Indians (khon kak - don't ask for a literal translation) and they call me "farang", which isn't so polite..... or the Chinese what they think of all the rest of the world......I'm a Big Nose (dai bize)......or in Japan a "gaijin"......like, whatever. I am indeed culturally aware and critical...... yes, opinionated. By the way, lots of folk detest Brits... so what? Get real and get over it.

Sorry if Filipinos are insulted, that wasn't my intention - but this is what I felt at the time of my visit and my OPINION, not "the truth"........ Read on:

I honestly do really HATE to write negative posts. If you check through this blog you’ll see that even the posts on Afghanistan have a few positive things to say…….

But my GOODNESS the Philippines!!! Or more precisely Manila, because you cannot and should not generalize about such a large country spread over thousands of islands. Manila - what a dump!

The city has got to be the disgrace of South-east Asia, all the more so because twenty years ago when I used to come through here en route to Papua New Guinea it was THE place in the region to come to for shopping and R&R. How the mighty are fallen!

Let’s start with the international airport. Ninoy Aquino International is exactly the same as it was all that time ago; the same awful green lino when you arrive, the same over-crowded Departure Hall, nowhere to sit if your check-in desk isn’t open. Once through security you find the same down-market shops, toilets that don’t work or are “under repairâ€￾ and very few F&B places.

I pay the extra $15 to go up to the Sampaguita Lounge just to get out of the crush of people. No, despite the fact that I’m an inveterate traveler I DO NOT LIKE crowds of people! The travelling public en masse is a necessary obstacle that has to be endured and overcome.

The coffee in this over-priced lounge is awful…. Over-boiled and they don’t have a modern machines (which these days can be purchased even for home use) to produce fresh coffee from beans. NO ONE uses this old filter method anymore, at least no one that likes good coffee. Where is George Clooney!!???

As for the hotel downtown: I have stayed at the
Discovery Suites in Ortigas Center for the last 15+ years ever since it opened. It used to be very good and remains convenient for my business meetings. But the owners have invested nothing in upkeep and I stay in a room that has the same furniture, same carpet as it has always had; it smells musty. The TV is years old. The water heating system provides limited hot water for my bath. My room is not cleaned until I have to go and ask. The internet (OK, free wifi in the room) is dreadfully slow and the room service food lukewarm.

Frankly at $119/night the Discovery Suites is no longer the good deal that it once was and I shall change to another hotel if I have the misfortune of coming back here.

Manila itself is a shambles. The traffic is AWFUL (I seem to be using a lot of capital letters in this post) and nothing has been added to shops or other amenities (whereas e.g. Bangkok has transformed itself into an almost livable city).

Look: people will say the Filipino people are nice, and indeed they are polite – we Brits might say “smarmyâ€￾ – obsequious or ingratiating are maybe less pleasant words. But they do try. That does take the edge off the sheer misery of a crumbling, filthy, depressing city and an economy that exists only on the remittances of the smart ones who have left.

Sorry folks. I know there are many people who love the Philippines, but its economic development has been a disaster; the irony is that Manila is the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank (the reason I come here) and it has the WORST growth history of any of the ASEAN countries – Cambodia which was torn apart by civil war up until 1997 has a first-class airport (fresh ham and cheese sandwiches on foccacia, freshly brewed cappuccino , clean lounges) and some great restaurant food and hotels (see my next post). But the Manila, where the intelligentsia sneer at their Asian brothers and sisters for their lack of English, is beaten hands down even by little Phnom Penh and left standing by every other mega-city in the region.

There seems to be a theme here: the Philippines has many natural advantages and in fact a talented people who provide services everywhere in the world. But there has been no re-investment in the country, neither by the public sector (hence the terrible airport facilities), nor by private industry. People might build a hotel, but they run it into the ground rather than trying to build a long-term institution. Philippines can be described as an extractive or exploitive economy, not one where people want to build sustainably long term. As I say, the smart one’s all want to leave.

My suggestion if you want to see the Philippines: get through Manila as quickly as you can, it has nothing to recommend it. Go out to the islands, Cebu, Mindanao, up to the cool of Bagio and see the people in the countryside and some of the spectacular scenery. That’s probably worth the trip. Otherwise pick almost anywhere else in Asia and you’ll get a better deal.

Final note: for those that wonder, I’m NOT backpacker and I’ve travelled so much that the novelty or “exciting local colourâ€￾ of dirt, disease and bad food no longer fills me with wonderment; I stay in decent hotels and expect good service, anything less is patronizing the people in these emerging countries. For most of Asia I get it in spades – better value overall than travelling in North America or Europe - but not the Philippines.

For the Philippines the question is surely will it ever emerge from the mire into which it has sunk? Very frankly based on my very long experience of the place I really doubt it, in fact it is a “disappearingâ€￾ country if there is such a thing.

Discovery Suites
25 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center
Pasig City 1600
Philippines

P.S. No pictures because there's nothing worth photographing in Manila, it's drab and dirty.

An Article about the post:

http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2011 ... l-blogger/

Manila: a ‘dump’ according to travel blogger
October 15, 2011
By Ilda
A certain Geoffrey James wrote a scathing review of the Philippines or rather, as he quickly pointed out, a scathing review of it’s capital, Manila on Travelblog.org. I’m glad he decided to be specific because the country as a whole is not ugly. Nonetheless, I am pretty sure Manila was once as beautiful as the rest of the scenery that can still be found in the countryside. It is the total lack of sound planning and neglect of the infrastructure that is making the country’s cities look unattractive. Even with the new developments in the heart of the city like The Fort or Rockwell, the traffic chaos on the roads leading to these new business districts or what they refer to as “little havensâ€￾ still doesn’t make Manila enticing enough to international travelers.


Manila's awful traffic
The words James used to describe Manila left a lot to the imagination of his readers. What I’m trying to say is, those who have not been to Manila will most likely keep reading through his article because of his use of provocative descriptions such as “a dumpâ€￾; “a disgraceâ€￾; “a shamblesâ€￾ and not to mention, “awfulâ€￾. After reading such a review, potential first-timers will most likely skip the Philippines as a holiday destination. Tsk tsk…what a shame!

As predictable as the sunrise, many Filipinos were offended by his biting opinion of our country. A few were saying that it is not fair of Mr. James to let his recent stay at the Discovery Suites, a “plush hotelâ€￾ as described in their website, dictate his view of his overall stay in the Philippines. After all, as some of those who disagreed with him would say, there are many new hotels around town that would have given him a truly “exuberant pamperingâ€￾ and would have allowed him to appreciate the “beautyâ€￾ of the Philippines.

Yes, Mr. James would have had a more pleasant hotel experience if he were willing to pay a premium for his accommodation. Like they always say, you get what you pay for. But at $119.00 a night, it wasn’t exactly cheap especially after you convert it to pesos. That’s like a month’s salary for a an unskilled laborer. He can be forgiven for expecting more for his buck considering the hotel was located in one of Manila’s busiest business districts, Ortigas Center.

That said, those who criticize Mr. James for being a cheapskate are missing the point. The point is, like most things in the Philippines, the Discovery Suites that James used to find satisfactory has deteriorated. He claimed that he has been staying at the same hotel since it opened 15 years ago. Obviously, he was happy with his stay in the past, otherwise he would not have kept coming back. But he went from being one happy camper to one unhappy one after his most recent stay. In his own words, Mr. James said, the owners of the hotel invested nothing in its upkeep. It had the same furniture, the same carpet; and smelled musty. The TV is years old. The water heating system provides limited hot water for his bath. Furthermore, his room was not cleaned until he requested it to be cleaned. After reading that, I would have to agree that his experience must have sucked.

Well, it seems like the alleged condition of Discovery Suites is a microcosm of the condition of the infrastructure in the entire country. For all the protests and expressions of indignation that most misguided Filipino “patriotsâ€￾ direct against criticism published by people like James, the evidence speaks for itself: Filipinos cannot sustain the love for their country long enough. It is unlikely that their great grandchildren will enjoy the same infrastructure they grew up with. James was spot on when he said that the “Philippines can be described as an extractive or exploitive economy, not one where people want to build sustainably long term.â€￾ And sadly, he is not even talking about foreign investors. Even local investors look like they couldn’t be bothered with the upkeep of their own investments.


Just because there is a new airport does not mean we should neglect the old one
James showed no mercy in his assessment of the Manila international airport. This is what he had to say about it:

Let’s start with the international airport. Ninoy Aquino International is exactly the same as it was all that time ago; the same awful green lino when you arrive, the same over-crowded Departure Hall, nowhere to sit if your check-in desk isn’t open. Once through security you find the same down-market shops, toilets that don’t work or are “under repairâ€￾ and very few F&B places.

I pay the extra $15 to go up to the Sampaguita Lounge just to get out of the crush of people. No, despite the fact that I’m an inveterate traveler I DO NOT LIKE crowds of people! The travelling public en masse is a necessary obstacle that has to be endured and overcome.

It’s not just James who is uncomfortable with the presence of the maddening crowd in NAIA. It is simply an assault on the senses for any individual to be exposed to too many people and too much noise immediately after arriving from or just before boarding a flight. And the ambiance in the old airport is just not something anyone would look forward to.

James even complained about the lack of good food in Manila’s airport, comparing it to that of Cambodia, a formerly backward country that he says can now serve him “ham and cheese sandwiches on foccacia, freshly brewed cappuccinoâ€￾. Of course some Filipinos would say that we have many delicious foods. Yes, we do. But what is delicious to us may not be to other folks from other countries. So our international airport should also cater to international travelers.

You’d think that the incumbent President who is also the only son of the slain senator after which the NAIA is named would do his best to maintain a respectable image for our airport. But President Benigno “Noynoyâ€￾ Aquino III, who admittedly said he does not like traveling, does not seem to have fixing the airport in his priority list. And that is too bad considering the airport is where visitors get their first and last impression of the country and its people.


The still not fully-operational NAIA-3
As of this writing, the construction of the new international airport NAIA-3, which is mired in controversy hasn’t been completed due to the lawsuits filed by its private investors against the Philippine government regarding their compensation. The completion of the construction has been stalled for almost a decade with the German firm Fraport suing the Philippines initially in 2003. The NAIA-3 is “reportedly 97 percent completed even as valuators [are] still determining the actual value of the facility to determine the full amount of compensation that would be given to the shareholders as ordered by the Supreme Court (SC) in its writ of execution in March this year.â€￾

With messy deals like the construction of the new international airport, I wonder which foreign investor would still want to deal with the Philippine government? I guess having PNoy in Malacanang has not made a difference in the disappointing way Filipino public officials deal with investors.

After a year in office, it is very obvious that there is no improvement during PNoy’s term. He may have eliminated the abusive use of those obnoxious sirens by motorists, which he refers to as wang-wangs but other than that, as James aptly put it, the Philippines just might disappear from tourists travel map or go under the radar if Filipinos don’t do any “upkeepâ€￾.

Someone told me that due to the humidity and grime caused by the pollution, it would cost a lot to maintain the luster of both private premises and public infrastructure in Manila. Only a handful of buildings in the city retain their immaculate appearance after years of exposure to Manila’s corrosive air. It’s one thing for the public sector to give little priority to keeping public infrastructure in pristine condition, but it’s quite another for the private sector to show the same lack of enthusiasm. Once again, we can blame the lack of interest in the upkeep of their premises by the private sector to a weak sense of nationalism in general. It has always been said that most elites bank their money abroad for safekeeping instead of pumping it back to the Philippine economy. As discussed in a previous article of mine:

Yet in many cases, even members of the elite have their other foot out the door even while the other is still hanging on and waiting for things to get better at home. In fact, it has been a practice of many members of the Philippine elite to try to obtain dual citizenships for their children as a “just in caseâ€￾ measure — insurance against the real possibility that any minute a bloodthirsty mob can start rioting at the doorsteps of their McMansions…

It could also have something to do with another cultural quirk inherent in Filipinos called ningas kugon. Loosely translated in English, ningas kugon means losing interest after starting something. And the explanation as to why some people lose interest in what they started is simple enough: they don’t think things through before venturing into something.

Some Filipinos go into something merely because they copied it off someone. And because they copied someone doing it, they don’t necessarily possess the same passion in the business as the first successful guy who did it. Therefore, it is no surprise that in the long run, they lose interest. So someone who went into the hotel business for the simple reason that a friend of his went into the same thing might not be able to sustain the same enthusiasm he had in the beginning along the way. While international hotel chains overseas like Travelodge maintain their professional service and look consistently functional and clean everywhere in the world, most local hotels in the Philippines just aren’t up to par.

Lately, I have come to realize that most Filipinos quickly lose interest in something when the novelty wears out. It’s like they only want to support an establishment when it is new. I often wonder why most balikbayans are always in awe when they see that something hasn’t changed. It’s like they either expect it to be replaced with something new and bigger or they do not see the value of heritage sites. This is why there are only a few buildings left from the bygone years. Sadly, most Filipino developers love demolishing old historical buildings and replacing it with either a mall or…another mall. This is why things don’t look the same anymore — developers would rather detonate than preserve. While it may look like things are improving with all the (for now) gleaming new buildings going up, the city’s character goes out the door along with the razing of old buildings.
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Postby green1976 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:44 pm

I haven't been to Manila but most ratings i get from the internet are bad.

In comparison,even if Bangkok is crowded,it's not even near of what Manila is.

I checked the density of the two cities and Manila is more than 8 times more crowded than Bangkok.
You f***ing get the picture i think.

As Bangkok is for me already busy, i can't imagine what is Manila.
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Postby zboy1 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:52 pm

The Philippines is one of the least developed countries in South East Asia. I'm not surprised by the negative opinions expressed by some people towards the country. Why is most of Asia racing ahead economically while the Philippines continues to be mired in economic stagnation and poverty? Maybe, what Winston said is true: that Filipinos aren't exactly intellectual giants and are kind of lazy to boot.
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Postby Banano » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:51 pm

zboy1 wrote:The Philippines is one of the least developed countries in South East Asia. I'm not surprised by the negative opinions expressed by some people towards the country. Why is most of Asia racing ahead economically while the Philippines continues to be mired in economic stagnation and poverty? Maybe, what Winston said is true: that Filipinos aren't exactly intellectual giants and are kind of lazy to boot.



Thats a beauty of it, its underdeveloped and people are friendly, keep it that way. Once thay become like Japan or Korea women turn into unfriendly creatures;

keep the cost of pumping low:)
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Postby Repatriate » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:31 am

zboy1 wrote:The Philippines is one of the least developed countries in South East Asia. I'm not surprised by the negative opinions expressed by some people towards the country. Why is most of Asia racing ahead economically while the Philippines continues to be mired in economic stagnation and poverty? Maybe, what Winston said is true: that Filipinos aren't exactly intellectual giants and are kind of lazy to boot.


When I talked with Filipinos about this they seem to be depressed about their country. On one hand they are proud of their traditions and culture but they know it's a shithole. Some of them are in denial about it to save face or talk up the positive things about the Philippines but you can tell they know what the truth of it is.

I wouldn't totally count the Philippines out though or call the people inferior. It wasn't that long ago that people were talking about Koreans and Chinese in similar terms..poor, dirty, stupid prior to the 50's. I think most of SEA has similar issues. In fact I find most Filipinos to be really similar to Thais in mentality a lot of times. The difference is Thais have a strong cultural belief system to base their country's on which means a degree of cohesion at the civic level. Rich Thais loot and rob their own country too but there's still a small sense in what doing things for progress entails.

The Philippines seems to be this weird amalgamation of western and eastern traditions which means that whatever the "original" culture was no one probably knows. I think in more ways than one its a country that has a deep identity crisis and that keeps people in a malaise. Another thing is the Philippines seems to have adopted negative traits from both western and eastern cultural traditions over the positive aspects.
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Postby zboy1 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:42 am

Repatriate wrote:
zboy1 wrote:The Philippines is one of the least developed countries in South East Asia. I'm not surprised by the negative opinions expressed by some people towards the country. Why is most of Asia racing ahead economically while the Philippines continues to be mired in economic stagnation and poverty? Maybe, what Winston said is true: that Filipinos aren't exactly intellectual giants and are kind of lazy to boot.


When I talked with Filipinos about this they seem to be depressed about their country. On one hand they are proud of their traditions and culture but they know it's a shithole. Some of them are in denial about it to save face or talk up the positive things about the Philippines but you can tell they know what the truth of it is.

I wouldn't totally count the Philippines out though or call the people inferior. It wasn't that long ago that people were talking about Koreans and Chinese in similar terms..poor, dirty, stupid prior to the 50's. I think most of SEA has similar issues. In fact I find most Filipinos to be really similar to Thais in mentality a lot of times. The difference is Thais have a strong cultural belief system to base their country's on which means a degree of cohesion at the civic level. Rich Thais loot and rob their own country too but there's still a small sense in what doing things for progress entails.

The Philippines seems to be this weird amalgamation of western and eastern traditions which means that whatever the "original" culture was no one probably knows. I think in more ways than one its a country that has a deep identity crisis and that keeps people in a malaise. Another thing is the Philippines seems to have adopted negative traits from both western and eastern cultural traditions over the positive aspects.


I've always had the opinion that Filipinos are the most 'westernized' out of all the Asian countries, and in many ways, that is hindering their progress. The polluting Western culture has had a very negative effect on the Philippines. The country also has one of the most corrupt governments in the world, yet, that hasn't stopped China or India from developing at a very rapid pace. The main problem is that education is not really stressed in Filipino society and that leads to a dumbed-down population with very little interest in learning and advancing in society.
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Postby Repatriate » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:10 am

zboy1 wrote:
I've always had the opinion that Filipinos are the most 'westernized' out of all the Asian countries, and in many ways, that is hindering their progress. The polluting Western culture has had a very negative effect on the Philippines. The country also has one of the most corrupt governments in the world, yet, that hasn't stopped China or India from developing at a very rapid pace. The main problem is that education is not really stressed in Filipino society and that leads to a dumbed-down population with very little interest in learning and advancing in society.

Most educated Filipinos leave the country as soon as possible. They go to countries like America where they can adopt new identities and become a part of a different culture in which they are already familiar with. That's why many Filipino-Americans I know don't have much of a connection with their parent's identity. There are a lot of smart Filipinos in America but when you look at their parent's background you understand why..a lot of them are professors, nurses, engineers etc... They all fled during the Marcos era.
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Postby Winston » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:08 pm

zboy1 wrote:The Philippines is one of the least developed countries in South East Asia. I'm not surprised by the negative opinions expressed by some people towards the country. Why is most of Asia racing ahead economically while the Philippines continues to be mired in economic stagnation and poverty? Maybe, what Winston said is true: that Filipinos aren't exactly intellectual giants and are kind of lazy to boot.


Of course it is true. Not maybe. You overestimate them. Intellectual giants? Their English is below most kindergarten kids in America. The educated ones are only average in intelligence by American standards.

I wouldn't say such things if it weren't true.

I told you, every expat in the Phils agrees with my observations. What does that tell you?

Go to the Phils and you will see.
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Postby ladislav » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:49 pm

Winston wrote:
zboy1 wrote:The Philippines is one of the least developed countries in South East Asia. I'm not surprised by the negative opinions expressed by some people towards the country. Why is most of Asia racing ahead economically while the Philippines continues to be mired in economic stagnation and poverty? Maybe, what Winston said is true: that Filipinos aren't exactly intellectual giants and are kind of lazy to boot.


Of course it is true. Not maybe. You overestimate them. Intellectual giants? Their English is below most kindergarten kids in America. The educated ones are only average in intelligence by American standards.

I wouldn't say such things if it weren't true.

I told you, every expat in the Phils agrees with my observations. What does that tell you?

Go to the Phils and you will see.


Why should you use English as a measure of intellectualism? This is a British colonial invention. Screw English! In Japan English is virtually non existent. You are gonna tell me that are dumb?
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
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Postby xiongmao » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:09 pm

I've been flamed by Filipinos before who don't think there's much poverty there. The rich Filipinos are really in denial!

I've got a few Filipina facebook friends and they're really lovely. I think if it wasn't for the religion then I'd be tempted to try some Filipina beauty.

I've never been to the Philippines, but I can tell you that the education level of the average Chinese woman will really surprise you. No wonder China is taking over the world.
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Postby momopi » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:19 pm

If PH was as developed as SG, then PH wouldn't have all the opportunities of a developing country that SG lacks.
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Postby MrPeabody » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:41 pm

It reminds me of Captain Cook who would land on an island paradise where the natives would work a few hours a day to get their needs met and have fun the rest of the time. After Cook's crew finished with giving venereal disease to the women, the British would take away their coconuts so they had to work for a living. The first thing a Westerner does is start complaining about his environment and wanting to change it and thus forms an intention to destroy the very thing he was attracted too. It irritates him when he sees people laughing and lying around because in his British mind they are "lazy". Today, Captain Cook's crew forms a foreign affairs website to take once innocent women and make it so they receive several thousand e-mails a month to permanently ruin their once state of innocence they once had before they had to learn the shitty language English. I am thinking the best place in the Philippines could be the south where complaining Westerners get their heads cut off. One of the things that attracted me to Colombia was that the guerrillas kept the Americans away.
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Postby OutWest » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:45 pm

MrPeabody wrote:It reminds me of Captain Cook who would land on an island paradise where the natives would work a few hours a day to get their needs met and have fun the rest of the time. After Cook's crew finished with giving venereal disease to the women, the British would take away their coconuts so they had to work for a living. The first thing a Westerner does is start complaining about his environment and wanting to change it and thus forms an intention to destroy the very thing he was attracted too. It irritates him when he sees people laughing and lying around because in his British mind they are "lazy". Today, Captain Cook's crew forms a foreign affairs website to take once innocent women and make it so they receive several thousand e-mails a month to permanently ruin their once state of innocence they once had before they had to learn the shitty language English. I am thinking the best place in the Philippines could be the south where complaining Westerners get their heads cut off. One of the things that attracted me to Colombia was that the guerrillas kept the Americans away.


Complaining Westerners get their heads cut off in the southern Philippines? Really? LOL I had not noticed...they most go quietly I guess...
Seriously, if Muslim groups in the south wanted to make a practice of targeting westerners, you would hear about it, as we are easy to find, all over the
southern Philippines. Westerners in the Philippines are among the LEAST of their problems, believe me!

Really hard to compare the Philippines with Hawaii though. Ultimately the Hawaiians managed to make Captain Cook their own- they ate him!

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Postby Winston » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:48 pm

Check out this honest rant on Single Dude Travel about the ugly truths about Manila. lol

http://www.singledudetravel.com/2011/10 ... -the-cons/

This part is so true.

Manila is pretty much a shithole. Nowhere else in my travels up to this point has the difference between the rich and the poor been more noticeable than there. There are way too many people in town and many, many of them are desperately poor. Meanwhile, a small percentage of people live in huge multi-million dollar mansions in gated communities and control a huge percentage of the country’s resources.


We found the Filipinos to be nice but the retardation level to be extremely high. I am very disappointed to say that in the three weeks Boris and I spent in Manila and Boracay, not one of our Filipina girlfriends said one interesting thing to either of us, ever. Never. Even the rich ones were completely dull and shallow conversationalists who seemed absolutely incapable of abstract thought and seemed to have absolutely no interests or passions about anything beyond their day to day existences. The list of things they did seem interested in were karaoke, basketball, money, gambling, Angry Birds, and shitty American or American copy entertainment. I am sorry to report that in our experience the Filipinas, while very sweet, warm, nice, and affectionate, have nothing going on upstairs. It reminded me a little of American girls and how many of them have no interests outside of how they look, and what Snooky did on last week’s episode of the Jersey Shore.


Here are a few pros that they listed.

http://www.singledudetravel.com/2011/12 ... -the-pros/

This part is so true.

I don’t think that Manila is an ideal location for many of the things that I like, really. The food is terrible, it’s very hard to find drugs, the chicks are cute but super boring, it’s not as cheap as it should be, and it’s too hot. The only thing that I’m into that Manila is excellent for is the music. Filipinos are oustanding musicians and every bar will have a good rock cover band in it, often with a hot chick singer who is actually very good. So that’s a pro. The people are generally very nice, and certain things are super cheap.
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