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Why it's hard to be an Introvert in PI

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Why it's hard to be an Introvert in PI

Postby Mr S » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:42 am

http://8list.ph/filipino-introverts-philippines/

8 Reasons Why it’s Hard to be an Introvert in the Philippines

Once was a time that we only encountered the word in the office of guidance counselors. And please don’t mistake the term for PacoArespacochaga’s middling band from the 90s: That’s Introvoys.

Nowadays, you see the word ‘introvert’ everywhere. It’s on Facebook feeds, on best-seller shelves, on t-shirts even.

And why shouldn’t it be? It’s about darn time. Introverts always had the short end of the stick: We’ve been underrepresented and often misunderstood by an always-loud, extrovert-dominated, Tim Yap-organized world.

Thanks to social media and Susan Cain’s game-changing book Quiet, introverts are now thumping their chests and speaking their minds.

Being a proud and bonafide introvert myself, here’s my laundry list of qualms about being the quiet type in this loud, loud country we call the Philippines.

8. An ridonkulous Christmas season

Nothing spells mandatory partying than Christmas in the Philippines. And if there are two words that could drive an introvert to doggy-paddle back to his mother’s placenta, it’s ‘mandatory partying’.

What’s hell on Earth for the quiet Filipino? It’s Christmas season—when office and family parties dissolve into two weeks of excessive living shy of Lindsay Lohan’s debut, when disgustingly commercial Christmas songs invade everyone’s eardrums.

What’s worse is extroverts will make like the Ghost of Christmas Future and chide you if you just want alone time in your room with a good book. ‘Napaka-anti-social mo, gago!’

7. A lack of introverted female celebrities

Not only are introverts misunderstood in the Philippines, there’s also a lack of representation in the media. Most female artistas and endorsers we know are the chimis-mongering, party-loving fashionista types.

Why can’t we have a quiet, book-loving, intelligent female artista carry the introvert flag? Oh right, for Filipinos, women with eyeglasses are ugly.

6. Parlor games

An introvert’s idea of fun is milk tea with a few close friends. It’s definitely not wasting time playing Pinoy Henyo with people you barely know.

Of course, there are the classics: pahabaan (where players strip their articles of clothing to form the longest line) or the moronic Trip to Jerusalem.

We don’t get it. Did we become closer to each other after playing pukpok palayok? The introvert can only shrug at these time-wasters and wish he were home at bed in his pajamas writing the first chapter of his novel.

5. The assault of AM radio

After a grueling three-hour meeting with a client, you just want some quiet time in the taxi going home. But of course, that’s next to impossible, given that taxi drivers have either FM stations that play over-remade OPM songs or those infernal AM stations pounding in the background all the time.

Yes, those dread channels of noise pollution, where balagtasan-inspired anchormen scream in glass-smashing baritones, where circus sound effects are played every five seconds, and where the melismatic singing of promdi rock can give you brain damage.

4. A lack of solitude-friendly places


Most retail stores and restaurants have that insufferable Rihanna song about diamonds playing at unholy decibels. Even coffee houses are noisy, awash in kolehiyala accents and impostor bossa nova.

Where does the introvert go to listen to his thoughts? There are no parks or libraries around—since government budget allocated for them has been siphoned out to Jeane Napoles’ spring break expenses. (Ed’s note: You could visit these cafes, though.)

3. Parents who are stuck in the 1950s

Of course, there was a time, when everybody read Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People. A job in sales made a ton of cash. Being a people-person equated to better job opportunities.

That was in the 1950s,when Magsaysay was president. Welcome to the 21st century, dinosaurian moms and dads. Google the names Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg. They’re all introverts and…billionaires.

Wake up! Introverts are not serial killers who make ransom letters in their rooms. They are humble, inward-looking people who need their quiet time to recharge.

2. Filipinos’ love affair with noise

Blame it on our former colonizer’s Spanish-by-way-of-Mexico influence. Ours is a noisy culture, brimming with muzak and fiestas-a-go-go. We bathe in noise, swim in noise, we worship noise.

We are afraid of silence. The minute a residential street falls quiet, someone will wheel out a refrigerator-sized amplifier and play ‘80s power ballads so loud, it will rouse your dead grandparents from their coffins.

Where can an introvert go to have quiet, reflective time? At the cemetery perhaps? No, that one too has ‘80s power ballads blasting, especially on All Souls’ Day.

1. The bizarre idea of pakikisama


If the word pakikisama had a face, introverts would’ve punched it. Cancel that. Introverts would’ve thrown muriatic acid on it and then punch it.

Pakikisama, an idea unique to our backwater culture, means spending time with people you’d rather not spend time with—boring people, arrogant people, people with halitosis—in the spirit of mock congeniality. It is the bane of all Filipino introverts.

Introverts look for genuine interactions with people who are agreeable. They despise small talk, what more a whole steaming pile of pakikisama.
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Postby mguy » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:07 am

This bunk. I'm introverted in nature and I do pretty well.
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Postby zboy1 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:19 am

So the Philippines is a difficult place for introverts? Interesting...In most parts of Asia (including China), I don't have a problem 'fitting in' as an introverted person. I guess in the Philippines--due to it's American, Spanish and Western cultural influences--it's a more extroverted country in comparison to its neighbors?
Last edited by zboy1 on Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mr S » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:52 am

You can do well here in a sense of dating and enjoying oneself but once you settle down and have to deal with everyday realities of the place and the general population and it's culture, it is not a place for introverts to thrive, that's for sure. It's more of an extroverts paradise.

Introverts can muddle through the cultural BS that's annoying to them, but it's not an ideal environment. One does not have many places to recharge without being disturbed by something going on around them cause of the crowds, lack of neighborly common sense, pollution and loud outdoor noise. Unless one can live in a small town in the middle of nowhere then maybe it would be quiet but that's unrealistic for most people. If one has to deal with living in one of the major cities in the Philippines long term then the culture will eventually wear down an introverted type personality.

The best advice would be to leave and come back periodically, introverts should recharge in more hospitable countries. PI for introverts is best in short to mid term doses rather than extended long term ones.
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Postby Bane » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:41 pm

Wow, glad I'm never planning on going to the Philippines. Sounds awful.
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Postby Ghost » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:57 pm

I remember all the noise. I was only there for a short time, so it was endearing. Certainly hard to feel depressed there, at any rate. I am introverted and like to have plenty of solitude and "recharge" time. Even so, I think it's a trade-off I could make. Is it much quieter in the provincial areas?
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Postby Rock » Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:16 pm

Mr S wrote:You can do well here in a sense of dating and enjoying oneself but once you settle down and have to deal with everyday realities of the place and the general population and it's culture, it is not a place for introverts to thrive, that's for sure. It's more of an extroverts paradise.

Introverts can muddle through the cultural BS that's annoying to them, but it's not an ideal environment. One does not have many places to recharge without being disturbed by something going on around them cause of the crowds, lack of neighborly common sense, pollution and loud outdoor noise. Unless one can live in a small town in the middle of nowhere then maybe it would be quiet but that's unrealistic for most people. If one has to deal with living in one of the major cities in the Philippines long term then the culture will eventually wear down an introverted type personality.

The best advice would be to leave and come back periodically, introverts should recharge in more hospitable countries. PI for introverts is best in short to mid term doses rather than extended long term ones.


Yes, there is so much noise pollution there which drives me up the wall. Music, honking, constant chatter, and very high population density (in central areas of Metro Manila anyway). It's like people feel lonely if its too quiet. And another thing which annoys me sometimes is people making conversation with me when I don't wanna talk. Yep, taxi drivers and even bystanders do that quite a bit. Filipinos are probably the most outgoing Asians I've been around, kinda remind me of Domicans or Latinos is some ways.

But, I've been there enough times to discover escape areas - Rockwell, Greenbelt park areas, my condo building in common areas and pools etc., the area and establishments right around my condo except at some nights when they have a food market and band, and oh yes, a Korean spa I discovered (Lasema) also in Makati. Mguy stays in Alabang I think which is relatively quiet and suburban like too. Fort/Global City area is peaceful and quiet as well.
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Postby royalism » Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:40 pm

There are some shy and introverted Filipinos but it is not as massive numbers as Asians from confucianist cultures such as Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese.

In fact these Asians have a lot to learn about being social and friendly and smiles from Filipinos.

This is coming from an ethnic Chinese.
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Postby Hero » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:26 pm

Doesn't matter if you're an introvert who doesn't like to approach women. Sooner or later an aggressive, outgoing woman will approach you. :D
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Postby davewe » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:25 am

Get out of metro Manila and it's a bit easier to be an introvert. But the real question is why so many Western men are introverts? Isn't it often because of the culture and difficult environment? I'm an introvert by nature but there are places in the world I feel less of a need to be so isolated. But Manila isn't one of them :)
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Postby xiongmao » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:18 am

Thailand is also noisy, what with dogs, motorbikes and people coming round and selling stuff, which involves them honking horns, ringing bells or generally making all kinds of noise from 7am.

My local dogs have taken to howling at the nightly Muslim call to prayer though, I find that really funny now.
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Postby Will N. Dowd » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:02 am

I'm an introvert too and in the Philippines. I try to be either alone or with a girl, and I avoid social situations even here where I like most people. I prefer to be with 1 other person at a time, usually a cute girl. When I have been in social situations here, I usually hate it, since they all talk in their local language and I sit there feeling uncomfortable wondering what they are saying. Several times when that has happened here, people have asked me if I was OK, since I was sitting there quietly not involved in their chat. I always say, oh I'm fine, how are you and what are you talking about please? This is really an absurd question from them though, given they are all talking in a language I don't speak or understand and they wonder why I'm not talking. Another reason to avoid social groups here is the chance they will expect me to pay for whatever food or drinks they ordered.

I've discovered that no matter where I am in the world, I am simply an introvert, and prefer to be alone. Being alone just has so many advantages, even Winston has written about them here an I agree with him on all of them. Being alone allows me to do whatever I want whenever I want with no one bothering me. The exception is I like to meet and chat with other guys that think and behave like me, and of course I love being with cute girls, especially Filipinas. Apart from that, I'm usually much happier alone, and abroad.
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Postby Tezcatlipoca » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:24 am

Why are introverts so much smarter than extraverts?
Stop being angry at the stuff you don't have (yet) in life and instead focus on how to get it.
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Excellent Post

Postby GenYguy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:46 pm

Will N. Dowd wrote:I'm an introvert too and in the Philippines. I try to be either alone or with a girl, and I avoid social situations even here where I like most people. I prefer to be with 1 other person at a time, usually a cute girl. When I have been in social situations here, I usually hate it, since they all talk in their local language and I sit there feeling uncomfortable wondering what they are saying. Several times when that has happened here, people have asked me if I was OK, since I was sitting there quietly not involved in their chat. I always say, oh I'm fine, how are you and what are you talking about please? This is really an absurd question from them though, given they are all talking in a language I don't speak or understand and they wonder why I'm not talking. Another reason to avoid social groups here is the chance they will expect me to pay for whatever food or drinks they ordered.

I've discovered that no matter where I am in the world, I am simply an introvert, and prefer to be alone. Being alone just has so many advantages, even Winston has written about them here an I agree with him on all of them. Being alone allows me to do whatever I want whenever I want with no one bothering me. The exception is I like to meet and chat with other guys that think and behave like me, and of course I love being with cute girls, especially Filipinas. Apart from that, I'm usually much happier alone, and abroad.


I feel the exact same as you Will, and I'm not even in Phils yet, but I've read enough stories from guys like you to have a clear picture in my mind of what I'll be getting into when I get there. I'm glad to hear from you that an introvert can still thrive in the Philippines. That's my plan too pretty much, I don't drink or smoke either and I prefer solitary activities, but the Filipinas are the number one reason I am going there. The second most reason is cheaper living than here in the states. It's comforting to know that you can still get through those awkward social situations with lots of Filipinos speaking in their language and still whip up a cool reply when they notice you aren't participating. And they are cool with it. They must be.. if you can still bang like a rockstar, like you have. Yeah, sounds like there's good reasons to avoid social groups especially in the Philippines. I've read so many stories of guys who were taken advantage of in groups, whether it was paying for everyones good time or getting outnumbered and mugged. This should be obvious to foreigners, since you are always the biggest target.

I will probably discover the same as you Will, but I hope we cross paths someday. "Being alone allows me to do whatever I want whenever I want with no one bothering me." Hell to the yes brother. My family freaked out when they learned that I want to go to the Phils, and my parents are like aren't you gonna miss us? What I want to say is that I have nothing in common with any of you, and our women in this country suck, so why on earth would I want to stay here where it's more expensive?? Especially since we have the internet and skype to keep in touch if need be. Ya I can't wait to meet Filipinas independently and making my own money, they say Casanova was an introvert...
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Postby mguy » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:08 am

Oh I get Mr. S now. Having gone through the Xmas season.

Yeah.. thing is there's a lot of talking.. they call it "bonding" and you need to be diplomatic about it. The women will interrogate you. I caution not to get too extreme with views in these sessions. Learn to STFU.

What I noticed is that Filipinos are always smiles and poised in social situations, but social payback always looms in the corner when your back is turned and if you violate social conventions. Not really a great place for "free-thinkers" honestly. This is a political culture, if you don't understand it, don't make any sudden moves.

Discussing character flaws is a national pastime! lolz :lol:

Another tip is to hangout with the guys. The Filipino male has a concept of guys who like the rumors as too "soft" or even call them gay. In comparison, the women are just insane with running the grapevine. I wrote in my Filipina tips thread to keep your information to a minimum. They seriously will dissect you up to a psychological profile and every information will be added to the female community information collection jar. It's a twisted Filipina game.
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