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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
I agree that going to The Philippines, and then complaining about it is absurd. The solution is to leave and go back where you came from or somewhere else. I bet the founder of that site still lives in the Philippines, even after complaining about it. No place is perfect, but the positives here far outweigh the negatives, at least for me. I tend to tune out of the local nonsense anyways and concentrate on chasing cute girls, enjoying the low prices, warm weather, speaking english, and the sometimes too friendly people. I avoid the local cuisine and cook my own food 95% of the time. I even now wash my clothes by hand local style and hang them to dry on my balcony. I use trikes and jeepneys and avoid taxis.
Assuming you're still in Davao, why do you avoid the local food? You could hire someone to get you fresh fish from the market and grill it yourself. Yes it might be more expensive than chicken, but you'll have absolutely delicious, healthy and low-fat meals. Plus, you knew the seafood is highly aphrodisiac, right?
Doesn't matter where I live, I always prefer to cook food myself. That way I can make it whenever I want, with portions, flavours, ingredients, that I like.
I prefer to do things myself properly, the way I like them, rather than pay someone to do something I might not like. I even cut my own hair, even though one here is 40 pesos. I started doing it 3 years ago to save money on haircuts. Since then I've learned lots from youtube videos and can do a great cut on myself that always gets compliments. I cut family members and friends now too at home.
I do not think the structure of their forum is that bad, but the forum-name is misleading and is inviting everybody to complain only and not to mention anything nice about Philippines.
Their forum however has sections also for reporting good experiences.
There are hardly any comments, pro and contra, despite the forum exists since a few months already.
About Philippines, it's for sure not a place for everybody, this is a poor country, more than 3 times poorer than Thailand. - It is not wrong to talk about what I see with my own eyes while visiting Philippines since over 30 years, including negative things.
I can only comment about Cebu, where my Filipina fosterdaughter is living. This city I know very well. Cebu City/Mandaue City are overpopulated and many people are simply said quite poor. Wide areas of these 2 cities are nothing but a large slum, streets are often in bad condition, criminality is a major concern, public toilets are not existing and there are plenty of squatters, beggars and streetchildren. Plenty of trash along the streets.
Electricity is available but brownouts and blackouts happen frequently, problems are also sometimes with public water supply, housing is not cheap if you compare rent and sale of property with the average income. Many people have barely enough to cover their very basic needs. What kind of life can you expect with an income of USD 200,-/month and many are jobless or working only part-time.
Medical care = pay cash or die early. Same with higher education, either pay for it or stay stupid.
As foreigners we cannot blame the ordinary people for that situation, about how they have to make a living in such a difficult situation every day. We also cannot help everybody, they are too many. The PI government also does not care much about ordinary people anyway.
What is good with the Philippines - as a foreigner it is easy to enter the country and to stay for years and not only for a few months as a tourist - to be in contact with the locals is easy - and as long as you have money, can accustom to the life-style in PI and you are retired and not in hurry it's not a bad place to live there. There are very few restrictions otherwise for foreigners.
Sorry Will, I forgot you're the quintessential sex tourist and you're literally going the extra mile to get the best "bang for the buck" possible. You're probably sticking to the same kind of diet you had back in Canada, and in that you're missing out a lot on the kinds of food (fish and seafood, for example) and flavours that make the Philippines so special.
It ain't about p***y 24/7, right?
Why? We're all different. The most important thing is to be healthy and satisfied with what we eat. I usually get sick from the kind of seafood you are talking about. I'm very picky and sensitive about food and don't tolerate most seafood well. And getting ill here is not that cheap. I've gotten food poisoning several times both in Thailand and Taiwan from 'being adventurous' so I already learned my lesson. An emergency room visit to even a mid-range hospital in Davao costs 4-6 times what the same visit would cost in Taiwan. At a higher-end Manila area institution like Maktati Med or St. Lukes, it's more like 9-11 times or more depending on treatments needed.
Will N. Dowd's system works very well for him down in Davao. My system works fine for me up in Manila area. If you like the seafood so much in Davao, move there and eat it yourself.
Unless you are allergic to certain types (usually prawns), eating fish and seafood is usually a healthier eating habit than going for chicken or meat. If you guys live in a place where fish is abundant and cheap and much of the culinary tradition revolves around it and you don't embrace that chance, you are missing out big time. That's all I am saying. Of course I don't want anybody to get sick.
Out of curiosity, Rock, what does your diet consist of, in Manila?
I sense a flame war kindling....
Anyways, I'd have to agree with Rock and Will on this one. The food here is only healthy if you're careful where you get it from and how it's cooked. I'm personally not a foodie so I don't live to eat but eat to live, but I do know what's healthy and what not and what is risky here in PI to consume.
The local fish quality is questionable regarding where it comes from and how it's stored. I would be really careful eating local freshwater fish as most of the water or all of it where they come from is polluted or come from fish ponds which are heavily drugged with anti-bacterial meds and whatever else crap they use to keep the fish alive in overcrowded, polluted water. If you don't thoroughly roast the fish you'll get food poisoning if you grew up in a Western environment where your stomach is weaker against 3rd world foods. Since you gotta overcook the fish just to not get sick then the enjoyment of eating it is lost so no point in eating it to begin with.
Salt water fish is hit or miss depending on how and where it is caught. I personally won't touch most seafood anymore because of the Fukushima radiation getting into the Pacific food chain now. I'll only eat small fish like sardines and squid knowing they won't have as many contaminants as the large fish do higher up in the food chain.
I stopped eating meat here regularly cause it was making me get sick too often and once i limited or eliminated it from my diet I stopped getting sick. Probably another case of dirty/low quality meat mixed with anti-biotics and whatever else drugs they use to get the animals to grow as large as they can before slaughter. If I eat meat it's maybe once a week or so. I'll eat eggs, but if I don't cook them good I usually get the shits.
I try to stay away from any food imported from China cause it's one giant cess-pool of toxins and contaminants as well.
Local produce is generally okay, but most of the higher quality stuff is hard to find in metro Manila cause it has to be trucked in and it's usually going bad by then. Best places for produce is Northern Luzon cities like Baguio and surrounding areas. CDO had the best produce from what I could tell in Mindanao, better than Davao IMO. Other places are very seasonal especially the Visayas area cities.
I cook almost all my own food and stay away from eating out as much as possible. This has allowed me to stay reasonably healthy and control what I put into my body cause I know almost all eating places in PI use the cheapest and poorest quality ingredients to make higher profits over customer tastes and health. I've actually purged myself so well that now whenever I eat outside I'll feel the effects of the artificial flavoring they use and I get tingles running up and down my arms and tightening and pain in my jaw and head. This is especially true with all the fast food places or quick stands around the cities. Only the high end restaurants are maybe avoiding these issues but I don't like spending over 500 pesos for a meal I don't actually enjoy cause I don't care about the process of eating food to begin with...
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
About the same with me, seafood in Thailand sent me several times into the restroom with heavy vomitting and painful diarrhea and getting almost blind for several hours. I also learnt my lesson and do not eat certain food from certain restaurants.
In Thailand, as we have our own condominium, I and my wife buy our food in supermarkets and cook ourselves, so we know what is in the food and what not.
Seafood is not always considered to be healthy, even not here in Japan, as it is very high with cholesterol - crabs, shrimps, mussels, lobster etc. Oyster additionally is causing often allergies too.
In Philippines, usually in Cebu, I have rarely a food problem however, there is always something around which is 'Western style' 'Italian style' and not seafood and not spicy like in Thailand.
It is said, that food problems in countries like Philippines are not always because of the food itself, but often related to unclean plates and cutlery or dirty ice used for cooling fresh meat or fish, dirty tables in kitchen, insects, rodents nearby etc.
I prefer places where the entire kitchen is made out of stainless materials, aircondition like in major hotels or shopping malls.
Philippines is not a clean country, if you are sensitive you have to be very careful about what you eat.
Nah, no flame wars - I was just pointing out that, for better or worse, the Philippines are rich in fresh fish and seafood, and it's a shame to restrict oneself to a meat based diet when there's so much more to try and enjoy. Of course if one has a seafood allergy, that's a different story. Yet, from what I can extrapolate from the different posts, quite a few of the permanent SEA dwellers or frequent travellers don't seem to pay fish and seafood due attention, and stick to more or less what they are used to eating in the US - often complaining that the quality of their burgers and tacos isn't what it was back home
I had fish and seafood, mainly squid scallops and oysters, tuna and blue marlin, tilapia and bangus among others, in Davao and Manila. Unless specifically invited (it only happened once or twice) elsewhere, I never missed a chance to pop to a seafood restaurant or buy from the market and have it grilled on the beach. All the fish was clearly caught fresh on the same morning or the night before and, from what I could understand, was all from local waters. The coasts around Davao didn't certainly look like the most polluted place on Earth. Surely cleaner than Chinese and Japanese waters LOL
I don't agree with the 3rd world foods thing. I have found fresh produce and food in the Philippines, extremely fresh and genuine. Of course I wouldn't venture eating fish raw, that's an unnecessary risk, even though in my hometown in Italy we do have quite a big tradition of eating certain shellfish (eg. mussels and sea urchins), and fish raw or carpaccio-style, with lemon, a little bit of olive oil and a few capers. Perhaps I have developed a much stronger resistance against fish bacteria because of that, I don't know.
All in all, I have personally enjoyed some of the most memorable fish eating in the Philippines, especially in Davao and General Santos. I agree that Manila offers less chances to eat absolutely fresh fish, as the logistics probably add one or two days of refrigerated freight, and, when found, good quality fish is much more expensive. Well, one more reason for people to find their corner of heaven in second and third tier towns of Mindanao and the Visayays!
I am sure I'll be back to the Philippines, this time with my wife. Eating-wise, my wet dream would be to visit Roxas City, the Philippines' seafood capital. I have been lobbying Monica on a few occasions and it might well happen early next year! Yum!