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Ghost, I read your post where you mention that a couple of days, so remember well. I am sorry you got stolen quite a lot of money from one of the people who were closest to you (while you were in the Phils at least) and you were willing to trust
It is a very unfortunate episode. Yet, be careful when using brushing this bad experience to paint an entire 100-million strong society and draw a causation link between many of them being poor, many of them being uneducated and many of them being crime-prone and evil.
In my time in the Philippines (mostly Davao, but a couple of weeks in Manila, too) I met some of the most wonderful, hard-working and humble people in my life. I felt truly blessed as virtually every single one of them gave me a piece of their hearts and taught me lessons I will never forget. Even recounting two or three of the experiences that gave my inner emotional carousel a very good spin would require a new and very long thread.
That is the thing with a country were real socio-economic problems, real poverty, real broken families are there for everyone to see in broad daylight. Some people can choose to leverage these conditions to their own socio-sexual advantage, some other have a good heart and will try to genuinely help, some other might find themselves lost in them and defenceless as the vultures spiral down over them. The only thing a first-world specimen like you and me cannot do is ignore them, pretend they don't exist. To you poverty is perma-welfare, Obamaphones and lack of cultural or moral grounding. To them, it's where their next meal is going to come from.
Like war, a lifetime or poverty is a extremely testing condition that brings out the best and the worst of human nature, often in the same person, often even at the same time. While I understand where you're coming from and do not condone your ex-gf's brother action, I would still say you can't make a final judgement call on a society plagued with endemic destitution and under-achievement, and their actions, until you've been there - and I mean in their shoes - yourself.
And please spare us the Hilteresque calls. Every country has its history, especially those who have suffered the yoke of multiple colonial powers. The reason why Philippines are that way is the same reason why all Latin American countries are like that, and even why Italy is like that. I might be still hot from my diatribe with Neurobrat, but your final call for wiping out the country sounds just as stupid and deranged as his. Filipinos are some of the most resilient people on the planet, if there's one populace that I will guarantee you could survive a nuclear holocaust, it would be the Pinoys.
So cheer up, and prepare yourself for something new, if you visit again. If anything, having such a rock-bottom negative opinion of the Philippines means you can only be surprised on the positive side if you were to give them another chance.
You will find women, indeed people like that, everywhere in the world, also in countries where they could more easily get a job and earn that rice (or booze) money themselves.
Alright, you need to let all the steam off before you can have a decent discussion. Oh well, at least you didn't have the arrogance to call your story the Ultimate Philippines Expat Report
That I agree with. This kind of degeneration is ubiquitous, the US being no exception (indeed being quite the leader in this camp). So what's the solution? One can try and find good people anywhere, even where he is born and lives. It might be harder, but not impossible. It remains the fact that the mindset, mood and attitude with which you will be approaching people determines a lot of the final result. Being hopelessly negative can only, erroneously, point one to the wrong solution: that it's better to be alone and closed off to the chance of meeting quality people.
If I am typical liberal, then how should I call your "wipe Philippines from the map" stance? Nazi? Just pointing you to the fact that at least 50% of the member of this forum (just to remain in this context) found the Philippines a nice country where they found fun, love and even an alternative lifestyle.
Don't you find dismissing an entire 100m-strong country because of a single bout of negative stuff (bad ex-gf + money stealing) a tod excessive? I can understand your opinion is affected by your experience - that's why I am saying, forget about it, recharge the batteries and give the Phils (or another place) a second chance.
I may agree with you to some extent, but remember - it's always nature and nurture. No civilisation and culture, even one at its terminal stage of decline, has been exclusively good or exclusively evil. Yes, looking for an element of "good" in anything or anybody in dramatic times like these has become harder and more frustrating than ever. Yet, in the long run it will always be more fulfilling to try harder than just give up and stay sad, jaded and lonely for life.
LOL if it's a 50/50 split it's entirely a matter of personal preference, which side one wants to see. I had an overwhelmingly positive experience in the Philippines so yes, adding my own story to the 50% definitely makes me lean on the sunny side, just like your bad experience over there is putting you in the opposite camp.
I don't know what advantages you're talking about. More money? The virtues of youth and good looks? There have been endless accounts of people of all permutations of age/appearance/wallet size who have found their slice of happiness, for a few weeks or a lifetime, in the Land of the Morning. Even if that percentage of people sat at less than 50%, it would still tell you that it is indeed possible to do it, regardless of your conditions. If by modest means you mean not having enough money to afford the kinds of young model types you believe you could find in the upscale Manila bars, than that's a delusion, and surely doesn't show the best intentions. Even a "very modest" $1000 a month is middle class lifestyle over there.
They'll suffer with you? You mean you won't even be able to draw pleasure from seeing them suffering? Why on Earth would you do that, then? Just dive in and enjoy the peace and simplicity of their lives. Perhaps you should start from a woman who looks good inside, rather than a better looking woman who you know has a high chance of being a scammer. I just don't see the need for all this negativity.
I got plenty of comments on my piece all over the place. I am a writer but this might be one place where I missed the mark.
My piece was NOT to indicate that there's no lying or scamming in the Philippines. Of course there is. Nor was it to talk about good and bad people.
My piece was to suggest (actually to state as fact) that as humans, we are all liars. Furthermore it was to state that many forms of lying are cultural. We accept standard lies in our home countries, because we recognize them as the standard way of living. We don't except lies in other cultures because their lies are different from our lies.
But furthermore whenever you travel abroad, you have to be careful. People can and will take advantage of you - because you don't know anything. It's up to you to do your due diligence and learn before you go.
Check out my blog @ http://www.marriedafilipina.com
It's one experience, maybe two. Three? If only 1% of Filipino young women were worth marrying, that would still tens of be thousands of eligible women. Are you going to stay at home, revelling in the poison of your bad memories, or give that massive cohort a chance to prove you wrong?