While I read Dennis Horner’s post (below) with some nodding of the head, I have to confess none of this ever happened tome and I lived there for several years, as well as having visited on too many occasions to remember. I kept a reasonably low profile nd was always very aware of the risk one took to simply be seen as having any cash, being in a business or speaking up about things as they really are.
Most Asian cultures, and a lot of others, too, resent criticism, especially when it is true. They are not dumb, they know the problems in their society and the corruption, the rich taking so much and the poor copping it sweet. The ones inbetween feel powerless and resent you rubbing their noses in the truth. Nobody likes a foreigner to come to their country and tell them what is wrong with it. Love it or leave it, as the bumper sticker says. It is no different here and while there is so much to be fixed, telling them over and over will not get it done.
As my wife reminds me, if it were like ‘home’ then it would not have the other things we like so much about it either. If the rule of law were better enforced then the Nanny State we rail against back home, taking one liberty after another, would also be here. We should be grateful we have money and some status as foreigners and not be trying to make the playing field level for everyone. Life isn;t like that and in the Philippines htey don’t try, for the sake of political correctness, to pretend it is.
So the end result is a system where you can bribe officials and government employees. You can buy your way out of trouble, even murder if you have the money and the connections. You can get a better deal because of who you are, who you know and how much you have. I wonder why Americans don’t all come here in droves, after all that is pure capitalism at work. For the more socialist among us, the poor people would only waste any help they were given as they are too dumb to do otherwise. Dumb? Yes because the average IQ is just 86 so that means there are a lot of people not as smart as that. Why? Because of diet and nutrition, education and societal circumstances. And the ruling elite use that to their advantage.
Look, it was the same in the UK, USA and Europe until fairly recently. Perhaps only since the 1970s have we really enjoyed social improvements. Even then, our corruption is beneath the surface, still there but we hide it because it is no longer ok to be honest about it. What we see in the Philippines is a slice of human nature that is in all of us and all out societies, just here it is a raw slice, uncovered and apologized for. I am sorry the jails here are intolerable cess pits, that the courts are so back logged and yet they continue to hear cases with no complainants appearing and for what reasons? The place is a garbage tip, it is corrupt, there is a lot of incompetence and stupidity compared to how we prefer to do things but the fact remains… nobody brought you here in chains in the hold of a ship, did they? You can always leave. Unless you have already fallen foul of the system and some trumped up charges.
The truth is, I see no value in reminding every Filipino you meet how messed up their society is. They know it and that is why so many try to get out and work abroad. After a few years working overseas, trying to convince them how bad things are back home is likewise pointless as they only remember the good things… don’t we all! Apart from all that, they can’t do anything by themselves to change things and all the best brains and leaders are ‘processing their documents’ or already gone.
So just keep your head pulled in, mind your own business and pray you are never a victim because those jails are death traps, pure and simple. But that is the way it is here. You know like, you leave. I don;t agree with the way things are here but I can’t change them, but I won’t hide them, either.