The PI Is Not Very PC

One of the many things I love about the Philippine Islands (P.I. in the old US Navy vernacular)or Pinas as they call it themselves, is that it is not very PC, or politically correct. You still have politicians and government officials slapping criminals and scolding them on TV and nobody cries about their human rights. These are criminals after all! The fact they are yet to be found guilty doesn’t matter, they are accused and so are guilty enough to be made an example of. Don’t like that? Don’t put yourself in a situation where you might be a suspect or arrested.

They don’t let foreigners do things here and for good reason. Mostly it is to protect the monopoly held by one of the ruling families but also it means that locals will always win over foreigners. Even in court and even if the foreigner is in the right. I have listened as a judge explains that although he has to find the case in favour of the foreigner, the defendant is a poor Pinoy who has been manipulated by the rich Kano (he borrowed money off the foreigner, promised to pay back or give him his farm, then never paid and won’t give the deeds to the farm to the Kano’s Filipina wife). He says it would hurt the farmer too much and besides the foreigner has lots of money and he can always go back to America and so on. Not fair or just but you have to accept he has an argument there.

In the Pinas you can still do pretty much what you want to, especially on your own property. People will rarely complain for fear of you having more clout than they do. If they feel they have more clout then they might complain and they might win but if you play by their rules, this is rare. First of all, don’t flaunt your wealth like the better off locals do. Be nice, acknowledge you are not in your own country. Never criticise no matter how messed up and incompetent they might be and never call a Filipino ‘stupid’, even if he or she is.

In return you can drive pretty much how you like, just as they do. Make sure you mirror tint your windscreen and windows and never make eye contact and use the horn incessantly. Treat your helper as a servant, not a member of the family and now and then get mad at them to keep them keen. Too nice and they will rip you off because they know you won’t do anything about it. Know your place in society and maintain it. You are higher than others but not all. Trying to be nice and friendly to everyone only embarrasses those below you and creates contempt among those above you and shame for those at your level. If you don’t understand what I mean, ask your Asawa. But don’t expect a straight answer, it is not their way.