When it comes to taking a shower, it can be the last thing many people ever do. More accidents occur in the home and within the home, in the bathroom, than anywhere else. All jokes aside, this is a deplorable situation that is all too prevalent in the Philippines today So called hotels and guest houses claiming they offer hot water and instead, present the guest with a dilemma. Do I risk electrocution, or do I take a cold shower? Not a major issue most places but in Baguio, where this shot was taken, it can be a tad chilly.
So my friend asked Reception to provide the hot water he had paid extra for and below you can see the very Pinoy solution. A bucket, tabos (ladle) and a thermos of tepid water! This hotel was not the one where he asked for a 7.30am breakfast followed by an 8.30 am shuttle to the local tourist attraction. That hotel had the times round the wrong way so at 7:25am, expecting whatever passed for breakfast, he was advised he was keeping the shuttle waiting and could he please get a move on? My friend made the common enough mistake of asking the clerk, the same one he had booked the breakfast and shuttle with the night before, why didn’t it seem odd to him to have your breakfast served an hour after you have just departed on the shuttle for a three hour drive? His reply? “You will hab to eat berry pas, sor!’ Totally missed the whole point.
The sad thing is, my friend has come across this incompetence and stupidity at just about every single place he has visited or stayed in the last two weeks. This is what passes for acceptable service in the Philippines. No wonder the tourists are staying away in droves! He has toured Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Mexico and Peru and tells me nowhere is as much of a joke as the Philippines. Fortunately he has a sense of humour and laughs a lot of it off, like being charged P40 for a blanket in Baguio. He distracted the staff with some fun and banter and silly games until they let him have the blanket free of charge. It was like negotiating with small children, apparently.
When is the Philippines going to get it? They have thousands doing hospitality degrees that prepare them for nothing because the all pervading national culture of pakikisama rules. Forget trying hard or using common sense or thinking, just do it as it has always been done by everyone so that you can’t be blamed if it goes wrong, which it will because not every time is the same. This attitude is everywhere in the country and is probably the biggest chain holding the place back. That and the food, the transport, the corrupt officials, the traffic, the filth and garbage… I could go on. The only redeeming feature is that, ignorance and stupidity aside, the Filipino and Filipina are just really nice people and that has kept them from being swamped while in their own country… and helping them rise and shine the moment they get free and live abroad.