Going home. More fun in the Philippines.

I commute almost every day going to work, to arrive at my social events, and even getting home from said social life events. I have to deal with the disgusting smog, death-defying driving, boarding and exiting a moving vehicle, and crossing pedestrian lanes where cars and trucks suddenly speed into. When I do ride with my parents or a friend, there’s traffic to deal with, plus highway robbery toll prices and perpetually rising fuel charges. Said conditions, along with my meager 20-something salary, discourage me from saving for a car. I always say “I wish I was rich enough to have a driver,” but setting myself apart and enjoying such a luxury won’t help those who continue to risk their lives or drive jeepneys just to save more money for food.

I pay taxes. The amount I pay can feed me and get me around the city for one week. But it’s my duty to give that up and yet still have enough money to deal with the previous paragraph.

I almost got mugged in a taxi last year. I could have been raped, considering all the other stories I had heard about less fortunate taxi riders. It’s hard to be a woman in the Philippines. I can’t stay out too late unless I have a companion going home or someone to drop me off because I risk my life, my hard earned money and purchases, and dignity by doing so alone.

If worse comes to worse and I take such a risk, I will hear conservative idiots saying it was my fault for getting raped. Because there is a large percentage that think the fault is and always will be with the woman. And that she should have 10000+ children without considering the consequences, despite the serious lack of sex education, balanced choices (natural and natural), and proper medical facilities.

Despite the daily struggles, sacrifices, and annoyances I deal with, I do agree with the DOT that it is more fun in the Philippines. And no, it’s not just because I work for a travel magazine.

You see, I whole heartedly agree that:

Need a lunch that costs only Php30-40 (Php 43 = USD 1), and it already includes meat, rice, and a coke? Only in the Philippines. Plus it’s interesting and tasty, take your pick: atay (liver), barbecue, or some intestines can be your viand.

This has been tried, tested, and confeermed in the last 24  years I’ve lived here. Whether on the beach, at the mall, at a friend’s house, or at a club/pub. Last Friday night was just about enough proof:

“Emba pic,” Filipino style.

Ain’t no mountain high enough here in my mother land, thus,

From the DPP forum’s thread on the DOT slogan.  Yes, I’m not just saying this because I also work for that magazine 😛

You see no matter how many times I say “I wish we had the commuting system of Europe,” or how I’m sick of hearing myself sigh at government corruption, there’s no place like home. I am not condoning bad infrastructure, taxi scams, the lack of health care, chauvinism, or any of our society’s flaws. I have to live with the dangerous effects of these every day, but I don’t tolerate them. To survive, I have to avoid them.

But will being negative and bashing the DOT’s sincere efforts to make our country’s citizens and the rest of the world visit our unique culture help? No. It will just divide this already torn country further. Filipinos are known for looking at the bright side of life, laughing through any situation just to keep sane. Considering the dangers we have to deal with, that’s a lot better than giving up or thinking the situation is hopeless.

Need I say more?

Also, it’s the Department of Tourism guys, not the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s editorial section. It’s their job to promote the wonderful, crazy, and funny aspects of our country. It’s not their job to criticize how shitty things still are. Their slogan led to all sorts of pictures that made Filipinos reflect on what makes the Philippines so unique and memorable–whether the subject of the photo was actually more fun or simply poking fun.

So seriously, bring your arguments somewhere else. Or rethink how you’re dealing with this so-called “baduy” slogan. It got your attention right? Well then, I think the DOT has made their point.

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One thought on “Going home. More fun in the Philippines.

  1. Actually, sabihin na nga nila lahat ng gusto nila sabihin about the Philippines, pero mas masaya pa rin dito. Yung kahit nakakapikon na, masaya pa rin :).

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