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Philippines Untold Truth - What They Don't Want You To Know About

                Philippines Untold Truth

Looks like paradise? You think it's paradise? Think again.... There are many many websites on the internet that depict the Philippines as some tropical paradise filled with welcoming people and beautiful young women that will treat you as a king submitting to your every desire. They paint for you this picture of paradise and utopia. I read every website about the Philippines before I came here and learned as much as I could before I got here, only to find out when I arrived here NONE (and I do mean NONE!!!!) of what I read on these websites was even vaguely true. Well, after spending eight years in the Philippines, I'm telling you that is total BS!!!! I'll tell you here and now the real truth about the Philippines and the reality of what you can expect when you arrive here. So, hold on... beyond the next stop sign, you're about to enter the Philippine Zone.

Now, this is not to say that there's nothing good in the Philippines. There are some beautiful locations. There are some good people, but rare and few and far between. For the most part however, speaking from my own experiences here, the country is corrupt, poverty stricken, no reliable infra-structure, the women are users - players - cheaters - liars - thieves - scammers - pretenders - I can go on but you get the idea. Even most of the Expats are worse then the Filipinos. The locals are pretenders, hypocrites, liars, scammers, users, etc., etc., etc. The country routinely violates your rights and abuses authority. There is absolutely no moral or ethical fiber. They do not trust each other or anyone for that matter. There are armed security guards in every store, mall, building, everywhere - which visualizes the hazards here and distrust. A constant reminder of your lack of safety.

I speak in general as a country and not individually. There are, as with anywhere, good people here. But, the majority sample is as I described. The country is not what it was a decade or so ago. The values, tradition, honor, pride, and moral fiber has dissipated over the years as the new generation comes of age and has the selfish wanting desires of their own pleasure at any cost to themselves or anyone else. They think only of themselves and will do anything to get what they desire. The families do not stay together or have the importance as they did years prior. The new generation wants to leave the family and have their own lives for themselves. Thus, they cheapen themselves to gain things they desire.

As a foreigner, the locals will look at you as their "ATM" machine. They will be nice to you and befriend you to get whatever they can out of you. They will give you this enormous attitude of entitlement. They will tell you that they love you just to get you to give to them. When they bleed you dry they will leave you instantly to find a new prey. They want your money, but they do not want you in their country. That's fact !!

Corruption runs rampant in ALL levels of government and in ALL agencies. So beware of this. The Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Immigration (BI), and Customs are known as the most corrupt government agencies. They're routinely abusing their power and violating your rights. They may even be part of any "scams" done to you. "Surprise, Surprise" as Gomer Pyle would say, these are also the three government agencies that have the most contact with foreigners.

If you happen to get into trouble in the Philippines do not expect a fair trial. Your constitutional rights will be violated and you'll probably be abused in some form or another. Here, you're guilty until proven guilty. Filipinos stick together whether they're right, wrong or otherwise. The Filipinos will lie and fabricate stories. They will believe the Filipino and always side with the Filipino. No one will listen to you. Know this. There is no justice for foreigners.

In your daily life routine you'll also discover that there are two different sets of rules here. One for Filipinos and one for Foreigners, two sets of rules that are very different. For example, you can be buying the exact same item and the Filipino will get a different lower price then you for that identical item. Store clerks who don't want to assist you will tell you "no stock" even if your looking directly at that item. But, they will rush over to assist the Filipino. Taxi drivers will tell you they have no change to try and keep your change. Jeepney drivers will charge you a higher fare then the Filipino pays trying to rob you of a measly few pesos. Filipinos will continually try to cut in front of you in line with their enormous sense of entitlement. I can go on and on with more examples. But, you get the picture of what your daily life routine will be like.

The basic rule to remember is that it will always be in favor of the Filipino... not ever you.

So, in closing, I reiterate "do not believe those websites wonderful stories of a tropical paradise and utopia in the Philippines." That may have been the case years ago. But, those ways and days are no longer part of the present Philippines. It's a new era and a new Philippines - sadly, not for the better.



This is not to say that all Filipinas are bad. Of course, there are exceptions. If you’re lucky enough to find one of the few good ones left, hold on to her, appreciate her and treasure her dearly. Because she will be the best thing that has ever happened to you. The posts here are to open your eyes to the enormous corruption, abuse of power, extortion, stealing, swindling and Filipina scams so you won’t become another one of the numerous statistics of foreigners that have fallen prey to them and have become a victim of the Philippines. All the posts on this blog site are TRUE stories of experiences in the Philippines. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN AND USE YOUR HEAD (the one on your shoulders)!!!!

Vacationing American National Arrested – Dies in Jail in Cebu City

Vacationing American National Arrested – Dies in Jail in Cebu City






Vacationing American National Arrested – Dies in Jail in Cebu City

Posted - November 25, 2015

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A vacationing American national who was in Cebu City visiting a friend has died in jail after telling police he could not breathe.
51-year-old was arrested and later died in a Cebu City jail with a seedy past from earlier this year.

Cebu City police say that Pikl’s death had no foul play involved – an autopsy has yet to be conducted.
Pikl’s familyl disputes the Philippines media reports that he went “wild” and “berserk” before dying.

Skip Pikl, Mark’s brother, said the reports are “troubling.”

Pikle, an American veteran and retired correctional officer, “would not have acted that way,” his brother Brian said.

Family members said their brother walked in pain and was due to have surgery to correct the problem.

Richard Woodling, consul general at the Philippine Consulate General of Portland, said the circumstances around Pikl’s death sound “rather suspicious.”

A report on the incident said that Pikle was arrested on Wednesday after “getting wild” near a hotel in Fuente Osmeña.

Pikl reportedly complained to police officers that he could not breathe while being detained inside his holding cell.

Cebu City Police reiterated that “We assure the public that there was no foul play.”
The cause of Pikl’s death is still under investigation.

Brian Pikl said the family is working with the State Department and the American Consular  

Agency to conduct an autopsy and return Pikl’s body to the State of Oregon – Mark Pikl is originally from Salem, Oregon.

Locals suspect foul play when hearing of the death of the American national as the jail where Pikl died was also the subject of media attention when earlier this year an 11-year-old died after she was beaten and electrocuted while being detained.

Officers at that jail are facing murder charges for the incident with the young girl – now the family of Pikl may be faced with the same consequences in the death of their brother.



This is a true story happening in the Philippines now. It was published in The Seattle Times - 

SCAMMED - Swiss National Working As Street Vendor In Cebu

SCAMMED - Swiss National Working As Street Vendor In Cebu


Yet another example of why to buy your stuff in your name only.


September 30, 2015

[quote] Earning P150 a day, Ulrich Notter said he doesn’t have money to go back to Switzerland.
A native of Zurich, Switzerland, Notter worked as a painter in a private firm there and married his first wife, a Filipina.
They stayed in Zurich for seven years and then settled in Surigao province for four years.
Notter said they built a house in Surigao but their relationship deteriorated into a series of quarrels about money.
My ex-wife tricked me by saying the house cost only P1 million but I learned it was P3.5 million so I depleted my pension paying for it,” he said. He had no house to come home to, farmland and rice field were reportedly sold by his wife. Notter used up whatever remained of his proceeds to apply for work until it dried up.

He met a Filipina which he courted and they lived in one apartment. She taught him how to make Chocolate marshmallow, "biko", which they then made as business. Later on, he realized that the woman is a gambler and that she always asks for money. The woman left taking his last P50,000 with her, leaving without a trace.

Now he's alone, trying to make a living here in the streets of Cebu selling anything he can get (fish crackers, marshmallow chocolate). He makes so little to feed himself, luckily he has his church to feed him, but he has this apartment that he mentioned he's renting at 1,500.
I sell the whole day, in Carbon, in Colon, in Labangon and every Sunday I go to Tabunok to sell them,” Notter said. [quote]

Source: The Victim Himself - Ulrich Notter



12:30 AM | Saturday, April 25th, 2015

NOEMI Mirabiles, who earns a living by begging on the streets of Cebu City, clings to the coffin bearing the body of her daughter, Chastity, 11, also a beggar, who was killed after physical abuses suffered allegedly in the hands of Chief Insp. Wildemar Tiu and his men.

Chief Insp. Wildemar Tiu

CEBU CITY—Life on the streets as a beggar ended in a violent death for an 11-year-old girl and possible criminal charges for the policeman who had been accused of beating the girl and her companion up after the children were rounded up as part of the city government’s campaign to keep street children away from crimes.

The two girls, both 11-year-olds, were picked up by police on April 5. The next day, one of the girls, 11-year-old Chastity Mirabiles, who had been begging in the streets, collapsed. She was brought to the city hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.

The Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) officials became suspicious and started investigating.

The other 11-year-old girl, also a beggar and who had kept Chastity company, told DSWS officials how they were beaten up and subjected to electric shock by Chief Insp. Wildemar Tiu, head of the Fuente police station, and his subordinates.

Tiu is now facing investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation and DSWS for manhandling the street children. Tiu, who is on leave since April 20, denied beating the girls up. “Why should I hurt children when they are just victims of their parents?” he said.

NBI Assistant Director Augusto Isidoro said they decided to intervene because the accusations were “too serious to be ignored.” “The victim here is a child, a girl at that,” he said on Thursday.

According to the other 11-year-old girl, Chastity was sleeping on the pavement outside a convenience store near Fuente Osmeña Rotunda around 2 a.m. on April 5 when a policeman arrived and kicked her on the face. The witness said the policeman “threw” Mirabiles into a police car and brought Mirabiles and the other girl to Fuente police station.

The other girl claimed that she and Mirabiles were given electric shock inside the police station. The two girls were released from police custody around 7 a.m. of April 6. Since Mirabiles was too weak to walk, her companion had to carry her in her back while they headed to Fuente Osmeña.

On April 5, Mirabiles was able to go home in Barangay Sambag II here. The following day, she returned to Fuente Osmeña to beg. At noon, she collapsed. Bystanders called an ambulance and rushed Mirabiles to the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), where the girl was declared dead.

Tests made at the CCMC said the cause of the girl’s death could have been dengue or heatstroke. But Dr. Rene Cam, NBI medico-legal officer who conducted an autopsy on Mirabiles, said he couldn’t support the hospital findings because no lab tests were conducted.

Cam, however, said he found four injuries caused by being hit with a blunt object on the girl’s body and which could have caused her death. The injuries, Cam said, were too much for a girl in Mirabiles’ age to bear. “At her age, those injuries were very painful, really very painful,” said Cam. “If one can’t bear the pain, he or she will go into shock,” he said.

The injuries were found on her left and right chest, right lower abdomen and right elbow, and could have been caused by being hit with either a fist, wood or any object that could cause hematoma. Cam could not confirm if the girl was given electric shock since he could not find any signs of it.

Noemi Mirabiles, 42, who walks with the help of a cane and also begs for a living, said she hoped justice would be served for her daughter. “I dreamt of her the other day. She was crying. She was asking me to help her. And I promised that I will not stop until justice is served,” she said.

‘Rubout’ victim was set up, witness says

‘Rubout’ victim was set up, witness says 

The Philippine Star - July 20, 2015

© Provided by The Philippine Star

The suspected robber who was killed in a “rubout” was set up and the Manila policemen involved hatched the plan two days prior to the murder, a witness said yesterday.

“Dagul,” 21, surfaced at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) over the weekend and said Senior Inspector Rommel Salazar wanted to arrest Robin Villarosa for robbing people around University of Santo Tomas (UST).

“Once, a student was also stabbed so the policemen wanted to get Robin,” he said.

Salazar allegedly planted the gun, hatched the plan, and even provided the shabu that Villarosa wanted before staging a heist, Dagul said.

He also said barangay councilman Steven de Leon, whom Villarosa allegedly robbed, knew about the plot and was a “planted” victim.

Dagul claimed he did not know the Gulod policemen, which is under the supervision of Sampaloc police station, would kill Villarosa.

“They told me they would just arrest him so I agreed. I was apprehensive at first but they promised to give me P20,000,” he said.

The police officers discussed the plan on July 12. Dagul was playing cards in front of his house when Salazar called him up. The police captain asked if he knew a driver who uses an “orange tricycle” to rob people around UST. Dagul said yes since Villarosa was a friend of his brother’s so Salazar told him to go to his office the next day.

Dagul arrived at the precinct at around 5 p.m. on July 13. He went straight to Salazar’s office, where he allegedly saw Police Officer 3 Ferdinand Valera and Police Officers 1 Ronald Dipacina, Domar Landoy, and Rohel Landrito.

Dipacina and Landoy being his friends, Dagul said he sat with them for an hour as Salazar briefed them on how to set up Villarosa.

The plan went like this: Dagul was to encourage Villarosa to rob people with him near Santol street. Dagul will be the gunman, while Villarosa will be the driver.

Once they arrive at the scene, a fake victim planted by Gulod police in the area will give Dagul a pouch. After that, Dagul will fire his gun, run back to Villarosa and encourage him to drive toward where the policemen were waiting.

From there, Dagul will alight from the tricycle and the policemen will arrest Villarosa.

When the plan didn’t push through on July 13, Salazar allegedly instructed Dagul to do it the next day.

On July 14, Dagul informed Salazar that Villarosa wanted to take shabu “to give him confidence” before staging a robbery. The police chief instructed Dagul to get the “item” in his office.

After getting a sachet of shabu, Dagul met up with Villarosa so the latter could get his fix. Then, Dagul pushed through with the plan. Everything, he said, followed the plan until gunshots rang.

 “I was surprised by the gunshots because they were not part of the plan,” Dagul said, adding he was hiding in Salazar’s car when gunshots were fired.

Salazar returned to his car and was allegedly surprised to see Dagul inside it. Salazar told him to duck because there was a surveillance camera near the area and Dagul obliged. 

A closed-circuit television camera caught Dagul running away and Villarosa stopping the tricycle and kneeling on the pavement in surrender before  one of the policemen shot him twice in the head.



The breakdown of the Philippines

The Philippine Star - Jarius Bondoc
May 13, 2015

Government no longer is working. Services have broken down. Neglected by the irresponsible political class, Filipinos are demoralized.

Most visibly collapsed is transportation. Metro Manila’s main commuter railway is so rundown it fields only eight three-coach trains during rush hour instead of the contracted 20. Yet the transport secretary continues since 2012 to pay the maintenance contractors, his political party mates, P67 million a month for non-work. The two other light commuter rails are falling apart too. Fares have been raised, but riders have no choice but to go on jostling for rides. To complainers the press secretary had this advice: go take the bus.

Meanwhile, the Luzon railway has been stopped after a derailment the other week caused by missing track links. So inept is the manager, the secret partner of one of the metro rail contractors, that he can’t guard his turf against scrap-metal thieves.

Drivers’ licensing has become a racket for bogus optometrists, and vehicle registration for emission testers and plate-release fixers. Land transport franchising now takes longer; time delay is the easiest source of grease money. Regulators have failed to wipe out monopolies in port handling and shipping.

Airports are decrepit. At the Manila international gateway, planes line up for hours because two runways remain unpaved to augment the existing mere two. Contents of passengers’ checked luggage are stolen at unloading, and all the general manager does is blame them for carrying valuables. Cabbies mulct passengers openly because airport cops own the taxis. Long contracted is the erection of a new passenger terminal at the international airport in Cebu. Yet the transport chief merely has refurbished the old one. All other international and domestic airports stink; overseers have not seen fit to ensure working toilets and air-cons at arrival-departure lounges.

Most felt by the poor are rising food prices. Agriculture officials continue to collude with hoarders to smuggle in veggies and depress buying prices from farmers. Thus are they able to buy cheap and sell up to 32 times higher. Forsaken more than ever are rice and coconut farmers. Department racketeers have made billions in kickbacks from overpriced rice imports and cargo handling. Yet they’ve ignored the coco scale insect infestation in Southern Tagalog because there was no money to be made from it. The secretary has failed on his promise to make the country self-sufficient in rice by 2013. So dismal is his performance that even former colleagues in Congress are asking him to resign. He refuses, on grounds that only his appointer-friend, the President, can make him do so. After which, he sets him up with another one of those blind dates.

The Ombudsman long ago should have indicted the two secretaries. Documents and witnesses abound of their plundering. But they escape prosecution under the time-honored Philippine political tradition of “what are we in power for.”

Other basic services have vanished. Mindanao and Mindoro Occidental continue to suffer six- to 12-hour blackouts daily. Natural resources and local officials give away nickel, iron, and black sand mines to tax-evading, polluting Chinese nationals who use the metals to fashion weapons and spy systems against the Philippines. Nationwide agrarian reform should have been completed five years ago, but continues to idle along. Social welfare has gone the “Imeldific” way of hiding street children and beggars in beach resorts during major international conferences in Manila or Cebu. By the dozens, Filipinos still are dying of dengue epidemics, but health authorities hide it by trumpeting discoveries of more and more HIV-AIDS sufferers.

Captured by the very importers it regulates, Customs has become a haven of smugglers and influence peddlers. Internal revenue agents have the temerity to tell investigated taxpayers to legally pay just a third of what they owe the government, and hand over the balance under the table. Regulatory capture plagues as well the water and power sectors. That’s why water rates rise arbitrarily, and electricity in the Philippines is the costliest in Asia-Pacific. Meanwhile, the budget chief keeps busy thinking up new presidential pork barrels.

Peace and order have become mere buzzwords. Porch climbing, kidnapping for ransom, and street assassinations have become so rampant. Yet police higher-ups are preoccupied with gunrunning and kickbacks from the purchase of patrol jeeps and defective grenades. Jail wardens take commissions even from daily food allowances of detainees. Fire officers continue to sell inspection clearances along with homemade extinguishers.

Justice? There’s none when prosecutors sell cases to rich litigants, or convicts stay in VIP cottages from where they manufacture and sell methamphetamines. None when immigration agents let criminal aliens into the country for million-peso fees, and land registrars resist computerization in order to continue counterfeiting land titles.

National Defense? That term has come to mean the purchase of defective helicopters and night-vision goggles, overpriced armored personnel carriers and cannon shells, and fake bulletproof vests and helmets. And like in agriculture, they make excuses to avoid work from which no kickback can be made. Like, the foreign office has given diplomatic clearance to repave the airstrip of faraway Kalayaan municipality in the Spratlys, part of Palawan. Yet yellow defense officials say such act might provoke war with China.

Speaking of which, the government cannot even be imaginative enough to involve local officials and the citizenry in defending against Chinese invasions. It stopped an ex-Navy lieutenant in 2012 from leading a 2,000-boat flotilla of coastal dwellers to protest Beijing’s grabbing of their traditional fishing ground Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal). It has not harnessed the 11 million overseas Filipino workers, or even just the 400,000 seafarers who man every merchant ship in the world, to denounce Beijing before their employers.

Malacañang has limited itself to “paper protests,” as an ex-senator says. The one time it thought of back channeling, it sent a pro-Beijing traitor senator, who promptly lambasted the foreign secretary and Philippine ambassadress. That enabled China to seal off Bajo de Masinloc from Filipinos.

To all this, Malacañang spokesmen can only lie about the moment. Like, one day they say that the Executive has no influence over the coequal Legislature, then the next bamboozling Congress to create a Bangsamoro sub-state or else start counting body bags.

* * *

“Exposés: Investigative Reporting for Clean Government” is now available online. My compilation of selected exposés tackle issues that fester to this day: pork barrel, China’s expansionism and poaching, election fraud, military corruption, ZTE Corp.’s NBN and Diwalwal scams, the NAIA-3 construction anomalies, and the Memo of Agreement-Ancestral Domain.

To order the e-book or paper version, click to the Amazon link:

The paper version is available too at National Bookstore branches.

* * *

Catch Sapol radio show, Saturdays, 8-10 a.m., DWIZ, (882-AM).

Gotcha archives on Facebook:, or The STAR website

Horribly Performing Government Agencies

Horribly Performing Government Agencies

The Philippine Star -  
August 21, 2015
© Provided by The Philippine Star

We have heard of the top performing agencies like the Bangko Sentral, PEZA, Tourism, Foreign Affairs and PAGASA. We have also heard that the Office of the Vice President is the least performing. All these are according to the big bosses of Philippine business responding to a survey of the Makati Business Club.

BSP and PEZA are really hands down winners. Both agencies under the leadership of Gov. Say Tetangco and Lilia de Lima, have been tirelessly working through the years to promote our country’s economic growth even under most trying times. No matter how corrupt or incompetent the leader in Malacanang may have been, both agencies simply delivered.

PAGASA is the most inspiring of the top five. The weather scientists working under conditions that are less than ideal have shown what sheer dedication can do. They have also proven that given a little more budgetary support to get proper equipment, they are able to provide the life saving forecasting service to our people.

Now, let us go to the last ten in MBC’s sample of 64 government agencies. These are: the Court of Appeals, Agrarian Reform, Lower Courts, MWSS, PNP, Energy Regulatory Board, Agriculture, Customs, DOTC, OVP. They did not rate NTC but it will likely end up with this bunch because people are angry about slow broadband speeds at the highest rates.

I can understand why the Court of Appeals is in this bottom list. Its reputation had been seriously tarnished even before a senator made some accusations about its handling of the Binay case.

The Agrarian Reform bureaucracy is noted for lack of performance and corruption through the years. This is probably why the program is a failure. The bureaucracy and the program should be consigned to the garbage heap.

Lower courts? Slow and disruptive. TROs for sale...

MWSS could have done more but it is not because it didn’t try hard enough. I think it caught the ire of the Makati taipans because the regulatory office of MWSS took a hard position on behalf of consumers on rate adjustments. Indeed, I think the current crop of MWSS officials should be commended for doing what they could to clean up operations.

Where MWSS could have done a whole lot more is in the development of alternative water sources to reduce dependence on Angat Dam. I am also aware of how the current MWSS Administrator tried to get the retrofitting work for Angat done early in his watch but was stymied by government procedures and contrary plans such as DOF’s protracted privatization negotiation.

It is not unexpected to see the PNP near the bottom part of the dishonor roll. It was led by a P-Noy kabarkada who was ousted by the Ombudsman. The reputation of the leader reflected on the public perception of the organization. Besides, we don’t feel secure and until we all do, we will continue to think of the national police as a failure.

The public trust level of our police is dangerously low. The PNP’s biggest challenge is winning our trust. When that happens, we can start to believe their crime statistics which they claim show an improvement.

The ERC is another agency with a credibility problem. It might help that it has a new chairman, a young technocrat who seems to understand his job. The presence of a nominee of a power company among its commissioners makes it difficult to shake off the impression of regulatory capture.

ERC’s big test will be its decision on that controversial increase in power rate December 2013. Preliminary findings seem to show evidence of price manipulation by some of the largest power conglomerates. Consumers will be closely watching what ERC’s final verdict will be.

The Agriculture department has been a colossal failure under P-Noy. Its head should have resigned when P-Noy, having noticed the problem, assigned Kiko Pangilinan to take over the department’s most important agencies. I am not surprised it is in the kulelat list.

Customs is one of the least respected agencies of government. Our Daang Matuwid President fired a reform minded head and replaced him with someone who has a very clear conflict of interest. I don’t think, based on what I hear from businessmen dealing with the bureau, that this conflict has been resolved.

I heard that most of its credibility problems can be traced to the Office of the President. I understand one of the deputy commissioners has written a report on that Daang Baluktot to P-Noy.

But I don’t think the Customs people mind being in this dishonor roll of corrupt and poorly functioning government agencies as long as the kalakaran is alive and well. As P-Noy himself puts it in one of his SONAs, they are shameless... He asked: Saan kayo kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha?

The second most despised agency, according to the Makati businessmen, is DOTC. Why am I not surprised? There is nothing more I can write here I have not written before. It is a horrible non performing agency that will haunt Mar Roxas in next year’s election.

The kulelat is the OVP. Why was it even rated? There is nothing clear about the OVP’s function. I suspect the Makati Business Club rating merely reflected the corruption image of VP Jojo Binay.

So there… both ends of the spectrum… the good and the bad. Hopefully, we get inspiring performance from some of the kulelat agencies next time.


Here is a foreigner’s view of our tourism efforts.

Hi.  First, I must say I enjoy, whether I agree or not with your points of view, reading your columns in the business section of The Philippine Star.

As a foreigner who has lived in the Philippines on and off for 30 of the last 45 years, I feel compelled to comment on today’s column.

The main problem with attracting more tourists to the Philippines is that the environment is, well, filthy in most places. I always laugh when I read that the Philippines has some of the finest beaches in the world. Could be true, if one could get past the polluted beaches and water.

How bad is it?  We once had a cottage next to the ocean in La Union. I would go out every day to clean up the trash on the beach. While the local folks loved to watch me clean, I never actually saw anyone else clean the beach.  Almost to a person, the onlookers were fishermen who depended upon the sea for their livelihood. Still they never got the connection between a clean ocean and a good catch.

Even here in Baguio, unless you confine yourself to the Country Club or John Hay, you will never smell the flowers or pine trees which once made Baguio famous. The common smells are urine, trash thrown everywhere, and dog feces from uncontrolled animals. Good thing man can’t totally screw up the cool climate, or that’d be gone too.

Foreigners don’t mind poor, they don’t mind traditional, they don’t mind rustic, but they hate filth. Till the culture gets a handle on correcting that, there’s not much else that can be done to increase tourism in the Philippines significantly.

Sorry for being so honest. 

And now a view from a Pinoy.

Hello Mr. Chanco,

Good article again today, thank you.

Aside from infrastructure, accommodations, costs... I’d like to add another reason why we can’t match the numbers of our neighbors: CRIME.

I travel very often around the Asean region for business. I also make it a point to check out the local papers’ front and Metro pages. No country comes close to ours in terms of robberies, kidnappings, swindling and most notably – gun-related violence.

Victims here get shot and killed over a minor traffic incident, an argument over a small debt, a cellphone, singing My Way at the karaoke bar, and last but not the least, elections.

The very people I do business with say they are afraid to visit Manila – while they proudly claim they have visited most of the Asean countries and enjoyed it.

Perhaps the locals there are smart enough not to victimize the tourists because they know this is the goose that lays the green dollars. And when there is an exception, the local media does not sensationalize it (“Ativan gang victimizes European”).

Crime is so lucrative here that even the criminals in those countries fly over here to victimize their fellow nationals (we’ve read about those Korean and Chinese gangs exclusively targeting their own).

So aside from the DOTC and the DOT, we have to add to the honor roll the DILG and PNP.

Thank you again for your enlightened columns. I look forward to reading your section MWF, even when I’m on the road (where downloads much faster).






June 3, 2015

I just read this on Reddit, the social networking site.  Actually the title was linked to an article here:

I am sure that most of us have been aware or been made aware of these characteristics, so I will not comment on them.  Here is the article in full:

Consider this a list, not exhaustive, of character traits that Filipinos need to overcome if they want to emerge as a better society – definitely better than their current situation indicates.

Filipinos are rude, undisciplined and inconsiderate
The quintessential example of this, of course, is to look at a daily commute and a typical traffic scene in the Philippines. What do they do? They all want to be first; if they spot a chance to overtake, they will. If you drive a car, if you use signal lights to turn or change lanes, a lot of drivers will not let you pass through.

Filipinos are overly emotional
How else to describe a people who elect their leaders based on a perceived sense of “honesty” and because their relatives died? How else to describe a people who are easily swayed by catchy one-liners and slogans and phrases? How else to describe a people who are better at reacting than responding; there is a difference between the two (hint: one of them involves thinking)

Filipinos lack a sense of self-responsibility
Filipinos always need a hero who will deliver them from their self-made wretchedness. A man like Rodrigo Duterte appeals to a people who are unable to appreciate the importance of policing themselves.

In addition, Filipinos have been so used to thinking that someone else will clean up after their own messes, they just leave their trash, literally.

Filipinos rely heavily on external factors and forces for validation
Two words: Pinoy Pride. That all too familiar feeling when someone with Filipino blood is successful abroad. Filipinos back home are quick to latch on to the success of that entity and claim it as their own, or worse, to put it up as proof that Filipinos are great and important members of the world community. And yet, more often than not, the success of that entity is due to his/her own hard work, and not because he/she has Filipino roots or heritage.

By the way, does it sound familiar to you that on occasion, Filipinos pay little attention to their talented countrymen until a foreign entity recognizes that talent? Now suddenly, they’re all over him.

Filipinos take criticism and alternative approaches/points of view very poorly
Filipinos have heard and been told too many times that they need to improve themselves and that they need to clean up their act if they want to get out of their current pathetic condition. They have one general reaction to all of these: indignation. All due to a paper thin ego that is better at dishing out than taking it.

Unfortunately, Filipinos put more emphasis on the tone and the perceived rudeness of the message more than on the actual content. Form over substance. And they can’t even put up proper counterarguments without resorting to Ah, basta! or argumentatum ad hominem.

Why such stubbornness or incorrigible self-righteousness persists, despite the disastrous outcome and results found in Filipino society, is something that has been baffling for many, many years.

Filipinos set abominably low standards for themselves
Pwede na iyan. Bahala na. Continuous improvement is a hard chore for the Filipino because he is forced to think to make it work – something he does not like doing. Mediocre mindset equals mediocre output equals substandard way of life.

Filipinos are lazy and unimaginative
There are many talented Filipinos. However, it seems that the problem is that collectively, their society doesn’t encourage such. What are some common reactions one can get if you try to present ideas to fellow Filipinos?

That can’t be done.
Don’t forget us when you become famous.
You make the rest of us look bad.
Why don’t you for a government office?
Ang ambisyoso mo naman!
Balato ko, ha!

Filipinos harbor a skewed concept of freedom
Filipinos think the “freedom” they supposedly earned in 1986 allows them to do whatever they want, regardless of the consequences. This “freedom” goes hand in hand with their concept of “democracy”. They just go through the motions; elect leaders whose platforms (or lack thereof) they didn’t exhaustively cross-examine, and they express shock that things come out the way they envisioned it to.

The following question remains without a convincing answer until now:

Proud to be Filipino? Of what exactly?
Obviously, Filipinos have been putting the cart before the horse; they feel pride for some inexplicable thing, then they go find something to feel proud of, however small and inappropriate. But true pride comes from a society building things as a collective, from accomplishing things where each member of that society can feel happy and satisfied knowing that they had a part in building that thing or accomplishment. Not just because they share some semblance of “Filipino blood” with the entity who became successful.

If Pwede na iyan, Bahala na, and a culture of impunity are the best that Filipinos can do together, well, they get what they deserve.

12 Annoying Attitudes of Filipinos We Need To Get Rid Of

12 Annoying Attitudes of Filipinos We Need To Get Rid Of

Let’s admit it; at some point in our lives, we have been guilty of one or two (or more) of the Pinoy bad habits listed below. Although these negative traits do not diminish the fact that Filipinos are a very awesome people, it’s just sad that they have continued to pull us down personally and as a nation.
Therefore, for the good of ourselves and our country, it is imperative that we should discard the following Pinoy bad habits and attitudes:

1. Crab Mentality.

Simply put, this refers to the behavior of preventing someone from achieving something due to jealousy or envy. Instead of praising or rendering assistance, someone with crab mentality would think “if I can’t have it, then you can’t as well” and will purposely try to bring his/her victim down. And just like the crabs who could have escaped from the bucket if they only stopped pulling each other down, nothing ever gets accomplished.

2. Ningas-Kugon.

One reason why we sometimes exert half-hearted effort in our undertakings is due to this attitude. Translated to “burning cogon grass” in English, this idiom is meant to illustrate how Filipinos initially exhibit great enthusiasm at the beginning of a project. Our eagerness however, fades away just as quickly as the fire is extinguished, leaving our work either half-baked or unfinished.

3. Mañana Habit.

It is ironic that the Spanish would accuse Filipinos of being lazy when they themselves taught us the mañana habit in the first place. Known as “tomorrow” in English, the habit encourages procrastination, an “ability” we Filipinos have since turned into an art form. Even the most urgent of projects and tasks can be relegated for some other time; we are only forced to work on them when the deadline is near. It’s a miracle we get things done in this country.

4. Filipino Time.

Related to the mañana habit, Filipino time refers to the Filipinos’ own unique brand of time, which is known to be minutes or hours behind the standard time.  In other words, we tend not to observe punctuality at all. This behavior usually drives time-observant foreigners crazy. While we Filipinos with our easy-going ways have somewhat become used to Filipino time, it still is a bad habit that needs to be dropped.

5. Being Onion-Skinned (Balat Sibuyas).

We Filipinos are famous for being onion-skinned or easily slighted at perceived insults. While it’s perfectly normal for us to taunt and criticize others, we can’t handle the same when it’s being hurled back at us. Incidents showcasing our extra-sensitivity to insults usually involve a foreigner making either a bonafide racist remark or a humorous jab at us Filipinos. True to form, our reactions would range from righteous indignation to excessive grandstanding. While it is alright to feel incensed, throwing a fit in front of the world would inevitably do us no good at all.

6. General Disregard For Rules.

Why is it so hard for Filipinos to obey the rules? This social phenomenon is not exclusive to hardened criminals either—a look at everyday life in the country shows Filipinos from the entire social strata nonchalantly breaking the rules, whether it is something as benign as jaywalking or as dangerous as beating the red light.

An interesting theory goes that the Filipinos’ penchant for law-breaking goes beyond mere lack of discipline or failure to implement the rules. It is something that is ingrained in our very culture.  Being oppressed under the yoke of colonization for such a long time made our ancestors defiant of the rules they believed to be discriminatory. Although such “self-righteous disobedience” may have been alright during their time, the behavior would continue to manifest itself among the later Filipinos, resulting in an utter lack of respect for the rules.

7. Colonial Mentality.

Probably one of the biggest flaws we have as a nation is our colonial mentality, defined as a preference for all things foreign over our own, a negative trait we acquired from our days under the Spanish and the Americans. As a result, we Filipinos have been indoctrinated with the misconception that our culture is inferior to that of our past colonizers.
Glaring examples of colonial mentality include patronizing foreign instead of local brands, favoring foreign values over our own, and even desiring to look more “Western” (think whitening products). If we can’t even have pride in our own country, then unfortunately we will always be stuck with this self-defeating mentality.

8. Balikbayan Box Mentality.

While there is nothing wrong with giving gifts to one’s family and friends (we Filipinos do highly value them after all), it becomes a different matter when said family and friends either misconstrue or abuse the OFW’s generosity.
In local parlance, this has become known as the “Balikbayan box mentality.” People ingrained with this mentality either become exploitative or jealous of the success of the OFW, not knowing that he/she is working hard away from his loved ones in a foreign country. Some also believe that the practice undoubtedly contributes to the Filipinos’ colonial mentality.

9. Bahala Na Attitude.

Roughly translated as “come what may”, this is the Filipinos’ own version of fatalism, the belief of leaving everything to the hands of fate.
This attitude, while not inherently detrimental in itself, is still a double-edged sword. On one hand, positive aspects of this behavior include belief in Divine Providence and national social responsibility. On the other hand, the attitude can also promote a sense of helplessness and resignation of one’s fate at the local level, and a countrywide lack of empathy and collective action on the national level. This is also the reason why we tend to have amnesia over past wrongdoings committed by our leaders.

10. Corruption.

One of the biggest social ills our country has continued to face since time immemorial is the issue of corruption.  Let’s face it, our “culture of corruption” is embedded deep within our system and reinforced by a complex web of economic and social factors which include personal ambitions and a twisted sense of loyalty to friends and kin. The Philippines is in for a long haul if our officials and we ourselves do not get rid of this very negative habit.

11. Maintaining Double Standards.

This behavior can be observed in just about every sector of Philippine society, with the most common example being the condemnation of an adulterous woman while applauding a polygamous man. On the national scale, we see politicians spouting promises of reform and good governance only to break them in the end. Long story short, some Filipinos are hypocrites to the core.

12. Excessive Partying.

Now there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a fiesta and party every now and then, it’s just that we Filipinos tend to overdo it.  Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and even somber funerals are celebrated by Filipinos like there is no tomorrow. Sometimes we even make up the slightest of reasons just so we could have an excuse to party. What’s more, a host would sometimes even strain his own finances just to impress his guests.
As for fiestas, it seems that every LGU down to the smallest barangay in the country has a fiesta to celebrate. Like we said, it’s alright to party, but we should really focus on austerity and working hard first.

Your Turn

Got some other bad Pinoy habits you want to point out? Then drop us a line at our official Facebook Page. Don’t forget to like!

Sources: Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice; Culture Shock! Philippines: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette; The Filipino Moving Onward; Values Education II; Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife, Volume 1; Philippines Country Study Guide; Values in Philippine Culture and Education; A Changeless Land: Continuity and Change in Philippine Politics; Reluctant Bedfellows: Feminism, Activism and Prostitution in the Philippines; International Perspectives on Violence

About the Author: When he isn’t deploring the sad state of Philippine politics, Marc V. likes to skulk around the Internet for new bits of information which he can weave into a somewhat-average list you might still enjoy. You can also check out his ho-hum yet extremely addicting lists over at and read them… over and over again.


Getting Tired of the Philippines

NOTE:  This is a real experience in the Philippines that was sent to us to post. We left out the names as per the request of  the sender.

Getting Tired of the Philippines

August 24, 2015

I'm getting tired of the Philippines. Not everyone's tolerance is the same. My tolerance for crap might be a lot lower than yours. People sometimes get negative about a place after a while due to many factors.

I've lived in very small towns in the province - almost went bonkers. No one, and I mean no one, to speak English with other than my then GF at the time.

I've lived in Manila and other very large cities and you become prey - a meal for the dredges of society. Dual price system - one for you, one for Filipinos. Every girl that approaches you is friendly when you first meet, but after a few minutes of small talk the shoe drops and you finally find out what they want. I'll leave it to your imagination of what they "want" and by what manner they intend to get what they want.

I've lived in the two most well-known sex-tourist destinations: Subic and Angeles City. If Angeles City had an ocean ( I love the water) and the crime was less, it might be a better place.

Living in Subic I was hit by the giant flood in 2013 and came down with leptospirosis. Those two things combined kind of just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Following Subic, I moved to Panglao Island, Bohol. 3 days after I moved there, Typhoon Yolanda hit. No damage at all, but power lines that came from Ormoc, Leyte, were completely destroyed and I didn't have power until Christmas. At the same time, they were doing extensive upgrading and repair of the roads making ordinary travel around the Island and to and from Tagbilaran a major pain in the ass at times. When it rained, it was very dangerous to ride a motorcycle even at very slow speeds. For the record, before they began, I thought the condition of the roads were in pretty decent shape compared to almost every other place I've been to in the Philippines. I was told by those who were in the know and by those who had been there for a while that the roads were being completely overhauled because of a planned new international airport on the island.

One night while returning home, I had a nasty motorcycle crash when part of a newly-built temporary dirt road gave way underneath my rear tire. I wasn't drunk and had on a helmet. No life-threatening injuries but I severely bruised my chest wall and had some major road rash. For over two months, every time some one told a joke and made me laugh or if I had to sneeze, I would be in enough pain to cry. Much like my experience in Subic, natural disaster and a dose of bad luck just made me want to leave.  I think having no power for so long sucks anywhere you live in the world.

I left Bohol about one year ago and I settled again in Angeles. Not because I wanted to live there but because I had no idea where I wanted to go. I went back to Angeles because of the ease.

Now, for some of the offensive parts of my reasons for getting tired of the Philippines: The people.  

I lived in Korea for 16 years. Korea is where I cut my teeth on living in Asia. I was married to a Korean woman for over a decade and she died of cancer. Despite the cost of living and the so-called language barrier, I loved Korea. I had more male Korean friends than I did foreigner male friends. Koreans never asked me one single time for money, favors or really anything other than my company and time. If I had to make a tally, I received far more than I ever gave to Korea or Koreans.

On message boards,everybody goes on and on about how friendly, warm and hospitable the people are in the Philippines.



Very true when they want something. As far as genuineness, I've yet to have that experience.

I have a total of 0 male Filipino friends. Zero. I'm sure that I could have an entire gaggle of Filipino male friends as long as I bought lots of red horse beer and cigarettes and have them in stock for my new-found friends. Better add a videoke machine to that as well and lots of pasalubong to keep my new friends happy. Better make sure I don't leave anything valuable around or give them access to anything valuable.

Filipinos speak such great English.



Yes, I have met Filipinos in my life who speak English very well and with a good accent. I have also met people who are fairly conversant in English but have a horrid accent that makes it hard to converse. I've also met more who can't say anything whatsoever.

Before someone tells me that I better learn the local language, I will counter with 25 + years of language, literature and linguistics - both L1 and L2 study that clearly shows that once a person hits 40 there is a physiological hindrance to becoming fluent in a 2nd language. I speak, read, write and understand the Korean language and studied in formal, academic formats. I also learned it before the age of 25. I'm sure that played a big role in my being able to adapt and enjoy Korea.

One of the things that drives me literally insane is the lack of professional behavior among employees in the Philippines. 4 days ago, I went to a local mall to buy a new cell phone to replace a destroyed one and heard one of the clerks make disparaging comments about my body and asking her co-worker to surmise about the size of my cock.  Then changing to English to comment on my questions to the clerk that was helping me to set-up my new phone. When I left, I said to the woman in English, "In the future, you might want to watch what you say in front of customers because some of us understand Filipino very well, but just can't communicate as well verbally."  She never said sorry or even acknowledged her behavior. Just a shocked look on her face.

I could tell you a million similar stories. Unprofessional doctors and nurses, surgeons, billing staff, lawyers, managers, desk clerks, cooks, any profession. In my experience, very few people take their jobs seriously.

I also have a few stories of how well I've been treated. The only problem is they are dwarfed by the negative ones.

The Philippines is known as an Asian nation. But is it really?  Culturally, I find Filipinos to behave something more akin to Native Americans (Indians) or Mexicans. Weren't Mexicans originally an amalgamation of Indians and Spanish? At best, they are more Eurasian than anything else.

I love Asia and Asians. Filipinos are no Asians.

400 + years of Spanish rule along with 40+ years of American rule has led to a culturally and racially confused nation with a really pissed-off attitude towards foreigners whether they realize it or not.


Things you should know before marrying that sexy young Filipino Woman

Buying the Dream?
Are you thinking that a Filipino woman would be perfect for a second chance at love, and companionship. That a young beautiful Asian woman is romantic, sexy, and that a new life with this woman is a dream come true. Well there are many websites out there that are making a lot of money selling you on this dream.

Opening your Eyes
The reality to a successful Fil-West marriage is a bit harder to find that you might think. This is not a bash of Filipina women or the Filipino Culture. This is only a true story of one relationship that went wrong. I am not angry or embittered. I only want to open the eyes of some men who might be glossing over a long distance relationship with a woman from the Philippines.

Other sites gloss over negative aspects
Thousands of men are marrying women from the Philippines each and every year. Most are thinking that it will be an ideal situation. Its not everyday that an average western guy can marry a younger beautiful Asian woman. Also, most of the websites out on the web have some interest or stake in promoting these unions and definitely gloss over any negative aspects that come from such marriages. My goal is to not promote any negative stereotypes, but to educate the common man who is strongly considering marrying a woman from the Philippines.

She may be too eager
Notice from the poll how many people find this topic offensive. The reality is that over 1 Million Filipinos leave their country each year. 1/3 of the Philippines gross domestic product is from money sent back. Unfortunately, many will do and say most anything to get into a more promising situation. Some are highly educated professionals in their respective fields, but many will work as domestic workers or a few as prostitutes in Hong Kong or other Asian countries. This inherently does not make Filipinos a bad people, but is a very hot topic, and I can not reply to all the emails from people who want me to shut this site down. Life all around the world is tied to money.

So when you start to think you are extra special and lucky you might need a reality check. I am not saying that many marriages to Filipinas don’t always work out fine, because they do! I have many friends in Fil-Am relationships and are happy. If you are open to other cultures then you will enjoy having these new Filipino cultural experiences in your life. The food and the social life is amazing. I just want to provide you with some information that will help open your eyes to some of the cultural and other behaviors that could be a big part of your new life together and they might end up causing some large tensions in your relationship. And it may end up costing you a massive loss in time and money or maybe even ruin your life altogether. Some of these women are professional scam artists. They will play you like a fiddle, take your money, and leave you in jail. Only to get her permanent residence in your country.

Be in the know
I am not going to create an all promising or hard sell here. I have my story. I feel strongly that other men need to know some of the risks with marrying and immigrating a woman from the Philippines. A two week vacation or a K-1 Visa that only allows you 90 days to really get to know a person is not enough time for their true personality to come out. You need more preparation.

So for less than the price of a large coffee you can have a peek into the world of a Filipino American marriage that did not end up happily every after. It will give you some tell tale behaviors to look for, plus give you insight into some basic Filipino cultural behaviors you need to be prepared to accept. I will also list some tips you will want to read about avoiding scams and other problems if you continue searching for a Filipino bride online.

Here are some examples of the many ads you will see on the internet for marriage to a Filipino woman. These mail order bride places all want your business! I am in no way endorsing any of these companies. This is just to illustrate the big business of marriage agencies from the Philippines.

Foreign Men Seek Filipina Ladies for Dating and Chat. Join Free Now!

Men From USA, Canada, Australia Seek Ladies For Love And Dating. Scammers

Have been victimized by a few girls from the Philippines. In particular, those who have fake, free profiles from website I made several complaints regarding woman who place fake pictures and profiles to attract attention to which the website responds with a refusal to remove such people from the site. Recently, I was in correspondence with one JANICE KASPA who I would speak to over the phone. She refused to go on webcam so I decided to send her money to purchase a webcam. She would take the money and would claim the webcam doesnt work. I believed her. After two months I decided I would want to meet her during my next visit to the Philippines. Claiming she was from General Santos City, I sent her money thru Western Union to purchase a plane ticket. A few hours after she took the money, I spoke to her and she had a story of how she was just robbed and her purse stolen. She claimed to be at the police station, so I asked to speak to a police officer. She hung up the phone. Never heard from her again. I went back on Filipinaheart, and sure enough a new profile was created using her friends name Laila Mae Lapang, using same fake pictures she emailed me. Beware of these SCAMMERS. No webcam, dont even bother with them.

You should note that these SCAMS happen on ALL the Filipina Date Sites including "Date In Asia", "Cebuana", "Asians To Date", etc. BEWARE !!!!