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The Philippines--First Impression

Updated on July 9, 2012

It is a beautiful country. The roadside cities interesting. The big cities are a bit crazy.

It is interesting that at first glance it seems the whole people are poor, with little physical comforts. You might wonder how they get along. But I have found first impressions can be very misleading.

But... here are my first impressions...

“Squatter homes” are built right up next to the highway with little or no room between them and the side of the road. The roads have no shoulders. They are cement for the most part, and only wide enough for two cars to pass at one time. The white line marking the side of the road is drawn directly on the edge of the cement. All people, including children, walk along (on) the white line, only moving off with a double beep of the horn to alert them you are passing.

There are many roadside stores selling fresh fruits, corn, snacks, bamboo, furniture, fire wood, charcoal, and home cooked foods. I wonder who they sell too as there is no room for cars to stop.

The plight of the people is heartbreaking, but the smiles on their faces, especially those of the children, are mesmerizing. Mothers, fathers, old people, young people, children and babies are all out on the highways coming, going, sitting, lounging, waiting, most sitting on tables or in makeshift shade structures. It is hot. Even they are hot. The roads are a mess with pot holes and broken up cement. There are armed guards stationed along the way, what for I don't know, but they are there watching and waiting.

But, the Filipino is such a beautiful people. Their features are petite and graceful. Their faces quick to smile, their hair black and shinny. The old are weather worn and slow. Their young are alive with vitality and beauty. Old and young all love their picture taken and they are all very photogenic. The children are happy and well mannered. They are left to run and play under the watchful eye of mother, father or older sibling. You hear no scolding, no fighting, no bullying. They play games with their shoes. The whole scene seems to shout respect for one another.

One thing that is interesting to me is the lack of inhibition in going to the bathroom. Young children run around without pants. Men urinate when ever and where ever they feel the urge. Even in the cities. I saw one time three men standing alongside the road urinating all in a row (into the trees, not where people walk, but none the less, right alongside the highway). Little boys urinate in the public square in waterways and next to trees. I have yet to see what the women do, but I am told they just use their umbrella to block the view of passersby. There are no sewage systems that I can find. I am sure the ocean is a favorite dumping ground. ---yet the people are happy, well behaved and courteous. I am fascinated by this new culture.

Driving is a joke. Rather than try to explain, I'll just post a picture. A picture is worth a thousand words.

At first I thought there was a lot of trash. It seems the cities are full of trash. But I don't think so. The roadsides are mostly always clean of garbage and so are the streets.

One more thing I am amazed at... there are no misquotes!

Where are the misquotes? And there are very few flys. I though for sure I would have to have bug repellant, but, no I don't. With all the water there are hardly any misquotes. I think that is amazing.

Still, I love the Philippines. I love a people who are so quick to smile. In the words of orrbiz, a fellow hubber:

And, please allow me to say that aside from our smiles, we Filipinos are also caring, welcoming and very lovable. And, ohhh, don't forget the foods, the beaches and many different place..

Come back for an update, as my perception has changed. Thanks for visiting.

Newest Hub: Sanitation in the Philippines


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    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 5 years ago from Utah

      Hello unknown spy.

      I am in Ormoc, Leyte. We have not had any flooding, but many of our friends have family in the flooded areas. Our hearts go out to them. It has been very peaceful here. The temp and humidity has cooled down and we are experiencing good weather.

      Where are you? From your profile, it looks like we have a lot of common interests. Are you Filipino?

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Hi Healthy Hannah..Where are you staying here in the Phils? Hope your place wasnt affected by the Helen typhoon or the Moonsoon rains that submerged other areas in Manila.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Hi! This is a great hub. The Philippines is really a beautiful place to live. I live in my home country for a few months in a year, when it´s winter in Germany. As a Filipino, a day without a smile is a wasted day. I´m glad you like my country. About the mosquitoes, it depends where you live. Thanks for sharing.

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 5 years ago from Utah


      I agree wholehearted with you.

      "And, please allow me to say that aside from our smiles, we Filipinos are also caring, welcoming and very lovable. And, ohhh, don't forget the foods, the beaches and many different place.."

      If you don't mind I am going to add that to the end of my Hub.

      What my intent is to set the stage for more hubs about my perception of this loving gentle people. They have won my heart already.

      I plan to show how they have kept their humanity when so many have lost theirs. I admire the Filipino greatly.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Fabulous Hub. Wonderful info and pics. The Philippines is a place I have always wanted to visit. In the states I have know a few people from there. Yes, they are always smiling and have a great disposition. Thank you for sharing. Voted up for awesome.

    • olbizz profile image

      olbizz 5 years ago from Philippines

      Well, Philippines is a very great place. And, I am saying this, not because I live here, but because it's really do beautiful. But, it still belong to third world country, people are poor and poverty are pushing families to live sometimes in places like mentioned.

      It also breaks my heart when I see people in that situation.

      I will not going to look for this post as offensive, but as an eye-opener, an encouragement to act as this is really do a reality.

      I will not going to forget the efforts of the current administration to impose discipline (i.e, urinating in the public)..

      Let this hub to serve as a call for Filipino to start acting, stop blaming the government for your situation and work, and if you want change, start with yourself.

      And, please allow me to say that aside from our smiles, we Filipinos are also caring, welcoming and very lovable. And, ohhh, don't forget the foods, the beaches and many different place..

      A very nice hub, worth reading.. KUDOS!

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 5 years ago from Utah


      I am in Ormoc in Leyete. I hope this hub was not offensive. It is not meant to be. I truly love it here, and I want to explain how we 'foreigners' need to open our eyes and see the true picture here. I hope you will visit my next post. (BTW I had to add how strange it seems not to have misquotes!)

      Salamat for the comment.

      I am going to pass along your hub about jobs.

    • Harry Santos profile image

      Harry Santos 5 years ago from Metro Manila, Philippines

      Hey this is a very interesting hub! I'm from the Philippines. Where did you stay while you were here?