The Philippines--First Impression
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