Sunday, July 16, 2017

40+ Things You Will Never Find in the Philippines

We Filipinos love to be proud of ourselves, even if our bathrooms stink. We are proud of our beau-cons and whatnot. We're proud of our overseas workers and their teleserye-esque stories because we never bother to support the local SMEs because of colonial mentality and stereotype branding (e.g. my mom never tried stuff like Sunlight dishwashing liquid).

So, if ever you are going to take a trip to our country, be aware of the pros and cons. Here are 40+ things that you will never find in the Philippines (or will have trouble finding):

1. Public restrooms that are always clean (and free of charge)

2. Responsible pet owners and pet-friendly people (they're "animals" in the PH & not "companions")

3. 100% health insurance (think Obamacare/Trumpcare in the U.S.)

4. Licensing, health insurance and certification requirements for masonry jobs (e.g. carpentry)

5. Ultra fast internet connection (for now, since President Duterte is doing something to speed it up)

6. Someone who doesn't use social media

7. Someone who doesn't belong to any religion

8. Acceptance of queers or no-marry people (only gays, lesbians and transgenders qualify as LGBT)

9. Acceptance of a mental health problem as a health problem that qualifies for sick/vacation leave

10. Sex education without malice and Catholic interruption

11. Acceptance of Filipino dubs for Western films (they're shown but people have colonial mentality)

12. A place without a single trace of a Chinese or Taiwanese product

13. Contentment in the current president (a paid group will always rally in the streets anyway)

14. A thesis or research paper that values content quality over number of pages (blame the profs)

15. Starbucks in a remote area or province (like Quezon)

16. Movies and TV series that focus on the character rather than the actors (except Encantadia, etc.)

17. Women wearing bikinis in any public pool or beach (except in Boracay)

18. Any swimmer wearing head caps (unless you're an athlete or in a swimming school)

19. Fast DNA testing to solve crimes better
20. A subway, for solving traffic congestion problems
21. Any singer in a singing competition who doesn't use high notes and wins
22. Proper counseling and acceptance for depressed and sexuality-questioning people 

23. Any local channel that doesn't have a soap opera (even news channels have them)

24. Any local series or movie where the main character dies

25. Male students who have long hair (except colleges)

26. LGBTQ couples on national TV/movies (except My Husband's Lover, etc.)

27. Any local movie or series that talks about how it's okay to have imaginary friends

28. A funeral with a happy, fiesta-like celebration (some actually do this, though)

29. Full support for local animators and cartoons

30. A dedicated film fest for educating people about indie films (sorry MMFF, you're a sellout again)

31. Documentaries that don't focus on poverty porn

32. Street children in Manila who won't throw slippers or hit your car when you ignore them

33. Teleserye or soap opera that doesn't involve a running-in-the-hills trailer

34. An SM super mall that offers more free seating areas without prompting you to order food

35. A company or business that isn't partly or fully owned by any Chinese or Taiwanese person
36. Any store or public transport that doesn't ask if you have smaller bills
37. Any concert, local/foreign, where the audience sits still and clap gracefully instead of yelling

38. The ease of wearing skirts outdoors without worrying about pervs

39. Someone who doesn't like sweets (me and my friend don't like sweets a lot, though)

40. A female "DJ" or composer (isn't it obvious yet)

41. Anyone who is content with their dark skin color and won't opt for gluta solutions

42. Any public transport that doesn't play Air Supply songs or crappy "beat overlay" mixes

43. School that thinks having parents of the same gender is totally okay

44. Snow (even on Baguio would be nice, and no, Snow World doesn't count)

45. Sari-sari stores that don't allow debt (utang)

46. A beauty product commercial that involves women of all shapes (like that one Dove/Nivea com)

47. Summer in July (every other country is out in the sun and we're soaked in the rain)

48. Western cars other than Ford (unless you're in Batangas Racing Circuit or NCR)


That's still a lot, even with the change of our government system. But as they say, no country is perfect. We're just like some random Chinese or Taiwanese item on Amazon with our own pros and cons, with most of the reviews being "paid half the price for an honest review", which is what we do best - sales-talking countries that it's "more fun in the Philippines" without accepting our weak points. All we can hope now is President Duterte possibly fighting at least some of these stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stereotypes.

And yes, I'm writing this while at work, to relieve stress or something, so you'll probably have an idea on what my current job is, anyway.

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