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How to ruin a Filipina Oct 30

Step 1:

Treat her well

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial

 

 

 

 

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Category: Advice  | Leave a Comment
The lackadaisical attitude of many Filipino parents can prove costly Jun 16

At around 11:22 this morning I opened my Facebook to see what everyone was up to. I noticed I had a new friend request, so I clicked on it to see who it was. I didn’t recognize the person, so I deleted the request. After I deleted the request I happened to look down and I noticed a picture on the person’s timeline. I looked and thought to myself,

“That looks like…hmmmmm…I wonder.”

I thought maybe the little girl in the picture was my friend’s daughter (who lives here in the Philippines with her mother). I had met the little girl and her mother a few weeks ago while my friend was here visiting. Anyway, I copied the profile link and sent him a message with the link asking if it was his “baby momma”. After sending it my mind starts to wonder,

“Why does she want to add me? Please don’t let her be a drama queen like his other baby momma. I have enough of that with my kids’ mother. I don’t need more.”

Well, at around ten after one this afternoon he finally answers me and it was indeed his baby momma here. It turns out that she had also sent me a private message, which must have been deleted when I deleted the friend request, that I never saw. Apparently, the daughter was in the hospital (turns out it is a clinic).

He asked me if I had 5K (5,000 pesos) to pay half the bill, so she could get the kid out on a promissory note and take her home.  Well, not only am I not rich, but I am borderline poverty level lately. Between not making much money, paying for my kid’s private school and the price of food lately, I am getting killed. So, 5,000 extra pesos is just not something I could even dream of right now. Much less have.

After telling him the bad news I felt bad and really wanted to help him any way I could. He is just a super nice guy and he’s not only helped me in the past, but he has gone above and beyond in the generousity department.  So, I started to ask some questions about the situation. He gave me what information he could and I asked for her cell number, so I could text her and get more information. He mentioned that she messaged me on Facebook, but I never saw it. I went searching and found it and messaged her.

It turns out that she (and her daughter) were at a medical clinic not far from where I used to live (a few months ago). I couldn’t be sure, but I think I actually went there for treatment once. Anyway, according to the mother, the little girl had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and ascaris bacteria in her stool.  Now, UTI’s are extremely common in the Philippines among women, or at least they always claim to have one whenever something hurts down in that region. So, that wasn’t concerning me too much. However, the ascaris bacteria (round worms) did concern me. How did this little girl get that? So, I did a little research and apparently it is prevalent in places, like the Philippines, that have tropical climates. The poor sanitation and hygene that is so pervasive in the Philippines is also a major contributing factor to getting Ascaris Lumbricoides.

Anyway, the mother sent me a photo of the doctor bill, which as it turns out, totaled out at over 10,000 pesos. I have to say I was a bit shocked. I started to go through the itemized list of charges and saw Paracetamol listed at 300 pesos. That threw me through a loop because it is an over the counter drug, which is not expensive. I guess they charged her for an entire bottle instead of the few tablets she probably received.

To make this long story a little shorter let’s jump ahead to some of the information the mother gave me when I first asked her how the child got sick. First she tells me the little girl chews her fingernails. Now, I do the same thing as does my eldest daughter (who is 9 years old at the time of this writing). I told the mother to buy a nail clipper and cut the child’s nails short and make sure she washes her hands thoroughly a few times per day.

Then the story changed to the child went outside with no shoes on. Well, this is another extremely common phenomenon in the Philippines. I constantly see adults walking around with no shoes. Kids walk around with no shoes and quite often no pants or underwear on. I taught my kids, from the time they were able to take their first steps, to keep their shoes on inside and outside of the house. I am constantly reminding people to put their shoes on. I used to yell at my ex, her sisters, nieces and nephews, etc… to all put their shoes on in my home. I used to yell about it because I didn’t want anyone to slip and fall on the tile floors. Why? Because the CR floor is almost constantly wet. That water gets tracked throughout the rest of the house and in the rainy season it gets tracked in from outside. Yes, even though we have rugs the water still finds its way across the house. It’s just one of those things you learn to deal with when you live in the Philippines as an expat.

Anyway, I am getting off topic. I started to get madder and madder at the mother because I knew that if she had even the slightest bit of concern for her daughter and stopped living like the typical lower rungs of society Filipino, then this wouldn’t have happened. It feels like everytime I turn around I see a parent not paying attention to their child and the child getting into some kind of danger our trouble. I once saw a 4 year old playing in the street and the mother had no idea because her back was turned to the child as she was being tsismosa with a sari-sari store owner.

I was shocked to see her actually take responsibility for her failings as a parent, but that didn’t abate my anger or excuse her. I legitimately wanted to help, but the more I talked to her the angrier I got.  I finally suggested to her to ask the doctor if she could sign a promissory note, but she said that she was too shy because she already promised him she would pay today. You see, my friend had already told her I would come with money. He did this without even talking to me first, I assume in an effort to calm her down and shut her up. When I was unable to help it left them in a hell of a bind. He doesn’t get paid until next week and she doesn’t have much money, nevermind 5,000 or 10,000 pesos.

Later she messages me on Facebook and says the doctor will let her do a promissory note for half, but he wants the other half in cash up front. Sure. He was already promised half by the American on the telephone (my friend). So, of course he is not going to settle for a 10K promissory note now. What you have to understand about Filipino culture is a great many of them just assume that all foreigners are rich. This is because so many Filipinos are poor and most of the foreigners they see are here on vacation spending money they saved up for years to get. The Filipinos don’t know the foreigners had to save it up and all they see is them spending it on nice hotels, fancy restaurants and gifts for the pretty Filipinas who are expecting this kind of treatment because they have received it from foreigners in the past or their friends have.

Anyway, in the end I stopped answering her after telling her to contact my friend. I had stuff to do and I couldn’t help and I was just getting angrier and angrier because her lack of concern for her child’s well being led to this poor kid getting sick which resulted in my friend having to come up with 10,000 pesos. Ridiculous and frankly, it should be criminal.

She screwed the delivery guy out of his tip. Feb 26
February 26, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Funny story. I am at my friend’s house and his girlfriend was cooking dinner. Like most households here they use a propane tank for cooking gas. Well, as she was cooking the tank suddenly ran dry. So, she starts to panic because it is almost 8 PM and very few, if any, places will still deliver gas this late.  Well, she finally gets the gas dealer on the phone and they agree to deliver gas. I guess she didn’t quote a price, so that became an issue.
Solane Propane Tank under a counter with a two burner stove
If you haven’t been here or don’t live here,  you may be wondering why that is an issue. Well, simply put, the White Guy Tax. I can think of a few occasions where we ordered gas to be delivered and the price given on the phone was lower than the price given by the delivery driver once he saw me. So, it is extremely important to get a price quote on the phone before the driver gets there and then stick to that price once he arrives.
Anyway, the price of the gas was 550 pesos. So, my friend gives his girlfriend a 500 peso bill and two 20 peso bills. He figures that will cover the gas with 10 pesos left over to tip the driver for carrying the tank in and hooking it up. Well, his girlfriend, being the little character that she is, takes one of the twenties and puts it in her purse and pulls out a 10 peso coin.  I thought this was hilarious because she was going to screw this poor delivery guy out of his tip, as meager as it was.  We’re talking about less than 25 cents here. (At the time of this writing.)
So, my friend and I start breaking her balls. I said,
Wait! She just made a 10 peso profit BUYING gas!
He reminds her about how she is always telling him to tip the delivery people and she responds with,
Well, I was trying to agree with you because you are always saying how they don’t need a tip because they get a salary.
I just started to laugh. I couldn’t help it.
So, this poor guy arrives. He carries in the new tank of propane on his shoulder. He disconnects the old one and connects up the old one and is out of the house in less than a minute.
Solane Propane Tank
After he left I start breaking her balls again for stiffing him. Well, it turns out she did give him the extra 10 pesos, but it was still funny as hell that she had every intention of screwing this poor guy out of his tip.
2016 Feb. 09 – The joy of jeepneys Feb 24

February 9, 2016

It was about 8 PM and I was sitting on a jeepney going to my friend’s (John) house. To get there I have to take a jeep from my house to one SM and then a second, smaller, jeep to another SM. From there I can grab a local jeep or a trike to his subdivision. Depending on traffic the whole journey can take anywhere between an hour to two hours total. Sometimes, it can even take longer. Well, this was one of the longer trips due to some construction they were doing laying water mains. Of course, this makes sense because I was in a rush. You see, I was in the process of pulling away from Jenn. My salary would normally go through her accounts, but with our impending split and the troubles we were having, I had decided it was in my best interest to pull her access to my money. So, I asked John if I could send it through his account until I could get my situation straightened out. He agreed. Well, due to a delay from one of the company’s I work for, my salary was sent late and so the money reached John’s bank account late. So, I finished my last class, rushed to get dressed and bolted out the door to get to his house to get his ATM card. We were desperately short of money due to the delay in my salary. I could have waited till the next day, as I had originally planned, but we were literally out of food. So, I figured I would make the run. .

Anyway, as I said I was on a jeepney and we were sitting in traffic and I see the driver get out of the jeep, walk in front of it and pee on the side of the road. This is nothing new, so I was not surprised in the least. It happens on a pretty common basis.  When he finished he comes back to the jeep and starts to clean the front window. I am thinking,

Hmmmm. He must be pretty confident we will be sitting here a while.

Then he decides to fix all the curtains on the jeepney. Now, I have seen drivers do all these things before, but I have never seen them do it all in one stop before. So, I start to get a feeling of dread. I knew, this wasn’t just going to take a while. I knew we would be sitting there till the end of days. Figure construction delays coupled with mall (SM) traffic coupled with the end of rush hour. I was doomed!

At least there was a bit of entertainment. I see this teenage boy get on the jeepney in the front seat. I don’t know why he bothered. We weren’t going anywhere.  Anyway, he sees some friends of his, all girls, sitting in the jeepney back by me. He turns around and gives them the finger. I just smiled and thought to myself.

YOU IDIOT!!!  You are the only boy their age on this jeepney.  You clearly know them and they clearly know you. Why are you sitting up front and why are you being a jackass? Why aren’t you back here getting friendly and being charming?

I just shook my head and thought back to when I was in high school sitting on that tennis team bus my grandmother used to drive. All those cute little asian tennis team girls. I was the only boy on the bus. I knew a few of them. I just sat there by myself LIKE AN IDIOT! If I knew then what I know now…OH BOY! I realized, this kid was suffering from the same thing I was back then. Lack of knowledge and lack of confidence. I considered sliding forward and giving him a bit of advice, but then I thought better of it and decided to just mind my business and sit back and try to relax.

2016 Feb 23 – A day at SM Bacoor, Cavite Feb 23

February 23, 2016

My friend, John, and I decided to go to SM Bacoor, today. He needed a few plumbing parts and I needed a few things, myself. It was also a great excuse to get out of the house and look at all the pretty girls.  Anyway, one of the things that I wanted to pick up was a toothbrush cover. My friend told me that Watson’s pharmacy has them. Unfortunately, he was talking about his dental floss and not the toothbrush cover I thought he was talking about. Anyway, we were going to go into one of the Watson’s, but it was a little too crowded for us. So, we kept walking. and we came upon another one on a different floor. I had to laugh when I saw that there were two Watson’s pharmacies in the same mall. I thought that was just the most ridiculous thing, although, not the most surprising. Lord knows that there is a lot of redundancy when it comes to selling in the Philippines. Actually, to be fair, this is not something that is exclusive to the Philippines. This is something I have also seen in Saudi Arabia. A block full of computer stores, or plumbing supply or you will see three motorcycle repair shops on the same street. The list just goes on and on.

“Let’s eat!”

Anyway, later on we started to get a little hungry. John started to eyeball Sbarro, but we just had that a couple of days before. I wanted to try something new or at least different. I had been toying with the notion of eating somewhere new everytime I left the house. So, the idea of eating at Sbarro again, as tempting as it was, just didn’t sit well with me. So, we kept walking and John remembered that there is a little sandwich stand, called THE SANDWICH GUY, in this little nook area near one of the entrances. This was a place we had noticed during one of our previous trips to SM Bacoor. So, we figured it was a good time to give it a try.

We walk up and start looking at the menu. One of the guys behind the counter hands us each a menu on these glossy papers. Frankly, with my eyesight being as bad as it is, the menu attached to the counter was easier to read. The letters were bigger and it was lit up well. However, the flyers he handed us had pictures of the food. So, I kept glancing back and forth between them.

To be perfectly honest, I had no idea what I wanted. I was torn between three or four different sandwiches that I wanted to try. John seemed to be having the same issue, but he eventually settled on the ITALIAN STYLE sandwich. I kind of rolled my eyes because a half second or so before he told me what he was getting, I had decided to get the same thing. I had rolled my eyes not only because we picked the same thing, but because I thought he was going to get the ULTIMATE ROASTBEEF sandwich. I had the idea to have the sandwiches cut in half and I would take half of his and he could have half of mine. The problem was if we both got the same thing, then it would kill my idea and I really wanted to try more than one sandwich.   So, I posed the idea to him and he went for it. He got the Italian Style sandwich and I asked what his second choice was, fully expecting him to say the Ultimate Roastbeef. Luckily, I was right this time around and that is what we got.

I have to say, the sandwiches themselves were pretty good. The bread was toasted and seared on a bar style grill. The Italian Style sandwich was really good and the cucumbers were really tasty and fresh. The Ultimate Roastbeef sandwich was a bit of a disappointment, because there was hardly any meat on it, so it was rather bland.  I guess I should have expected that given how rare roastbeef is in the Philippines.  John also ordered a CHEESY BACON POTATO bowl. What he received came in a much smaller container than I expected given the picture. Looking at it now, the angle of the picture makes it look deceivingly larger. Anyway, it certainly had a ton of cheesesauce on it, so it looked really good. He ate about half and offered the rest to me. I declined because I am supposed to be on a diet and all I have done over the past three days is cheat on it.  Overall, I would say the meal was good and I look forward to trying some of their other sandwiches. Also, the price was pretty good, as well, so I definitely recommend it.

The title of this section, “Let’s eat!”, may seem pretty obvious, but anyone who has spent any significant time with Filipinas will understand that this is something they love to say. Even if they are eating and they know you already ate, they will still say it. It’s there way of offering you food or inviting you to sit and eat with them.

The Scenery

As for the scenery, meaning the girl situation, as always I was not disappointed. That mall is just chock full of some very cute girls. We made a few circuits of each floor before I suggested we go into SM Department Store to look around. Now that I am recently single and no longer living with Jenn, I am going to need to some new clothes for when I go out. So, I wanted to look at sneakers and jeans and some t-shirts I can wear when I exercise. The other reason I wanted to go in there is because John and I both have a weakness for those SM girls’ uniforms. Something about the skirts. YUM! Anyway, we walk in there and were almost immediately smashed in the face with some cold air. Now, I grew up in New Jersey and John was raised in Boston, so cold air is no stranger to either of us. However, we both couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Dessert Time!

Before we left we stopped at Wendy’s. I love the Frosty’s and I was hoping against all odds that they would finally have vanilla Frosties. Much to my surprise they had it, even though they almost never do and they certainly didn’t have it two days earlier. What was funny was John wanted to get halo halo from Chow King, but I am not a fan of halo halo. So, I walked the two stores over for my Frosty and he went in for his halo halo. I was fully expecting him to change his mind and follow me, but he didn’t. So, on my way out of Wendy’s I spot John walking in. I smiled because I figured I was right and he changed his mind. It turns out he did not change his mind. When he ordered his halo halo the girl tells him they do not have ice cream and does he want halo halo without ice cream. What a ridiculous question, because the ice cream is what makes the halo halo.