Subscribe RSS

Archive for the Category "Living with a Filipina"

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.
Eat Bulaga! Juan for All, All for Juan Jan 11

Eat Bulaga! Juan for All, All for Juan

So I was uploading videos to You Tube for my father’s website and at around 2 PM Jenn yells for me to come down. My first thought was,

“NOW WHAT DOES SHE WANT?”

Lately she’s been calling me down to help her with the baby, who has been sick, and it’s getting a bit nerve wracking because I can’t get anything done. At any rate I go downstairs and she tells me how they’re making fun of someone on TV and she figured I would be interested. Normally, she would be wrong but once I realized what was going on I figured it would make a great post and well….here it is.

So, I start watching it and I ask a few questions and find out that on Eat Bulaga’s Juan for All, All for Juan segment they are visiting the house of a British guy and his Filipina wife who live in the Pasig section of Manila.

Eat Bulaga is a popular daytime TV show (on the GMA network) in the Philippines. The Juan for All, All for Juan segment features two comedians (Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola) who travel to the home of a lucky winner and bring them prizes like cash, gift certificates, free groceries, etc…

Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola

Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola

So anyway, this poor guy is sitting there with his wife and all these kids are around and everyone is happy and smiling and this poor guy is trying to be a good sport about it all but his smile gets increasingly more and more fake. You can tell he’s not happy to be in this situation.

They were asking him a ton of questions about his finances, his living situation etc… Then they start in making fun of him some and doing the typical “I am getting a nosebleed.” routine Filipinos do when they have to speak English because they’re talking to a foreigner. I can sympathize with the guy because I’ve been in similar situations and it’s all rather childish.

Filipinos have this tendency to slip back into Tagalog when they don’t have to speak English. Some will speak English around a foreigner just to show they’re smart or educated or whatever the reason is. Again, it’s rather childish but that’s how they act in those situations.  Two lines they use often are,

  • “Don’t English me I’m panic.” which is supposed to be a joke.
  • “Nosebleed” as if having to speak English is hurting their brain or something and it causes a nosebleed. This is also a joke but sometimes I wonder.
And if you try talking to them in Tagalog they will laugh and giggle like little kids. I guess it’s funny for them to hear a foreigner speaking Tagalog. I have no idea why other than to repeat my comment about them being childish. I mean you don’t see Americans or British or anyone laughing when a Filipino speaks English so why do Filipinos find it funny when a foreigner speaks Tagalog other than to just assume they’re being childish?
(An interesting side note to that is one of my students from China did the same thing to me this morning when I said the Chinese word for Cell Phone to her during class. She started to giggle like a schoolgirl so maybe it’s an Asian thing. I don’t know.)
If you’d like to watch the full segment here is where you can see it.

 

Filipino Math Dec 31

I just got home from an interesting adventure.  My friend John messages me on Yahoo earlier and asks me to go to store with him to buy an egg pie for New Years Eve. He know I am home alone tonight because Jenn is being a retard as usual and went to her mother’s. I am not complaining because I never really saw anything special about New Years in the Philippines and so I was content to have a nice quiet (except for the noise outside) night alone.

He tells me how his wife told him an egg pie costs no more than 500 pesos. Sensing this was a bit high he asks her to explain why she thinks it is so high. She tells him when she buys it by the slice it costs between 12-17 pesos per slice. So he splits the difference and does some math.

15 x 8 = 120          17 x 8 = 136          20 x 8 = 160

OK, so there is no way this will cost anywhere near 500 and he tells her that. Of course she realizes her error and says,

“Well, maybe it costs 27 pesos per slice.”

So once again John does some quick math because he’s still dubious.

27 x 8 = 216          30 x 8 = 240

Obviously, we’re still coming in way under 500 pesos here. We’re not even at half of 500 here. But he laughs and shakes his head as you have to do when living with a Filipina and makes his way to my house since I live closer to the gate and the jeepneys.

We are on the jeepney laughing and joking about his wife’s math skills and we arrive at Goldilocks (bakery chain store in the Philippines) and we go inside and we see the price is 200.  Let’s keep that a secret because when he got home he told her it costs 600 for the pie. LOL LOL LOL

At any rate after wrangling with the rocket scientist behind the counter to make sure he puts the right thing in the box we go up to the counter to pay and had to repeat to the guy what’s in the box like 3 times. Even the security guard is saying, “Egg pie!’ to the cashier. LOL LOL LOL

So the cashier is counting John’s change and is counting dropping 10 peso coins in John’s hand one at a time after already handing him a 500 peso and a 50 peso bill.

“550….560….570….5…80………………………5…..90”

I just had to laugh. The guy couldn’t figure out what came next and kept pausing as he is counting. It was the funniest thing considering what John and I were just talking about in regards to John’s wife. So with in an hour we had 2 Filipinos who couldn’t do simple math nor count.

So we get outside and we are joking about the rocket scientist cashier and he spots this vendor selling sparklers. He knows the price so as  a test to see if she’d charge him the “foreigner tax” he asks how much they are and of course she has to pause and think about the price.

Finally she blurts out that they are 4 boxes of 5 sparklers for 10 pesos. Then she adds on that the bundle of 10 boxes is 30 pesos. I just looked and smiled because that means to buy them as a package of 10 is going to cost more than it would to buy them as single boxes. HOW STUPID IS THAT? Usually, if you buy a bulk package you get a discount right?  So here she’s not only not giving us a discount for buying in bulk but she’s actually charging an extra 5 pesos because if you buy them as 4 boxes for 10 pesos then 10 boxes should only cost 25 pesos not 30.

Now we are laughing again because 3 separate Filipinos inside of an hour can not do simple math.