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Life is what you make it.

This morning I received an email from someone with Expat Interviews website.

She notified me of someone who left a long negative comment about his views of life in the Philippines. Unfortunately he lives in Angeles City.

While running an errand this morning I was reminded of this story from olden times:

An older man was traveling from one village to another on foot when he encountered a younger man coming towards him.

The younger man asked the older man “What are the people like in the village he was headed to?”

The older man asked “What were the people like in the village he just left?”

The younger man repled “Oh they were so nice and friendly. They offered me food, water, and a place to rest. I would have loved to remain, but I needed to continue my travels.”

The older man told him “You will probably find similar people at the village he was heading to.”

A little while later the old man encountered another younger man approaching him. This man asked the older man the same question. The older man again inquired from the younger man about the village he just left.

This newer man replied “Oh, there were terrible. They were mean and unfriendly. They would not offer a place to rest, something cool to drink or any food at all. They tried to steal my things and I was afraid for my life.”

The older wise man replied to him the same as before. “you will probably find similr people there too.”

I find the same here in the Philippines with the people you meet. Treat them with an honest and friendly attitude and you usually get the same in return.

19 Responses to “Life is what you make it.”

  1. jan says:

    I just read the post of that man too. He seem to be very frustrated. Just as you commented in that post, that post should be closed.
    It’s about time that he is going back to the US, where he came from. He’s only giving us a bad name.

    The story you told here is exactly what life in the Philippines is. If you treat people in the Philippines right, most of them are treating you the same.

    • Bruce says:

      As we know, there are good people and bad people in every country. There are also good visitors and bad visitors. We are in a country with the permission of the government. We are actually in a precarious situation. Any thing that can be looked at as negative against the people or the government of this country can be cause for deportation. Having a lot of anger, and I am sure it is not only online can make people with concern.
      I try to look at life here in a positive not, and try not to show any negative feelings out in public. I feel if you cannot change things, either accept them or spend the rest of your life stressed out about them.

  2. Evelyn says:

    well, there are really people who are bitter in their lives…
    stay away from them or else you’ll get crazy..
    we already live in a crazy world..
    just be happy and have a positive outlook in life..
    there’s a saying that goes”smile and the world smiles with you”

    • Bruce says:

      Yes, there are those who would complain if they won the lottery because the last winner won more or the taxes were too much.
      Smile and the world thinks your drunk too. hahaha

      Hope all is well with you. Say hi to our mutual friends in Gen San

  3. Riza says:

    people who are plain unhappy with their lives is just plain unhappy.

  4. Billy Escobar says:

    Bruce like you said until you’ve lived in a man’s shoes. All those negative points he posted and observations I too have seen for myself in the Philippines. Me being born and used to the comforts of Middle income America I can say I’ve been spoiled but I don’t believe I’ve taken those things for granted. Culture shock really hit this guy and from the way he writes I feel like hes a young Filipino American or at least a young Minority american at the way he lashed out about the “Old Pedo’s and perverts’. He does make valid points and I agree with many of those observations. My land is land of many beautiful things but on the same vain their are ugly & heartbreaking parts that cannot be ignored. I do believe in some sense of karma that what you give out you get back 10 fold.

    Everything hes written about from the cockaroaches to the getting sick from food, seeing people being taken advantage of both foreign and domestic I have experienced in PI and this was from a trip not to meet potential mates or for any self serving purpose. My last few trips were to meet long lost family and reconnect with a part of me that was sacrificed to assimilate and make things easier in America. People go to different places for different reasons and I can identify with alot of things he has said. His attitude however is very sad and he obviously has not learned anything from his experiences. Although I did not stay or am entirely in the same situation as this man, I grew as a person with a new outlook on things. His case is sad and I feel for his family but hes digging a deeper hole with his anger, hate and resentment.

    On a side note: Writers are liars. People should not believe everything they see or read. The guy obviously has not been honest on his own intentions for going to the PI. I doubt he is the saint he makes himself to be.

    • Bruce says:

      It is true, there is bad things here. Some of the things he writes maybe are worse in Angeles City. We buy our meats and produce at a Pelenke and I have never gotten sick. One thing is we go in the mornings, latest 8:00am. I would worry about meats hanging in the hot air all day and buying it late afternoon.

      About Government offices, yes, there are fees for everything and long lines. At Bureau of Immigration in Davao things have gotten better.

      About Filipinos saying bad things behind your back, he is in an area loaded with prostitution. Many foreigners go there just for the skin trade. Many have there “Better than you” attitude and feel everything is avaliable for a price. Whith these people, foreigners will get a bad name.So what do you expect the locals feelings. If the foreigners stopped coming there, and the locals stopped buying their trade, it will slow down.

      In Davao, life is not the same as in the States, but if you have a friendly attitude and are nice, you get it back in return.

      I can go on and one, but I am tired.

  5. Tom says:

    I read that post as well. I don’t know about all his circumstances but from what I saw he brought a lot of his problems on himself.

    Don’t like the sewage and the stinky river behind your house. Move. (Why did he move there in the first place if it was like that) Fish has a strange texture and smell. Don’t eat it. He has to cook because his wife can’t. He picked her. Doctor ditched his appointment. Find another Doctor if it bothers you. Bugs. Well they are everywhere this is the tropics. Probably worse for him because of where he lives.

    I won’t go through his whole list. A lot of these things happen to people but not all of them usually happen to the same people unless they make themselves victims.

    Angeles isn’t really a place I would recommend to most people to live. It sounds like he doesn’t like the lifestyle there. So why doesn’t move elsewhere. (That would solve his house problem as well) Preferably back to the US where they should immediately shred his passport and never give him another one.

  6. wildcat75 says:

    Right Bruce, some filipinos wants to move to the US and vice-versa but there are also some filipinos wants to go back to PI after living in another country like me, my dream is to go back home for good i never dream of going to the US or EUROPE,I think it’s a case to case basis, those people who never leave or visit other countries be it US , ASIA or EUROPE has a dream to see those counties and it’s understandable…..

    • Bruce says:

      There is an old saying “The grass is always greener on the other side” meaning people think life will be better somewhere else. As you know that is not the case. Sometimes income is better, but life is not. I also know of many filipinos who work for years abroad, like you, and save and invest to have a good retirement back in their native land.
      Some also find their newer lifes are better than going back. That is an individual choice.

  7. Hi Bruce,

    You’re exactly correct on that one.

    I always maintain that, at the core, people are the same everywhere regardless of race and culture.

    Keep posting.



  8. J.C. says:

    There are two different kinds of people: those who give and those who take. Which one our you ???? The takers don’t last.The givers do………J.C.

  9. Doc says:

    Hi Bruce, when I lived in the PI I had, among others, two American friends and we had found that no matter how much you like another people and its culture, you will have times when that culture does your head in. We inadvertently fell into a method of dealing with it. From time to time one of us would come to the others and openly admit having what we called ‘an intolerance day’ (it was sometimes a week or more) and then go into a diatribe about all the difficulties of life in the PI and dealing with pinoys and their ways. We would listen until the speaker had exhausted his complaints and then simply ask, “So when are you leaving?” The speaker would invariably grin and say, “I’m not, I just had to blow off some steam.”

    • Bruce says:

      I used to belong to a group that had that option, unfortunately they enjoyed bitching about the other members too. I do have a few friends where you can blow off steam, but in many cases each others situation is different and they can not understand your problems.

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