Live in the Philippines Web Magazine (LiP) is a site that has been around for nearly 6 years now. In terms of a website, that is a fairly long time! I mean, the Web, at least in a commercial, non-governmental, sense, is only about 20 years old, after all. LiP started out small as a single-author site, but within it’s first year it became the multi-author site that it is today. Having multiple writers on the site means offering varying opinions, different insights to living in the Philippines, and all around it gives variety to the site.
Over the years, a number of articles have become legends on LiP, simply due to the popularity of the article. When an article gets a ton of comments, it means that it is a topic that people care about, have an interest in, or an area where people need assistance. We have a number of articles that meet those criteria. Did you know that there are three articles on LiP that have more than 300 comments? There are 20 articles on the site with more than 200 comments. Additionally, there are nearly 200 articles on the site with more than 100 comments! Simply amazing. I remind you that just a month or two ago the site surpassed the 100,000 comments mark for site-wide commenting!
Today, I want to list the top 10 most popular articles on LiP, based on the number of comments, to remind people of some of the most important posts on the site. Perhaps you missed one or two of these important articles and want to give them a read, you might garner some important information. So, let’s see what are the ten most popular articles on LiP:
Can food draw the tourists?
In October of 2010 I wrote this article, as part of a series of articles I wrote about how to draw more tourists to the Philippines. I thought that perhaps developing dishes that would be attractive to foreigners might pull in more tourists, especially featuring some of the delectable fruits that the Philippines is famous for. It’s still an idea which has not been pursued by the Department of Tourism, and I think it still has merit too. Can food draw the Tourists is currently the number 1 most popular article on the LiP site.
How much do squatters earn?
Wow, what a barn burner of an article this was! It was very controversial, lead to a lot of stress and arguments on the site. I wrote in October 2010 about a situation that had been playing out in Manila regarding trying to relocate squatters from an area where there was planned commercial development. The article really brought out a lot of real harsh comments from both sides of the aisle, and led to some hard feelings. Most commenters ended up putting it behind them and moving on, rekindling friendships with those whom they had ruffled feathers with, but there are some people who ended up leaving the site over the hard feelings. I felt bad about that, but I did not intend any harm with the article, just sharing feelings about the ongoing situation. How Much do Squatters earn was certainly an article to remember… or maybe it was an article to forget! Remember or forget, this was the second most article on the LiP site.
Warning for American Expats – Be prepared!
The subject of foreign currency exchange in the Philippines is always a hot topic on LiP, but this particular article about the value of the US Dollar vs. the Philippine Peso has been the most popular article on this topic, by far. I wrote this article in July of 2011. The article talked about the steep decline that the US Dollar had taken, and my feelings of where it was going. Right now we seem to be in a time of some stability in the currency trade (albeit at a low level for the dollar), but we could see volatility again, especially with the elections coming in the USA this year. During election time, you never know what might happen. Take a look at Warning for American Expats – Be Prepared! and see if you feel the dollar is following the same path today. Whatever the value of the dollar does, this article is our third most popular article on the site.
Philippine Tourism: PKG?
Another article about the quest for tourism in the Philippines takes the number four spot in terms of popularity on LiP. This article deals with a real fiasco that the Department of Tourism got itself into with the tourism campaign, Pilipinas Kay Ganda. The campaign and the article came out in November 2010. PKG was a campaign that was severely flawed, and truly hated by the people. It turned out that the campaign was nearly 100% plagiarized from the tourism campaign in Poland! Also, people roundly criticized trying to use the Tagalog language as the campaign slogan when they were trying to attract foreigners to the country. Flawed is an understatement. Hated is too. All around this campaign was a loser for the Philippine Government and the Department of Tourism specifically. It was so bad that the head of the Tourism Department ended up losing his job over the fiasco. Philippine Tourism: PKG? It just didn’t work!
Sorry, no Americans
Coming in at #5 in the list of most popular articles on LiP is this article about a shift that I perceived in the Real Estate Market. Over the years, people really wanted to rent to foreigners, particularly to Americans. But, starting in 2011 when I wrote this article, Feyma and I started to detect a shift in that trend. In Feyma’s work helping foreigners find places to live, she started hearing from property owners that they did not want to rent to Americans anymore! The reasons were varied, but mostly because Americans complained too much, and generally had a bad attitude. Feyma encountered these thoughts so much in her dealings in Real Estate that I decided it was time to write an article on the topic. It certainly brought out plenty of discussion. Sorry, no Americans was an article to remember.
Men of Interest
Sugar comes in at #6 in the list of LiP Legends with her article from April 2011! Her article Men of Interest was her chance to explain why she personally is more interested in foreign men than local men. This article had mixed reactions, understandably Filipino men were not too happy.
By Roselyn Smitley
With this article from September 2010, which came in at #7 in the list of LiP‘s Legends, Roselyn looked into the situation with Filipina brides who have high expectations when they immigrate to be with their husbands abroad. Sometimes real life can’t come close to those expectations. Read Great Expectations and see what Roselyn thought about the situation.
My 13(a) visa experience
By John Miele
This is one of those articles that has been very popular because it offers information that people are looking for. John wrote this article in August of 2010, and has helped many people since! If you are looking to get a permanent resident visa to live in the Philippines, this is the article for you. John spells out every step along the way, everything from the papers needed to the costs involved. You will certainly get the information you need when you read My 13(a) visa experience. No wonder this has become the 8th most popular article out of the thousands of articles on the site!
Does NAIA give a crap?
Another article in the top 10 about the Philippine Tourism scene. This article from April 2011 comes in at #9 of the all time LiP favorites. In this article I wrote about a recent (at that time) poll that ranked Ninoy Aquino International Airport as the fifth worst airport in the world. There were lots of reasons, but the one I mostly keyed in on was that the bathrooms are not well kept, and there isn’t even any toilet paper! I wonder if things have improved? It’s been a while since I’ve been up to NAIA, so maybe somebody can give me an update from a recent experience. Does NAIA give a crap? or it is just a piece of crap? Sorry for the harsh language, but it is what it is. You tell me.
Do you hate Filipinos?
And here it is, #10 in our Top Ten List of LiP Legends! Do you hate Filipinos? I wrote this article in October of 2010, and it drew a lot of reactions. Basically, what I focused in on was that unemployment was high in the USA and other western countries, but Filipinos were taking a lot of jobs from the west through Call Centers and other means of Business Process Outsourcing. I’ve heard a lot of Americans say that they hate it when they call their bank or some other service provider and a Filipino picks up the phone and can’t answer the questions. So, I wondered just how far that “hate” went. It proved for a lively discussion.
Yes, that wraps up our review of the top LiP Legends. I hope you found something useful in these articles, and that you went back and read any articles that you missed when they were originally published.
Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.