A Discussion about Dress codes for foreigners living in the Philippines
Hello everyone once again I want to write about something that kind of sticks in my mind, and that is dressing in the Philippines, and by doing so, I dont want any of you to get the impression that my dress is sloppy, far from it, of course it depends on the setting, if I am in the house, I probably where a pair of shorts, a t shirt and flip flops, if going out, long trousers and a Fred Perry shirt, if downtown nice trousers (pants) and a dress shirt.
But it became clear to me that travelling around town where I saw many of my co-foreigners that there standard of dress in some cases but not all, was actually quite apalling, in fact embarassing, in one case I saw a foreigner with a curtain or it looked like a curtain with a peice of string tied around his waist, he was unshaven, dishevelled, and downright scruffy, have any of you seen this ?
I went to SM Food market, I saw a foreigner with hair down his back as far as his backside again unshaven, walking around in a pair of dirty shorts, a t shirt with bohol in large letters on it, and a dirty pair of flip flops, again not a pretty sight.
I would also like to tell you about my trip to a first class hotel in Bacolod City called the L Fisher, some of you may know it, I wont tell you the nationality of the object of my story, that would be unfair, but let us say I could tell his nationality, I had taken out my wife and our caretaker for dinner, it was the international buffet and very reasonably priced, I saw this guy sat next to us, he was dressed in a black t shirt, with a crew neck which made it look more noticable, as it sat right under his chin, he had on a very shoddy looking pair of jog bottoms, he was unshaven, and to be honest with you all, I could not stop looking at him, he looked disgusting.
I felt for him, since he had no idea it seems that dressing up for dinner in the Philippines is part of the cultural lifestyle, one thing my wife always impresses on me, is to be aware of my dress sense in the Philippines, Bob has mentioned in the past about going downtown to Government offices etc, about not wearing shorts, I noted that tip along time ago, and have always made a mentle note not to do this.
My wife also told me something that kind of stopped me in my tracks when I met her, she told me that Filipinos think that foriegners smell, yes guys, apparently we all smell !
I laughed at it at the time, because I said to her, so millions of foreigners who visit the Philippines, they all smell right ? she laughed, well thats what we were told !
I mentioned the same thing recently to a Filipina in UK, she agreed and said, yes we always thought foreigners smell, hahaha, that they dont bath, and dont take a shower.
When I saw these foreigners in town over a period of 2-3 weeks its hardly suprising that Flipinos get this impression, since in truth, they look so scruffy and ungroomed, my wife always tells me before going downtown, honey put on this shirt, look good we are going out with Mr so and so, he is a Accountant, or he is this official or so and so.
Dress good sweetheart, the Filipinos will be looking at you, or put on this lotion or that lotion, smell nice…they will notice, sometimes its almost as though I might be tricked in to thinking all of a sudden I have forgotten my personal grooming routine.
What always makes me proud is when I see Filipinos especially the men, dress immacuately when in town, if they go out for meals with their family, you always see them turn up with the family, I have to say they are immaculately dressed, even if its Barong Tagalog, or other long dress dinner shirt, finely pressed trousers and immaculately clean shoes.
i think its very important that foreigners dress well when downtown or at social functions, whats your experience of this, and is their any agreement or a few laughs at what I have written about, I am sure it will invoke some experiences from you all.