Filipinos are only out for your money.
I hear it every day from a lot of foreigners. I hear it from people I meet with face to face. I hear it from people who e-mail me. I remember when I first got married to Feyma. So many people told me – “Oh, she only wants a green card.” Imagine, if a lot of people told me that to my face, how many people were thinking it but just too embarrassed to speak up? Lots, I am sure.
Well, Feyma and I were married nearly 19 years ago, and we are still married. She got her green card, but she still stayed with me. She even became a US citizen and stuck by my side. Even when I convinced her to move back to the Philippines, she did so. Funny how that happened, but so many people told me that after she got a green card she would be out the door.
What about this, though, that people say Filipinos only want money? Do you believe it? I mean, when you go to the market, they sometimes add an extra P5 onto the price because of your white skin, they must be out to take your money. What about the “white man tax” that so many foreigners talk about.
Well, let me tell you about something that happened this week, and you can think about it, and decide if you think that Filipinos only want money from the foreigners.
This week, one of my sisters-in-law came to visit, and she brought along her young son, who is 4 years old. He is a cute kid, and really a polite and friendly little fellow. Of course, I know him, but I don’t see him very often. I enjoyed spending some time with him, though. I like kids, and it was fun to play with him, give him a few special treats that he would not get at home, etc.
There was one thing that reallly bothered me a lot about him, though. His teeth were absolutely rotten. I mean they were black with decay. His teeth were among the worst that I’ve ever seen, and it made me sick to even look at them. Not only was it a sickening site literally, but to think that this kid was family, and in this kind of condition was something that made me feel badly.
I say this not to embarrass anybody, but am simply stating a fact. I won’t name anybody involved, and none of the readers of this site would know who the kid or his parents are anyway.
The next morning after they had arrived, I had a talk with Feyma about the youngster. I told Feyma that I wanted the kid to be taken to the dentist. We have a regular dentist here in town that we use, and whom we also recommend to a lot of readers who visit here. Her name is Dr. Lourdes Lebosada. I consider Lourdes not only my dentist, but a good friend as well. She has always taken good care of me when I’ve used her for dentistry, but also has been friendly and helpful to me whenever I have encountered her.
I decided to come along with Feyma and her sister when we took the young man to the dentist. I wanted to see Lourdes, and to talk with her about what would be needed to get this kid’s teeth straightened out and make him healthier. To be honest, when I saw Lourdes examining this child, I felt bad that Lourdes even had to put her hands inside, or even near, this kid’s mouth. It is something I wouldn’t want to do. But, Lourdes did it, all the while with a smile on her face and a pleasant attitude too. I asked her what needed to be done to get this kid on the right path. She recommended that he have a fixed crown put across his front teeth after she did some work to clean the teeth up and stop any decay. I asked Lourdes, how much will this cost me?
I was not only surprised, but so grateful to Lourdes when she said to me that she would do it as a favor to me. I have done things for Lourdes in the past. Last year, I helped her set up a website, and put up some web advertising for her, and in exchange she got all of my dental work all caught up. Let me say here, I am not writing this as any kind of advertisement for Lourdes. I am genuinely writing this to show that Filipinos are not out to take money from foreigners.
Today, my nephew came home from the dentist with all of his teeth fixed up, a bright white smile on his face, and looking great! Even at just 4 years old, I believe he was very self conscience about his teeth before, because I never really saw him smile much. Today, he was all smiles. It made me feel really good to see that.
The final thing that we had to do, though, was to teach this kid about how to properly brush his teeth. I also told him that whenever I see him I am going to be checking his teeth, so he better make sure to take good care of them!
I was hesitant to write this article, because I didn’t want to make it seem like I was belittling my nephew or his mother. But, this is something that made me feel so good in so many ways, that I just felt I needed to write about it.
So, anyway, next time you hear about the “white man tax” or how every foreigner is overcharged, think about this. The dentist did this work for me for nothing, free, gratis. Do you think she was “out for my money?” No, she was not, and it’s important to remember that the vast majority of Filipinos are not out to rip you off. Yeah, there are a few who will try to take advantage of you. But, think about it… aren’t there people in your home country that take advantage of others? It is something that happens everywhere in the world, not just in the Philippines.
Thank you very much, Lourdes, if you read this. You are a kind lady, a good dentist, and a good friend. Your generosity will certainly be repaid some day in some way. I am very confident of that.