I hear from a lot of expats things that are pretty negative about Filipinos. Some expats tell me that Filipinos are stupid. Others say that Filipinos are lazy. Sometimes I hear that Filipinos are greedy. The other day, I got an e-mail from a fellow in the States asking me if Filipino women usually stay in touch with their ex-boyfriends.
When I got that e-mail from the fellow asking about staying in touch, I replied to him and told him that despite what he may think, or what others have told him, no single patter of behavior can be ascribed to all Filipinos. This same advice applies to all of those other things. Stupid… lazy… greedy….
Are Filipinos stupid? Some of them sure are! But, are all of them stupid? No way. The same applies to each of these character traits. Think to yourself, are there stupid Americans? Ha ha.. you better believe it. Are all Americans stupid? Well, as much as I sometimes think we may be… I have to admit that not all Americans are stupid. This applies to all nationalities. Every country has stupid, lazy, greedy people, and every other type of person. Every country also has smart, industrious and generous people. Nobody has exclusivity to any of these traits.
There is one expat, I’m sure he will know who he is, although I will not mention names, who comments here on LiP regularly that he has no interest in socializing with Filipinos. He often says (maybe in different words) that Filipinos are not intelligent, or are somehow mentally and socially inferior to him. He can’t learn anything from Filipinos, so why make an effort?
Well, my experience has been different. In my life, I have found that I can learn something from each and every person that I come in contact with. Even those who are admittedly not very smart, or are much different from me. Sometimes, it just means that by interacting with them, I learn, or realize how lucky I am, or how blessed I am. In some way, by interacting with people, I find that it helps improve me in some way. I have never gone and interacted with people and thought that it was a waste of my time, or that I did the wrong thing. Each person has something to teach us, or make us think differently in some way.
The thing for me is, why would any of us even want to come and live in the Philippines if we do not want to be around Filipinos? Many of us, I am sure, have had the thought “Why do those Mexicans come up to the USA and they all just hang out together. They don’t interact with us. They take our jobs. They don’t even learn to speak English!” If you are British, maybe you think that way about the Polish. If you are Australian, maybe it’s the Pakistanis that get you upset. But, think about it… we are coming to the Philippines, and many of us are acting the same way that makes us upset about those coming to our countries! Does that make sense.
For me, coming to the Philippines is all about learning new things, seeing things that I have not seen before, enjoying a different culture, etc. I know that for many, the only reason they come here is that things are cheap here, life can be lived without much money, or whatever. But, maybe you should also be kind to the people who are your hosts here in the Philippines? Show them a bit of respect. You never know, you might also be able to learn a thing or two from them, if you give them a chance to show you what they do know.
It makes life more enjoyable if you can learn to live in peace with those around you. It’s not always easy, but if you make an effort it will get easier.