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"Why is it that way?”

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Jeepneys: Why is it that all the passengers will insist on handing the driver the fare, while the driver is in the middle of a hairpin turn at forty miles an hour? Is it some form of test? Also, why can’t the next two boarding passengers stand beside each other, so the driver does not have to drive the next 15 feet to pick up the second one?

Also, just for fun, ask the capacity of a Jeepney? The heads will be scratched, and the thinking begun. Then the answers will flow; 16-18-ect. Just explain that all the answers are wrong. For the true capacity is “ONE MORE” which is the same for Trikes and buses.

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Trike Drivers: Why do they pull up beside you, to offer a ride after they just saw you exit your car?

Street Vendors: What would make them feel that a “Blowgun” is just what you need today? They sell pork at the market and I don’t hunt wild pigs in the Rain Forest. Or the guy behind the blue boxes at the market, where he will repair a Presidential Rolex Watch, If I had one I sure would not bring it to him, for service.

Sports: Why is Basketball the number one sport here in the P.I.? Central and South America figured out they were not tall enough to join the “NBA” and decided Baseball was the way to go! It could be the cost of equipment, a basketball and slippers and a hoop on a tree is cheaper than gloves, bats, balls and the land required to play.

Sari-Sari Stores: Does the law require that there be one every fifty feet? I think the law does require that they all must sell exactly the same items, which will cause me much confusion picking the one I should go to. (Coldest beer works for me!) Also, they open at 7am yet by 9am they still can’t change a 20 peso bill. I wish I let my wife open one.

Dealing with Local Government: When applying for my resident visa to stay here I was provided a list of all paperwork and documents I was to present to Immigration in Manila. When I applied I was asked to provide 4 more documents which were not on the list provided. Like a foolish man I questioned why they were not listed on the paper their office provided me? That caused some major head scratching and a few shrugs of shoulders and was told to get the documents if I wanted to proceed.

Then last April 2009, I went to Subic Freeport for the Embassy Outreach visit to apply for my Social Security benefits. I arrived at 07:30, signed up, yakked with some friends, was seated at 08:00 called to see an Embassy Rep. by 08:05 and was on my way to breakfast by 08:25 as I had provided all required document from their list. The Lady from the Embassy was helpful, smart, and very friendly. While eating breakfast my wife pointed out that she was shocked to see any dealing with a government official could be so fast and smooth. I just smiled.

So… I will continue my search for answers to these and everything else that perplexes me! (Which is quite a lot?) It’s the small price we pay for choosing to live here in paradise!

P.S. This was written in pure fun, and I alone, am responsible for its content.

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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brian
brian
11 years ago

LMAO….questions who’s answer’s if found will shatter the lives, thoughts and way of life in the Philippines as they know it… don’t do it Paul…don’t search for the truths for ye shall walk the herecy path of Leonardo Da Vinci !!

Tommy
11 years ago

hahahaha thanks Paul I needed that laugh ….scratching my head

Dave Starr
11 years ago

Ha ha some funny, but true gems in there, Paul. In particular I am absolutely amazed by the enthusiasm for basketball, as you note. Games from elementary school level and up become ‘really big’ things to a lot of parents and alumni. Even more entertaining than the games themselves are the “kabuki plays” put on by major universities and pro teams to get talent from the US permission to be ‘Filipino-enough’ to be admitted to the Philippines in ‘playable’ status. Mita and Gia and I had a situation just the other day about that ‘list of documents’ issue. We wanted… Read more »

RonW
11 years ago

hello paul i dont know why immigration has to usually be so complicated.it seemed that officials want you to wait around alot.i just got my wife and son to usa and it seemed like i would pay thousands of dollars and then keep me waiting and wondering if they forget about us.i guess if you really love your filipina then its well worth the wait and those who dont would surely give up.hmmmm mabe that the way immigration wants it to be.i had alot i didnt like in philippines and alot i did like so its not so much different… Read more »

Miss August
11 years ago

LOL! 🙂
When I ride the Jeepney from Olongapo City to Castillejos the driver would wait until it’s full… shoulder to shoulder. I always pay for 2 passengers and put my purse and shopping bag next to me. I often get “funny” looks from people when I do this.

It seems personal space is not at all important in the Philippines. When shopping at Royal in SBMA, standing in line to check-out, person next to me would stand soooo close!

Maybe it’s just me… I’ve been Americanized for too long!

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
11 years ago

Hi Again John; When in the Navy if someone called me sir, my reply was “Hey, I work for a living!” Your story made me smile when you referenced the Royal Manual Typewriter, (and the liter of whiteout on every document, if I may add that) When I got a traffic ticket in Olongapo, I noticed it was written into the largest book I’d ever seen. On my next visit I was asked if I’d ever had a ticket before. “I can’t remember, let’s check the book.” was my answer. No one did. As for dinuguan and balut, I tried… Read more »

dans
dans
11 years ago

paul,

simple answer, it’s the Philippines, do i need to say more? everything you see and experienced is just the way things are in the Philippines, it works for the Filipinos and may not work with foreigners.

GenSan Chris
11 years ago

Hi Paul,
If you want a laugh at a Jeepney Terminal when you are asked where you are going to just tell them you want to go to Vise-Versa as every Jeep has it written on the Route! Its quite amazing how dumb founded the people appear as they usually cannot give you an explanation as to where Vise-Versa is!
When I got my E Card it took me 2 years and 4 months, thats how long without paying to smooth its passage!
Nice Article!

John Reyes
11 years ago

Entertaining article, Paul. Don’t be perplexed, just grin and bear it. The answer to all your “whys” can best be summed up by two words: Filipino culture.

Under your topic, “Dealing with Local Government”, I’d like to add my own personal experience with a provincial government agency:
http://www.angelfire.com/on4/zambalesforum/kapitolyong_panlalawigan.htm

John Reyes

Lloyd
Lloyd
11 years ago

Paul
I am sure we could all add to the list. But probably none of us can come up with a logical answer for any of them.
I ride intercity buses frequently, and what some of the vendors are selling is baffling.
Another is street vendors, as they watch you decline to buy from one vendor, they approach you and ask if you want to buy the same product from them.

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