PDA

View Full Version : Mixing and fitting in with your neighbors



jonnyivy
1st November 2013, 20:29
Here's a little piece of my own observations to life and fitting in with the locals when you visit Philippines.
I think I have gained enough experience to give you my opinions after visiting my 'adopted' village over in the provinces of Cebu for the past 10 years.
I find that the best policy for me was to let the locals know that your nothing special, they can approach you and have a laugh with you without looking for tips or money for beer.
I've had the best welcome from our neighbours every time I arrive,. guys on the side of the road all congregate round our car when we arrive,...they already know me and our young kids and obviously my wife, as that's where she was born and brought up. I usually step out of the car (self-drive) and start to shake their hands,.. everyone seems glad to see us again,.. and it's so nice to see them all again. First thing is to get the cases and bags lifted up the track to our house,..there's plenty of helping hands,...because , as every year,..I always come back out of the house after 10 mins with 3 or 4 cold bottles of beer. I don't make any fuss about which is the best chair for me to sit on,..all I want to do is walk around looking to see what has changed since last visit. suppose another thing is to feel that sun on my back after experiencing the Scottish climate. No-one calls me 'sir',..or 'mr John',...it's just John,.... and I know all the names of the locals too. Mothers, grannies, fathers, sons,...they all walk past our path,... it's great to be back, and to feel welcome. A nice smile and a wee Scottish quip,." how's it guan ?" seems to open up the floodgates for giggles and a good laugh. I throw in a couple of 'Bisayan' words that my wife has learned me and before long we have 10 or more guys sitting round the door listening to some of our CD's and trying so hard to speak English to me !
I've never known life to be so stress-free while I am there for 4-5 weeks holiday. I can walk where-ever I want,..whenever I want without any cares in the world. Usually a brisk walk along the shore road every morning about 6.00am before it gets too hot. This is where I meet so many different personalities. There's the retired teacher who sweeps her doorway every morning,..speaks perfect English, wants to know where I'm from, who I married from the village, how many kids we have,...she greets me every morning, I'm sure she looks out for me as I stand with her for 10 mins or so. Then there's the old retired policeman who rides about on an old-fashioned push-bike. rusty as hell,.. brakes are worked with a metal rod instead of wire cables. He pedals away slowly every day, he just seems to appear round any corner. He's got the strongest hand-shake I've ever experienced, and I like that .A very fit and strong man, I'd guess in his 70's or so ?
Mr. Perolin is his name,..I don't know his first name, but I respect him and won't ask for it unless he decides to tell me. He will stop his bike,.. lean it against a tree and sit down with me for 20 mins to again ask about things such as Scotland and the snow. He's a well educated man.
After lunch-time I will take our motorbike and take a nice slow drive along the same road (there's only one road,..you can only drive either south or north ! ). This time I will head along to the wet market. There's always a buzz down there with the fish wives and the butcher guys. You can slowly drive down there , it ends at the seafront where the car-park is and a small park for sitting and looking out to sea. I can hear the women shouting to me " Hi John",... it's nice to be noticed , ... and I will always give them a wave back. I park my bike (in the shade) and go sit at the small sari-sari store where I have sat for many years. It's still got the old plastic garden chairs,..finding one that isn't split, or has all 4 legs straight is the first challenge. I'm 6ft and fairly well-built, so I take some holding up from a plastic chair !!! There's a nice breeze comes off the sea, just enough to keep me cooler. They have a nice cold bottle of beer brought out to me and I'll sit there for half an hour just watching . People watching,...it's totally different over there. Biggest difference is that everyone is smiling at you. I think they too like to feel an acknowlegement from you,..just a wee smile and again a "y awright ? " sets them away giggling and whispering to themselves about you. It's a great feeling to fit in with the locals,..I feel part of the town/village,...and according to my wife's mum, the locals have a great liking for me and my family,...why ?...because I want them to know that I'm one of them,..I want to do things like they do,..I don't want any special treatment, and I won't pass by without speaking to them. I don't 'buy' my friendship over there,...but I'm not shy to put my hand in my pocket and buy a bottle or two of beer for the guys sitting by the roadside AND sitting down with them to drink it !
Finding the right village was the best thing that ever happened to me over there,..thank god my wife was born and brought up there !
That's my small? account of visiting the Philippines,...now for those who haven't been yet,...go and take a look,.....you'll love them and their ways !!

Jonny

andy222
1st November 2013, 20:42
Like I have said before a Hi and a smile dont cost anything and always show respect to them. You wont go far wrong.:xxgrinning--00xx3:

raynaputi
1st November 2013, 20:56
Glad to know you're having a great time in the Philippines whenever you visit. :xxgrinning--00xx3: I agree with what Andy said. Saying hi and smiling back at them will take you miles away. :biggrin:

Michael Parnham
1st November 2013, 23:14
Here's a little piece of my own observations to life and fitting in with the locals when you visit Philippines.
I think I have gained enough experience to give you my opinions after visiting my 'adopted' village over in the provinces of Cebu for the past 10 years.
I find that the best policy for me was to let the locals know that your nothing special, they can approach you and have a laugh with you without looking for tips or money for beer.
I've had the best welcome from our neighbours every time I arrive,. guys on the side of the road all congregate round our car when we arrive,...they already know me and our young kids and obviously my wife, as that's where she was born and brought up. I usually step out of the car (self-drive) and start to shake their hands,.. everyone seems glad to see us again,.. and it's so nice to see them all again. First thing is to get the cases and bags lifted up the track to our house,..there's plenty of helping hands,...because , as every year,..I always come back out of the house after 10 mins with 3 or 4 cold bottles of beer. I don't make any fuss about which is the best chair for me to sit on,..all I want to do is walk around looking to see what has changed since last visit. suppose another thing is to feel that sun on my back after experiencing the Scottish climate. No-one calls me 'sir',..or 'mr John',...it's just John,.... and I know all the names of the locals too. Mothers, grannies, fathers, sons,...they all walk past our path,... it's great to be back, and to feel welcome. A nice smile and a wee Scottish quip,." how's it guan ?" seems to open up the floodgates for giggles and a good laugh. I throw in a couple of 'Bisayan' words that my wife has learned me and before long we have 10 or more guys sitting round the door listening to some of our CD's and trying so hard to speak English to me !
I've never known life to be so stress-free while I am there for 4-5 weeks holiday. I can walk where-ever I want,..whenever I want without any cares in the world. Usually a brisk walk along the shore road every morning about 6.00am before it gets too hot. This is where I meet so many different personalities. There's the retired teacher who sweeps her doorway every morning,..speaks perfect English, wants to know where I'm from, who I married from the village, how many kids we have,...she greets me every morning, I'm sure she looks out for me as I stand with her for 10 mins or so. Then there's the old retired policeman who rides about on an old-fashioned push-bike. rusty as hell,.. brakes are worked with a metal rod instead of wire cables. He pedals away slowly every day, he just seems to appear round any corner. He's got the strongest hand-shake I've ever experienced, and I like that .A very fit and strong man, I'd guess in his 70's or so ?
Mr. Perolin is his name,..I don't know his first name, but I respect him and won't ask for it unless he decides to tell me. He will stop his bike,.. lean it against a tree and sit down with me for 20 mins to again ask about things such as Scotland and the snow. He's a well educated man.
After lunch-time I will take our motorbike and take a nice slow drive along the same road (there's only one road,..you can only drive either south or north ! ). This time I will head along to the wet market. There's always a buzz down there with the fish wives and the butcher guys. You can slowly drive down there , it ends at the seafront where the car-park is and a small park for sitting and looking out to sea. I can hear the women shouting to me " Hi John",... it's nice to be noticed , ... and I will always give them a wave back. I park my bike (in the shade) and go sit at the small sari-sari store where I have sat for many years. It's still got the old plastic garden chairs,..finding one that isn't split, or has all 4 legs straight is the first challenge. I'm 6ft and fairly well-built, so I take some holding up from a plastic chair !!! There's a nice breeze comes off the sea, just enough to keep me cooler. They have a nice cold bottle of beer brought out to me and I'll sit there for half an hour just watching . People watching,...it's totally different over there. Biggest difference is that everyone is smiling at you. I think they too like to feel an acknowlegement from you,..just a wee smile and again a "y awright ? " sets them away giggling and whispering to themselves about you. It's a great feeling to fit in with the locals,..I feel part of the town/village,...and according to my wife's mum, the locals have a great liking for me and my family,...why ?...because I want them to know that I'm one of them,..I want to do things like they do,..I don't want any special treatment, and I won't pass by without speaking to them. I don't 'buy' my friendship over there,...but I'm not shy to put my hand in my pocket and buy a bottle or two of beer for the guys sitting by the roadside AND sitting down with them to drink it !
Finding the right village was the best thing that ever happened to me over there,..thank god my wife was born and brought up there !
That's my small? account of visiting the Philippines,...now for those who haven't been yet,...go and take a look,.....you'll love them and their ways !!

Jonny

So enjoyable to read this, had a mental picture of everything you described, very nice!:xxgrinning--00xx3:

grahamw48
2nd November 2013, 00:06
What a great post. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Jonny. :xxgrinning--00xx3:

I was lucky enough to experience similar friendliness, acceptance and 'peace' in my ex-wife's small provincial village too. I really miss it, and actually most of her (and our son's) relations are still facebook friends. :smile:

Rosie1958
2nd November 2013, 00:39
Fab post Jonny, well done! :xxgrinning--00xx3:

rani
2nd November 2013, 01:00
As they say, when in rome do what the romans do!!!

Great job Johnny :Jump:

Terpe
2nd November 2013, 08:49
Thanks for sharing that Jonny :xxgrinning--00xx3:

I really enjoyed reading it.... and it's so easy to get a sense of how much you enjoy your life there.

It's great when you spend time in your wife's 'hometown' it gives a head start.
I always work hard making sure I remember everyones name...

Happy days ahead :Jump:

jonnyivy
2nd November 2013, 13:30
So glad you enjoyed reading it,... I'm not by any means a writer, just enjoy sharing my memories :;;

I have a 14 year old son,... he's a great lad,..blond, blue eyes and athletic.
3 years ago he went with us to Philippines to experience their culture. He was only 12 years old then. What a great experience for him. I think it would be the first time that many of the locals had ever seen a white BOY !! There are only 2 or 3 westerners living or visiting our village over there so the novelty was quite big for them.
It didn't take long for him to make friends with the locals lads (and girls, giggling girls !)....
By the end of the first day he had 15 lads swarming round him,...they were learning him to play basketball,..while he tried to explain how rugby was played. But I think the pass-time they all shared the best was swimming and diving into the sea !! They spent almost every day there,.. climbing out of the water then summersaulting into the water. At lunchtime my son would come home starving,.. he would have some of my wife's cousins hanging round the door waiting for him to finish eating. He'd politely ask me for some pocket money to take his 'posse' down to the sari-sari to buy them some coke and a sweet. I didn't realise that by giving him his usual 5 that this was way exceeding what he needed, so he walked back to the house and asked if he could treat them all to some soup and rice for their evening dinner. Next day there were twice as many guys waiting for him to play. He was so worn-out with playing he would sleep in his room till 11.00am , but these poor lads were waiting outside the door since about 7.00am ! The local lads invited him to go to the school with them on the monday as it was their last week before mid-term break and they said their teacher had said it would be a great idea. He was a little shy to go, but I went with him to the door, introduced him to the teacher and he went inside with his cousins. Well, the class erupted,...never seen so many girls shuffling their seats so they could sit near him. Don't think there was much concentration done in the classroom that afternoon!
I'm glad I took him over with us, he learned a good lesson over there,.letting him see how well off he and his Scottish friends were having all the computers and TV's that most lads over there don't. I don't think he's had so much interaction with anybody like he did with the 'posse' over there.
I'm sure I noticed for the first time a little tear in his eye when we left to come home,..I think there was also a 'special' girl who stole his heart,....bearing in mind he was only 12 !! I'm sure there are still letters in his bedside drawer from this little girl .....
Happy days indeed,... i have some good photo's of my son playing with these guys over there,...I'd like to post them here for you all to see but I don't know if I have enough 'points' to be able to ??

Jonny.

tiger31
2nd November 2013, 14:00
where are you from in scotland jonny

grahamw48
2nd November 2013, 14:43
Another great post ! :xxgrinning--00xx3:

I hope this will become a series Jonny. :biggrin:

highlander01
2nd November 2013, 17:35
Sounds great Johnny. Looks like you have found your niche there - good for you mate....

jonnyivy
2nd November 2013, 18:16
Tiger,...I'm from the Borders ,.... lovely scenery, but try working outside wi the wind and snow blowing in winter !!,...not so appealing ! :NoNo:

tiger31
3rd November 2013, 03:35
Tiger,...I'm from the Borders ,.... lovely scenery, but try working outside wi the wind and snow blowing in winter !!,...not so appealing ! :NoNo:aye a wee bit bleak up there lol i,m from dunoon originally

RickyR
6th November 2013, 05:25
Great posts Jonny, I really enjoyed reading them. Finding the balance of being respectful and friendly to the good guys without bringing attention to yourself to be abused by the bad guys isn't easy, but it sounds like you have managed to find that perfect position.
I'm sure your son will be itching to return to the Philippines again for a holiday.

jake
6th November 2013, 08:14
I'm from the Borders

Me too. Hope its not Selkirk!
One of our forum members Han is from Duns. Are you her husband?

Very interesting posts :xxgrinning--00xx3:

han
6th November 2013, 11:22
Nice post Jonnyivy :xxgrinning--00xx3: enjoyed reading it, that's kinda similar to my husbands experience when he visited the village where I live in Mindanao :biggrin:
He loves it there, though it wasn't like a long holiday.
He wants to talk to all the villagers but He said seems some are too shy to respond, :icon_lol:
I said because they are not used to see a white Man. He can't wait to get back there again :smile:

You from the Borders too? Me and my husband lives in Duns.
cheers,
Han

Slip
6th November 2013, 13:20
What a lovely read. Living in London you don't get to experience the sort of life that people in small communities do. I have friends that live in a small village in England (blink and you've drove through it!) Everyone knows everyone and they all look out for eachother. A few years back someone was caught breaking into a house. He was only caught because the locals didn't reconise him and when they went to speak to him he ran off! he was soon captured lol
And when I was in the Seychelles for a month a couple of years back it was pretty much like Philippines. I probably know more people to say hi too and have a beer with then I do here in England. Probably because my best mate growing up is from there originally and I have made many friends over the years from various parties I have attended. I'd never go hungry out there!

I'm told when i come to Philippines I will be the local attraction! They don't get many white men in her village! But off course I will just smile and be polite, it's not in my nature to be rude!