Why I Live in the Philippines

(this is a email that circulates and we decided to share it here)

When I travel people often ask me why I live in the Philippines .

Well here it is
, It is the only place on earth...

. where every street has a basketball court.

. Where even doctors, lawyers and
engineers are unemployed.

. Where doctors study to become nurses for
employment abroad.

... Where students pay more money than
they will earn afterwards.

... where school is considered the second home and the mall considered the third.

... where call-center employees earn more money than teachers and nurses.

. Where everyone has his personal ghost
story and superstition.

... where mountains like Makiling and Banahaw are considered holy places.

... where everything can be forged.

... where all kinds of animals are edible.

... where Starbucks coffee is more
expensive than gas.

... where driving 4 kms can take as much
as four hours.

... where flyovers bring you from the freeway to the side streets.

... where crossing the street involves
running for your dear life.

... where the personal computer is mainly
used for games and Friendster

... where colonial mentality is
dishonestly denied!

... where 4 a.m. is not even considered
bedtime yet.

... where people can pay to defy the law.

... where everything and everyone is

... where even the poverty-stricken get to
wear Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger (peke)!

... where the honking of car horns is a
way of life.

... where being called a bum is never

... where floodwaters take up more than 90
percent of the streets during the rainy season.

... where everyone has a relative abroad who keeps them alive.

... where wearing your national colors
makes you baduy.

... where even the poverty-stricken have
the latest cell phones. (GSM-galing sa magnanakaw).

... where insurance does not work.

... where water can only be classified as
tap and dirty - clean water is for sale (35 pesos per

... where the government makes the people
pray for miracles. (Amen to that!)

... where University of the Philippines where all the weird people go.

Ateneo is where all the nerds go. La Salle is where all the Chinese go.

College of Saint Benilde is where all
the stupid Chinese go,

and University of Asia and the Pacific
is where all the irrelevantly rich people go.

... where fast food is a diet meal.

... where traffic signs are merely
suggestions, not regulations.

... where being mugged is normal.. It happens to everyone.

... where rodents are normal house pets.

... where the definition of traffic is the
'non-movement' of vehicles.

... where the fighter planes of the 1940s
are used for military engagements,

and the new fighter planes are
displayed in museums.

... where cigarettes and alcohol are a
necessity, and where the lottery is a commodity.

... where soap operas tell the realities of life and where the news provides the drama.

... where actors make the rules and where
politicians provide the entertainment.

... where people can get away with
stealing trillions of pesos, but not a thousand.

... where being an hour late is still
considered punctual. (Grabe talaga 'to!)

... where the squatters have more to
complain (even if they do not pay their tax) ----
than those employed and have their
tax automatically deducted from their salaries.

... and where everyone wants to leave the


- the sign in a flower shop in Diliman called Petal Attraction.
- a 24-hour restaurant called Doris Day & Night

- Barber shop called: Felix The Cut

- a bakery named Bread Pitt

- fast-food place selling 'maruya' (banana fritters)
called Maruya Carey.

- there are Christopher Plumbing a boutique called The
Way We Wear

- a video rental shop called Leon King Video Rental

- a restaurant in the Cainta district of Rizal called Caintacky Fried Chicken,

- a local burger restaurant called Mang Donald's
- a doughnut shop called MacDonuts,

- a shop selling 'lumpia' (egg roll) in Makati called
Wrap and Roll,

- and two butcher shops called Meating Place and

Smart travelers can decipher what may look like
baffling signs to
unaccustomed foreigners by simply sounding out the'Taglish' (the
Philippine version of English words spelled and
pronounced with a heavy
Filipino such as,

- at a restaurant menu in Cebu 'We hab sopdrink in can an in batol'
[translation: We have soft drinks in can and in bottle].

Then, there is a sewing accessories shop called Bids
And Pises
[translation: Beads and Pieces --or-- Bits and

There are also many signs with either badly chosen or
misspelled words,
but they are usually so entertaining that it would be
a mistake to 'correct' them.

In a restaurant in Baguio City , the 'summer capital' of the Philippines : ' Wanted: Boy Waitress';

on a highway in Pampanga: 'We Make Modern Antique

on the window of a photography shop in Cabanatuan :
'We Shoot You While You Waitą

and on the glass front of a cafe in Panay Avenue in
Manila : ' Wanted: Waiter, Cashier, Washier.'

Some of the notices can even give a wrong impression,
such as, a shoe store in Pangasinan which has a sign saying:

'We Sell Imported Robber Shoes' (these could be the 'sneakiest' sneakers);

and a rental property sign in Jaro, reads: 'House For
Rent, Fully Furnaced' (it must really be hot inside)!

Occasionally, one could come across signs that are
truly unique--if not altogether odd.

City in southern Philippines , which said:
'Adults: 1 peso; Child: 50 centavos; Cadavers: fare
subject to negotiation.'

European tourists may also be intrigued to discover
two competing shops
selling hopia (a Chinese pastry) called Holland Hopia
and Poland Hopia,
which are owned and operated by two local Chinese

Mr. Ho and Mr. Po respectively- -(believe it or not)!

Some folks also 'creatively' redesign English to be
more efficient 'The creative confusion between language and culture leads to more than just simple unintentional errors in syntax, but in the adoption of new words,' says reader Robert Goodfellow, who came
across a sign...

' House Fersallarend' (house for sale or rent). Why use five words when two
will do?

According to Manila businessman, Tonyboy Ongsiako,
there is so much wit in the Philippines because '. . .

we are a country where a good sense of humor is needed to survive.

We have a 24-hour comedy show here called the
government and a huge reserve of comedians made up mostly of politicians and bad actors.

Now I ask you where else in the world would one want
to live?


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