Quiet Please! I’m Living in the Philippines

Time for More Quiet!

From time to time, life in the Philippines can be peaceful and rather quiet. Many times though it can be annoyingly noisy. When so many people are accustomed to live in such cramped conditions, they grow up with an adaptation of living like noisy sardines in a can. These days though, we are enjoying somewhat quieter days as all the children have returned to school. Summer vacation is over and the associated reduction in noise levels is a good thing…for now.

To any westerner living here in the Philippines, there are two words that are commonly used to describe the nature of the Filipino. Most of us would naturally assume that both of these words were similarly related but in actuality, they couldn’t be farther apart in definition…at least here in the Philippines anyway. The first word “Respect”, is something that almost all Filipinos practice faithfully. Faithfulness to the family is a traditional characteristic of this society. This is quite apparent in that you rarely ever see nursing homes, retirement homes, or many orphanages for that matter, in the Philippines. The culture demands loyalty to family and respect grows from that. Filipinos are so very good at being respectful.

Driving Inconsiderations!
Driving Inconsiderateness!

The other word is “Consideration”. Now in the west, this word is taken mostly in the true context of its own definition. Simply, the definition of consideration is – the act of considering; careful thought, meditation; deliberation – the act of thinking carefully about something you make a decision about; a desire to avoid doing something that will make another person sad, upset, angry, etc. . …whoaaaa!I could add quite a few nouns but at this juncture but I believe those who live here already know where this is headed.

While Filipinos can be totally respectful to one another, they can be completely inconsiderate when it comes to almost everything else. From cutting in line and bad driving, to singing loud, out-of-tune karaoke at 6am on Sunday mornings. When the sun rises here in the Philippines, Katy bar the door…there will be noise…and without any consideration! There is a total lack of the meaning of that word here but if you ask any Filipino if they consider themselves to be considerate, they immediately get offended that you would even think otherwise!

But with all due respect to Filipinos, the definition should be revised and expanded to include the term “unknowing inconsiderateness” (yes, that actually is a real word) and then, that should help to make everything a little more tolerable. Maybe not!

If you have any examples of Filipino inconsiderateness, I welcome your comments. I’m sure it could turn into a long and entertaining list, and that’s totally acceptable. By the way…they do brew a pretty good beer here to help deal with it all!

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