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Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Daniel has lived in Toronto, Canada for 28 years. He’s a loving father, practicing dentist, divorcee and a well traveled “citizen of the world”. Having had extensive experience with online dating, travel and life in the Philippines, Daniel will tell it like it is and will no doubt open some eyes. He is currently engaged to a Chinese lady that he met on CLM and will very soon get married. However, he's seen a dark side too. Get ready for the good, the bad and the ugly.
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Trouble in Paradise (Part 1) The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Series    

By Daniel Chermont
2990 Views | 5 Comments | 4/8/2011 12:56:58 AM
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One of many public markets in Davao City

A lot has been written recently about dating site scams and scammers and even new formats are starting to appear, but there are simple rules that if we all follow, would put the scammers out of business or at least, spare our wallets, not to mention avoiding heartbreaks and the feeling of being "taken", indeed not a good one.

I will write few articles about my personal experiences with Filipino girls and my trip to this country.

The Phils are an intriguing land of mesmerizing contrasts. The country is beautiful, blessed in many ways and yet people live as a candle in the wind.

Delicious and plenty tropical fruits and vegetables everywhere, perhaps the best fishing grounds of the whole world, rice in immense quantities and yet, most people don't know where the next meal will come from. According to reliable sources, 5 thousand children die a day in the Phils, due to malnutrition or victim of curable diseases that would cost just few dollars to cure. An horrific thing, to say the least.

They have excellent hospitals, and yet the majority of the people do not have access to any type of medical help. Crime of all kinds are common and also terrorism in some areas, where foreigners are not welcome.

A perverse social structure perpetuates the misery of the people. Incest, raping and corruption are common things, they already accept it as almost normal.

The people is very well educated, one of the highest levels of literacy in the world. They have excellent Universities and Colleges, some of the best in Asia and yet, every year the same sad story repeats itself. Lots of young and well trained graduates, with a College or University diploma, cannot get any work, even a simple one. People cannot find a job even on a fast food restaurant chains.

Multitudes of street children begging for food, horrible filthy slums and street scenes that would melt the heart of the most insensitive person.

The number of single mothers is staggering. Girls in the early 20s with up to 3 kids from 3 different fathers. The Filipino people is deeply religious and follows the teachings of the main organized religion, the Catholic Church, and the girls do not use any contraceptive method to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy or VDs. In a word, a tragedy.

Years of incompetent and totally corrupt governments, brought the country to an almost point of no return. They are indeed in very deep trouble, living in dire straits. The bad news is that it looks like things are getting worse.

Amidst this chaotic scenario the Filipino people put a brave face and try the best they can to survive the difficult challenges they face everyday. They are very humble, friendly, always smiling, love to dance and sing, you cannot help liking them and to feel sad for the difficult lives they face.

Just to give you an idea, a well trained Filipino nurse, makes 6 thousand pesos a month, which represents about 130 dollars. A North American nurse earns on average 250 dollars a day... Many families of 4 people, for example, live on 100 dollars a month. It makes you believe in miracles. How do they do it? A mystery.

No Government help whatsoever, no food banks, no pensions, no old age security or unemployment benefits, no welfare, simply NOTHING. A small percentage of the people are immensely wealthy but the vast majority is lucky if they have a roof, even made of banana leaves and one meal a day, usually cheap rice and salty fish ... The old story, either you are very rich, or horribly poor. If they have a middle class, it must be very small.

I visited Davao City, the 3rd largest city in the country, behind Manila and Cebu, and it is very sad to see the way they live. Then you understand why they would do almost anything to get out of that God forsaken place.

The city is very dirty, lots of armed security people, massive presence of police, the air almost impossible to breathe, the city water a menace to your health.

Lots of young people everywhere. The Filipino girls are usually petite, most between 4.11" to 5.2", black hair and eyes, a beautiful dark skin, very friendly and polite, deeply religious and very cute. Not beautiful, but cute.

Very visible the presence of expats, many Europeans and North Americans are retiring and going to live in the Phils. You can buy a good, newly built home, in good areas of the country, from 100 to 200 thousand dollars, which in Toronto Canada would buy you from a one bedroom apartment to a so so townhouse in a suburb.

Lots of mixed couples, that seemed very happy to me. The guy very fair skinned, 6 feet and up, mid 50s and the girl petite, "morena" (beautiful dark skin), early 20s, many pushing a baby carriage. With 3 thousand dollars a month a couple with one or 2 kids can live a decent worry free life in the Phils, including a good Family Medical Plan, an absolute necessity. Air conditioning, water purifier and guard dogs, a must.

For us, food is relatively cheap. They use very small refrigerators, the size we usually have in the office. People shop food 2, 3 times a week, always fresh, they usually do not freeze food as we do in North America. Hydro bills are high for the locals and much more expensive than we pay in North America. Most people use cell phones. Black outs are common, so, avoid buying large amounts of food. Go to the market and buy fresh ...

Medicines are expensive. If you have a heart condition, diabetes or any other long term health problem that requires to take medications every day, buy on the net.

Postal services are not reliable and parcels "disappear". One of the problems you will have to learn how to deal with.

You can get a good maid for 50 dollars a month. Very cheap. She will clean your house and cook for you. I personally feel bad and felt the urge to compensate the low salary helping the lady and her family in other ways (food, clothing, extra money), because I felt ashamed, like I was exploiting a fellow human being. Mind you, some people work in the Phils just to have a place to live and for the food. It is very sad.

Amazing the number of net cafes. Almost in every corner of downtown Davao, in mall etc, you see huge net cafes, always very busy. Very cheap, usually 25 cents of Canadian Dollar per hour, don't believe if a girl tells you that it is expensive, it is not. A lot of people "rent" their computer by the hour to others. It is expensive for a person to own his/her own computer.

Part 2 coming next

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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(Showing 1 to 5 of 5) 1
#2011-04-08 01:18:07 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Daniel, you paint a very telling picture here about the Philippines. I've not yet been and now more than ever feel the need to go. During my days in Shenzhen I had occasion to meet a number of Filipinas because I had 2 friends who were living with Filipina girlfriends, and there were many in SZ as members of bands in the bars, and frequently nannies going back and forth from Hong Kong on visa renewal treks. These girls reflected individually the contrasts you describe in the country and the people as a whole.

On the surface they were happy, smiling, bright and talented. They were a lot of fun to spend time with. But there was always an aura of quiet desperation, and you understood why when you started to sense how important every dollar was to them, and you learned from a little digging that they all had children and family back home who were awaiting their next money transfer back in order to survive.

A nanny in Hong Kong or a bar singer in Shenzhen might be earning enough to support a family of 5 or 6, and yet it was less in a week than my buddies and my bar bill was in a night. Prostitution was a frequent part time occupation. My best guess would be that well over 50% of this group was participating in the trade.

It saddened me then and you've brought back that sadness today. I hope our readers pay close attention to your blogs. There is a lot to be learned from them.

#2011-04-08 21:09:50 by gentleman27 @gentleman27

This is truly a heartbreaking reality...
It is not a country forsaken by God, my friend. It is a political leadership that forsaken Justice... And this is sad, so sad. All I can think about is the people's brave hearts to keep smiling and light each other's hearts amid the darkness. I see wealthy people in NY that have everything, much more than needed, and you can never see a smile on their faces. I simply admire their courage and would love to read more about your experience, Daniel.

Thank you so much for posting!

Gabriel

#2011-04-10 17:37:18 by mina @mina

Daniel,
Thank you so much for offering us a window to view the country and its people. This term, an American taking his fillipino wife, come to teach. The wife is just like what you have described: amicable, smiling, humble and friendly. In one chat with her, she told me: in her village if someone lost his or her family member to death, there would usually be a very loud funeral. Out of my expectation, she said, the one who lost the family would appear very happy and put on smiles a lot. Her explanation was, people was happy for being the focus of attention. Have you ever observed this and do you have any explanation? Thanks!

#2011-04-21 15:34:34 by pourquoipasamour @pourquoipasamour

Hi Gentleman 27,

Thanks for your comments. I am writing other articles, I hope they will be of some help to people.

Yes, you are absolutely right, money indeed as they say, do not buy the most important things in life, love, health, friendship and happiness. I also now people that have all the material things possible and are not happy. But people should have at least enough for the real necessities as a roof over their heads, nutritious foods and medical care when necessary.

Filipinos love to dance and sing as I said in the articles and in spite of everything they are always smiling. They love karaoke bars and everybody loves to grab the microphone and sing his/her favorites song. I had a great time there, even though sometimes I felt my heart heavy seeing specially the children living in the streets. We helped as many as we could. My church has now 2 missionaries with their families there and we are distributing basic foods, medicines, baby formula, clothing and shoes for the poorest families in the Manila/Makati area. Many churches are getting involved, a lot of organizations from North America and European countries are trying to help all they can. Please check the video "5 thousand children die a day in the Philippines" on Yotube. You will see what I mean.

You are again right, they are not forsaken by God, the problem there is decades of corruption, dishonest politicians, greedy people, wild capitalism
and insensitive people that do not give a hand to their fellow citizens.

#2011-04-21 15:43:30 by pourquoipasamour @pourquoipasamour

Mina,

I never heard of funerals as you describe, it could be typical in an specific region of the country. Please note that besides Tagalog, Cebuano and Visayan, the main languages, there are over a hundred different dialects in the Phils and people descendant of a large number of tribes, with different customs and cultures. In some areas, the language they speak sounds even like broken Spanish. It could be that in one region they do as you describe. I have many Filipino friends, I will check and tell you.

Sorry for the delay in responding,

I wish you all the best.

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