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Silly Xmas decorations in my condo


Monsoon

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Monsoon

So here is an insight into Filipino culture. Three weeks ago when I first arrived here they were starting on the Christmas decorations here. They also came around with a paper asking for donations for said decorations. I set it on the table as that is my wife's department. Its up to her what to do in these situations. 

 

But, they did make one mistake when it comes to charity. The silly letter specifies a 500 PHP MINIMUM donation. If you are going to tell me what the minimum donation is in charity then you can stick it up your ass. But nonetheless I leave it up to my wife. 

 

My wife saw the letter and just ignored it. A few days later (always while she is in the middle of doing something) the same woman comes again pounding on the door as if she were a bill collector. My wife told her she was got the letter, was not interested and that she was busy. 

 

The woman came a THIRD time about this supposed 'donation'. 

 

All of this time, money and effort going into Christmas decorations could be better spent on doing something to help those in need. Why aren't the decorations that were purchased last year used again? I can see a few odds and ends but why is so much money needed? And why do they need to come around three times asking for it? My wife heard one of the fools working on these decorations say, "I put in 7000 of my own money into this." As if saying it so she can hear it. 

 

This is the mentality here. Decorations more important than embracing the 'true meaning of Christmas.'

 

 

 

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jtmwatchbiz

years ago we rented a big contemporary home in another section of guadalupe. the owners were a consortium of family members who ran the rental/real estate firm and had scores of single family dwellings along with many multiple family complexes and a few huge commercial buildings in uptown cebu city. when xmas came round, they had stuffed our mailbox with a bulletin asking for donations for a company xmas party they were staging at a resort in mactan and asked if we could, and i will never forget the wording "help to make the season brighter" by helping out. now bear in mind these people were all professionals aside from this family enterprise and all lived in multiple mansions scattered around in the better sections of cebu city. needless to say we ignored the plea for donations and when we stopped by their office to pay our january rent i casually asked the office ladies if they enjoyed the party. they said "no sir the party was only for the family members. they also told me the resort mentioned in the donation bulletin was in fact owned by the family.  

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Monsoon

The beautiful thing about my wife is the more they ask, the more she will resist. 

 

I tried making it into a joke suggesting she offer to donate if it will go towards the purchase of a menorah. But she was quite sure that it would be a waste and the joke would go over their heads. If they did get the joke, I would hope they wouldn't be the same person who I spoke with who confused the Jews with the Nazis. Yes, I had a conversation  with  someone who happens to be native to this country who told me the holocaust was the Jews killing a bunch of people. 
 

I asked where they learned that and was told everybody knows it. 

 

Hmm. 

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broden

i wouldn't have a problem throwing in to a communal pot for decorations or a party. but if it was labeled as charity i would avoid it

unless they were using it to somehow raise money for actual charity.

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Chris, I am so glad I wasn't there to talk you out of marrying - the best possible woman to ever come into your life. 

 

What she sees in you, I will never figure out. But, you damned sure won the lotto when you met Jen. 

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Monsoon

i wouldn't have a problem throwing in to a communal pot for decorations or a party. but if it was labeled as charity i would avoid it

unless they were using it to somehow raise money for actual charity.

 

My problem with this is basically three fold:

 

1 - They specified in the letter 'asking' for help a "Minimum donation of 500 pesos". How insulting and poor taste. 

 

In the immediate aftermath of the typhoon they were making this solicitation. They have been working on these decorations for 12 hours a day for three weeks. I have spent 5 times what I normally do on charity this year because of the typhoon. Sorry,  but don't have a peso for someone who tells me how much I need to give. If they were packing relief goods the wife I would be out there for a few hours every night helping them, and would have kicked in tens of thousands of pesos. 

 

2 - I will not be here for Christmas, or the Christmas party. And the money was not for a party, it was for 'decorations'. I am sure the request for the Christmas party money will be forthcoming.  I am renting here for 6 months. I don't own a unit. I don't know my neighbors and quite honestly, don't have any interest in getting to know them. The three weeks of constant noise outside my door as they 'work' on these decorations has started to get under my skin.  As has the neighbors ankle biting yapping dog - neither of which I have complained about by the way. 

 

The proper way to do something like this is to survey the residents with a poll. "Are you interested in helping with decorations? How much can you donate?" From there you set a  budget. Don't just blindly decide your going to build a monstrosity of an Xmas display and then expect people to cough up money just because they live here. Especially from people who have zero interest in Christmas. I pay the rent to live here, nothing else. 

 

3 - Asking is one thing, but continuously asking once they have been told just pisses me off. And my wife even more. Had she given them 500 hell, 2000 I really wouldn't give a shit, as I said its her department. But people were told no. How do they know if perhaps we are not living hand to mouth in here and 500 pesos could mean the difference between keeping the lights on or not. They don't and our financial status is absolutely none of their business. Its insulting for them to assume that I should just give because they think I should. 

 

I have my own charities. My own interests. My own places I choose to put my money. As does my wife. We don't need anyone banging on our door telling us where to do so. 

 

Its not the 500 pesos. Its the principle. Im not Rabbi Ebenezer Scroogenstien either. I have every year given  Christmas presents to the staff of every condo I've lived in in the Philippines since I moved here. I have every year given anyone who works for me more than 13 month pay, and more days off than statutorily required. 

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broden
1 - They specified in the letter 'asking' for help a "Minimum donation of 500 pesos". How insulting and poor taste. 

 

that is.. and i would put it aside for that alone too most likely at the very least i would ignore their minimum 

 

unless of course for a communal party then you just say we need how ever many bucks from everyone who wants to go or previously agreed to decorations and such

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mactanfamily

If this is a condo and it was an approved assessment, then you will have to pay, no matter what the wording on the letter was.

 

The real surprising thing here is that they waited until 2 weeks ago to put them up. Most decorations go up in September. 

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Headshot

Naw...he's a temporary renter. There is nothing they can do to force him to pay this fee. Also, it isn't uncommon for Christmas decorations to go up about now...even in the Philippines. It's only the malls that get into the spirit in early September. The manger scene in the townhouse subdivision where we are temporarily living just went up yesterday. Luckily, they didn't ask for any donations.

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The few times we've been down for Christmas, we have got people coming up and asking for donations. My wife handles that.

 

What I enjoy the most are the 'minstrels' coming up to the door singing carols - if they are good, I get them to play a few more and give them a good 'donation'. Some just come over with rattles but I prefer the guys and girls who come over with guitars or other instruments. One time I got this guy carrying a huge harp and he played carols like an angel.

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SkyMan

It's only the malls that get into the spirit in early September.

Malls do not get in the spirit. They sell Christmas like stuff. Mall decorations and background music are nothing more than ugly billboards saying Buy this, Here, Now. It has nothing to do with Christmas.

 

If Scrooge (the crusty old tightwad at the beginning of the play) were a retailer, his shop would have had Christmas decorations and music.

Edited by SkyMan
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Headshot
Malls do not get in the spirit.

 

You know what I meant. They are the only ones that put up decorations and play Christmas music in September. True, it's only To get customers buying their products, but they still put on the "Christmas spirit" show.

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