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rainymike

Living in Pinoy Culture is Easy for Me

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arentol

Thanks for the post rainymike. After 7 years living here I can relate to much of what you wrote. I think you've effectively summarized the link between attitude and experience... if an expat comes here with the right attitude, then he/she will have a relatively positive experience.

 

Many Westerners I know are quite inflexible and not open to change (e.g., constantly getting angry because of the way things are done here). Those are the ones who usually don't last for the long-term; or, if they do, they are the embittered grouchy expats whose every utterance is often a long-winded complaint.

 

 

Cheers,

Aren

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mikewright

Nice post, rainymike. It's great that you have the ability to integrate into the local community, not always an easy thing to do, 

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tomaw

Thanks for the post rainymike. After 7 years living here I can relate to much of what you wrote. I think you've effectively summarized the link between attitude and experience... if an expat comes here with the right attitude, then he/she will have a relatively positive experience.

 

Many Westerners I know are quite inflexible and not open to change (e.g., constantly getting angry because of the way things are done here). Those are the ones who usually don't last for the long-term; or, if they do, they are the embittered grouchy expats whose every utterance is often a long-winded complaint.

 

 

Cheers,

Aren

I have no doubts that you are absolutely right. I don't expect the whiners to take me seriously though until I'm living there, but from what I've read they don't take the content expats that have been living there for years seriously either.
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rainymike

Nice post, rainymike. It's great that you have the ability to integrate into the local community, not always an easy thing to do, 

It isn't easy and took me a while to figure out. My partner has been key to opening the networks up. I've played a role in shaping what kind of networks we develop. I'd say it took a good year or two for the two of us to get lined up on the same page. But now that we are, it's much easier. 

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NOSOCALPINOY

Usually most often I read about foreigners trying to keep a low profile, but in this case it's refreshing to read and hear about foreigners who are in tuned within their Filipino community! 

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Sven

I think this is exceptionally good advice.

If I understand correctly - and I am a bit of a newbie myself - the Filipino culture (and maybe other Asian cultures) is not based on rules and defined procedures as much as Western cultures. Instead, the basis is relationships... respect, favours, give and take, that sort of thing.

If we can wrap our heads around this difference, we can succeed in and enjoy this place. But if we expect things to work like "back home" because they look a bit similar on the surface, we will be bitterly disappointed.

I am doing some of the same things as the OP - building relationships with locals in various roles - and time will show how this pans out.

I also believe learning the language is a natural part of this effort... so am taking classes to master it.

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Alan S

When I lived in the Philippines, or when I have been visiting, I always opt for the "low profile" approach.

Whilst I might (and do) make a few Filipino friends, as a single male, it is not so easy, and many (most) seem to think that you are an easy touch, or else want to sell you a female to keep you company.

 

( Not that I am averse to female company,but at my choosing.)

 

So, it slow profile fo rme.

 

But, were I married or in a relationship, then I can see the advantage of the strategy you propose.

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rainymike

 

 

Usually most often I read about foreigners trying to keep a low profile, but in this case it's refreshing to read and hear about foreigners who are in tuned within their Filipino community! 

 

I am more integrated, but my partner is still the lead. I'm kind of seen as my partner's silent husband, rather than she is the foreigners wife.

 

 

 

When I lived in the Philippines, or when I have been visiting, I always opt for the "low profile" approach. Whilst I might (and do) make a few Filipino friends, as a single male, it is not so easy, and many (most) seem to think that you are

 

I still consider myself low profile. I'm not out there shaking hands and kissing babies. At the right time and place, I'm there, showing face and supporting my family or strategically building relationships. But personality wise, I'm a low profile kind of person. For example, one of my boys is in a show or something today. My partner will take the kids and sit through the whole thing (3 hours). I'll do some errands like run to the bank and towards the end of the show, I'll show up, support the kids and smile at the friends, and take the family home. I'm not there rubbing elbows a whole lot.

 

 

 

If I understand correctly - and I am a bit of a newbie myself - the Filipino culture (and maybe other Asian cultures) is not based on rules and defined procedures as much as Western cultures. Instead, the basis is relationships... respect, favours, give and take, that sort of thing.

 

I think so. The Philippines is still a developing country and I think informal relationships and behaviors are more the norm than the rule. Anyway, in my life, the center of reality is the family. What helps the family best are small and local relationships that impact day to day living the most. Rubbing elbows with the president, mayor, or even school principal provides little return (at least at the present). I think the economy, society, politics, etc. depends a lot on those informal relationships.

 

And, I suppose that can be bad, because it easily leads to what the western mind perceives as favoritism, nepotism and corruption when carried into higher levels of government.

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Headshot

I am more integrated, but my partner is still the lead. I'm kind of seen as my partner's silent husband, rather than she is the foreigners wife.

 

Mike, do you speak Cebuano?

Edited by Headshot

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towboat72

well said mike  I have no doubt that you are doing the right things to get along here in the Philippines

 

I do pretty much the same thing and we are very happy,only thing I do different is I have  a lot of  friends beside locals.

 

I still need my b/s sessions with kanos

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rainymike

Mike, do you speak Cebuano?

 

Oddly enough, I can't speak any pinoy dialect. A few words here or there yes. I can watch pinoy tv and news and have a fair understanding of what's going on. Although if I were younger I'd probably spend the time to learn Tagalog. But I don't find it necessary. Almost everyone I know can speaks some level of English.

 

But if language skills are needed, I bring my partner along and let her handle it. Oddly enough, although she's competent at Cebuano, she struggles with Tagalog. Our kids can handle English, Tagalog, and Visayan.

 

I guess I'm following in the footsteps of my grandfather. He was a first generation immigrant who barely knew any English. Yet, he raised a family, worked, and retired in the US without ever going back home.

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Headshot

I figured that was the case when you said they called you a silent supportive husband. I tried to learn Cebuano, and even took lessons, but I'm afraid the language learning center in my brain has closed down for the duration. My wife gets tired of me asking, "What does this word mean?" when she has already told me several times.

Edited by Headshot
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NOSOCALPINOY

Living in a Pinoy culture is easy for me, because I'm a full blooded Pinoy by birth born in the Philippines to Pinoy parents, but I grew up in the U.S. since the age of 7. Have experience life here for almost a combined total of 30 yrs!

After all was said and done, our retirement lifestyle is pretty much a simple one living far from family, relatives and friends in a secluded quiet, safe and clean gated subdivision in the suburbs, because we value/savor our privacy, peace and quiet from the traditional Filipino way of life and I'm sure most you know what I mean by that! It's all about each to their own! Different strokes for different folks as I always say!     

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