Based on some personal conversations lately, several expats think they have a voice in Philippine politics and believe that the laws of the country should be geared toward them and not the Philippine citizens. That is not happening.
Many Filipinos do not take it kindly when foreigners poke fun or say inappropriate remarks about the people, their country and the Filipino Culture.
I have personally witnessed the behavior of a few foreigners in public that was so terrible, they were told that they should move back to their own country.
The Long Arm Of The Law
I recall one trip on PAL from San Francisco to Manila some time ago. A small group of Americans were running their mouths on the plane about what they intended to do with Filipinas once they got here. They were also making off hand remarks to the PAL flight attendants and bashing the culture. One of the male flight attendants told me those guys would not make it out of the airport in Manila but would be put on the next plane back to California. The Americans had a welcoming committee waiting on them at NAIA when they arrived. An American friend here in Bacolod told me a similar incident that happened on his PAL flight from LA to Manila with another group of foreigners on his flight. They were also sent back home from the airport in Manila.
Foreign actors and actresses have been black listed from entering the Philippines because of the degrading comments they made in public about the Philippines. Especially on Talk TV programs. These people forget that many Filipinos have emigrated to many countries around the world. Some take this type of bashing personally and they report the incident to the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs.
In a more recent incident, a foreigner posted scathing remarks about Filipinos, Filipino politicians and the Philippines on the Philippine Daily Inquirer. He said he was living in Angeles City. It got the attention of Ramon Tulfo in his column, On Target. He called the foreigner out by name, which was read by millions, including some Philippine government officials.
This is not the USA where there is freedom of speech to bash anyone that you choose and it can reach the level of being an actual crime here, not just a civil action.The law is the same for foreigners, as well as Philippine citizens. Libel and Slander are actually considered crimes in the Philippines.
Learn and Don’t Teach
The vast majority of Filipinos are warm, friendly and hospitable people. To be successful in the Philippines and to live in harmony, it is highly advised not to try teaching Filipinos how to do things the same as in your home country. Of course, I am not referring to situations if you are working as a supervisor and your job is to train Filipinos in a foreign company’s policy, procedures and employment standards in the Philippines. This is a totally different situation.
The Philippines is not trying to become the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada or any other country. Most Filipinos are proud of their country, heritage and culture, despite the problems and challenges. If you are asked, it is perfectly fine to explain how things are done where you come from. However, I have heard too many times, “In the USA, this is how it is done!” They then go on to explain very arrogantly how superior Americans are in comparison to the Filipino way of doing things. Wrong way to do things here. In fact, it can be dangerous. You should never embarrass or scold a Filipino in public.
It is actually fun learning the Filipino Culture in your new home country. It is a very vibrant culture and in my opinion, it is part of the adventure.You will be surprised what you will learn from Filipinos if you have an open mind.
We at RTTP want to you be successful in your new country and we want to help you transition as smoothly as possible. In most areas of the Philippines, you will be most warmly welcomed, being treated with respect and with fairness. However, there is a line you can cross. No one, including other foreigners, likes Ugly Foreigners in the Philippines. Unless they are also in that very same category and love bashing Filipinos.