Jose Carillo's Forum


The Lounge is the newly expanded free-talk section of the Forum. You can post anything here about any topic outside English grammar and usage. Wide-ranging discussions and debates will be allowed in the Lounge subject only to the condition that the subjects are not unlawful, obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, and threatening. As in the Forum’s sections on English grammar and usage, we expect discussants to keep the Lounge a vibrant venue for relevant, healthy, and civilized discussions, not impertinent, angry, or violent ones.

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Oodles of reasons to love (or hate) the Philippines!

U.S.-based Lizza Baua e-mailed me this morning (April 4, 2011) a copy of this love-hate piece about the Philippines:


It is the only place on earth where...

1.  Every street has a basketball court.

2.  Even doctors, lawyers and engineers are unemployed.

3.  Doctors study to become nurses for employment abroad.

4.  Students pay more money than they will earn afterwards.

5.  School is considered the second home and the mall considered the third.

6.  Call-center employees earn more money than teachers and nurses.

7.  Everyone has his personal ghost story and superstition.

8.  Mountains like Makiling and Banahaw are considered holy places.

9.  Everything can be forged.

10. All kinds of animals are edible.

11. Starbucks coffee is more expensive than gas.

12. Driving 4 kms can take as much as four hours.

13. Flyovers bring you from the freeway to the side streets.

14. Crossing the street involves running for your dear life.

15. The personal computer is mainly used for games and Friendster and Facebook.

16. Where colonial mentality is dishonestly denied!

17. Where 4 a.m. is not even considered bedtime yet.

18. People can pay to defy the law.

19. Everything and everyone is spoofed.

20. Where even the poverty-stricken get to wear Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger (peke)!

21. The honking of car horns is a way of life.

22. Being called a bum is never offensive.

23. Floodwaters take up more than 90 percent of the streets during the rainy season.

24. Where everyone has a relative abroad who keeps them alive.

25. Where wearing your national colors make you baduy.

26. Where even the poverty-stricken have the latest cell phones. (GSM-galing sa magnanakaw)

27. Where insurance does not work.

28. Where water can only be classified as tap and dirty.

29. Clean water is for sale (35 pesos per gallon).

30. Where the government makes the people pray for miracles. (Amen to that!)

31. Where University of the Philippines is where all the weird people go.

32. Ateneo is where all the nerds go.

33. La Salle is where all the Filipino Chinese go.

34. College of Saint Benilde is where all the stupid Filipino Chinese go and;

35. University of Asia and the Pacific is where all the irrelevantly rich people go.

36. Fast food is a diet meal.

37. Traffic signs are merely suggestions, not regulations.

38. Where being mugged is normal and it happens to everyone.

39. Rodents are normal house pets.

40. The definition of traffic is the "non-movement" of vehicles.

41. Where the fighter planes of the 1940s are used for military engagements and;

42. The new fighter planes are displayed in museums.

43. Where alcohol and cigarettes are a necessity, and where the lottery is a commodity.

44. Where soap operas tell the realities of life and where the news provides the drama.

45. Where actors make the rules and where politicians provide the entertainment.

46. Where people can get away with stealing trillions of pesos but not a thousand.

47. Where being an hour late is still considered punctual (Grabe talaga 'to!)

48. Where the squatters have more to complain (even if they do not pay their tax) than those employed who have their tax automatically deducted from their salaries.

49. For the many Filipinos, to be in politics is a dream to get rich quick.

50. Graft and corruption in the government are accepted facts of life.

51. Pag-pag (recycled leftovers) is in a poor man's menu.

52. The politicians and big shots are always in the front seats everywhere, even in church.

53. The birthday celebrant is the one treating everybody.

54. And where everyone wants to leave the country!


1.    The sign in a flower shop in Diliman called "Petal Attraction".

3.   A 24-hour restaurant called "Doris Day & Night"

4.   Barber shop called "Felix The Cut";

5.    A bakery named "Bread Pitt"

6.   Fast-food place selling "maruya" (banana fritters) called "Maruya Carey".

7.   Then, there is "Christopher Plumbing"

8.   A boutique called "The Way We Wear"

9.   A video rental shop called "Leon King Video Rental"

10. A restaurant in Cainta district of Rizal called"Caintacky Fried Chicken"

11. A local burger restaurant called "Mang Donald's"(San Fdo, La Union )

12. A doughnut shop called "MacDonuts"

13. A shop selling "lumpia" (egg roll) in Makati called "Wrap and Roll"

14. And two butcher shops called " Meating Place and Meatropolis" .

Smart travelers can decipher what may look like baffling signs to unaccustomed foreigners by simply sounding out the "Taglish" (The Philippine version of English words spelled and pronounced with a heavy Filipino accent) such as:

15. At a restaurant menu in Cebu :
“We hab sopdrink in can an in batol?” [Translation: We have soft drinks in can and in bottle].

16. Then, there is a sewing accessories shop called Bids And Pises -
[translation: Beads and Pieces  --or-- Bits and Pieces]

There are also many signs with either badly chosen or misspelled words but they are usually so entertaining that it would be a mistake to “correct” them, like...

17. In a restaurant in Baguio City, the “summer capital” of the Philippines :  
Wanted: Boy Waitress

18. On a highway in Pampanga:
We Make Modern Antique Furniture

19. On the window of a photography shop in Cabanatuan :
We Shoot You While You Wait

20. And on the glass front of a cafe in Panay Avenue in Manila:
Wanted: Waiter, Cashier, Washier

Some of the notices can even give a wrong impression, like:

21. A shoe store in Pangasinan which has a sign saying:
We Sell Imported Robber Shoes (These could be the “sneakiest” sneakers);

22. A rental property sign in Jaro reads:
House for Rent, Fully Furnaced (It must really be hot inside)!

23. A laundry place in Manila called: Cinnabon.

24. A funeral establishment in Quezon City: Mabuhay Funeral Services.

25. City in southern Philippines that said:  Adults: 1 peso; Child: 50 centavos; Cadavers: fare subject to negotiation.

26. European tourists may also be intrigued to discover two  competing shops selling hopia (a Chinese pastry) called Holland Hopia and  Poland Hopia that are owned and operated by two  local Chinese entrepreneurs, Mr. Ho and Mr. Po, respectively (believe it or not)!

27. Some folks also "creatively" redesign English to be more efficient. The creative confusion between language and culture leads to more than just simple unintentional errors in syntax, but in the adoption of new words, says reader Robert Goodfellow who came across a sign...House  Fersallarend' (House for sale or rent). Why use five words when two will do?

28. According to a Manila businessman, Tonyboy Ongsiako, there is so much wit in the Philippines. Why? Because we are in a country where a good sense of humor is needed to survive. We have a 24-hour comedy show here called the government and a huge reserve of comedians made up mostly of politicians and bad actors

29. Another fast food restaurant in Manila called King Burger using the same logo (crown) as Burger King.

Now I ask you, where else in the world would one want to live?

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