Filipino pride, recently restored by an apology from US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. after he said 40 percent of male tourists come to the country for sex, may soon be bruised again once the Philippine online hive mind notices this newest (I guess) assault on our national integrity.
Travel blogger QuatermainesWorld says Manila “has got to be the disgrace of South-east Asia” because of the crappy airport, the “AWFUL” traffic, and our general poverty.
Mr. Quatermaine (I assume) was here for something or other at the Asian Development Bank, which has its headquarters in this city. That, he says, is ironic since the Philippines has “the WORST development history of any of the ASEAN countries.”
“Manila, where the intelligentsia sneer at their Asian brothers and sisters for their lack of English, is beaten hands down even by little Phnom Penh and left standing by every other mega-city in the region,” he says.
But–you might say–surely our institutional shortcomings are more than compensated for by our warm and welcoming people?
That is so, Mr. Quatermaine says, at least it is true among those Filipinos still stuck here:
Look: people will say the Filipino people are nice, and indeed they are polite – we Brits might say “smarmy” – obsequious or ingratiating are maybe less pleasant words. But they do try. That does take the edge off the sheer misery of a crumbling, filthy, depressing city and an economy that exists only on the remittances of the smart ones who have left.
But, but, surely…there are nice things about the Philippines? And there are, in fact, everything “Not Manila” about the Philippines is great, he says.
“My suggestion if you want to see the Philippines: get through Manila as quickly as you can, it has nothing to recommend it. Go out to the islands, Cebu, Mindanao, up to the cool of Bagio and see the people in the countryside and some of the spectacular scenery. That’s probably worth the trip. Otherwise pick almost anywhere else in Asia and you’ll get a better deal,” he says.
And all this is true. We have said pretty much the same thing among friends and family, but we might as well hunker down, get out our umbrellas and raincoats. Now that a foreigner has said it, in their typical imperialistic, racist, Anglo-centric manner, can a shitstorm be far behind?
Oh, and as a final kick at the hornet’s nest: “P.S. No pictures because there’s nothing worth photographing in Manila, it’s drab and dirty.”