Reblogging: First impressions of Philippines

Filipinos, check this out and be encouraged.

Many times I catch myself pointing out the flaws in the Pinoy psyche and in the Philippines, as a whole. I often remember and can relate to how a former colleague would say, “Ang hirap mo namang mahalin, Pilipinas!” (It’s so hard to love you, Philippines!”) especially when I see our lack of public discipline and our mass amnesia in regard to politics (i.e., we keep voting for the same people who rob us blind, violate our human rights and make a mockery of our justice system).

Then I encounter articles like this one, giving a totally different perspective of my country and my people. It’s like a ray of sunshine.

May this and globejam‘s other posts about the Philippines spread especially among us, Filipinos, that we may be challenged to live up to his view of us. Thank you, Sir.


traffic_manilaI had had no plans for a holiday, definitely not one to the Philippines. But destiny had other ideas and there I was flying into the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on a bright Wednesday morning.

As I leaned over my wife and peered through the aircraft window, I saw the Pasig river and the much blacker San Juan river winding their way through Metro Manila. What appeared to be tin-roofed tenements on both banks reminded me of the slums near the Cooum. The houses were tightly packed interspersed with patches of greenery. I could not help but think that Manila could very well be a twin of Chennai.

The airport turned out to be not much bigger, but cleaner and brighter. More like the Hyderabad airport than Chennai’s, though definitely not like Changi or Heathrow. The airport officials like their counterparts around the world were grim faced and…

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