Hey Joe, what’s your problem? Why are foreigners in the Philippines so bitter?

bitter expats

As I touched on in an earlier column, there is nothing that pisses me off more than a bitter expats with a sense of entitlement.

When you move to the Philippines, or to anywhere, you are surrounded by people who have an entirely different experience of life than yours. That does not make their experience of life any less real nor any less valid.

These bitter expats who jump up and complain about the country, then subsequently bitch about the fact that the rest of us do our level best to direct them to the airport. All I can say is, “what the hell?”. Here is the reality of the situation. If you move here and you did not know what you were getting yourself into, it’s your fault. If you came here to change the environment you chose to move to, you’re fighting a losing battle.

hate the philippines

I was once given some extremely good advice. Asia will change you before you change Asia.

The constant complainers

The fact is, the Philippines isn’t the first part of this region I’ve lived in, and won’t be the last. People who come here and adopt the mantle of the constant complainer annoy me beyond measure. Why? They quite simply have no context and most of them don’t know what they’re talking about.

If life was so good at the point of origin, I’d ask them a simple question. That question would be, why did they come? The Philippines (and many other countries in Asia) have bigger problems than a pack of washed up old pensioners chasing teenage brides.

They come here though, an unstoppable tide of men who can’t get laid where they’re from. A tide of men who can’t even pay their own rent. Then they complain about it.

The endless social rants attacking the attitudes of local women have had me personally to the stage of frustration that I left groups and forums that were actually useful in many other ways.

It reached the stage that deciphering any useful signal from the streams of noise was quite simply impossible. The endless jokes about “Pinoy Pride” on expatriate social interaction are equally as annoying. Then, of course, if you really want to set one of these retarded idiots in motion – suggest he leave.

Why become a bitter expat?

The question that always lingers in my mind is, why? Why would you leave somewhere which is apparently so much better than the place you chose to relocate to? Did you do your research before you came? Know anything at all about the country? Are you that much of a backward hick that you didn’t realize that you were moving to a developing nation and not to Pleasantville, USA?
There seems to be an almost inherent tendency among the socially vocal portion of the expatriate community to blame the Philippines if they get ripped off, end up broken hearted or some other misfortune befalls them.
Many of the bitter expats here who do like to make a lot of noise seem to feel that this is the only country in the world that has issues with corruption, poverty and drug use.
Even more disappointing is the fact that if someone does put their hand up and dare to say that developing countries, by their very nature, develop. Not the Philippines they cry, “this place will never change!”

The only thing that will never change is the attitude of backward thinking twerps with no money. These bitter expats somehow feel that they are elevated above the locals in their adopted country. They spend their entire lives complaining about the place.

A vocal minority

Perhaps the reason that they don’t get more opposition is because those of us who are getting on with their lives, making a positive economic and social impact on our communities are too busy to sit, poised over a keyboard just waiting for someone whom we have never met to say something positive about the place so we can shoot them down.  

There are even entire websites dedicated to the “Failippines”. I won’t name them but anyone who has been here for any length of time just had the name of one very well known blog site come to mind I’m sure.

If one actually goes to some of these sites, where people hide behind false names and issue litanies of complaint and reads the about us section they will find phrases like “You can’t help but have a feeling of superiority.” That sums it all up for me. Actually, you can, it’s called being a rational human being.

Of course each and every coin has two sides and I’d be a bit of a hypocrite if I left the narrative there.

On the other side of the coin are people who look at the country through rose-tinted glasses. People who outright refuse to acknowledge any of the problems that the Philippines faces. You’ll often see comments from them on this site when we run something that paints the country in any but the most positive light.

This is also a very dangerous thing. In fact, these people are at least partially responsible for the whingers being here in in the first place.

Credit where it is due

Then there are the rest of us, who didn’t abandon all hope or common sense when we boarded our flights. I am quite prepared to criticise the country if I feel that criticism is not baseless. I am also quite prepared to give the country credit where credit is due.

I’ve been robbed, I’ve been stolen from, I’ve lost money, I’ve been ripped off. Yep, all of that has happened to me in the Philippines. It has also happened to me in many other countries.

I’ve even had a broken heart and had problems with my in-laws. That is something that has never happened to me here. Those problems are more rife (and more expensive) when they happen in “developed countries”.

One thing that I have never done, nor ever will do, is blame an entire population, nation, community, gender, race, nationality or creed for any of these calamities. I instead put the blame exactly where it belongs – squarely upon my own shoulders.

So the next time you feel like taking a potshot at a country that has opened its doors to you, maybe think twice.

The vast majority of people I know love the place, accept it has problems, get over it and move on.

They’re also a whole lot happier than those bitter expats who spend their life complaining about the place.

Follow our Facebook page for daily updates