My Spouse decided I needed a trip to the Philippines. I found out what a true Hobbit I was. I am very fond of cool weather, warm bathing water, and food that doesn’t cause me stomach upset. Though she and many others did their best to make me comfortable….
The Philippines is a country of complex concerns. Without really knowing the political and social situations I have made some observations that may truly be in error. I was struck by the horrific level of poverty that so many individuals live in. The huge disparity in the distribution of wealth. So many areas in towns we visited lived in desperation while the affluent lived in gated and guarded communities. The starting pay for workers near Manila was P300 pesos per day or less than 7.00 USD. Yet when going to shopping malls and restaurants where the affluent shopped, I found prices little different from the US. When going anywhere in the Philippines you are met at the entrance by private armed security and must pass through metal detectors and/or pat-down: men to one side, women to the other. Everywhere there are gates and fences, bars and screens cover windows, and glass is imbedded in courtyard walls. Yet the people were friendly and polite. The Philippines is touted as a place to retire, where you can get affordable live in servants. You just need to put blinders on to the poverty and buy into not paying a fair wage. Getting to Boracacy with its beautiful white coral sand beaches you still need to pass through poverty to reach the resorts and hotels. And, at night you need to be careful when walking along the Beach Walk to keep from stepping on the children of the poor that are there to beg from tourists. I hope this is not in our American future.
I did capture some interesting images of places we visited. Hopefully, I have not strained the dignity that these people deserve. Ansaldo49