In Support Of The Philippines
I was inspired to write this, my first submission to the website, by reading the submission of 18th March ’11 Years Faithful, Now With Mia Noi’.
My first thought was to write in just to say “what a great story”; for those who, like me, dip into the readers' submissions every now and again and are attracted mainly by the title (and thus might have missed it), I suggest you read it. I wish the writer of the submission the best of luck for all concerned – I think he is playing a dangerous game but he might just ‘pull it off’. I take on board Stick’s comment that the mia noi may try to change the status quo, but the way I read it she cannot believe her luck that he has entered her life; his relationship with her is a ‘dream come true’, so my immediate thought is that she, above all others, will do everything in her power NOT to change the way things are right now – but I am clearly making assumptions and I don’t have a crystal ball so Stick may well be right!
And then I thought of this interaction, between a Western guy and a local Isaan market lady who speaks no English, in the context of the long running Thailand vs. Philippines debate and thought that it might be worth me joining in. So this is my take and I look forward to seeing and reading what other people’s thoughts on this viewpoint might be.
Before wading into the fray, I think that it might be fair to clarify my position and potential bias. I have only been to Thailand (Bangkok) once and that was only for a 3-day stopover about 8 years ago. I enjoyed this brief visit very much and would like to visit again. So although I have very little experience of Thailand my only personal experience and views of the country are positive.
In comparison I have visited the Philippines 3 times and my view on this country is also positive. I have never been to Angeles and have only been to Manila, because it is the country’s main airport hub on the way to other parts of the country. I read mixed reports of both Angeles and Manila, on this website and elsewhere. What I would like to point out to those people who have experienced or heard about these 2 places and have reached a negative impression of the Philippines overall as a result, is that both Angeles and Manila are on one island, albeit the biggest, but the country is famously made up of 7,107 – if you were to visit one a day it would take you 20 years to visit them all!
There are some fabulous places to visit in the Philippines; even for those who only have the faintest of interest I would suggest you check out Bohol, famous for the Chocolate Hills and Tarsier monkeys – you will also find there lovely unspoilt and very affordable beach resorts and lovely people too. I visited a small island called Camiguin last year – please see the 2 photos attached; again beautiful beaches and locations, very affordable (ridiculously cheap) resorts and lovely people. I hope to visit the island of Palawan later this year and recommend people check that one out too.
So this is my main point: What has happened to the writer with his new mia noi would probably not have happened if he hadn’t been living in Thailand from a young age and learned the language – how would a regular Western guy, say in his late 50s like me, have been able to come to the Land of Smiles and have met such an honest genuine lady from the countryside and then been able to strike up such a relationship without them being able to talk to one another? The answer is surely that HE WOULDN’T – he would have probably ended up with a bar girl or an ex bar girl, on the probability that they might have been the only girls out ‘in the sticks’ who spoke English. This is not having a go at bargirls (or ex-bargirls) but one big problem for me with Thailand is the huge language barrier that prevents or at least limits lots of honest people from having such honest conversations.
So if there was ever a reason for the Philippines to get a big tick in the box, surely this one is it – honest people, meaning decent Western guys and decent local women can potentially have honest conversations in the Philippines because English is pretty much universally spoken. I’m not for one minute suggesting that Western guys should go in to ‘the sticks’ and look for poor, honest girls in the Philippines, but surely there is more chance of such a relationship to occur if people can actually speak to each other?
Just a final thought before I go – where else in the world but on the Stickman website would I have possibly come across such a story and been able to respond to it in this way? Stick, your website is so good that it mustn’t be allowed to just wither and die! I know you have a life to lead and need to move on, but your website is so unique, so valuable that surely there must be a way that both you and your ‘baby’ can continue to survive and thrive? To all the regular readers, and there must be thousands right now, I ask people to brainstorm this one and come up with some sort of solution before it is too late – the story I am referring to and the way it inspired me SUGGESTS TO ME THAT IT ISN’T TOO LATE! I hope I will generate some thoughts on this and look forward to a response.