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About relcarve25

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    Writing, Science, Philippines (especially barrio life.)Travel, Walking, Reading, Computer Graphics, Computer maintenance.

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  1. Thanks to everyone who has contributed advice to my problem. I have to agree with the overall consensus that we should just settle up and move on. Fortunately we have a good British friend who lives in Eastland and we have asked him if he will contact the Manager and find out what is, or isn't possible. Like people have said speed is of the essence before they can screw us for even more. As I originally posted it's basically our own fault for taking our eye off the ball. If our friend can't help my wife will just have to go there and sort it out. I suppose I am mainly pi**ed off because they are a bunch of ruthless sods who tried hard not to give us our legal Title, lied to us and gave us a lot of heartache which was NOT of our making. We fought a long hard battle for a year to get these things done and actually WON. Now we've given them the chance to get revenge!- LEARN and MOVE ON! I understand those of you who say that in the US at least such ruthless fines are commonplace. I guess I am just of an age and background which looks at the enormous fine and sees it as totally disproportionate to the offense. Silly me! This is the world of naked Capitalism and greed. Chris McG.
  2. Thanks for the input,Pittman- including the 'cough, cough' which might not be advisable. You mention Philippine Legal Websites- could you point me to a good one? I really need to know if the Developer has the legal right to extort money in this way. (I do know that that is what lawyers the world over do most of the time.) Thanks. C.McG.
  3. Hi, and a Happy Xmas to the Forum. I've been occupied with many things for a few months and so have let posting on the forum slip. However, my wife and I have fallen into a Philippine 'Black Hole' situation which I'm sure has trapped many other people before who are living in subdivisions. In spite of many years experience with the Philippines I 'took my eye off the ball' and have suddenly woken up to a potentially enormous problem. I fully acknowledge that the situation I am going to describe is of my own making and that you could just say 'what an idiot,' but we are all humans and therefore imperfect. I would REALLY appreciate any advice from forum members who have knowledge and/or experience in this area. My wife and I bought a house in a subdivision called Eastlands four years ago. It is in Liloan, just north of Consolation in Cebu. We had many problems with the Developer- one of the numerous Tan families of Chinese extraction. In short they made many promises which turned out to be 'hot air' and we didn't make ourselves popular by hounding them until they finally delivered our 'Title' and services. The house is a reasonably sized modern one and we have maintained it to a high standard. We lived there for 4 years until deciding to return to the UK to reoccupy our house there- mainly to ensure a good education for our son. We also found the usual problems experienced by foreigners trying to live in proximity to Filipino neighbours and at the time were quite pleased to get a break from the utter chaos which is the Philippines. So what is your problem, I hear people patient enough to have read this preamble say? It is this..... When we returned to the UK we decided not to allow family to live in our house because they would have been unable to maintain it and pay for the services. We know this from previous experience. Like all subdivisions there is a monthly 'Service Charge' which we had to sign up to at the time. Some of the services we got were inadequate or didn't exist. When we left we had been nearly assaulted by a Filipino family across the road who incited their relatives to form a sort of 'lynch mob' because we finally complained about the dreadful noise. So when we went we didn't tell the Subdivision Management that we were leaving and didn't make any arrangement about the 'Service Fee.' (I KNOW- STUPID!-duh!) Frankly we were 'pissed' off with Eastland and not sure when we would be coming back from the UK, if at all. We naively just said that if we decided not to return we would rent out the house or sell it and this would solve any money problems. We also knew that many other houses, mostly with foreigner marriage owners, were being left empty and that many of these people weren't paying any fees to the subdivision. This is a 'troubled' subdivision, (aren't they all?) The 'Residents Association' never really worked and a succession of Chairmen stole subscription money and buggered off. As far as we know it doesn't function now and Eastlands still controls everything. Recently my wife's sister, who occasionally visits the house to cut the grass, told us that she had found an 'enormous' bill from Eastlands just lying around outside the house on the patio. It was not fully itemised and simply said that we owed Eastlands some 150,000 pesos for unpaid Service charges. (Increasing at a ludicrously high amount every month.) They are charging us about 550 pesos per month but are adding on increasingly huge amounts of penalties (which are not itemised or explained in any way.) They have made no attempt to contact us in the UK although they could easily do so if they wanted. I would like to mention that we have never been sent any bills or information directly and that presumably the local management has been simply writing 'tatty' bills, which are not itemised or explained properly, and stuffing them through our fence every month for the wind and rain to destroy. We have certainly never seen one before. Finally alerted to this situation we looked at our Bills of Sale and Subdivision details and discovered the inevitable 'Penalty Clause' section. It seems that they are entitled?? to levy a penalty of up to 1000 pesos for any unpaid bill, on top of the original monthly fee. But here's the really nasty bit. They seem to say that they have also the right to charge an additional 5% of the total bill every month it is unpaid at a compound interest rate!!! Presumably they are simply applying this every month and throwing the bill at our house without notifying us at all as to the situation. We have been away for about 4 years now and as I said the bill is now 150,000 pesos plus and rising inexorably. It is rapidly approaching an amount we cannot afford to pay. PLEASE can anyone with knowledge, or experience of this give us any information.? Obviously we are at fault for not arranging to pay the Service Charge when we left. I would also accept that we have to pay the 550 pesos per month and some penalty. I would even accept the extortionate extra 1000 peso per month as a penalty- but this insane compound interest is the huge problem. Do we have ANY rights in Philippine Law? Does the Subdivision owner have the right to do this under Philippine Civil Law? Did he have a legal obligation to ensure that we were aware of this potential financial black hole? He could have contacted us here in the UK if he wanted to. Does he have to ensure that we receive his bills and not just literally throw them at our empty house. There is also the Philippine corruption problem of how to ensure that any money we decide to pay will reach the proper destination and the matter is closed. We are not rich and will struggle to pay this in full if we have to. I don't want to open us up to another Lawyer black hole which is unthinkable. Any thoughts, please??? Chris McG.
  4. I don't want to seem to be too unsympathetic to your 'tale of woe', but to be honest your experiences remind me of the famous quotation of Oscar Wilde. To paraphrase he said... "To lose one parent may be unfortunate but to lose two is just careless!" Perhaps this could be modified to; "To lose one wife may be unfortunate- and to lose two could be careless- but to lose 3 is a reason for deep personal reflection about ones suitability for marriage. Chris McG.
  5. You seem to be assuming that your 'Elite' schools will normally adopt a different method of teaching which you call the 'Inquiry' technique. In an earlier post you define this approach as 'teaching students to think,' as opposed to a basic 'knowledge' based one which is mainly imparting information in a more formal way. I would not agree with this assumption which seems to imply that so called 'Elitist' schools are superior to those which the great majority of pupils have to go to because of the superior pedagogical approach of the former. I was sent to an Elite school in N. Ireland by my parents- I have also taught in Elite schools in England and Africa and have visited some such schools in the Philippines. Elite schools exist- and have always existed- because the rich, powerful and influential people in a country do not want their offspring to mix any more than necessary with the rest of us 'plebs.' They want their children to mix with the children of people similar to themselves so that they become familiar with this level of society and are likely to develop friendships and contacts with people who can further their careers later on. From my personal experience very many of these children, privileged though they may be in many ways,do not have a monopoly on intelligence. Indeed many of them are pretty limited in their intellectual potential. This is of lesser importance than other factors because of their parent's influence.It doesn't necessarily follow that they will be expected to problem solve or think logically any more than State School pupils. Most of the teachers in my Elite School experience did not use any markedly different approach to teaching than their State School peers. Both types of schools were a mixture of teachers who were 'chalk and talk' proponents, and those whom we would probably agree were better teachers because they tried to encourage students to analyse and think. Where 'Elite Schools' score highly is that they invariably have superior resources and facilities at their disposal (which you acknowledge)- together with the ability to 'cherry pick' who they think are the best teachers, for whatever reason. I am also surprised that you believe that parents are able to supplement the education of their children by filling the 50% ? deficit which you think many accredited schools will leave their students with. After nearly 40 years of teaching, and talking to 10's of thousands of parents from all backgrounds, I can truly say that I have met few who could, or would be willing to try to fill this deficit. As for the Philippine advantage that there are many suitable teachers seeking tutorial work who can do this job for the parents- I'm not so sure about that. Don't forget that the vast majority of these teachers were educated and trained in the 'Knowledge' based system you do not espouse. As Thomas has said it is very hard for such staff to change their ways. They work very hard, and for long hours, in their 'day jobs' and are unlikely to have the necessary time, energy or desire to change for a little extra salary. Those few that are already trained in the 'Inquiry' approach will hardly have the extra time to devote to tutoring. Chris McG.
  6. In Denmark it excist an excelent MIX of students lead discovery and adjusting to the national school plan, so they suit to switch to other schools between years.It's a small school idea, where they let 1-6 graders go together, the older assist the younger volontaringly. 1. A period starts with a teacher read a novel for the whole school. 2. Then the students tell what they got courious to learn. 3. The teachers chose between these ideas, which of them suit best to the national school plan. ONLY allowed to chose ampng ideas from the students. 4. The chosen ideas are adjusted to suit each age. 5. The students get information what's during that period. 6. Each student decide SELF what order they want to do things and how much time to spend on each part. 7. In end of the period each student give "grades" at THEMSELF. (Type: This I did good, but this part I didn't made any good. I did the mistake to spend to litle time at it.) And this is made by themselfes by 1st graders too! It would be expected at least the youngest would want to drawing and such first, but no one did! Almost all went to library first, because as one of the small kids explained: "Because otherwice I will not know how to do the other things" ! Bohnus: No bullying in the school ! Hi Thomas!- I've been very busy for a few weeks and have just noticed your input, and that of J.J. Reyes. As always you can put an interesting perspective on a topic- a mixture of Swedish culture and relevant observation. I'm familiar with some of the 'Discovery' teaching methods and must admit that, when I was a young and enthusiastic advocate of attempting new approaches and methodology to the pedagogical process, I strongly approved of such methodology. Now that I'm much, much, 'longer in the tooth,' and have been personally involved in trying to implement many innovative approaches to learning, I find myself to be pretty cynical in my attitude to such changes. You see the one thing which has always struck me with the Montessori or Discovery type of teaching is the degree of 'idealism' involved- and indeed the extreme amount of commitment required on the part of the teachers. Whilst in theory such teaching can, and maybe sometimes does, involve the pupils in superior learning and creative thinking it always comes back to several main factors; Such teaching requires enormous levels of resourcing and equipping of the school/institution. Not only is this far too expensive for the majority of countries to try to implement on any large scale, but the 'management' of these resources and facilities requires extensive training and the learning of many new skills on the part of the staff. It is easy to say that this is not true and that all you need is a few books, computers and odds and ends but I would challenge anyone to try to do this successfully, and experience the process as I have, in order to understand my reasoning. In most countries the majority of existing teachers, and those newly in training, are not equipped for such approaches. It requires a complete overthrow of almost everything they have been trained to do. It requires a high degree of commitment on the part of both tutors and teachers. Teachers have such busy and pressured lives, and are locked into their own country's pedagogical dynamic so completely, that they have little motivation or energy to experiment with such ideas. They are locked into a never ending cycle of 'reinventing the wheel' and doing the bidding of politicians who know little about education and are only too willing to sacrifice teacher experience and morale for their own short term political expediency. (I did admit to being 'CYNICAL.') :mocking: In countries like the Philippines there are many people who want to set up private schools as ways to make money. It can be an ideal situation for concerned parents to be 'ripped off' by ignorant, 'negosio' orientated people, with no concern for providing quality education or value for money. Because parents are so concerned about the generally poor quality of schooling available to their offspring they are often only too willing to let themselves be exploited because they 'believe' what they are told by the school's owners. So called 'International Schools' and 'Montessori' schools are often examples of this. There probably are some really good 'Montessori' schools in the world but I very much doubt if you will find one in the Philippines! Sooner or later the pupils are going to have to try to fit into the admittedly imperfect world of Business-which you know about, Thomas-and the international requirement for widely recognised, and pretty educationally conventional, examinations. The longer a pupil is kept from integrating into this 'real world,' the more difficult it is for them to fit in later on. I'm not saying that it cannot be done- but I do not believe that in today's world it is possible for the vast majority of students. Chris McG.
  7. I discovered MY noise 'Achilles Heel' a few years ago in the UK. We had just moved into a new house in an estate and the construction company had installed alarms on all the houses. Ours was a box mounted high up on a wall- not easy to access. Not long afterwards I was in the middle of teaching a class at my school when a message was relayed to me saying that my wife had telephoned and that there was an emergency at home. Naturally I dropped everything and got a fellow teacher to cover my class. I drove home like crazy and as I neared our house I could hear an alarm blaring at full volume. My wife was waiting outside, very upset, and said there had been a power cut and the alarm had gone off. She couldn't find where to turn it off. I went to the control in the house and was unable to turn it off too. Turning off the electricity had no effect. By now there were lots of passers by and neighbours who were laughing and obviously thinking that we were idiots, and why didn't we turn the dreadful noise off. I found the name of the alarm company and telephoned them- they said the power cut had triggered the alarm but it couldn't be turned off as it operated on an internal battery. In dismay I 'screamed' at them above the noise--"So what the Hell can I do?" Their answer was - "wait for the battery to run down!" Now I must have 'flipped'- the noise had penetrated my brain and I couldn't stand it any longer. I grabbed a large hammer from my toolbox and ran upstairs. Hanging by one hand from an upstairs window I could just reach the alarm box- I smashed it and smashed it until it finally gave in, the noise reduced to a 'whimper' and the remains of the box dropped down to the ground below. Not content with this I followed it outside and continued to beat it with my hammer, swearing like a real trooper, until it was totally destroyed and in tiny pieces. Upon returning indoors I found my wife cowering in the cupboard under the stairs, afraid to come out in case I set on her with the hammer. Now I'm really a very patient, mild mannered and totally non violent person, but the alarm had found my weakness. From that time on I have never used an alarm of any sort and run a mile in the opposite direction if I hear one go off. Chris McG.
  8. My wife suggests that the best answer to this problem is to find an area with frequent 'brownouts.' Spoilt for choice I suspect? :rolleyes: Chris McG.
  9. Forgive me if this topic has already been covered recently- I simply don't have time to read all the Archives. Most of the posts in the Culture section seem to be about us foreigners scratching our heads, wringing our hands and saying- "WHY DO THEY DO IT?" ('THEY' of course being Filipinos.) Given that it is obvious that our partners and friends in the Philippines do and say many things that we cannot easily comprehend- perhaps we should also accept that Philippine people also find 'US' incomprehensible, irritating or downright offensive at times :bash: because of the way we think and behave. It might benefit all of us to find out a little bit more about how we foreigners 'get up the noses' of Filipinos. :hystery: Let me hastily add here that of course I am only talking 'IN GENERAL.' I'm sure nobody would want to 'slag off' individual or named people in a public forum like this. If you do post please keep it 'non personal.' I'm NOT trying to start this topic to be controversial or confrontational- I would genuinely like to hear more about what Filipinos REALLY think and feel from their foreigner encounters. Filipinos are usually very polite, and try not to offend foreigners openly, however- what goes on in their minds may be a very different thing. :1 (103): As an example, from my observations over the years, I think that many Filipinos find foreigners like me 'makulit' (thinking you are always right about things.) They also think that we are often too argumentative and thus 'rude,' and that we 'complain' too much. What about it, anyone??? Chris McG.
  10. While there are many funny sides to noise in the Philippines and other countries it perhaps shouldn't be forgotten that the undoubted problem can. and does, cause multiple HEALTH issues. Also the TYPE OF NOISE is very important as some kinds of noise are far more intrusive to the human brain than others. We probably all know that if you live or work in a noisy factory type of environment you can actually adapt to that noise, and your brain filters it out after a time. But it is a scientifically proven fact that the noise of a 'crying baby', human or otherwise, cannot be ignored by most normal people. Our brains are genetically 'hotwired' to notice and respond physically to this noise. Of course, as humans, we notice human baby crying most but the noises of some other animals in distress- e.g. dogs and cats- can also affect us. The huge amount of cruelty to dogs, cats and pigs etc. in the Philippines creates regular noise which is distressing to us and affects us. But don't take my word for it- below are just a few abstracts from reputable scientific sites about noise and health issues: The effects of sound don’t stop with the ears. Non auditory effects of noise exposure are those effects that don’t cause hearing loss but still can be measured, such as elevated blood pressure, loss of sleep, increased heart rate, cardiovascular constriction, laboured breathing, and changes in brain chemistry. According to the WHO Guidelines for Community Noise, “these health effects, in turn, can lead to social handicap, reduced productivity, decreased performance in learning, absenteeism in the workplace and school, increased drug use, and accidents. Other human and animal studies also have linked noise exposure to chronic changes in blood pressure and heart rate. For example, in the July–August 2002 issue of the Archives of Environmental Health, a team of government and university researchers concluded that exposure to sound “acts as a stressor—activating physiological mechanisms that over time can produce adverse health effects. Although all the effects and mechanisms are not elucidated, noise may elevate systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate, thus producing both acute and chronic health effects.” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Roadway noise is a major source of exposure, particularly from tires Noise health effects are the health consequences of elevated sound levels. Elevated workplace or other noise can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance, and sleep disturbance. Changes in the immune system and birth defects have been attributed to noise exposure.[1] Just a thought- when you consider that almost every adult filipino that you come across seems to end up with high blood pressure, often at quite an early age, it makes you wonder if noise is one of the contributory factors to this prevalent condition? Chris McG.
  11. My God! - This is certainly a great topic. I went to bed in the UK last night at nearly midnight- woke up 6 hours later and there are 5 pages of posts! As far as living 3000 metres up a mountain is concerned I'm afraid there is NO ESCAPE from the dreaded noise. Our house in Leyte is located high up a mountain, and nearly one mile from the local Barangay. There is a deep valley between our nearest neighbours, who have a small nipa hut located on the other side of the valley. Blissful peace until they wake at 4.00 AM and turn on their music full volume. The air is crystal clear and pollution free but the noise travels as if they were just next door! You cannot sleep through it. In Cebu, in our subdivision house, my wife and I almost started a riot/lynching. The subdivision isn't a posh one and there is an almost equal mix of quite nice new houses and filipinos living in small bungalows from a previous housing development which was taken over.. Our neighbours just across the road have numerous children- some of whom are now teenagers. They suddenly acquired a gigantic speaker system and started playing their music at top volume most of the day and early evening. After several months of this ,(when we just put in ear plugs and tried to ignore it,) we finally cracked. They held a large family party- full volume noise and drunks everywhere- no signs of stopping and we couldn't stand it any more. My wife and I went up to the subdivision office and talked to the person on duty, pointing out that the neighbours were infringing the subdivision rules. About 5 minutes after we returned home we heard shouting and screaming from across the road. We cautiously went outside and were confronted with what I can only describe as a 'lynch mob' of drunks- male and female- screaming abuse and racist hatred at us. Some men started trying to climb over our fence to get at us. Our young son was terrified. and so were we. I have never encountered so much hatred as I saw in the eyes of some of those people who of course were screaming all sorts of threats. It was impossible to reason with the mob and we feared the worst. Fortunately someone had gone to alert the guards who arrived carrying shotguns.. This seemed to restore some sanity to the mob who finally staggered back across the road to continue drinking. Days later when I finally managed to speak to the neighbours I only got sullen resentment and not an ounce of contrition for inciting a mob which nearly resulted in loss of life. Sorry!- you must be joking. So just a warning about what noise can do. Chris McG.
  12. I think you're 'spot on' there. Filipinos are definitely 'people centred' compared with most of us foreigners. My wife says that herself and it is very noticeable that everything automatically becomes focussed on people, family etc, rather than events or environments. They are also very prone to taking everything that is said as a personal comment directed at them. It is easy to dismiss this attitude as simple arrogance, and a misplaced sense of self importance, but I think it runs much deeper than that. I have often noticed how filipinos will start listening to what you are saying but will just 'switch off' if people are not involved. As soon as the discussion becomes people centred they will concentrate just as totally as anyone else. But I'm not sure if this partly explains the business of being obsessed with photographing themselves continually. Nor is it simple 'vanity' I feel. After all how 'vain' is it possible for a person to be? Perhaps there is a bit of 'Pavlovian' conditioned reflex involved. :no: Maybe most filipinos are 'trained' from a young age to seek approval for everything they do, and the ladies on Facebook translate this into desperately seeking the 'approval' that a 'like' can provide?Thomas's theory that it is a cheap hobby which everyone can indulge in is probably partly true too. However, if this is the main reason why don't they photograph anything and everything rather than their own face 100 times over? (By the way Thomas I love the anecdotal stories you include in your posts about your ancestors, and families in Sweden in the past.) On the matter of being reluctant to acknowledge that a person came from a humble background JJ Reyes' idea that they don't want to be reminded of their past might well hold true for many people, but to be honest, I again think that this is too simple an explanation. Filipinos are always saying what a happy childhood they had and how wonderful life was, and is, back in their home Provinces. Why would they then not want to tell the world about it? Also most of the people I am talking about may be those who have 'made' it by escaping from the confines of their backgrounds. In the Western world very many people are only too happy to tell others how they had a deprived upbringing but are now a success. (Look at me now!) Filipinos are not at all reluctant or shy about comparing themselves with others to make themselves feel good. Surely one of the best ways to do this is to say to the world- "Look where I came from and look at me now,"- not to deny their heritage? Anyway- what do I know? I just find the matter curious and inconsistent. Chris McG.
  13. My Filipina wife has been on Facebook for a few years now. Along with millions of other filipinos she regularly posts pictures, galleries and information about our travels past and present. She tries very hard, and I think successfully, to edit all her pictures to make them interesting- not just showing people posing but backgrounds and notable locations also. Recently she decided to post photos of our years living in the little rural barrio in Leyte where we have a house and land. She displayed pictures showing the simple but interesting way of life for the people there. Now! - here is the interesting part. Normally virtually all her friends and relatives click ‘Like’ on her pictures but suddenly there was an almost tangible silence when she posted the Barrio pictures. Only one or two ‘liked’ them, and nobody made any comment at all . . This started us thinking. I started going back over previous posts and looking at the sorts of things her friends had posted. To be absolutely honest I would guess that about 90% of all the photos were simply of the people themselves and the parties they went to. Thousands and thousands of pictures of facial close ups and well dressed Filipinas at gatherings. Many people would start a gallery with 100 photos of themselves posing to the camera in all manner of ridiculous positions. They could have been in their own toilets for all the background information the pics showed. I’m pretty sure that what I saw was a representative sample of Filipina postings. Magnify this by several million times and I am appalled as to what is happening in the social media. This led my wife and myself to come to several possible conclusions, all of which were pretty depressing, about the Philippines and its people: 1. It was almost like most of the Filipinos were ashamed of showing where they came from- at least for it to be shown to the rest of the world? Why would this be? Is it because they have been forced to try to make the leap from a simple, poorer life, to be recognised as part of modern day, developed country, culture? Perhaps they are concerned about others thinking they are ‘primitive.’ (That awful word with it’s negative connotations.) To most of us foreigners who live in the Philippines, or have travelled extensively there, there is a fascination for an older way of life which has been lost in our own countries. Some of us even envy this ‘simpler’ life and find it admirable. We wouldn’t feel ashamed of it or try to cover up that it is part of our own heritage. There is still a deep and rich culture in the Philippines- certainly when you compare it with the paucity of culture in the UK. It would be sad to think that many modern Filipinos are denying its presence to the world. Once lost it can never be fully regained as many developed countries have found to their cost. Filipinos abroad always come together at Barrio Fiestas, which surely celebrate the simple customs and culture of their country- they don’t seem to be ‘ashamed’ of foreigners seeing this? 2. The Filipina obsession with posing for photos and seeking approbation for their looks and beauty appears to be so ingrained that it dominates most of their lives. If this was true they would be some of the most superficial people on earth. Now- I do know from personal experience that this is NOT true. But to outsiders, with no contact with the Philippines, it must show the ladies in a pretty negative light i.e. the stereotype of Filipina women is a person so narcissistically obsessed with her looks as to be totally empty headed and insignificant. My wife certainly doesn’t conform to this picture- please tell me that I’m speaking through my backside and am completely wrong! Chris Mcguffin.
  14. I think I'm qualified to join the ranks of crazy/stupid/brave/foolish (take your pick) people who were actually taught the correct way to drive,did exhaustive tests to prove they could, and then thought they could drive in Cebu. I started driving on a motorbike some 10 years ago in Cebu and did 2 years of city -********(i'm struggling to find a suitable word other than 'driving')- perhaps, survivalistic utter disregard for the safety of others, their rights not to risk death every minute they've the temerity to be on MY road, and I'm bloody well going to do what I want and the Hell with you- would start to approach the common Filipino driving approach? Since then I have spent 4 years, driving a car 4 times a day the 15 km between Yati, Liloan, and my son's school in Banilad. Am I really qualified?? To answer this question you must be able to put a 'tick' beside every one of the following prerequisites which are in my experience ESSENTIAL if you want to survive on the Cebu Highway (sorry I should have said 'Cebu Suicide Track.) as suggested above you MUST FORGET EVERYTHING you were foolish enough to think was training for the correct way to drive safely, with due regard to the safety of others. ALWAYS REMEMBER that YOU are the only person who is important, and has any right to drive on the 'racetrack'- sorry!- road. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE WAY to anything else on the road be it a man, woman, child, vehicle, animal, pothole, road sign or any other animal, vegetable or mineral object which DARES to be in your way. ALWAYS drive as fast as you can, by any route that your vehicle can fit through, to ensure that you are right in the middle of any obstruction causing a backlog of traffic. This is the only way you can ensure that the road jam becomes worse, and if you're very lucky you can be proud that you've helped to cause that holy word 'GRIDLOCK.' if you're unfortunate enough to encounter one of those horrible, self righteous FOREIGNERS in front of you it is your DUTY as a good FILIPINO to do everything, up to and including murder, to drive them into the gutter and off the road. You MUST,MUST pass them at all costs with complete disregard for the safety of yourself, your family passengers, the Foreigner and all other people ON or NEAR the roadside. If you don't get past them you are a disgrace to your race and nation and should grab the nearest weapon and go out and kill 10 other people so as to appease your conscience. a road should be considered to be any gap, passage or space through which it MIGHT be possible to drive your vehicle, disregarding damage to people or property. double lines on a road mean that the road painter was drunk and innumerate and lost count of the strokes of his paintbrush. Because of this you should assume that it is not just safe, but essential that you cross them. Don't be a 'wimp' like those foreigners. if you see a road sign, any road sign, completely ignore what it or the picture says but award yourself maximum points for finding one of the two or three signs which actually reached the stage where the purchasing officials carelessly lost track of how much of the budget they had stolen. Assume that some idiot or drunk made a mistake and REALLY PAID MONEY to buy them. They are worthless anyway as nobody knows what they mean.- or wants to know. when you see a truck or bus hurtling straight at you on your side of the road be reasonable and remind yourself that there is no correct side of the road to drive on. Close your eyes and pray- God will save you I'm sure. if you see a vehicle flashing an indicator pay no attention to it and immediately pass the vehicle on that side- he has clearly done one of the following; A. just discovered the indicator lever and wonders what it does. B. has no idea which is his right and left hand C has been hypnotised by the pretty flashing amber light. if an oncoming driver flashes his headlamps at you assume that he is warning you to get out of his way. Do not proceed or face the consequences. if driving at night BEWARE of tricycles and motorcycles which display lights. Obviously the driver is drunk and has forgotten to turn them off to save fuel. when approaching a traffic light turn round and drive home fast. You are obviously dehydrated or delirious and have seen a MIRAGE. Everyone in Cebu knows that the remaining budget only allows for one set of christmas tree bulbs per year to be put into the only two sets of working traffic lights in Cebu. The odds in favour of you seeing a working traffic light in the city have been calculated to be 100,000 to one. REMEMBER- Pedestrian Crossings are NOT places where pedestrians can cross the road safely. This is a common misunderstanding. They are there so that you can focus your vehicle more accurately on the fools who step out onto them. NEVER, NEVER stop for someone on a crossing. You will lose all the points you have gained by assiduously hitting pedestrians in the past .Foreigners count 20 points, women and children 10 points, pregnant women 15 points, nuns minus 10 points and policemen mean a 1000 peso bribe to his surviving family. I think that's enough rules for now. Has anybody else got any DO's and DON'Ts for Cebu driving? I'm sure I've missed out lots. Chris McG.
  15. I'm not so sure about that! Think of it from your own point of view. Personally speaking if a young woman told me a bunch of lies, which I believed, for whatever reason, and later came up and said- "Oh- don't worry about what I told you. I was lying, but for a good reason. Now I'm really telling the truth." Frankly it's going to take a lot for me to believe her now that she has admitted to not telling the truth. I think I would quickly move on. Chris McG.
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