After attending a charming children's party in QC, I went over to Manila Peninsula to pick up my American Colleagues for dinner. Since they wanted to eat crabs, I decided to take them to the nearest crab-joint, Red Crabs in Greenbelt. I figured to save Dampa for some other day when the major manila participants are complete. From Manila Peninsula, we hopped to Greenbelt and ordered Philippine Seafood dishes and not to mention the gigantic coconut crabs. The dinner was fulfilling, scrumptious and messy. For Mitch and I, we paid 4 thousand bucks for the four giant crabs, halaan, softdrinks, oyster cake and rice. We nearly vomited seeing the bill, but I knew from the start that the place ain't Dampa.
After dinner we joined a colleague of ours across the restaurant for some drinks and desserts. Then we transferred to Italiannis for further cocktails. There we discussed a lot about cultural perceptions, social politics and of course, the topic we all had in common and the exact thing that brought us together, work.
Since I don't want to bore you with work stuff, I'm just going to write here about interesting perceptions our guests have of the Philippines.
1. We don't have air conditioned buildings.
2. Starbucks is rare to us
3. Western food is rare to us.
4. We don't have cable, even if we do it's dubbed using our local language
5. Our music is old
6. We rarely drive cars
7. We are "physically" poor.
8. We're uncivilized.
9. Our city is so small and boring.
10. We are not that interest at all.
While I was in Cincinnati, a city that hosts their own skyscrapers, conveniences and landmarks, I thought that our very own Global Fort Taguig could simply melt the America town away in terms of entertainment, people and buildings. I found it funny how my colleagues in Cincinnati kept on asking questions that clearly sprung from rural documentaries of National Geographic or Discovery. What grounded Americans, who rarely travel, think of the Philippines as a 3rd world country full of cows, grass and simplicity. I just smiled and thought of how badly they needed to educate themselves and straighten their funny perceptions. As expected, when they got in the Philippines, stayed at Manila Peninsula Hotel and walked at our new and modernized office headquarters in Fort, they were speechless and full of all the words they ate.
Thank god I have the means to travel and get cultured. My world is not limited to cable documentaries.