Toilet Tourism

Monday, November 21, 2011

Not too long ago, news came out that our flagship airport the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, ironically named after a victim of the facility's lax security, is the worst aiport in the world. Not surpisingly, Filipinos came out of the woodwork like malignos in the night to pitch in with their criticisms of the place, admittedly with me included, about the shitty restrooms, overexpensive food, and unprofessional staff. (200 pesos for a hotdog sandwich and water? really?)

Many efforts have been made since then to improve the place, but sadly the "maduming toilet" notion has stuck on and has become the rallying cry of people whenever the subject of tourism comes up. Matter of fact, during a discussion on the new facebook group Come Visit My Philippines on, people refused to participate in the "invite a foreigner" campaign because they could not bear to bring them to a country where even the restrooms are dirty.

Not to stray too much off topic, but when I was a kid, I hated going to school because I felt that laziness was more of a human right than a social defect. I made up every excuse everyday in the span of 14 years just to justify not having to go to school. And that's what's just going on here.

It's like people just don't want the burden of action on them so they find something else to blame. And it just so happened that the toilet thing is the most convenient excuse off the shelf. Criticizing the goverment has become the official reason why people shouldn't do anything, on the argument that whatever they do won't really have much of an effect because of tax vampires in the goverment.


Sure, the goverment is incompetent and yes, passing through NAIA does feel like passing through a particularly diseased rectum. But is that really something that should stop us from inviting people over?

Of course there will always be dirty parts. It's just like your house. Who invites a guest over to show them the bodega or the dirty kitchen? For the case of the airport, that'd be like having a dirty door - a filthy entryway. But what's one dirty door if tits, great food, assloads of entertainment, and tits (twice for good measure) were on the other side? If I were to invite foreign friends, I'd be telling them about the best parts, and if you have been to those best parts in our country, you'd think all the imperfections this country has wouldn't matter all that much. 

*deep inhale*

Problema kasi sa mga Pilipino andaming preconditions bago magsimulang tumulong. "Eh madumi yung ihian sa erport. Pano ako magiimbita? Nakakahiya naman! Government! Gising!" Susko. Common sense. Then tell the foreigners you're inviting that the airport CR is crap and that they should use the plane's CR or the lounges instead, if you do have to. 

Di naman tanga din yung mga foreigners na di na sila pupunta sa napakagandang beaches dahil lang mapanghi yung cr ng airport na pagttransferan nila. If you can't workaround that simple marketing problem then you have no business criticizing what the DoT is trying to do.

And what about the foreigners? I have talked to a lot of foreigners about our country. They talk about a lot of things, from the beaches, to the malls, to the mountains, to the fucked up but interesting food (mostly about balut), to, yes, even the hospitality of prostitutes (which they love, in an awesome/depressing kind of way). They do mention the traffic, pollution, and occassional petty crimes - all in passing, but do you hear about them complaining about the toilets? Not really. These are people from the first world, who after they shit simply refuse to wash their own asses with their bare hands even when we are providing them with amplewater and a bar of soap. And yet they have no problems with the toilets. It's us Filipinos that are complaining more than the people who are supposed to shun what we are gladly pointing out. They're not.

Point of the matter is, we just can't seem to find it in us to love our own. I'm not saying love filthy toilets. That's borderline fetish level love. I'm saying overlook some things, and focus on what's good.

And that probably is the real reason why we can't promote our country efficiently. For every guy promoting the country, five others are badmouthing the place. Even our comments on the net contribute to the problem, seeing as google gladly hands all that info to anybody who bothers asks about our great nation.

To be fair, a lot of progress has been made to change our view of our country. Props to the Gokongwei's Cebu Pacific, and the other budget carriers for shattering the transport costs for joe ordinary like me to see the sights and sensations of places other than Manila and Luzon. More and more people realize that yes, most of Metro Manila might look like a turdhole, but like all turdholes, it's only one, and having to go inside it to have fun is completely optional.




Tourism is all about perception. And until realize that to improve thigns, it's up to us to  change how we perceive our own country, our culture, and our responsibility to go beyond what we currently have.

Toilet Tourism.

Battlefield 3 Hangs Up (A Rock And A Hard Place)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Just raising this fix for those who have been encountering issues in the Battlefield 3 campaign, specifically the mission where

[spoiler]the soldiers mutiny after campo dies[/spoiler]

the only solution was to put it in window mode (alt+enter) right before i found the bodies and let it load the game (and it did!) and then when the next level started i resumed it at fullscreen by pressing alt+enter again. hope it helped. 

Cred goes to this guy:
Also, it helps if you reduce the detail level if you're not playing in a high end pc. You can set it back to normal afterwards.
 That said, enjoy the game. 

P.S. Will post on the tagaytay trip in a while.

Tagaytay Overview : )

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tagaytay is a mountain town south of Manila famous for its cool climate, specialty restaurants, fresh fruits, and soup made of a cow's bone marrow (and I shit you not, good sirs). Located in the province of Cavite, its population consists of mostly Filipino Locals and rich uppity bastards that seek to invade the countryside with their posh sprawling manions large enough to accomodate up to 5 Sharon Cunetas* on any day. 

*(An endemic species of large, song-belting creatures often featured in late night television) 

The main languages of Tagaytay are Tagalog, English, and Coñospeak. In the recent years, the subdialects of Jejemon (backwards retarded tagalog) and Bekimon (homolust tagalog) have slowly crept in, brought in by visitors from the corrupted lowlands of Metro Manila. 

The main currency of Tagaytay is corn and Collette's bukopie, both of which are readily available for exchange in shops located along the roadside, with one bukopie shop sometimes barely 5 meters apart from another shop of the same franchise. I don't know why, but apparently the locals love their bukopie. Don't ask. I know I didn't. Peso is also accepted by most major establishments, but as peso is not in pie form, edible, and filled with sweet buko inside, usage is frowned upon. 

Don't even get me started with credit cards. Seriously.  Last time somebody brought that up, it took three years for the body to surface. Don't court trouble, go with buko pie.

(Disclosure: Collette's paid 3 bukopies for this placement)

Another big feature of Tagaytay is the spectacular view of Lake Taal, which contains the Taal Volcano, dubbed as the smallest volcano in the world. It's well worth noting that it is not small at all, would not fit your pocket, or your luggage. And thankfully so, otherwise it would have long since been stolen by the neighboring province of Laguna. As a minor trivia, Taal Volcano is actually not part of Tagaytay. As any Batangueño will gladly tell you at knifepoint, it is part of Batangas. Recently there has been a proposal to put a signboard that says "Batangas" on the goddamn volcano. It did not push through, thankfully, otherwise we'd have to update our National trait from "Hospitable" to "Horribly Tacky". But I digress. Every now and then, it is worth noting that the view of the entire Taal Lake vanishes into a white screensaver, presumably during the extended maintenance period when the Taaleños clean the projectors that are used to create the world's largest hologram of the world's smallest volcano. [Citation Needed] 

Tagaytay is also a famous place for weddings, presumably becuase it's far from Manila, so fewer guests tend to attend weddings there. Since it's traditional for Filipinos to feel entitled to attend the wedding of anybody they barely know (i.e. bumped into on the way to work etc), and no sane individual will finance a banquet that can satisfy an entire refugee camp,  setting the event in a mountain is an effective way wither down the headcount pretty quickly, or failing that, a short controlled landslide does the trick with the low overhead of using explosives. 

Tagaytay also features horseback riding tracks where both pros and novices from all walks of life can relive what it feels like being a rich haciendero riding an aging horse in a shit-infested track, which the locals fondly call "El Turista Trapp".  But seriously though, who DOESNT want to ride horses? When I was a kid I thought I could ride one, give it a few kicks and hightail it out of the shitty track, going back to Manila with a horse that I can show my friends. Of course later on, I learned that if I kick the poor aging horse more than once, it'd die of rib fracture or something, and I'd get no further than about five meters away from the road before the horse goes belly up and I hit the pavement with my face. 

Aaaanyway, Tagaytay is an awesome getaway that is about as close to Manila as you can get. With the cool climate, fresh fruits, sweet-tasting beef from mountain cows, and lots of restaurants to choose from, Tagaytay is a nobrainer when deciding where to take your rich foreigner buddies for a tour of the local scene (hint: if you're not local, ignore this statement)

 Tagaytay, it's like Baguio, but helluva closer.

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