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.


Essays writing said...

I have bad days in my schooling for not interest in study and always blame others its like people just don't want the burden of action on them so they find something else to blame. It was dirty part of my life but now i realize and admit it.I agree with you.It is nice post.

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