20 Reasons I Hate (and Love) the Philippines

Firstly, I think it’s better named “20 things to dislike in the Philippines.” It’s supposed to complement the video “20 Reasons I Love the Philippines” by the same director, Michael Goodman. Both videos are supposed to show the pros and cons of the Philippines from a foreigner’s viewpoint. Rather than a mere aimless criticism, the “Dislike” short is merely another observation of dysfunctions in the Philippines.

Jimmy Sieczka was this video’s presenter and is taking the heat for a whole crew’s actions and plans.

Here’s my analysis of the things Sieczka noticed:

1. Hole covered by a drum – The hole is the road not fixed yet, perhaps due to inadequate government services to handle it, inadequate methods to deal with it, people generally don’t care about, may not have reported it, no long term solutions for it
2. Guy selling cialis on the street – Can’t sell anything else because of poverty, lack of jobs, and products getting to the wrong channels because if poor enforcement. Seller touching the guy right near the thing due to lack of education leading to boorish behavior. Cultural fixation on sex
3. Lack of refrigeration/Unsanitary market – poverty, poor sanitation enforcement
4. MILF – Terrorism is a reality in the country, which the Philippine government has long failed to solve
5. Unsafe/incomplete construction – Funds easily run out, skyrocketing building material prices, corruption in construction business and government
6. Whitening products – Companies just churn out whitening products instead of other useful product, media, Asian culture (which also prefers white to brown). Perhaps there is nothing worth nitpicking in this issue
7. Buying gum: needless packaging – Outdated SOPs in use of plastic and retail packaging, no or poorly enforced program to enforce packaging, leads to one of the causes of Ondoy.
8. Litter – Lack of discipline among Filipinos.
9. Traffic: pollution/no discipline – Lack of enforcement of programs to enforce traffic quality, lack of education of drivers, arrogant behavior of Filipinos
10. Nasty bathrooms – Lack of funds, education and concern for a clean and safe public bathroom. Lack of proper water service, business hasn’t paid the water bill, etc.
11. Security guards everywhere – Lack of better jobs, general feeling of insecurity by Filipinos or business establishment owners, a real security problem anyway
12. Peeing everywhere – Habit in rural areas where bathrooms are not available, lack of discipline and education to know better
13. Frisking by guards – No better solution for security issues. No “airport scanners” in malls when that would’ve been better, no budget for such devices, or just the same old Filipino transfixation on old and obsolete practices.
14. Noise: beeping habit of taxis – Lack of education on proper way to pick up passengers, on traffic rules and regulations, same as reasons for no discipline in traffic above.
15. Small napkins – Needless work for people, waste of material, can’t afford bigger and better napkins
16. Beggars – Poverty, obviously
17. Roosters – Rural culture mixed in with urban culture. Lack of urbanization in places some people come from. Lack of education on better pastimes
18. loud bass/loud pipes – Culture of unnecessary loudness, like with videokes. Their way to pass the time for lack of knowledge on anything better
19. Cockroaches – Lack of sanitation, poorly designed sewer system
20. Watch your car boys – Again, no better job to get
21. Ladyboys – Gay culture in the Philippines, ’nuff said.
22. Korean tourists – They’re here to learn English. Really little other reason. The Philippines is seen as the English language capital of Asia. And we want to replace it with “Mother tongue.” Yeah right.
23. Motorcycles – Gas is going up, so I don’t mind having a Honda Beat or Yamaha Mio of my own. Problem is, it’s undisciplined drivers.
24. Warm beer – They just forgot to put ice. Lazy servant, forgot to keep it in the ref, or ref is broken. Can’t afford ref fixing, etc.

I think one can find many common themes here: poverty, lack of education, gap between rich and poor, gap between rural and urban, failure to understand real strengths of country, defective culture, etc. But I’m sure you know. This video after all reminds us that there are problems in the country that still need fixing.

Now for those who were not aware of it, here’s the 20 Reasons to Love the Philippines:

1. Bakeries (but did you notice the flies buzzing around? I prefer Pan de Manila)
2. Basketball everywhere
3. Lechon manok and barbecue (much agree)
4. Red Horse Beer
5. Taxis
6. Bangkas, outrigger canoes
7. Cheap stuff in tiangges, can haggle (one of the main reasons foreigners come)
8. Fruits at the palengke
9. Gasoline station convenience stores (or is it Tanduay?)
10. Kids who work hard and play hard
11. Street vendors during traffic
12. Clouds, skyline
13. Cheap private markets
14. Pirated DVDs
15. Take a piss anywhere (same as in the Dislike Video!)
16. Vulcanizing on the side
17. Reusing ad banners – recycling, saves on litter
18. Many transport options
19. Motorcycles – Yes, it’s a good transport option, except when it rains
20. Videokes – Yeah, it’s popular around the world, but it makes noise
21. Lights at night, Nature in the day

I don’t agree with everything here, but I think it’s a generally honest video. Give Walter Masley and Jeff Lester the benefit of the doubt.

I think some people fail to realize that the “Dislike” production was all planned out, that there were scriptwriters involved and it may not have been only Jimmy Sieczka’s work. Many people planned out the two videos. The way it was delivered is a scripted style. And don’t rule out the idea that Filipinos themselves were involved in the production and came up with the idea. Well, if someone needs to sue someone, sue Channelfix.

And before you say we should only be positive about the Philippines and just forget the negatives, let me give you some food for thought in a pic:

What’s wrong with including both the Pros and Cons of something? That’s what you call a Review.


About ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

Post Author: ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

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70 Comments on "20 Reasons I Hate (and Love) the Philippines"

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Paul Farol

It wouldn’t have hurt if both like and dislike were in the same short film. But that’s just me.


Many Filipinos simply hate constructive criticism.

Pinoy Android News

I have not seen the full video but I was not insulted or disappointed because it is the reality…


If Jimmy did a number on Metro Manila, there would be at least 50 reasons to dislike.


“If someone tries to educate Filipinos, they take it as an insult to their intelligence.”


Those in-your-face realities that confront the average expatriate go way back, a testament to how very little actually changed at a fundamental level in da Pinas. I wrote a piece of advise to expatriates way back in 2002 here. By apologizing for his brilliant video, Jimmy Sieczka let down the legions of fans and admirers he made as a result of his seminal expose on da Pinoy Condition.

I wonder how many people who like the “20 things I love about the Philippines” video even wonder that some of those things on the list are not even remotely noteworthy? Pissing everywhere and pirated DVD’s for example. Once again, Filipinos have shown just how much they haven’t evolved yet. You would think that a long-time exposure to American style frankness and sarcasm would have already rubbed off on us, but no. It’s ironic that we depend on and ask of foreigners to help us with a lot of things, and yet when they give it to us in the… Read more »

Remember the time our goverment was worried that Japan won’t be able to give their ODF to us after the triple disaster? 🙂


Good thing he saw a drum. One time we got stuck on a hole that was covered by an old tire and a broken piece of thin plywood.

Took a few minutes and 6 men to get raise the wheel back on the road.

Arnie de Guzman

Everyone has a pros and cons about everything. Because everything has a pros and cons about themselves. It’s just that na nasa mga napupuna na lang kung paano nila mababawasan ang cons at maidagdag yun sa pagiging pros nila. 🙂


Why didn’t he add dog poo in the streets to the dislikes? I agree with the views of FallenAngel.

cool ass

“15. Small napkins – Needless work for people, waste of material, can’t afford bigger and better napkins”

Well, Filipinos has small pussies anyway, so we don’t need big napkins for small pussies, hehehe

Joe America
I enjoyed your article. Indeed, there are reasons behind so many of the 24 things to “dislike”, and some can easily be switched to likes. For instance, I drive the 2 1/2 hours to Robinson’s mall and find stopping alongside the road to find urinary relief convenient. An ecological moment, actually, time to admire the ferns and frogs and beware of snakes. But I do take exception to one of the “likes” because it is a form of corruption. “Pirated DVD’s”. Yes, it is nice to get a cheap version of a hot movie, but it is little different than… Read more »
Der Fuhrer
Bravo to Mr. Jimmy Sieczka! You exposed the partial truths about what is happening. The onion skinned response of so many summer weather patriots is surprising. Just goes to show we have many politicians, bureaucrats and local peeps who are blind and deaf to what is happening in many parts of the country today. We might as well start a new trend in locally produced videos. Maybe showing this to useless, sleeping administrators will wake them up to reality in working harder for improvements to benefit the general welfare of the people. The sleeping president is still lethargic and cannot… Read more »

what i hate are propagandists and ‘gutter press’ masquerading as ‘journalists’ who cannot think for themselves but just do as they are told.
and False Asia pretending to be an opinion survey.


i dont like people p*ssing in public (recycling red horse), but not as bad as congress taking the p*ss out of the filipino people.


The second video (love) is as sarcastic as the first one (dislike).

Loving the Philippines for ‘pirated videos’. LOL *rolls on the floor*

Anyways, disregard how much the onion-skinned Filipinos react. Let’s bombard them with the ideals of changing oneself for the better of the country. 🙂

quote from a tourist review memo to jiminez ” i’ve had a perfectly wonderful holiday – unfortunately, this wasn’t it! the streets were over-run with rats, and hookers – some of whom were children, many of whom were transvestites! incredible the food stank, literally – no wonder diabetes is so prevalent in the philippines with a diet of rice and fried food – 3 times a day, at least hustlers from the moment you step of the plane (into something you could not call an airport), to the disgusting taxis, and drivers, and of course the endless procession of street… Read more »