“A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down….”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
When I first came up with the “Philippine Dreams” brand name, I didn’t realize just how truly apropos it was. The name came to me during a meeting with a local tech guy who had asked me what I wanted my website to be called. Having not even given it much (any) thought, we went through a few ideas, checking them for dot com availability, but nothing seemed to really ring true until we punched in ‘Philippine Dreams.” The green check mark saying it was available popped up, and with that it was done: Philippine Dreams was mine.
And how appropriate the “Dream” part turned out to be…..
I posted up a photo a few weeks back that caused a bit of a stir. It was a posed shot and meant for comedic effect, but quite a few people actually took it seriously. In fact, it seems EVERYONE took it seriously. In case you didn’t see the Facebook post, this is the photo:
Now, keep in mind that the two ladies in the shot are two friends of the channel – Jules and Dana. The photo was taken by our buddy Brian in the pool at Tejero Adventure Park in Valencia. What is not explained is that I was going through just a wee bit of ‘relational drama’ at the time and that the posed shot was intended as a bullshit (‘bewsit’ in bisaya) “Not to worry – everything is just fine” counterpoint to the realities of my personal situation at the time. The photo came out OK, so I posted it up on that platform of narcissism and misinformation that I so dearly fond of, Facebook. (Insert ‘barf’ emoticon here…..)
And then the comments commenced….
The comments arrived in two distinct flavors: It was either people giving me an “Attaboy!!” for being such a seasoned playboy or folks expressing their disdain for those very same behaviors. And as they kept rolling in, I expected someone as some point to recognize it for what it was and toss in a “Hahahaha, Ned – too funny.” But no one did. And with that I became a bit despondent, for my sublime comedic intents were not being appreciated. Ah, the sacrifices I make for my ‘art.’ With comedy being based on tragedy and nothing being more tragic than my relational life, it was a shame that no one seems to be laughing with me, just at me.
If you personally know me, you’ll know that my romantic love life has been pretty much a full-out shit show. And it’s been like that for many, many months. Details are not important, and since some of the relationships (and people involved in them) are publically known, it’s would be totally inappropriate for me to be talking about them. Ah, the irony – a public blogger focused on the realities of life in the Philippines who can’t talk about the realities of some aspects of life in the Philippines…
Anyhoo – I don’t wanna get too bogged down in those particulars.
The point is this: A good number of your expectations and experiences regarding the Philippines are not going to be based on actual reality. Once you have meandered your way down into the rabbit hole that is the reality of Philippines life, all will not be as it seems. Whether it is getting nailed with the usual Kano/long-nose tax, incessant requests for load, no-meter taxi scams, the myriad hidden fees at local resorts, 20,000 peso electricity bills, online Lazada scams, luxury beachfront homes becoming Pinoy resorts following separations, counterfeit goods, vanishing down payments on rental properties or nearly anything and everything else you can imagine, all is not always how it seems in the Philippines. And if you’ve visited or lived here before, you’ll know what I mean: Separating the fact from the fiction here can be quite the undertaking – and an onerous one at that.
Now, I am not saying all of this simply out of spite. It’s just the reality. One of the things that I have always tried to do is talk about everything that is relevant to life in the Philippines – the good, the bad and the sometimes outright ugly. Like everywhere else in the world, the Philippines is not paradise. It may surely seem like it at times, but like all things, there are always dark clouds lurking on the horizon of these sunny skies. And occasional dark intentions behind all of those blazing smiles.
So, no, life in the Philippines is not all puppies and rainbows. Or cute gals stealing kisses in gentle waters.
Because occasionally you are going to face plant on the water slide of life in the Philippines and come away a little worse for wear.
But when all is said and done, perhaps that is part of the allure of living here.