Common Misconceptions Foreigners Have About the Philippines

How often do we Pinoys transform into keyboard warriors and start a cyber war against foreigners over their negative and subjective observations about our country or our fellowmen?
Foreigners Have About the Philippines
It’s all right to be defensive and all, but don’t we have misconceptions about others, too? Aren’t we as quick to judge as those foreigners we hate? Let’s find out what foreigners usually think about us, and remind ourselves that hey, these are just petty misconceptions.

1. The Philippines is poor.
This statement is true, but only half of the time. Not all Filipinos are poor, and the Philippines as a country is definitely not poor. In fact, the country is rich in natural resources. There is an underlying complex reason why the Philippines is a third world country today, but to say that it’s poor, no. Despite the rampant corruption, the country isn’t on the brink of default like Greece. And to top it off, we fared very well amidst China’s market crisis.

Know Ph economy outlook for 2016 here.

2. All Filipinas they meet are females!
Filipino gays can sometimes be vainer and more feminine looking than Filipinas. US Marine Joseph Pemberton is one example of a foreigner who had difficulty distinguishing between a transgender and a natural-born Filipina.  Whether he was drunk or not, it doesn’t matter. His recent confession proves how Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude’s looks got the best of him.

Read Pemberton’s confession here.

3. All pretty Filipinas want to marry foreigners.
All pretty Filipinas want to marry foreigners.
Beauty is relative. Most foreigners find the exotic Filipina look – petite, dark-skinned with long, black hair – gorgeously captivating. However, to a number of Filipinos, ebony look is inferior and unattractive. That’s why whitening and beauty products sell like pancakes here. And that’s why some Filipinas are afraid to marry white men because of the stigma. Maybe it’s the other way around – it’s the foreigners who want to marry exotic Filipinas.

4. All Filipinas are money-grabbing, gold-digging sluts.
Pinay fell in love with a foreigner
Yes, there are red light districts here, and prostitutes abound practically everywhere. However, not all those who marry foreigners, or at least have a relationship with foreigners, are gold diggers. Some are truly in love with their non-Filipino partners and are even more educated and more affluent.

Read story how an educated, wealthy Pinay fell in love with a foreigner here.

5. Pinoys are backward.

As a third world country, there are areas here devoid of modernization. But Pinoys aren’t backward-thinking at all. Just consider of the mall culture here, social media usage and mobile computing. Filipinos are obsessed with anything modern and new.

To know how “social” Pinoys are online, click here:

6. All of the Philippines is made up of quiet and beautiful islands and beaches.
Philippines is made up of quiet and beautiful islands and beaches.
We do have highly urbanized, very noisy and heavily polluted cities. Yes, we both have the best and the worst landscapes. But since the Philippines is a small country, it doesn’t take long to go from a noisy city to a serene countryside.

7. The Philippines is a hedonistic, huge nightclub.
The Philippines is a hedonistic, huge nightclub.
If the country isn’t all peace and quiet, then it’s a huge nightclub. Yes and no. Like in #6, we offer both urban and rural living, and they can be extreme actually.

8. The Philippines is a dangerous place.
The Philippines is a dangerous place.
We have to validate this because there really is no single place on earth that’s totally safe or absolutely perilous. Southern Mindanao maybe a no-go zone for travelers because of terrorism and kidnapping issues, but other places in the country are just as safe as any travel destination.

For areas to avoid in the Philippines, click here.

9. All Filipinos are uneducated and undisciplined.
All Filipinos are uneducated and undisciplined.
For one, the BPO industry in the country wouldn’t be as booming if Pinoys were uneducated and undisciplined. We’re just like other populations or races – we have good and bad guys.

10. Filipinos are dog-eaters.
Filipinos are dog-eaters
Yes, some of us eat dog meat like the tambays and the drunkards, but it’s an isolated case. The Philippines isn’t at all like China or South Korea where dog meat is hailed as a celebratory culinary ingredient. Most Pinoys actually abhor dog meat.

Dog Meat Consumption in China –

Dog Meat Consumption in South Korea –

When foreigners have wrong notions about us, let’s be more gracious and, if possible, correct their faulty generalizations. If they’re too stubborn to heed, forget the gun and walk away. Yes, better said than done, we know.

Anyway, as a Pinoy, have you encountered foreigners with far-flung, untruthful or biased ideas or expectations about us? How did you react? If you’re a foreigner, do you have any of these misconceptions about Pinoys? The table is open for discussion.

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4 Responses

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    • says:

      If this keeps going, the Philippines will soon come with a warning for MALE foreigners… CAUTION… Not all “women” you see are born that way… 🙂

  1. Denise Lourdes says:

    Great Post. Thank you!

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