Sunday, March 12, 2017

A typical Filipino house

This is a typical Filipino house.  No, it's not the house that's typical about this house.  Filipinos live in everything from mansions to shanties constructed out of leftover wood and garbage.

What's typical about this house is the concrete and barbed wire fence.  Every single house in the Philippines is constructed like a mini-pentenitary.  The walls are concrete, the floor is hard concrete or tiles, the window have bars, and the outer wall is a huge concrete fence topped with shards of broken glass and barbed wire is strung along the whole perimeter.  There is also a large gate for vehicles to enter and exit.

No one gets in and you are safe inside your fortress.

Here's another example: 

A little different but still the same idea.  A concrete fenced topped with barbed wire.  The only difference is this one has a metal grate.

But why?  Why do Filipinos feel the need to enclose themselves in a mini-fortress?  What are they sacred of?  

They are scared of each other.  Filipinos don't trust one another.  Everyone is potential thief.

I live in a "gated community" but the gates are open 24/7 and only manned during the day.  There is a river marking the border of the community on the far back side and people have crossed it during the day to case the neighbourhood and return at night to break into people's homes. This "gated community" is wide open.  It is gated in name only.

During the day there are strange delinquent children walking around, vendors hawking fish, a constant flow of traffic, people coming to play basketball at the basketball court. Some of the farmers even have their carabao graze in the areas where the grass is tall. During Christmas carollers come by and even beggars knock on the door with envelopes asking for cash.

Innocent fish vendor or spy sent by a robbery syndicate to case the neighbourhood?

With all this unrestricted activity is it any wonder people turn their homes into prisons?

Plenty of houses here have been broken into. Cell phones, computers, washing machines, and thousands of pesos have all been stolen.  

Why would someone keep thousands of pesos in their home you ask?  Because the Philippines has a a cash economy.  There are banks.  There are credit cards.  But regular folks don't use them.  They literally stuff their cash under their pillow or in a hole in the floor. 

A man's home is his castle but in the Philippines it is also his prison.

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