My Top Three Dislikes About The Philippines

As with any country where you are visiting or living, there will be things you dislike.  The Philippines is no different.  Although I love the Philippines, the Filipinos, the endless nature and the slower pace of life, at times I do find myself pulling out what little is left of my hair.   In this blog I will discuss three things I dislike about the Philippines.

Stray dogs and Other Animals

Stray dogs are a major issue in the Philippines and while you will find a lot of stray cats also they don’t seem to bother you as much as the dogs.  You will find cows, caribou, goats and chickens wandering into the roadways but for the most part these are just an occasional nuisance.  Now for the most part I just really feel pity for all the stray dogs barely surviving on handouts, limping around with busted limbs, mange, and laying dead on the side of the road from being hit by vehicles.  I can’t tell you how many people I know who have hit a stray dog on a motorbike and have sustained serious injuries.   Another huge complaint for many foreigners living here are dogs howling and barking at all hours of the night, you will be hard pressed to find a place where you will have total peace and quiet.  I have found that condos typically offer the best option to have a quieter life.  I would also tell people to make sure they drive through the neighborhood at various times to see how many dogs are around and if there is a lot of barking.  When people put their trash outside to be picked up, often the trash doesn’t make it till pick up, it has been torn apart by stray dogs which leads me to my 2nd thing I dislike about the Philippines. 

Trash and Air Pollution


Unfortunately, trash is a huge problem in The Philippines and air pollution.  When I first arrived in the Philippines I remember being on a date and we had eaten McDonalds and were riding in a Taxi and my date rolls down the window and tosses all the trash out while we were driving.  I got upset and she was confused on why I would possibly be upset.  I understand that these are learned habits and that they just kind of follow the crowd but The Philippines boasts some of the most beautiful islands, waterfalls, jungles and beaches and it pains me to see people so casually tossing trash on the ground.  I have hiked to some of the most remote, and beautiful waterfalls only to see beer bottles and wrappers and other trash just laying around.  It is a real shame.  I also see along the sides of the roads where people just toss bags of trash out and I used to get so upset about that and I still do but for different reasons.  Now many of these problems I blame on the government here and not so much the people.  For one there are no trash can receptacles around on the streets or if they are they are few far and in between.  If they had trash receptacles and a crew to maintain it people would be more likely to use them.  Also to receive trash pick up service can be expensive and often it is not even available in certain areas forcing people to find a way to dispose of their trash.  Which leads me to trash burning and air pollution.  Neighbors will often burn trash including plastic and the fumes are just killer drifting over into your yard and house.  Also at night time when driving on a motorbike you will be hit with so many BBQ places alone the side of the road which is almost blinding and hard on the lungs.  By the way did you know that The Philippines contributes 1/3 of the plastic in the worlds oceans.    

Sorry Sir Out Of Stock

Now for the most part this doesn’t really bother me so much but it has frustrated me at times and I know a lot of foreigners who come here will get frustrated by it.  Let me explain further.  Often when you go to a store or a restaurant you will here those oh so famous words in the Philippines “Sorry sir out of stock”  Of course we all expect to hear that now and again but not every shopping outing.  I know now to have a few choices ready at a restaurant just in case.  If they are out of stock on the first two selections I just go to another restaurant.  What can be frustrating is that you might be out with your lady and you both order and 15 minutes later your ladies food will come out and the waitress for some reason has waited to inform you that they are out of stock of your item.  There is nothing more frustrating.  Now you will hear those words in almost all forms of businesses including the LTO (land transportation office) which could not make drivers licenses for the longest time because they were out of stock on the plastic used for laminating.  At first I thought that out of stock might be something all of Asia has an issue with maybe due to shipments from overseas but having visited Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia I have not once heard those words.  

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

I could go on with other complaints but most everything else is minor and would seem like I am just picking on the Philippines.  If I sat down and wrote an article about the USA I am sure I would have plenty to complain about but these three things are something most of us foreigners who are living here or even visiting get frustrated about.  Let me know if you have anything to add by making a comment.

3 thoughts on “My Top Three Dislikes About The Philippines”

  1. Well, I have to agree with you on all the points you’ve made here. Way too many stray dogs though out the islands. While on Boracay one of my friends got bitten by a beach dog. Needless to say she went through numerous injections at the local hospital and was restricted on what activities to do. I too had to be cautious walking back to my residence at night hoping not to run into a territorial animal.
    As far as out of stock… like you, you need to have a plan A, B & C and even then hope for the best. Be it a restaurant, supermarket or hardware store. Whatever the issue is, supply chain or cash flow, you just have to deal accordingly, keeping finger crossed and hoping for the best.
    Trash and air pollution….. this was a BIG thorn in my side. I’ve lived pretty much in and around the mountains of Colorado for the past 40 years. I know, I know….It’s America and shouldn’t even think of a comparison. But have being conditioned of minimal ( and I mean minimal amounts of trash ) I get sickened by the lack of an even attempt of sanitation within most areas ( and I mean MOST ). The only real acceptance was on Boracay. My understanding was it was BIG time party beach with bums and bottles and drugs littering the beaches and town. I don’t know if it was a project of the local or central government ( I’ll guess central government ) as it generates massive cash flow and taxes from tourist dollars flowing into the economy. I think if the central government could get it’s priorities straight with investing in education and infrastructure, the whole of the society would be lifted. But that solution would take time and money. The Philippines only has one of those ……..

  2. So i live in a condo and your right. It is pretty Quite but i also dont live in a big city. Ayala Land is Developing the area where my condo is and there are a lot of Stray Dogs and cats. Me and my wife feed them i a daily basis. Every night at 6 oclock we get into the car and drive around our neighbor hood. Honestly the dogs here perfer Rice over dog food, they are pickey eaters. As far as Cats i like the cats around cause we have no rats or snakes and we are surrounded by grassy land. We were taking just the females to a shelter but tje shelterhas to close because the land they were on is no for sale.
    My biggest issue is Driving, but on the plus side i have become a better driver. It drives me nuts when they turn a corner at 2 km per hour. When they back up it take 20 times to get it right and noone looks when they pull out in front of you. I get really pissed when jeepnies and buses stop every 5 feet and dont pull over to pick up passengers. And the final thing that pisses me off is the rush to the front of stopped traffic and they take over opposing lanes. Makes no sence. Thats why i love driving to subic and futher North they are more disiplined. Other then that i have no complaints.

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