Dumaguete Info Search


My Experience in Dumaguete City

Discussion in '☋ Dumaguete City ☋' started by Rev. Robinson, Jul 6, 2007.

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  1. Rev. Robinson

    Rev. Robinson DI Member

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    There are many threads on here about this and that so I thought I would start a new one about the pluses and the minuses of living in the Dumaguete. But on second thought (I get those a lot these days) I said why not put how it was back where I came from and how it is here now (which sounds less negative) based on my experience (and the experience of my family only). Please feel free to add to this list and be honest not cruel.:smile: Thanks.

    Doctors appointments at the hospital:

    In the States:

    Normally when I have a scheduled appointment, it is set by time and the doctors try to stick to that schedule (try being the key word), and the doctor has a nice office with A/C, magazines to read and a comfortable place to sit.

    My experience in Dumaguete:

    I have been to many offices located in Silliman and Holy Child hospital, so I am speaking from my experience in both hospitals. You are scheduled by date and seen on a first come first serve bases. The doctor may not be in until 9, 9:30, 10, 10:30 in the morning or that afternoon, but you have to be there when the office open so you can be seen early or you may be there all day. If you arrive an hour after the office open, be prepared to be there for a long while (you may want to bring lunch, or even dinner). The waiting area is in the hallway and you have a hard bench to sit on. There is no A/C in the hall, but there are fans that you can feel once in awhile. If you have to take X-rays or require, lab work or medicine taken at the hospital, this must be paid before they will do any of these. Once you have made a few of these visits these things become just another part of the life you live here in the Philippines.

    Gas Station

    In the States:

    Normally when I go to the gas pump, I just fill my own tank, and then go inside and pay the cashier.

    My experience in Dumaguete:


    When you pull up to the pump, there is an attendant there who will pump your gas for you; you just have to tell him/her how much gas you want in pesos. If you want a full tank you tell them “full tank”, not fill it up please, the attendant is not use to that term. You pay them at the pump and they will give you your change after they calculate how much you owe them on a hand calculator. It just another thing for you to get use to here in the Philippines.

    Going to a public Restroom

    In the States:


    Public bathrooms are everywhere you go to in the states, at fast food joints, restaurants, theaters, gas stations, shopping centers, everywhere, and most of them are clean (required by law) with toilet paper and something to dry your hands with.:p

    My experience in Dumaguete:

    (Now this is funny to me because restrooms are kind of scared to me. It is a place that you can release your bodily function and leave feeling good in general. But not here!) First they are called comfort rooms, and they are not everywhere. The one that you can locate (like in a hospital or department store) has no seat cushion and no toilet paper. That’s right no TP, ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! :eek: And most of them smell like urine. So everywhere I go I take my TP with me, that’s right, if you see me on my motorcycle you will see me with a pack on my back, in that pack is a poncho (for that unexpected downpour) and a role of TP (I never leave home without it). Now what do others do that do not carry toilet paper with them? That’s a good question and I have an answer for you (I didn’t say it was a good answer). There is normally a bucket in the stall some times with a pale and a place to get some water near or at the sink. You get some water and you use this instead of TP. Then you go and wash your hands when you are through, but normally there is no soap and nothing to wipe your hands on, so you will have to let them air dry. Just another thing to get use to here in the Philippines.

    Driving

    In the States:

    We have a lot of traffic signs and traffic lights in the states we may not obey them all the time, but we do most of the times and it is a good system. It cut down on accidents and normally dictates who has the right of way.

    My experience in Dumaguete:

    The only right of way you have here is the one you get when you buy your land (and that is a right of way you better hang on to). The best way to drive here is to drive defensive at all times. Look for an accident anywhere and beware of animals crossing the roads or laying in the roads (sometimes I think the animals think that they own the right of way to the roads). I have seen no traffic lights and only two that’s right, 2 stop signs in the entire city and only a few people pays attention to them at all. Believe it or not, this system works too. You just have to learn to give and take as you drive and control your temper at all times because an accident will happen here, eventually.
     
  2. davis4121

    davis4121 DI Junior Member

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    Doctors Appointments: You don't mention that the cost of the visit and tests, etc, is about one-tenth of what it is in the States.

    Public Restrooms: Carrying a small tissue pack in your pocket or handbag is much more convenient than carrying a full toilet roll.

    Driving: You are right - the system does work and without the constant stop-start and horrendous costs of the thousands of traffic lights (usually un-coordinated), that plague most US cities and even small towns.

    You are in the Philippines. Get used to it or go back to live in the States.

    Gary
     
  3. pickled_newt

    pickled_newt DI Forum Patron

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    Rev Robinson , better post to ease the culture shock for new ones .I will add my little bit .True, public toilets are rare apart from what you find in shops or Dept stores ,restaurants . Some garages have toilets ,but don't even dare to look in .Myself don't even dream of going to any public toilet /comfort room ,and it is home .Though some shops ,malls ,restaurants do have,some are cleaner, some are not,some are worst u'll ever see.In Dgte ,I found lee Plaza one comparatively cleaner to any filipino standards ,but might vary some other times ,but there's always a cleaning lady that follows around with her mop and bucket and some disinfectant ,but i hate when the floor and toilet set bit wet ,or waiting in a cue .The Dgte market has one ,seem cleaner but you need to put a peg on your nose , one has to crouch/squat down to the lowest level on the hole on the floor , also the floor is wet . If don't have good balance don't dare . Again there's always this cleaning lady that checks and clean after each use , have to pay few centavos my time ,perhaps few pesos now .there's no door on each toilet but plastic curtain hanging ,if it gets blowy ,wow . They don't use any air freshner ,so expect some gutty sulfurous earthly aroma.I have only done it once when so desperate , but mainly just can't stand wet slippery unfamiliar toilets .Any worse from those mentioned above ,I'd rather hold on with life til get home or out in the bushes ( I am not suggesting of this bushes thing ).That was better advise of the toilet roll or just pack of soft tissue to bring otherwise you might have helluva problem.
     
  4. 2blackbelts

    2blackbelts DI Member

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    My Experience...

    I actually found Rev. Robinsons post quite interesting, as we found to the penny, the exact same findings on our three week stay in Dumaguete.

    I have seemed to notice that whenever someone posts something different in Dumaguete to how it is at home, there always is someone ready to jump down their throats. The typical reply is, "if you don't like it, stay home". An observation or comment is not a slam, but just one person's view of how things are.

    It also appears from the posts made, that every landlord, every property owner, and every builder is a crook who is out to rip you off and steal your money. If you build a house, you are taken for a fool, as you will lose everything. If you rent, you're an idiot for paying too much. Is everyone in the Philippines a thief and begger? Is everyone in the Philippines on the take and out to steal from you? I have been around the block a few times, and feel that I can make a decent business decision. However, based on what is constantly posted, there isn't a decent person alive living in the Philippines.

    2 blackbelts
     
  5. Smedley

    Smedley DI Member

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    good read

    Interesting Thread, and very insightful.

    I myself am from the same mentality. I would agree that the same could be said of the South Side of Chicago, (I’m from the far north suburbs of chi so I would say the same about the SS of chicago, if asked) there’s thieves, beggars, crummy landlords, crooked cops and builders, pickpockets, gang violence, and so on and so on. So is all of America like this, Absolutely Not!

    So in reality the Philippines is not really that different. It is all on how you or anyone as a foreigner perceives the place and the surroundings. Any foreigner that steps into a place without knowing anything about it is setting themselves up for a rude awakening, and thing will not look good.

    Well now that I think of it the Philippines is not really all the same, because in the states we are all just one big piece of land. The Phils is a paradise of Islands, with tons of beaches. Not many in the states other than the southern edges near Fl. And CA. And unlike New Yorkers the people in the Phils are hardly stuck up and would lend you their shirt even if it was they’re last one just to help you out (no offense NY’s).

    All in all lots of good and not so good things about the Phils, this will be the same everywhere you go. You have to weigh your options and see what works and what’s right for you.

    I guess Rev Robinson is just speaking the truth for everyone see for themselves and I appreciate the enlightenment. I myself can handle it, and continue to count the months and minutes until we can make the move ourselves enjoy some of the paradises the Philippines has to offer.
    :smile:
     
  6. Swany

    Swany DI Senior Member

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    Rev. Robinson; In your comments you're making comparison. Sorry, this is not to jump down your throat. You don't compare United States and Philippines. And you know why. Yes, you've got to learn to live like locals if you want to stay in the Philippines for good. :D
     
  7. Timn8ter

    Timn8ter DI Forum Adept

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    I appreciate the post and the comparisons to the U.S. I'd like to editorialize if I may.
    1. Better not be in a hurry in the Philippines. Americans are so accustomed to a fast pace it's hard to break out of that mode. Once you get used to allowing plenty of time for doctors or any business it's no big deal.
    2. I love the service at the gas stations and many other places of business. It's something that is non-existent in the States. For example; when I go to buy a pair of shoes there's a professionally attired person smiling and immediately offering to assist. Nice!
    I read another post here about the new McDonald's. I was surprised. All the fast food places I've been to in the Philippines have employees that look like they came out of the training manual or could be used as examples for the training manual. Efficient, well attired, friendly and professional. I think it shows how much they appreciate being able to have work.
    3. Traffic and driving habits in the Philippines are interesting and in spite of what appears to be nonsensical behaviour most Filipinos are better drivers than Americans. They have to be or they'd never get to where they're going.

    Yes, things are different, some better, some worse, but overall the Philippines has a lot to offer to someone like me.
     
  8. Swany

    Swany DI Senior Member

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    Rev. Robinson; What you did is exposing the negativeness of the city of gentle people. When you post negative comments, you give the expats (especially those who are planning to come to Duma) a favor of telling them the flaws of the city instead of finding the negatives themselves. Why go into trouble of posting negative comments, if you're enjoying your life in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental? :D
     
  9. Cyndi

    Cyndi DI Member

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    I think this POST is a GREAT idea! I love comparisons. I love talking with my friends from different countries and trying to figure out how things work in their country/culture compared to America or another place. It is all very fascinating and in no way is meant to degrade any place/person. I especially feel it is important to INFORM foreigners BEFORE they come to a new place regardless of what country it is. I deal with situations so much better when I am PREPARED and NOT expecting something done as what I am used to. It is a culture shock to live in the PHL and with good friends that explain and help you through it then you can have a wonderful, fulfilling experience and learn to fit right in.

    In fact, I tried to prepare my filipino friend for the culture shock that awaited her in America where her finance' was. You bet that I told her the NEGATIVES along with the positives about America. I also warned her NOT to let them change who or what she is. I understood the area and the religious denomination better than her. I now enjoy her e-mails and her informative/intelligent comparisons between America and back home.
     
  10. jnk8665

    jnk8665 DI New Member

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    Yes

    Maybe?
    Have you noticed that all houses have walls and many have deadly looking barbed wires/iron spears/glass imbedded concrete trims? Not to mention that all the windows have steel grills.
    I wonder how much Philippines as a nation would save by not having all those walls and steel grills. Probably enough to build houses for all the squatters?
    Just go talk to any attorney, 2 BB. They will tell you right from the getgo to watch out for scammers.
    And don't you notice when you go to a department stores like SM or Abensen or any of these places, there is a three step purchasing procedure, ending with the security guard checking and signing the receipt before you are allowed to exit. This is in place mostly because the store ownership do not trust their own employees. This is a systematic belief in Philippines, and is not just for foreigners. Filipinos believe other Filipinos are scammers and cheats. So why should foreigners trust Filipinos if they themselves don't?
    Just yesterday, my cousin had a cap ceremony from her nursing school where she now is "half-nurse". A photographer apparently came to her offering to take photos during the part where she gets a cap. She got a ticket and paid 300pesos.
    After the ceremoney, the photographer was nowhere to be found.
    Where did this happen?
    Grand auditorium of the University of Philippines Dilliman.
    You don't see that in too many places.
    I don't believe this is a result of some kind of genetical defect or anything. I think its a product of society where poverty is above 30%, and corruption is a way of life and is systematic within the government. They have no choice.
    However, I bet you same would happen in London or good old U.S. of A if the poverty level is that high there. Did you see the chaos that occured in New Orleons after Katrina? People were rabid dogs!
    But the fact is, this does not happen very much at all in U.S or Europe at this time. It's happening in Philippines prolifically.
    When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Philippines, do as Filipinos do. Trust no one, and watch your back at all times.
     
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