Skip to main content

Politely isolated.............

It is odd
but as a Filipino,
I have always felt that we
are isolated in this part
of Southeast Asia.
Geographically, politically,
historically, religiously
and even culturally.

We think differently and there is a strong animosity in Southeast Asian culture among our people . We know more of the United States, Australia, Italy or the UK than we know of Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand.

Is it our conscious effort to feel differently about our Southeast Asian neighbors or they are also guilty of making us feel isolated? I am not sure about the answer.

While thinking about it, I was reminded of this survey survey conducted by READERS DIGEST MAGAZINE in 2007 which shows that Filipinos are the most polite in the region.At least. If it is because of the isolation, I am not sure.....

Then again, here is how the survey was conducted;

They sent out undercover reporters—half of them men, half women—from Reader’s Digest editions in 35 countries to assess the citizens of their biggest cities. (In Canada, we tested the people of our two largest population centres, Toronto and Montreal.) In each location we conducted three tests:

• They walked into public buildings 20 times behind people to see if they would hold the door open for us.

• They bought small items from 20 stores and recorded whether the sales assistants said thank you.

• They dropped a folder full of papers in 20 busy locations to see if anyone would help pick them up.

To allow us to compare cities, we awarded one point for each positive outcome and nothing for a negative one, giving each city a maximum score of 60.

and here are the results..........

The top 3 countries are all from the Western Hemisphere.

To admit...I never expect New York on top.......

And the least polite are...............

............Although low in the rank, Manila is still the most polite city in ASIA.

I am not sure there is a connection between our inclination towards the west and this survey as it shows that the test was basically based on western customs. In traditional societies, tall buildings, sliding doors and 24/7 convenient stores are a luxury. It is therefore normal to see people who are not used to these kind of courtesies.

This claim might not hold though with big cities like Hong Kong, and Singapore where life is very modern, the population is controlled and the area is small. Maybe Filipinos are just polite by nature..............


  1. i think yeah...

    it's not really hard to approach a stranger here to ask for some directions..

    a lot are willing to help

  2. ....I agree. Filipinos are excited every time they see people from other countries. Specially if they ask questions, everybody will answer......

  3. Are we talking about the 'isolation', or polite filipinos? About the politeness, i strongly agree with that. I've been to Manila, Papanga, Albay, i met marvelous politeness everywhere. It's just that there are some negative opinions about filipinos, which is somehow raised by bad people trough medias. well, same goes to indonesians, we are very polite, esp javanese people. But, media in Malaysia and S'pore say the opposite.
    About the isolation, i am not sure.
    About the isolation, i think it's because economy reason, not far beyond that. 'money' is like sugar, everyone (including media) will gp for where most money are generated. Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, are SEA countries who gain most media coverage.
    Dun worry, filipino fellas. Same goes to indonesia too.

  4. that's the reason why I feel that Indonesia and the Philippines are similar in that. I also feel that both countries suffer same bad impressions with investors and tourists.....

    Economically, we seem to have same faith. Both countries have a lot of potentials for growth but political upheavals and geographical composition of both our countries are big hindrances for prosperity. I know though that Indonesia and the Philippines are both ready to roar again.....


Post a Comment