Long ago, in a land far far away, Jessie use to tell me that she was allergic to chicken but only if she ate it too much. That was before I arrived in the Philippines. I’d see her on skype scratching all over and asked her what was going on.
Filipino street children, those that are homeless and live on the streets are unavoidable in any city in the Philippines, at least those that I have been too. They can be a source of irritation for most but there is some joy there. After all, they kids even if they are street kids. Last night I met a street kid that could speak English. So far we have not talked much I did gain a little insight into his situation and what it is like for him is likely to be the same for many more. I do not know if I will continue to try to talk to him though. You will see why. I want to share what I have learned so far.
He and others hangout at a nearby Filipino quick service hamburger joint. A Fast food business named Angel’s. It is not a full service one like Jollibee, McDonalds or Burger King. I can get four tongue rash causing cheese burgers for 72 pesos which is less than $2. Not quite as cheap as the ten cent burgers we use to get at McDonalds or Krystal but very close to it. I prefer to get Hungarian sausage though because I get less sugar filled bread that way. The hamburgers are rash causing, to me yes. It may be just a yeast infection but I do not think so. The buns are full of sugar, a problem for any diabetic in the Philippines. The bread is generally very high in sugar here. The burgers are spicy too so that might be causing it, I do not every add spices. It likely would not happen to you. A yeast infection is a problem for some diabetics as well as people with compromised immune systems but that usually shows as white covering on the tongue. Can be quite painful if it gets to that point. What I have happen is red spots and streaks and a sore tongue. I have been eating a lot of them and I do not react as strongly to them as I first did. The first night I got them, I ended up eating eight of them as I was very hungry at the time. Plus they were good. haha
It is easy to get caught up in stereotypes and I am better than many at not letting that happen to me. It sometimes seems that most Filipinos prejudge expats in the Philippines because of the few that make the headlines. Sometimes what they write on their blogs is hurtful and completely inaccurate. Expats and visitors do it as well. I once found a picture of me on someone’s website with a one word caption on it. Playboy? I wrote “Haha, I wish”. He took it down, it wasn’t meant for me to find. A few months ago, I realized that I too could be guilty of jumping to conclusions and, in fact, I was. Many misjudge this fellow and so did I.
He is from Australia and he can get a bit rough in his language especially if he’s had a few too many beers. He has cut back though and I do not even see that very much anymore from him. Besides that though, he had a lot of young Filipina running around with him. Some were obviously underage. I thought he was defiantly up to no good.
I’ve seen some pretty disgusting things at eateries in the Philippines. However, I do it and enjoy it. The worst was watching rats drinking from a large bowl at a BBQ. A few minutes later, I watched the staff clean the eating utensils in that same bowl.
These disturbing things might scare you to death. I look at it this way. There are 90 million people living in the Philippines. They are all eating and they are doing just fine.