According to Wikipedia, hospitality is defined as “the relationship between guest and host which includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or stranger.”
Sometimes I wonder about this so-called “Filipino hospitality”, this tendency of my people to give the best part of what they have to their guests. The best place in the house to sleep in, the best blanket, the best food, the best type of treatment.
Or maybe, that was the case a long time ago. Like 400 years ago maybe.
I can remember a high school teacher saying something like, “if we Filipinos have not been so hospitable, we wouldn’t have been colonized by white-skinned foreigners. And then we wouldn’t be this fucked up.” That second sentence, she didn’t say that exactly … I just implied it from her expression and the kind of teacher she was (a member of the LFS who had probably joined the NPA — I think).
Sometimes, I also wonder if this so-called “hospitality” is a concept devised by my country’s elites; foisted on me so I that I will not feel enraged when they screw me over and over. (But then I should also remember that I got screwed because I smilingly I laid on my back and spread my legs. Well, boo hoo on me …)
I haven’t been bothered by a blog for a long time. But this one had. And I can’t really say why. The writer seem to be well-meaning and very honest. Honesty should be prized more than hospitality I think.
This is how she related an experience travelling to the Ilocos:
“A big disappointment here. For some reasons, Filipinos (especially older people) got really angry when they saw us taking photos of them, the food in the street or even ourselves in front of their shops or houses. It’s totally understandable, but once we asked them for permission, they quoted the price of the photo or said “Any money is ok. It’s up to you.” This attitude shocked us on the first day, but it continued for the rest of our stay. We still can’t understand that. Is it because some Filipino are materialistic people or they are just poor people trying to earn some extra money? Don’t know the answer.”
Hmmm … are we a materialistic people? But then, we (a majority of us, anyway) are a people who have so little as far as material stuff are concerned. Even the lands under our feet are not ours.
We gave them to the white-skinned foreigners and their local cronies a long time ago. Shame on us …
And then she tried our foods and was disappointed as well. Yup, me too … sometimes I’d rather starve than try the food she ate. But then, I can afford to starve like for a day or even two. The people who patronize the “poor quality food” she mentioned are, well, poor. If they starve, they really starve — as in, to death.
I feel sad for this tourist. For her horrible diarrhea and her bad experience in my third world home.
But I feel sadder for myself.