TheLoneRider
a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

Country > Philippines > Negros Oriental > Valencia
Date > 2010 > Apr
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Peoplescape

Johnnie Blogs

Johnnie Blogs

(and The Danish Lagoon)



A Tale of Two Foreigners Apr 26, 2010

A Tale of Two Foreigners

Location Google Map: Valencia (municipality), Negros Oriental (province), Philippines

"WARNING: NO HANGING, PLAYING, BAZURA DUMPING HERE! CHILDREN LEFT UNATTENDED WILL BE SOLD TO THE CIRCUS"
"NO TRESPASSING. MY DOGS COULD EAT YOU AND THAT MIGHT MAKE THEM SICK. THANK YOU"

The Odd Sign
My friends and I were just leaving Casaroro Falls. While trekking back not too far away from the falls (but still in Valencia), I noticed the odd sign on the fence of a house.

I was shocked. It was insensitive at best, and downright vicious at worst. I was thinking, no Filipino would do that to his neighbor. I was curious. I asked a local if he knew who lived in that house. He uttered one word, "German". Hmmm...very Nazi. This sign reminds me of a time when Filipinos were labeled indios by the colonizing Spaniards. Filipinos were made to feel second class citizens in their own country...that we were inferior...not worthy. This one is no different. It's surprising that in this age and time, such sentiments, or worse, such outrageous statements are still made and blatantly announced in public!

A Similar Scene from 2 Years Back
It was perhaps 2 years ago, while I was still living in the highlands of the Mountain Province, when I was invited by a foreigner to his house. I already knew he had problems with the local Igorot community. But I wasn't prepared to witness a yelling from him against his next door neighbor. He called them "stupid monkeys" to their faces. The neighbor was quiet and even managed a smile. I was embarrassed to be seen in his house. It was crude, uncivilized and insensitive to the culture, to which he never bothered to appreciate or get to know better. Interestingly enough, he was also German.

The Igorots
A little history here. The Igorots are the indigenous people of the Mountain Province. They're gentle, hard working, and proud of their race. But when pushed or threatened, they fight back. Just generations ago, head hunting was part of their tradition. Even before the advent of eco-tourism, they already have a rigid stance that they call the shots in their land...not the monied lowlanders and definitely not the foreigners. Of course, many outsiders attempted to inch their way into the landscape. Those who managed to stay were able to do so only in compliance to the tradition and convention of the community. Those who wanted to take control were driven out of town...in one way or another.

Driven Out of Town
Not surprisingly, it was only a matter of time before the monkey-shouting foreigner was driven out of town. A legal charge of persona non grata was slapped against him by the municipality. The entire village escorted him until he crossed the boundary line.

Am I saying German foreigners are not good for us? NO! I'd like to believe these 2 are more exceptions to the rule. Let me continue.

JohnnyHeeeere's Johnny!
Interestingly again, just a day before the Casaroro trek, I was having beer with another foreigner who owns The Danish Lagoon in Siquijor. He introduced himself as Johnny. He never bothered with his last name. This guy really cracked me up. He was animated, funny, outrageous and more importantly, his heart is in the right place.

Giving Back to the Community
Just to prove that people in his community (Paliton) were reliable and hard working, he only hired the Palitonians to do construction on his impeccable resort...and they did a superb job. To jump start a livelihood program for the community, he initiated and financed a chicken program (or was it an egg program....I'm going by memory here). He also donated 100 sets of Hans Christian Andersens' 3 books to the local schools. He noticed the schools had no books! Without wanting to dole out charity, he raffled off bundles of loot bags (rice and other essentials) during a community event. In his own words, "I cannot save the world, but I can be a good neighbor."

Ending Thoughts
What am I saying? I'm saying in 2 days, I came across 2 foreigners who couldn't be more different. They spanned the extreme ends of the spectrum.

What about Johnny? I wanna buy him beer! If you happen to pass by The Danish Lagoon, buy him beer and tell him he's doing a fab job.

And the German guy who'll sell the local kids to the circus? I would tell him clearly in no uncertain terms, but perhaps still gently, that he shouldn't throw his weight around town like European nobility. As a GUEST in this tropical paradise we call Negros (or the Philippines, for that matter), it's not a good idea for a GUEST to be rude to his HOST.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider



Leave a comment?


Reader Comments:

mnmlist
(Apr 30, 2010) wow...what ever happened to extending kindness to travelers on the road? Glad you're ok and didn't become dog food. :))



Rowie
(Apr 29, 2010) And that was why I learned their language. So I could trade barbs (and/or compliments) on equal footing :)

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More on Valencia:

Valencia Map

Google Map Valencia, Philippines

tourist attractions in Valencia tourist attractions


Valencia Transport (as of Jan 2023)

Jeeps ply the Dumaguete-Valencia route. Last trip from Valencia to Dumaguete is 5pm.

Valencia Itinerary sightseeing Sightseeing / Activities
  1. Forest Camp in Valencia - a mountain resort fed by the Banica River. Great for getting wet and picnics (blog by Lakwatsero)
  2. Go to the Japanese Shrine and Casaroro Falls - 100 meter falls and site of a fierce WWII battle between Japanese, Americans and Filipinos
  3. Head out to Camp Lookout in Valencia for great views. Famous writers stay there for the Silliman University National Writers Workshop.
  4. Stop by The World War II Museum in Valencia and talk to curator/owner/collector, Constantino "Tantin" Cata-al.
  5. Splash on Pulangbato Falls and Hot Spring - via Palinpinon road towards PNOC. Great to dip-in after a day's hike or for hot lazy days
  6. Climb Mt. Talinis. At 1864 meters, it lords over Negros Oriental, and home to endemic and rare species of flora and fauna.


Blog

Valencia Valencia

2023

  • Valencia Day Trip Feb 5, 2023
  • 2017

  • Valencia Revisited Apr 30, 2017
  • 2011

  • Summiting Mt. Talinis with Cuernos de Negros Sep 16-18, 2011
  • Goodbye Valencia Jul 31, 2011
  • Rebar Bike Frame Jul 31, 2011
  • Smoked Mamsa with Bearnaise Sauce Jul 17, 2011
  • Pulangbato Falls and Hot Spring Jul 16, 2011
  • Splashing in Pulangbato Falls with Cuernos de Negros Jun 5, 2011
  • Camping at the Japanese Shrine with Cuernos de Negros Jun 4-5, 2011
  • Grilled Lobster and Jumbo Tiger Prawns with Kale and Hitoshi Feb 28, 2011
  • Climbing Mt. Talinis with Cuernos de Negros Feb 17-20, 2011
  • Smoked Blue Marlin on a Cedar Plank Feb 5, 2011
  • 2010

  • When a Hero Comes Along Nov 18, 2010
  • The World War II Museum: Valencia, Negros Oriental Sep 21, 2010
  • The Ride to Camp Lookout, Valencia, Negros Oriental May 1, 2010
  • A Tale of Two Foreigners Apr 26, 2010
  • Hike to the Japanese Shrine and Casaroro Falls Apr 25, 2010

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