I Am The Invisible Man in the Philippines!

I Am The Invisible Man in the Philippines!

I Am The Invisible Man in the Philippines!  Yeah, who would have thought a six foot tall, 190 pound, loud, overbearing white guy in the Philippines would be invisible?  Getting a pump boat ticket at Ortiz dock in Iloilo City, and as I was standing at the counter, a lady in her 50's, accompanied by a female companion,  pushed a 50 peso note in front of my 13 pesos, the cost of the ticket.  I pushed her bill back, and said:DSC

  • "Excuse me, but am I invisible, and you do not see me standing in front of you?"

  • She laughed and said "Yes!"

  • "Really?" I replied. "But I am so much bigger than you, and you still don't see me?"
By this time I had gotten my ticket for the ride back on the Ric Rac as the line jumper (which is fairly common in the Philippines) waited to purchase her ticket back to Guimaras.

  • "Is it because you are older that you think you can push ahead of me?" I asked.
She had no reply, so I walked away and boarded my boat. As soon as I took my seat, the engines started as I was the last one to board, mine was the last ticket sold. As the Ric Rac crew pushed the boat off the dock, I saw the rude lady and her companion walking to the next boat. But she would have to wait. The crew doesn't leave until they have a full vessel. Instant karma!

I have no problem respecting those more senior than me, although I might have been older than this lady, and I am sure my wife was grateful she was not with me on this particular trip to Iloilo as she would have been embarrassed.  
But there is no excuse to blatantly try to force your way ahead of someone in line and just be rude. I don't think the line jumper understood my English and didn't have a clue as to what I was saying.  I guess I should make an attempt to be more pleasant when faced with a minor hassle, but perhaps I'm just getting comfortable in my role as an old geezer at the age of 58.  Maybe I just need to drink more San Miguels!

8 thoughts on “I Am The Invisible Man in the Philippines!

  1. Really, John, Austrians are known for that, too? I had no idea. I lived in the Midwest in America for almost 57 years, but have more people try to jump ahead of me in line the past year in the Philippines than my previous 57 years in America.

  2. Well, Dave, I hope you will get used to it. There are really a FEW, not all, Filipinos who are like that, line jumpers who want to get ahead to the next fellow waiting in line. They don't know how fall in line, maybe part of their own twisted culture or what.

    But just relax and don't let the incident get your nerves. Drink a few bottles of ice-cold San Miguel Pale Pilsen and it will be over — until your next pumpboat ride, that is.

  3. I’m disappointed on how you handled her intrusion. I’m disappointed because you were to tactful. You should have gone off on her, like a machine gun in full auto.

    Have we lost our manners? What are the elders teaching their children?

    Houston, Texas

  4. You are correct, Eli, there are only a FEW Filipinos that do this. The vast majority of the folks here are friendly and respectful, but when a line jumping incident happens, I usually get ticked off.

  5. Well, EJ, to be honest, I left out a part of my response to the lady as I walked away, and hopefully she understood my English for the word BS, though I did not shorten it for her. I think that might have conveyed my irritation.

  6. Most Filipinos do not like to fall in line. You can see this in the traffic too: they do not want to wait in the end of the line at traffic lights, but pass the line and stand in front of the queue, right on the zebra stripes blocking everything.

    A day or so ago I went to a farmacy to buy some medicines. While waiting in line, a lady (in her 50's passed me and tried to have service at the counter ahead of everybody. I tapped her shoulder and asked if she would fall in line, just like the others and me. She made a face at me but finally did.

  7. Good for you, Jan! I often used to encounter such problems at our pharmacy lines so now I just give my wife some money and let her deal with it. Gets irritating at times.

Leave a Comment