The Maid, The Motorbike & A Warning – Philippines

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Author: Reekay V.

Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat and spent 1999 living in Vietnam.

Share with me my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Hopefully you find my observations helpful in your own adventures.
— Reekay


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  2. i have lived in phils since 2015 and make it a rule to not get involved with confronting filipinos… especially over money… as a foreigner if you come here and get wronged financially and expect justice to be served… then the vast majority of the time (99.9 out of 100 times) you will be disappointed that justice was not served… but not with reekay… as is often the case… this guy has amazing karma and things just sort of work out for reekay in a magical fairy-dust-sprinkling sort of way… but for the rest of us humans… we must understand our karma is not as good and what happened to reekay with him receiving back all his money (FIFTEEN-THOUSAND PESOS) is as rare as hens teeth in the philippines… totally mindblowing indeed that a filipino would without court pressure hand him back ALL his money… never heard of such a thing here… but then again im not reekay.

  3. What was her intention? She gave you the bike and could have had the full amount of money but chose instead to retain legal ownership. How did that benefit her?

  4. On a more serious note Henry, this situation could of gone worse for you! If she had not been on parole, she could of TOLD the Baranguy Captain, her father, and her uncle that you assaulted her when she came to iron your clothes or when she came to visit you. Then she would of dropped the charges against you if you gave her back the bike (and that she had to leave it at your place because she ran away from you after the assault) and to settle the whole thing, she would also KEEP the $300 from you!
    Just think of how much MORE damaging it could of cost you! But great experience though for the better!

  5. This was a hilarious story. I’ve been ripped off by taxi drivers all over the world (especially Grab taxi) but I always usually just pay it, for the reasons you outlined. It’s usually just a few extra dollars. The “foreigner tax” is kind of a fact of life. This is why I dress like a broke ex-pat and pay for things in small bills. I look less rich. And the Baby story is a riot. LOL


  7. Never truer words , a much different mind than Westerner or used to dealing with – you must tread on a much milder temperament !

  8. There is no excuse for the ‘save face’ culture. I have never handled idle threats very well. but I understand you have to conduct yourself like a gentleman in the Philippines.

  9. The part where you said that handing the captain an envelope might have greased the wheels. Do you find that sort of thing is quite common in the Philippines? Slipping someone a few pesos or a few dollars goes a long way when you want to get something done?

  10. Sometimes friends and money is a terrible mix. This video has taught me to go to the store and pay a little bit more for peace of mind.

  11. Very good advice for the Philippines..I have a long story but it all worked out..Fortunately…

  12. Mabilis mabilis mabilis = Hurry, hurry hurry. NOOOOTHING in the Philippines MUUUST happen today. Now I am a foreigner in a foriegn land…I ALWAYS have 500, 1000, 1500 or something in my pocket TODAY for ANNNYone willing to tell me a pretty little story. I don’t TRY to live on $555 a month and I should have a generosity of spirit. And PRETTTY little stories are just Filipino FUNNN! Kuwento Kuwento = Story but really Storytelling BS! Now for any ask of 5,000/10.000/15,000 NEVERRRRRR TODAY. ONLY when EVERYTHING can be planned to happen together. All in ONE IS DONE. Too late today. Bukas bukas = Tomorrow will have to work. Monkey got a gun and shot the lolo? I’d like to help. What hospital? Where is it? Who is the doctor? What is his Cell Phone number? He gave a perscription? ANNNNNNNNNNND IMMMMMMEDIATELY…medical emrgencies…and annnnnnny other DRAMA…just melt AWAY. Interest in pursuing you just vanishes in a POOOOF upon the face. Mukha mo! 5000/10000/15000 numbers are bola bola bs amounts no Filipino would ever ask another Filipino…so why are you being ASKED! POINK. SLOW DOWN…GET PLAN…SAME AS MOM TAUGHT YOU 50 years ago…DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH! 😛

  13. Very Very Very important video… starting with sealed envelope to the Barangay and continues with being killed over a taxi fare. I guess there is a reason why more people want to get into western countries than those who want out.

  14. Damn i am enjoying this one with popcorn. That’s why you don’t become friend with a chick. They will always screw you up.

  15. It doesn’t seem as though the Manila cabs are regulated as they ripped my off on my 1st trip there, it was 12:30 am and just wanted to get to hotel.
    I heard of a guy there that was falsely jailed for rape after he called police on neighbors kids. She in turn called police the next day and claimed rape with no proof and he’s been in jail for years.

  16. This is scary stuff because it might have been cheaper to kill you than pay you.

  17. Too many things comically wrong with this situation, lol. I am glad everything worked out though. Hopefully Baby is still livin’ the pirate life!

  18. The transaction was done wrong. Even when you sell a car here, the registration is provided BEFORE you give any money.

  19. Baby is a common woman name in the Philippines. I have an Aunt name Baby! Lol

  20. No good deed goes unpunished in the PI….I would have given the bike back… oil drained…..

  21. Your warning at the end is so true. My wife’s two sisters now have foreign boyfriends, and I told them pretty much what you said, and the laughed at me. So now I have backed off, let them learn the hard way. One of the boyfriends has been there six months one year (2018), than six months the following year, and the other was there 3 weeks , (2017), and the following year for 3 months, I have been back and forth for the last 19 years, from one month to 7 months at a time.

  22. This is theTip if you are going anywhere in PH you should not accept the Verbal CONTRACT with the Taxi Driver if they don’t want to use the Taxi meter ask somebody on where you should take a ride to go on that place you wanna go…Me also as a PH local had an experienced on Taxi Driver Verbal Contract on the place where i want to go, some people are accepting this kind of agreement to avoid the wasting of time to find a ride to go to the place he wanted to go and it is very fast journey…Better to take a PUV such as a Jeep a Bus or a UV Express Van which has a point to point route then ask them on which trip are you going to take a ride in the place you wanna go…This is the right thing you do if you don’t want the OVER CHARGE Fare in your trip to somewhere….

    Even in other country this is also happening like in Brazil some police there are corrupt, like what happen to my friend they are riding along the road with a big amount of money on their bag and unknowingly during their trip there was checkpoint then the police search on their bag and found out that they have a lot of money, the police think they are drug traffickers which is not…The police take the money and they let them go….

  23. I have never had the desire to drive anything in the PI, other than a bicycle. But I can identify with the rest of the story. When you befriend enough girls and allow them into your life you will meet a few sketchy ones. Part of life in PI. Missing that right now, would like to get back there. This was a useful video, one of the better ones!

  24. Simple situations where they are obviously in the wrong and you can get killed for pointing out their wrongdoing? You make it sound like a place nobody would ever want to go to no less live there. I would like to understand how you balance that out and think of it as a reasonable place to live or visit

  25. I was waiting to hear she counter sued for damages to the motor bike claiming it was in perfect condition. You dodged a bullet there.

  26. U imagine a situation where you have a confrontation with a gf in a condo… where the relationship is over and she refuses to move out and begins to scream?? Everyone will know ur business!!

  27. Filipino here – One of my officemates stole a laptop and our legal department went straight to file a case, bypassing the barangay and police. The theft, when prompted with a subpoena returned the laptop.

  28. In the states its called a kids mini my flippino wife will never ever admit shes wrong even if we both know shes wrong and if you call her out on it she gets even more MAD and tries to put the blame back on me so now I just let it go its not worth the fight.

  29. When I lived there I was a real hot head and, in retrospect, am fortunate to be alive. Great story by the way.

  30. Great video! it is interesting to hear real-life stories about the Philippines!

  31. I had something like that happen here in America with a family member. After graduation from a community college in Arizona I decided to relocate back to my home state of New Jersey, when I finally arrived I met my younger sibling, who was living in a hotel with the manager, his girlfriend, who also had addiction issues, said for me to stay in one of the rooms in exchange I would do some maintaince for the hotel owner. I asked my brother if I could leave my savings in the hotel safe until I could get residency status and a bank account set up. So in it went, 8k. A week later I asked for my funds but he did not have it. It turned out while away pursueing my college degree and working in Arizona my brother had become a crack addict. He gave some lame excuse and swore he would have it in a few days. It never materialize and the same story happened each time I requested it. I had no income nor job and was stuck living in the hotel. This horrible event happened and I had to evaluate my relationship with him. He was making a good income but never started repaying me. I gave him a choice of returning my money or that we would end our rleationship. He chose to keep what he took , stole from me. The way I see it, family is not always, blood thicker than water. Its been thirty years since the occurance and I realize that just because they are from the same parents does not indicate the kind of person they become. One has to live by moral principals in this life. I am a product of my grandparents influence, who taught me right from wrong. Life goes on and so must we.

  32. Your closing comment about the wisdom of not escalating disagreements can be good advice.

  33. Thanks for sharing the details of the event. Glad it worked out ok because it could have went very bad for you as a foreigner.

  34. LOl, great story !! I heard before I moved here that if you have a incident no matter who’s at fault to try & settle it right there & now. Don’t let it linger/drag on. Life is cheap here & question if there’s really any proper channels that you can count on.

  35. baby the alcoholic scammer. the dummies there don’t understand that they ruin it all for themselves for future interactions…..and with social media now to “spread the word” it is ridiculous to screw people over….but it happens everyday there !!! pink slip 1st…..then you get the money ! good story: went to a food table in angeles……paid for my plate of food that I eat there sitting down off the street. a homeless woman walks up takes the money off the table AFTER I paid the owner…….she walked away briefly and left the money on the counter away from me……I walked away…….the owner comes running up to me on the street and demands “repayment”? I said…..”you were paid already”……she said, “no, someone take the money from me” ! I said that is not my problem, etc. 3 minutes later 2 filipinos are with her demanding the money from me …….I paid another 100 pesos to avoid a big thing…….real scumbags. but it could have been my life over 2 dollars…..not worth it. be careful there !

  36. Been here 8 years and about 6 months before the lockdown I had a situation with some Filipinos where although by our standards I was in the right here it can go wrong fast. Fortunately, my Jen has spent the last few years building a network of friends and contacts and so when the police became involved she made a call to someone that made a call. I kept my mouth shut and it was sorted. I know had I been the foreigner that shouted the odds cos I was right it could have gone very differently. Always remember you are a guest in their country and while you can be frustrated at some processes being humble and having the ability to let things go will keep you safe and a lot happier 🙂

    Great story Reekay.

  37. Yup, very true about things can escalate to a killing. If you want to prove someone has wronged you, it’s best you find out things about the person first. For example: where does this person come from on this island? If the answer is Lutao, Inabanga, Bohol- run or move away! You can get butchered (tigbas) for hurting someone’s feelings or saying no to a “tagay” (drink) invitation. How do I know? I am from there… left as a child, but just the other day a relative told me someone was killed this way in Tagbilaran. I asked if someone involved was maybe from Lutao, and lo and behold the answer was yes.

  38. On your first video about the made I haven’t been to the Philippines yet but I want to come there I talked to this little Filipino this pretty cute man she’s like 22 years old and she wants to be my maid when I come there to visit for one month

  39. another nice video,thankgod I know enough people in 5 asians countries easy to take care of any situation im in.i even pay those really dirt cheap bribes often to make life easier anytime im stateside in California now, til a certain part of a Asian country opens up.i like to give back, especially to the poor neighborhood’s.

  40. They best way to get back at those who do you wrong is NEVER to confront them but to keep smiling at them AND stealthfully get them back in a way that keeps you anonymous so they dont know that it was you..Well that’s what I always try to do. and so far its worked every time.

  41. Been in the Philippines for almost 3 years the one thing you will never hear from any business is an apology for anything.

  42. its not right that they think because im white man they can rip me off i was nearly stabbed as this taxi driver wanted more but the meter was on but nope he wanted more he got his knife out but i was in the hotel with the security guard so quick he just showed the knife but waset going to use it thinking im rich no was im unemployed that time as well i havent worked since 2012 because of my health

  43. Enjoyed your story. A cautionary tale indeed. The Philippines is a wonderful country, but expats can run into situations just like you described. Pick and choose your battles guys. Stay safe and healthy.

  44. Amen to this – excellent recommendation on letting the little things go here in the Philippines. In fact, a good life lesson in general. Thank you for this sage advice, Reekay.

  45. Very open, truthful words. Married to a philippina in Europe I am glad to have a lot of family to get advise from, if such a situation would come up…

  46. Wow see you are back in the Philippines that looks like a 5 star resort you are at

  47. Business transactions in foreign countries are done with complete scrutiny. There is a lesson to be learned here.

  48. Just one thing to add. The one kind of person you DO NOT want to be perceived as, is arrogant and boastful. If you are, all bets are off, as far as getting Filipinos interested in your side of any story. I was amazingly lucky, married into a good, respected family, know barangai captains, high ranking local police and military, am myself retired US Army, and all the respect I get would vanish in a heartbeat, if I ever play the A&B card. Be funny and self depricating instead. You’ve said this before, I believe, but it bears repeating.

  49. I’ve lived here three years and everything you said is true.. this the land of revenge. Be very careful in picking your battles. As an expat the odds will be against you.
    There are times you might just have to take a hit. Losing face and embarrassment to Filipinos could cost you your life.
    The logic here is something else and you won’t prevail.

  50. Reekay, always the best advice to Philippines Expats. I still have my motorcycle (same situation exactly). I decided to take the financial hit rather than escalate. Again, I had a bill of sale, but no OR/CR ever delivered (actual owner was her brother who was/is in Saudi Arabia). I’ll get the papers (or money) from him whenever he gets back & I have individuals who will know when he does get back. Reportedly, he isn’t going to be very happy with his sister for selling his bike while he was gone. But it will be a much more peaceful solution, as I do have a witnessed Bill of Sale from his sister who claimed to be the bike’s owner.

  51. This is such a hard concept for people to grasp, especially us Americans with our sense of justice and injustice. I had to learn the hard way that it is better to take a small financial loss, than to fight back and end up losing the larger battle. Now even though it is very difficult, when someone scams, cheats, or steals from me, I just give them the win. I tell them congratulations, you win, I loose. You 1, me 0. And just chalk it up to what some call a stupid tax, or paying for my own lesson. Slowly but surely I end up becoming wiser, and not allow myself to be in a situations where I will loose financially. Ultimately though I love the Philippines and am happy to be able to travel there every year and I can’t wait to retire there in the future.

  52. So many headaches. Only men are expats in the PH and it’s to have a relationship. Astute men know there’s no real passion from the lady, which is a necessary metric of romantic love. It seems possible to get fake romance if one pretends to want marriage and family, but it requires a stealth vasectomy. Risk benefit ratio in the PH is bad. Great topic. Peace.

  53. Good to see your video again. A great example episode showing how Philippines is and what it would be like living there sometimes. Other than that, the girls are beautiful and the sunsets on the beaches are memorable. Thanks!

  54. This whole culture of not wanting to “lose face” is really a huge flaw in Filipino society. If Filipinos want to see their country and culture and economy prosper, this is one of the things that really needs to end.

  55. I let my missus handle any trouble which we encounter. She can be an absolute firebrand and gets away with a degree of no backing down aggression that I wouldn’t even dream of using. Filipinos seem to act differently when a public confrontation is with a woman. They don’t want it escalate in public then? It looks that way to me.

  56. Is there any maid agency through which one can hire a legit maid with all her info and background checked?

  57. Wow Henry.. cool story but I hope your honesty doesn’t come back to bite you man.
    Curtis in Mexico City.. No restrictions here, no covid test, no quarantine and street tacos (al pastor) for 15 pesos. Headed to Mazatlan next month.
    Best wishes Reekay

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