To work in the Philippines is an adventure in itself. īThe climate is tropical, it is not possible to work in the same speed as in the northern Europe, and to find a work concludes more than to have knowledge within a certain skill. In the Philippines is the difference between being Philippine and foreign more than the outlook. The Philippines is a poor country and is classified as a development country by the UN (even if UN has classified Philippines as a development country today, due to its economy, it is not seen in the whole country, but only for a limited area).
  The corruption that meets a foreign export/import company, which intentions is to sell products or services to the Philippines, directs the company to aim on domestic production instead of importing products to the Philippines. To import products to the Philippines, without support from government officers or other with high dignity in the society, makes through extra tithes and bribes for custom and transport, the products so expensive to import that it is more effective to produce domestic copies.
This in turn gives that the citizens does not get the ability to share the development in technology that many other countries in Asia get, as for instance, Thailand, Korea and China.
As a foreign citizen it is possible to work through other foreign projects. Often office related services or as a supervisor. To work in the field with installations i.e. body work, is only possible when the foreign worker is insured and work through a foreign company.
I am myself married and periodically in the Philippines, which gives that I need to arrange my own work, to have any. To be employed by a Philippine company seems impossible at the time, since one is worried of the consequences if I should be in a work related accident (hospitalization, allowance, reputation).
I have during the year of 2009 studied some of the work and the labour culture in the Philippines and will here take you on a guided tour in the Philippine archipelago.
  Observe that my experiences and observations are personal and can differ markedly from others experiences. I have a personal engagement and several good friends, partially through my family but also through own contacts.

Baguio City

Baguio City is the highest located city in the Philippines. The city is built on the summit of the mountain Bundok, which is located in the central about 250 km north of Metro Manila.
Unlike other parts of the Philippines, night temperature goes down here, during winter time, to 0 degrees Celsius and below. USA placed therefore their military training camp here, which is now overtaken by PMA, Philippine Military Academy.
Interesting is to see the canon by Bofors from the Worlds War II with  the recognition as one of the most important weapons in the war against the Japanese invaders. The recognition is fading when, for those that knows Bofors, it can be read that the country of origin is "Dutch", i.e. Netherlands. How pride one can feel for ones Swedish countrymen that has succeeded to produce quality without gut to stand for it!
Baguio Market
In the Philippines it is not as much street lights s we are used to in the northern Europe (streets, squares, commercial etc.)
Above you can see the same location by day and night. In a whole towns commercial centre you can only see two signs and a few, easily counted number of, lamps.

A normal phenomenon in the Philippines is the local, family owned, stores. They are found in different sizes and sells, principally, what the family is interested of to sell. If one want to shop here it can therefore be needed to try a number of stores before all contents needed is found.


In the Philippines, people are happy to decorate with colours and lights. It is also very beautifully done by shifting colours and happy music.
To the left you can see a house decoration in Manila during Christmas and the New Year 1999 - 2000








A Christmas tree in metal that is lighted when dark.
It become dark at summer time at 7pm and light again at 5am.
Remark the compact overhead line network!
Electric Meters

In the Philippines currency is bought from the local energy plant, alike in Sweden. The difference is that one does not pay a current subscription (at least not in the provinces), but pay a fee per used kWh.
  This gives that if one want to save money, it is only to shut off the electric switch for a while. It is not either unusual the there is interruption in the deliverance of currency, by different reasons. Rain and typhoons can strike hard on the electric networks in intervals, and some time the net is shut off for maintenance reasons. Any warning is not given in advance, and in the province it is not seldom unusual that a whole village is de-energized for one or several days, even due to zero causes.
  The members of the village is in such cases turning to a local officer, for instance a police or village councillor, who seek the reason through sending an ordinance to find what is the cause of the problem. Any compensation for the interruption is not given, but people takes the opportunity to defrost and sell their cool items during the time.
Let us take a tour in the Philippines and look at some solutions under the subject electricity meters!

Box intended for meters in the town of Carrascal, Surigao del Sur, on the biggest island Mindanao in the southern Philippines.






Meter installation on a house in a village in Surigao del Sur on Mindanao.


Meter under cover in a palm tree on Boracay, the vacation paradise island in the Philippines.

Meter on a created pole intended for houses along the river of  Pasig, outside Metro Manila.

If you live in a tenement it can look like this!






While we are on the run, we can do a shortcut at another direction and look at this installation:
Do you see the TV-antenna?
If there is a TV-antenna, it should be a TV, but how is it then powered?
The picture is from a small fishing village in southern Philippines on the island Mindanao.


Next subject is transformers.
The easiest way to deliver electricity, as it looks like in the Philippines, is through high voltage transmission, from which transformers is built in periodically.
From these, the subscribers are connected in varying ways.

The picture to the left shows transformers outside a college in Caloocan City, Metro Manila.






Some times the installation can look suspicious. Who want to change the bulb in this lamp?








The power is delivered in the same way  as in Sweden.

here is a regional network in Surigao del Sur between Surigao City and Tandag.






In the consuming end we stands, you and I, and wonder which fuse that has gone!

The Philippine grid is of natural reasons built with American equipment, why (like partially in Norway) the tiers is two phase 230v.
This fuse box is "read" from left to right. The top two are the tier one , all in the left row is "outgoing" while the right is "incoming" (in Sweden zero) from consumer.



To live in the Philippines

About this subject I could say a lot, but I chose to show some pictures, which I summaries and make notes on.

This is a normal kitchen in a middle-class family in the Manila are.
Kitchen and living room is all in one, here is some one or some sleeping in the night.


To the left you can see the TV and beside it, the rice dispenser, which is filled up with rice which can be portioned in 1, 2 or 3 cups of rice while cooking.
A refrigerator with freezer compartment. the freezer compartment is used to make ice, which is for sale for 1 - 1,50 pesos per pc.
Stove stand has a sink, freshwater drum, dish rack and a gas cooker.
The gas is bottled and placed in the cupboard under.


In the bathroom needs is made as usual, but it is flushed by a bucket.
In the Philippines, water pressure from a water tower is a private affair, why the most usual is that water is brought in from a source, collection point or delivery point.

This is where to shower too, that's when you use the bucket so that they can wash themselves.











The Post Office is good to have in order to maintain contact with the outside world.
However, we strive to find postcards to send.
Usual letters and congratulations cards is easy to find and buy, but in the bigger shopping malls and other places.


The Post Office is providing stamps.


The Post management in the Philippines is slow compared to Sweden, and you cannot trust that your mail will be delivered. It is not unusual that the post is opened, why bills or other valuables shall not be sent through mail in the Philippines.
In this matter, not even the bigger official Post Offices can be trusted.


Police station.
The police have not at all the guiding and helping image alike the Swedish police have.


In the Philippines you shall not be surprised if the police want a private fee (bribe) for his service. The police is also not equally helpful in the combination white foreigner/domestic Filipino.


However, do the police use and a stub reform is now giving the police a better reputation in that it is made clear its vision and mission while simultaneously lifting up bribing to the surface.






In Manila is a huge number of malls located and the most can be found in them from the western world, but it is also possible to try domestic delicacies and to eat traditionally.
These types of Food-Court are inspired of its American predecessors, but are on some locations bigger than its American ditto.





The traffic is tight and slow. It is to have patience and take the day as it appears. Would you have time for anything in particular you may start the day early. It is easier to get through if you start 5am or earlier, when sun raise between 05.15 - 06.00 the traffic stocks.







Some attractions:

Casino Pilipino in Cebu City
On Cebu and its close islands Lapu-Lapu and Mactan nice places to spend a vacation with sun and bath.


Cebu is reached with flight from Manila on an hour or with a boat over night.






Hotel in Lapu-Lapu







Beautiful beaches around the islands.
You can take the risk to look around by hiking or go to given places like Boracay and Lapu-Lapu.
This place is my own little favourite spot without tourists.

Davao City is the second city of the Philippines, with many attractions such as Mount Apo, Yuhico Orchid Gardens, Eagles Conservation Centre and Pearl Farm Beach.






Colourful jeepneys in Davao City.





Metro Manila with Manila
Here you can experience the 18th century and take a guided tour with the famous cabs from the era. They are found at Intramuros in Manila.








Manila Cathedral





Here is where the Swedish embassy where recently, but it was closed in July 2008.











Thank you for this time. Welcome back!