Fear and distrust is rife here. This country was one of the last I visited when backpacking South East Asia, and I noticed the difference immediately with all the armed guards literally everywhere and my guest house being in a weird protected community that had its own guard (I didn't even know about gated villages before, now I see guards every time I step outside).
When you stay for longer and hear people's stories you learn that backstabbing and seething jealousy are accepted facts of life in most workplaces and neighbourhoods. I don't think they know that isn't normal.
And where other countries have regional stereotypes about their own countryfolk ("anyone who lives outside the dead centre of the metropolis is a slack-jawed yokel"; "anyone who lives in a rural area has intimate knowledge of livestock"), it seems many Filipinos actually believe them, and are regionalist to a laughable extent with their unshakeable beliefs about Manila people, Davao people… anyone beyond their front door, really.
I don't get where the notion that the Filipinos are an especially loving people on the whole comes from. Because the kids live with their parents longer (because it's expensive to get their own place)? From the promoters of mail order bride and dating sites? Or maybe it's just something that used to be the case back when this place was apparently pretty good, before the rot set in.
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