John Grant

Nationality: British.

Occupation/Location: Self employed and now living In Davao City, but traveling to Manila as much as possible too. Always like to go to new places, maybe I have itchy feet.

How did you find about the Philippines?

When my Father died I took leave, and went to my travel agent and asked to go anywhere in Asia, she suggested Thailand, I agreed and asked anywhere else, she told me there was a flight two days later going to Manila. I took that flight with no knowledge really of the Philippines, and landed and fell in love with the people and the place. Later in the same week, still knowing nothing I flew to Davao, wow, I thought I had landed in the jungle, but loved it.

What Philippine locations have you visited?

I have been to Gensan, Tagum, Cayagan De Oro, La Union,Baguio,Manila,Davao, Cotabato (Matalam), Pollilo Island, Iloilo..and more, including Ipil, Digos, Bukidnon, Kidapawan, Augustan, Butuan and more. Yes I really love the country.

What are your opinions on the following things about the Philippines?

     Places

Love the experiences of the provinces and the cities.

     Food

Sorry to say, I still have not become a fan of the food, shame on me. But unlike Thai, or Indian to my pallet the food has lack of flavor and choice to me.

     Culture

It is a lovely contradiction of religion, freedom,family and sometimes a heavy hand from the State. Many of the confusions I have had have been in understanding the culture, from the non verbal communication, the not losing face, the not liking the word “NO”, and the driving lol.

     People

The people have the smile, and when you meet it,it makes you feel warm. I still have a heavy heart that poverty is still ignored, and those who have, seem to have everything, and those less fortunate seem to have very little chance of getting a better life. However, rich or poor the family is so important in the country, it holds things together, but just maybe it holds back change too.

What do you dislike about the Philippines?

As mention above traffic and food, and of course the constant corruption that forces people into impossible positions and helplessness. I struggle with tardiness and the not being able to get a straight answer, but the more years I am here the more I acquire the correct temperament.

What do you like about the Philippines?

The beautiful weather, the scenery, the smiles of the people, the ability to make good friends, and the never ending supply of “Hey Joe” even-though I am a Brit. I like to hear the singing, and watch the dancing, and enjoy a cold beer in the street.

Your favorite place/s in the Philippines.

L-R: 1) I was on a deserted beach in Samal, no coke,no music,just locals fishing and relaxing. I thought I was in heaven; 2) This taken in Subic, the point being this scene could be anywhere in the Philippines, but its so enhanced when you have great local friends to look after you; 3) This is an adopted family in Davao, who have become great friends, and have a simple life, which they allow me to share; 4) I was a judge in North Cotabato in a place called Matalam, I can not tell you how spectacular and friendly it was; 5) La Union in Luzon, one of my favourite places to watch the sunset, and drink with the locals

Samal Island Subic, Zambales Davao City

Matalam, North Cotabato La Union

* Click photo to enlarge

Do you have a website or blog?

Website: Friends of Mindanao



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