20 responses

  1. Nomadic Chick
    May 13, 2010

    You pose some excellent, hard hitting questions. Methinks you have an investigative reporter deep in you somewhere. :)

  2. Ivy
    May 13, 2010

    Do you think that someone is ever gonna solve these problems? Don’ think so …

  3. Abby
    May 13, 2010

    You really are an investigative journalist! I always specialized in breaking news, as we have the exact opposite skills. I’ve envied the writers who do exactly what you do and have many close friends who cover regions all over the world. You’d better let us know if you start taking on assignments!

    • The Longest Way Home
      May 14, 2010

      -Nomadic Chick- Just trying to let people know what’s really going on :)

      -Ivy- I think it should happen. I also think that if no one knows about these things, then nothing will every get done anywhere.

      -Abby- Thank you. Who knows what the future brings. There was / is plenty more to this story. But for now, being directly affected, and seeing that not much is being written or spoken about it – someone had to step up.

      -Tim- Yes, money and power are hand in hand partners the world over, no matter where you go. Will it change? It’s been like that since the beginning of civilization. I hope it will improve as we evolve. Will it go away anytime soon? I don’t think so. But the moment we stop challenging it, that’s when we’ve lost hope.

  4. Tim
    May 14, 2010

    You mean, it’s not “paradise”? ;-)

    Isn’t is interesting that looking in from the outside in other countries the problem seems so obvious yet inside our own countries we’re so blind?
    It’s always about money and power wherever you go. Sadly, those with the money and power know how to use it to keep every one else “in the dark”.
    Excellent reporting.

  5. Enzo
    May 14, 2010

    Well, as you became famous to me (at least through the italian newspaper website) I started to follow your blog but now I realize things have changed.
    You are not moving on any longer, either you have finally found your home or just change your website to a Philippines description.
    You still have interest things to say but the search of a final home is losing its appeal a lot !!!
    Sorry for being too sincere.
    E.

    • The Longest Way Home
      May 14, 2010

      -Enzo- You can be as sincere as you like, theres no issue. There are many reasons for my length of stay in The Philippines. Not everyone who follow’s my website will agree with how I go about things. Then again, there are few people out there to set any example.

      Two months I wrote that for the next while I will be writing about others, and about other issues in regards to my journey before I return to my own story. The seeing the unseen series is over, and there is one more interview. Then it’s back to me and the journey.

      If I don’t cover things such a culture, social integration, politics, and how life in places is, then I am cheating myself. Which I will not do.

      What’s happening here is real, many people will have different perceptions of it, as is their right. Just as this is my journal on my life to find home. Just like life, it’s not all going to be about nice places, travel and always being on the move.

      Do I really want to live in a place like Mindanao with all this going on. The final few paragraphs should give you a clear indication on that …

  6. Renny
    May 14, 2010

    I read your journey on email. I think I understand what you are doing here. I think it’s very brave.

    You are experiencing something we don’t or can’t ever. It’s better to see this now, than if you decide to live there

    • The Longest Way Home
      May 16, 2010

      -Renny- Yep, there are many aspects to finding a place to live that are simply not mentioned here. Mainly due to a lack of time.

      -Tim- I prefer not to use the word “challenge” in that context. I really believe it’s not my place to tell Filipinos how they should run their country. Nor do I want to be seen as someone trying to convert people one way or another. However, like I mentioned in my

        previous article

      about not commenting on a countries politics, I will do so from my own perspective in trying to find a place to live. This electricity thing is ridiculously blatant on many fronts and has become a huge factor in my choices. Hence I wrote about it.

      -Gina- Thank you for the kind words. Study is important, but so is life’s lessons.

      -Argentina Tours- Thanks. And, I agree.

  7. Tim
    May 14, 2010

    Yes, challenging a corrupt system is a noble effort.
    What about passive resistence or non-participatory participation?
    Imagine what would happen if nobody showed up at the polls. Can you have an election if no one votes?
    Participation in a corrupt system only encourages them.

  8. Gina
    May 14, 2010

    @Enzo Even Superman has a day job is the message here. Keep going, your writing inspires me. And I learn from you more about life than my studies.

  9. Argentina Tours
    May 16, 2010

    Definitely your writing inspires all of us. But these types of problems cannot be demolished so easily.

  10. Kriszia
    May 21, 2010

    A person once commented on a site that the Philippines has incredibly free press. I thought it was weird, since this country is considered the most dangerous place for journalists to be. But after ruminating on that post, I thought it was quite right.

    This is one country where journalists dip into the lives of politicians and politics with abandon. Politics is our Hollywood, and there is no shortage of exposes. But couple that with several political dynasties, and you have a problem. It doesn’t help that some parts of Mindanao practice rido (clan wars), while there are some dynasties that do the same thing.

    But we tear through the government in newspapers with abandon. We are honest in our reporting, and unlike CNN, we aren’t biased. It’s too packaged, too vanilla. Although there are days when I think the bad news is just too much PR.

    I love your blog, and I thank you for championing the country (and your bravery for going there despite all the bad warnings). But Mindanao, I think, is still on track with recovery. It’s a region which has only gotten attention in the past years, and negative ones at that. I think it’s gotten the short end of the stick for so many years, and we all need an attitude change in order to give them a break.

    But paradigm shifts do not happen overnights, or in 2 years. Still, I think we are starting. I didn’t vote for the incoming president, but people trust him, and that is an excellent start.

    Again, thank you for championing the country.

    • The Longest Way Home
      May 22, 2010

      -Kriszia- You certainly raise some interesting points. Yes, the celebrity politician being raked through the press is fairly free and liberal, but when done in this way it almost becomes gossip magazine like. Somehow, to me, this looses it’s impact. In the UK the tabloids do the same, but hound wrong doers until the truth comes out and they are forced to resign.

      I think all news agencies are bias to an extent. Some are very politically motivated, others in this day an age are still trying to cope with the dying print media and internet take over. Bad news sells better than a happy story. I found this very true in Iran whereby the media is very much controlled. People were being told the USA was planning to attack any day. While in the west, at the time, we were being told they were planning something for “any-day”.

      Mindanao recovering? 1 year ago I would have agreed. But with the mass killings, the clan wars, and now the electrical crises I don’t personally see it. I certainly wish it, but from an outsider looking in over the past year, I do see a decline.

      With electoral change there is always hope. I do wish there was less celebrity involved. In that sense I think the President elect is far from a glassy celebrity, and given his dynasty that’s an accomplishment already. If the people trust him, then that’s certainly a good thing. I hope he lives up to this.

      The Philippines has amazing potential on so many fronts. Yes there are negatives. But, I truly feel that with someone at the helm of steering the country for the good of the people rather than personal gain, good will be achieved.

      The history of The Philippines is unique, and many people don’t know about it. The people are very different from the rest of Asia and they are also some of the most honest and friendly people out there. Mindanao still has indigenous festivals no one’s heard of anywhere in the world, a rarity these days. I hope the future will be a positive one for this nation. And, I hope they can do what few countries nor cultures have been able to do: learn from other nations mistakes and ones own.

      When people read my journals and they come away with learning something new or undiscovered about this island nation its a good feeling. It’s something that can encourage them to visit, talk about, learn and share with the world. The country has such an incredible diversity, culture, history and the potential for a trailblazing future I am very happy to have spent so much time here.

  11. debbie reynolds
    June 9, 2010

    my husband has been over there since jan 2010. he was in contact for awhile , but i have not heard anything in over a month i am worried.. but dont know how to go about finding out about him.. i have contacted the embassy and various news papers and sites like yours..his name is Bob Reynolds he is an american. 5’2″ grey hair 53 years old.
    please if any one knows where i can find out information.

  12. Kendo
    September 16, 2011

    It’s a while since I was in Mindanao but I can say that here in the Dumaguete area we are seeing a lot of development and subsequent infrastrure improvements: new shops, roads, sewers and electricity poles etc. In this respect I must strongly disagree with what dave says on RP’s future. things are changing for the better here. Unlike my home country (UK), which is becoming a police state with huge transfer of wealth from poor to rich.
    Here in Valencia (near Dumaguete) we have little traffic (not on the Nat Highway), a beautiful Plaza, an elevated position (cooler), Subsidized electric from Geothermal, Drinkable spring water on communal tap, and plentiful mains water (rain quiet a lot here).
    I want to say to readers that Philippines is a truly excellent country to start a new life in retirement, but even more so for younger people with vision and energy.
    I agree with other posters that Dave should have paid more consideration to a future in Investagtive Journalism here in RP. He could have benefitted himself and the country greatly.

    K

    • The Longest Way Home
      September 20, 2011

      I will take exception to your point about “… Dave should have paid more consideration to a future in Investagtive Journalism here in RP.” and point out this article was about the “electrical” problems in “Mindanao” One that was backed up with physical facts that occurred during this period of time. And, was further backed up by Mindanao regional and national News/Press organisations.

  13. TOM F
    February 8, 2012

    I agree with “The Longest Way Home”. I was born here in the Philippines and immigrated in the US at the age of 9. I came back when I retired in 2005 and It seems that Philippines has not changed at all. Corruption is still here and it will never go away. This country is not well developed and it seems to me that the country is living in the 1950’s or earlier especially in the provinces. There are good laws here but nobody enforces the laws at all. I also live near dumaguete and how many of you foreigners have seen young kids riding motorcycles without drivers license? I bet you have seen them in this country. We also have brownouts here at least twice a week for about 10 or 15 minutes which isn’t bad at all but still, I have experienced brownouts when I was a kid living in Baguio City before going to the US. Now that I am grown up, it seems to me that the problem has not been resolved.

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