If there is one trait both admirable and distasteful in my fellow Filipinos – it is their ability to turn any situation into a business opportunity.
A vacant parking lot – not necessarily owned by the attendee can be a paid parking space.
A bucket of soapy water and small rag can be all you need to venture into a carwash business – no need for permits or premises, just go ahead and clean car windows and demand for payment.
Even the simplest thing of backing your car and easing it onto traffic can cost you as there are people lurking behind your car to ‘guide’ you for a fee whether you need it or not.
There are times when you marvel at their ingenuity and admire their determination to make something out of nothing like turning scraps of fabric into woven doormats and pot holders and times when you just cant help but shake your head in disbelief as you take your wallet out to pay for something that should be free like using a toilet (in a mall) for example.
Sometimes at work or outside we can’t help but say ‘kung sa Pinas yan ginawa na yan negosyo’ (if this was the Philippines, that would be business). Like the endless need for coins for the parking meter for example – in the Philippines you can get you money changed from that street cigarette vendor no problem, your 50 dirham bill can get you 40 dirham in coins and ensure you of a problem free parking for days.
Now it seems Pinoys are given a run (or runners for that matter) for their money. At the Philippine Embassy in Dubai, Filipinos who are unaware of the dress code and come wearing flip flops are forced to 'hire' shoes just so they could get in the embassy and finish their business instead of wasting time, money and effort going to and from home to trade their flipflops to shoes.
Imagine that - somebody else has beaten a kabayan in coming up with that unique shoes for hire business.