As any Filipino will tell you, the Philippines is the text capital of the world. I’m not sure I know if that’s completely true, but it’s pretty hard to doubt if you’ve ever spent more than 5 minutes here. Almost everyone has a cellphone or can borrow one from someone who does. You’ll see young children and old lolas texting rapidly while they wait for a jeep, you’ll be frightened by your bus driver while he tries to drive, smoke and text simultaneously.
As volunteers, it doesn’t take long for us to adopt the habit of texting all the time. In fact, starting day two of our initial orientation in country we had to be reminded to turn off our ringers during sessions. We may not all be in the habit of sending out “gud am” texts to everyone that we know or texting random numbers and asking “cAn wE bE fRiEnDs?” but texting is an important part of life to most PCVs in the Philippines. It’s a way for us to share what’s going on in our lives with one another, vent frustration, give someone a laugh or just keep in contact.
I’ve been in the habit of saving particularly interesting or amusing texts from other PCVs while I’ve been here. Unfortunately, I lost my phone about a year ago and my first few months of crazy training texts are lost but here are the best since then. You will notice that we often use crazy spelling to abbreviate or mix our local languages in with English. If something is difficult to understand, try reading it aloud.
In the meantime, read on…