EVEN before CNN paid tribute to the Filipinos’ indomitable spirit, Chile’s ambassador to the Philippines Roberto Mayorga had applauded Filipinos for their warm smiles, kindness and resiliency.
Mayorga said Filipinos are unique because they can still smile in the face of adversity.
“People from most parts of the world do not really smile from their heart but just acknowledge their visitors more with a smirk, devoid of warmth and meaning.
Your people are always smiling even in the worst adversities and you always welcome with a very warm heart. That is what makes the Philippines a very good place to go and live in. People are so welcoming,” he said.
The ambassador expressed hopes that Filipinos will not lose this quality once the Philippines makes its leap to progress.
“As countries grow their pockets, they sadly lose their heart. Never make that mistake. Your people are very uniquely warm and hospitable, which you’ll never find anywhere in the world. The Philippines’ greatest asset or wealth lies in its smiling friendly people,” he told The Manila Times.
Mayorga was Chile’s former Foreign Investments minister. The position is now being held by Carlos Dettlef, who recently visited Manila.
The ambassador said he has visited almost every country in the world and studied the culture of each but nothing compares to the warmth and kindness of Filipinos.
“I was able to analyze from all those business travels that your people are unique because they are warm and genuinely hospitable and caring while others that have grown their pockets and economies became rough, crude, arrogant and uncaring.
Please don’t ever become like that but maintain this vital (but diminishing) resource,” Mayorga said.
He added that the lack of discipline of Filipino drivers also pale compared to the road arrogance and lack of discipline of motorists in other countries.
“The people in more developed and progressive countries are very aggressive and rude and they lack any heart because they think they are rich and can step on other people’s toes, Mayorga said.
After Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated the Visayas region on Friday, CNN paid tribute to Filipinos, who it described as “unbelievably resilient, long suffering, good natured, uber friendly, loyal, ingenius, and a bunch of survivors.”
“At the end of the day, the Filipinos will just shake off the dirt from their clothes and go about their business . . . and SMILE. They do not complain much, they will bear as long as they can,” it said.
The Philippines’ Energy Development Corp. (EDC) plans to build Chile’s first geothermal plant. Dettlef met with potential Filipino investors, including EDC president Richard Tantoco of the Lopez group.
Chile has hundreds of active volcanoes but does not have the technology to tap geothermal resources. EDC is investing $58 million to put up a geothermal plant in Chile.
EDC is the second largest geothermal plant operator in the world and is the largest in Asia. Chile, which is fully dependent on imported fuel to run its power plants, is aggressively pushing for renewable energy (RE) like solar, hydroelectric, wind and geothermal plants.
Detleff said that EDC’s entry into Chile will hopefully open the eyes of more Filipino companies to invest in that country.