PHILIPPINES: The contrast between us is amazing

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The contrast of living conditions is between here and the Philippines is amazing.

Owing to modern technology my new package from TalkTalk involved a call there when a very polite and pleasant woman instructed me how to correct a fault on the TV.

Whilst waiting for various steps to take place I discovered the time in the Philippines was 3am and my guide was working a shift from 7pm to 4am.

She told me she was not affected by the typhoon.

The TV seemed to be working after about an hour’s instruction but the following day my emails were unavailable, and also the TV.

Another call to the Philippines was taken by a young man called Rio. At 33 he lives in two rooms, his mother in one and he and his brother in the other.

His sister is a nurse in Dublin with a seven-year-old son. Rio said his first love was classical guitar but he needs to earn money at the call centre in Manila to live.

He confirmed the typhoon did not affect Manila greatly.

It is amazing that technical advice can be obtained at such a distance, but even more amazing the contrast in the living conditions of educated people who speak English fluently with technical knowledge beyond that of most of us.

Moreover the typhoon that decimated more southerly islands seems hardly to have affected populations in the north where life is carrying on as normal.

Joan Woolard

Fleet Hargate