One fascinating observation I made in the Philippines is that there are guns all over the place. It’s not like a junk room in your house where your hoarder mother keeps little trinkets she’ll never use again. Someone is actually carrying them; usually a 135 pound 19-year-old with braces.
Every Jollibee and other fast food restaurant in the Philippines has an armed guard standing outside. They pack a whole lot of punch, too. They aren’t just carrying a club. They’ve got big-ass machine guns. This is like walking into a KFC in the US and seeing someone holding a shotgun, carefully guarding the original recipe. I know Colonel Sanders has military experience and all (based on his name) but I doubt he’d ever hire one of his soldiers to stand outside a restaurant in Kansas just to keep everyone safe.
For a nation where you’ll see guns everywhere, the Philippines does not have an extraordinary crime rate with firearms. It’s the old argument about Americans being gun nuts and the rest of the world behaving more sensibly. I won’t get into why I believe Americans love guns (and shooting people with them, not just collecting them like Star Wars figurines) because this is about how no one in the Philippines seems to think twice about how quickly some disgruntled worker could ruin their day.
The Philippines is not without their lunatics. I mean, their president, for one. He’s not exactly walking around with genuine Father of the Year mugs or winning congeniality contests. Thankfully, he has Donald Trump to hide many of his misfortunes.
But instances of mass shootings are fewer than in the US where psychopaths go on killing sprees on a regular basis. Security guards with guns are common in the Philippines and actually do keep people safe. Meanwhile, in America, they’re parodied in Kevin James films for their ineptitude. Perhaps having someone under 300 pounds star in the Paul Blart movies would give those brave men and women who protect us at Auntie Anne’s the respect their GED instructors never gave them.
The respect Filipinos have for security guards is far greater than I’m used to. My first reaction seeing the security guard at our hotel was how weak he looked and whether he was even old enough to buy a beer or even buy a ticket to see an R-rated film. Obviously, he was old enough to do both because in the Philippines there’s no legal age to purchase alcohol.