Visitors to the Philippines sometime find the pace slow. No, I really mean the pace. When walking in a built up area or even in the provinces people walk very slow, there is never a rush or a sense of urgency. I suppose it is not surprising as the heat is so bad and why rush? But, if you compare the same with Thailand and Vietnam they certainly walk faster and seem to want to get somewhere.
It is not just the walking speed that stands out – it is the Filipino shuffle.
Ah, I hear you say, what is the Filipino shuffle? Well, many Filipinos wear the plastic slippers or sandals as they are cheap and easy to wear. But, for some reason, most people in the Philippines do not lift their feet high enough and actually drag the slippers across the floor or surface. This results in an annoying dragging noise, especially if on gravel or another noisy surface.
As I now live in a provincial area I have started wearing these things and it was pointed out to me that my feet are silent!
I could not really understand the comment until I realized when I walked on the same surface I was making hardly if any noise. The people all around me sounded like a steam train going by.
So what was the difference?
It came down to just one thing I was lifting my feet up as I walked and not dragging. So, the amount of time the slipper or sandal was hitting the ground and being dragged was virtually zero. This compares with my Filipino pedestrians who seem never really to lift their feet high enough and the slipper just gets dragged across the ground.
Why it is so prominent in the Philippines as opposed to other Asian countries I have visited I have no idea at all. We all have the same muscles in our feet, so why the culture is to drag feet is beyond me. I would have thought it would not have been a good hunting technique either when tribal Philippines was out hunting.
If anyone knows why this happens so much please let me know as I genuinely do not know. More over, if I ask my Filipino friends they do not know and seem shocked when they realise that some of them drag their feet too.
Kentex Manufacturing Corp. and its labor sub-contractor CJC Manpower Services are initially liable to pay P7.8 million in underpaid wages to 99 workers of the rubber slippers factory that burned down last May 13 and killed 72 people in Valenzuela City.
According to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, DOLE Regional Office No. 3 director Ana Dione is set to issue next week a compliance order directing the two companies to pay the workers.
“A compliance order will be issued against Kentex and CJC Manpower Services directing them to pay the amount due the workers under the Labor Code, as amended, and other labor laws. Kentex will shoulder the liabilities as the direct employer, CJC Manpower Services, being a labor only contractor,” Baldoz noted.
The amount is based on an initial computation and does not include yet other monetary benefits due the workers, such as overtime pay, night differential, 13th month, holiday pay, unused vacation and sick leave, refund of cash bond, and other emoluments, including social security.