Friday, December 31, 2010

The Philippines and Nigeria: Closer than I Thought

nigeria flowerAs I mentioned previously, Simon is now working abroad in Nigeria. He's actually been there for a few months now. Here he posts about his initial impression about the African country, accompanied by various pictures of the neighborhood and foliage.

The Philippines and Nigeria: Closer than I thought
by Simon Almazan

I’ve been in Nigeria for only like four months now but my short stay here made me realize that the Philippines and Nigeria have a lot of things in common. For one, both countries have been colonized by foreign invaders. Just like the Philippines, the people here are used to poverty because of the long years of preoccupation.

In the Philippines, we enjoy abundant natural resources, and so the people of Nigeria. What only makes Nigeria different is the fact that it is not frequently visited by natural calamities like typhoons, earthquakes and so on. In terms of politics, graft and corruption is also the main concern by its people.

Nigerians like the Filipinos are so alike in that they are very hospitable people. What only surprises me (in a very good way) with the former is that they are more approachable. Strangers here greet each other “good morning” with a smile and even if they just met in the streets everyone offers their hands for a handshake.

As I have been going around the city (or province or town) where I’m staying in Nigeria, I saw how it is so much like my own country. Flowering plants that grow in the Philippines grow in this country as well. There’s santan, calachuchi, sampaguita (jasmine), yellow bells and so much more. They also grow trees like mangoes, coconuts, pines, bananas, umbrella, and duhat.

If sampaguita in the Philippines is the national flower, here in Nigeria it also has its own identity. People here call it the “queen of the nights” because it glows so bright at night and exudes fragrance same with our own sampaguita unlike any other flower.

I also observed that streets here are almost all planted with trees that is not growing very high, they usually call this dwarf trees. I wish the DENR or the MMDA did the same thing with all the many thoroughfares within Metro Manila to further reduce pollution in the metro.

The Philippines and Nigeria are great distances apart but so close in so many ways. They are so different in color and culture but their own people’s humanity and the world that they co-exist make them more related than one could imagine. And this one is for sure, no matter how we are seemingly unlike any other people outside our own countries and background the connections that we have as human beings are undoubtedly alike.


Anonymous said...

yeah people are polite, even here in the US. Sa Manila mga tao suplado, suplada, hilig pa cute, pa importante-Ray

Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, the Philippines and Nigeria were both ranked #134 in 2010 by Transparency International. In both countries, a resourceful and energetic people have been held back government corruption and inefficiency.

Jepoi said...

The Philippines is going to experience some sort of an economic miracle, soon. I can sense it. LOL.

Mon said...

Baka naman miss lang nya ang Philippines. :)

Anonymous said...

Napansin ko mga halaman parang sa Pilipinas din. Kumusta ka naman dyan kuya. Seems like miss mo na Pinas.. hehehe ingat po.

Anonymous said...

I work part time with three Nigerian companies here in Houston and I would like to say, that attitude wise, Nigerians and Filipinos are a lot alike and on the scale of being friendly they are on the top of it. Also, let me dare to say that they are astute in business.

Nonso said...

Thanks for a lot for your article about Nigeria.
I have visited Philippine twice on vacation and I can say that they are quite alike and many ways.

Once again, thanks for the article.

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