Stories of Kano Idiocy

I wrote a little while back about “Uneducated and Dumb Filipinas – Really?” attacking some negative stereotypes. I am on several forums where stories of Filipina idiocy are routinely posted. In many cases it strikes me that the idiot is the kano who has no idea how to act in a foreign country. Acting the fool or acting like an Ugly American can only get you in trouble in a developing nation like the Philippines. Here’s my current favorite one:

“When I visited the Philippines two years ago, the first thing I did was head to the mall to buy a cell phone. I thought that it would be a simple matter to pay with my credit card. Boy, was I wrong!

You know that strip on the back of your credit card, where you’re supposed to sign it? Well, instead of signing it, I always write ‘Ask for photo ID.’ This makes it less likely that some thief will be able to use my card.

So I try to pay for my cell phone with my credit card, and the bimbo salesgirl says that my card is no good, because there’s no signature on the back. I tried to explain to her that what I put on the card was even better than a signature, and that if she would just look at my passport, she would see that I really was the owner of the card. She wasn’t buying it, though. I tried explaining to some of her co-workers, and they too insisted that I had to have a signature on it. I thought about asking them to let me speak with their manager, but I thought, “the Hell with it, I’ll just pay cash”. After all, I was a representative of the USA, and I didn’t want to do even more damage to the reputation of Americans among foreigners.”

So the guy in question not only doesn’t sign his credit card, as he’s obligated by the credit card company to do, he puts in a ridiculous amendment and then thinks that the Filipina sales clerk is an idiot for not accepting his card or his explanation.

Anyone else want to share similar stories about themselves or others? I’ve got a story about my own idiocy that will be posted shortly. Stay tuned.

10 thoughts on “Stories of Kano Idiocy”

  1. In Philippines – Filipino’s Education , Training & Experiences are totally placed in their Heads & NOT in their Butts !

    In School – Simple .Not following instructions are wrong and it being taught since from the Kindergartin years. No private tutors required.

    In Business – ” Costumers are always right “- Nope ! There’s always an exceptions. No interpreters required.

    And that idiot Kano , really thinks that by writing ” ask for a photo” instead of writing the required signature , Filipinos will impress & wow him for his brilliant idea.
    Oh oh … Remember? No idiot’s exemptions . He must be dreaming in the middle of the sunny day.

    Therefore .. Idiot’s Representative can be… his name !!


    1. Gee Janet – tell us what you really think lol!

      But seriously, since you worked in customer service in the Philippines and now work a service-oriented job in the U.S. it might be interesting to hear your thoughts on the differences.

  2. At a hotel, a 40-ish white guy is eating breakfast with a 20-ish female. He’s talking really loudly, saying: “Tag-a-log? TAG-a-log?? Is that what you people speak? That’s a funny name for a language! Hahaha.”

    1. I have to admit that before I first visited the Philippines, when I was in my travel planning stages, I called it tag-a-log too. Course I didn’t do it in a Philippines hotel with a 20-something girl with me 🙂

        1. In all fairness, I suppose most of us travel abroad somewhat unself-aware. But it’s our responsibility to adjust, not theirs. The clerk was just doing her job as she was no doubt trained and had to deal with the obnoxious, know-it-all kano.

  3. The guy was an idiot. As someone said – you sign your credit card as per the issuing bank’s instructions. I don’t know anywhere in the world where his ‘ask for photo ID’ would be accepted. Re: tag-a-log…sorry to say it, but the strong American accent makes it difficult to speak most, if not all, Filipino languages…you will be told you can’t be understood as you speak ‘slang.’

  4. Gee! I hope I’m not like that when I come over in October… You see, you used a picture from my hometown to showcase your Idiot Kano! 🙂

  5. My gringo husband bought a one-way plane ticket from Manila to SFO using his visa credit card for me. When it’s time for me to step on the plane and be reunited with my then fiance up north of California, they(PAL) won’ t let me in the plane. It seems that they need a physical evidence of that credit card which my husband forgot to provide. After a few phone calls, he was able to fax a copy of one of his billing statements. They finally let me board the plane. My husband and I were reunited after an 11-hour non-stop flight from MLA to SFO. The next day my husband got a phone call from the credit card company. Somebody from Manila was using his credit card information to buy some stuff and they are asking my husband if he wants to approve the purchase. I thought identity thief happens only in America. So if you are in the PI , you din’t use your foreign credit cards. Chances are they will use your info to their advantage

    1. Great that it all worked out. In the US whenever I buy tickets once I get to the airport I always have to show the card. It’s annoying but I understand why they do it.

      Whenever I travel abroad I call my credit and debit card companies in advance and tell them where I will be and for how long. ID theft is everywhere but at the same time I don’t want the companies to block my cards and not let me use them. So it’s a balance.

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