Thank you [b]SO[/b] much!
I was fearing the discussion was denigrating into a political diatribe of sorts ([i]I just noticed some of those comments have been edited[/i]) and I was just curious. I have no ulterior motives, I'm just ignorant to Southeast-Asian island culture. Some of those gals are the most well-fed Filipinos I've ever encountered! ([i]I've worked with folks from that neck-of-the-woods all my life too[/i]).
I worked with a man named Leonid Fernandez from the Philipines. He was a straight-up Japanese-looking fellow with family heritage from the Ukraine and Spain as well as Laos and Japan. It blew my mind to find out his real name. His Filipino friends called him by his nickname, "Nooli". When I asked him what that meant, he unfolded his global heritage to me and I was "smartified".
The P.I. is a great place. I hope to get there back some day.
As for their speaking skills, all of their TV comes in English, so many learn the language that way. Schooling beyond the 8th grade is only for the well to do. Most people who live in the Barrios get enough education by the time they turn 14.
Newspapers and Magazines are printed in Tagalog, but for the life of me I could never figure out why TV was always in English. And I am not talking about reruns of American TV, but News shows were in English.