Hehe recently I went to the Philippines, and at first I thought that you know its one of those countries where not every house has a computer, and internet is really basic and technology wasnt popular....but MAN WAS I WRONG. I mean sure it was expensive to have internet and a computer at home but...at every single block, corner there was an Internet Place, it was crazy, they had almost all the popular mmorpgs present and installed (o.O how they registerd I have no idea). Even World of Warcraft. And when I looked around and reseached a lot of Beta testing was going on, ROSE online was one of them I beleive. I mean I tried playing it, I'm not Fluent in speaking it yet :/. But man...Gaming really made it possible for technological Advances
LoL I know..Lame
The Philippines isn't as bad as you thought.
Sure, it's a Third World country, and millions of people there survive on less than a dollar a day. In fact, around 80% live in poverty, and the middle class is but a minority--but that's just part of the whole picture. Third World countries have that HUGE gap between the rich and the poor. Their economies are driven by consumersim. That's why they've got all these beautiful malls [the recently-opened Mall of Asia, Asia's biggest mall, is located there], exciting nightlife, more advanced gadgets, and lots of luxury stuff that you wouldn't get in the First World. Everyone there has a cellphone. and almost everyone is seen using text messaging [i.e. unlike here in the US where it's not that popular at all]. The phones there are more advanced than those seen in the First World [3G phones, sleeker, tinier, more advanced!], but it's sad because not everybody could afford them.
MMORPGs have grown really popular over there because of how easy it is to register. Even the poor people who don't have computers at home could simply go to the nearest Internet Cafe and pay really cheap for online gaming. I think they use prepaid cards that could be bought in any cornerstore, and they cost as low as US $0.50. However, due to this popularity, MMORPGs over there have been branded as "overrated" and "uncool".
PS: Yes, and I know these things because I have lived there, and I am Filipino.
Good thing I can see positive feedback about the Philippines.
Everything he said is true. ^
Wherever you go, you'll see an Internet Cafe. MMORPGs are scattered around - Ragnarok, MU or those stuff. Almost everyone's addicted to at least one, so no matter how big or small your cafe is, you're sure to survive. Students even rush out of school just to get a seat in the computer shops! I don't know if this is something good or bad or whatever...
Me, myself, am addicted to only one MMORPG and it doesn't cost much - as I have unlimited dial-up per month and it doesn't charge for anything (Kingdom of Loathing). So, I have no problems with that. I don't want to try those other RPGs for these reasons:  once you get hooked, you need to buy the prepaid cards to continue (yes, there are some $0.50 cards but if you're totally addicted, you can get as high as $2.50/day.  once you get hooked, you have to go to the cafe to avoid your dial-up laggish computer.
As for cellphones, yeah, people here pass around crazy ringtones through Bluetooth, etc. Some people even have cellphones but have no email ads or a computer at home...
Wow. What an astonishingly accurate depiction of the Philippines from both of you. As a current resident of the Philippines, and a Filipino myself, I am very much aware of what you guys are saying. People drive around with really expensive cars while the poor pick the garbage. It is a very drammatic image, and one that is shadowed by propaganda, by the rich. As long as there is an illusion of prosperity and development, the poor cannot see further than their everyday lives. The country gets a lot of bad press, but I recently was in the US and was able to derive opinions from different people there, and a majority loved the Filipino culture and in one way or another, was able to get to know a Filipino during their lifetime. This is the big picture, the Philippine economy is largely dependent on remittance, and without it, we would crash, so who sends the remittance, the poor Filipinos, and the rich benefit, and of course the poor as well. Not so obviously, the rich arnt bad intentioned. They are mostly very nice people, who donate, and build structures for the poor, most of the rich are Chinese, the owner of Mall of Asia, Mr. Henry Sy, is Chinese. Lance Gokongwei, robinsons group, is Chinese. Lucio Tan, Philippine airlines is Chinese. Owner of the largest fastfood chain, Jollibee is Chinese. I have to end this post now, hope I can continue next time.