One of my personal limitations sofar in the Philippines was that I never had a moment for myself when I wanted to do something or to go somewhere alone.
I believe this is because our western culture is quite different in this respect. We have more individually organised our lives, we are also raised as such.
In South East Asia, whether it is in the Philippines, Indonesia or any other place, life is more socially organised with the family in the center.
Another reason is simply that people here in the Philippines, especially those who lived abroad, are extremely anxious that a foreigner, will be involved in a robbery or even be murdered. Of course this happens, but it happens everywhere, even in my home country. Statistically maybe more here then there, but statistics is theory and not real life.
So if you go shopping, you don't go alone, you go with the family. And family means all those people who are in home when you intent to go, so it varies with the day. When it is lunch time they all join you for lunch of course. That's why I had to buy a family-van in stead of my jeep(ney), which was only for my own fun. I admit, it was my fault in 2006to buy the jeep, I didn't understand it that time.
What is also frustrating sometimes is that even when I explicitly say I want to go alone to check or buy something, I am not allowed to, my brother in-law or my cousin should join me, just in case. And what about checking the price of something? I cannot show-up because they say the price will go up. Of course in the market this will be the case, but not in a regular shop, where they have fixed prices and can give some (cash) discount only when the manager agrees.
Of course I didn't go alone to search for the bike, we were 5 in total, visited about 5 different shops in 2 different cities. But now, since I have my motorbike, I feel much more free. We, my asawa and me, go together, even sometimes I go alone, or take one of the family members out for a ride when I like it. This is my freedom and feel much better now since I arrived last month