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How do broke Filipinas afford all these high expenses?

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How do broke Filipinas afford all these high expenses?

Postby Winston » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:08 pm

There's something I don't get that's not fully explained here, and even educated locals give vague explanations.

Most Filipinas I know here make around 150p or 200p a day, or not much more.

So how then can they afford the 350p shirts and 1000p jeans at the SM mall? Who keeps the SM mall in business constantly? Surely not the people making 150p a day, which barely even covers food. Is there an invisible middle class that keeps all the malls in business? If so, why do some people say there is no middle class here?

And how do they afford the cost of delivering babies? The cost of a normal delivery is 10,000p and the cost of a cesarean is 40,000p. How the hell can someone making 150p, which does not even meet basic living expenses here, afford that? Most Filipinas at one time or another end up having babies, so where do they get that kind of money? Out of their ass?

Furthermore, what about the high expenses for birthday parties, weddings, and funerals? Where does all the money for that come from, when everyone claims to be broke or really poor? (unless they are upper class or have a family business)

So far, every Filipina I know that has needed money for some emergency (or so they say) and not been able to get it, has still managed to survive. How did they manage?

So far, every explanation I've received seems vague. And all Dianne would say is "They find the money somehow" but of course, that leaves a lot out doesn't it?
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Re: How do broke Filipinas afford all these high expenses?

Postby ladislav » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:01 pm

WWu777 wrote:There's something I don't get that's not fully explained here, and even educated locals give vague explanations.

Most Filipinas I know here make around 150p or 200p a day, or not much more.

So how then can they afford the 350p shirts and 1000p jeans at the SM mall? Who keeps the SM mall in business constantly? Surely not the people making 150p a day, which barely even covers food. Is there an invisible middle class that keeps all the malls in business? If so, why do some people say there is no middle class here?

And how do they afford the cost of delivering babies? The cost of a normal delivery is 10,000p and the cost of a cesarean is 40,000p. How the hell can someone making 150p, which does not even meet basic living expenses here, afford that? Most Filipinas at one time or another end up having babies, so where do they get that kind of money? Out of their ass?

Furthermore, what about the high expenses for birthday parties, weddings, and funerals? Where does all the money for that come from, when everyone claims to be broke or really poor? (unless they are upper class or have a family business)

So far, every Filipina I know that has needed money for some emergency (or so they say) and not been able to get it, has still managed to survive. How did they manage?

So far, every explanation I've received seems vague. And all Dianne would say is "They find the money somehow" but of course, that leaves a lot out doesn't it?



I would imagine the enormous families always have someone working abroad or in Manila and sending money in. Also, some borrow money from loan sharks and friends/relatives. Anyway, there are avenues and huge familial networks help. Also, they have credit arrangements for quite a few things such as TVs and cellphones. There is an enormous fractional pool similar to fractional banking and some person will always help with a loan or a gift.

I would ask this on yahoo.answers.com - travel- Asia/Pacific- Philippines. Filipinos would answer better since they know their country well. Seriously, please ask. I also want to know.
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Postby Winston » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:52 am

Here is a detailed response I received to my questions on craigslist:

http://manila.craigslist.com.ph/rnr/981901333.html

Re: How do broke Filipinas afford all these high expenses in life? (P'que)

Reply to: pers-981901333@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2009-01-06, 11:37AM PHT

They are not invisible, it’s like I’ve been saying all along, there is a middle class in the Philippines. The ones that deny this just show they haven’t seen as much of the Philippines as they say.
I have lived in more than one place where the Filipinos can afford more luxuries than I could.
I’m talking about entire subdivisions not just one or two people.
Many Filipinos are business owners that do very well, some are executives for international companies, some have at least one family member that works abroad and some have a combination of these things.
One idiot on Manila R&R says all Filipinos live in squatters shacks, are lazy and have no goals in life other than drinking and making babies.
That’s how I know he does not have much experience in the real PI.

I know people (not hear say, personally) that only make a couple of hundred peso per day, but I also know lots of people that have better paying jobs, people that are business owners and many that have an OFW in the family.
The ones that do the best are the ones that have family members working abroad and own a business here.

I know Filipinos that own two or more “niceâ€￾ houses, two or more vehicles, and have sent their kids to good colleges. If that’s all too much for you to believe, spend a day or two walking around the malls. Who do you see there? Is it no job, no ambition, drunken Filipinos or is it middle class people with loving families?

The mall is not the only place you can see this but it is one place you can see many people in a short time period.
Go into the gated subdivisions (not the only place but again the most in one place) and talk to the people living there, see the types of houses and cars, ask about what work they do and how many family members work abroad, then you’ll see there are more than just the 200P per day sales girls working at the mall.

Another thing, the P200 sales girls that have the nice shirts and jeans, usually only have a few nice ones and they will take very good care of their clothes and wear the same ones for years. My wife has many new clothes but she still has some that she was wearing when she was 13 years old and they look almost new.
One girl I know, buys a shirt, shoes or pants on the credit and when she slowly pays off her dept she will buy another.

Filipinos are usually much more frugal than foreigners. They know how to get by on much less than we do. They share costs, usually several friends or family members will live together. They will pool their money at meal time and share the food. Why do they order two meals and take most of it out when “weâ€￾ take them out? Many times the take out is for a family member. Every meal we pay for is one they don’t have to worry about. I had a friend that was a single mother with two kids, after a meal of KFC (which they rarely could afford) she said “well that’s one meal I don’t have to worry about. That’s the time I realized how hard it is to make it for many Filipinos.

When some one needs money for hospital expenses or other emergencies family members and friends will usually help each other out. Some Filipinos are not shy to ask a foreigner for money and they will say its life or death but just say no and you’ll see “most of the timeâ€￾ everything works out ok without the help of us “Super Hero Foreigner Typesâ€￾ saving the day. If it makes you feel good to help that’s fine, just don’t get mad when you find out maybe you were used a bit and never expect your money back.

Don’t think it’s only foreigners that are asked for money, relatives and friends of poor Filipinos experience the same things as we do.

As I’ve said before, there are nice people with nice houses in PI. I know there are poor people living in shanty towns or makeshift tents and people that don’t have anything living on some city streets. I’ve seen places similar to Get Reals favorite photo but that’s not all there is here. Within 10 minutes drive from where I live there are several middle to upper class subdivisions, apartment complexes and condos.

You asked “who keeps the sm malls open?â€￾ I asked Get Real a similar question: “who keeps the Hundreds of different malls, all the hotels, condos, nice apartments and other businesses openâ€￾, but he refused to answer. Forget about the bars in Angeles and sit in the lobby of any hotel, any mall or any other business and see who the majority of the customers are. It’s not foreigners, its Filipinos. Poor Filipinos don’t shop in malls they go to the discount department stores or street vendors. Poor Filipinos don’t eat lunch at nice places they pool their money and get food from street vendors and eat together sharing everything.

Most of this pertains more to the city dwellers but it’s basically the same rules in the provinces but to a lesser degree. There’s not as many nice houses and fewer nice big malls in the province and workers are usually paid less, that’s why metro Manila has 10 million Filipinos living here and more coming daily.

Few tourists and truly poor Filipinos experience living in middle class subdivisions and condos so maybe it does seem like an invisible world. Just open your eyes when you’re out and about. Don’t just focus on the dirty street people and the shanty towns. Take a good look at the mall shoppers, the business people, the cars on the hi-ways and the houses and apartments inside the Gates. Yes “mostâ€￾ of the nicer houses and apartments are in gated communities.

"Get Real" there's nothing wrong with my camera and I never buy from street vendors.

J.K.
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Postby Winston » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:12 am

Another response I received from an expat:

"Winston,

The figures you gave for birthing are at private hospitals...they do have public, very cheap hospitals...I would not want to go to one...but they are there...
And yes, there are not enough sugar daddies to go around....and the chances of a really ugly girl getting married or getting pregnant might be less in the Philippines haha...and in many cases, people do die from poor medical care...I have seen it myself...
I think in many cases, a really pretty girl is seen by her family as a chance of upward mobility...I understand that...just a poor family trying to do with what they have...and if a pretty daughter is what they have...they may try to make the most of it...."

(perhaps that might be the reason why Dianne's family is resentful of me or treats me with no respect, they see me as someone who took their oldest beautiful daughter, their most prized and only asset, but this did not result in any profit for the family due to my means and values, hahaha, Dianne denies that but it is probably true?)
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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