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Huge discrepancy: How do locals afford anything in PI?

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Huge discrepancy: How do locals afford anything in PI?

Postby Winston » August 23rd, 2009, 12:32 pm

There's something I don't get in the Philippines which doesn't add up at all.

How do local people afford ANYTHING, period?

Most store workers in the Philippines tell me they make around 150p per day, or a little more. But 150p per day is not even enough to eat even two meals per day!

So WHO are the mysterious people buying those 700p chairs in the furniture store, those 350-450p shirts in the mall, those 1000p nice jeans at SM Mall, and these 1000p baby milk cans every week?! The numbers do not add up at all, not even close. There is no way that a person making 150p a day, even two people making that much, can afford ANYTHING in a store, period. Nothing. It's mathematically impossible to purchase ANYTHING on an income of 150p per day. Thus there's a HUGE UNEXPLAINED DISCREPANCY here.

So who keeps all the stores and expensive products in business? How does anything get bought or paid for at all, period? This is a great mystery and no one can provide any logical answer to this. I'm very confused. Dianne can't explain it either.

I do not believe that other people here who say they only make 150p per day can afford the same expenses as me, so there must cheaper ways of living here right?

Right now I'm spending over a thousand pesos a week on baby milk, for a huge 900g can that gets used up in less than a week! I can't believe it. A thousand pesos a week just on one product! Even an entire family making 150p a day each could not afford that, among other things. So what gives? How do they raise their babies then, with prices for baby milk being completely outside of their reach?

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only customer in the Philippines. lol Is there a big secret here that I don't know about? (Maybe I'm in something like The Truman Show and the whole world is playing a practical joke on me, as I try to make sense out of everything? lol)

Am I missing something here? How do you account for this huge widespread mathematical discrepancy?
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Postby gmm567 » August 23rd, 2009, 6:13 pm

well the average income is like$3,500 per year. Possibly that is average household income with 7 people working?

But with that income you can easily pay $15 for a chair. $22 for milk is expensive but they just don't buy it; they breast feed which is better anyway.
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Postby Winston » August 25th, 2009, 9:32 pm

Even if 7 people working and making $3 a day cannot make ends meet, mathematically speaking. It's barely enough for food, even if you buy at the cheapest market. There's also school costs, cleaning supplies, rent, transportation costs, utility costs, etc. Lots of bills and costs. It still doesn't mathematically add up.

I've asked this same question on other expat and Filipino forums to see what they say.

As to breastfeeding, I don't get something. Some women run out of breastmilk quickly or only have a little of it. But babies drink a lot of milk. So what do they do if the mother runs out of breastmilk or it isn't enough?

And what did they do in ancient times, before baby milk formula was invented? What did primitive tribes do when the mother ran out of breastmilk or couldn't produce any? How did the baby survive?
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Postby momopi » August 26th, 2009, 3:47 am

Vinstonas wrote:As to breastfeeding, I don't get something. Some women run out of breastmilk quickly or only have a little of it. But babies drink a lot of milk. So what do they do if the mother runs out of breastmilk or it isn't enough?

And what did they do in ancient times, before baby milk formula was invented? What did primitive tribes do when the mother ran out of breastmilk or couldn't produce any? How did the baby survive?


Other women in the tribe would act in the role of a wet nurse and help feed the baby.

It's not necessary for a women to have recently given birth to produce milk (lactating). When a baby suckle on the women's breast (nipples), it stimulates the prdouction of PRL/LTH hormones, which will often start production of milk.

Being the member of a tribe means having the benefit of community support, at the cost of obeying the tribe's rules and customs.
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Postby gmm567 » August 27th, 2009, 7:13 pm

3 dollars a day for a month is only $60 a month--so no that's not feasible. But with 7 people, they'd make $420 per month or 5,400 per year. That's enough to buy a few $15 chairs.

But the average income, according to CIA World Fact book, is something like $4,500. That would mean the average monthly income is $360.
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Postby Repatriate » September 2nd, 2009, 11:44 am

The people you are asking are most likely lower class retail and shop workers and not from the much smaller middle and upper middle class population who have way more money to spend. In the situation with the poorer folk they probably live 3-4 people to a shitty studio apt somewhere which is what Thais sometimes do. The income in Thailand is at least 2x higher than the Phillipines though.
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Postby Winston » September 4th, 2009, 9:06 am

During an argument, I got Dianne to confess to something. The SM Mall workers and shop girls do not make 130 pesos a day. They actually make around 200 to 300 pesos per day. It's a mass lie they tell foreigners to make them feel pity for them and hopefully shower them with generosity. No wonder the numbers don't add up. I mean, a trike ride in Angeles costs 50 pesos on the average yet a shop worker makes 130p a day? Gimme a break. If that was true, nothing would sell in any store and nothing would ever be bought cause that kind of income isn't even enough for food! On 130p a day if you just eat one meal, your whole day's salary is pretty much gone to zero. So where does the money come from to buy anything, period? How does anything get bought or sold period? They think we are stupid and won't notice the discrepancy.

She said that Filipinos work long and hard hours to get what they want, it's in their nature to do so (but not in hers apparently lol). So they are able to make ends meet. But some are lazy and prefer to get free cash from foreigners instead.
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