Memes: Weekly Question #5

Saturday, June 21, 2008

While browsing around the blogosphere, I came across a meme that grabbed my interest. This is the first time I am joining this meme and I'm really looking forward to doing this regularly. Fortunately, Julie of GreenBucks (creator of this meme) is sending them via email so I will be reminded whenever a new question is up.

What lies ahead for me (and my family) during these tough times? Do we know where we are heading?
Our future looks dim. Asking me why? Well, I am juggling living with half of my family stuck in the Philippines while I'm here in the US. I know many people would say that we're lucky I have dollars to send back to the Philippines but are we that lucky? I think not. Let me start by comparing my experiences in the Philippines and here.
When I left last June 10, gas prices in the Philippines were already 50 Php per liter. It was also reported that it will reach as high as 65 Php per liter at the end of the year. We all know that gas price increase signal financial changes for all of us. Prices for commodities and other services would surely increase because of the gas prices. True enough, the 6 Php fare for our pedicabs became 7.50 Php the week before I left.
A lot of Filipinos still depend on their salary to provide for their family. Unfortunately, Philippine salary is not that good, well, except for a few who receive really big paychecks. Since more Filipinos (me included) belong to the middle-class and bellow bracket, this poses a problem. How can we feed our family? Well, minimum wage increased by 5 Php (if I remember correctly) but 5 Php can never circumvent the rapidly increasing prices. Yes, there is an increase in wages but the volatile gas prices change almost every week so this still poses a problem. I mean, wages don't increase every week, right?
Then there is the rice crisis. I know we Filipinos cannot live without rice since we equate rice as food and all other rice substitutes are unheard of. The last time I bought NFA rice it was more than 20 Php and if you want to get the really cheap rice, you have to stay in line for a whole day and you can't buy more that 3 kilos of rice for each family! Now this is crazy! Rice prices are also increasing day by day which also results in rice hoarders. This directly affects us because prices immediately increase based on the law of supply and demand.
In a first world country, like the US, for example. Gas prices are also increasing. Last time we gassed up it was 4.57 USD per gallon. According to my mother, this is really high because 2 years ago, gas prices didn't go beyond 2 USD per gallon. Because many people rely on their cars as a mode of transportation, gas prices are a big blow to all Americans and other nationalities working here.
Fortunately, they can get gas at a discount price because of membership to Costco and others. I also remember a friend of mine saying that every time she fills her car with gas, a small percentage goes into her child's education fund. You don't see that in the Philippines, that's for sure!
Commodities and other services here are also increasing. But again, if you have a membership, you get the membership discount. Convenient, isn't it? We don't have that in the Philippines! Well, there are a lot of wholesale stores popping in the Philippines, too but we can't afford to buy a whole box of everything and we usually stick to what we need for one month.
There is also a sale every week here and I'm not talking about clothes, I am talking about food! Each store has food items on sale. This really helps, doesn't it? Again, we don't have that in the Philippines.
Do I know where I am heading? No, I do not. I still can't imagine what the situation in the Philippines would be like. I know for sure that it would never become better. Our government prevents that and we all know that. What with the scandals popping up here and there and issues of corruption and other illegal activities surfacing, we can only imagine.
It's like a bad movie playing for all to see. I still don't know where I'm heading. Do you?

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3 deranged screams:

Mommy Ruby June 21, 2008 at 1:23 PM  

wow...well said.

now, i am thinking a lot about this post and the chat we had...maybe i will think some more...hehehe

Pinay Mommy Online
Blessings and Beyond

julie June 22, 2008 at 6:37 AM  

Zerisse, thanks for doing this.

We are currently experiencing a very strong storm now and you know, a ship capsized with 700+ people in it. Hay, grabe. Gas is 59/liter already.

Yes, definitely very tough times ahead.I have been trying to get a teaching position abroad too but I haven't been fortunate enough to secure one.

I wish you well. Have a great week.


By the way, here is my other blog:


Z'riz June 22, 2008 at 12:58 PM  

yup... it's really crazy how the prices up and never go down...

yeah i heard the news.. grabe man oi! they shouldn't have left port unta bagyo man...