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The realities of VERY low income living here

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If you've ever wondered how people can survive here on very low income..... or what their living conditions are like.... you can take a highly itemized picture tour through their abodes.  You can see and visually visit inside of the homes of people who live here in the PI on MONTHLY incomes of: $86 USD, 93, 98, 169, 170, 194, 195, 228, 238, 262, 501, 865 and $1,087. Their possessions and daily living tools are surveyed pictorially along with brief interview scripts. 

There is a web site that takes nations and U.N. economic and social data bases and makes them available for educational illustrations of current global realities. Its is an attempt to dis-spell many erroneous preconceptions about global lifestyles. 

The site was mentioned in a video lecture by a Swedish professsor who teaches courses in global awareness of the changing social and economic realities of the last 70 years vs older, now dated stereotypical viewpoints.  The website is <gapminder.org>, and the images are on the "Dollar Street" section, which features a huge number of families of the world w/ income levels and attendant physical lifestyle items. I've just begun exploring it and am giving the PI families my first read.

So the next time someone asks, "How cheaply can a person/family live in the Philippines?",  you can give them a well documented reply of...... (your choice)..... $ 86.... or $98..... or $228, etc.    Of course, after they see the pictures, I don't think that they'll be in any hurry to come here and take up the illustrated economic lifestyle.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these survey pics will save an immeasurable amount of writing.

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Posted (edited)

I have visited the girlfriends family in the Provinces (Tarlac) and know what a two room house with not toilet looks like. The house had a few lights and an electric fan but few other creature comforts. The first few feet of the house were cinder block, but the walls were finished with rice sacks nailed to a few timbers. I have also seen them eat rice and vegetables from pots and dishes laid out on the living room floor. The place was clean and the sisters family seemed happy. 


Edited by Happyhorn52
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49 minutes ago, manofthecoldland said:

  You can see and visually visit inside of the homes of people who live here in the PI on MONTHLY incomes of:

If this works, people can click on here to go direct to your link (fingers crossed)

I like your thread.  I like your link.  I like the examples.

What I do not agree with is the "one size fits all" approach.  One guy living on $1,000 a month may be fully financed on a 3 million peso house and another guy on the same budget may be living in a "paid for" concrete block house that he built for less than half a million.

Pictures tell a story but the story is not always the whole truth.  (As an example, follow any photo journalist and see that they only take the "shock and awe" pics and ignore the everyday stuff.)

This will be an interesting discussion and I do like that.  Those pics give an example of what some people have actually done.  For some people there is little choice, (if all you can afford is a nipa hut then that's gonna be it), but for most expat budgets there are many choices to be made.


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Great link.  Thanks for sharing.

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I met my Now Filipino wife in 2001, married her in 2002 she joined me in the UK 3 months later.

We came back to phil several times before we retired here in 2011.

And from 2002 until today it amazes me how nothing  in the provinces has changed very much .

I can walk out of our front gate and whichever way i walk i soon come across wooden shacks

Some barely standing  which people live in and these have been replaced and rebuilt since i first saw them in 2002 ! Its the same driving to Calamba or Santa Cruz or Lipa.

But then you realise these people are barely surviving !

A good example are tricycle drivers who are lucky to make 200 pesos a day !

I believe in a fair days pay for a fair days work.

And we when the pension allows have a builder to do odd jobs, cutting trees, building extensions

And at the moment he is building a new front entrance to our home ,

This guy is amazing he does everything from laying hollow blocks,making wooden forms

For concrete beams etc,to plastering ,roofing etc. We pay him 600 pesos a day and his helper

500, we feed them merienda in the morning and afternoon. He has a wife and two young children

And he lives rent free in a wooden shack on a piece of land which every sunday he has to work on for free.

The thing that amazes me every morning you see children of all ages coming from these shacks

All wearing freshly washed uniforms carrying their lunch to school.

Their is a family friend down the road who asked for help a while ago

We went to visit them and as mentioned earlier the home was what i would describe as a shed

With dirt floor no electric no running water everbody used the hand pump.

And they aplogised to me for me having to walk on the dirt floor !

But the thing that amazes me most about the poor here its their life and they have to live it

They smile and are happy, the children play with old tyres and stones and swim in the bay

No ipads or Iphones for these kids !

And theres me spending on avreage 500- 800 a week on cold drinks !




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52 minutes ago, expatuk2014 said:

I believe in a fair days pay for a fair days work.

Ahh there's the problem.  What is a fair day's pay for a fair day's work?

When I worked in Canada I constantly compared my wage for my job with the wage an American got in his country for the same job.  In the end I realized you just can't compare.  Due to the economies of the countries and the value of the currency and the politcal decisions and the availability of labor force in the area we ALL got a fair day's pay for a fair day's work but that amount was different in every state or province in the US and Canada.

A fair day's pay is determined by the economics of the area that a person lives in.  I'm sure the guy who works for you is thrilled to get more than the going rate for his day's labor.  Wouldn't you be back in your home country?  Do you realize if you had moved to another country you could have got double the money for the same job?  There is always somewhere that pays more if you can get in on it.  That does not mean the guy making less is not making a fair day's pay,  IMHO.


Just one more point.  One day a rich American drove up to me as I was sitting beside the road in my dirty blue jeans and smoking a cigarette in a poor rural area of Canada.  He offered me 3 times the going rate when he got out of his car and said "Hey buddy, if you want to wash my car I'll give you $30"  I told him:  "Sorry buddy, we ain't got no n*ggers in Canada.  You're gonna have to wash your own car."  Bottom line is its insulting to think that a guy who has less than you is less of a person or less happy than you are just because you think he looks poorer than you.


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