Author Topic: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me  (Read 31202 times)

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2008, 11:01:48 AM »

I can understand how you feel about your son. When my first wife left me, I insisted that my two daughter, then in their late teens, stay with me, they were my family and I felt responsible for them. However they caused me a lot of problems, and even more when I married Bing two years later. I eventually had to throw them out of the house, they were my children but I had my own life to lead.They are now 38 and 40, and have basically made a mess of there lives. I do phone them occasionally, but I do not feel any guilt.

Colin

As I\'m busy letting go of my current home and shifting to being in my new home, a lot of stuff like that is wanting to come up. I\'m glad to hear your experience Colin since it is so similar to mine. Maybe the fate of my son doesn\'t rest on my shoulders after all. Hmmmm, yes I see. Well good then, I will set out with a lighter heart.

Thanks

Glad that my, sometimes painful, experiences could be of help.

Colin

Offline Mike M.

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2008, 04:02:44 PM »
Hi Mike,

Sorry to check in on this thread so late, we have been on holiday with the fam.  I feel like you do about the value of trying to bring change here.  I try to prop up my own efforts by thinking selfishly about how good it makes me feel and then watching the results of my efforts evaporate like a drop of water in a thristy desert, i start over again, reinvested in the idea of making change.  This seemingly futile recycling of energies that would in the US provide me serious financial help as well as have explicit results along with teams of others has to have some meaning db?  Trouble is, in the US I am aged out of the work force, others who are younger and have better skills and more recent education are pushing the rock up the hill.  So like an aging robot, I continue to pump out the psych evals in a country that doesn\'t recognize psychology.  (I pride myself on writing goals and interventions that are workable here if there was someone to use them). 

I am lonely here, made more so by an increasing recognition of how deeply alien I am.  I have long tired of the nightly drinking and eating with the barcada.  I see more deeply into the Austroasian mind as time passes. The Spanish made a dent in it and brought it the Church, and the Americans brought them Coca Cola and Nike but no doubt about it, this is still an outer world. So, sort of like the mutineers from the Bounty I watch the ship sailing back to the organized world- a Machavailian choice.   

Like the others of my kind writing on this thread, I find its beyond me to find an answer. This is a job I hadn\'t counted on when I came here years ago.  Sand, beautiful women, sunshine and stars was my goal.  Better to look in my cups.  Thanks Mike for having the honesty to make this point, maybe someone who has thought more about it will come along to lead us.

Mike M.   

Offline rainymike

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2008, 12:43:25 PM »
Not to sound like the pollyanna here, but perhaps it might be useful to reflect on the changes that the RP has gone through over the last 30 years.

30 years ago, did the RP have personal computers and cell phones and pinays webcamming it up with potential suitors from the West?

30 years ago, did the RP have the 7-11\'s, the McD\'s, the Pizza Huts, the KFC\'s?

30 years ago, did the RP have cable tv and HBO?

30 years ago, did the RP have gangsta rap, and hiphop, and karaoke?

30 years ago, did the RP have the huge modern malls and the huge amount of investment that they require? Not to mention the mass consumption that has to occur to sustain them?

30 years ago, did the RP have so many sweet young things trotting around in blue jeans?

Sure, on an average basis the RP is behind the US in many characteristics. But so many economic and social indicators suggest that progress is occurring.

It took Japan a good 30 years to recover from WWII. And Korea about 30 years to recover from the Korean War. Hot on their heels to modernization is China and some Southeast Asian countries. The last year or so, the RP has been one of the better economic performers in Asia.

Yep, there\'s poverty and bad things in the RP. But in another 30 years, I can only imagine where the RP will be and look forward to living through that change first hand. Poverty and corruption are still likely to be around, but probably on a smaller scale than now.

So my solution to feeling down in the dumps is to take the long view. Why 30 years? Well my parents are 30 years older than me and still kicking, so with any luck, I\'ll have at least 30 years left to watch the changes happen. Of course, it doesn\'t hurt to have a cold san miguel also, but you know I\'m kind of getting sick and tired of listening to the stupid news about the US presidential election, the rise in gas prices, the mortgage crisis, governors and replacement governors up to their ears in hookers and sin ... so maybe we just had a bad day.


Offline michael16136

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2008, 12:52:48 PM »
I wish I could share your optimism, but national and regional statistics suggest that the problems here are getting worse for most people. Thirty years ago, the Philippines was viewed as the emerging \"tiger economy\" of SE Asia, with the best educational system, the most vibrant economy and one of the highest, if not the highest per capita GDP in the region. Now, it\'s at or near the bottom in virtually all of these categories.

Don\'t confuse the emergence of Internet cafes and McDonalds, and other manifestations of Western consumerism with progress. The fact is that 30 years ago no country had PCs, and McDonalds was in its infancy. More telling statistics such as improvement in personal economic circumstances, improvements in the quality of and access to education, the growth of inward and outward investment, and a weakening reliance on donor funding, are all trending toward the negative here. My prediction is that in 30 years (and probably within less than 10) this country will be at the very bottom of the heap in relation to all of these factors. It\'s almost there now. Vietnam, whose wars and war consequences are far more recent and more severe than those of this country has surpassed the Philippines in all of these respects, as have China, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Offline coutts00

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2008, 02:51:29 PM »
Not to sound like a downer here, but there are some serious economic problems here that are not being addressed by the government as if we did not know. With all of this so called increase in the economy there has been an addition 5 million poor added to the list of those who cannot afford to feed themselves.

Rice here in the Philippines is a major economic indicator just like oil in many countries, in the last month, rice has added 8p a kilo or more to its value, pork is becoming out of reach to the average consumer at 170 - 180p a kilo and although we source our oil from Dubai, which is at a much lower price than say Brent crude, well a couple of bucks lower anyway, its all going up. We import the bulk of our diesel from Singapore already refined as there are not sufficient refineries here to cope with domestic demand.

So guys whilst we are feeling bad for and about ourselves and our outlook here, I am in the same boat, considering packing it in and heading back to US or Oz. My problems stem from wanting Filipinos to do as they say they will do instead of what they actually do, its hard to run a business when you can\'t count on suppliers who don\'t turn up, employees who lie as if its normal, and potential employees who want to argue about money before they have been offered a position or the ones who accept a position and just don\'t show up for work period. I want to be able to count on someone who will do as they say, when they say and not have some excuse when the time comes for them to fulfill their word.

In RP today it is the rich getting richer and the poor, where most of the population is are getting a lot poorer. It is my prediction that rice may double from it current price in 3 months, there may be riots and fighting breaking out because of the cost of this staple. When you consider that wheat has trebled in price in 1 year, Australia has lost 50% of its production due to drought and in Asia Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, China and Korea are cutting back on the amounts of rice they export to feed their own economies, RP which imports more rice than any country in the world is on the short end of the stick. The UN predicts it will have to send 1.8 mill tonnes of rice to RP this year alone up from 1.2 Mil tonnes last year. And a recent tender for bid on providing this months order of rice to PI was 550,000 tonnes. The best offer was for 355,000 tonnes so the problem is going to be exacerbated in the coming months. PI is supposed to have a 90 day reserve of Rice, currently its at about 55 days and dropping.

So if you want to do your families a favor, go out now whist the price is still manageable and pick up 200 - 300 kilos before it disappears.

Wayne
Wayne  ;D ;D

Offline michael16136

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2008, 04:09:11 PM »
An excellent analysis Wayne, and while all that you describe is going on, the Government, as part of its perpetual sleight of hand, continues to proclaim the robustness of the economy and to eulogize its own success in managing the economic growth of the country. This is a place, as Wayne implies, that\'s never more than a millimeter from economic and political implosion. The only thing that\'s prevented it\'s collapse to date are:  (1) the inertia of the population most of whom are convinced that things are never getting better; (2) the enormity of the remittances sent by the OFWs, who prop up the foreign reserves; (3) the island geography which precludes the true mass movement of people and (4) the US\'s (and other Western powers\') determination to prop up the regime at all costs.

I like the suggestion of stockpiling rice. Maybe I\'ll try to purchase several sacks as a hedge against future prices rises.

Offline coutts00

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2008, 04:59:57 PM »
In Manila at the start of the year the cheapest rice was 22p a kilo, that same rice as of yesterday was 28p a kilo and it is due to increase rapidly. The rice that we purchased for 27 is now 35, and where previously I had seen rice at 40p a kilo it is now over 50p a kilo. It would seem that the more expensive rice is increasing faster a supplies drop in favor of the cheaper rice which is being purchased in higher volume. So for those of you who traditionally purchase rice at 35 - 40p a kilo expect to be paying 50 or more now or in the very near future, for an average family of four, thats an extra 300p a month to find, not much for you and I, but for our average Filipino it will push many over the edge.  >:(

So for our lend a helping hand section maybe the purchase of rice at the moment would be a good investment, as you can extend this to neighbors when times get tougher than they currently are, a kilo or 2 of rice at the right time will be seen as a better handout than some of the things we would like to do, as eating is of a higher priority to most than having somewhere to bathe or use a clean CR, only surpassed with the need to drink water and use it to cook the said rice. Also Noodles and Sardines if you feel so inclined. :D

Well it has happened again, one of prospective new employees has just canceled on us, as they had decided they only wanted to work over the summer and then go back to school, they also wanted fare from the province to here in Manila. When I said I would only pay fare for 12 months work, they dropped out. And 2 potential employees whom we have only spoken to on the phone, from Isabella, decided we should advance them fare, sight unseen and increase their salary, as they thought themselves to be in a negotiating position. I might desperately need them but they will never know that. So the search goes on. Any one got a baseball bat so I can beat myself senseless.

Wayne
Wayne  ;D ;D

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2008, 05:37:28 PM »
So for those of you who traditionally purchase rice at 35 - 40p a kilo expect to be paying 50 or more now or in the very near future, for an average family of four, thats an extra 300p a month to find, not much for you and I, but for our average Filipino it will push many over the edge.  >:(



Well it has happened again, one of prospective new employees has just canceled on us, as they had decided they only wanted to work over the summer and then go back to school, they also wanted fare from the province to here in Manila. When I said I would only pay fare for 12 months work, they dropped out. And 2 potential employees whom we have only spoken to on the phone, from Isabella, decided we should advance them fare, sight unseen and increase their salary, as they thought themselves to be in a negotiating position. I might desperately need them but they will never know that. So the search goes on. Any one got a baseball bat so I can beat myself senseless.

Wayne

Wayne,

How do you reconcile the two seemingly opposing statements above? P300 extra may push over the edge but you are unable to get staff to work for P2500 inc board & lodging.

Offline coutts00

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2008, 06:46:22 PM »
The 2500p is cash in their pocket, I provide a place for them to live and all of their food every month. I cover all of their expenses whilst they are here, except for medical and what they do on their days off. At the end of 12 months work they are entitled to 2 weeks paid vacation. Depending on their work, I may even include their fare back to their home province.

If you take the average family here, the mother often stays home to raise the children or they are taken care of by Lola if she lives nearby. If not the mother stays home, your average employee pulls in after tax 6000p. In the province it can be even less than that. By the time you add the expense of living somewhere, another 1000 - 1500p, if it is just a room somewhere, so now we are down to 4500 - 5000p subtract another 1500p to feed themselves, 1800p to get to work and back, washing etc, keeping their work clothes looking good and replacing items as required, subtract more for cell phone load and it comes down to less than the 2500p I am offering. After their probation period I will cover their philhealth as well.

If you compare that to the average salary paid to a non-college graduate in the Province or even here in Manila, its often less than that unless you are working for a major company that must report all of its earnings and all of the salaries paid to its employees and their taxes.

So with that said and looking at average daily expenses, if you need to find an extra 300p, where does it come from? Do you take a child out of school, not get purified drinking water and use tap water instead - risking your children\'s health, walk an extra 2km or more in the morning instead of taking a tricycle, not eat at lunch, turn off all of the lights at home and live in the darkness, not shower or bathe to save water?

Most people working for us would send most of the extra money home to their parents or families who need to be looked after, maybe as supplemental income for their pensions. Or if they are married, send money home to their spouse who may not be working.

As Ron can tell you, if you are pulling in 5k a day in revenue, you are making 700 - 800p a day or 24,000 a month. And it can vary on any given day, none of this is fixed guaranteed income. My expenses with electricity for the store, water, fuel for the car to go to the wholesalers, fuel for 2 bikes, payments for 2 bikes, payment for one freezer, salaries for 2 employees who are family, as well as the inevitable losses from spoilage, the occasional rat or mouse in the store. That leaves enough to feed us, and a couple of luxuries, if we close early I take everyone to the movies once a month or a night of Karaoke.

Wayne
Wayne  ;D ;D

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2008, 07:34:09 PM »
Wayne,

Maybe I didn\'t phrase my question clearly. The point I was trying to make is why, if the additional P300 a month increase in rice, in your words \"would push many over the edge\" but jobs at a salary of P2,500 inc room & board and you can\'t get any takers. These two things seem to be at odds in that you are offering jobs in a country with insufficient work & where as stated by you P300 may be the difference in having enough food or not.

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2008, 08:05:51 PM »
Guide note:

The topic started by Steveinvisayas within this thread, is an important subject in its own right. It has been split from this topic & renamed Problems leaving our children & moving to RP. The new thread can be found within this board.

Offline coutts00

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2008, 08:48:06 PM »
I think Keith, it has to do with people and I\'ll generalize here as it applies all over the world, that think they are better than the position offered, hence most try to get me to pay better wages, if it paid more there would be more takers. Also the fact that I want a 12 month minimum commitment, locks people in, makes people promise to work for a set period.

But I have also noticed that many people here tend to be oblivious to the changes going on around them, as most don\'t own cars or motorcycles, the price of Petrol does not affect them directly. Its the other price changes that affect them, like an increase in transport charges for a jeepney ride. The price of pork has jumped dramatically, so it is noticed immediately, but as the price of rice goes up a peso or a half peso at a time, it is not as directly noticed, rather I have noticed they they tend to notice the quality of the rice they buy rather than the cost of the rice.

If I could find a way to advertise this position in provincial towns, I would not find any problems acquiring takers, as pay rates there are smaller compared to Metro Manila. Its one of the reasons I was asking others here on the forum, many people in provincial Philippines can go through State High School for almost no money, but have no chances of going further as this costs 1500 - 2000p a month just for schooling and extra costs being higher on top of this.

Honestly Keith I don\'t know the reason I can\'t get any takers, maybe I am advertising in the wrong locations. Not so much here, but in other locations here in our town.

Wayne
Wayne  ;D ;D

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2008, 08:57:01 PM »
Wayne,

Good answer. Makes a lot of sense - thanks.

Offline stillbilly2002

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2008, 04:41:06 AM »
did notget to post this weekend ...............Colin, your never a pain in the rear ,always keen to hear your opinion..............billy

Offline michael16136

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Re: The Place Is Starting to Get to Me
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2008, 07:07:21 AM »
There\'s no real inconsistency in Wayne\'s posts. Many people here display an alarming tendency to act consistently against their self-interest, though I\'ve never figured out why. It seems to me that Filipinos in general, often are able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and to do so time and time again. Whether this is poor impulse control, a total failure to correctly analyze given situations, an inability to plan for even the short-term or plain stupidity is something I\'ve never been able to figure out, but I\'ve witnessed it many times. This tendency seems to prevail more among the uneducated, but not always.