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Monday, March 23, 2009

The Big Difference: Why Filipinos Are Mostly in Debt?

What is the minimum salary in Philippines for a university graduate? The answer would depend on so many things: where you graduated; what profession or degree; where you are having a job. What can you afford as newly graduate? As a neophyte? As a newbie? As a freshperson? A cheaply paid job that is more often than not an insult to your education and effort to finish... or is it? I have to admit it really depends on which one you are: overqualified, underqualified or unidentified. I also have o admit that diplomas are rebuttable as the quality of education all over the country is not the same: others are superior while others, let's admit is, are... well you know what I mean, right?

The topic that I have had with someone last weekend it the poverty in Philippines. This person told me that television is sucking each and every soul of Filipinos. Why? Because of the commercials: buy this car, buy this phone, this TV brand, all the appliances and electronic gadgets you can think of. The truth is, how much does it cost? Say the cellular phone is around Php 10,000 (majority of and you bought it. If you are a newly grad, do you think you can still live for the remaining days of the month after you bought the phone? Say your gross income for the month (an even bigger estimate compare to average) is Php 15, 000, you still have Php 5,000 left. But the truth is, you still have to pay taxes and it's around Php 750. You are left with Php 4,250. Are you renting a place? Are you sharing expenses with parents? Are you buying load for that phone you bought? Are you eating at all? Are you commuting for work? In short, it is very difficult to live with such salary if one has to buy a gadget. Or an electronic appliance for that matter: television set, DVD player, sterio, MP3 player, washing machine and all these things. Add the fact that you have siblings to spend for.

What I am saying is, Filipinos has the same aspirations in terms of material stuffs as western people do. But is the income the same? Television has redefined what is a need and what is luxury: all that is advertised in TV now is somewhat a "NEED". And that is bad. People are having debts just to buy these gadgets... is it good? It is good if you don't get buried in debts which happens usually. It is good if you are not thinking of your future and save for yourself. Why? I have to tell you that you are not 100% healthy all the time. Do you have health insurance? Do you have dental insurance? These things? Think about your future. gadgets only cause you to spend more. Buy the necessary, not the poshy that you don't actually use those functions as I know people can ever hardly use the call function there. Phones are mostly use to brag and that is not so good.

Mind you, here in Netherlands, regular salary, the basic, the lowest salary for a newly graduate is €1,700. And how much is the price of a mobile phone? A colored, with camera, with radio phone can cost as low as €30 and that has a €15 load in it already. Now do you see the difference? The percentage to gross salary in Philippines versus here in Netherlands is 0.0176 % versus 66.67%. Now do you see? Save for your lives, these gadgets can be stolen, lost and even not be properly used. Bragging and making the gadget as a social symbol is a shame. Build your future instead!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Citibank America Caller in Philippines

I got that audio file from a friend in Philippines. Yes, that’s the Citibank of America client who was airing her disappointment and she obviously DESPISES Philippines.

She talked the straightest Filipino though and of course she is Filipina (I believe strongly).

I wish to upload the audio file here so that you can hear as well and I would like to solicit opinions about it from all other fellow Filipinos. Also those who can understand the Filipino language but are not Filipinos are as well welcome to share their views.

As per my own opinion, I nether side with that caller nor go against her. She has reasons for reacting so. She has her deep … I can even say VERY deep reasons for alleging that ALL Filipinos are either corrupt or prostitutes/sluts. Can you imagine that? I would like to know what are the reasons behind those deep hatred… And if I would discover, maybe I can understand her better. For all Filipinos reading and who might have heard, your fair opinion, if you share here, would be highly regarded.