Why What Things Cost Means Less Than How Things Are.
Whatever does that mean, Dave?
Well, I’ll tell you.
eight or nine twelve or thirteen years now of learning about the Philippines myself, talking with and working with people moving to the Philippines and then moving my wife and myself to the Philippines nearly 10 years ago ago, the number one question on people lips has always been one thing … in number one by a heck of a large margin too, I believe.
All I Want To Know Is What Things Cost
- 0.1 All I Want To Know Is What Things Cost
- 0.2 But That’s The Wrong Question
- 0.3 The Church
- 0.4 500 Pound Gorilla Is An Understaement
- 0.5 Where, In God’s Name, Did All This Traffic Come From?
- 0.6 No, Just A Catholic Mass
- 0.7 But The Church Has No Parking Lot
- 0.8 So What’s More Important?
- 0.9 Think That’s an Isolated Incident?
- 0.10 Church protest fails, QC passes sex ed law.
- 0.11 All I can say after reading that is, YGBSM
- 0.12 Teen Agers Won’t Know About Sex If The Schools Don’t Teach It?
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“How much do things cost there”?
Actually, that’s not all that difficult of a question. J
ust like in the US and other countries, things cost what they cost.
In general things some things cost less here … my friend Bob just did an extensive cost comparison a few weeks ago (recommended) and I publish frequent posts here about prices. (just look in the Categories list or use the search box or site map to find everything ever written here). Here’s an article to start with: Philippine Cost of Living Update — June 2015
But That’s The Wrong Question
I want to tell you, though, that most of you asking that question are asking the wrong question.
If you are living today with a roof over your head, food in your fridge and an Internet connection, then you certainly make enough money to live in the Philippines. (you can learn more about supplementing your income using the “Search” function at the top right of the page), if you want to delve into that four-letter word called W*O*R*K)
But the things that will make or break the way you enjoy living in the Philippines revolve around a couple of 500 pound gorillas that most of the time no one talks about/blogs about.
One of the largest gorillas, one that virtually dominates all others for Filipinos and foreigners in the Philippines is the Roman Catholic church.
Immediately I am going to lose readership here, I know.
But especially for Americans, who live in a society where separation of church and state has become a religion all it’s own … you will have to make some distinct changes on your outlook on life.
I am NOT anti-Catholic … not anti any religion or belief system, really.
But a simple fact of life is, when you chose to live here the Catholic Church is going to have a huge influence on your life.
500 Pound Gorilla Is An Understaement
In the US, even those of us who are practicing a religion actively think of churches as places you drive by, and stop at if they are of your faith and it’s time to worship.
We don’t expect to find the streets blocked by church-uniformed protestors attempting to control the deliberations and voting of elected city councils. The idea seems … well, foreign, no?
Also, on a Sunday, the one day you won’t normally have to sit in traffic, I regularly travel six lane avenue to take family members to visit a sister-in-law’s house in Quezon City.
Where, In God’s Name, Did All This Traffic Come From?
Here we were, cruising down this open six lane street, driving as if we were living in a country where roads were adequate and people actually knew how to drive, when Holy Cow, get on the brakes Dave … like now.
Suddenly the three traffic lanes (actually about five lanes becuase of people “making singit” (squeezing their vehicles into every possible gap) and then being stopped, dead, door mirrors virtually rubbing on the mirrors of the guy alongside.
What happened? A terrible accident? A police roadblock? An earthquake? A plane crash?
No, Just A Catholic Mass
Quite a distance up ahead there was a big Catholic church. I think the name of the church was “Our Lady of Perpetual Impediment”. (Maybe I got the name wrong, but it certainly fits).
It was a big church, a big parish area and people were driving to church to attend mass. Great. Sounds like a great thing to do, and hey, I’m all for it.
But The Church Has No Parking Lot
Ordinarily you might think this is a problem for that church. And probably everywhere else in the world it would be. But we live in the Philippines.
People just stopped in the street in front of the church and got out of their cares. Double parking? Heck triple parking, quadruple parking, even quintuple parking, until all but one narrow lane of the street was left open to traffic.
It takes a Loooong time for all the traffic who weren’t going to church to finally edge and shuffle and squeeze their way through that one narrow lane.
And this was not an isolated ocurrence. In fact, three times a day, every single Sunday, that’s the way things work.
So What’s More Important?
The price of a gallon (liter’s here, please) of gas, or what it’s really like here when you want to go visit a family member?
Think That’s an Isolated Incident?
Here’s a very illuminating incident that was reported on the ABS-CBN website. (sorry, they changed the link since, I no longer have it).
Church protest fails, QC passes sex ed law.
A Church-led protest outside their session hall failed to deter Quezon City councilors from approving a proposed ordinance to teach reproductive health lessons in all of the city’s public high schools.
The protests was aimed at stopping the approval of the city ordinance that according to the ralliers, “violates the beliefs of the Church.”
The ordinance states that all public high schools in Quezon City will teach sex education to its students, including the use of contraceptives. The ordinance also recommended the use of artificial family planning methods.
“[It’s] not good to teach adolescents about sex… it will perpetuate sex early… results may be abortion…,” said Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco …
The councilors, meanwhile, defended the ordinance.
“It’s time for family planning, because this is really a poverty issue,” said Councilor Joseph Juico. The council also said that five out of every 100 children in Quezon City are underweight and one of the reasons is successive births.
The protesters, meanwhile, said they will not be deterred. They said they will elevate their case to the Supreme Court.
All I can say after reading that is, YGBSM
(if you don’t know YGBSM, Google is your friend)
One out of every five children? I’d say, from personal observation it’s at least two or three. And Quezon City is one of the biggest communities that make up metro Manila .. quite a well-off city as Philippine cites go, believe me.
Teen Agers Won’t Know About Sex If The Schools Don’t Teach It?
YGBSM. Again, for those of you who take this as an anti-Catholic diatribe, sorry, I don’t mean it that way.
But the premise behind the protest, to me, personally, seems ignorant and in complete denial of the facts of life here.
Explosive population growth in the Philippines is a huge problem which perpetuates poverty and suffering.
Virtually nothing is being done, mainly because the church opposes strongly all measures designed to alleviate the problem, up to and including the Supreme Court.
(how many children could have a meal for what one Supreme Court case legal fees would cost?)
Kind of makes the cost of a gallon of gas a lot less important in life, doesn’t it?
Are you now a little more clear on Why What Things Cost Means Less Than How Things Are.