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Non-Imported products for household/pantry that you recommend


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questsea73

From what I am reading, mostly between the lines, on the forum there is a discouraging number of products that are made locally and available in the stores in P.I. that are of a reasonable quality--for which newcomer foreigners would be interested.  I remember reading about a year ago that potatoes and some(perhaps most) vegetables are imported from mainland China.  Items that many of us consider basic such as milk are imported and priced beyond affordability for most of us already weaned.  It seems that most/all of furniture that has moving parts(beyond perhaps a rocking chair) is imported.  And on and on.

 

From my visits to P.I. ....last at least 13 years ago..... I remember some decent handicrafts in embroidery, sea shell items, and various touristy decor items....along with garish paintings and crude wood carvings(compared to Bali and Thailand).

 

The bargains in P.I. seem to be almost exclusively in the service area: medical services, repair services, manual labor services, opposite sex services, etc.(as far as I can determine from a distance).

 

I wonder if there are many canned goods that are worthwhile besides coconut milk/cream--which I now buy here at close $2. a can.  I remember Iran circa 1972-3 and the horrible tasting canned food they had on the shelves....couldn't even make ketchup that was edible to my tastes(but they did have the big four:  barbari bread, pistachios, caviar, oil.

 

The thought of the big peso outlay needed to buy a godzillion products to set up housekeeping when I arrive is daunting particularly with a lurking feeling of quality shortcomings.

 

I am assuming the Japanese branded products by Panasonic, Sony, Aiwa, Pioneer, Toshiba are assembled in country with an absolute minimum of local content and are all decent quality...but beyond that it's "Granny, bar the door".

 

Are there any products that you have found through purchase to be exceptional bargains or quality well beyond your expectations that you would like to share with us soon-to-be-Culture-Shocked"?

 

Ken

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Good question: I really can't think of any true Filipino products that are both good value and good quality.  No doubt other posters will have a list of their favourites.

 

A few years ago - quite a few years ago - I bought a top of the line Asus motherboard and was pleasantly surprised to see that nearly every chip on it was made in the Philippines.  I doubt whether that is true today.  In fact there seems to have been an exodus of manufacturing companies from here over the last decade.  Ford manufacturing are the most recent to pull out.

 

It is a comment on the standard of locally made produce that manufacturers mark it, 'Export Quality' in an attempt to fool the consumer that this might be of better quality than the norm.

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Buko Beach

Ken,

 

If you have been away from the Philippines for 13years, both the progress and the lack of progress will just blow your mind.

 

As far as food items go, I have found that at the end of the week the groceries I buy in the Philippines end up costing me about the same as they do back home. Some things cost less, but once you buy a few imported food items that cost alot more, it balances everything out.

 

Hmm local foods for the pantry. Shoot I can't think of one thing that tastes just as good or better than imported. Most of the local stuff is a weaker immitation of the original imported food product. Local Ketchup sucks, pasta sauce is too sweet. Some cakes and treats are ok. Some fruit is ok. Local ice cream sucks. Some seafood is ok but check it carefully. Local beef sucks.

 

For the pantry I suggest plain rice and lots of it. When your filipina GF/asawa/MU/rental comes over and she says she is huuuuuuungry just point to the bag. The rice bag not your bag.  :biggrin_01:

 

 

 

 

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Headshot

On the product side, beer and cigarettes are cheap. Pretty much everything else is more expensive. I don't drink or smoke so...  :dance2:

 

You can get cheap furniture here, if you aren't really worried about quality. On food, it depends on what you eat as to how expensive it is. The more imported goods you require, the more expensive it will be. Fresh meats (beef, pork, chicken, lamb, goat, turkey, duck), milk and cheese are more expensive here...but available. Even the local meats are more. Imported meats, of course, are even more expensive.

 

On the services side, massage (the real stuff) is very cheap ($4 to $5 per hour). Of course, if you are looking for more than a regular massage, then that will cost you more (still a lot cheaper than the US...but more). Maids are so cheap here that you really can't afford not to have one. As a matter of fact...anything that has to do with labor is cheap here.

 

:wave:

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Headshot

On fruits and vegetables, most for sale here are grown here in the Philippines. If you need something exotic like apples or grapes, then you should expect to pay import prices.

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A_Simple_Man

 

Are there any products that you have found through purchase to be exceptional bargains or quality well beyond your expectations

Nope.  Even the sugar, which is grown and processed locally, is not granulated fine enough for my taste.  The alcohol products are not overly expensive but not fantastic quality and not an exceptional bargain.  Locally grown rice is passed up for imported stuff when people can afford it, in part because of the poor quality control on the processing of it, partly because they grow cheap varieties of rice and partly because anything imported is perceived as better.

 

I just took a look though my food to see what I eat and like that is locally produced:

 

Virginia Pork n Beans - cheap and closer to imported than most brands

Virginia Bacon - cheaper than imported and a reasonable facsimile

Gardenia Bread - same

Fita crackers -  a reasonable imitation of Ritz crackers

Locally raised chicken and pork cuts of meat -  cheaper than imported but not cheaper than I would have bought back in the west.

Locally raised eggs - same as above - not refrigerated before purchase so quite a few end up going bad and getting thrown out.

 

The rest of my food is imported.

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Guy60417

As others have noted, the bargains are in personal services -- sex, massage, haircuts, maids, etc.

 

(I still get Groupon's Chicago mailings -- today's offers a fabulous bargain, $28 for a one-hour massage. I sneered as I read it).

 

Food: The only Filipino canned goods in my pantry at the moment are two cans of Jolly creamed corn. It seems as good as what I'm used to in the US. I've also had pork & beans, but can't remember if it was Virginia brand, as mentioned by ASM.

 

Bakery products are often very good and low-priced. I would imagine this is because baking is labor-intensive. I've become quite a fan of Anita's piyaya.

 

Fruit is very good and has become a big part of my diet -- especially bananas and pokran (tangerines).

 

If you like soft drinks made with sugar, you'll love the local version of Coke. Speaking of sugar, I love muscovado.

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battleborn

I am curious.  For the posters of comparison pricing.  When was the last time you shopped a grocery store in the U.S.  Since the last time I was in Cebu, 8/11, grocery prices have gone up quite a bit.  A long with gas.  My cereal from $2.70 to 3.10 a box, pasta 80cents a package to 1.10, tea 1.89 to 2.30.  canned tuna (solid albacore)  .99 to 1.39 etc.  Not to mention gas around 2.80 to 3.80.   Just wondering if it is from memory or what.  If you have been in the Phils and watched prices go up, boy they have here too.  If I am wrong and you have some accurate data from both sides of the pond I apologize

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Canuck Joe

try to buy at local market as much possible to save money. We only go to a real grocery store every few weeks for things like whole wheat bread, canned stuff like hunts spaghetti sauce, ketchup etc.

S&R has been a blessing for treats like steak, meats and cheese.

 

like others have said the quality of most processed foods is terrible compared to the items copied from abroad.

Anybody try the Doritos Chips here....or any chips for that Matter?

nasty.

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CardiacKid

As far as local stuff goes, Jack and Jill, Oishi, and Rebisco whole wheat crackers are great. Most local snacks are good, but some are better than others. Century brand chunk tuna is good, but canned tuna flakes often have soy added. You have to learn to read every label on a can. Many of the canned goods come from China. Jolly comes to mind as one company that has both Chinese and Filipino produced vegetables. Most of the Canola oil here is packed in Singapore. Brand is unimportant as long as it is not local. We also have the incredible shrinking container here. 900 ml instead of 1 liter and so forth. All the Fuji apples here are from China and are culls. Gardenia bread is the only local brand that compares to U.S. bread. You also have to learn to stock up on your favorites while they are in stock. Once depleted, it may take weeks before they appear again. The RAM brand is about the lowest quality you can get. Local peanut butter is as sweet as a Reese cup. If you like it, you have to have it ground in the market without sugar or buy imports. Read the labels on peanut butter. Some brands come from China. Even toothpaste is now imported from China. Hapee toothpaste is made here and IMHO as good as any import. It takes a while, but you will soon figure out what brands you can trust. 

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Shrimp paste - best in the world.

 

Soy sauce and cane vinegar.

 

Dried Mangos - in fact anything with mangos in it or pineapple.

 

Stock cubes.

 

Dried herbs.

 

Oysters in jars. 

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Headshot

I am curious.  For the posters of comparison pricing.  When was the last time you shopped a grocery store in the U.S.  Since the last time I was in Cebu, 8/11, grocery prices have gone up quite a bit.  A long with gas.  My cereal from $2.70 to 3.10 a box, pasta 80cents a package to 1.10, tea 1.89 to 2.30.  canned tuna (solid albacore)  .99 to 1.39 etc.  Not to mention gas around 2.80 to 3.80.   Just wondering if it is from memory or what.  If you have been in the Phils and watched prices go up, boy they have here too.  If I am wrong and you have some accurate data from both sides of the pond I apologize

 

For me, it has been almost two years since I was in the US. My comparisons on grocery prices were from that time, but prices of many things have increased radically here as well. As a basis for comparison, right now diesel is about $4.05 a gallon at the low-end stations and $4.35 at the high-end stations. You will pay about $5.30 to $5.50 per gallon for unleaded gas here in Cebu City. Of course, these prices go up the further you get out of town. I can of tuna (packed in water) will cost you $1.55 in the stores here right now. I hope that helps.

 

PS...of course things are in liters and pesos here, but I converted them for you.

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RogerDuMond

Chicken and pork are about the same here as southern Florida. Fruits, vegetables, and fish purchased at the local market are considerably cheaper. Good beef is about 1 1/2 times more expensive.

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InternetTough

You can get cheap furniture here, if you aren't really worried about quality.

 

I owned three chairs in Korea that I accumulated over 11 years. One of them I dug out of somebody's trash. All three I gave up when I moved here, but they were all usable. In the space of a year I bought three office chairs here. All three are now broken and useless. The last chair cost 6000 pesos and lasted less than one week!

Edited by InternetTough
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Canuck Joe

I owned three chairs in Korea that I accumulated over 11 years. One of them I dug out of somebody's trash. All three I gave up when I moved here, but they were all usable. In the space of a year I bought three office chairs here. All three are now broken and useless. The last chair cost 6000 pesos and lasted less than one week!

um...how much you weigh man.

 

jk I have gone through two of those crap chairs, makes me crazy, especially when picking myself up of the ground.

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