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How do the locals live?


tomaw

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blaze pontaine

Earning 20-30 thousand pesos per month is something most filipinos never attain, but even the ones lucky enough to make that much still live lifestyles that westerners would consider low class. 

 There's often a dozen or more people in a house which consists of babies, school aged kids, unemployed, elderly, and the wage earners.  Quite a few have daughters with foreigners or OFWs in the family that supplement income. 

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OFWs are the people whose families live comfortably on the most part. My brother in law brings in 7000 usd per month as a chief officer on LNG tanker ships, they own several properties for rental, a p

Firstly, I have not read any other replies here. So, I hope I am not repeating information that was previously posted.   Secondly, you would NEVER hear or read where I have said you could not live a

Don't take this the wrong way, but what are you after with this question? I truly do not understand what you are looking for?   I tried to read the responses, here, but the replies just reek with pe

Brucewayne

So how are the successful locals able to have a good standard of living on what they make?

 

The title of this post and the quote above suggests to me that a reader of this thread will want to know how successful locals have a good standard of living.

 

Of course, since the members of the forum are largely expats, there will be a tendency to make the inevitable comparisons to their own expectations.  That is, as a value is given as to income or monthly outgo, it will be tempting to describe what sort of sacrifices a foreigner has to make to fell comfortable here.

 

For my part, I am glad to share with members what I know of the living standards of my neighbors and family.  In all, we have eight families, all living locally, who are siblings of my wife.  Of these, only one family would be considered to be successful and I described them above.  All others, including the parents would fall into the poor and unsuccessful category.

 

I can understand the mystique about how it is that locals can have so much less than many of our members and yet seem to have a good life.  For myself, I have spent most of my adult life away from my home country that I don't always see the differences.  The last time I was home, cellphones were not even popular there.  There was no such thing as "free wifi". Hard to see how I was giving up those benefits of a modern society.

 

To be clear, I described a family who would be considered successful and has an income as I described.  I can understand some might find that difficult to believe.  I have no reason to exaggerate. My intention is to answer the OP and perhaps inform some casual reader about life here.

 

This is the sort of thread that I think this forum is good at.  A lot better than bullshit like "did you eat her".

 

It would be difficult to use simple comparisons between a diverse expat community and locals who are considered successful.  For example, I live in the provinces, so there are a lot of differences from those who live in urban areas.

When a family of 3 spends P3,000 per month on groceries, they can live what appears to be a good life.

My family (being western) spends about P15,000 to P20,000 per month on groceries.

It is a matter of necessity here and people can live on less, but I just don't want less, as I am spoiled by my luxuries and there are just enough luxuries here to keep me happy (and broke).

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The Inquirer just ran an article few weeks weeks ago about how Aquino was berating the doctors and lawyers in Makati over their tax bills.

 

Most is seems have a taxable income/bill of less than 1000 pesos a year.

 

Make of it what you will.

 

But to answer the OP the answer is:

Tthey don't. They survive. Until they have a medical emergency. And then they don't even do that anymore.

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The post by headshot was very clear and informative. For those reading and want to know about the lifestyle of this "class" of people, he made an excellent summary. I live in the provinces and there are differences from what to expect in the city. As an example, a sister-in-law and her husband live nearby and have a dump of a rental, no inside toilet, barely any furniture, etc. they have one child, about three years old. Both have college degrees. The fellow has a degree in IT and the wife's degree is in accounting. He has a job as a bookkeeper cum laborer. In those meager wages, maybe 12000 a month, they manage. He has a major surgery coming up and my be out of pocket 100,000. It's an empty pocket.

 

One reason they struggle for employment is a choice to live near family. There are jobs, such as they are, in cities. It just becomes a major hassle to go to the city with few resources and begin the job search. They don't have enough resources to just go rent a place and begin filling out job applications. If they stay here, there is family nearby to give aid.

 

I had the impression teachers got gradually increasing salaries based upon their education. In effect, as they took more classes their pay increased. At least this is what happens to my other sister-in-law. The irony is that the classes are arranged by the DEPED and as such the teacher get the training in large groups.......read that as large tuitions. So, their wage increase ends up being used to pay for the classes.

 

There are also a lot of off-duty mandatory activities....the ass kissing kind. On weekends they are expected to participate in various activities.

 

Most teachers in our area have to fix up their own classroom. Repairs to walls, floors, painting and shelves and such are paid for by the teacher or simply do not get done.

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hilyfe

300 dollars a month huh 

Thats not enough

 

Make it 1500 dollars a month is ok as long as youre not renting

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USCebuana

I think my sister and her husband are middle class. Before my BIL worked abroad they were probably making a bit less than 50k a month. Their income was augmented by a side electronics business where once in a while my BIL lands a good contract. They have a mortgage free house. It's 3 bedroom 2 baths western standard house in a subdivision that is not gated. The lot has a nice decent sized yard. They own a second hand car and a motorcycle, both fully paid. The 3 children go to private school and they have 1 maid. They eat meat and vegetables and have dessert in their meals. The kids dress in the current fashion and have hobbies that I think cost some money. They go on vacation locally in some resort 2 or 3 times a year. This was before my BIL worked as an OFW.

 

My parents raised us on a lot less than 50k but this was awhile back. They sent 4 kids to college in private school at the same time! I don't know how they did it. It was tough though. We were all really thin because we did not have enough to eat. Strangely enough we seldom got sick. Clothes are bought only on the child's birthday and Christmas and school clothes on opening of classes. We only had 2 pairs of uniforms for the whole year! Wash one while wearing one. I think they made it work because they own their house mortgage free and we had no car. It also helped that the children were healthy.

Vacations are unheard of and ice cream is a luxury and only on special occasions. 

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Headshot

When we go back to the Philippines she will probably also be an American citizen with an American passport.

 

Do NOT move here until your wife is a US citizen and has also reacquired her Philippine citizenship. It will make most common problems of living here melt away. It would be a gross oversight for her to not get US citizenship after having lived in the US (legally) for so long. She will have the full rights of both countries, which makes a lot of difference. You can make it here on $1500 a month provided the dollar stays strong. If the dollar weakens substantially, then a lot of us with more than that will be headed back to the US. It hurt pretty bad when the exchange rate went from 48 to 1 down to less than 40 to 1. That kind of drop really affects your spending ability. Luckily, it has gone back up to almost 44 now. It makes a lot a difference in how you live.

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SomeRandomGuy

man I live on less that 1500 a month. A lot less then that but I sort of have a lifestyle that would be a little different to most others.

I am very kuriput( tight haha) but my basic needs are 20 thousand a month for rent elec and cable internet and water. I spend another 10k on food for a month but I do a lot of cooking at home and use a fair amount of local ingredients and I spend another 5k a month on entertainment. Once every few months I go on holidays but other then visa ext I don't really spend much more than 40k a month.

Keeping in mind I do not have children but It all depends on what sort of lifestyle you like to live.

I am more about getting in with the locals and making an effort to assimilate into the country and live a lot more like a local would.

That's just me, I tend to do that when I am in other countries, otherwise why would I live here if I don't make an effort to be like everyone else.

Sure there are a lot of rich filipino here but there are a lot more poor ones.

I feel I get more out of my life here by catching jeeps shopping day to day at the markets and doing it tough like the locals.

Then again I am a dead set idiot and not exactly bright.

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Its not what they do, its what they do not do.  They do not eat in restaurants that charge more than 50 pesos per person.  They do not go on vacations to other cities.  They do not pay high rents.  And the people you mention make closer to $500 a month as someone else mentioned.

 

So $1000 a month with husband and wife both working (thinking specifically of my neighbors).  House and lot purchased on the cheap from family members a long time ago (decent house for low income folks on a 400 sq meter lot). School kids coming by to clean and sweep daily (and stay overnight sometimes).  Payments on a nice new motorcycle.  And some food is the only other expense.  These guys do all right.  I need to get out more.  I need to pay rent.  I need a car AND a motorcycle for my comfort level.  I need to leave the country every 16 months for Visa reasons.  I need to travel to a bigger city every two months for visa renewal.  I don't have a wife bringing in $500 a month.  I have a young child to feed.  I struggle to get by on $2000 a month.  Need I say more?

 

Just a comment to this...

 

 I  need to get out more. (I would like to, but I have a lot of work here where I live)

 I need to pay rent. (I don´t pay rent, we bought the place 20 years ago - only yearly tax)

 I need a car AND a motorcycle for my comfort level. (I had a car, sold it, too expensive and less use - sikad, motorella and taxi works fine, if you live in the city)

 I need to leave the country every 16 months for Visa reasons.(I´m a permanent resident and pays P300 yearly)

I need to travel to a bigger city every two months for visa renewal. (I live in the city - 2xP7 for jeepney to BI yearly)

 I don't have a wife bringing in $500 a month. (My wife bringing in +500 :-) )

 I have a young child to feed. (Our child is already grown up)

 I struggle to get by on $2000 a month (With 2000...I would live like a king)

 

There are different ways of living...

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smokey

Just a comment to this...

 

 I  need to get out more. (I would like to, but I have a lot of work here where I live)

 I need to pay rent. (I don´t pay rent, we bought the place 20 years ago - only yearly tax)

 I need a car AND a motorcycle for my comfort level. (I had a car, sold it, too expensive and less use - sikad, motorella and taxi works fine, if you live in the city)

 I need to leave the country every 16 months for Visa reasons.(I´m a permanent resident and pays P300 yearly)

I need to travel to a bigger city every two months for visa renewal. (I live in the city - 2xP7 for jeepney to BI yearly)

 I don't have a wife bringing in $500 a month. (My wife bringing in +500 :-) )

 I have a young child to feed. (Our child is already grown up)

 I struggle to get by on $2000 a month (With 2000...I would live like a king)

 

There are different ways of living...

different strokes for different folks... how long is a piece of string   its like a game the person who spends the less is the winner ??   when i was renting and sending 2 kids to international school and 4 to college , 4,000 a month was tight 

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different strokes for different folks... how long is a piece of string   its like a game the person who spends the less is the winner ??   when i was renting and sending 2 kids to international school and 4 to college , 4,000 a month was tight 

"How do the locals live" was the question...and if we can survive on 30k, how much easier for a pure filipino family. So I think we have a pinoy winner, but I will not call you a looser. You just had the opportunity to spend more and give your kids a good education. Kids are expensive, also in PH.

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smokey

"How do the locals live" was the question...and if we can survive on 30k, how much easier for a pure filipino family. So I think we have a pinoy winner, but I will not call you a looser. You just had the opportunity to spend more and give your kids a good education. Kids are expensive, also in PH.

Well i for one am still confused every time i go to the mall as how all them people who i am told live on less then 1 dollar a day can be there.. i live in a subdivision where the poorest people there are the foreigners 

 

"How do the locals live" was the question...and if we can survive on 30k, how much easier for a pure filipino family. So I think we have a pinoy winner, but I will not call you a looser. You just had the opportunity to spend more and give your kids a good education. Kids are expensive, also in PH.

How do the locals live ... which locals the poor ones or the rich ones.

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Well i for one am still confused every time i go to the mall as how all them people who i am told live on less then 1 dollar a day can be there.. i live in a subdivision where the poorest people there are the foreigners 

 

How do the locals live ... which locals the poor ones or the rich ones.

Probably not shopping...but the are always surprisingly many people in the malls...and if they are not shopping, how does the store survive then! Well, OT, I guess

 

 

Let me be a little more specific. I'm not talking about the poor and uneducated living in some squatter's shack. I'm also not talking about the rich elite. I am talking about local Philippine professionals ( teachers, nurses, engineers etc.) that average about $300 a month. I've read several threads that tell me this. I've also read a bunch of cost of living threads with posts by expats that think I'll be living in poverty on less than $1,500 a month. So how are the successful locals able to have a good standard of living on what they make?

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smokey

Probably not shopping...but the are always surprisingly many people in the malls...and if they are not shopping, how does the store survive then! Well, OT, I guess

well after he gets to cebu he can tell us how the locals live ... some locals are rich as can be and some are poor as can be ... there are doctors who live in vista grande so i guess not all doctors live on 50,000 p a month ...

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  • 2 weeks later...
batman2525

 

When they go to the west, though, things change considerably. I witnessed that during the time I lived in the US, and knew many Filipinos. Trust me, they can learn to waste as much as we do, in the west.

 

My g/f here in UK works at a hospital...I sometimes pick her up from work....she has lots of Filipino friends driving around in brand new cars...all on the drip...with some making car payments of £400-500 per month and living in tiny bedsits paying more than £1000 per month(London)...my g/f told me that of her Phil friends recently paid £2000 from start to finish taking driving lessons before she finally passed her driving test instead of her husband who has a drivers licence teaching her the ropes before she took the test.....so,it looks like when they are in the west Filipinos can also over pay for stuff that us westerners usually find a cheaper way around.

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