State of the Nation

Our country’s economy is floundering.

Sink or swim. We could only wait and see. No lifeguards to the rescue. All nations around the world are victims of the same shipwreck. And all are saving their own asses, desperate to get to shore.

Due to the almost-weekly increase in fuel prices and the consequent increase in the prices of all commodities, economizing has crept up in almost everyone’s vocabulary.

(an aside: the latest increase has given me heart palpitations! but then again, it must be the coffee).

Along this vein, it seems that extreme frugality, although long espoused by a handful of people I know,  along with skimpy clothing, has become the theme of the current lifestyle of more and more people across the country and the globe.

The following examples are some people’s attempts at beating the skyrocketing prices.

One lady saves shampoo costs by watering down an entire bottle of her favorite toiletry and making a 150-ml bottle last for three months. She estimates that she saves around 120 pesos by doing this.

A mother of three budgets her weekly ration of spices by dividing a regular-sized onion into seven sections, marked with a felt-tip pen. One section is for Monday, another is for Tuesday… well, you get the idea.

There’s a family, five people in all, who buys an entire kilo of dried salted fish. They go for around a month and a half on that ration, foregoing any fresh viand, except for the occasional pot of green leafy vegetables they may pluck from their tiny backyard garden.

A guy, in order to save on shampoo, soap, water, and electricity, bathes just every after three days. But he still consumes a larger volume of cologne compared with the time in the past when he still used to bathe regularly.

A letter sender, whose letter was published in a newsletter about frugality, says that he saves around a few dollars (the newletter is US-based) a month by using just one perforated section of toilet paper each time he does his business in the loo. (Ewwwwwww!)

Okay, I understand that these are desperate times and that people will resort to desperate measures in order to survive. But perhaps practicality still needs to be considered. Or is it just me thinking this way? Should it be that for the sake of survival and existence, nutrition, well-being, hygiene, personal comfort and security be sacrificed?

In any case, Tata and I will be house hunting today. We decided that for the time being, while the country’s economy is still undergoing a slump and the resolution level for this crisis is still as low as the Marianas Trench is deep (which means near forever), I’d rent a room near the office. Happy though I am to drive down the tropical jungle in any weather condition, doing it daily does not cut it anymore. We’ve calculated the costs and decided that a boarding house would be more feasible than spending for gas daily. We’d be able to save a couple of thousand a month (I hope) just by eliminating the fuel cost.






  1. wow… I really enjoyed reading your blog. Yes, times are bleak. But they don’t need to be stinky bleak. What’s sad is that very few people are actually aware of the tough situations and this may lead others to take such drastic measures!

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