Friday, June 13, 2008


The price of gasoline in Manila has now reached a record high of 54 pesos a liter, and many are even expecting for it to go as high as 60 at any time.

That's about a hundred percent increase since I moved to Manila only a few years ago. And with such drastic increase in fuel cost, the price of many basic consumer goods had also gone up in lockstep.

Without a similar increase in income, many households have been severely trimming their budgets as well. One parent I spoke to lamented how her son had to be enrolled at a public elementary school instead of the private parochial school that he had been attending since kindergarten.

Another parent, on the other hand, saw a sliver of light, so to speak, in such a dreary situation -- her family is getting slowly convinced, she claimed, on the nutritional value of certain cheaper foodstuffs such as kamote (sweet potatoes).

Personally, I've opted to driving less often than usual, and had taken to commuting whenever safe and possible. I just feel guilty burning all that gas especially when alone. Sometimes, I plan to do as many errands as possible on a single trip.

As for the kids, their biggest complaint is the dwindling loose change they receive from their parents which they use for playing computer games at the neighborhood Internet shops.

When I told them that they should consider it a blessing in disguise -- and now make use of their new-found free time to play and enjoy tumbang preso, piko, taguan and all those fun outdoor games -- they merely stared at me with spaced-out look in their eyes as if tripping on acid or something

Oh well ...

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posted by Señor Enrique at 1:50 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the ever escalating oil prices (heard it will get to be as high as P75 per), we should all learn to make adjustments.

There's nothing we can do about the situation. We can rant, complain, blame everyone - but it's a global phenomenon. So we might as well learn to appreciate what we have to cushion the impact. After all, before we had cars, we used to commute, di ba? Personally, I prefer commuting. Di na po-problemahin ang parking, flat tires, apprehension for traffic violations, etc. Kaya kung kaya din lang natin, at walang masyadong gamit na dadalhin, tara na at sumakay sa jeep! :)

June 13, 2008 3:01 PM  

Blogger escape said...

i like the last part. i can see the expression of the little ones looking at you.

the surging gas prices will definitely affect almost every commodities.

June 13, 2008 3:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ang presyo ng produktong petrolyo ay parang modernong teknolohiya. parng cellphone. dati 3310 lang pero umabot ng 7610.- chrislucas

June 13, 2008 3:27 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Hayyyy, it's time to tighten the belts. I take the FX when I'm just going to the mall, and not carrying something heavy instead of driving. The price of fuel really drains the pocket. Then I would see a Ford Expedition or one of those full-size SUVs with government plate!:(

Love the vintage photo.:)

June 13, 2008 11:26 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Ika nga ni Ariel Ureta nuong Martial Law years, "Sa Ika-uunlad ng bayan, mag bisikleta na lang!"
Rumour then was, Ariel's parody of the original Marcos New Era propaganda statement annoyed some of Mr. Marcos's cronies.

June 14, 2008 6:48 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

my husband has gone back to drive his former love---the motorbike. I can ride a bike but then we just have plain hilly terrain here. The locals here are still affected by the continuous increases of gasoline...maski talagang one-bulb houses ang sa kanila. Just sending their children to school is enough to drain their meager earnings.

Children here are soo good at tumbang preso and other games (using their rubber slippers)that I, even could not identify. Very creative! My uraban nieces and nephews should stay in the province for a while, methinks :-).

June 14, 2008 8:25 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ouch! P75?

You have a very good point, Rhoda!

June 14, 2008 11:12 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Sadly but true, donG. Everything and anything seems to be affected by the increase in the price of crude oil.

Yup, those kids suddenly appeared as if I were some sort of alien from another dimension ... hehehe.

June 14, 2008 11:14 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Chris!

Yes ... nakakatakot kasi madami sa mga kababayan natin hindi makayanan ang pagtaas ng mga presyo.

June 14, 2008 11:15 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I think in the States, those driving luxury SUVs such as Expedition and other gas guzzlers are beginning to be embarrassed by their choice of vehicle. But here in Manila, it's totally a different matter.

Thanks, Luna!

June 14, 2008 11:17 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'd immediately take up biking, Noypetes, but the potholes that littered the streets of Manila and the deadly diesel fumes from jeepneys prevent me from doing so.

June 14, 2008 11:19 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I feel fortunate to this day that our parents sent us to the province during vacation time and some long weekends off from school. It made us appreciate the best of both worlds.

I'm sure the increase of consumer good prices had adversely affected many folks out in the provinces, Bernadette.

June 14, 2008 11:23 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

Kahit saan, oil prices will affect all the commodities.

BISEKLETA ang kailangan. :LOL:

Ako nga nag bu-buss or light rail na lang, minsan lakad pa nga.

It is not really a pain sa bulsa, dahil obligado ang mga may sasakyan na bumili ng gasolina para paandarin ang mga ito, pero makakaiwas naman lahat sa GAS-tos kung gusto natin.
And from now on, we have to think of every trip we make with our vehicles.

CAR-POOL minsan.

June 19, 2008 1:34 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Tama ka, Reyd!

Kung pwede nga lang, magbibisikleta na lang ako, eh, kaya lang hindi conducive and mga kalye dito sa bicycles at mausok pa galing sa mga jeepney :(

June 20, 2008 6:36 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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