Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Cost of Being Filipino Abroad

   When I arrived in the US I tried all the American fruits that were not available in the Philippines.  We have our Baguio strawberries and China grapes and apples so let’s exclude those. I liked cherry and grapefruit because it’s similar to suha.  The berries (blueberry, blackberry and raspberry) I liked a little.  After a few months I’ve had enough of them.  I started craving for the Philippine fruits.  Here’s what I found.  

   I have no idea how much atis cost in Manila right now but here in California three pieces of atis cost $4.99+tax=5.15 X current dollar rate of 46.79 is approximately PHP240.00.  


   I liked none of the American vegetables like zucchini, asparagus, etc. except for lettuce.  I go to the Asian store to get talong even if there are US and Mexican eggplants available in the supermarkets.  Talong cost $1.49 plus tax equals PHP77.20 a pound X 2.20 = PHP169.84 actual cost per kilo.

   Kangkong costs $$1.95 plus tax equals PHP100.59 a pound X 2.20 = PHP221.30 actual cost per kilo.

   Halaan (Manila Clam) cost $4.99 plus tax is approximately PHP240.00 per pound X 2.20 = actual cost per kilo PHP528.00.  That price include the scale heavy shells.  That makes the halaan swam soup outrageous expensive!

   American salt is manufactured salt.  The Philippine salt is sea salt which is better for health reasons.  Sea salt from Pangasinan cost $1.99 plus tax = PHP101.00 a pound X 2.20 actual cost per kilo is PHP222.20.


   Headless shrimp is available in American supermarkets.  However, I find the shrimp heads taste better than the most expensive lobster.  Shrimp with head cost between $6.99 to 8.99 a pound, depending on the size.  That’s not even sugpo, that’s just shrimp.  It would cost about $7.50 to 9.50 (PHP444.00) with tax = actual cost per kilo is PHP977.91  

   There are different kinds of vinegar here such as Red Wine vinegar, Cider vinegar, Balsamic, etc.  However, for reasons I can’t explain, I still feel safer with the Philippine Datu Puti which cost $.99 plus tax would be approximately $1.10=PHP51.46.

   I charge all these to the cost of being a Filipino abroad.

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