Tagsari sari store

Christmas and Consumerism

Commerce is the art of exploiting the need or desire someone has for something.

-Edmond de Goncourt (1822 – 1896)

It is so obvious that businesses thrives on consumerism. Consumerism is the attitude that values the acquisition of material goods. I did our last minute shopping today. As expected, the traffic was horrible and hair-raising. Consumerism is so alive today. Makro was full of people with overflowing carts. Recession seem to be out of the window right now. Makes me rethink my post about deflation… or perhaps we are not feeling the effects yet. And us Filipinos has to rethink our idea of huge noche buenas especially when times are harder.

I felt sorry for our neighbor but at the same time thankful for her. She is currently busy planning a “huge” noche buena for the neighborhood. Yes, you heard me, the party is for the entire neighborhood. She said it is her way of saying thanks to her neighbors for patronizing her sari-sari store– the biggest in our small village.

But while I am thankful, I felt sorry for her, since the pressure of giving a huge party is getting to her physically and emotionally. Since groceries and food is far more expensive now than last year, the expectation of the neighborhood is high and she did not want to disappoint everybody since she felt sorry for most of our neighbors are on the class D and E– just too many unemployed people and people living below poverty line. I surmised perhaps all of us owe her something in one time or another.

Anyway, that’s her way of celebrating and my way is another way. Salve at Money Smarts is offering a challenge for a budget handaan. Is there really a budget handaan? Is this possible? Actually my children and I are not going to have a noche buena but I intend to celebrate Christmas tomorrow by giving an extra-special lunch. The menu is simple and straight forward. Like I said, Christmas is about the celebration of family and not about how much gifts we gave nor received. Let us just get back to the real root and meaning of Christmas. Only the big businesses are profiting over the idea of Christmas. I think it is time for us to rethink our values and what we deem as important.

Job Hunting

There is no doubt that I need to find a job.  I am also on the lookout for businesses to open in my own little town here in Northern Mindanao.  Opening my own sari-sari store is obviously not my thing and I do not see selling load as my bread and butter.  Hayyy, the stressful living of married, er single motherhood.  So solution?  I am on the hunt for a Virtual Assistance job scouring Craigslist and other websites like monster and our local listings.  Craigslist has a myriad of authentic and legitimate job hunters and sadly scammers are also posting their non-sense so people like my has to wade through some bullshits before finding the rare and authentic posts. Part of the adventure of job hunting in the digital age, I guess.

Anyway, I have been sending off my resume for 5 VA positions mostly in the Philippines, and I got a response from AICOM in Manila and I received a call from them asking me to come tomorrow for exam and interview.  My mistake was assuming that the VA job was home based or at least telecommuting is allowed– wrong.  So, its my loss really since I obviously am not in Manila and cannot fly and work there… The chance and opportunity was not for me so, moving on…

So I am on the trail for THE dream Work at Home Gig.  I am technically harnessing my resume and eversince I got that call from Aicom, I am happier that my resume was noticed.  But anyway, I know I am more than qualified for the VA stint having worked for a huge company eons ago as an executive assistant.

So what is my dream job?  I want a job that I can do at the privacy of my own home.  A job that can support my children and at the same time, I can be near them 24/7.  Any VA job would be great but the Philippines has not opened its door 100% to telecomuting.  I am also scouring VA jobs elsewhere hoping I will stumble on some legitimate search.  So, guys, wish me luck…

For more information about VA Jobs and Telecomuting, check out the Rat Race Rebellion.

Rice Arise

In our neighborhood sari-sari store, the sot of rice is now P46 per kilo. Never in my life have I seen the price of rice this high. I have heard that the National Food Authority (NFA) is already selling cheaper rice at P36 per kilo according to my neighbor. But why is this rice cheaper?

One of my relatives said that the NFA rice is no good… that eating it gives you stomachache and headache. When did eating cheaper goods the cause of tummy ache, I wonder. My father suggested that the cheaper rice were imported from the US where GMO rice are grown. He surmissed that the rice were “treated” with more chemicals than locally grown rice, perhaps why some people are experiencing some symptoms of headache and stomachache.

Do you think there is any truth in all of this?

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Price of Rice– What Happened?

The price of rice in my next door sari-sari store has increase again. From P44 to P46 per kilo. Though I do not buy rice by the kilo, I am very much aware with the daily increase of the price of rice. What has happened? My friend at the Department of Agriculture swear there isn’t any shortage of rice in the country and that the cause of the increase is that rice all over the world is simply increasing. Well… might be true. Everything else is increasing. Look at the prices of canned goods and gasoline! I weep every time my family heads for the city. My Dad’s old car guzzles gasoline too much, well that is another post… but anyway, the price of unleaded gasoline today was P49. Imagine that…

I cannot believe we are importing rice from Vietnam and even the US. What happened to us? I remember when I was in grade school, Luzon was the “rice grannery of the Philippines.” What happened? According to the source above, our rice import has increased by 28% compared to last year. How can we be self-sufficient when our own farmers are not being aided by the government? Who are we helping? The economy of Vietnam and Thailand? Our government is projecting a 98% rice self-sufficiency by 2010… I echo willy Marbella, the KMP deputy secretary general, “Yap must be dreaming.”

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