Airport venues not withstanding, I expected to experience sticker shock after arriving in the United States. I’m spoiled by the relatively low prices for the same or similar products in the Philippines.
It’s hard to believe, but some imported goods in the Philippines are cheaper than the same goods in the United States. Why? Because I buy them at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, which is a special tax-free and duty-free economic zone.
In the Philippines, all of us could have seen the movie for about 1,000 pesos (under $20 USD at the current foreign currency exchange rate). The tickets are around 200 pesos each. Food and drinks are usually less than 100 pesos each. At the Destin theater, the cost for me and Josie alone added up to around $25. The ticket was over $8, a tub of popcorn was over $8 and a large soda was over $8. Wow!
I can’t quote the prices here, other than the price of eight-something each at the “Golden Corral”. I’m not used to seeing prices in dollars.
Four of us in the Philippines could dine at various restaurants for a grand total of less than 2000 pesos (less than $40 USD). A little more for the places catering to tourists. Joseph paid for our meals at a couple of restaurants here and the ticket came out to more than $60 each time.
Not for those coming from countries where the cost of living is higher, obviously. I’m mainly talking about those from economically deprived countries like the Philippines. There are plenty of other countries in the Far East just like the Philippines. I just can’t list them without Googling it.
On the bright side, I’ll experience the opposite of sticker shock when I return to the Philippines in two to four years (or when I’ve decided I’ve had enough). It’s strange, but I’m already homesick for the Philippines and Josie’s side of the family there.
By: RT Cunningham
July 8, 2018