Poverty During Christmas

I heard some people say Christmas will be cancelled here in the Philippines because of poverty. Yeah right! Of course that was a joke. ๐Ÿ™‚

But poverty is not a joke here in our country. The solution I have in mind maybe a very mild and very simple solution, but I very well know that it will help our fellow Filipinos.

Back in 2000, I can say our family business (shoes) literally got bankrupt. Not because the trend of wearing flip flops (even in formal events) was starting to pick-up, but because China made shoes had selling prices lower than our manufacturing cost. Such advantage, really!

I would always go for the cheaper product if I’m limited with the resource of money but that doesn’t mean I would go for it. It’s a fact that China made goods are cheaper but it doesn’t mean we always have/need to buy from them. If I gave you the option, buy a pair of shoes that would last for a week from China or a locally made pair that would last for a month but costs four times the cheaper one, which would you choose? This is a break-even example, but when you do your own buying, try to do your calculations and sometimes be surprised that taking quality into consideration would sometimes save you more money.

Besides the quality and the money you save in exercising prudence when you purchase something, learning the habit of purchasing our locally made products, even if it costs more, can bring tons of jobs to other Filipinos in provinces and enable a good flow of cash for them. If you buy from them, demand will increase, jobs will also increase to increase the supply.

I can’t make you a pair of slippers but I know what benefit it can bring to local manufacturers. Each pair, if handcrafted, with a streamlined setup, from my observations will be touched by at least seven (7) hands. And all of those hands will earn money because they contributed something to its becoming a full-pledged slipper.

Filipinos are getting smarter. We are getting more aware. The smelly stuff hidden in Chinese goods are now starting to smell. The unsafe imported Christmas lights (theorized to be the cause of the fire that killed the De Venecia family) back in 2004, cardboard found in meat products and melamine found in milk are just some of them. What else will we find out later in these goods that will greatly affect us? China may completely remove all melamine in all food products but it’s not easy to remove the mindset of people that if it comes from China and it’s dirt cheap, there must be wrong with it. Let’s all learn from this.

This message is addressed to the Filipinos who may have a little extra in their pockets, to purchase Filipino made products that they may consider the hands that crafted them. Let’s help our fellow Filipinos. Specially this Christmas Season.

Last thing, I’m not sure if we do have locally made Christmas lights, but before purchasing them. Check it’s quality first, Ok? Ok.



  1. interesting post.

    for my part, i turn to sites like freerice, kiva, and goodsearch, as ways to help alleviate poverty online.

    it’s great that you’re participating. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Kaiser Fernandez · ·

    Thanks. You too. Very creative on the poems. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Your post is really interesting.

    We are on the same page with your idea of “patronizing our own”.

    As to “paskong pinoy”, we can enjoy the season as long as our heart still believes in it. There might some of our kababayans who are already disheartened and hopeless because of this never-ending economic crisis. This post of yours would definitely inspire them.

  5. very idealistic

    I used to think like that too.

    don’t get me wrong, it has become second nature for me to buy local. but there is something more sinister at work.

    just don’t be complacent that you are already “alleviating poverty” with a simple choice of purchase, or a click of a button, or a publish of a blog entry.

    by all means, continue doing them. they do help. just don’t be complacent and think that they are enough

  6. Kaiser Fernandez · ·

    Pablito Tolentino Jr.,


    โ€œNo period of history has ever been great or ever can be that does not act on some sort of high, idealistic motives, and idealism in our time has been shoved aside, and we are paying the penalty for it.โ€

    -Alfred North Whitehead

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