The Need To Eliminate Lifestyle As An Indicator Of One's Wealth From Pinoy Thinking!
I guess by now a lot of Christmas presents were already dispersed, Christmas parties were done and New Year parties are coming... by now I thought about lifestyles. As a Filipino-Chinese who grew up in the midst of FLIPFAGs and boastful people, they will praise anybody as "rich" because of lifestyle and then anybody who has a modest lifestyle is immediately assumed to be "poor". However there are some contraries that need to be addressed against the Failipino mindset of who's rich and who's poor.
In my own experience, I was called "poor" because I didn't have all those cool stuff back in the 90s. Back then, the most advanced video game console I soon had was a Playstation. For them, they had to have every last console, never mind they don't have all the time to play the games right? There were now obsolete game systems the Super Nintendo, Sega Megadrive... then today we have spoiled children who get the latest game system, the latest gadgets... never mind they have their studies to face.
What I find crazy is that they called me a "poor man" because I went to places that were "low class" restaurants. While I don't eat at places like dirty carenderias but I certainly eat "cheap snacks" like grilled taro or pandesal. They say, "Here comes the poor man." I can see them eat in really expensive places, get VIP tickets... and they think I'm jealous and don't have the money. They brag that they have blah blah... the latest i-Phone, blah blah they drive BMW and a lot more. To be honest, all that bragging is annoying and before my jealousy strikes, something must be raised in my head. I want to really present how lifestyle is not an indicator of one's wealth. Rather, it may be a big facade to one's poverty.
For a simpleton, a rich man is the one who lives extravagantly and the poor man is the one who does not live extravagantly. That of course is too generalized. Some poor people live modestly because they are poor, which in turn they are not so "poor" because they are able to pay rent, sustain themselves or later buy a modest home. Some rich people live modest maybe because they used to be poor or the way their parents raised them. Some poor people live extravagantly whether or not they used to be rich or they were born poor, it was how their parents raised them. And it's no wonder why so many poor people want to become Okay Fine Whatevers is because it will give them much money.
On the other hand, what makes a person rich is the amount of money they have in the bank. I can always consider me vs. my rich auntie who treats me well in spite of her wealth. My rich aunt dresses up very simply, I tend to buy nicer clothes than her (but not expensive). My rich aunt usually avoids expensive places while I go to them if the food really tastes good. My rich aunt would say, "Let's just cook it at home." while I would say "Let's give it a try!" This of course, I can confess my rich auntie has way more money than I do in my savings account.
I would also want to raise that some people are poor but extravagant. I think about the bad habit of overspending. Some people have their misguided notion of happiness. Their habit of overspending makes them feel rich even when they are not. I remembered how sad to say but a lot of OFWs are Okay Fine Whatever/Wherever/Whenever. I have noticed some seamen and flight attendants spend so much. I even talked with my former girlfriend who works in Singapore about Pinay maids in Singapore. She has mentioned some of them are overspenders so a good number of them end up going to work for money loaning syndicates. While they have 400 Singaporean dollars (equivalent to PHP 13,496.00) with free housing and a day off, they tend to abuse it. Some of them spend it on stuff they don't even need.
Maybe I can also raise the issue that to look rich, other people shop on stuff they don't really need. I sort of laughed my head off to discover some of those "so-called rich" snobs (who weren't really rich) even asked their parents to buy the latest video game not because they want to play it but because... they don't want to be left out. Some even change their appliances, cellphones, etc. and they happen to be very expensive just so they don't get left out. Some even buy new clothes, new shoes, etc. and LOTS OF THEM and they usually end up hidden somewhere. In the case of Imelda Romuadez-Marcos, she has 3,000 shoes and during her late husband's regime, they crashed the Philippine economy by OVERSPENDING and increased foreign debt to a very high level.
It may also explain why people enter into dangerous deals. Why are so many Pinoys becoming drug mules and drug pushers? Why is cheating so rampant in Imperial Manila? It's because it's much easier to do foul tactics to make big bucks to support one's extravagant lifestyle. Can an honest to goodness doing well rice merchant/restaurant owner/pet fish seller/(insert decent livelihood) certainly support his business' operations if he lives in a huge mansion, has lots of women, party lifestyle, gambling, etc.? The answer is really a no, which causes them to resolve to "easy money" plus laziness is also a keyword to the issue. It's simple... being a maid in Singapore can only get you PHP 13,496.00 a month compared to being a drug mule may give you much higher earnings at a fast period of time... never mind that kind of money is easy come, easy go.
When I think about it... why are most of these OFWs who are guilty of drug-related or plunder-related charges usually from Imperial Manila? It's because Imperial Manila has a very high class lifestyle. One can see how "high class" Imperial Manila is with most of its residents trying to keep up with the trends. Where can you find it most of the time that politicians and EVEN policemen (ex. Alan Impurisima of the Pinoy National Patola) have HUGE MANSIONS and estates. It's no wonder why they steal from public funds and misuse taxes... which in turn the Bureau of Internal
What many people also ignore is that quality outweighs the price most of the time. Just think... they might even eat pagpag that's ridiculously priced for PHP 1,000.00 a plate over beef noodles that just costs PHP 100.00 with food and drink. The mentality that price always dictates quality also makes it easy for many Pinoys to to be swindled either by fellow Pinoys or outsiders. I still couldn't forget how somebody got conned into buying ordinary kitchenware that was sold 3x the price (by a direct selling swindler) who bragged about the quality. It also made me think how I didn't want to return to a restaurant in Imperial Manila (forgot the name) where I spent lots of money AND the service was shitty and everything. For one, some places charge high prices but the quality is not worth the price while others will sell cheaper but I won't mind, it's good.
The culture of overspending to make one look rich as said, will always be foolish. It's really time to stop the culture of overspending, start saving and doing safe investments, start a more modest lifestyle. It's also time to spend on things that matter. Only if the Philippine government will start spending the money on things that matter then can investment and tourism be made more fun for the Philippines.