The happiest person on earth come June 30 won’t be Ferdinand Marcos Jr. but Rodrigo R. Duterte. BBM won more than 31 million votes but he has just lost his freedom as the soon-to-be 17th president of the Republic, inheriting trillions of pesos in debt and an overspent budget. Whereas President Duterte is just counting the days before he regains his bill of rights – life, liberty, happiness!
It’s official. The weather bureau says we’ve just entered the season of rain, i.e., floods, landslides, mass evacuations even as a water shortage looms over Luzon despite all that precipitation. Next, the Department of Agriculture warns of a food crisis happening in the middle of the year, one month away. Does that mean a food shortage? Maybe not, maybe only to the 11 million families who rate themselves poor (and hungry as well as homeless). Their numbers represent an uptick from SWS’ December 2021 figures.
In all, a triple whammy of a nightmare during our waking hours.
The rainy season has tempered the weather somewhat, bringing down temperatures from the high 30’s, but it will also mean, as far as Marites’ chat mate is concerned, another round of higher prices at the palengke. Tomatoes cost ₱100 a kilo four days ago, camote was ₱50 and bangus ₱170. The ₱33 dagdag (additional) to the daily minimum wage will be enough for jeepney fare, two-way, ₱20, leaving ₱13 with which to buy a bunch of kangkong, ₱12.
At the mall last weekend, I paid ₱300 for a dish called Shrimp Pomelo Salad. I told the waitress, “I did not find a single shrimp,” which she did not find funny because she didn’t apologize or explain the misnomer. Maybe shrimps have become extinct?
On the same day at the same mall my friend said he ordered a roast beef sandwich that came with chicken soup and iced tea, and it cost him less than the ₱372 that he paid for a take-home small-size apple pie at a cake shop.
Eating out is an expense item that has been defying gravity more and more since Alert Level 1. With the food crisis forecast by DA, we’ll just have to learn how to say “Bon appetit” with verve and savoir faire.