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Wealth Disparity in the Philippines

Some Have it Real Good, But Others Don't

I know people use the words "wealth disparity" to describe the difference beween rich and poor in the Philippines. This is something I know about.

Back in the province, many people have no money at all, not even one peso. Now I live in Pampanga, close to Manila, and things are different. Life is not easy here, but some people do have work and there are many stores. There are trikes and jeeps for transportation, and there are shopping malls!

Then the other day I went to visit a government agency in Makati. So I took a bus to the Araneta/Cubao station, then a taxi to Makati. The driver wanted 400 pesos. I said "no way, dude" to him in tagalog, and we finally agreed to a price of 250.

After the meeting a friend and I decided to visit Glorietta Mall, which is advertised on TV and is one of the top malls in all of Asia. The people shopping there live in a different world from my world. I couldn't believe that stores were selling shoes for 2,000 pesos that cost 200 or 300 in Pampanga. Rich people are not careful with their money!


Glorietta Mall was a very nice place and it was huge. Even the map looked like the map of a small country! And I enjoyed the visit. I can say that all of the great buildings in Makati make me proud to be from the Philippines.

But really that world is an impossible dream for most Filipinos. You know people say that the US is a place where your dreams can come true. Even if you are poor you have the opportunity to create a better life. I wish this was true in the Philippines too.


More Stories By Inday Vinyas

Inday Vinas grew up in Samar Province, Philippines. She left high school after three years to work and help her family, including seven brothers and sisters. She is now a writer and small businessperson.