Do not throw it away

Do Filipinos throw anything away.

I love my wife to death however she refuses to throw anything away.  Everything has a purpose and can be recycled into something.  After living here for the last 5 years I have come to the conclusion that Filipinos are the most resourceful people I have ever met.  Nothing is broken that can not be fixed and nothing can not be recycled into something useful,  Yet for me it seems they add clutter to the home and bags of recyclables that are waiting to be disposed of.  Coming from the USA everything is meant to be discarded and thrown away when it stops working.  Not the case here in the Philippines.

Couple of examples for just my life:

Example 1

We take all our plastic cans and bottles and place them in a 50 kilo rice sack.  Now as time went on this thing was getting full.  So my father in law took it and sold it off. He ended up with 15 pesos ($0.30) for this bag of discarded items.  Now most would say oh its not worth the effort.  In a country where the daily salary is set at 250 pesos or $6.25.  That is a huge amount of money.  So they tend to recycle everything.

Example 2

I had this floor fan I bought about 3 years ago.  It was a great fan and worked non-stop for the entire 3 years.  Then one day smoke bellowed and it stopped.  I was going to give it a proper burial in the trash can. Yet the worker said he wanted the fan.  I shrugged and gave him the fan.  So about 3 days later he said the fan was back working as strong as ever.  He had gone for 50 pesos ($1.35) had new brushes installed and the motor reworked. Fool me, I had paid over 900 pesos for that fan 3 years earlier.

I could go on and on with this list.  Yet in a society where the wages are so small and the population is so large.  People do things to survive that an average American would never think to do.  So to answer my first question, NO FILIPINOS DO NOT THROW ANYTHING AWAY that has value.   You just never know the use of something or maybe a rainy day when a few extra pesos would help.  I have found easy ways to save more money and also have adopted many techniques that allow my family to save more and more money.


Tim Potter Marine Sugar land Texas USMC

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