Similar Hardships, Different Outlooks

Coping with higher food prices
By Timi Nubla

Eddie Tubice is as pedicab driver. He works 13 hours a day so he can send his four kids to school, one of whom is already going to college this June.

Despite his hard work, Eddie says his earnings aren't enough to make ends meet.

"Yung kinikita ko ngayon, kinabukasan wala na. Maghihintay na sila ulit, wala nang sobra," he says.

Three-hundred pesos immediately goes to food expenses and his children's school allowance, while the remaining 100 pesos pays for their utilities and rental for a 10-square meter room.

His wife, Mrs. Marilou Tubice, is at a loss on how to cope with rising prices of food.

"Iyan ang hindi ko pa alam paano ang kinabukasan, kasi walang ba-budgetin eh," she says...

'Aangat pa ang buhay'

Under a bridge in Valenzuela City, a family of seven lives in a small house.

The head of the family, Manolito Escopeto, supports his five kids by collecting old bottles where he earns only 100 pesos or less, which is why his wife is already an expert in budgeting.

They only eat two meals a day. A meal usually consists of one-and-a-half cups of rice and a small can of sardines or one scrambled egg to be shared by two adults and five children...

And though life is hard, he refuses to lose hope.

"Hindi naman ako sumusuko eh, hangga't may trabaho nagtratrabaho ako..aangat pa ang buhay namin," Manolito says.

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