Local economies

There are very few grocery stores and big shops in the Philippines, and on the island of Marinduque I saw none at all. People mostly shop at markets, and from streetside stalls and mobile vendors. Many people operate a small business from home. Walking along a residential street, I see signs offering haircuts, cooked food, purified water, ice and ice candy. Barbecues are set up on the footpath, cooking meat on skewers to order.

Most homes don’t have refrigerators, washing machines, computers or cars. One house on a neighbourhood will have a freezer, and offer ice for sale, and home-made ice candy or ice cream. One will have a few computers in their front room, often full of young boys playing computer games, but also used by neighbours to write emails and print documents. One will take in laundry, although most people do their own laundry by hand, in a bucket. Transport is by bus, jeepney, taxi or tricycle, a motorbike taxi with a sidecar. A jeepney takes around 20 passengers on bench seats, and has a set route. Each vehicle is privately owned, so supply matches demand. Only a tiny percentage of vehicles on the road are private cars. The city is not designed to accommodate them. There are no car parks, and no space in residential neighbourhoods to keep a car.

Mobile vendors with hand carts sell snacks, cut fruit, toys and household items. Vendors jump on and off buses, selling peanuts, chips and cold drinks to passengers.


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