Philippines Index August 2001

Daily salary of hotel maids at McSherry Pension House, Cebu City: 100 pesos
Daily salary of shopgirls at Golden Crust Bakery, Cebu City: 50 pesos
Daily salary of staff at Fe's sidewalk restaurant, Cebu City: 30 pesos
Cost of small hamburger meal at Jollibee fastfood restaurant, Cebu City: 35 pesos
Exchange rate, Philippine Peso vs. US Dollar, August 26, 2001: 51.50
Exchange rate, Philippine Peso vs. US Dollar, February 7, 2001 (Chris' arrival): 47.30
Depreciation (loss of international purchasing power) of Philippine Peso since Chris' arrival: 8.8%
Annual salary, US Dollars, of restaurant staff at Fe's sidewalk restaurant, Cebu City: 204
Number of days' salary at Golden Crust Bakery to purchase pair of Lee denim jeans: 18
Wages of factory workers in China compared to Philippines, listed by Manila newspaper as explanation for recent exodus of manufacturing plants from Philippines to China: 1:4
Population of Philippines: 82 million (year 2000)
Number of Filipinos working abroad as OFW's (overseas foreign workers): 7 million
Estimated annual remittances, US Dollars, to Philippines by OFW's: 7 billion
Percentage of the 11 Filipino students in Java Programming class at Informatics Institute, Cebu City, who plan to emigrate to the United States or Canada: 100
Estimated assets, US Dollars, allegedly accumulated by former President Joseph Estrada while in office for two years, from skimming of illegal gambling profits, commissions on transactions involving government securities, drug trafficking, kidnapping and other criminal activities: 500 million
Amount, US Dollars, reputedly acquired from drug trafficking, kidnapping and other criminal activities and deposited in foreign bank accounts by Panfilo Lacson, former head of Philippines National Police and Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force: 288 million
Estimated amount, US Dollars, currently held in Swiss bank accounts, previously deposited by Ferdinand Marcos (deceased), never recovered by Philippines government, now owned by members of the Marcos family: 13 billion
Number of people observed meticulously sifting through Jollibee restaurant garbage deposited on sidewalk on Colon Street at closing time: 12

Number of days Chris Pforr has been in the Philippines: 202
Cost of stay to date, US Dollars: 5128
Average daily cost, US Dollars: 25
Number of days salary at Golden Crust Bakery to live one day like Chris Pforr: 25

Percentage of Filipinos infected with tuberculosis bacillus: 30
Number of Cebu Province residents infected with dengue fever during first 7 months of 2001: 1,406
Number of residents evacuated from erupting Mayon Volcano, June 2001: 43,295
Number of Filipinos killed during recent national elections: 110
Number of kidnapping cases in Philippines, excluding Abu Sayyaf, during first 7 months of 2001: 53
Number of hostages beheaded by Abu Sayyaf gang since June 2001: 11
Estimated number of Filipinos killed by US Military during unsuccessful independence struggle, 1899-1906: 900,000

Computer use by type at the Cebu CyberScape Internet CafE at 3PM Aug 5, 2001:
Email: 5
Surfing; 3
Games: 2
Chatting: 2
Word processing: 2

Books read by Chris Pforr since arrival in Philippines:
Odyssey / Homer
Longshot / Dick Francis
Comeback / Dick Francis
Decider / Dick Francis
King Rat / James Clavell
Breathing Lessons
Mayflower Madam
Stillwell and the American Experience in China / Barbara Tuchman
The Zimmerman Telegram / Barbara Tuchman
Lonesome Dove / Larry McMurtry
Ride On, Horseman / Larry McMurtry
Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper / John D. McDonald
America's Boy: The Marcoses and the Philippines / James Hamilton-Peterson
Phoenix Program / Douglas Valentine
Approximately 10 computer books, titles available upon request

What I Saw a Filipina Eat in One Day:
Subject: Cherry Duaso, age 20, height 4ft. 11 inches, weight 110 lbs.
Breakfast: plate of rice and vegetables
Lunch: large plate of rice, grilled squid, squid balls, vegetables, Coca-Cola
Snack: fish tempura
Snack: 2 bananas
Snack: package of Apple Dandy cookies
Supper: large plate of rice, one quarter chicken, soup, Sprite
Snack: french fries

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