Do You Have 4 Pesos Sir?

I thought I’d share my views on purchasing items here, be it small or big, and what happens afterwards. So I’m in a shop, let’s say 7/11. I’ve selected myself a nice, cool, refreshing drink to quench my thirst and help me forget it’s hotter then hades.

I manage to get to the front of the queue in a reasonable time, only a few people wanting to push in. The lady behind the counter has no problem scanning my can and informs me that it’ll be ’24 pesos po’.

Well you can imagine I’m as happy as can be, I’m almost fully completed a transaction and I’m still smiling. So I had the woman 2 x 20 peso notes and wait patiently for my change.  Then I hear, ‘Do you have 4 pesos sir?’ I resist the urge to tell her that if I had 4 pesos I would be giving it to her because I don’t collect change as a hobby. I’m still in a good mood so I just apologize and say no, sorry, I have no coins on me. Then I hear, …

‘Do you have 1 peso sir?’

I raise an eyebrow, look at her and say no, sorry, I have no coins on me. So she then rings the money in the register and gives me 16 pesos change from what is a drawer laden with shiny 5 peso and 1 peso coins.

Why do they do this? It’s not just 7/11, it is most shops. I really don’t understand. It’s like they’re programmed to ask. I’ve been here longer than some and not as long as others so i know how it works. I don’t expect too much, try to smile at every chance I can and I don’t get annoyed normally on a day to day basis but this really pisses me off. It’s basic shop management to have enough change, and it’s poor customer service to ask for exact change if you don’t need it.

But sometimes they don’t have change. I went into an establishment which is in an affluent mall in Makati just after they opened for the day a few weeks ago. I make a small purchase that costs 500 pesos. I never like paying with card to avoid any possible fraudulent activity taking place so I pulled out a a 1k note and hand it to the shop assistant. I get a strange look and I’m informed, ‘I’m sorry sir we have no change’. Now I used to work in a shop many years ago in my youth and you always start the day with a float, enough change to last you through the day and it’s topped up wither by customers giving you small amounts or by replenishment from the back office. Now here I was in a shop that wasn’t cheap but buying a cheap item for the shop at the start of the day so the register should have change in it and they don’t have a 500 peso note or 5 x 100 or any other variation. What sort of way to run a business is that? I had to leave the shop empty handed as they didn’t have the change.

I simply just don’t understand, it’s one of the few things that still annoys me so.


I’m going to end it with my favourite change story, one with a happy ending. I was in subway buying myself a sandwich and a drink. I can’t remember how much it came to but it involved me requiring change. Now it just so happen I had some change in my pocket so I hand notes over to almost the amount and say, ‘1 moment please, I have some coins to give you the exact amount’. Now i’m looking at my hand to get the exact amount and I hear from the ever so pleasant Ladyboy behind the counter, ‘ Wow kuya, you have so many coins’ in a tone that I can only describe as orgasmic. If it wouldn’t of been wrapped already I’d of checked my sandwich for some special source he sounded that excited. I honestly do believe I made his day. I want to walk around stores one day going in and showing the cashiers handfuls of change, see if I get any marriage proposals.

My first post, I hope you can relate.



Published in Filipino Customer Service, Filipino Stupidity


  1. Profile gravatar of CantFixStupid

    This pisses me off everyday, so i just give them my biggest note now and watch em scramble to get change lmao. I enjoy the few minutes of comedy as i’m usually in no rush to be anywhere. Change at a register is automatic… but oh well we are, after all, in da Pilipines! 😀

    Plus they don’t trust their “honest” employees enough to start the day off with big bills in the register. Actually they might as well have monkeys running the registers, it’s about the same level of responsibility.

    I feel bad for the regular employees, they can’t do anything without some supervisor/manager watching their every move. All the while the security guard is watching the manager/employees.. with an end result… Nobody giving a shit about the customer who keeps you in business.

    1. Profile gravatar of Tapusnako

      Man if your name was CantChangeStupid, it would be perfect for this thread. Bought something for P405, gave the cashier P505 and she still had to use a calculator to figure out the change.

          1. Profile gravatar of BritinMak
            BritinMak Post author

            Little extreme to suggest I go back to my own country because I get slightly irritated that shopkeepers don’t know how to manage a shop. No, yes? I’ll throw a maybe in there as well, no,y es, maybe?

          2. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
            Captain PFB

            Why Mary? So that I’ll stop revealing the TRUTH about Philippines to the world? Apparently you would love for the status quo to continue. You would love to continue in your utter stupidity and corruption, while you KEEP ATTEMPTING to give the ILLUSION that “it’s more fun in the Philippines”, and that you’re all so honest and smart and moral. You would like that, wouldn’t you?

            Well unfortunately for you Mary, I will not do that. I like it here. Why would I go back? You morons worship me. When I walk around, everyone wants to be my friend. Everyone wants to know me, everyone wants to serve me. You shit-for-brains grovel at my feet and treat me like your god. You want to be my friend, you want my money. Your hands are always extended out with your palms up.

            Yeah, I’m real welcome here as long as I grease your palms. But the moment I offer even the slightest criticism, you bark at me, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO BACK TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY YOUR RACIST!”

            And you just don’t see how stupid and hypocritical you imbeciles are.

            TSK, TSK, TSK……

          3. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
            Captain PFB


            You see Mary, you have no understanding of what the word “PRIDE” means. None whatsoever. Pride to you (better known as “PINOY PRIDE” or “FILIPINO PRIDE”) means this: “I will always hold my head up high and claim to be the best at everything, no matter how utterly stupid, corrupt, dishonest, and deceitful I am. I will deny all the lies I tell, I will deny all the stupidity, no matter how obvious, because words speak louder than actions in my mind. I can be proud that I will never submit to real honesty about my culture and nature. I will proudly and steadfastly insist on that which is not at all true about my country, and proudly insist we’re all great, wonderful, accomplished nation of people.”

            That is your definition of PRIDE. And that is why things do not improve in your culture and nation. Filipinos have pride exclusively for JUST BEING FILIPINO. This is why the Filipino standard is SO INCREDIBLY LOW. When you have so much “PRIDE” in JUST being Filipino, you have NO INCENTIVE to reach for a higher standard. You have made deception A CULTURAL TRAIT, therefore you now have deceived YOURSELVES that you are the best in the world JUST FOR BEING FILIPINO. Therefore, when anyone offers criticism, you are instantly offended, and lash back mindlessly.

            Let me explain what REAL PRIDE looks like (I know this will do no good at all, because the Filipino can form no concept of truthfulness or dignity. Your dignity lies in your ability to deny truth.):

            A Filipino with REAL PRIDE (and there are a few, as seen on this blog) would say “Yes, this blog is true. I am ashamed of the inherent corruption, dishonesty, stupidity, and ignorance of my people as a nation, and I wish people would wake up and make the desperately needed changes in attitude that prevents us from being all that we only CLAIM AND DECEIVE to be. When we can recognize in ourselves what is so OBVIOUS to the world, only then can change even begin to happen. Until the Filipino brand of “PRIDE” is wiped out and replaced with recognition of our problems, mindsets, crab mentality, and attitudes, there can be NO HOPE WHATSOEVER of true greatness. Our greatness exists ONLY in our own minds. Our greatness will only be HEARD, and NEVER SEEN.

            You are an idiot Mary. But don’t worry, you are in very good company. You have the full support of your fellow idiots that keep the millions of accusations of stupidity and idiocy and ignorance about Filipinos flooding on the internet. And you can just keep denying it. And I am completely certain you will. This is what keeps Philippines so hopeless.

      1. Profile gravatar of crosstown

        And the best part of your story is, She has to be a HS graduate to get the fKin job!! ‘Cmon ..when do they teach these people, to count with their fingers, or what! I have a real rip-buzz, whenever I go into a small shop, to buy a coffee, or some smokes, hand them a Hundred peso note.. and… They look at the bill, give me a instant lost look, then run out of the store(to someplace) to get change.. That’s $2.oo. What kind of any business is supposed to function, when they can’t change two Fucking Dollars worth of money! And Tapusnako, I HAVE encountered this situation many more times than a few. I mean.. W T F!!?? Anyway, take care, and watch out for falling coconuts!

  2. Profile gravatar of Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III
    Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III

    You guys are too nice. Breaking down larger notes into smaller denominations is one many “sports” that I engage in here as often as possible. It goes like this;

    Cashier: “That will 126 only Sirrrr.”
    Me: [silently] hands over P1,000 note, making sure that many smaller notes are visible in my hands.
    Cashier: “Oh, Sirrrrr – you have smaller note…”
    Me: [looks up and smiles] “Yes…but not for you.”

    Sometimes I get so loaded up with small notes that I have to ask my girlfriend to change them into thousands for me. Life can be full of small pleasures here, when you look for them 🙂

  3. Profile gravatar of Eric

    You wanna have some more fun? Make them do simple math so you get change back in multiples of 5 or 10 instead of the useless 1 peso coin.

    When checking out if your total comes to something like 43 pesos, give the poor meatball a 50 peso bill and 3 pesos, then wait for him to blue-screen and reboot in front of you

    1. Profile gravatar of

      That will create two more problems Eric. 1) they will need a calculator and 2) it will take them a few hours of practice to figure out how to use it! Dumb shits are too stupid to ring up what you handed them and let the register tell them how much change you should get!

      I find myself in another senario – actually, the same thing, only different. Hehehe. I love to ride motorcycle. I purchased a Yamaha Mio for my wife. Hehehe, turns out her feet can’t touch the ground on it. She is too short! Anyway, I pull into any gas station and say full tank. Hehe, it only takes 3.8 liters if its empty! I have learned that before they pump, I must ask if they have change for a 1000P note. Does not matter the time of day. I try to have smaller denominations but sometimes that is not possible!

      How about this one for ya’ll. I am at immigration at the pay window and they tell me how much and I give them the next higher amount in 1000P notes. Then I hear it: Don’t you have change sir? Duh, if I had the change, don’t you think I would try to make your fucking civil service job easier? No, I have nothing smaller. The Flip takes the money and walks away. 15 minutes later they come back with my change. Now, I am paying for this “service”! You government at work for you.

  4. Profile gravatar of heyjoe

    No matter were you go here no one has change in the morning. Also it could be any time of the day and they may have no change. I went to the post office one morning to mail a letter. This is a govt office but still these idiots had no fucking change. I had enough change to pay but now that I think of it since it was the Philippine post office why was I mailing a letter. It probably never got delivered anyway. To These incompetent idiots delivering a letter is more difficult than traveling to the fucking moon. I can see how you guys like to fuck with these morons by giving them big bills and watching them sweat trying to find change. Personally I find it a lot less stressful to just make sure I have plenty of change. I never leave home without it.

    1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

      especially on buses and jeepneys ,, if you are brave enough to get into those death traps. if they do not get into an accident,, the fumes will destroy your lungs…
      personally, i wait till 10 in the morning,, walk across edsa,, jump into a taxi, 60 pesos i am at moa,
      Monday and tuesdays are good for moa,,, there is cheap books at the back stores..

    2. Profile gravatar of crosstown

      Get this one Joe, Went to mail a smaller than shoe box sized package some time back. All the ninnies at the cage window had was 20 peso stamps. guess what??? They filled the ENTIRE package from from to back with stamps, leaving only enough room for the sender, and the receiver! Was that brilliant?? 20 peso stamps, it looked like a fucking Christmas package!
      And, they sent it off.. BTW, there doesn’t seem to be such a thing as a cash till in the P.O. Instead, one of the little twits behind the screen takes out a little purse, which holds the postal services funds, and gives you the change back. WTF is that for corporation business? A pocket purse for a cash till. I thought this we left that back in the 19th century?? Oh, I forgot, this IS the 19th century HERE!!!

  5. Profile gravatar of mumu

    Lol. As a rookie to the Philippines, 4 trips in 1 year, this is one of the topics that I wanted to post. The sheer terror in their eyes when you hand them a 1000 note is unbelievable. What’s crazy is I experiece this at upscale restaurants and even nice hotels. They just cannot handle any bill over 200 pesos. My total check for a meal was 485pesos and I hand the girl 1000 and she asks if I have a smaller note. Well I tell her yes I have 500 but then I cannot tip her. Doesn’t mattter to her. She wants the 500 and no tip. I just don’t get it.

    1. Profile gravatar of

      That’s because she was told by management to get as close to exact change as possible. She was probably afraid (in some primitive sense) that she might lose her job, if she has to give out change for larger bills.

      1. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
        Don Quixote

        HB, I just love giving the TOLLWAYs and it doesn’t matter if the Toll is only 30 peso a 1000 peso note.
        They are fucked they have to give you change.
        I save it up all my 20.50.100 notes until the child bride finds it and Barrows it.

  6. Profile gravatar of

    Oh great, another thing I forgot about since my last visit there………3 months til the next one with the dear wife and already my balls are starting to tuck up like a sumo wrestler. I’ll bring lots of change to avoid it all.

  7. Profile gravatar of

    Might this have much to do with the idea that they can’t trust their own employees and each night ALL money must be taken off site? Even in higher end joints? Sad but true file I suppose.

  8. Profile gravatar of Maamsir

    Guess what, some 3 or 4 thousand miles away, in the Middle East you have the same exact problem, and what has happened here is that Pinoy cashiers have exported this obsession with coins to everyone else and now every cash transcation ends with the cashier begging for 2 or 3 or 4 coins!

    Rolling eyes is not uncommon when you do not have coins, and in one or 2 instances I had had a cashier getting angry why I do not “carry change”, and I let them know as rudely as I can that it is their duty to keep it.

    And in one instance, I was given a coffee for 5d instead of 7, because even though the cashier had coins, she wanted to hoard them and so took a 2 dhs loss rather than part with coins

  9. Profile gravatar of ned kelly
    ned kelly

    The mobile phone sellers are the worst, you can guarantee they never have change. The amount of times they have had to go out into the street and go to some other shop to give me change from a 500 peso note I lost count. This is the idiocity of epic proportions. It doesnt matter if you give them a small denominator or a high one they still will ask for pesos. I have 5 large jars full of coins in my house that have no where to go.

    What really pisses me off is that you rarely ever see or get a 200 peso note. I even went to 3 banks to get a whole heap of them and they didnt even have enough in stock to give me a few. Man a 200 peso note is so cool and when I do have one to give to the checkout I never get asked for pesos. Its like the missing link and everyone loves a 200 peso note. I cant understand why there are so few of them in circulation, maybe thats why there is a problem. They use up all their 50 and 100 peso notes to keep up with the 500 and 1000 peso customers and without having the 200 peso note in circulation it causes them to run out of the 20,50 and 100 notes. All prices should be rounded off so there are no coins in the system needed. Coins should be taken out of the currency they are a waste of metal.

    1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
      Captain PFB

      I will admit there are a few times when I am not asked for correct change or any rounding off change. This is usually because it’s late in their business day and they have the correct change in their till.

      But the majority of the time I pay with a 500 or 1000 bill, they cannot make change. I, like them, try to hold on to my smaller bills and coins. I usually have smaller change, but I will often pay with my larger bill first. And if it is for something I really need, and they don’t have change, I will pull out my smaller bills to pay.

      Consideration is alien to the Filipino. They have no clue what it is. You experience it all day, every day, all the time. Neighbors blasting their kareoke very late at night, neighbors who allow their dog to bark incessantly, cutting in line, getting cut off and nudged out of the way at the exit door, people holding some kind of social conference in the middle of grocery store isles, setting appointments and always being very late, speeding by a mother and her small child crossing the street in a pedestrian crosswalk and barely missing them by a centimeter and honking at them as if they have no right to cross the street in a pedestrian crosswalk, and businesses not starting their day with a till full of small change.

      It’s the ass-backward mindset and mode of operation in Philippines. Businesses believe the customer is there to serve and convenience THEM, not the other way around. It is the CUSTOMER’S obligation to carry plenty of small change. Not the other way around. And if you are unwilling to surrender the change for the item you are purchasing, tough titty for you. And a sale is lost. Anyone with even the slightest, most miniscule level of common sense can see the utter stupidity in this malpractice.

      When this happens, especially at a well established, sizable business, I often ask them, “Are you PURPOSELY trying NOT to make sales?” and if I’m feeling frisky and up for a bit of fun (I have learned to make it fun, sort of like a live enactment of a Three Stooges episode for a jolly good laugh), I will ask to speak with the Manager who opened the store today and pose the same question to him/her. I have been the opening manager at retail establishments a few times in my younger days, and one of the opening duties is to go to the bank with last night’s deposit, and see to it that there is enough small change stocked for the entire business day. It’s part of doing business with the public.

      In Philippines, I can’t imagine how many sales are lost because the customer didn’t have the consideration to go shopping with a wallet or purse loaded with small change. And that is exactly how the Filipino business mind views it. It’s the customer’s loss, not theirs. And how fucking stupid is that? I just wonder how many sales end up NOT HAPPENING at the cash register because the cashier didn’t have the ability to make change for a large bill. Well, any idiot with 1/4 of a brain would see that as a failure on the side of the business.

      Just last night I was enjoying a social evening at a bar after dinner. It was quite early. My friend and I each had 1 beer and were getting sleepy so we decided to go home. I had used the remainder of my small change to pay for dinner, so I only had 1000 bill to pay for 2 beers. This was no shanty street bar. This was popular nightclub type place. Although the waiter did not ask me for a smaller bill, I saw him briskly walk from establishment to establishment within this row of bars and clubs holding up my 1000 bill looking for anyone who could break it. 30 minutes later the waiter returned with my correct change. I think I would have rather been inconvenienced with being asked for smaller change and saved 25 minutes. I could have enjoyed another beer or two within that time. Such morons.

      Irresponsibility, no consideration for each other as a society, and ass-backward mindset is the way here. And with this knowledge, I learn to adapt to make my life less full of frustration and anger. I keep my pockets full of small bills, I stay totally aware of traffic around me when approaching the exit of any public building and adjust my speed to allow that idiot approaching beside me to get through first and avoid getting nudged out of the way, thus avoiding a moment of frustration. I go about my days trying to predict the idiocy, and having a way to avoid it or deal with it in the quickest, easiest way possible. I adapt. I don’t always conform, but I always expect failure and utter mind-blowing stupidity, and I am often prepared to deal with it in the least frustrating, least angry way possible, and move on to the next one that will surely happen.

      In my first few years here, I utterly failed at all attempts to change these people. I learned it’s ain’t gonna happen. So I had to change myself, I had to adapt, I had to submit and conform to SOME things if I wanted to reduce my levels of frustration and anger and increase my peace of mind and happiness. If I want to be unhappy with life, I can go back to USA and struggle financially and go to a job I hate every day and punch a time clock and live that hum-drum life again and have all the conveniences and common sense, but not be happy. I can do that there.

      But I can live much more financially independent here. So I have to find a way to be happy and less angry and frustrated about shit I cannot change here. Otherwise, why stay here?

      1. Profile gravatar of

        Filofail, that’s a very mature, well rounded attitude I got at the tail end of your post. I’m guessing most here feel the same? Although I do understand some are counting the days until lift off.

        On a side note, the whole change thing doesn’t seem to stop once they’re away and even plays out when they are the customer. My dear idiot wife here in Canada without fail, lines up to pay for the simplest thing. Has all the time in the world to get close to the amount expected to pay ready. However, she waits until the very last second when the cashier says “$18.74 please”. It is then and only then she opens up her purse at all and you can witness her digging through her change purse for as many coins as she can use up towards the purchase. She’ll find $4 in change and then hand her a $20 on top if that………that’s my girl!! Bit sure if that’s a trait or just my deary filipina? Don’t matter if there’s 20 people in line or not. FFS! Get SOMETHING ready before it’s your turn!

        1. Profile gravatar of BritinMak
          BritinMak Post author


          I love living here. Sometimes I get annoyed by stupid things but then this is my 4th country I’ve lived in (including my home country) so I know that there are things that annoy everywhere, the things just change that’s all.

      2. Profile gravatar of crosstown

        Change these people? This is where the expression “beating a dead horse” originated! Same goes for all those Polish jokes back home. All of ’em started here!!! You know, the irony of this entire civilization is, Those fat, money-scamming so-called politicians running this country ARE aware of this, totally! But, as long as they can wear their fancy Baron shirts, rip off the public while masquerading as leaders, and remain as untouched as G.Orwells’ “the better pigs”, this place won’t change! This is the mental consternation we must pay, for our financial independence, while meandering daily through a sea of stupidity!!

    1. Profile gravatar of crosstown

      One more time… where in the P.I. did you catch those fish?? I’m a fisherman here, with a stash of great gear. But the locally “seasoned” banka boat experts up here in northern Luzon, don’t have a clue about bottom fishing. It’s all netting, or trolling. Probably ’cause they don’t have any way to know where the bottom is!!! And I don’t think they can relate to bottom jigging either. Anyway, real nice fish, wish it was me 🙂 ..

  10. Profile gravatar of Louie

    I bought a camera mount at megamall yesterday from a store with no customers and 3 customer service employees. Total cost 1900 pesos. I paid 2000 expecting to get my change and leave. It took 3 monkeys 20 minutes to sell me a camera mount. 1st guy didnt know how to unlock the glass cabinet where the mount was displayed. 2nd guy decided to copy every word on the package on to the receipt. 3rd guy spent about 20 minutes looking for batteries to his calculator so he could calculate that 2000 pesos on a 1900 peso item gets 100 change. Fuckin hopeless

    1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

      2000 from 1900 = 100 w/o calculator,,,, unbelievable
      phils no. 1 in education,,, in my spot ,,, they cant figure why it floods,, well, the water has no where to go becos they have a foot high concrete barrier along the canal???/
      then they pave the roads higher than the houses?/
      why am i up to my neck in water?????
      i visit this site every day.. just like to an aa meeting,

  11. Profile gravatar of Anony----

    I am a filipina i was born and race in my fucking stupid idiot country!!!i regret and i hate where i came from ‘the Phil’s Stupid Hell country!!believe it or not i love watching american movies when i was little and i remember saying ” i wish i was born in America and someday i will meet my american boy lol!!!!!thanks i am now married to an American which is my dream since i was little and i am now inlove w/ gray eyes, handsome, young, sweet, loving & cool husband:)..I love you Asawa ko:)

  12. Profile gravatar of Marius O.
    Marius O.

    Thing is, anonymous, is that only you Filipinos/as can fix the Philippines. Foreigners are not allowed to. All we can do is stand and watch. It’s like watching someone bash themselves repeatedly over the head with an iron bar. If foreigners try to take the iron bar away, we’re told that we’re racist, imperialists, or assholes. The law tells us that we’re not allowed to do anything, because it’s every Filipino’s right to bash his own brains out without interference from evil foreigners. In reality, the law says that because certain people benefit mightily from a retarded citizenry who do what they’re told, don’t think, and don’t expect anything better.

    Life is not a movie. America is not the promised land, and it’s depressing that young girls in the Philippines dream of some blue (gray?) eyed saviour who will whisk them away on a white horse, instead of having dreams of making their own country into a worthwhile place to live.