Spend A Dollar To Save A Dime

We have all seen it and experienced it first hand in the Philippines. The taxis where the a/c does not work, shocks, struts and tires that Moses used on the wagons when he led the Jews out of Egypt. Traffic lights they won’t turn on, water you cannot drink from tap and often wonder if it’s even safe to bathe in. Ok, you get the point and got a good laugh after banging your head on the wall just after you experienced these and many more I’m sure.

This story goes along those lines of experience. We moved into a new apartment early this year, a decent apartment too. But I noticed one thing, the front door would not close and wind would often blow it open even when thought shut. Since I’m a decent and polite guy with filipinos (sometimes) I thought I would inform the caretaker of the problem, which I did. To his credit he did come and look at it, but not to his credit his solution to fix said door. Now you guys are thinking “adjust the striker plate” and you would be right. Sarah there is thinking “I’ll get my man to fix it” and she would be right also. But what was the caretakers “fix” or “solution” SLAM THE DOOR SHUT! It’s a solid wood door set in wood door frame.

So we decide we’re going to move into another apt in same complex because current one was hot enough inside to bake bread without an oven. So we look at empty apartments and pick one but cannot move as yet because of the back door to laundry/wet kitchen is bad. At the top of the door there was a gap of about 1 1/2 to 2 inches, yep, not good. This door is  one of those thin brown plastic doors with a plastic frame. So they take out the old door and frame, put up new cement and replace the old cheap door frame and door with a new cheap door frame and door.

So we move in and all just great. New apartment is not an oven and little less rent for the same size as one we moved out of. So the new back door won’t close all the way because the dip shits did not align it, the door edge went past the striker plate and door frame!! So here they come to fix it again right? Well almost. Then we open the door and what happens? The screws work their way out of the cheap frame. They don’t unscrew mind you but more like pull out with the sawing action and the door falls AGAIN. Well they came and “fixed” it again so I can get on with my merry life here in the suck.

What happened you ask? Why am I writing a post about a cheap door? Well last night my son went to put his bike up in the wet area and asked me to open the back door which I did. Only to have a hinge fly off the bottom out of the door! This door has already been “fixed” THREE TIMES!!! Now all the other doors are wood with a wooden frame right? So why not this one I thought to myself then made the mistake of voicing my thought aloud in front of wife and a few others. “There you go again, always criticizing”. What did I say to get that reply?

“All the doors and door frames are wooden except for this one. If the bastards want to save money put in a decent door instead of repairing this one all the time”.

Here is the way I see it. Spend a few extra pesos and install a good door the first time and right the first time and it will last for years.

Here’s the way a filipino sees it. I will install the cheapest door I can to save 1,000 pesos right now but spend 2,000 pesos repairing the door in the next couple of months. BUT I SAVED 1,000 PESOS.

See, the cheap, cheap, cheap you heard was not a chicken but a filipino when it comes to parting with a peso. Maybe there should be a category about how cheap filipinos are.



Published in Filipino Stupidity


  1. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
    Don Quixote

    The amazing thing is, you can get really good cheap SASH DOORS all over the PI , they must have really gone to some trouble to find a shit one.
    I have water running off my neighbours roof, the house is a duplex so the roof without the guttering is only 4 ft from my front door.
    The splashing has rotted the door and frame, So before I replace I ask the neighbor to fix the roof to stop the splashing.
    Three days later two workers and guess what, NO GUTTER the first rain the water splashed in the door frame.
    With my experience I hadn’t replaced the door or door frame. I was WAITING!!!!!!!!!!
    I rang the owner, BUT SIR WE FIXED THE ROOF , !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WHAT ABOUT THE FUCKING GUTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Everyone by now must be asking why I FUCKING BOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

      They could buy the more expensive door and it would still be “Pinoy fixed”. They’d turn up with a hammer, when a drill and screwdriver are required to fit the door. The screws would be hammered into the door-frame like nails – which might even hold for a day or two – then will of course fall out. On their return visit, the resident imbecile will bring along a screwdriver, and simply screw the same (now stripped) screws back into the door-frame, using the same holes that they previously hammered in. That might hold for a couple of days too before the screws fall out again. On the third visit for repairs the problem will become YOUR fault because you insist on opening and closing the door. If you just left it closed all the time you would have no problem. Stupid fucking Kano!

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

    I have a terms for it. I call it “Pinoy fixed”. This means, fixed in a half-assed manner, which will necessitate further repairs at a readily foreseeable point in the future. So many examples to choose from – but why waste my time with stories about it here? It’s self evident everywhere you look in the Failippines. Massive holes in the sidewalk covered with bamboo. Potholes in the road filled with large rocks. Peeling bathroom tiles in motels, held up with cell-o-tape. Government websites with broken payment systems, and a note “apologizing” for the inconvenience (that is now considered Pinoy fixed). The list is endless. It just basically never occurs to these imbeciles to do the job properly the first time around, and save yourself the trouble of having to repeat the process over and over again.

    1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
      Captain PFB

      This is the reason Filipinos just can’t have anything nice. They build a wonderful nice shiny new building, looks so nice and new. But they never figure upkeep in the expenses. Once it goes up, the rotting process begins, and you can watch the building getting dirty, sooty, and run down over time. That “run down” process is greatly accelerated through constant misuse and abuse by all Filipinos who even get close to it. Repairs, if they happen, are “Pinoy fixed”, and so nothing ever really gets fixed, because the same misuse and abuse continues.

      With no regard doing anything right, no scheduled maintenance and cleaning, the new building soon blends in with the dirty, dilapidated look of the buildings around it.

      Apply this to anything nice, be it a home, car, furniture, gadgets…..Filipinos misuse and abuse and seldom ever maintain or repair anything correctly. Anything they can carry in their hand, pocket or purse is soon lost. I’ve never seen anyone loose their cell phones more than Filipinos.

      They just can’t have anything nice.

      1. Profile gravatar of FHPS

        I have photographs of so called Pinoy trades people. One was a pipe under a sink. The “plumber” propped it up with a bit of tree branch shaped into a “Y”.
        The other was of wires to a shower head. The tenant raised concerns about the exposed wires and water so what they did was put hose through it .. yup and then used normal tape to tape it up then put a screw in the ceiling and hung it by string from the ceiling to prop it up. Imagine what that looked like.

  3. Profile gravatar of Barry Smyth
    Barry Smyth

    I have a town house here in the Philippines I find its better to do it yourself nothing and I mean nothing is ever fixed the correct way.
    Yes all about saving money the cheaper it is the better it is,and the work you will get done by the locals reflects that.
    I have many examples of it but could not even be bothered listing them, I would not know where to start.

  4. Profile gravatar of emrys

    the place I was lived in Cebu last year had a broken toilet right when I moved in. I asked if they would fix it and the land lady said it would be fixed before I moved in. it wasn’t. so after I moved in I inquire again about it. she asked me what was wrong with putting a bucket of water down the toilet to flush it. well they shouldn’t have even bothered installing a toilet in that case. just a hole or a toilet without a tank.

    anyway, a guy came by to fix it and it lasted about a week. supposedly it was all new parts. I told them it was broken again, but I guess it didn’t reach the land lady. so I ended up fixing it. I had, at the time, absolutely no plumbing experience. I replaced every thing in the tank, even the gasket between the tank and the bowl part. found out how to do it by googling it. it worked for the rest of the 5 and a half months with no problem.

    about 4 months into my stay the pipe below the sink started leaking. I learned my lesson from the toilet that I would have to wait a few days, and even if the guy fixed it, it would probably leak with in a week. so I google that too and fix it. not problem for the rest of the time. I learned that it’s way better to figure it out yourself. it might be a bit more of an expense, but I learned something at least.

    the year before when I was living in Davao, they told me that if there are any leaks or anything, to tell them right away. then one day I noticed that there was water literally flowing out of a hole in the wall in the bathroom. so I mention it to them. I’m paying for the water going down the drain. I waited 3 days and no one came to check it out. so I was fiddling around with the knobs and it was a knob to turn on the water that went to the water heater for the shower. but the hilarious part was you had to turn that knob, then another knob so the water could flow to the hot shower. that made no sense to me since that’s the only thing that it did. two knobs for water to go to one place. anyway, I just made sure to turn it off every time. no one ever came and I figured I let them know once. it’s totally their problem if they don’t come fix it.

    every place I have lived in has had some sort of problem with it. that or just things were done horribly like tile work, mouldings, ect. the ironic part is that when I first brought the girl I was seeing at the time up to the place, they would say that it was a nice place. I was like” really?”

    1. Profile gravatar of TightWired

      I’ve found the best way to get the Owner/Manager to fix anything…Is to take pictures and let them see directly what I’m talking about.
      After sending him a disgusting “shit/piss over-flowing” toilet picture at lunch time, he sent his maintenance guys right over.
      Another time I sent him a pic of water “shooting out of the wall” were the shower and the pipe are connected.
      The best was the water running down the wall from the ceiling that I reported at 4pm one afternoon.
      Idiot: Sir, I will try to have them fix tomorrow.
      Me: Water is dripping through the dry wall, you know it has to be a pretty big water leak to drip through dry wall.
      Idiot: Ok Sir I try (after 1hr still no one shows up).
      So I poked a hole in the water logged dry wall, and now the water is really coming down. Took a pic and send it to the Maintenace guy AND the owner…I had guys fixing it within 10 mins.
      The toilet was “old” and needed to be swapped out. The shower was poorly sautured at the joint, and the water in the ceiling was because workmen earlier in the morning forgot to reopen a drain valve.
      Now when I report a problem, I go straight to the owner with pics.

      1. Profile gravatar of Mike
        Mike Post author

        Was renting a two bedroom house back in the states from guy who owned a bank, So there’s money right? I was driving a truck otr at the time when the siding came loose on the front of the house at the top. Banker was told about it and promised to fix it, think he must have been part filipino because nothing happened. Well that piece falls off and started taking other strips with it working it’s way down. Banker man was told this every week for about two months and always promised to fix it.

        So I pull in from the road one day and there is more siding coming off. What came off I would put in the garage rather than litter the yard. Well enough is enough!! I pulled the loose strip off, got the rest out of the garage and put it all in the car and off to the bank I went during business hours. Pull into the lot and start unloading the siding and head for the front door when a man coming out holds it open and follows me back in, he said he had to see this.

        Up to the teller I walk and put the siding on the counter and ask for the owner. She too must have been filipino: He’s busy, He’s in a meeting and so on. Ok, I’ll wait and before h I could sit down out he comes with shocked looked on his face at the sight of the siding on the counter and floor. Told him since he does not want to repair it every time a piece comes off I’ll bring it right up here. Know what? He repaired it that week!

  5. Profile gravatar of BloodlessStone

    These days I just suck it up and make a repair myself if I am able. The 1.5-year-old apartment I am living in looks good but is shoddy by even local standards.

    Some stuff I can’t fix–can you imagine leaving large pieces embedded inside load-bearing concrete walls? It took me some time to figure out why the concrete walls started bulging and seeping every time there was a heavy rain. Even after years here I never imagined that one. (Crossing fingers for no earthquakes!)

    Electrical fixes, plumbing fixes, leaks … I do it myself. The landlord couldn’t care less and it wasn’t worth having weeks worth of arguments and then several rounds of random laborers and/or my landlord romping through my home telling me that “the light is fine. It is supposed to flicker.” Or, my favorite from the landlord: “All the other plumbing bulbs are fine and this one was bought at the same time. It must be a ghost.” (Shrugs and walks out, apparently absolved of the leaking fixture.)

    Even if a job is done right–or close to it–it requires constant supervision and arguments. I had an expensive, difficult job to rewire (safely) for a hot water shower. I had been over the plans with the electrical engineer many times and he had clearly written diagrams. After three hours of supervision in a hot and close place I step out for five minutes and when I come back something critical is already fucked up. And he was actually a bright kid–just had had all the common sense and independent thought sucked out of him from an early age.

    I’d rather spend the time and money and do it right if at all possible. It sucks, but I can bitch and moan and not get what I want or I can just get ‘er done myself.

  6. Profile gravatar of Mike
    Mike Post author

    I just mumble ” If you want something done right, do it yourself”. I was watching workers put up walls and fill the hollow blocks with cement one time, boring day. So sitting there watching all this excitement I see a couple of pinoys finish off the water in their water bottles and waited for them to throw the empties on the ground. That did not happen. They merely put them in the holes of hollow blocks and cover with cement. During that construction I saw a lot of cans, plastic bottles, wrappers and other trash put in the blocks and covered with cement.

    Can’t help but to wonder how many bags of cement they charged for and did not buy by doing this. Another pinoy scam.

  7. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
    Don Quixote

    I have a sewerage issue, caused by tree roots on SBMA.
    We are not allowed to cut down trees !!!!!!!!!!!!
    No one is allowed to cut down trees !!!!!!!!!!!!
    Subic water says the problem is the trees !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Subic water is whom I pay my sewerage too, SBMA will give them permission to cut down the offending tree.
    How do you identify an offending tree ??????????????? I have 5 possibilities !!!!!!!
    My solution cut down all the fucking trees they are too close to the house anyway.
    BUT SIR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Before I left I poured twenty liters of a mixture of Bleach ammonia and of Used paint Thinners into the toilet to kill poison the tree we will see if that identifies the offending tree.
    No one there to flush the shitter so it will hopefully just sit there and kill something.

    SBMA Maintenance men the plumbers want to pull out the toilet itself , so they can put down an electric eel, that is manual not electric to remove the offending roots.
    but that will destroy the actual toilet, BUT SIR you can buy a new toilet , so their solution is to destroy a perfectly good toilet for a few months each time, because of the fucking tree I can not identify or remove.
    There solution to a leak under the sink is VULCOSEAL this is the solution to all plumbing problems BOGG IT UP.
    FUCK I wish it would get rid of the fucking tree roots too.

  8. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
    Phil Doh

    Went to look at a house for rent a few years ago, and noticed quite a few things which needed repairing – broken toilet seat, rotten window frames etc. Don’t worry sir, we will fix them AFTER you move in. The idiots couldn’t even be bothered to get rid of the cobwebs and dead cockroaches all over the place before showing us around.

  9. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    Heres how to save a dollar in the PHilippines;

    1. drive around with the lights off as they do to save petrol. yup. true 🙂 it saves petrol.
    2. fill up with gas like trike drivers do with 20-40 pesos yep, 1 litre a time so you have to fill up many many times but the cash you have in your pocket gives you a false sense of “abundance”

    1. Profile gravatar of omgwtf

      Thats what i have to tell my gf all the time.

      We don’t earn money on interest rates, so there is no need to buy 2 times small for 10 each or one time the the double amount for 15.

      But to make the confusion perfect i had to explain her lately how buying something more expensive can be cheaper than buying something cheap in bulk. Rule of thumb: if it doesnt spoil bulk. if it will spoil buy as small as possible. Bonus rule: If it is junkfood, no matter how cheap. buy all the time the smallest portion.

    2. Profile gravatar of Beavis

      Oh, I have had that happen a few times with a trike driver. Waved one down, he picked me up, and he immediately pulled into a gas station. Nice. Well, I’m not paying you to wait on your ass. So I just get out of the trike without paying, walk away, and wave down another one while he is still filling up the gas tank. Bye.

  10. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    SHAMELESS IMPOSERS – Example; The shameless filipinos have some really fucked up programming running around in their heads. They can’t help themselves when it comes to a dollar. I was in hospital and my exgf was in a room with other family of patients. She got to know a family also in their and wtf? they knew her bf was a foreigner so they asked her for a loan of 20,000 pesos and SHE (My ex) said “i feel shame” shame to tell them no as your a foreigner and they expect that you will have it. wtf!! thats TWENTY FUCKING THOUS PESOS – so the stress for her was on and not for me i told her .. tell them to fuck off. Anyway, as selfish as these people are they were ringing and ringing and ringing after i got out and they stayed in the hospital longer. They even rang at 1am constantly which filipinos do. They don’t give a shit about IMPOSING, no shame, they will ring and ring and even text saying why arent you taking MY CALLS. wtf.

    1. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
      Don Quixote

      My mate stopped in the Presidential Suite at our local hospital.
      Not bad . almost like a nice motel room in Australia, certainly nothing to write home about.
      BUT no one knew he was there he had his own nurse got food , for him not the nurse and for 4000peso a day well worth the air conditioned privacy .
      No beggars to note he was a white man
      My choice if I ever need to go into hospital, before I get the fuck on a plane home.