Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I decided to do some shovel work and level out and prepare the mountain soil that I recently had dumped on the lot I reside on so that I may be able to plant some crops. It was a bright early afternoon. The golden sunshine unleashed the rich hue of the red-orange soil. Furthermore, the glorious sunlight intensified the contrasts in colors of the dirt with the gleaming green grass and the clean cloud-filled blue sky. The scene would have made a nice painting. I took a photo of the 5-centavo and 10-centavo coins I had gotten in Manila. It's the first time I've seen them.

I put on my hat and got to work. Taking my shovel, I cleanly dug into the firm earth. It felt good to feel the sun beating on my skin. Soon blood was pumping vigorously to all my muscles and sweat started to trickle. It's actually healthy to be getting some sunlight every now and then as the sunlight triggers vitamin D production in the skin. And studies show that vitamin D produced from sunlight hitting the skin strengthens the immune system. Not only that, the physical exertion involved in laborious work makes for good exercise.

Perfoming the act of digging brought back recollections of my very first job. I was a laborer at a horse ranch and farm in Texas earning minimum wage. I spent the days mostly shovelling horse manure, dirt, and gravel, and also hauling hay, wood, and shrubbery. As part of the job I also tended horses, chickens, and other farm animals. I cleaned stalls, removing urinated dirt and placing lime on odorous areas. Sometimes I also put up and painted fencing, barn walls, and posts, and operated farm machinery. It was a fairly busy job, and I was exhausted by late afternoon but felt a sense of accomplishment as I did something productive during the day.

I was sweating more profusely now. The task of digging became more automatic now as I my mind kept on wandering. And then I thought about the poverty in the Philippines. I wondered what would happen if the Philippine government provided a subsidy by significantly increasing the minimum wage for the blue-collar or labor workforce. I briefly thought about the consquences. The increased labor supply due to the increased incentive to enter the workforce would allow for more productivity in the infrastructure sectors and strengthening the nation's foundations. In turn, it would also benefit the livelihood or national standard of living of the masses. The raise in the minimum wage probably will not pose a significant burden on major businesses as labor is only a small part of the production cost. It virtually poses as a tax increase for employers and would hence decrease the large wealth gap prominent in the the Philippines. However, a significant burden may be posed on small business owners due to the raised labor costs. But in effect, this would decrease the quantity of hired of labor for small businesses. And it's almost a guarantee that the blue-collar or labor workforce will be funneling back most if not all of their hard-earned increased earnings back into the economy. This effect in conjunction with overseas remittances would effectively stimulate consumer spending. This help towards the majority of the Filipino citizens would make the Philippine economy gradually more efficient, thus decreasing the national debt and strengthening the national currency... And now, along with my aching body, I have a headache. But the job is done, and the dirt is now leveled out as was my objective. The land is now ready for planting.


redr said...

are you kidding?! you were just talking about the extreme politicking and corruption in the country a while ago... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Your spade has a handle... recall the 'Talahib' post.

Claudine said...

Hey David! Just stopping by your page to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. I read your blog all the time and I must say I am quite impressed with what youve done, though a still bit confused. I wish you were back here in Houston, but if this makes you happy, I'm happy. Anywhoo, hope youre having a good time.

avid_fan said...

just kidding!!!
just wanna tell you that you're too smart to live here in the philippines...i mean who will think about the political status and the corruption of the country while digging??? bago yata 'yon pare!!!

Anonymous said...

Woohh, you were just resting after you dug some dirt, then you thought about the government? You truelly are mysterious... Quite funny for me. Don't mean to offend if ever you are. It's just the way you're mind works. Well anyway keep up the good work..... Standing by for your next entry.... See ya next time..


Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm a fan already.. ^_^

such hard work and still you can think about stuff like the government and political crap..


Peter said...

It's nice that, while digging, you even dug deeper about our economy. To give you my opinion. Raising minimum wage wouldn't be too much of an answer to poverty since 90+% of Philippines businesses is composed of Micro, Small, and Medium-Scale Enterprises or MSME's. Chances are if they are not able to carry the burden of increased wages they will just have to file once more for exemption or worse close down. The government's answer to this is to promote entrepreneurship among the people. I see its potential and I myself is a budding entrepreneur "doing my own business". Hehe!

Post a Comment