Tag Archives: cheap labor

Coconut Accoutrements


Accoutrements: Sliced tree trunk as chopping board, bolo, and tin buckets for easy decanting of coconut water into a plastic bag

The coconut guy in his small coconut shop would want to know first what you need it for. Usually you’ll say it’s for buko salad, or you need the water as beverage, or whether you’d want the meat thick, or gel-like and runny, is enough information. With that knowledge, his itak (bolo) would then make a tap tap on the hard shell and depending on the sound, he’d know which coconut is the right one for you.


Hands free pouring of coconut water into the bucket while busy selecting another coconut

I’ve been here twice already for the same purpose – to buy three coconuts to make agogo (ice candy). Each time, he’d cut all chosen ones for me on the sliced tree trunk as chopping board, then save the water in a plastic bag, and will manually grate the meat for you, but I stopped him for I opted to do it myself at home (downside was I had to lug all three coconuts). All these value added services are free for each coconut that he’s selling at Php20 (.457 USD) only. Labor is indeed dirt cheap in this country. Though unintentionally, the coconut guy gets a nice arm strengthening workout on the side. I’ve never seen a fat coconut guy.

Cheap Labor

Usual sight in the country is the ratio of the number of workers to the type of work or size of a business like 5 lads washing simultaneously a vehicle in a car wash shop, or the 8 employees inside each small cashier booth in Landmark Department Store, or the 4 household staff in a family of four, or the 7 staff inside a tiny cooked food stall in Makati known as jollijeep.


7 staff for a jollijeep, the 2 are just within the area


There's the other guy loading some stuff

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