Sunday, June 8, 2008

Tenth Post

The Costs Are Going Up

June 1st came and went. Along with its coming, old prices were replaced by new ones. Jeepney fares went up a staggering 50 centavos. . . from P7 to P7.50. That translates to a cost increase of about an American penny, maybe a little more.

My favorite barbershop raised prices, too. Haircuts are now P70. They were P10 less before the change. Figure it went from a bit less than a buck and a half to a hair under a buck, six bits.

There’s hair cuts and then there’s haircuts. My barber gives a pretty good trim of every place hair is showing; head, beard, mustache, ears, nostrils, eyebrows. He finishes off the clip-clip by fitting a single edged razor blade into something similar to the straight edged razors of yore. He then goes about scraping off any remaining stubble. To end up the session in the chair, he delivers a massage of shoulders, arms, hands and upper back followed by a wipe down with a hot towel. I usually tip him P20, about a half dollar. Last of the big spenders, I am.

To offset these horrendous prices, there is some good news. The dollar is rising against the peso. For the past few days it has been creeping up from a dollar buying P43 to P44. It was hovering around P40 per buck when I arrived in February. Only us retirees living in the Phils picked up a 10% raise, I’ll betcha.

Professional Services and Other Prices

I needed and got a gingivectomy a decade or so ago. The follow up on that is quarterly cleaning of my teeth at the dentist – post perio prophy, in the jargon. I was overdue by a couple of months, so I wound up in the chair Friday. I wanted a full dental examination and a cleaning. The dentist discovered a small cavity in the course of examination. The cost of a cleaning and the filling of the cavity was P800. The examination was incomplete because that office is not equipped with x-ray equipment. He referred me to a diagnostic center equipped with x-ray. I went there the next day and was in and out in a matter of half an hour with the x-ray and lighter in the wallet by P800.

From there it was to Doctor’s Hospital to see the Dermatologist about a rash on my hand. In a matter of a few minutes, including a short wait, I was on my way, prescription in hand. No lengthy forms to fill out; merely put my name on a waiting list and walk into her office when called. Her fee with senior discount was P200. Filling the prescription was another matter; P545.50.

That makes the trips to the dentist and xray lab $18.20 each. The doctor’s office visit was $4.46, and last but certainly not least was the cost at the pharmacy was $10.33.

The power was off here. Brownouts are something that occur as often as weekly. When that happens, I usually hie myself off to one of the malls that has its own generators with the attendant aircon and comfy places to sit and girl watch. I had a slight variation yesterday; rather than girl watch I went to see Narnia Chronicles: Prince Caspian. That cost P90 for preferred seating. I had seen the new Indiana Jones flick a few days before for P75, also preferred seating. That’s $2.05 for Narnia and a buck seventy for Dr. Jones which was by far the better deal.

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