Saturday, May 7, 2016

Cigarettes in Sibulan

Back in the late 1950's, before my two youngest siblings were born, our family lived in Atlanta, GA in a neighborhood not too far from Georgia Tech. In those days, 1958/1959 when I was 6 or 7 years old, I can remember my dad giving me a Quarter - 25¢. - and sending me to a nearby store to buy a pack of cigarettes for him.

My, how things have changed. Today a parent in Atlanta could not send his or her child to purchase cigarettes. The store could not sell cigarettes to anyone that young, and the Government would probably charge the parent with child abuse.

Needless to say. cigarettes in Atlanta no longer cost 25¢. I don't have first hand knowledge of the current price, but one website gives the cost (as of April 22, 2016) of a pack of Marlboro at $5.23 (Php245).

Compare that price to the price for Marlboro in Sibulan, Negros Oriental. Passing a sari sari store today during my morning walk, I took this photo showing the price as 3 php per "stick". Most Filipinos buy cigarettes by the individual cigarette, not by the pack. At 3 php per stick, a pack of Marlboro would cost 60 pesos - at the current rate of exchange, that comes to apprx. $1.30 a pack.

Off brand cigarettes are even cheaper. At one sari sari, I saw a sign for one particular brand at 2 sticks for 5 pesos. That's 50 pesos for a pack of 20. At another sari sari , I saw a sign for a different off brand at 2 pesos each, or 38 pesos a pack (discounted from 40 pesos per 20).

I don't think I need to mention this, but the low cost of cigarettes in Philippines won't lead me to smoke the damn things. I'm not advocating cigarette smoking, merely making an observation.

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