Here in the Philippines, there are the rich famiies, and the poor families, and a growing middle class (that’s us) who have to work for a living.
At the same time, globalization has started to perculate into the provinces.
Twenty years ago, they opened a McDonald in our provincial capital city.
Five years ago, Jolibee (the Pinoy equivalent of McDonalds) opened a nice restaurant down the street in center city.
But two years ago, the local mall opened, with KFC, McDonalds, and various locally based fast food outlets for those who go to shop.
Most of these restaurants are a lot more expensive than the kiosks on the street (Hamburger 50 pesos ($1) vs 25 pesos. But you do get airconditioning, clean restrooms, no flies, and presumanly no food poisoning.
And, this being the Philippines, you get rice with y0ur meals.
During school vacation, there are lots of classes for the up and coming middle cllass kids to take. We have a large hall in our business, which we rent out. Last year, we had art classes here for 6-12 year olds, and the year before, a church held vacation Bible School in our meeting room.
But for our granddaughter, the best part of vacation is doing a week in the “kiddie Crew” at the local McDonalds.
Usually the “kiddie crew” is given a tee shirt and hat, and spends a few hours “helping” at various areas in the restaurant for a week.
Here is how the Philippine Star describes the program:
It has three main activities per day â€” a values formation lecture that fosters a different value per day, on-floor training and art workshop. With a healthy mix of fun and learning activities, the kids will be taught how to man the counter, greet and serve guests and how to clean up. Fun art classes will also be held. Kiddie Crew members will be making Ronald and the Gang Sock Puppets, a McDonaldâ€™s Mosaic and a special treat for moms. All these activities are anchored on promoting positive values among the kids.
So it is a combination of teaching the work ethic while having fun.
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.