There’ll Be Change When There’s Change

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No Change? Yesterday I asked Sid to print ten copies of a flyer at the local ‘Xerox’ copy/print shop. He took a ₱1000 note with him. The total cost of the 10 copies was ₱150 and the shop couldn’t provide change. Last week I walked up to the local ‘sari sari’ (variety) store and wanted to purchase two cans of Coke Zero. I…

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Duterte is now President of Philippines

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The Philippines has a new President. Rodrigo Duterte was today sworn in as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines. And for once, it’s not just more of the same. Duterte is certainly a departure from the string of Presidents preceding him who have succeeded only in maintaining the status quo and making the rich richer while the poor continue to…

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Registering the Birth of My Son in Philippines

In the first post of this series, I shared the story of my son’s birth in Philippines. After his birth, the next steps were to register his birth, obtain a (valid) birth certificate, apply for a Philippines passport, acquire his Australian citizenship, and finally apply for his Australian passport. No big deal! On the day of his birth one of the midwives at…

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Giving Birth in Philippines — A Father’s Experience

I woke up just after 5am on Monday 17th August. My partner was already awake and standing up. She’d apparently been awake for a while, but I’m used to that — I don’t know how she always gets up so early every morning! Our 5 year old son starts school at 7am, and the Filipino habit of cooked rice meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner…

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Life on the Line

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Their smiles are broad and they seem to have nary a care in the world. The kids who live along the South Line in Lucena City, Quezon Province spend their days propelling push carts laden with a few passengers up and down the abandoned railway line that used to connect Manila via Lucena to Legazpi. They’re excited to see a big, strange, white…

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5 Factors Hindering Growth in Developing Countries

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I walked into the bathroom yesterday morning and, as per normal, there was no water in the pipe that hangs in through the bathroom window. For the first few waking hours of each day, there is no running water from any of the taps around the house. For the remainder of the day, the pipe into our bathroom is the most likely to…

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A Design Challenge — Finding Better Alternatives to Sachet Marketing

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Here’s a challenge for all you Design Thinkers that, if successful, could benefit hundreds of millions of consumers, and dramatically reduce the environmental damage being caused by sachet packaging. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it: Design a solution that gives consumers access to the benefits of volume consumer goods purchases, including cost savings and reductions in packaging waste, despite the fact…

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Yes Boss, I’m Following Agreed Safety Protocols!

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Safety concerns? What safety concerns?? As anyone who has visited a developing country in Asia knows, the safety standards for virtually any activity (from constructing a high-rise apartment building, to just crossing the street) are radically different to those in developed countries. But for those who have only ever lived their life in a country like Cambodia, they’re blissfully unaware of another standard.…

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Is Poverty a State of Mind?

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Are Australians living in poverty just as much as Filipinos? Is it not about how much money you have? During my visit to Davao City last week, I had the opportunity for several great chats with my good friend Glen Biggs, from Global Impact. One of our evening discussions involved late night coffee at an excellent, relatively new, coffee establishment just down the…

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Whirlwind trip to Philippines is over again…

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The past two weeks have flown by, and although I’ve been constantly ‘on the go’ I was still unable to meet with everybody that I would like to have. I missed out on meeting with Mellany Ramos Stametalaky from Kids Hope this time around, and didn’t get to International Needs in Marikina. I didn’t see my friend Raffy Ilano, or Cha Cha del…

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