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How Probinsiyanos Spend Their Salary


Instead of going abroad, some Filipinos from the rural parts of the country chose to advance their career in the congested capital region. “Probinsiyano”, they are called.

The probinsiyano people relocate to Metro Manila to look for a wide range of opportunities and adventures. “Pakikipagsapalaran” is a Filipino term that refers to their journey of testing the waters in the metro.

Some end up getting the job they want; others end up with another job they need to do just to feed themselves. 

Every Payday: Remittance

Every payday, probinisyanos go to remittance centers to send money to their loved ones back home. Through a text message, they inform their loved ones of the recent “padala” and some instructions on how the money should be spent:

P1,000 para sa gamot ni Mama
P500 para sa project ni Junjun
P1,500 para sa utang ko kay Pareng Kaloy
P5,000 para sa grocery hanggang katapusan

While bank deposit is a much cheaper alternative, some places in the country still do not have banks so people still rely on remittance centers.

Photo Courtesy of Judge Florentino Floro/ WikiMedia

Monthly Expenses: Boarding House/Apartment/Condo

Usually probinisyanos rent an apartment with their workmates or kababayans to save on rental expenses.  When one is laid off from work and could no longer contribute, they look for a replacement quickly.

There are a few cheaper options for accommodation In Mandaluyong, there are capsule rooms. In Makati, there are condo units that were turned into bedspace rentals.

Aside from monthly rental, utility bills are also part of the list of monthly expenses.


Daily Expense: Commuting and Food 

Most probinsiyanos do not own a car. Thus, they rely on public transportation.

Nowadays, there are other transport vehicles that are much convenient, safer and friendlier. UV Express, Grab, and Angkas are good alternatives to bus, jeep, tricycle and trains.

Renting a place near the workplace is one big solution to lower travel expenses. However, rental rate in business districts where most people work are quite high so comparison needs to be done before renting out a place near the workplace.

Food expenses are also huge. But this is something basic so only proper diet and discipline can help lower food expenses.


On Improving the Finances of a Probinsiyano

I am also a probinsiyano. I go home to a rented condo in Pasig and work in Ortigas from Monday to Friday. For five years, I have been battling head to head with expenses and the seasonal requests from my family. 

Here are a couple of insights that I want to share on how we keep fighting and improving our finances:

Calculate your expenses to have a better grip of it. Expenses are recurring so you can forecast how much you need to survive for the month. In doing this, you will always know if it is time to cut on your vices or reconsider your priorities in life.

If you decide to take a sideline after your full-time job, make sure you take care of yourself. Take vitamins and prioritize your sleep. Once you cannot control your stress or get sick, you get sick and cannot do both your fulltime and part-time jobs. It is also important to have your health and life insurance so you are protected no matter what happens to you while you are away working for your family.


To better manage your finances, it is best to talk to a financial adviser. Aside from knowing whether or not you are spending your salary wisely, you will get to know the many ways to save and invest. As what one of my best friends has told me, we will NOT stay here in Metro Manila to work for someone FOREVER.

A Marketing Communications specialist on weekdays and a life wanderer on weekends, Christian Lizardo Aligo enjoys working in the real estate industry. For more info, email him at [email protected]

1 Comments:

Rosyl said...

This post reminds me of when I was working in Baguio. Most of these points are also the same even for other OFWs as well.
Proper financial handling is a key to survive in the Metro. Tracking your finances does wonder in keeping a grip of your expenses.

Thanks Christian!

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