In The states I think it’s called, “Planned Obsolescence”, you buy it, you use it, and then you junk it, and replace it. But not so in the Philippines, anything and everything can be fixed and or wired and duct taped, so it works a while longer. My wife used to pick things out of my junk pile, that I’d thrown away and explain to me that it was still good, how could it be good if it no longer functions? Then off she’d go and return with the item working. True it no longer looked the same, but work it did, and worked well, I might add.
Here is a list of some of things we’ve had fixed so far.
My seven inch circular saw: The safety on/off switch no longer worked, it came back with a replacement toggle switch. OSHA would have a fit. I still use it!
My computer: Purchased in1997, 3 new hard drives have been added, and every part inside has been fixed or replaced, I’m using it today. Works well!
Electric Fans: All mine have been rebuilt, and I found out, that the repairman will sit for 4 or more hours re-winding the electric motors. Ask someone in the states to do that and see what they’ll tell you! I guess I’ll never get a new fan.
My Power Washer: A friend dropped it off his roof, he offered to replace it; it was ugly, yet it still worked. The only damage was the trolley it road on. The medal worker guy built a new trolley out of stainless steel. I love it, and it cost my buddy p1,000.00 to fix it, vice p17, 000.00 to replace it. I wash my car every week with the ugly little thing.
My front Gate: Is 10 years old and rusted, I needed a new one! My wife gets involved and the next day a guy with a welding machine shows up and with some metal pieces, and two days later, rust is gone, gate looks as good as new, repaired and painted. P7,000.00 was all. What would a new one cost?
My Air/Con.: Purchased in 1996 (second hand) not cooling as well as it had in the past (can you imagine that). The guy came to my house to service it. Took it apart in my yard, used my power washer to clean it, added some Freon, painted the case, now it’s as good as new. The repairman commented that it was a good machine for its age. I thank him and then told him; “You sold it to me 13 years ago!”
In 1980 I was a Senior Chief stationed on the U.S. Naval Supply Facility, Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory) running Special Services. We had 50 workers under contract from the Philippines. I had to fly to Singapore for 3 days. When I returned my employees had rebuilt my office, by taking apart hardwood pallets, sanding them, and installing them on the wall in a diamond pattern and varnishing it to a high gloss. Then they made me a hardwood desk. It was outstanding and the workmanship was fantastic. The downside is when the Commanding Officer visited my office and asked why his office was not as nice as mine. Since I only had a few months left on the island, I responded in typical Navy Tradition “I’ll check on that sir, and report back to you!”
Anyway, it would take me six more pages to list all that has been repaired on both my house and cars, by some of the most talented guys I’ve had the pleasure to deal with. There are a few horror stories very few, as they are the exception to the rule, and I’ll write about them in the future, (Some damn funny stories I might add!) I read about the Cost of living, then realized they’re saving me a fortune in replacement costs, and I thank them one and all.
If you remember my article “They’re only Seven Once” I told you about my car being hit by a truck on the way to the mall. Well the following week a friend of my Son-In-Law came and picked up my car. Three days later they returned it to me in perfect shape; he even went around the entire car and repaired all dings and scratches, then repainted the car and charged me P5, 500.00. I didn’t even tell my insurance company. As I said above, they can fix anything and fix it well. I’m lucky to live here.