Upon our last day in Bulacan, Jeff’s Auntie Josie took us for a walk through their family hometown in Tiaong (pronounced Chia-Ong). It was nice to see where Jeff’s mom and her siblings went to school, where they lived, and to talk to the people they all used to hang out with. I also thought of how Jeff’s life would have been if his family never left. Those will be the same things I think about when I visit my families hometown in Manila.
One of the houses on our walk had a full blown business of manufacturing girls dresses. The house and business was owned by a good family friend and she gave us a tour of the company. She also gave us a little insight to how big companies from all over the world come to Asia for manufacturing. Big giant corporate merchandising companies hire manufacturing companies in Asia such as China, Taiwan, Thailand, and of course the Philippines because it’s inexpensive labor. Why pay more when you can get the same thing for less than 1/4 the price.
Another juicy detail is that most of these manufacturing companies have a lot of excess from mistakes or too much fabric, so they create more merchandise for them to sell on their own in local flea markets. In America this is illegal because these products have a high value market, but in Asia it’s not. So if your vacation plans ever happen to be in a 3rd world country, dont forget to stop by your local flea market to get some cheap goods.