‘Diet muna mga mars’: Comic strip finds answer to higher cost of goods

June 21, 2022 - 6:39 PM
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A vendor tends to a customer behind a plastic barrier for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a public market, in Manila, Philippines, August 18, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez,)

A comic strip egging on consumers to skip meals in response to the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities is making rounds on social media.

In a June 20 post, Filipino artist Kapitan Tambay featured two women telling each other how the prices of pork and chicken have become more expensive.

One of them suggested taking a vegan diet – or abstaining from animal products – to cushion the cost of goods.

However, by the third panel, both were in utter disbelief after realizing that even vegetables are burning a hole in Filipino consumers’ pockets.

The comic ends with the two women walking out of the public market, with one of them saying: “intermittent fasting muna kami sa bahay.”

Intermittent fasting is a popular weight-loss strategy where one abstains from eating for at least 12 a day. But for many Filipinos, it has become their last resort to inflation.

According to the Department of Agriculture’s latest price monitoring, the price of pork liempo is already at P390 and whole chicken at P200 per kilogram. The prices of lowland vegetables such as ampalaya, string beans and eggplant have also fluctuated to around P40 to P100; upland vegetables such as cabbage, carrot and chayote at P40 to P120.

In a Facebook message to Interaksyon, Allan Leycano, the illustrator behind Kapitan Tambay, said he created the comic out of his wife’s frustration over the inflated prices of food.

“Sobrang konti na lang nabibili namin from our usual budget. Nalulungkot lang kami after realizing na at least we managed to buy a few, pano na lang yung iba who are barely having enough to get by?” he added.

The post has earned more than 1,000 pure sad reactions and 623 shares on Facebook. It also received 47 comments as of writing.

“Ganito pala ang Golden Era, halagang ginto mga presyo,” a Filipino quipped.

Another online user commented: “HANGIN NALANG KAININ NYO LIBRE ‘YUN.”

Meanwhile, a Facebook user urged Filipinos to cut costs as much as they can. “Kapit lng muna tayo at todo-todong pagtitiis mga kababayan ko. Pagalingan [nalang] sa pamamaluktot ang magagawa natin.”