to be continued~ ^^,

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

here's the reaction paper khan helped me with!

thanks khan!!!

History of Money:

The concept of money started in Rome in the form of, you better believe this, salt. Back then Romans were paid in various amounts of salt, hence the term salarium. Then came in the cowrie shells. After some time, people got tired of using cowrie shells as a means of currency and used base metals for the basic materials of their coins. After which, comes in the precious metal coins like gold and silver. And I have no idea why civilizations hung onto coins for a long time for it took us 800 years to come up with the first set of paper bills. People got smarter and came up with the plastic money also known as ATM cards, credit cards, debit cards and digital cash! Of course, the shape, size and weight of the money of the past varies from one country to another. There are some countries that had thick slabs of metals for money; some would have purses full of carved stones and some would have axes as a form of currency… You can just imagine.


Philippine money has been going through this constant change of turning the smallest amount of bills into coins. That’s the pattern or trend that stood out as a looked into our humble currency.

I guess that started ever since we got into making paper money. Maybe that’s because coins are easier to make than paper bills.

But does the ordinary Filipino think on why bills turn into coins and the corresponding effects of such a change? I would like to hope that Filipinos do think about it for that would mean they are aware of the changes that really affect all of us in the long run.

Anyway. Once the value of that specific amount of paper money depreciates, the Central Bank is quick to turn them into coins. Look at the five peso bill and the ten peso bill for instance, I’ve heard so many reasons as to why they turned them into coins but I seriously believe that once a bill’s value depreciates or sinks to an all-time low it gets zapped into being things that makes my bag and my pockets jingle. I like to believe that it (changing bills to coins) signifies a serious national problem. Here me out here, since money gets turned into coins only when it’s not really that valuable anymore, this change just means that once again, the country’s economy has sunk down a notch!

A country’s money tells a lot about the said country’s economy. Needless to say, a country has a prosperous economy if the smallest amount can still buy something off the rack. Say the “piso”, for instance, there was a time that the humble piso can buy us a lot. There was even a sweet time when the piso has the same value as the dollar or when the exchange rate of peso to dollar was one is to two at most. But things happened. People in power became greedy and the country fell on her knees in pain. It showed in our money. Our economic status, even the possible lifestyle of the not so fortunate Filipinos.

My General Reaction to the Concept of Money:

Money: “any substance valued enough in a given society to be generally accepted in exchange for goods and services. Whatever form it may take, its main purpose is to make buying and selling easier.”

Yeah. That and the absence of it (money) is prone to make your life hell. Ah, the pains of being financially challenged. So, what can I say about money? …Hm. I’ll get back to that. Not having money can mean several things. Poverty, not being able to buy the basic needs, not being able to enroll for the next semester or just the turning point in your life that tells you that you have sunk a little lower and a whole lot more poverty embraced. Having it is a bit of a reassurance, though you walk the streets of Manila under the fear that you might get held up… [though that could happen just for looking rich] And having it is like having a security blanket all over you. Knowing that you have money makes you feel secure from the ugly and painful claws of much evaded in vain, poverty.

When you think about it though, money today is a lot easier than in the past… I’d rather keep a few bills and coins in my pocket, rather than lug around metal plates that are heavy enough to give someone a major concussion. The Congolese ‘Zappozap’ (19th century currency) is interesting, though. You lug around an axe. If someone holds you up, well... goes to show you that someone is idiotic enough to assault someone carrying an axe. Although I can’t say I would blame that criminal for trying. The past wasn’t exactly a bed of rose petals and honey.

Going back to the subject of bills and coins today though, Once again, it is much more desirable than lugging around actual pieces of gold and silver. Gold bars? Pfweh. My school bag can be a major torture enough sometimes. But then, what is the actual value of gold nowadays? Does anyone bother to weigh that stuff and check its actual monetary value nowadays? Maybe. Maybe not.

Moving on.

“As a standard of value, a unit of money is the common denominator by which all goods and services can be evaluated.” …Does that mean if I get high grades, I should be filthy, stinking rich? (smiles.) Aw, nuts. I wish. Maybe I can get paid to study... Heheh. Seriously though, here’s another weird aspect to money: Actual Value. You can claim that money has a set value… five pesos, ten pesos… but people stake all sorts of different prices on identical things. Example. You can get a Hershey’s chocolate bar for 30 bucks at most Mercury Drug or 7/11 stores. However. You can get the exact same chocolate bar for about Php25 at a supermarket. Food and restaurants as well… Check it out: In McDonalds, You get a large soft drink for what, Php28? Same thing in Jollibee. You get your soft drink in a plastic cup almost the size of someone’s forearm. However: Go to a KFC, and order a large drink. For the same price, you get a cup which is as big as the small size in Mcdo and Jollibee. Neat, huh? Goes to show you that money may have a set value and denomination, yet it can still vary somewhat just because of some idiot’s definition of ‘large.’

“To be useful to society, money must possess several characteristics. First, it must be completely acceptable to its users for all transactions. If People do not accept the substance that is issued as money, it will cease to circulate, and another substance will take its place.” I hear that. Some tinderas won’t accept twenty peso bills just because “bulok na, eh!” Nuts. Seriously! This kind of action and mentality is another element, though minor, that holds our economy back from actually flourishing!

I was discussing money with a good friend of mine and he told me something that made total sense but people tend to totally ignore it. He told me that “For the economy to grow people need to spend money not hog it and keep it.” This statement of my 15-year old LSGH chummy made me smile. It really never occurred to me even when I was studying economics for a year in high school. What he said is quite true. CIRCULATION is a MAJOR kick up for our economy to NOT suffer and for our money to RETAIN its value. If one should think of saving money, PUT IT IN A BANK!!! Don’t dig up a whole as deep as the Empire State Building to put your money into to protect it from pickpockets and the likes. It may work for you but that “sensible” act of yours will just turn our economy a bit more twisted if it still can do that!

So if you’ll let me, I would like to end my reaction paper with a quotation on money from some anonymous guy,

"Money talks and often just says, ''Good Bye.''"

So be wise when it comes to dealing and handling your own money. Don’t just think of yourself. Think of how your actions will affect the country and the poor. Look outside the box, what you see may surprise you but it’s better than looking at what’s in front of you than looking at the bigger picture.


now why did i put that one up? dunno... i just couldnt think of anything else to post...

thanks BLOGGER!!! you rock!!!


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