Baguio City has so many junk and scrap street buyers called originally "magbo-bote" (empty bottle buyers). Early in the morning, around 7 a.m., they start plying their trade. What they actually buy now are empty plastic bottles, scrap iron and junked appliances. On our residential street alone, there could be at least five or more of them that pass in intervals of about an hour shouting "plastik, bakal, bote".
Late in the morning, they would be seen walking down with their fully filled bamboo baskets suspended from both ends of thick bamboo stick plat. Both baskets could weigh at least 30 kilos or more at each end. From the cash they pay out for the junk and scrap, they would have at least 1,000.00 pesos as capital everyday.
I had the chance to talk to one of them who bought my junk printers for 130.00 from my internet shop. Curiously, after paying me, he asked if I heard about the "Piso Net" computers where one peso coins are drop in a slot like juke box. He said that for each peso, one could go on the internet for five minutes. I told him I've read about it somewhere but the computers are too expensive costing 20,000.00 each.
He told me he has 3 units of those "Piso Net" computers in Manila (250 kilometers south of Baguio City) that earns him an average of 1,000.00 pesos a week. This made me realize that these junk and scrap street buyers are well educated and making good profit out of their trade. I see him almost everyday passing by our place for not more than 2 years.
That means that he could have saved at least 60,000.00 in a year or so and invested those earnings in the Piso Net computers. So, for people who see them, don't think lowly of their trade. They know how to do business and invest in high-tech. Unemployment made these guys think and ply a trade where there is money in it.