Home Appliances in the Philippines
Tagged with home appliances, kitchen, olongapo city, philippines, rice, shopping on December 9, 2023
I’m sure the only place in the Philippines where there’s a wide selection of home appliances is in metro Manila. I live in Olongapo City and even though there are over 260,000 people living here, the choices are limited. Even the people in a city of less than 50,000 in the United States have more choices. I know because I’ve been to many cities like that in the United States. It’s getting better in Olongapo, but only because of the shopping malls built since 2012.
My wife, Josie, and I moved here in 2006, and we had our house built in the same year. Finding the home appliances we felt we needed the most took us longer than it should have. We had to settle for what we could find and still stay within our budget.
Taking Home Appliances for Granted
In the United States, many people assume certain home appliances are already in place when they rent or buy a home advertised as furnished. Appliances like electric ranges, refrigerators, dishwashers and, in some cases, washing machines and dryers. It doesn’t matter if it’s a house, apartment, or something else. Furnished or unfurnished typically means bedding and furniture.
In the Philippines, you’re expected to furnish your home with everything yourself. If you can rent a furnished house or apartment, you’re going to end up paying a lot more than you expect.
Ranges, Stoves and Ovens
Regardless of what you call them, they serve the same purposes. Most Filipinos have two or four-burner stoves that use propane. They sit atop a counter of some type. We have a two-burner stove in our dirty kitchen. We have an electric oven with a four-burner stove on top (which also uses propane) in the main kitchen, which we rarely use, between two cabinets. The cabinet on the right is empty and hides a propane tank.
This is the second range oven we’ve owned, which Josie bought in 2019 during a month-long trip from the United States to the Philippines and back. The first one had electric burners, and it no longer worked properly.
Our first refrigerator is sitting inside my mother-in-law’s house. It’s a large LG brand refrigerator we moved over to her house just before we left the Philippines in 2018. When Josie was on her trip in 2019, she said the motor made a lot of noise. That was fixed before we returned to the Philippines in 2022.
After we returned, we bought a Samsung brand refrigerator, nearly the same size. Most Filipinos do without refrigerators, while a few have much smaller refrigerators. A lot of Filipinos buy their food daily. Josie and I stock up on food items, including canned food, so that we don’t have to go grocery shopping as often as others.
We’ve had several rice cookers over the years. The one that lasted the longest, that we had since the late eighties, was a jar-style rice cooker made by Zojirushi. It was unceremoniously destroyed when a nephew plugged its 110 volt power cord into a 220 volt outlet several years ago (after our electric company stopped supporting 110 volts).
We replaced it with another rice cooker with parts made in Japan, but assembled in the Philippines. It didn’t last a year before the inner “pot” developed a hole. Josie was using a pan, not much larger than a sauce pan, to cook rice for just her and me for a while before we left for the United States. I want another Zojirushi, but I can’t find a 220 volt (or dual voltage) model anywhere.
Washing Machines and Dryers
We’ll soon be buying a new washing machine. Our old American-made Whirlpool washing machine gave out as soon as we used it after returning in October. We’re using a sister-in-law’s washing machine until we buy a new one. We can still use our American-made Whirlpool dryer because we replaced the belt in 2022.
The best washing machines and dryers are made of stainless steel and cost more than others because they don’t corrode. The surrounding Filipinos who have washing machines have the inexpensive ones that don’t last very long. They can make them last longer by having them repaired when they fail. One of my in-laws made one last for at least two years. I haven’t seen any dryers, other than mine, but I see a lot of clothing being hung outdoors.
Other Home Appliances
We’ve had other home appliances, mostly for the kitchen, and some we rarely use. We’re not using any kind of coffee maker. Instant coffee is king in the Philippines. Our microwave oven is really inexpensive, which we picked up at the same time as our refrigerator. I use it for heating water and reheating food from the refrigerator, and I’ve never used it for anything else.
We don’t have some things commonly seen in an American home, like a dishwasher or a garbage disposal unit under the sink. We don’t even have TV sets in our house. Why bother when both Josie and I watch everything on our phones?
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