Pay with onions at Manila store today: Look at what Filipinos bought with 'new currency'

At the home centre, ceramic vases and candleholders are being offered at a promo price of two pieces, one onion

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Photos: Japan Home Centre / Facebook
Photos: Japan Home Centre / Facebook

By Kirstin Bernabe-Santos

Published: Sat 4 Feb 2023, 11:59 AM

It was legit: Dozens of Filipinos — with onions in their pockets — trooped to a store in Manila today and bought a variety of household items using the Philippines' star vegetable. Pans, shower caddies, air fresheners, and a host of other goods were sold at a promo price of one onion.

Inside the Japan Home Centre (JHC) branch in Quezon City, northeast Manila, all items priced 88 pesos (around Dh6) and below could be purchased with one onion each on Saturday. There was also a shelf of ceramic vases and candleholders that are being offered at two pieces, one onion.

A maximum of three items can be bought with the 'new currency', so shoppers were seen arriving with three bulbs each.

A separate lane was set up specifically for those opting for onion payments. A woman in the queue is seen holding a pan and a stainless shower caddy, while a teenager is paying for a colander and an air freshener. A boy also got his favourite chips, chocolate cookies, and wafer rolls, all for three onions.

The Philippines has been making headlines for all things onion since the beginning of the year after the price of the humble vegetable hit a whopping Dh40 per kg, becoming more expensive than meat and chicken. It was a crisis that hit Filipinos hard, and yet, being the happy people that they are, the community created some funny plot twists out of the situation. There was a bride who used onions for her bouquet, and a couple who opted for the vegetable as wedding souvenirs.

The home shop in Manila was the latest to join the hype. Wondering where it kept the onion payments on Saturday? Since these wouldn't fit in the cash register, JHC had placed a basket beside its counter.

Netizen Stanley Palisada was among those who checked out the one-day promotion, which he hailed with 'two thumbs up' in a Facebook post. Sharing how the payment process went, he said: "Buyers who paid with onions were asked to leave their thumbmarks to prevent hoarding. (This means those who were able to avail of their three onion-priced items won't be able to come back to buy more.)"

"All collected onions will be used in our community pantry," JHC said in its previous post. In the Philippines, a community pantry is a place where the less fortunate can take items they need for free.


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