I learned a few more tidbits about what it's like to live in the Philippines.
According to exchange-rates.org as of December 14, 2011, one US dollar ($1) exchanges for 44.1306 PHP (Philippine pesos). That means $100 US is equivalent to 4,413.06 PHP. In other words, if I want to know how many dollars some amount of pesos is, I can just divide the amount of pesos by 44.1306 to see about how much that translates to in U.S. dollars. I haven't traveled internationally before so it can get pretty confusing and intimidating when I see that something costs 50,000 pesos. But really, that's roughly $1,133. Okay, so now I have a frame of reference!
According to the National Statistics Office, the population of the Philippines (in 2007) was about 88.57 million people. In 2009, the average family income was about $4,681 annually while those considered poor made about $1,409 annually.
According to Index Mundi, approximately 33% of the Filipino population falls below the poverty line (in 2006) compared to 12% of population in the U.S. (in 2004), and only 3% of population in China (in 2011).
Things definitely cost less in the Philippines but people are also making a lot less income!