eye wear, glasses, optometrist, check up, eyes, cataract, new glasses, prices
Philippines

Having your eyes checked in the Philippines

There is a sale at the most eyewear stores in the Philippines in December, so a good time to buy new glasses. But how does it work and how expensive is it to buy new glasses in a third world country.

It is not any different from your home country I figure. Not for me, coming from the Netherland it is. the only thing that differs is the price. I tried lenses and I bought glasses for my self brought frame, and just a few hours ago I ordered a whole new set of glasses and frame. I figured I might as well profit from the lower prices here in the Philippines.

I have a high-end designer frame costing almost 18.000 pesos (300 euro), which is rather expensive, you have frames here starting at 1200 pesos or even 500 pesos for children. I bought such an expensive one because it is half price during the sale at EO Optical. I chose this store because I have good experiences with their materials. They are modern and affordable and have good service.

Now in the Netherlands usually the optometrist is also the store owner. here this is not so. The optometrist is a ‘doctor’ self-employed that rents office space and works closely with the store or branch. Same with most dentists and hairdressers, masseuses and pedicure, they all rent a space, chair or bed in a store to offer their services.
Very seldom you find a hairdresser for example that is employed by the business they are working from. Most rent a chair.

In the Dumaguete Robinsons Place EO Optical, I find a nice frame, but the glasses are rather expensive from what I remember from before. So I look around a bit, thinking about the money I am going to spend and how to make the best guy. This is rather normal in the Philippines, you can bring your own frame to the store and only buy glasses.

So I ask at different eyewear stores in and around the Mall, but the glasses are extremely expensive, some even ask over 12.000 pesos for a set.

Back to EO Optical, it is, for their offer is very good.

The multifocal glasses I want, with a cylinder and auto coloring in sunlight, are little under 9,000 pesos per set.
In total that gives me a new pair of glasses for 17,555 PHP. (294 euro)

I have a better quality frame than I have now, more glass, so the reading part is better separated from the computer part and far sight part, they are scratch-free, and color in sunlight to dark grey. That is to protect my cataract eye for too much sunlight.

I have a prescription card with my cylinder, strength and such on it and we decide for a check just to be sure. Since my eyesight in the Philippine has been changing a lot for the better.

The optometrist is amazed, from 3.00 to 2.50, when I came to the Philippines I was at 3.75. Usually, at my age eyes get worse. But not in my case. The left eye with the growing cataract is not getting any better, but also not worse.

When you buy glasses in the Philippines you have to make a down payment of half the price of the glasses at least, or any other amount you please.
We decide on a downpayment of 10,000 pesos and receive a receipt for the remaining 7,555 pesos to be paid upon arrival of my glasses. Ten working days, but it is not so busy so he thinks maybe mid next week they will arrive.

Now back home I compared my purchase and spending to prices in the Netherlands, the website from Pearl offers pricing that gives an estimate. My type of glass would cost between 320-450 Euro a set, here in the Philippines, they cost 140 euro, the frame in my case is the expensive item of my purchase this time. I went a bit overboard n that one. But I think I never had such a nice expensive good quality frame. I am very happy with it, I have a completely new pair of glasses for less than half the price of a pair of multifocal (semi sun) glasses in the Netherlands.

The Optometrist is a professional highly trained, just like in the Netherlands. The measurements are computerized and stored in the store archives for future reference. The little room where he or she checks your eyes is very, very small, a little too crowded for my taste. But then they have a good sense of humor, are very patient when you make up your mind whether or not number 1 is more clear or number 2……..

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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites Currently, she lives in Mexico. She is an emigration coach and works online.

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