Neri Naig stresses need for ‘edible garden’ amid backlash over P1000 weekly meal plan

September 15, 2023 - 1:09 PM
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Neri Naig
Neri Naig-Miranda in this photo on her Instagram on July 20, 2023 (mrsnerimiranda/Instagram)

Actress-entrepreneur Neri Naig-Miranda stressed the need for an “edible garden” amid her controversial P1,000 weekly meal plan advice that drew widespread criticism from Filipinos.

The celebrity momtrepreneur on Thursday, September 14 announced that she was giving away vegetable seeds to the top 50 commenters on her post.

“Kahit walang bakuran, pwede magtanim sa paso,” Neri said on Facebook.

She hoped that the initiative would lessen the stress of those in charge of their household budgets.

“Kung pwede rin sana, mga eggs namin sa farm kaso baka mabasag pagdating sa inyo eh. Sharing is caring. Sharing good vibes at sharing blessings (red heart emoji). ‘Yung top 50 na mag-comment, papadalhan ko,” the actress said.

Neri also said having an “edible garden” is important, especially considering Filipinos’ experiences during the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic in which the government imposed strict stay-at-home orders.

“Maaaring may advantage ako kase may bakuran kami. Pero kung may kahit maliit na space sa bakuran o veranda [niyo], pwede po magtanim sa paso o sa mga water containers. Maraming paraan sa mga taong madiskarte,” she said.

In the comments section, the actress said she is also giving away P1,000 for shopping at the local wet market.

“Mamigay na rin ba tayo ng pamalengke? 1k (P1,000) budget, sino po ang may need? Para hindi na mahirapan pa sa pagba-budget. Eto hindi unahan, [pinakahuli] naman ang bibilangin natin para sa mga late nakabasa…” she said.

‘Nag-try akong mag-budget’ 

The recommendation to have an “edible garden” and her giveaway seems to be in response to the reaction of Filipinos in her previous post, where she created a weekly meal plan for an entire household for only P1,000.

Neri’s P1,000 weekly budget meal plan has since been deleted after drawing flak.

“Para sa mga nanay na mamamalengke bukas pagkatapos ihatid ang mga bata sa school, eto na, paki-print na po eto, kumpleto. Pati palengke list. Nag-try akong mag-budget ng P1,000 for a week. Kung may sukli pa ‘yan, pwede pangdagdag merienda o baon ng mga bata,” the actress said before.

Her weekly meal plan entailed one to eat “leftovers” for dinner.

Meanwhile, her suggested breakfast and lunch meals were the following, as shared by a social media user prior to its deletion:

Neri’s meal plan didn’t amuse some Pinoys who thought the budget too unrealistic for typical Filipino families.

Sociologist Athena Presto called the actress “out of touch” following the post.

“Ang problematic naman ng framing ng post na ito. Parang kasalanan mo pa na hindi ka ‘madiskarte,'” Athena wrote on Thursday.

“Talagang ordinaryong Pilipino pa ang bibigyan ng advice ng mayamang businessperson tungkol sa budget? Ang condescending pa ng tono. Kay Neri: hindi ito ‘wais.’ Out of touch ito,” she added.

“Importantly, walang dignidad sa meal plan na ito. Talaga ba, peanut butter sandwich lang sa umaga tapos puro leftover hapunan mo araw-araw? Lalo na kung pagod ka maghapon kaka-aral at kaka-trabaho?” the sociologist said.

Other Filipinos also shared similar sentiments.

“Namili ako kanina, 2 [dalawang] pirasong bangus, P220 na. ‘Pag sinigang ‘yun Neri, Nerrriiii, Neeerriiiiii may luya, asin, [betsin], sibuyas, kangkong. Nilagay ko kasi 10 [sampung] pesos lang ‘pag mustasa, [P20] ang 1 [isang] tali. Ewan ko sa’yo, Neri,” an online user wrote.

“Magkano budget mo nun a day, [P143]? Kung 4 [apat] kayo, [P72] lang budget mo for breakfast then another [P72] for lunch. Kung may matitira, kung may matira lang ha, [tsaka] lang kayo mag-dinner. Ngayon, kapag may natira pa dyan, pang-meryenda [tsaka] baon na ng bata,” commented another Pinoy.

“Honestly, two days [lang] namin ‘yang P1k (7 persons),” wrote a different user, referring to P1,000.

Another user claimed that Neri had edited her post prior to the deletion, where the actress reportedly explained how she was able to fit P1,000 for a one-week meal plan.

“Kunin ang mga sayote and other gulay sa bakuran, sa ibang posts ko po [kasi] nalalagay ko minsan,” she said.

“Next time, ilagay ko po lahat ng details at how much. Kase sa amin po, madalas free po ang mga eggs. Tapos ‘yung vegetables and fruits namin [kasi], mahilig po akong magtanim. Again, pasensya na po. Kukumpletuhin ko po para sa mga followers ko,” Neri added.

The actress has advocated backyard farming or having a backyard vegetable garden since before the pandemic.

According to a Smart Parenting report published in July 2022, Neri has planted a number of crops, including kamatis, sili, talong, different kinds of lettuce and herbs, as well as other fruits and flowers.

Parokya ni Edgar frontman Chito Miranda, Neri’s husband, explained that his wife’s now-deleted post was “intended for those who already knew what she was doing,” or her previous followers who knew about her old P2,000 meal plan for a two-to-four-member family.

Chito said Neri previously created a P2,000 meal plan “mostly for fun.” When it became a hit among her followers, he said that she decided to create another one and “try to keep it under P1k [1,000].”

“Soon enough, she was able to come up with one, and kahit madaling araw na, she eagerly shared it with her followers (and again, madaming natuwa at nagpasalamat),” he wrote on Friday, September 15 .

“It was soon picked up by those who knew nothing of what she was doing, and was instantly bashed for it,” the singer added.

High food prices 

Last month, it was reported that food inflation has quickened to 8.2% from 6.3% in July amid a spike in rice and vegetable prices.

Nomura Chief Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economist Euben Paracuelles said they were expecting “upward pressure on food prices to intensify in the coming months, owing to the ongoing El Niño phenomenon and the lagged effects of rising international food prices.”

He added that “increased protectionism among food exporters” would “likely” exacerbate the situation concerning food prices.

Last year, reports of price hikes in basic commodities and food items—including ingredients for last year’s Noche Buena celebrations—have been constantly making headlines.

READ: ‘Naiiyak na ko sa presyo mo’: Judy Ann Santos reacts to white onion price rise ‘Walang guisado?’: Garlic, onion shortage make Filipinos cry ‘Walang magpapasko sa pamilyang ito’: How Filipinos reacted to price hike of Noche Buena items

At that time, onion prices in the Philippines also became the most expensive in the world, based on a global price monitoring website. 

RELATED: ‘Most expensive globally’: Filipinos cry over onion price at P300 per kilo