For Many Filipinos, Jobs and the Good Life Are Still Scarce

“The Philippines is the rising tiger economy of Asia,” Mr. Tagarro said. “But only the rich people are going up and up. I’m not feeling it.”

Mr. Tagarro earns the equivalent of about $5 a day working before dawn and after dark, battling petty corruption to maintain his improvised sidewalk stand and dealing with rising wholesale prices for the onions and tomatoes he sells.

The Philippines, with a 7.8 percent expansion of gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2013, has the fastest-growing economy in East Asia, surpassing even China’s. The country has a red-hot stock market, a strong currency and a steady stream of accolades and upgrades from international ratings agencies.

But Mr. Tagarro’s experience — of being left behind by the country’s newfound prosperity — mirrors

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