The Philippines’ myth of sovereignty


by josephivo

I was so fortunate to have had a very motivating history teacher in the last years of high school. Sovereignty was one of his favorite subjects. Luckily there is Wikipedia and Peter Watson’s book “Ideas” to refresh some events and concepts.

Sovereignty might have a precise definition in international legislation, but the meaning changed over time and the emotional meaning, the taste and color of the word, can differ a lot between individuals.

1. A Little history and definitions

1.1 – Magellan’s time.  In Europe the Church had a booming business in selling tickets for the best seats in heaven. 70% of the wealth in France belonged to the Church, 50% in Germany. The Pope and cardinals lived a heavenly life on earth. Luther attacked these abnormalities and wanted to get back to the essence of Christianity and he became very successful.  Most classical feudal ruler didn’t like this as they were anointed by the representative of Christ, the Pope, their powers inherited and God-given. Luther’s movement was very successful in the more developed cities of the German speaking part of Europe (Dutch was still considered as German). Charles V, the Holy Roman (= Germany and +/- Italy) Emperor and King of Spain, and especially his son Philips, didn’t like this. The Church reacted with its contra-reformation and inquisition. The Roman Empire fighting mainly internal religious wars ended with the Peace of Augsburg in 1555 and its principle:

CUIUS REGIO, EIUS RELIGIO” or “Whose realm, his religion”, meaning that the religion (Catholic or Lutheran) of the ruler was to dictate the religion of those ruled. This became the general rule in Europe. People who did not agree could leave the realm peacefully with or without their belongings. (And those that couldn’t find any suitable place, the fanatic Anabaptists and Puritans went to America.)

For the first time, the ruler more important than the Pope. For the first time people could decide for themselves where to live. Lutherans could listen and talk directly to God without an intermediary. Before people had very deterministic views (as in the Philippines today?), a fatalistic acceptance of control from above.

1.2 – But the sword was used to support the faith – or was it in the fight for the possessions of the opponent?  (As ISIS is attacking non-believers and aiming for oil wealth with the immense oil reserves of the Saudi keepers of Mecca and Medina at the horizon); 30 years of the bloodiest wars ever were ended in the PEACE OF WESTPHALIA, signed in 1648.

The Westphalian sovereignty, or each nation-state having full control over its territory and domestic affairs, was initiated. Borders were defined in detail, no dotted lines of subjection.  It has 3 principles:

a. The principle of the sovereignty of states and the fundamental right of political self-determination.

b. The principle of legal equality between states.

c. The principle of non-intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another state.

Previously, many people had overlapping, sometimes conflicting political and religious allegiances. Now the inhabitants of a given state were understood to be subject first to the laws of their respective state authority, not to the claims of any other entity. (As in the Philippines we have to listen to Rome via our Bishops and priest, to our local warlord, as OFW to the laws or our guest country and the remaining loyalty – if any – is for our nation.)

Notice that:

–  States come in different definitions as city states, nation states, unions . . .  in different sizes from a few thousand citizens up to 1.2 billion citizens . . .  in different regimes, democratic, autocratic, theocratic, inherited kingdoms . . .

– Intervention is a continuum, from unsolicited aid, past dialogue, advising, meddling, and dictating, up to imposing things by force. Individual definitions and color of all these words might differ.

– Non-intervention means borders are needed to control people, capital, goods, services, ideas, beliefs, religions, new ideas, information . . .

– Internal affairs covers all aspects of life, political, financial, economic, cultural (arts, sports, media, entertainment . . . ), religious, scientific, environmental, prosperity and freedom.


1.3 Fast forward up to the 19th century and the ROMANTIC NATION STATE.

After Waterloo, the main concern of the victorious nations was to prevent a new popular revolution. the old ways were restored all over and Kingdoms were reestablished, except for Germany and Italy that remained fragmented in many small states. But the German youth and middle class did feel as one people and didn’t want to be split by capricious princes. The unity of the German people governed as one nation became a very romantic theme. Other countries, too, wanted to strengthen their unity. Education systems were put in place to service the national cause. Histories was rewritten to emphasis the historical uniqueness of the nation. This cultural nationalism had a downside, too; it strengthened racism, “We are the best” (= “The others are inferior”). With Darwin all prerogatives that had been “God given” became a need to prove the “survival of the fittest”.

These were the romantic national feelings that Rizal discovered in Europe and “We as developed Filipinos should be an equal part of the proud nation of Spain”. Later it evolved in “We can be a proud nation on our own”. But this was the opposite to the old deterministic views the Spanish friars taught for centuries: “God decides, only the church has direct access to God, and so we tell you what to do”.

This also implied that we as a proud nation can do better than the others, therefore we need full sovereignty. We are the best, we will take all decisions, and so nobody else should meddle with our affairs. Ouch Americans, ouch Japanese, ouch the church still doesn’t understand, ouch our own dynasties . . .

2. UPWARDS, Limitations of Sovereignty

Globalization and supranational institutions resulted in a lot of delegated sovereignty in many fields, some explicit, specified in contracts, some implicit. In many instances decisions affecting us are taken outside the Philippines. Examples:

1. Civil society in all its diversity, including internet, informal groups such as grassroots organizations, informal private sector associations such as sports associations or Greenpeace, human rights associations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), religious organizations, trade unions, chambers of commerce, universities and research institutes, the media. . .

The Philippines cannot decide on Basketball rules, Facebook content, NGO agenda’s, sacraments or CNN news items.

2. Economic and financial, including World Bank and IMF, rating agencies, multinationals, trade union organizations, consumer groups. . .

The Philippines cannot dictate Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s credit ratings, Toyota’s investment policies or Coca Cola’s marketing strategy.

3. Political, including Defense Coalitions, ASEAN, UN. . .

The Philippines cannot dictate what troops the US sends for training, custom tariffs with Asean countries or UN ISO norms and environmental conventions.

All the above have an impact on the Filipino culture, economy and political agenda, directly and indirectly. Not aligning with international practices can come at a very high cost. The Islands are no islands for thoughts or fashion. The question is “Does more upwards delegation make the Filipinos happier?”


In other instances decisions affecting us are not taken on the national level, sovereignty has been (is being) delegated to lower levels.

3.1. According a management principle, decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level. Many things only affecting a Barangay should be decided only by the Barangay . Same for the municipality, the province, the region, the federated (Bansamoro) state.

3.2. Sovereignty and federalism

The US Constitution, reinforced by the Tenth Amendment, states that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the states or the people, but also admitted powers by implication.

The more we move in the direction of federalism, the more can be delegate downwards and the less relevant becomes “national sovereignty”.

3.3  “Less State” movements argue for a minimal state and to leave maximal freedom to the citizens. They believe that the “invisible hand” will solve problems better than any state bureaucracy.

sovereignty03 gma news

[Photo source: GMA News]

4. Conclusions

I would very much appreciate it if the “No meddling in our affairs” people such as Miriam, leftist groups, and some bloggers . . . would be a little more specific and more consistent. Identity politics are important in all spheres of life, also political. But people have to understand that they are the bosses, that as such they have common rights and responsibilities. To identify with “We” it is important to identify “They” too, but this does not mean that “They” always have to be the enemy.

Sovereignty is about making your own decisions and national sovereignty is about national decisions. Politics is the main factory of national decisions. But we tend to vote for actors, the opposite of decision makers, experts in following a script with the guidance of a stage manager, or we vote for news anchors, experts in a plastic smile and reading autocues, or military men just following their line of command, or dynastic people by definition biased for their own sovereign family estate.

Sovereignty presumes a nation with a strong independent decision making factory.

The romantic nation state with its absolute sovereignty was a fashionable concept of Rizal’s era. Today we should envision and prepare for the coming century with different global networks, for the conception of ideas, for the execution and for control, ideas in many different spheres of life. Cyber-attacks, very mobile borderless terrorist attacks, direct democracy, Google (and NSA) knowing it all, global mobility . . .

Nation states and sovereignty will become fossil words.

Some additional thoughts regarding sovereignty as bullet points:

4.1 Pleading for more sovereignty can be a healthy sign of nationalism. But too much of a good thing, chauvinism, is bad.

4.2 We did accept that Human Rights are above our sovereignty. Can outsiders also interfere when there are obvious and severe violations of universal accepted Human Rights? Failed States need external interference to safeguard the population.

4.3 Foreign aid meddles with our internal affairs but is generally accepted. It is very awkward to criticize a gift. But in some cases gifts can be harmful, creating mendicancy, not aligned with our culture, conditional gifts. . .

4.4 Stability is the exception, chronic conflicts and change are the natural state of affairs.

4.5 Ebola and sovereignty, ISIS and sovereignty, 2008 financial collapse and sovereignty, climate change and sovereignty, designer babies and sovereignty . . . the list of issues is endless.

4.6 Of course the US interferes in Filipino affairs as they do in Germany, France, Canada and the rest of the world.

272 Responses to “The Philippines’ myth of sovereignty”
  1. Joe America says:

    I must say, Joseph, this was a most enlightening wake-up as to the idea that sovereignty is not fixed, and never has been. Yet we debate it as if it were set in stone and we all know what it is. I personally think Senator Santiago has a grade-school, emotional understanding of the matter, rather like standing in front of a flag pole and singing the national anthem without any idea what sacrifice means.

    It strikes me that we are circling back to where your narrative begins, people of the land without even a sense of ownership, much less attaching one’s principles, or laws, or life to a chunk of land. We’ve been through the “defined land” part of the circle and are now heading to a kind of landless global community where allegiances to groups or ideas or an idea of homeland as one of a grand amalgam of history and cultures and commonalities take the place of lines on a map.

    ISIS is a perfect and horrid example. They are nowhere and everywhere and claiming land not to have a boundary, but to have a place from which to push out and dominate, rather as the Roman Empire did. The US is situated in the western hemisphere, northern side, but has tentacles around the world, commercial, economic, military, and listening posts in every embassy. Is the US really defined by its borders these days?

    The Philippines has 12% of its people, a much greater percentage if the base were working adults, spread around the globe. The Philippines to them is both the homeland, their heritage and history, and the local markets selling Filipinos foods and, if the market is big enough, Jollibee chicken and rice.

    It seems that sovereignty today has less and less to do with land and more to do with community, whether the community be nation or faith or charity (Bill Gates) or commerce or family (OFW’s citizens of a new land but sending money back “home”.

    What is sovereignty in that context? It is different than landed borders to be defended. It is allegiance.

    So how in this context is the United States a threat to sovereignty? The US can’t steal a person’s allegiance. A person can, on the other hand, give it away.

    Thank you for this thought-generating article.

    • josephivo says:

      Tnx to let me rave so now and then.

      People tend to be sloppy in the use of words. Luckily the Society of Honor has Edgar to keep us alert

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “So how in this context is the United States a threat to sovereignty? The US can’t steal a person’s allegiance. A person can, on the other hand, give it away.” Very correct.

      In fact the thing that many who criticize the USA do not realize is the fundamental FAIRNESS that the American Global Empire shows, even if it could do otherwise. Looking at what is going on in the Ukraine, we have a reminder of how another Empire works.

      Of course great powers will always look after their own interests, anytime in history. But then it is up to the smaller powers to define what they want and what deals they make.

      Looking at Romania where I was for a while and know a lot of people – they decided to join the EU and NATO of their own will, knowing how it was to be under Russian domination. Strategically, the NATO may have wanted to secure its borders against a possible re-emergent Soviet Union. Economically, the EU may have thought of Black Sea Oil. One of Romanias most important international disputes that was settled by an international court recently was the sea border with Ukraine including a major oil area. There are two major Romanian oil companies, one controlled by the Austrian OMV, the other controlled by a local oligarch allegedly backed by US investors, meaning the EU and US have their piece of the action. But I have never heard any Romanian, citizen or politician, protest about how unfair the US and the EU are because they are making money. In fact they are pragmatic because they know that this was the best way to get the country out of extreme poverty.

      Santiago is definitely old school, behind the times just like the leftists. Pragmatic nationalism means accepting reality, but making the best of it. In fact a Romanian friend joked with me just recently that “since we are able to enter Western Europe freely from 2014 onwards, all the thieves have left”. While they have built a sizable BPO industry also, since Romanians usually speak several languages, their own language being the closest living language close to Latin that there is, plus an intact technical education system from Communist times. Not to forget the money sent home by Romanians all over Europe. The standard of living has risen continously in the past 30 years. But one thing was really different there: after Ceaucescu said goodbye to his people with Elena on the balcony, not in 1986 but three years later, the Russians did not send a helicopter to save them…

      • josephivo says:

        “All the thieves have left.” Careful it could be a very racist remark. Romania has a large Gypsy population and they had a slave-like past. They are still extremely poor and have a reputation as thieves, as the Bajau.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Of course it is very racist, many Eastern Europeans definitely are. But it is definitely true: entire gypsy clans HAVE left for Western Europe and are stealing and begging there. Mostly just the clan bosses profit, driving Mercedes while the rest of the clan is poor.

          One example of the difficulties in modernizing a country: horse-drawn carts were prohibited in Bucharest. The problem is, many gypsies are in the recycling business, meaning they used to go around town looking for scrap metal and other stuff, also stealing some of course, and selling it to make money. It would be easy to say, let them buy pick-up trucks, but many of them are illiterate, so how can they get a driver’s license.

          Years ago I was in a hotel in Bucharest which was heavily secured because it was in the middle of a gypsy area, the staff advised me to take a taxi to and from the customer, never take the metro and walk like in other parts of town. In the morning I saw a horse-drawn cart passing by with a lot of scrap metal and other stuff on it. My business associate told me that these poor guys have to bribe the police if they are caught.

          Heavy corruption – spaga – is a part of life in Romania. Doctors in state clinics have to be bribed if you want better treatment, teachers accept bribes to improve student grades. How you are treated depends on your perceived status as well and how arrogant you are.

          Having said that, I remember that I had to deal with racism as well in the beginning. Chinese workers are very common there and they treat them like Saudis treat OFWs. Real fight until I found out how to avoid being mistaken and treated like a Chinese worker.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            But let me add that not all of the thieves coming from Romania are gypsies, and not all gypsies from Romania are thieves. Most of the akyat-bahay operating in Western Europe are Latin Romanians (whereas the mandurukot and pulubi are mostly Romanian gypsies), to differentiate them from Hungarian Romanians, Serbian Romanians, German Romanians and tigani (pronounced tsigani) or gypsies. Gypsy musicians playing “manele” – gypsy ghetto music – can be very rich and brag like American hip-hoppers with gold chains and fancy cars, most Latin Romanians claim not to listen to their music but many do, just like white middle class kids who listen and dance to hip-hop.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            e mas… memories of Romania flood my head: arriving in Henri Coanda airport (patriotic Romanians insist he invented the airplane before the Wright brothers) and being assailed by the drivers of the expensive cabs licensed to service the airport, until I learned from locals that the best way to circumvent this was to jump into cabs arriving in front of the departure area, often run-down cheaper city cabs but OK dahil mas mura, but really jumping in and being careful that the airport cops don’t see us because they would try to stop them for picking up passengers at the airport without license, expecting spaga = lagay. Taking a Romanian airline the first few months because it was cheaper, until one of their 737s purchased just ten years ago nearly broke down in mid-air because it was poorly maintained but they still started though I could hear the hydraulics creaking, coming back to Bucharest after flying low altitude for an hour and being treated like garbage by the airline employees who did not give a damn. In addition to that, the crazy take-off and landing style of the older pilots, who had learned the Russian way which was about taking off and landing very steeply because they often had very short runways.

            Taking exactly the same plane that almost crashed two weeks later because I already had bought the ticket, only to have the same hydraulic problems when we were about to land in Western Europe. Angrily told the steward hey your plane was not fixed, are you not afraid to die also, getting denials first and a nervous laugh afterwards, after which I never took that airline again. Working with Romanian staff who tried to sweep dirt under the rug or immediately trying to cover themselves up if confronted, telling them I don’t care whose fault this is, this is about fixing things and making them work – surprised looks everywhere.

            Major crisis with employees having totally messed up the data on the system because they were finding all sorts of interim solutions instead of reporting problems, I pulled an Excel sheet of all broken data, the employees and unit heads still denied it. Smoking outside with the division chief, an old communist manager who had politically found her place in the new order of things, I told her about the situation and she immediately ordered overtime for all employees to fix the data based on my Excel. One of the nicest employees, a former janitor who had worked his way up to clerk and was laughed at by the other clerks because of his heavily accented English and rustical ways, complained to me “much work that you give us…” – I helped him find ways to do it more quickly because the other colleagues did not help him, the former janitor whom they treated like an illiterate. He became an important ally in the office politics that I had to deal with.

            New, shiny buildings and very modern businesses on one hand, gypsy slums on the other. Newly affluent people, old wealth, a struggling new middle class, honest simple folks, thieves and beggars. Shady American businessmen with strange agendas, some of them praising Bucharest as the new Havana of the East with beautiful Latin girls and mobsters. Watching rich American businessmen dine with well-dressed ladies in a major international hotel, while I continued working on my laptop after the business center had closed and I decided to have a tuna sandwich and Jack Daniels with Coke after a long day. Watching the same ladies come back hours later after disappearing with the American guys, more relaxed and joking with muscular young guys in leather jackets later in the evening. Muscular roughneck guys with gold chains driving SUVs, well-dressed businessmen driving Audi and Mercedes. A Ferrari parked in front of a major international hotel that actually belonged to four young guys who drove it alternately, each acting as if it was his.

            The department head who sent me pictures of an old stock of sewing machines from an old Communist factory, asking me if I could find buyers in Western Europe. Young hotshot who knew the price of every BMW model in Germany better than I did. Idealistic woman who was part of the revolution against Ceaucescu working in an international firm, telling me how it was during the days and lamenting that many young people yearned for him, not knowing how it had been before. The monumental architecture of Ceaucescu which reminded me of some Marcos-era buildings, the intimidating architecture of dictators. Populist president Traian Baiescu, who had been Mayor of Bucharest before and had as a mayor started a program to kill all the stray dogs that roam the streets until today until stopped by animal rights activists coming from all over Europe. A friend telling me when I saw the lack of foresight: “forget it, only the present matters here”. New motorways, funded by EU money, with exits ending in dirt roads. Many things familiar, but also some striking things like a young female judge who was thrown out because some criminals she had sentenced saw her in commercial pornographic videos in Western Europe…

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Young graduate of one of the best schools, very modern and deeply frustrated by how things were going, became an ally of the foreign consultant team I was part of. Modern yet traditional, talking about how his grandfather was a World War 2 partisan and seriously saying that some people were born to rule and some were born to be led. He is now a manager in a major BPO outfit run by a Western European country and goes on expensive vacations with his wife, while we were doing the project he was still telling the team about his latest chick at lunchtime. Jokes from the Transylvanian guys on the team who live with Hungarian and German minorities like “when Attila and his men first came to Europe and bathed in lake …, their clothes were all stolen, so what that prove about which people came to Transylvania first?” Jokes about my frequenting the only karaoke bar…

      • Joe America says:

        You do write an interesting read. Who makes your keyboards? I figure you burn through them about three or four a year. 🙂 I’m glad you agree on the framework of sovereignty not being a gift but a commitment, and Santiago’s illogical point of view. The only way to be sovereign in her eyes is to give up one’s sovereignty, by bowing to the external forces in a negative (rejecting) way, rather than charting the best path for the Philippines. Russia and China are, unfortunately, reinforcing one another to see who can be most outrageously deceitful.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          The Swiss Logitech keyboard in my home office has lasted me four years now. 🙂 Solid Swiss worksmanship from Lake Geneva, just like Rolex and Tissot. My 27 inch Samsung flatscreen monitor is just as old, keeps my eyes from getting hurt.

          Santiago is stupid in that respect, being intelligent and batshit crazy in many others. Especially since you can’t fight the forces of history, they are like a crazy torrent. Latin Americans can have a similar anti-US-reflex though, I find it amazing how they insist on using estadounidense to refer to you guys, rejecting the word Americano because it implies to them that there are no other Americans on the continent except the US. Chavez and Castro come to mind, although I admire that unlike Filipinos, they put there money where their mouth is and see their stuff through, without exemption, planning each chartered course and every step along the byway. The nationalist Filipino anti-US-reflex is a legacy of the Philippine 1896 revolutionary tradition in every way, except that the Latin Americans have more sense of history – I remember well a former Cuban officer I met once who told me “somos compañeros” with gravitas because Cuba and the Philippines rose up against the Spanish around the same time and were sold at the same time to the USA…

          • karl garcia says:

            Dont use chinese key boards. Or risk the spelling bug.private joke of joe to bert and yours truly. I would share it to Mary, but she might take it the wrong way.

            • @ karl

              hahaha… of course not… I know my limitations… I was about to compose something in reply, something about requesting PiE to share a tip on how to post without typos..and such long contributions… oh man… wish I have all the time in the world to read all these and comment. my worst enemy is lack of time, also I’m the worst typist in the world specially in my android phone and ipad; and my ideas always get ahead of my trigger happy fingers…you may have noticed I always request help from the grammar police here who usually gets me covered, thanks, Joe… I think, am more at home with figures; how to prepare viability studies, create comparative financial statements from my own linked excel programs.

              btw, great article, josephivo.. I ignore Mirriam 99 % of the time, and the leftist, nah.. I don’t bother. I don’t have time.

              … typing in my desk top pc

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I learned typing at age 11 on my parent’s mechanical typewriter in Quezon City, using the typing course that my Ilocana yaya was taking at the vocational evening school my parents financed for her. My father taught me journalism basics when I wrote for the high school paper, basically 1930s old-school American journalism, Chicago-style which is why words like “solon” and “mull” still are used in Filipino newspapers. A no-nonsense, strict man who forced me to retype every school article and every assignment paper I wrote if there were typos, tearing them up. Often tried to force me to write in the old style that sonny uses here, which I refused, being modern. Deep-seated discipline quite fitting for a family clan that produced three good generals, rabidly good lawyers and some abogagos.

              • with a chinese keyboard..hahaha

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Swiss keyboard po.. 🙂

              • ah, sorry, that’s a postscript to my comment, gone astray……. I hit the post comment button not seeing that there was already one after mine… a joke that went flat… it should have read “…. typing in my desk top pc with a chinese keyboard hahaha”

                lucky you, with your Swiss keyboard…

              • sonny says:

                I remember, on many a Manila typhoon day, typing “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” on my dad’s Underwood, the pinky keys, many times the lightest on paper. Remember stencils? No? I thought so. Or the word mimeograph?

              • Joe America says:

                Some odors are intoxicating, with just a brief whiff. I think of tar on the road or mimeograph ink. Alas, too much of the stuff is a retched experience.

      • i7sharp says:


        Did you hear or learn about Richard Wurmbrand while you were in Romania?

        What a coincidence that just before I came across your mentioning of Romania, I had listened to two highschoolers tell of their experience in spending some days with young orphans near Bucharest.



        • PinoyInEurope says:

          No I didn’t. But there are a lot of orphans and street children in Romania, definitely.

          • i7sharp says:

            Richard Wurmbrand (March 24, 1909 – February 17, 2001) was a Romanian Christian minister of Jewish descent. He was a youth during a time of anti-Semitic activity in Romania, but it was later, after becoming a believer in Jesus Christ as Messiah, and daring to publicly say that Communism and Christianity were not compatible, that he experienced imprisonment and torture for his beliefs. After serving five years of a second prison sentence, he was ransomed for $7,000. His colleagues in Romania urged him to leave the country and work for religious freedom from a location less personally dangerous. After spending time in Norway and England, he and his wife Sabina, who had also been imprisoned, emigrated to America and dedicated the rest of their lives to publicizing and helping Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. He wrote more than 18 books, the most widely known being Tortured for Christ. Variations of his works have been translated into more than 60 languages. He founded the international organization Voice of the Martyrs, which continues to aid Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith.

            I was blessed to know him, his wife. and his son personally – even intimately. IIMSSM (if I may so myself).


      • chit navarro says:

        IMHO, Santiago, the senator, is NOT behind the times nor is old school. She knows very well and clear enough what sovereignty is all about, as this article has defined. However, she is a GRANDSTANDING Senator and she knows the majority of Filipino voters belong to the lower level of the intelligence spectrum and so she just have to sock it to them. Give them what is easily understood by these group who almost lack intelligence to analyse and discuss…. So she just have to spell things in phrases that can be understood by the crowd she speaks to then spice it up with her high-fallutin english words when infront of the academe – university students, i mean.

        Indeed, sovereignty is the right of the state to govern itself, the supreme power and independent power of a country to gevern another state or country. That’s why, even if the BBL is passed, the regions defined in its coverage are still part of our country’s sovereignty – they still belong to and will be ultimately governed and subject to the sovereignty of the Philippine government, NOT a separate state or region and definitely NOT giving away or giving up that piece of land for our brothers/sisters Muslims.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          She is trying to reach both groups – patrician and plebeian. There is a huge gap between elite and commoners in the Philippines which UP professors called “Great Cultural Divide”. Mutual distrust between the two runs deep. Commoners will rarely trust anyone too elite. Elite will make sure no one too close to commoners gets into power or stays there – witness what happened to Erap and Fernando Poe. Santiago tries to reach both groups.

          However, Santiago fails. She manages to alienate both – the elite by her comedy show, commoners by using Latin and highfalutin English words. The cultures of elite and commoners are growing closer. A haciendero son like Noynoy would not be caught speaking Filipino in the 1970s. Thanks to Internet, many OFWs and BPO operations, more commoners understand international culture and are not intimidated by English. Santiago being of her generation has not yet fully partaken of this convergence.

          Cayetano symbolizes the convergence more, being of a younger generation. Definitely good enough for the elite with his Dr. of Laws from Ateneo and his perfect but unpretentious English, trustworthy enough for the commoners because he speaks perfect but dignified Tagalog (talking too trashy is something commoners may interpret as patronizing, like a white guy trying to talk like a soul man) and has a patriotic background. And Cayetano also believes in the nation and sovereignty, which is the other topic.

          Yes, sovereignty is the right of the state to govern itself. Even decide what it allows and what it does not allow. Uber and Google had to experience that in Europe and had to bow to the law which in Europe is defined at many levels. Many European countries have US troops, but they decide and agree with US upon the terms by which they are stationed. Germany and the US work together on intelligence, but there are clearly defined channels. A German spy who directly helped the CIA recently was terminated.

          Sovereignty does NOT mean not accepting global realities. Of course one can decide to restrict Internet access like North Korea, whether it makes sense is another matter. Or one can decide not to use the metric system, like the United States for example. But one can definitely decide on how to deal with what comes from outside in one’s own way. American towns can make all sorts of municipal rules forbidding different things – I have heard that in parts of the South, you may not drink alcohol when you are not under a roof, which has as a consequence that many people have roofs that go way into the garden and during garden parties they make sure they drink their beer under the roof, being law-abiding.

          Rules within a country must fit the culture of that country. American definitions of sexual harrasment would never work in European culture, especially not in France, and I am happy that it is not that way, because here in Europe they have a more natural and relaxed attitude to sexuality than in the US, most Europeans will not want that imported here, just as most Europeans would not want to limit women like in Saudi Arabia. OK in Sweden they are imitating US rules, see Assange, but that is their business of course.

          Santiago can have her opinion on America, just like anybody else, but if she thinks something is unconstitutional the professional way is to refer it to the Supreme Court. Grandstanding and not doing anything is not very credible to me, it is just a political maneuver without substance, she should put her money where her mouth is. Chavez and Castro are also anti-American, many Latin Americans are, but at least the act on their convictions which I respect. With Santiago it is IMHO just a reflex without any thinking.

          Castro and Chavez did what they did because they consider it good for their country. Santiago just barks at the US to gain popularity with certain people who dislike the US. Leaders of countries should be mature, know what they want for the country, look at the options, then decide and sell the decision to the public. Partnering with a more powerful country will have good and bad sides. How much of the good you can get and how much of the bad you can avoid depends on 1) how much you need the good things and 2) how much you have to offer in return to the other side. It is like a business negotiation.

          Germany for example can bargain with the US from a position of strength. Obama needs Merkel to deal with Putin because Merkel speaks Russian and Putin speaks German, plus Merkel was raised in Communism. Germany needs the US to back it up in case the Russians really come, the US needs Germany because they have very strong tank divisions that can hold back the Russians for a few days until US aircraft carriers come to finish them off. Germany provides the US with the guns for their M1 Abrams tanks because only they can manufacture tank guns with the needed precision and quality. Ramstein Air force base provides Germany with added security in case of attack. Of course the USA is more in shape to resist Russian attack, having more constant practice. But German troops were in Afghanistan till recently, meaning they also are in shape.

          Philippines needs the US to provide security against China. Philippines has hardly anything to offer in return. Perhaps that is the reason why the dollar exchange rate to peso is kept the way it is, preferential to the United States, could be part of the exchange. The Philippines threw out US bases in 1992 without any clear plan on modernizing its own air force and its navy, having relied on the US Navy in Subic and the US Air Force in Clark for its external security. Now it is acting like a 25 year old who left home at 18, couldn’t handle it, is always bringing home the laundry to Mama and asking Papa to come and help fix the plumbing – and then still acting like a teen by continuing to blame both.

          Indonesia and Malaysia have highly modern armies, navies and air forces so there is no excuse for the Philippines to have done nothing. The danger posed by the Chinese has been clear for years, US forces have been helping the Philippines for years, but AFP modernization has been half-hearted at best. Not only that, the MILF has obviously rearmed and probably has fighters who were in Afghanistan and Syria, meaning seasoned warriors. The last time the Philippine army had that was the PHILCAG mission in Vietnam. The Philippines is like a young man in a bad neighborhood who sent his Uncle Sam away, but did not buy a gun, not even Mace, and possibly goes to the martial arts dojo but does not have any practical street fighting experience. The Chinese are stopping and taunting the young man on the way to the bus stop. Guys in strange black hats are holding him up, especially when he happens to pass them going to the supermarket, asking for money. Uncle Sam comes back to help, even after he sent him away with insults, and yet he keeps whining when Uncle Sam sits on his sofa or occupies the bathroom for too long.

          Sovereignty is a good concept. Just like you have a fence around your house and expect people not to trespass. But if you are in a bad neighbourhood and don’t have at least a shotgun and the heart to go out and use it – and have a tone of voice and look in the eye that shows you mean business, just like Clint Eastwood telling gangbangers to “get off my lawn” in his movie Gran Torino – people will walk all over you and your fence is useless. Relying on international laws and on senior partners is like thinking that courts and police will help you in a bad neighbourhood – they will not always be there on time. Knowing a tough guy nearby can help, but if he helps you, you owe him at least a beer if not more. Know what I am talking about as a former burgis guy who migrated and got to know bad neighborhoods because we lost our status, I was not prepared for it but I adjusted.

          Sovereignty is just a piece of paper if you do not have power and/or money to defend it. Even then you may need allies in case a whole gang comes for you or tries to get you, so you try to get strong reliable allies and in a bad neighborhood you have to make do with allies that are somewhat better than the other assholes in the hood. Better still strong guys who have character and better still if you get along. US has character compared to Russia and China, they may be assholes sometimes but they do not deceive that much. US and the Philippines share a common history and have a lot of common values. Of course, and again I speak from experience with my bad neighborhood analogy, even if you have something to offer in return it is better if you are as strong as you can be, just enough to stand your ground, also the one protecting you will respect you more if you are not just a pushover or acting like one. So in the situation the Philippines is in, hardly able to defend itself, working with the US is imperative. But in the long run, the Philippines will have to continue to modernize the AFP to have at least basic defense capabilities. This is the kind of realistic analysis that I am missing with Santiago. I am disappointed because she is intelligent and should actually know better. Pity play is something that only works among Filipinos, it is part of the miseducation by Spanish friars who taught them that being pitiful or a martyr is good because they wanted meek subjects they could handle.

          The real world out there can be pitiless. It is no small wonder that Pacquiao is from Mindanao, because that part of the Philippines can be merciless. What shocked Filipinos so much about the SAF 44 was how they were killed, but a lot of MILF fighters may have been abroad like in Afghanistan, dealing with people who do not go for Filipino pity play or protest drama. Making people respect your sovereignty as a nation is like getting respect in a bad neighborhood – you have to be prepared to back up your words with actions or at least believable readiness to act if that sovereignty or respect is challenged. Otherwise it is just theory. Just like the law a country lays down for the land is just a piece of paper if the police rarely manage to catch criminals and courts barely manage to punish them. Putting theory and practice together is something Filipinos rarely manage to achieve.

          Finally BBL. Even if the agreement is perfect in theory, it is useless if you do not have the power to enforce it in any way. Withholding subsidies is not enough, it is just as useless as the sanctions the EU is imposing on Russia, a determined opponent will not really care. Just in case the MILF decides to buy more arms, invade neighboring parts of Mindanao or simply not obey the agreement, what does one do to them? Ask them to comply, like they are being asked now to surrender the men who killed the SAF 44? That my not work. Practical implementation means, in case any agreement is reached, making sure that they disarm and not taking their word for it but checking it. Regularly checking if they continue to comply with disarmament. Being ready to fight them if necessary, who knows if they will hide arms somewhere and challenge the AFP? Telling someone who doesn’t care that BBL is under the Constitution bla bla bla is like telling a bully in a bad neighborhood hey that isn’t fair what you are doing now and BTW it’s illegal. And bam he punches you. Never happened to me though because I never was fool enough to act like that. Or foolish enough to give any bully my money to keep him off, though no one actually dared ask. Unfortunately Noynoy, Deles and Ferrer are acting like pushovers toward the bully MILF. Which means it is very likely they will NOT respect the most perfect agreement in practice.

          • Joe America says:

            “Unfortunately Noynoy, Deles and Ferrer are acting like pushovers toward the bully MILF.” I don’t think so. They have adopted a vision that you have not, and are working to fit the document to the vision. The vision is to stop the fighting by having the MILF take accountability for solving the problem. An imposed solution has proven, again and again around the world, an unquestioned failure. If the fighting can be stopped, as it largely has been for three years, then investment in infrastructure and jobs can occur, as is now happening. To start ascribing easy labels (“pushover to a bully”) is like name-calling in a discussion thread. If the BBL path is wrong, lay out the better path and justify it.

            • Joe America says:

              I would add, that these lengthy comments, for me, are self-defeating because I don’t read them. Exhaustion sets in and I lose the main point. Plus they are impossible to respond to. There are 436 points made in your argument.

              • josephivo says:

                Yap, I started skimming them too.

                As a wise tutor once told me ” You will double your impact if you only tell half.”

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                OK, but I have given a constructive proposal to your question. I will write shorter next time, sometimes passion gets the better of me and I just whip out what I am thinking, sorry.

                I am aware that you have indirectly called me out already, didn’t quite react to that…

              • Joe America says:

                I’m just giving you feedback, the other part of which would be, “man you think good.”

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                @josephivo: that first post was for Joe. May I add: “it takes longer to write shorter”. Usually my better postings take three times as long to write than my long ones. Duly noted!

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Thanks Joe for both sides of the feedback. You must have been a good manager before.

                My tone sounds a bit harsh at times, that is the downside of Germanic influence. I actually was thanking you and giving you my first real apology, not an Arroyo one. 🙂

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              OK, constructive criticism. I get it, so here is my answer: What these guys are proposing makes a lot of sense to me: .

              “MANILA, Philippines – A group composed of Muslims and non-Muslims in Mindanao has proposed an alternative solution to the Mindanao conflict through peaceful means amidst the expected delay in the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

              Eid Kabalu, former spokesman for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said their group is seeking revision of the proposed BBL, which aims to create a new autonomous region in Mindanao.

              Kabalu, currently vice-chairman of the newly formed Bangsamoro Transition Council (BTC), said President Aquino would be committing a big blunder if he fast-tracks the passage of the BBL without amending some questionable provisions.”

              My old man – who knew both Marcos and Ninoy personally and unlike me is totally pro-Noynoy but like me is anti-BBL – posted the link to that page on Facebook just today. For me the reasons this looks better are the following:

              1) it involves not just one group but is more representative of all stakeholders.
              2) It involves a former MILF spokesman who may have influence on some MILF clans.
              3) They are constructive while I am convinced that MILF totally untrustworthy. Why?

              a) they have apparently used the ceasefire to increase their firepower.
              b) they have barely cooperated with the government in investigating Mamasapano.
              c) they shot 27 policemen in the head when they could have just captured them.
              d) they shot up the blocking force in a cornfield when they could have let them exit.
              e) they called the uploader of an incriminating video criminal and called the “crime” “spreading darkness” and “causing intrigues”. Obviously these guys are afraid of the truth, maybe rightly so, PNP findings compared the gun in the video with one of the guns returned by MILF and they were the same – if you want the source I will find it, it is on the Facebook page of one my best friends from high school. Iqbal did not look at Cayetano in the eye when asked the question and was very evasive, looking up and sideways, my life experience and common sense gives me the feeling he had something to hide.

              And if Iqbal says he has no control over the various MILF groups, then he has no real mandate to represent. Kabalu might be able to win over almost as many, just as many or even more of his people than Iqbal. Besides, BBL is nearly dead in Manila. Passing it is a recipe for trouble and an agreement that does not consider the stakeholders on the national side adequately, that does not win their trust, is going to cause bad blood. And THAT is a recipe for disaster, sooner or later. Grudges are nurtured among Filipinos, old scores are remembered and settled, trust and hard to win and easy to lose, that is where we are all the same, whether indigenous, Christian or Muslim, just different flavors.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Just to add to e), Iqbal said that he found the shooting in the video “worse than terrorism”. But if the PNP is right and it really was one of the guns MILF returned, and they did not return any of the guns BIFF got, then that statement by Iqbal to me looks like hypocrisy.

                OK, OK, maybe he did not know that it was one of the guys from an MILF command IF the PNP is right about that, but if then he was very unprepared going to the Senate. OK, unprepared, chaotic, possibly hypocritical – he is a Filipino after all, not a Moro.

                Anyway I think the BTC is making sense. If one is really willing to find peace, one should look at all possibilities, not just get fixated on one. Also: I see Deles and Ferrer as having been two weak, the BBL gives the MILF too many loopholes, but that to me is now moot.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                OK, this comment is still long, but it is more structured. And Joe I read your comment after I wrote both, so the next time I will take more time to cool down my passions before posting.

              • Joe America says:

                A good answer. My response to the “include more groups” argument is that doing so would create a nightmarish bureaucracy and bitter struggles and would never get anywhere, whereas starting with step one is easier to get done in our lifetimes. I agree the existing document needs to be amended to assure greater Central government control. Apparently some of the changes being contemplated are to remove audit, civil service, police management, and ombudsman from Bangsamoro control. Trust must also be built in small steps, and any course will not be smooth. The financial sections are proving rather interesting as I go through them. They were a sticking block to discussions for quite a while.

                One wonders which provisions are “deal killers” from the standpoint of the MILF.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “My response to the “include more groups” argument is that doing so would create a nightmarish bureaucracy and bitter struggles and would never get anywhere, whereas starting with step one is easier to get done in our lifetimes.” Don’t agree with that. If these groups have already created a council on their own and want to talk peace, why not? They have created their own body and that body might be able to sort things out…

                “One wonders which provisions are “deal killers” from the standpoint of the MILF.”
                Read conflicting reports. Some say that they will accept no changes. Nonsense IMHO. Other reports say they will stay in their area and not continue to fight even if the BBL is not yet passed. But I think that should be the default, they are selling it as kindness but it is IHMO normal. But maybe you should be the one to ask them, that would be an idea…

                You or my business lawyer, wonder how high his fee would be for that. We Filipinos are often too emotional, it isn’t surprising some of the best UN negotiators are Scandinavians. Cool Nordic blood. Anyway thanks for the call-out. I have realized why I like Cayetano. I am like him – passionate, merciless, highly intellectual and with a lot of vanity. Become more aware of the disadvantages you see in him. I know because I often have started fires…

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Now I can write what I did not dare write at first, having found the right balance:

                “Trust must also be built in small steps, and any course will not be smooth.”. Trust in Manila is now very low, suspicion for Aquino has grown the extent that certain circles are asking if he has a vested interest in passing BBL before 2016. Very malicious really.

                Questions like “is rushing the BBL deal possibly part of his post-2016 retirement plan” – if you catch my drift, very paranoid but understandable given the “norm” in Filipino politics. Noynoy appearing that he does not want to listen as usual makes the whole thing worse.

                Any group could ignite fires anywhere using malice as a catalyst, and the Mindanao groups not involved in the peace process could be among those that catch fire. If not now maybe later, witness ARMM which was a deal with MNLF and what came out of it – MILF.

                That is one additional reason why I think that the BTC should at least be heard and spoken to by Noynoy and not dismissed in a way the might be seen as arrogant and insensitive, because it could lead to widespread dissatisfaction and more conflict.

                My personal synthesis and proposal therefore now is:

                1) use the BBL as basis.

                2) involved both MILF and BTC – why?
                a) throw out MILF – ceasefire ends
                b) without BTC – possible renewed conflict
                c) less likelihood of future conflict with left-out groups

                3) keep Deles and Ferrer in their position + Orense – why?
                a) to save face
                b) experience
                c) known faces

                3) Get a Dutchman to advise, in reality as main mediator – why?
                a) cool Nordic blood
                b) neutral party
                c) honest reputation
                d) understands Muslim Malays and Christians due to Indonesian experience
                e) no possible vested interest, no possible suspicion unlike with Malaysia or USA

                4) Seek points that can be agreed upon, set aside points that are controversial.

                5) Go through the controversial points, patiently, one by one.

                There are enough Dutch people in the UN and elsewhere who might do, maybe even one with East Timor mediation background, even better. The guy might cost but it is worth it.

                Agree upon basic ground rule that no one involved in negotiation speaks to the press, except the Dutch mediator who regularly gives out cool dry summaries in experienced diplomatic language, so that there is no stirring up. No Twitter, no Facebook postings.

                Clearly defined delegates to the peace talks, all bound to the shut up rule. Lock them up somewhere for months, ideally on some Pacific attol, until they come to an agreement. The rest are details but this is my outline proposal, criticisms/enhancements are welcome.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Thanks. I know you take time to consider, would definitely welcome feedback though.

                Let me give you more arguments against dealing only with MILF: they might even with BBL quietly build up arms by channeling funds away secretly. In 5 or so years time, another “new” group appears that wants the whole of Mindanao, after all they claim it is theirs.

                They are fully armed and ready and the AFP is still not good enough to stop them. What BBL is presently doing is giving all power to the MILF, trusting them completely. There should be safeguards against this happening, the best safeguards being rivalries.

                Make sure:

                1) there is a fiscal board with a representative from EACH group plus central government. 2) Make sure there is a similar arms control board.
                3) Make sure there is a central governing board also similar. Ref. Bosnia, Dayton plan.


                i) have shut-up rules toward press and internet for ALL in these bodies.
                ii) have a Dutch spokesman for each of these bodies. Regular presscons with only him.

                Cumbersome and expensive, but cheaper than renewed conflict. After all the economic potential of that area is huge, considering this could fund all of the EASILY if done well:


                AND/OR this:


                AND could fund not only the Moro region’s progress but also that of the Philippines! 🙂

          • I remember Cory led a group of people in a rally specifically for the purpose of urging the Senate at that time to reconsider their impending decision to boot out the US bases knowing fully well that we have not yet attain full defense capability , alas! to no avail, Was it 11 senators who voted for removal, (why is 11 votes a number detrimental to our interest, I don’t know, 11 senators voted not to open the bank envelope that so enraged the populace during the Estrada trial, 11 justices voted to uphold Estrada’s right to remain Manila Mayor or even be a presidential candidate again) but I digress….your anecdote on the youth who left home is apt…

  2. karl garcia says:

    filipinos who are spread all over should understand what borderless means.

    maybe next to go are immigration rules. I give it 90 years. no more embassies.
    then shortly no more United nations and we will all be under one despot, then the let the hunger games begin.

    • josephivo says:

      Many directions are possible. But the current trend seems to me to indicate that more of the decisions that really matter in ones live are moving towards financial institutions. More and more is commercialized, playing and free time, interpersonal relations through the new social media, enjoying nature, love on Valentine’s day… . Air is still free if you don’t count the cost of managing pollution, don’t want to control its temperature or smell. Dreams are free, unless you need a Lotto ticket to dream, or some hallucinogens.

      Everything we do will require money, money supplies controlled by those who make money by its circulation. And monopolistic powers are replacing the invisible hand that controlled markets. Google already knows better what you like than you can tell yourself. Look at the influence of money in US (or Philippine) elections. So for sovereign people, individually or as the “bosses” of a nation.

      • karl garcia says:

        yeah google, had a hard time disabling the type one letter and a sort of drop downmenu of suggestions will appear.
        man they even have a profile of what you type in search engines.

        currency: if we move away from the dollar, what would happen?
        what would replace it? crypto currency?

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        See my long comment and what I wrote about the Euro and its heavy influence on European politics. Or Ecuador which has dollarized its economy recently. One group of states decides to control its own money supply, another state gives up this control.

        Or the recently implemented in the EU, including court proceedings against Google enforcing implementation in member states.

        Actually I do believe that state power is still necessary to enforce a level playing field. Monopolistic powers pervert what Adam Smith style capitalism was originally about, in fact the threat is that they may create a form of global totalitarianism which will be unpleasant.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Borderless is reality in the Schengen zone. And as for hunger games, Romania is somewhat like the EUs “District 12” even if life has massively improved over 10 years. Hunger games for them meant massive trafficking in women, labor and donor organs. Enough real stories exist for example of poor people selling a kidney so a rich Western European can survive, with truly ruthless organized crime in the background. Very harsh.

      The reality of borderless in Europe also means centralized police with heavy coordination. Iyong mga akyat-bahay sa Western Europe, usually sa Romania nanggagaling, nakaw sila tapos tumatakas through open borders. Iyong mga mandurukot nila, laging palipat-lipat.

      Therefore the need for a centralized police database in Strasbourg, mirrored in Austria, plus heavy coordination that does not always work because of Eastern European cops are often corrupt, even if that is improving since they are under heavy audit all the time.

      Everyone in Europe except the British for what I know have national IDs, and on the continent you have to carry it with you at all times. The British have their strict border controls, even though the officer may be a Sikh in turban or a Muslima in hijab.

      The EU commision is perceived as despotic by many, but people also see the usefulness of having common rules and regulations everywhere, not having to go through border checks and not having to change money – I definitely do. I fear NAIA coming home…

      • karl garcia says:

        National id.. naku dto invasion daw of privacy at profiling tool daw…dyoss ko sometimes i share your frustration. Leftists will be a continuing story like the moros for will aways be about victims. Opression even when long gone is ingrained through generations.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          The thing with this victim (and martyr) cult in the Philippines is that it comes from the wrong kind of Catholic faith. Spanish friars instilled in the Filipino that it is good to be kawawa and make makaawa – para hindi tayo lumaban sa kanila. Kaya ako, tiniwalag ko na iyong sarili ko sa pagiging Katoliko, may Diyos pa siguro ako pero hindi ka tutulungan nito kung hindi ka marunong tumulong sa sarili mo.

          Hindi ako bilib sa mga leftist sa Pinas dahil puro bibig lang. Tulad ng isinulat ko na kay Joe, mas bilib ako kay Chavez at kay Castro dahil meron silang isinasagawa. Kahit ano man ang paninindigan ng isang tao, basta huwag siyang puro salita lang. Kaya bilib ako kay Duterte kahit pasista siya o kaya rightist, hindi puro showbiz lang ang pulitika niya, iyong sinimulan niya tinatapos niya kahit hindi ito nagugustuhan ng lahat ng tao.

  3. PinoyInEurope says:

    First of all, josephivo, many thanks. You are right, Rizals ideas were definitely Germanic. Considering that he was close to Blumentritt, a 19th century Joe Austria in a way.

    But let me add some food for thought, some context – the Germanic, romantic idea of the nation-state was a reaction to the French idea. Nation in French means the place of your birth, your homeland. In France all who were subjects of absolutist French kings were French.

    The Germanic idea of a nation is based on the idea of a Volk – a group of related ethnolinguistic groups. Because Germany was a late nation in Europe, the implementation of the German nation marginalized those who were ethnically not steeped in the legacy of the Grimm brothers.

    The French revolution was a revolution that was based on the fervor of modernisation and continued by trying to export the revolution elsewhere, leading to Napoleon. The French strategy of supporting Catholic German states like Bavaria and Austria was about weakening Germany. Napoleons major legacy was the metric system which he imposed all over Europe, but also the Napoleonic Code, the civil code upon which the legal systems of most Latin countries are based. Spain has it, Italy too, France of course, many Latin American countries – and the Philippines. The highly centralistic Philippine government is a Latin legacy left by Spain as well, but the 19th century Spanish government copied the French model – and that is what Filipino ilustrados saw.

    After centuries of ruinous wars, Europeans decided to form the European Union, effectively a Franco-German alliance from the beginning, an alliance of two former enemies, countries that decided that fighting it out was too ruinous for everyone’s good. In a way a post-national institution, in a way similar to the old Holy Roman Empire in its federalist setup. There are still enormous differences between the Germans and the French, but they fight them out in boardrooms, trying to find a common consensus but sometimes failing. In the new Balkan wars of the 1990s, Germans were closer to Croatia and Slovenia and the French were closer to Serbia, not to mention the Greeks with their old Orthodox ties. Now Merkel and Hollande manage to work together when it comes to the ongoing Ukraine crisis. The fact that Merkel, as an East German, speaks Russian and grew up under Communism helps. She is the main mediator toward Putin.

    “Sovereignty presumes a nation with a strong independent decision making factory.”

    I can assure you that the nations of Europe, while working together on a common future, have their own decision making factories in place. Universities, political parties, national capitals. Every country discusses its own future within Europe and how to represent its interests within the EU:

    The Greeks have recently elected a highly nationalistic, leftist government that is a lot of trouble. The discussion about whether to keep helping Greece or to throw them out of the common currency – their Moodys credit rating is, to my surprise, far below that of the Philippines.

    The Romanians are a proud Latin people, caught in the East by an accident of history, descendants of soldiers given land by the Roman Empire to secure the Slavic border, and allegedly also criminals and slaves deported there to mine for gold. A Roman Australia.

    Knowing many people from there and having been there for a while, I get to hear a lot about their discussions. The national leadership has an old French tradition – the French sponsored their poorer Latin cousins in many ways including Portugal – plus a legacy of communist dictatorship.

    The public discussion there is often very heated between those have are frustrated by the difficult post-communist years plus the extreme changes caused by joining EU and NATO recently, and those who see slow progress taking route. There is an enormous migration of Romanians to many parts of Europe, Spain, Italy and France being the first choices, then affluent Germany. Computer experts, high-powered managers, day laborers, prostitutes, pimps and thieves. Enormously corrupt, Latin-style politics with hugh class divisions that survived communism. Heated discussions in the press and in parliament. Only in 2014, the populist Traian Baiescu was replaced by the Transylvanian German Klaus Iohannis, prompting a Romanian friend of mine to say “many in Europe think we are garbage, but with Klaus they will see, we will show them”.

    “Of course the US interferes in Filipino affairs as they do in Germany, France, Canada and the rest of the world.”

    Yes it does. In fact the US has been playing its game of divide and conquer in Europe – trying to pit the “Old Europe” (Donald Rumsfelds words) that refused to join Dubyas Iraq war against the New Europe (the post-communist countries thankful to Reagan for telling Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin wall) but now you have a different spirit: the EU, represented by the Merkel-Hollande tandem, has its own voice in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, even if there are internal quarrels, like the Lithuanians and the Poles, understandly worried about Russia, asking the US and NATO for more local presence. You have Germany protesting about the NSA and firing one of its own intelligence people for helping the CIA outside official channels, which of course exist.

    Of course the US is an international empire, let there be no doubt about that. They are today’s Roman Empire in terms of military power and cultural influence, but even in the Roman empire there were various Greek and Oriental states. Those parts of the Empire that managed to find their own unified voice were able to represent these interests, being organized, those that were less organized when the Romans came – notably the Gauls of what is now France and Spain as well as Northern Italy – became fully integrated into the empire. What am I saying with this?

    In the EU there are regions, nation-states and the EU, overlaying that in various degrees you have the Schengen visa agreement (which means a lot more than visas, it includes comprehensive police cooperation including a central police database in Strasbourg with a mirror server in the Austrian mountains for safety), the Euro (which means that countries are under fiscal supervision, something the unruly, proud and temperamental Greeks hate) and the NATO. But each of these regions, nation-states and the EU itself have strong decision-making bodies which may not be able to control everything, but do take part in collective decision-making. The European Commission and its powerful bureaucracy shaped in the French tradition do take care of a lot of details, but there are checks and balances in place and powerful national governments. The Commission tried to deliberate about the TTIP agreement between the US and the EU and was halted by strong public protest because many perceived it as giving an unfair advantage to American companies backed by venture capital. “Uber” for example is very much discussed.

    “Nation states and sovereignty will become fossil words.”

    The 19th century nation state is a fossil word, definitely. That is what I wanted to prove with my European example. BUT even within international cooperation there are different local interests. You need strong decision-making bodies to represent these local interests within this framework.

    The definition of a nation I like most is that of a group of people united by a common destiny. People with a common past that shaped them are usually going to have a similar way of seeing and dealing with things called culture. Inspite of the EU, Greeks remain Greeks, Romanians are Romanians (with all their regional differences, Transylvania being very different from Bucharest), Germans remain Germans – so it is legitimate for each country to define its own interests as a common denominator of the interests of the people who are citizens of that country. Those who do not manage to define their own interests get the bad end of the deal, human beings being what they are. One only has to look at the Ukraine which is defending itself against Russia with its powerful military and propaganda machine – both have modernized quietly and are back again.

    @Joe, I liked your definition of a nation as a community. Of course there may be the difference between the community where one has roots (in your case, America, in my case Philippines) and the community where one lives (Philippines and Europe respectively) which complicates matters. Somehow one does care about both communities, the acquired one and the original one. But in the end, a community that does not manage to consolidate its common interests and is not able to represent its interests in the world out there gets represented by other, stronger communities. Saying that the nation will become completely obsolete is in my view as untrue as the end of history that Fukuyama predicted when the Cold War ended. The concept of nation has to be redefined to suit the global world and the fact that there is in fact a global American Empire – not always pleasant to deal with but definitely a better deal than the growing Chinese empire. There are many variants of being junior partners of an empire – you can be a satellite like the Eastern Europeans were of the Russian Empire which is now in my opinion making a last stand, you can be relatively independent junior partners like Western European states during the Cold War, you can be partners on an ALMOST equal footing like the present EU towards the US – almost equal because the EU is economically strong but has no chance against Russia without US backing.

    So it is not as simple as Santiago sees it, who is still caught in a pre-1991 mindset when the Philippines were definitely almost a US satellite state. US bases were thrown out without a concept of how to deal independently with the world out there, witness Scarbourough shoal. Since it is not up to me to give an opinion on how my original community should decide, all I can give is input. In my article, I gave a two possible scenarios on how the Philippines could become in 10-20 years. Now how it really plays depends a lot on what those who are in charge back home make of things.

    What is correct is that nations have less influence than before, that there are forces more powerful than them, and that leading a nation nowadays is becoming like wild water rafting. Switzerland for all its isolation has joined the Schengen visa scheme but not EU free trade. Nonetheless they could not control the effect of the Euro on their currency just very recently. Alright enough already, just wrote down my unsorted thoughts, may the be food for more thought.

    • Bert says:

      Thank you, PinoyIE. What I missed from my History classes, Geography, and current events I learned from you. More power to you.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        You’re welcome Bert. And I hope you are not being sarcastic. Just sharing what I know with the community here, and giving additional perspective to the topic, plus own opinions. Actually I think there are a lot of VERY knowledgeable people in this online community. What I think I can contribute is my mixture of Filipino background and Euro experience. Connect the dots in a different way to help in our common learning process right here. Ongoing project ito, I know I am a smart-ass and a pain in the ass, but hope I can help.

        Actually I am aware that I have been very contributive in many ways here in the past two weeks – sometimes constructive, sometimes helpfully provocative, sometimes annoying. Two weeks working part-time in my home office while recovering from really bad winter flu.

        Josephs European stuff gave me the inspiration to share my personal. Euro perspective. Because the Philippines has been too US-centric in thinking for much of postwar history.

        Also I found it interesting to share what I have observed from the Romanian side – an old barkada of mine who is also a migrant to EU once said “katulad natin sila” my answer was “tama ka, pero may tatlong pagkakaiba: mas gago sila, mas alam nila ang gusto nila at mas isinasagawa nila, hindi katulad natin madalas tayong padalos-dalos, urong-sulong”. The rest is to be found in my other postings, I know there are some who take care to read, there are many who think about it, throw away the mud and process the gold nuggets.

        Anyway I don’t care if some curse my frequent postings or find some nuggets in them. Tomorrow it’s back to work, pasalamat akong hindi ako jobless. “See” you around.

        • Bert says:

          I am a very direct person, PinoyIE, If I come across to you as some sort of a plastic person I’m sorry. I am not. I can indeed dish out sarcasm at times but never on anything that I deemed very valuable to my interests.

          Anticipating more posts from you, and that’s no sarcasm, I swear. Though I have to admit I hate serious talk like this one we are having right now, the reason perhaps why I love bantering nonsense with the likes of Edgar, and Joe, and Sonny, and karl, and some others who care for the funny stuffs, :).

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            No you don’t, actually I don’t really know, which is why I am openly adressing the issue. Internet is without facial expressions and tones of voice. Thanks for clarifying. Wanted to make sure that I am not annoying people already. After all I am quite new here. 🙂

  4. Micha says:


    The surrender of sovereignty by European countries by agreeing to form the European Union has, for most, yielded very little good results when the Troika imposed the disastrous austerity project. If it’s any consolation, the ECB had most recently lost the game of chicken when it agreed to extend Greece’s lifeline for new loans, giving the new Syriza gov’t more leverage to pushback against the wishes of Brussels and IMF. Merkel and Draghi may have seen the danger to EU if they allowed Greece to default.

    Still, peripheral countries are agonizing with depression level youth unemployment and it’s unclear if the bargain for continent-wide peace and collective prosperity will hold up. Already, extremist parties hostile to the Union have gained followers in France, Hungary, and Spain.

    Will nation states and sovereignty become fossil words? Not so sure about that.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      Make no mistake, Europe is in a major crisis. It is hardly reported in the press, but I have been told by Greeks I know that every 4 hours somebody kills himself because of personal bankruptcy – the wave of support for left-wing populist Syriza is not surprising. Spaniards have told me that you have people begging for food in poorer parts of Madrid. The economic boom of about a decade ago totally collapsed with the real estate bubble and many normal people having made bad deals in housing loans where they only paid interest, hoping that they would be able to sell their real estate a a profit. Latin Americans on the other hand are rejoicing that the Spanish who treated them like dirt in Spain are now taking on the same menial jobs in Northern Europe that they looked down on them for.

      On the political front trouble is also brewing. Russia is angered by expat Ukrainians in EU supporting their brothers back home financially and otherwise. At the same time, Russia is negotiating with Cyprus, which is EU but not NATO and a known safe haven for Russian mafia investment, for visiting forces and even military bases. Bulgaria is NATO and EU but under strong Russian influence due to centuries-old cultural and linguistic ties.

      Sure, the internet is everywhere, but Russia has turned it into a tool for its own advantage. A map of worldwide Facebook use shows hardly any Russian presence – and being the social networks of choice there. Russia today and RIA Novosti broadcast Russian propanda – not in the old, crude Soviet way but highly modernized, having learned the methods of Western spin doctors. In European internet forums, trolls broadcasting the Putin point of view appear in discussions about Ukraine, writing in perfect English, French, Spanish and French. Peaceniks had Europes nations disarm too much, Europes armies are out of practice while Russia’s army is in constant practice, they have modernized their own old equipment, retrofitting it with computer technology, stealth and reactive armor. Russian bombers and jet fighters regularly challenge NATO borders, forcing jet fighters to mobilize. Without US bases like Ramstein still left in Europe, we would be sitting ducks for Russia. That is why I do not believe in relying solely on treaties, seeing Putin violate ceasefire agreements regularly but denying it was Russian troops. Cossack militia in East Ukraine are basically Russian-supported forces with plausible deniability. Europe is hastily building up renewable energy to decrease its heavy dependence on Russian oil and gas, while courting Azerbaidjan, turning the place into a Caucasian version of the Persian gulf. Haha Gerhard Schröder got into an important job with Gazprom after his government help see through a sweetheart deal to supply German Ruhrgas with Russian natural gas just before Schröder had a snap election he himself engineered in 2005 and lost to Merkel, and he probably regularly goes fishing with his best friend Putin. So guys back home relax, they are not much better here, just human beings. The Greeks juked their economic and fiscal statistics to get into the Euro zone, but nobody punished them for it. The Papandreou and Karamanlis families alternated in ruling Greece over much of the postwar period. Scotland almost separated from England, Catalonian aspirations were stopped by Madrid. In the end yes, people will not change, will always defend their turf and stick to their own. So the neoliberal version of John Lennon’s Imagine will go to where Fukuyama’s End of History went, with Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson there to entertain.

      • Micha says:

        The problem with the Euro project is that it is mostly undemocratic, a Franco-German engineering fearful of repeating the horrors of the Great Wars, where most policy decisions affecting millions across the continent are cooked up by un-elected bankers and technocrats in Brussels. Given the current state of economic pain and suffering, a referendum to join or opt out of the Union will most probably yield a victory for the latter.

        The common thread animating most regions of the world today – Europe, China, US, Russia, and yes, even small dwarf Philippines – is the rise of global plutocracy.

        The demon of economic greed is making global alliances, coordinating their hold on power and plot to suck the energies of the poor. Witness the Trans Pacific Partnership wheeling and dealing behind closed doors.

        Old habits die hard and it is far from the end of history.

  5. edgar lores says:

    1. Illuminating.

    2. The evolution of the concept of sovereignty appears to be:

    o The sovereignty of Heaven
    o The sovereignty of Kings
    o The sovereignty of the People

    3. Curiously, that third concept is not expressed in the US Constitution. It is explicitly expressed in Section1, Article II of our 1987 Constitution.

    4. It took Lincoln to persuasively express this greatest of all political idea in the Gettysburg Address of 1863. In the 150 years since then, the great task that Lincoln bequeathed to us from the honoured dead of the American Civil War — that of the rebirth of freedom and the persistence of “government of the people, by the people, for the people” — is far from being fulfilled.

    4.1. The idea is under threat everywhere. No less in its country of birth, where a hostile congress controls the purse strings and holds the country to ransom. In our country, the political elite exercises a sovereignty not freely granted by the people but more cheaply purchased from them or more arrogantly exerted over them.

    5. From the post, there appears to be two principal attributes associated with the notion of sovereignty. These are:

    o The source of sovereignty
    o The jurisdiction of sovereignty

    5.1. From item 2, in the current political paradigm of the nation-state, the source of sovereignty is the people. And the jurisdictions are the boundaries of the state.

    5.2. Both attributes, while clearly defined, are not absolute. As we have observed in 4.1, the source has been perverted by representational democracy. And as Joseph has expounded, there are upward and downward limitations on state jurisdiction.

    5.3. Joseph has also supplied his personal assessment of the future of sovereignty in his response to Karl’s (Garcia) comment. I have no opinion on the matter except to say that the Lincolnesque democratic ideal should be pursued to fulfilment. I would add three more:

    5.3.1. All theocracies, partial or full, and all autocracies should fail. Both of these subscribe to the obsolete concepts of the sovereignty of heaven or of kings.

    5.3.2. Technology is in the process of making possible the dream of direct democracy.

    5.3.3. The role of the UN and international courts and agencies should be expanded in intra- and inter-national conflicts, such as the West Philippine Sea dispute.

    6. From a personal viewpoint, if I were to extend the concept of sovereignty, the important question to answer would be: “Who has sovereignty over me?” In other words “Who has the power of life or death over me?”

    6.1. Religion continues to lay the absolute claim that God retains that privilege.

    6.2. The State continues to lay the peripheral claim that it has that power in at least three areas:

    o Military conscription
    o Death penalty
    o Legislation on euthanasia

    6.3. I concede to the rights of the nation-state in the matter of conscription (in times of war) and the death penalty. I do not concede to the claims of religion. Religions that recognize the concept of Free Will have fully negated their claim.

    6.4. To me, suicide and euthanasia are personal matters of dignity and integrity. No power in heaven or on earth should have the right to limit or abrogate the right to the former. And the State should pass legislation to allow the latter.

    6.5. We as individuals have the right to our lives and to exercise full control, or as much as full control, over it. Whether one decides to devote one’s life to someone either as a slave or a partner, to a vocation, to a task or even just to pleasures – that is for each of us to decide. All roads lead to enlightenment. And in terms of personal sovereignty, the pursuit of happiness is the ultimate right to, and gift of, life.

    • josephivo says:

      Next time I should send my drafts to you to create some logic, love #2

      Yes, sovereignty should be something more than a certificate you can hang above your bed. For me the key words are “decision making”. Who decides over what, and not only over my dead, more important over my life. Can we people decide what lives we want to live?

      Once I read two very interesting books by a Filipino free mason over this subject, on how the church and the powerful influenced the live of the hero in directions opposite to his own dreams. The books are almost 140 years old (one was printed first in Gent, Belgium, close to my birth place) and considered so dangerous that he was shot. But they are still very relevant in describing what oppresses personal sovereignty and by extension the national sovereignty.

      Strong sovereignty with lousy decision makers who don’t do anything to materialize some of my dreams is useless. Miriam how will you improve my happiness? Is it by improving sovereignty? What sovereignty? Or is sovereignty just one little step? What are then the other, major steps you will pursue? (and yes thanks for promoting fun you bring in politics) …Miriam, and by extension all the other loud voices claiming more independence.

    • Joe America says:

      I am occasioned to reflect that national sovereignty exists only to the extent that the collective sovereignty is aligned to the same purpose. The Constitution is the aligning document. Thus, when Senator Santiago argues the VFA as a threat to sovereignty, she argues that it violates the Constitution. Yet the Constitution itself is not set in stone because there are indeed higher values, called learning, in which case we modify the Constitution, and life itself, which the Constitution exists to protect. Sovereignty is attached to those higher values, as you point out, not the paper document. So what she ought really be arguing is not the Constitution, but whether alliance with America is life threatening or life protecting. She never gets to that point. If she did, she would not be arguing at all, or, if she did, she would appear quite absurd.

      Not that absurdity is a rare commodity hereabouts . . .

      • Joe America says:

        I think Senator Pimentel seeks to define Manny Pacquiao as a sovereign state, rather like the Bangsamoro region.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “I am occasioned to reflect that national sovereignty exists only to the extent that the collective sovereignty is aligned to the same purpose.” A very recent example was how the Swiss decided to give up some parts of their sovereignty to EU and Schengen.

        It was done by the typically Swiss mechanism of holding a referendum and debating the issue nationwide – of course the Swiss have a strong sense that it is THEIR country and THEIR interests they are deliberating and are very responsible, i.e. mature about this.

        Santiago not only acts immature, she argues in a very formalistic way which is very typical for Filipino debate, also for the way the government, courts and businesses work. Because Filipino education is often about memoriziing and parroting, not understanding.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, that seems to be the case. And press conferences are really snoozers for the superficiality of the questions, asked over and over again.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            The joke at UP is that the bird in its logo is actually a parrot.

            I remember a school essays where I extended the topic, thinking way out of the box like so often and the teacher gave me a 5, writing in red “please write what you are told to write”.

  6. RHiro says:

    Kindly listen and read the lyrics of the German and French National Anthems….

    “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.” Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the House of Rothschild.

    The Eurozone was a good intention that may lead to hell…..The basic problem is national sovereignty…

    The problems in the M.E. are issues of the sovereignty of kingdoms intertwined with their use of religious fundamentalism as the unifying factor…

    Economics, politics and culture are the superstructure that binds societies.

    The issues surrounding the major political parties in the U.S. today is the struggle of State sovereignty vs the Central government…

    Right and left wing nationalism is on the rise in Europe precisely due to the massive policies employed to manage the ongoing depression…

    When money earns negative nominal interest rates in major parts of the world people will clamor for their national governments to act.

    The end of the Cold War saw the rise of American exceptionalism and triumphalism in the name of free markets and democracy…

    That no longer holds true… American power has reached its zenith and failed state and failing states are creating havoc all over the world… Tribal, ethnic and sectarian struggles are exploding all over the world similar to the centuries of conflict in Europe over the ages that exploded in the First and second world war. conditions are ripe for the repeat and the slow movement for the Third World War.

    • karl garcia says:

      I was wating for you, I know this is your cup of tea.

    • josephivo says:

      Wow, so many things to think about, just a few:

      Yes, Rothshild understood the golden rule: “The one who has the gold rules”

      We don’t live anymore in nation states that control everything, religion, economics, culture… Different spheres of life are organized in different ways. Censorship and the index and control of thoughts gone, national financial autonomy gone (IMF, Worldbank), national currency gone (in Eurozone), national borders gone (in Shengen), national food gone (hamburgers, pizza and Coke instead), national religion gone (in many countries), national culture gone (facebook and twitter instead), national languages dying (except for Mandarin and English)…

      The US over the top? They still have by far the largest defense budget and didn’t Mao say that real power comes out of the barrel of a gun?

      Failed states? The Rational Optimist has data to proof that never in history there was so little violence, so few wars and so few people living in warzones.

      • josephivo says:

        … and thanks for the national anthems, the German lyrics from 1842 before Germany existed – the rivers mentioned all outside Germany today, the French from 1792 during the French revolution. No better illustration of the romantic nation state.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        “national food gone (hamburgers, pizza and Coke instead)”

        not really true in Europe, OK fastfood is here but people do love their traditional food. One major point of contention in the negotiations for the TTIP transatlantic trade agreement between US and EU is in fact quality of food. Sorry I have been in New York but the pizza there was usually lousy compared to that in Italy, I am not anti-American but these guys have inherited one thing from their English forefathers – bad cuisine.

        “national religion gone (in many countries)”

        also not true. Tell that to Bulgarians, Russians, Ukrainians, Romanians, Greeks, Cypriots and Serbs who are fervently Orthodox in faith. Catholicism remains strong in Latin America. Scandinavia is deeply Protestant in faith and in deed.

        “national culture gone (facebook and twitter instead)”

        Facebook is just a medium. In Russia and neighbouring countries people use and as social networks. Facebook is used by a minority, ingrained anti-Americanism is very strong there.

        “national languages dying (except for Mandarin and English)”

        Tell that to Latin America, they will never speak English freely. Spanish and Italians hardly speak any English. Germans and French will never give up their language, even if the globalized elites there speak English well. Don’t expect the crazy Greeks to do either. Romanians and Portuguese cultivate their own languages proudly, Romanian being a modern variant of late antique vulgar Latin and Portuguese coming from medieval Latin, but at the same time most of them speak English perfectly to adapt to modernity.

        Like biodiversity is important in nature, it is important to have many languages and cultures. What I agree with is that with globalisation, a few cultures/languages will disappear, just like species are disappearing in nature.

        “The US over the top? They still have by far the largest defense budget and didn’t Mao say that real power comes out of the barrel of a gun?”

        That is true – I did write that most of us are living in an American Empire – that is a fact. It is a present-day Roman empire in terms of military power plus cultural/linguistic influence. In ancient times, the pole with an eagle and SPQR on it was a sign of Imperial dominion, today it is a pole with golden arches. The main competitors are Russia and China, the latter getting stronger, the former trying to come back but I hope it will not.

        Stanley Karnow wrote that the US formed the Philippines “In Our Image”, a good book. That is true but do not assume that the rest of the world is as pliant as the Philippines. Just because some people from the Philippines assume that speaking English and blindly imitating every trend from the US is a sign of superiority does not mean that it is like that elsewhere. Cultures with strong roots are not that easy to change.

        The parts of the Roman empire which only had tribal cultures when Rome came became totally Romanized, meaning the formerly Celtic areas like Northern Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. The eastern part of the Roman empire remained Greek in culture, the Eastern Roman empire totally reverted to the Greek language later on. So your vision of a world that looks like a sterile commercial mall is not going to happen, fortunately.

        • josephivo says:

          Who in the next generation will still know how to cook slow food? Precooked and microwave ovens are the rule. Large food conglomerates marked shares still increases, they play it save, more sugar sweeter uniform tastes, no cumin, no sage, no strange tastes. Coffee will be all according Starbucks, only pilsner beer and overcooled, soda from breakfast to dinner. Things are changing, also in Spain, France, Italy or Belgium.

          Except for the little increase of religiosity in Eastern Europe, look at the statistics elsewhere. Spain, Italy, France the traditional core of the Catholics 5% to 15% left. National religions are under pressure from more extreme Evangelical churches, more extreme forms of Islam. The one nation one religion is under pressure even in Saudi Arabia, Shiites are getting more vocal, ISIS getting a lot of support.

          Social media are more than a medium, look how and where young people spent their time, the constant availability is also a way of thinking. A Facebook addict in South America, Sweden or Morocco understand each other better than their neighbor boy scout on a survival trip in the woods.

          First languages are moving into the space of local dialects, local dialects are disappearing due to the influence to increased mobility and TV. Business language is English, the lingua franca is English, Mandarin might follow. Languages are dying out faster than ever before. More people than ever before speak English as second language, trend increasing. English vocabulary invading many native languages. Read the statistics.

          The organization of the economic space is more and more done in the American way. All business education and literature is American. The organization of the entertainment is American. Internet freedom is American. Transport by individual cars is American and the consequent mall concept is American. The cultural “bio diversity” is shrinking fast.

          I’m talking about trends and averages. Yes for each sphere of live there are courageous battles fought by idealists, fighting for the local traditional solution of universal problems. But the mega marketing power of the 1% is unlimited, it will be their way or no way.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “Coffee will be all according Starbucks” – tell that to the Italians or the Viennese. Just drank three cups of Espresso from my Lavazza pad machine.

            “only pilsner beer” – which is why Americans and Australians love the Oktoberfest.

            “English vocabulary invading many native languages.” Correct – this is what I meant, among other things, with my analogy American empire is like the Roman empire.

            “First languages are moving into the space of local dialects, local dialects are disappearing due to the influence to increased mobility and TV.” This is true, meaning that these first languages continue to have a critical mass.

            “ore people than ever before speak English as second language, trend increasing.” Correct, in the modern Roman empire you have to adapt. But they are not losing their own language, and even the highly modern young people DO NOT speak English among themselves here in Europe as a pretentious status symbol. Only as a lingua franca.

            “Social media are more than a medium”. Facebook is available in many languages, even they recognized the need to localize.

            “Business language is English”. Not if you want to do business with Spain or Latin America, that is a huge area with a critical mass in terms of population.

            “All business education and literature is American.” Most but not all. Ever heard of Fredmund Malik? He is an internationally recognized business professor.

            “Transport by individual cars is American”. Europe uses trains and public transport a lot. France and Germany make some of the most modern high-speed trains in the world. Too much dependence on fossil fuels is dangerous and in that Europe is more modern.

            “Yes for each sphere of live there are courageous battles fought by idealists, fighting for the local traditional solution of universal problems.” Not necessarily idealists, maybe just traditionalists who want to be modern yet preserve their own way of life.

            “But the mega marketing power of the 1% is unlimited, it will be their way or no way.” – don’t think so, depends on how strong the influence of living cultures is, parents, friends, the local environment against the virtual world and international marketing. Besides, the tools of international marketing can be used by others too. Like I wrote, the Russians have modernized their propaganda machine – not a thing that I like but I do respect how they adapted the old Soviet style to the modern internet age. Try reading “Russia Today”.

            • josephivo says:

              How many expresso bars where opened in Asia and Africa lately, how many Starbuck like cafés? And indeed Nestlé is a multinational too.

              Indeed the main beer at the October fest is pilsner, that’s why Americans like it (when it is served with ice cubes). And yes home breweries are at the rise too but still represent less than 1% of all beer consumption.

              When I was young, I didn’t say “like” or “un-friend” somebody from a distance, I didn’t feel the need to share selfies, I didn’t spent time behind a screen, my multi-tasking was different. The way people interact is changing into a uniform way, whatever the language.

              Fredmund Malik and the most other international renowned business thinkers published also in English to avoid irrelevance. To what business schools go the Chinese elite?

              Percentage wise public transport is still decreasing, with some local exceptions. Supermarkets, IKEA’s, malls are relative new phenomena in Europe, all out of the city center, the American way. Many city centers are struggling, especially in the smaller towns. See also what happens outside Europe.

              Russia under Putin might fall flat again, just as the Communist Empire did. The recruiting force of the Russia in the rest of the world is still not comparable at all with the US. (except in Belarus, East Moldavia, Eastern Ukraine… and some influence bought in mini countries like Cyprus) How many Filipinos want to immigrate to Russia, how many to the US (same for Italians, Mexicans, Indians, Chinese…) that gives you an idea of the imbalance.

              All my statement are not to be understood as absolute and in the final implementation state, but just as world averages and trends, knowing there is a lot of variation – especially in Europe -, knowing that history moves as a pendulum. Each item needs years of academic research to be validated. It’s all from the top of my head based on what I saw in 5 continents or picked up from friends, books, articles, internet or TV bulletins.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “And indeed Nestlé is a multinational too.” A Swiss multinational. Carrefour which is present in many parts of Asia is French.

                “Indeed the main beer at the October fest is pilsner, that’s why Americans like it” in fact they drink only the worst stuff, Löwenbräu or HB, and the other people are happy that the fratboys and the girls acting like on spring break stay in those two tents.

                But I won’t buy that the whole world will start drinking Budweiser, that is not beer. German-Americans unfortunately lost the art of brewing proper beer during Prohibition.

                “Supermarkets, IKEA’s, malls are relative new phenomena in Europe, all out of the city center, the American way. ” Correct, IKEA of course is Swedish and very proud of it. IKEA is not that new, it always has been outside the city center because it is sells furniture. Vikings have always known how to adapt to a changing world. Malls were originally invented by an American-Hungarian architect to simulate the pedestrian zones of European city centers which the US did not have.

                “Russia under Putin might fall flat again” I hope so, I really do.

                “The way people interact is changing into a uniform way, whatever the language.” I think the way people use the technology differs based on culture.

                “All my statement are not to be understood as absolute and in the final implementation state” Thanks, I think that there are global trends, just like you.

                What I do not agree with is the somewhat ignorant point of view some Filipinos have due to colonial brainwashing, thinking that the whole world will be a mirror image of the USA. It will not. At least in European countries there are companies which are adapting to the global world and are leaders in global business. Europeans are part of the American Empire but they are not content to be mere lackeys like some Filipinos are, their companies are global leaders and not just BPO outfits which can move within two months.

                The strength of American culture is that it is distilled from the influences of many people that migrated there. This is why they manage to create stuff that has appeal worldwide. But I do not think the world will become a barren commercial wilderness without tradition. Most Asian countries also have strong cultures that will not change for all the international stuff they adapt – in the Japanese way, keeping their own culture and adapting as needed. Wait – there is a Filipino multinational – isn’t Jolibee also present in Hawaii?

              • Joe America says:

                Jollibee also has a few outlets on the US mainland, and is expanding in China, Viet Nam, and a number of other countries. Del Monte is effectively a Philippine company now, too, the Philippine company (Del Monte Pacific) having purchased the American based Del Monte Foods Company in 2014. Philippine mall developers are also starting to build malls overseas.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Thanks Joe. The whole thing is about realism – globalization is the big game nowadays, and it is good if Philippine companies are among the players.

                Oh yes, mall developers – building malls is one thing Filipinos are REALLY good at…

              • Joe America says:

                Not to mention walking through them looking at stuff . . . I shall refrain from making a comment about my wife’s hearty endurance at same . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Guess that is typical for nearly all women. But then again most guys like to stop for electronics, at least I do… Swiss keyboards, Taiwanese laptops, Korean flatscreens…

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            “Except for the little increase of religiosity in Eastern Europe” – it is at the core of their culture and their being, having survived communism it will survive this era as well. Greeks will always define themselves as Orthodox. Thinking that everybody who keeps his own culture is “like a Mangyan” which what my ex-girlfriend from Mindoro liked to say is foolish thinking coming from the brainwashing elite Filipinos had – it is not like that in many parts of the world. The 1% may succeed in brainwashing a lot of people, but not all. If they do manage to make the world in their image it will be like Panem. If that comes true I will be the first to move to the District 13, while you will surely be one of those in the Capitol. 🙂

          • Joe America says:

            Nice rebuttal to an extensive rebuttal. I’m just following along, and appreciating the style.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Just look at Angela Merkel. She is treated as an equal by Obama, she is the main mediator towards Russia because she speaks the language and understands them. Yes Germany has American bases and American business but they have their own industries and good military. Probably some do not know that after the US left Afghanistan, it was German troops that helped secure the peace there. Actually the US proved in Iraq that it is good at winning wars but lousy at winning peace.

          Yes Germany depends on the US for many things, but inspite of decades of American bases they have not lost their own language. They use it everywhere AND speak good English. And because they are strong, the US respect them on nearly equal footing.

          Like I wrote, Germany cooperates with US in many ways including intelligence, but fired one of its own intelligence people for unofficially cooperating with the CIA. They trade with the US, it goes both ways, but they protest certain things when it comes to TTIP. They have American bases, but they did not join Dubyas Iraq war. They have enough resources of their own to be able to say no from time to time. Now that is a mature nation, able to deal with the US and Russia on its own terms like an adult among adults.

          Santiago is like a teenager protesting against a parent while some Filipinos are US lapdogs and think the whole world is destined to be, which is wishful thinking inspired by the miseducation of the Filipino that Renato Constantino once wrote about. I am hoping that the Philippines matures and sees the US as an ally because it makes sense and is the best option considering all others, plus their basic principles are good – I believe that – even if they do not always stick to them in practice but those are the facts of life, politics and business is never black and white but more than 50 shades of grey.

          But for the Philippines to become another Hawaii or Guam – too late for that I think, so why try hard to become Americans. Then again there are some in the Filipino elite that I see as mercenary – the same kind that sold out to the US after being revolutionaries, then to Japan then to the US again – and will make sipsip to the US as long as it is good for them and then sell out to China or Malaysia (a growing regional power, make no mistake, but Indonesia also is, hindi nila kaya ang mga iyan) kung mas masarap ang hangin doon. Actually I prefer those who have a stand, whatever it is, and walk the talk, even mercenaries are OK, as long as they do not pretend to have principles and live by a certain code of honor, like fighting ONLY for the side that is paying them at the moment.

          • karl garcia says:

            I remember my only european visit, i entered a Mcdonald’s in Rome and ordered McSpaghetti and the lady was shocked,but politely told me they don’t serve spaghetti.and pointed me accross the street and told me to look for pasta there instead.

            • Joe America says:

              That’s okay, whenever I order a hamburger in the Philippines, it is shoe leather in a bread bun . . . so I look for restaurants that serve adobo or sisig or crispy pata. Love those pigs . . .

              • love them too, I had crispy pata last night at the regular get together of GW angels against my cardiologists’ strict admonition not too…. haisst life… less pleasures and too much restrictions…

              • karl garcia says:

                I spend lot for meds too,but who can resist good food.?

                Agree on the burgers,jollibee had a commercial making fun of that some thirty years ago.a blindfold taste test Brand x was bland the other brand was tasty.
                I love them pigs too.

              • Joe America says:

                🙂 Are you saying I’m 30 years behind the times???!!

              • karl garcia says:

                🙂 Of course not. They never changed the recipe, when i was 3 or four i had a lot of mcdonalds burgers somewhere in california and their burgers do not taste like leather.
                They tried with burgermcdo, but as s separate product.
                Me and my words,sorry Joe.

              • Joe America says:

                Hey, I’ve been eating McDonalds from the days they were still working on their first million burgers. Ours was south of town near where the drive-in theater used to be. I remember the new years eve when 3 other high school guys and I sat in Roger M’s 1949 Ford watching Elvis Presley movies all night long. Suffice it to say that my hometown was a decently boring place . . . but the burgers were cool . . .

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              The one at the bottom of the Spanish stairs by any chance? The oldest in Rome.

              Was there in 1985. 🙂

        • “I am not anti-American but these guys have inherited one thing from their English forefathers – bad cuisine.”

          Them are fighting words. I agree that the Brits have bland food but you could not judge American cuisine based on a lousy NY pizza. Come back to the US and I will personally give you a foodie tour you will never regret and forget.

          America is a melting pot in the real sense of the word. American cuisine is not hamburger, pizza and soda. Fast food fare is like what one can buy from the sidewalk vendor in the Philippines. Real American cuisine is as varied and exotic as its diverse citizenry.

          • Joe America says:

            The American food in Los Angeles is fantastic, from Sushi in Little Tokyo to Mexican or Cuban or Thai or Chinese or, in Cerritos, Filipino . . . filafel in Westwood, Greek (is Papadakis still in San Pedro???), and one place that sells only garlic dishes. And of course hamburgers at In and Out or Tommys. Chili in Texas. And if you ever pass through Elko, Nevada, let me know and I’ll direct you to an unforgettable feast at a local Mom and Pop restaurant.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Which is good – proves that globalization will not make everything uniform and bland.

              The only cities I have been to in the States are NYC, Washington (Georgetown), Philly. Now that our bete noir here in Europe, Dubya, is gone, I am thinking of visiting again.

            • josephivo says:

              One has to realize that the “variation” in the US is much larger than in Europe. The best school versus the worst one, the highest income versus the lowest…. So The US has the best of everything. But what we should compare is the “average”. On average the food is unhealthier, more monotone, sweeter… , see the % of obese as example.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                “The best school versus the worst one, the highest income versus the lowest….” True…

                hehe reminds me of a movie about Americans in Spain in the late 70s, it was the time NATO came to Spain I think. There is this Spanish guy, very proud, handsome ladies man who does not like the Americans or that Spanish girls get to like them. He tells the two Americans while surrounded by several beautiful Spanish girls: “you come from a country were fat people go to malls in huge cars to eat your disgusting fastfood”… 🙂 Anyway, the final scene is also nice… both guys married to Spanish women, barbecuing and talking: “You know what’s the nice thing about being married to foreigners”.. “what?”.. “you can be assholish and just act as if it is a cultural trait”… “yeaaah”… quoted from memory. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                One should never undermine good eating by looking at health metrics . . . Anybody who makes it north of 60 should be entitled to go out any way he or she chooses . .

              • josephivo says:

                Look at the variety in supermarkets. Look at the availability of herbs and spices. Look at the dead cheese, the very small chocolate content and the very high soya content in chocolate, look at amounts of cheap corn and rice at the minimal expensive hop in Butweiser, Miller, Coors… Look at the almighty power of food chains. In the whole of Detroit I only knew two bakeries with decent bread, an Italian and a German.

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Thanks for enlightening me on that. Lived in a Queens basement at that time and didn’t have much money and was more in the lower middle-class areas. It was in the 90’s just before Giuliani so it definitely was a different NYC, I heard it has changed dramatically.

            After some bad experiences, I only went to Chinatown on weekends to eat, I also had my hair cut there from time to time. Anyway the place was overwhelming enough..

            The context of my remark is that josephivo wrote that food will become more uniform (burger and coke) all over the world, and I admit that I answered with a typical Euro chauvinist provocation. Good to know that food variety will never die, not even in the US.

            In fact I am quite happy to read from Joe that there are still home cooking restaurants in the USA. Anyway my favorite place in Queens was an old-school diner near Woodside station – I mean where the Nr. 7 Line, the Orient Express to Flushing, and the Railway Line that goes to Long Island intersect. The kind where you have Heinz ketchup on the table and the waitress asks you want you want to have as garnish. That too is US tradition.

            At that time the area was very Irish, a lot of people had just arrived from Northern Ireland. Catholic church just close by, my Filipino neighbors scolded me because I rarely went. The only subway station I saw that always had a cop guarding it – Irish lobby I guess.

      • RHiro says:

        At the end of the 19th century the planets population was approximately 1.6 billion human beings. Today it is close to 7 billion….

        “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” J. Robert Oppenheimer…

        It is calculated that over 300 million human being have been killed in the wars of the 20th century….

        The G-7 countries still meet and are the default states that run and control the IMF-WB.

        The U.S. A. has sole veto power in the IMF….They are refusing to give up that power in spite of the fact that economic power is moving East…

        The IMF-WB has already lost its monopoly power over their member states… China has become a major competitor…Both institutions are presently toothless and should be
        given a mercy killing. The IMF was previously about capital account controls which they later reversed on instructions of the U.S. government.

        The permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are still the same… The winners of the Second World War…

        The U.S., Russia and China have the delivery systems of nuclear annihilation but even with the Big hammer, a second land war has broken out in Europe in the the Ukraine after the Bosnian war.

        The break up of Yugoslavia resulted in the war in the Balkans and the genocide against the Muslims in Bosnia… What were they fighting for??? Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Kosovo cam out of that war…

        Russian officials have warned the West that isolating Russia from the Swift code of money transfers would be tantamount to a declaration of war…

        NATO has requested both France and Germany to increase military spending and Germany may start producing panzers….

        Modern warfare is simply the effects of a desperate, moribund capitalist system…

        Imperialism it is said is the highest level that capitalism can achieve…

        The U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada and France are the members of G-7.

        They are also the most highly industrialized states on the planet. These seven states
        at the turn of the 19th century had colonial control over most of the planet…

        At sometime in the past all of these countries have fought wars against each other….

        The wars of national liberation was fought primarily against these colonizers…

        These struggles in the 20th century gave rise to the ideas of national democracy…

        There are over 180 member states of the U.N. The entire planet is not homogenized to the Big Mac and Coca Cola… That is more a pinoy american illustrado thing…

        In the U.K. chicken tikka and tandoori chicken are mainstays of British menus. The same goes for Naan and grilled kebabs….

        What about the Vietnam state…They lost every major battle but won the war… After the Tet Offensive the U.S. realized that they were the invading force and the domino theory was junked…The Vietnamese were fighting a war of national liberation against the American colonial invader…

        Most of the 190 member states did not exist at the turn of the 19th century…

        To simply state that all them are redundant and no longer in existence is totally a figment of ones imagination…

        Germany is Europe’s present hegemon…Both the English and French indirectly created Hitler and today Marine Le Pen is gaining ground in France under the National Front….

        The far right nationalists are gaining ground in Europe….Similarly in the U.S. the far right are gaining ground and have already taken over the Republican party… Individual state power and gutting the power of the Federal government is their policy platform. Mostly funded by the plutocrats who want to destroy the strong arm of the central government…

        The left in the Philippines are not all communists… socialism is their long term goal…

        National democracy is necessary and the colonial influence of the U.S. is dominant and has to be their main enemy… Imperialism is alive and well in the Philippine state.. The BSP is the main policy maker in protecting the value of the dollar in the country at the expense of job creation…Long term an undervalued currency is more beneficial to the long term development of the Philippine economy…

        But pinoy american illustrados in the country prefer an overvalued currency for our Big Macs and coke…

        Sovereignty in the Philippines means keeping Uncle Sam happy… Hence the weak state…

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          “NATO has requested both France and Germany to increase military spending and Germany may start producing panzers….” Germany produces the Leopard 2, one of the best tanks on the planet. The US M1-Abrams 120 mm gun is produced by Rheinmetall:

          “Germany is Europe’s present hegemon…” The present US-German partnership, evidenced in Afghanistan and in dealing with Putin, already was Germany’s foreign policy goal in the late 19th century. The USA are the global sheriff, Germany and Japan were made deputy sherifs in their respective regions after the USA hit them with a big stick during World War II to show who’s boss. Politics is always a Macchiavellian thing.

          “In the U.K. chicken tikka and tandoori chicken are mainstays of British menus. The same goes for Naan and grilled kebabs….” The UK is truly multicultural and vibrant in its tolerance. That makes it more attractive to migrants than the US nowadays, which since Dubya has unfortunately become more provincial and intolerant.

          “The entire planet is not homogenized to the Big Mac and Coca Cola… That is more a pinoy american illustrado thing…” Correct.

          “Hence the weak state…” True. But it is not Uncle Sam’s fault. The Filipino ilustrados are just as contented with being lackeys as a lot of Filipinos. It would be up to them to seize the opportunity presented, be an ally of Uncle Sam but also pursue the national interest.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “Right and left wing nationalism is on the rise in Europe precisely due to the massive policies employed to manage the ongoing depression…” – very correct.

      “The end of the Cold War saw the rise of American exceptionalism and triumphalism” – The End of History by Francis Fukuyama comes to mind.

      “American power has reached its zenith” – that remains to be seen. It is always good for great powers to have competitors, any monopoly is bad in business or in power. Western Europe was forced to keep its welfare system good to counter Communist propaganda during the Cold War, as soon as the competition crumbled the welfare state was diminished. Eastern Europe wanted to be as capitalist as possible, they have almost no social welfare left, leading to catastrophic, almost barbaric things happening there.

  7. karl garcia says:

    Some of out weakness is self inflicted.The marcos debt ,remember that powerplant made us paying our creditors by allocating 30 percent of our national budget for such purposes,another 30 prrcent for personnel services.we play around the remaining percent. How much is left for education,defense spending and the rest like social services and operational expenses,etc.

    The personnel services spending is affecting our education ,nothing to pay teachers,plantilla ocupied so hire temporary permanents.
    Our police military were pension is in the gaa. The pension is the same as their last salary. There are 200,000 police and military ,there are more pensioners.tell me why this is not a more for defense spending.
    Di bale pwede naman utangin lahat eh.
    We have not even factored in corruption here.
    We are a weak state.

    • karl garcia says:

      Dang the typos. Am glad that the futurists are wrong. The pc is not dead. The futurists also said facebook would be dead within five years.

    • karl garcia says:

      We comeup with solutions like streamlining of the bureaucracy which only added to hiring of contractuals,privatization which lead to poor services.and now the salary standardization law yoohoo which adds to the personnel services spending.great! Instead of 30 percent of gaa why not make it 40,swell then the remaining 60 dnt worry our crefitors can wait,the old soldiers and police can wait. Our education can stay that way,nobody will notice as long as we do the 4ps.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “We are a weak state.” Oo nga – pero kung maraming BPO sa Pinas, bakit hindi sila itax, huwag sobra at baka umalis sila, pero sapat para unti-unting mabayaran ang mga dapat bayaran? Ano ba iyan, kung baga sa tao, alam mo ng kulang ang pera mo, inom ka pa rin ng inom, sugal dito sugal doon, utang ka pa sa Bombay, laro ka ng hueteng akala mo mananalo ka kaya lang niluluto ng mga cabo ang laro, sa bandang huli sino ang masisisi?

      Baka naman halos hindi nagbabayad ng buwis ang mga BPO dahil kuntento ang Pilipinas sa konting abuloy, kung baga? Katangahan kung ganoon. Tungkol naman sa pension, dapat nag-ipon na ang gobyerno habang nagtatrabaho pa ang mga iyan, bakit hindi?

      Parang jologs na hindi iniisip ang kinabukasan! Diyan ako nagtaka kay Makoy noon, maraming umasa sa kanyang pagka-Ilocano kaya lang sa palagay ko mas mahal niya noon ang kuwan ni Imelda kaysa bansa, kaya lahat ng capricio nito sinusunod, diktador yata sa labas pero macho-nurin sa loob ng Malakanyang. Sa bagay, iyon talaga ang problema ng Pilipinas – marami sa mga may tungkulin, imbes na maglingkod-bayan, parang manager na kulang pa ang sahod, ninakawan pa ang kanilang amo – ang bayan. Sayang talaga, sayang. Sana naman mas mag-isip-isip ang mga taong bayan ngayon.

      Hindi ba nakikita pati ng mga pulitiko na parang isang barko ang Pilipinas, kung matangay iyan lubog lahat? Parang isang barangay, dahil iyon ang tawag sa mga dati nating barko. Marami nang butas ang barko, pumapasok na ang tubig, nasaan ang mga karpintero?

      Nasaan ang matatag at masigasig na pinuno na mag-uutos sa mga nasa barko para gawin nila ang dapat gawin? Lalo na’t matigas ang ulo ng mga nasa barko, imbes na gawan ng paraan para matakpan ang mga butas, nag-aaway-away pa? Ewan ko na talaga…

      • Galing mo talagang mag type, kahit tagalog, walang mali…

        tama ka, laging nag a away away… kasi grandstanding… ano bang tagalog dun, pasikat? pero tingnan mo ganun din sa ‘Merika, di ba di nila mabayaran ang federal expenses minsan kasi di na ipasa sa oras ang budget dahil sa away ng Republicans at Democrats…

        • yung kuwan ni Imelda … lol!

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Eh pasalamat kay Tatay, galit na galit ako sa kanya noong high school, kapag may mali sa itinype kong high school paper article o kaya assignment, pinupunit niya -“ulitin mo iyan!”. Mechanical pa ang mga typewriter noon, gusto kong umiyak, minsan gusto ko siyang buntalin pero matindi si Tatay, may pinag-aralan pero may halong berdugo a la Duterte, kaklase niya si Fernando Poe noong bata – kaya takot ako. Sa bandang huli nakatulong.

          Tama ka, ganyan din dito sa maraming bansa sa Europa. Dinadaya nila ang budget, ninanakaw nila sa pension fund para kunyari walang utang pero kawawa iyong mga henerasyon na susunod. Kaya lang, wala silang pakialam dahil wala na sa term nila. Tapos karamihan pa ng mga botante nila matatanda, iyong henerasyon namin walang gaanong boses, iyong mga may pensiyon na, takot na sila ang bawasan kaya no dice.

          “tama ka, laging nag a away away…kasi grandstanding…ano bang tagalog dun, pasikat?” Tama, puwede rin pumapapel sa publiko o kaya nagpapaimportante, o halo ng tatlong ito. Kasama na rin ako doon, minsan kapag dinadamdam ko masyado ang isang tema, umiinit ang ulo ko at hindi ako makapigil sa pagsulat, minsan hindi ko rin gaanong ibinabasa at pinag-iisipan ang sinusulat ng iba kaya iba ang lumalabas. Eh ganyan talaga ang dugo natin sabi kay Jose – wala akong takot magtagalog dito dahil alam kong naiintindihan niya – mabilis uminit ang ulo, maramdamin pero passionate – nakakatulong din ito sabi ko, aba Joe huwag kang magtaka kung bakit ipinagbawal sa mga de-kulay mag-asawa ng puti noong California bandang 1930s – naagaw kasi ng Pinoy at Mexicano ang mga babae. 🙂 Sabi ko naman kayong mga puti, lalo na iyong mga may lahing Nordic tulad ni Joe, minsan mas malamig, minsan hindi nakakaintindi sa ating pagkamaramdamin, pero mas lohiko, hindi kaagad nakikipag-away. Kaya biro ko kay Joe, ikaw na lang kaya ang mag-mediate sa mga Kristiyano at Moro, paano magkakasundo iyan e talagang Pipino lahat… Pero meron akong proposal sa itaas kung paano maaring malutas ang problema. Ikasisiya ko kung mabasa mo rin ito at makapagbigay ng mungkahi. Bilib ako kay Joe, kahit halatang medyo asar na siya si isang sinulat ko hinggil kay Deles at Ferrer, hindi nagwala… WOW!!!

    • @ karl garcia

      …Di bale pwede naman utangin lahat eh…. yeahh we can borrow, and borrow… but think of Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain… all had or having problems in debt payments, the World Bank and IMF “intruding” on their sovereignty by imposing controls that so enraged their citizens… like what happened during and after Marcos was thrown out, we could not pay so we had to devalue our peso, allocate a certain percentage of the budget for debt servicing as you mentioned, and other controls we know nothing about all dictated by WB and IMF. If we can balance our budget, eliminate corruption and issue TBills and bonds to Filipino citizens only if we have to borrow so we can improve education, enhance defense capabilities, take care of our policemen and soldiers, reform the judiciary etc, etc..

      Is it true that the US is indebted to the Chinese to the tune of trillions of dollars? scary if it is…anyway they are almost self sufficient in oil and fuel needs thanks to fracking technology so I guess they are ok…hope the fuel prices continue to go down unless the OPEC decide to stop the pressure on the US oil producers… hey, do I know what I’m talking about here, need the real experts to fully understand, help!

  8. karl garcia says:

    The megatrendesque predictions can happen when we no longer need agriculture in life and every farm will be on rooftops.rapid urbanization,fuel for food dilemma will be solved by planting palm and coconut on every roof. The goats ,chicken and cows will also be on rooftops for mcdonalds,kfc and whatever mnc that serves goats.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “Aso, pusa, kambing kalabaw tupa!” – sigaw ng mga taga College of Veterinary Medicine sa UP lantern parade noong araw…

      • Karl Garcia says:

        The cat poop can solve the coffee bean shortage once Sri Lanka and Brazil run out of coffee beans and cat meat will be good siopao which will be a hit in mcdonalds soon after the cat poop mccafe will rock. Dog tapa will be next, then lamb burgers

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          And after that – hopefully not Soilent Green… 😦

          • mercedes santos says:

            If you saw SOYLENT GREEN in ’78 you must be as old as I am.

            • Joe America says:

              One of the stupidest movies I ever saw in my life. Charlton Heston was never the same after they dragged him off and put him in the machine.

              “Soylent green is PEOPLEEEEEEEE!”

              Gadzooks, who wrote that script.

              • mercedes santos says:

                That’s what we call Los Banos . .

              • Joe America says:

                Los Banos, California is the almond capital of the world. It’s a rather drab farming town at the western edge of the Central Valley where the restaurants put almonds on everything, from the mashed potatoes to the ice cream. That gets old in about two mouthsful.

                It’s also the bathroom, I believe . . . can’t imagine why they’d name a town that . . .

                CR, California . . .

              • mercedes santos says:

                But of course they were… if you believe in evolution we are all cannibals, vegans and whatever; we are evolving from the simple to more complex cellular structures. SO-O- what
                else is NEW !!!

              • mercedes santos says:

                Now, don’t get too crabby, I was referring to Los Banos, Laguna; PHILIPPINES !!!.
                Maybe I’ll visit Los Banos, CA someday. Wiki says it has 3.2% Asian peeps, my kind
                of SOVEREIGNS ☺

                P.S. How much would it cost to flag my hubby’s books; they are also on Amazon ?

              • Joe America says:

                We allow family members free plugs, in the best of the Philippine tradition. Just drop your casual references and little asides, with links, rather like bread crumbs through the forest, and see how many gremlins gobble them up . . .

              • Joe America says:

                We allow family members free plugs, in the best of the Philippine tradition. Just drop your casual references and little asides, with links, rather like bread crumbs through the forest, and see how many gremlins gobble them up . . .

              • mercedes santos says:

                This how my theory of cannibalism works: humans devour fish, fowl and beast to survive, when humans die we feed worms to feed the soil, to feed plants, to feed beasts. It’s the circle of life, GET IT ? La MEMBUATNYA ☺

              • Joe America says:

                I’ve just lost my appetite . . .

              • mercedes santos says:

                Just kidding Captain; hubby does not need plugging. NYT book review had him twice on its radar. As for my “little asides” I think I am neurologically challenged, I can only think in short
                sentences, alas !!! Incapable of lengthy cerebral pronouncements.

              • Joe America says:

                🙂 As I wish to be thorough in coordinating, and given that you are Chief of Typos, I wanted to inform you that I found one in a comment from PiE. I was so stunned that I had to read the sentence three times to make sure. I corrected it to save him from great humiliation and to honor his typing teacher, the mad whip-bearing mentor who’d rip up his papers if they had a typo.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              Didn’t see it. Our elementary school teacher told us about it, some classmates too.

            • sonny says:

              Or the world of the Elois and Morlocks in the TIME MACHINE. (The young Yvette Mimieux was not hard to look at at all.)

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Wen Manong! You are back!

              • sonny says:

                A, PiE. Never far away. The latest entries from Joseph and you have been awesome! 🙂

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Thank sonny. Just understood apay reading it now. 🙂

                Ilocano definition of philosophy I once heard: “iti apay iti apay”.

              • sonny says:

                PiE, now you really HIT me in the apay!!! 🙂 I have to meet the guy who made that Ilocano definition of philosophy. ROTFLMAO!

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                One of the local heads of the Federation of Free Farmers, but I don’t know who he is, just remember how my Ilocana ex-girlfriend from Pangasinan talked about him. FFF din siya.

                But that was a long time ago, 1989, no more contact, guy might already be dead.

              • sonny says:

                Memories of Jeremias Montemayor. What a guy. An icon from the Ateneo probably better model than the late Manglapus.

      • mercedes santos says:

        Diliman or LOS AGGIES ???

    • josephivo says:

      If cars can run on water, why can’t our best scientist not search for ways so we can live on air?

      • Karl Garcia says:

        That scientist sold the idea to Hana Barbera so the idea turned into the jetsons. He also recommended some good pinoy cartoonists.

        • sonny says:

          The reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to form water has always been known in the textbooks. the comparative thermochemistry of gasoline and water is well known. Water formation is accompanied by the release of 104 kcals/mole of heat while that of gasoline is 320 kcals/mole. (Joseph, cut me some slack. 🙂 in this one. It’s been 40 some years) The choice of gasoline simply put affects the big three in Detroit of old.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            That deal with the french gov and green peace killed my dreams on waste to fuel or energy. As a chemist @sonny are there incineration tech that cant harm the environment?

            • josephivo says:

              The higher the temperatures, the less harmful the exhaust products – in general -, but the more energy you need to do it, so the less environmental friendly. The other solutions are filters and scrubbers on the exhaust.

              The better approach is prevention, if that’s impossible recuperation, requiring full lifespan design of products, from mining the minerals up to the recuperation and deposit of leftovers at the end of their life.

              • karl garcia says:

                Thanks so much Joseph. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                I agree with Joseph on the philosophy of waste management. As a non-first-world country our waste recycling needs are probably more manageable than the first and second worlds’.
                The variety of residential, commercial and industrial waste in these countries are mind-boggling. The Filipino backyard incineration inputs are mostly organic materials. The more industrial waste inputs there are the more varied your waste disposal methods become. My general guess.

              • karl garcia says:

                Many thanks.

      • Joe America says:

        Or mutate us so we can live on methane or carbon dioxide or whatever is going to dominate the future atmosphere. Like, maybe we can eat rocks or suck seawater for the nutrients, like whales do.

  9. josephivo says:

    My only point was that sovereignty is limited.

    We have to find out what we can resolved in the Philippines and what is decided outside the Philippines. Some areas we have delegated to levels below the national decision making factories, some areas we pooled together with other nations and so we only have one vote in the decision processes, some areas were raided by interest groups outside the Philippines

    It is my belief that for the “important” things in life a lot is decided outside the Philippines. Survival of the planet, distribution of wealth, values or “what to do with our money” and commercializing of basic things, financial capitalism excesses… .

    It would be nice to be open about it so we can address both, the internal and the international, in the proper way.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      We are open about it, but the hurdles cant just be bulldozed away.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m thinking it would be interesting to draw a picture Philippine sovereignty, allocated to various parties. Maybe a pie graph. Take the oligarchs. We could see what share of the total piece they control. It is substantial, I would imagine. It is impossible to draw precisely because the data are not available. But it would help with understanding just how much is left within the elected government, or, through them, the people. I think we have a very small slice of sovereignty myself. Maybe I’ll noodle on that . . .

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        There are think tanks that map power and money by country and charge a lot for it. Including charts that show how different networks connect, who has influence where. Large corporations pay for that information to find out how to push their agenda.

        Next time I talk to my brother I will ask him about. The last time I met him we talked about companies that help manage security risks for large corporations internationally.

        • sonny says:

          This is deja vu all over again: FUTURE SHOCK, LIMITS TO GROWTH, SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL, The Club Of Rome, etc. etc… Oy!

          • josephivo says:

            Isn’t it completely different? The Cub of Rome was about scarcity of resources, but they forget to realize that in 1900s you needed a few tons of copper for a telephone call to the USA, now a few gram of silicon in a satellite and few gram in your cell phone.

            Genrich Altshuller in TRIZ explains how everything evolves towards perfect, an infinity of functionality with infinitesimal resources.

            Matt Ridley in “The Rational Optimist” explains how interdependency and complexity drives productivity and progress. Never the world was so prosperous and safe on average as today, trend increasing.

            But what is going on now is commercialization, everything we do is transformed into a marketable product with a price. Just living and being happy isn’t good enough if it hasn’t a price, if nobody could make a profit of it. Extreme financial capitalism, tyranny of the marketers, Monsanto and its mono-cultures, these are new treats.

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              “But what is going on now is commercialization”. Unfortunately true, like a Greek friend told me, “malaka, all the world in now one big whorehouse”!

              “Monsanto and its mono-cultures”. One of the main issues in the TTIP agreement and why it is so controversial in Europe. And the anger that Brussels tried to secretly negotiate it.

              “these are new treats.” I misunderstood you, I thought you were an advocate of this brave but terrible new world – but it did fire the discussion well. My brother often is, very scary.

            • sonny says:

              Sorry to misimpress, Joseph. I was stating my deja vu to my ignorance. When I got interested in those books as part of my readings, I was (and still am) a babe-in-the-woods. I realized then like now, there are so many things happening around me and the world that I don’t even know were going on. Even just to be on an understanding and educating level, I was in awe and shock. So many years have already gone by and it seems like the time I first opened my first volumes of the Book of Knowledge and my uncle’s collection of National Geographic, Life Magazine and Collier’s. I guess the song Windmills of Your Mind (1968) captures much of these feelings. 🙂

              Round like a circle in a spiral
              Like a wheel within a wheel
              Never ending or beginning
              On an ever spinning reel

              Like a snowball down a mountain
              Or a carnival balloon
              Like a carousel that’s turnin’
              Running rings around the moon

              Like a clock whose hands are sweepin’
              Past the minutes of its face
              And the world is like an apple
              Whirling silently in space

              Like the circles that you find
              In the windmills of your mind

              Like a tunnel that you follow
              To a tunnel of its own
              Down a hollow to a cavern
              Where the sun has never shone

              Like a door that keeps revolving
              In a half forgotten dream
              Or the ripples from a pebble
              Someone tosses in a stream

              Like a clock whose hands are sweepin’
              Past the minutes of its face
              And the world is like an apple
              Whirling silently in space

              Like the circles that you find
              In the windmills of your mind

              Keys that jingle in your pocket
              Words that jangle in your head
              Why did summer go so quickly?
              Was it something that you said?

              Lovers walk along a shore
              And leave their footprints in the sand
              Is the sound of distant drumming
              Just the fingers of your hand?

              Pictures hangin’ in a hallway
              And the fragment of a song
              Half remembered names and faces
              But to whom do they belong?

              When you knew that it was over
              You were suddenly aware
              That the autumn leaves were turning
              To the color of his hair

              Like a circle in a spiral
              Like a wheel within a wheel
              Never ending or beginning
              On an ever spinning reel

              As the images unwind
              Like the circles that you find
              In the windmills of your mind

              • josephivo says:

                “Les moulins de mon cœur”, the music by French composer Michel Legrand it was the music on my first wedding long ago, the organist used the theme during his improvisations and the song was played when we left the church. It was in translation the theme song of “The Thomas Crown Affair” with Steve McQueen, an all-time favorite. I liked the Stings version in the 90’s too.

                Still today I get goose bumps from the text alone.

                How did you know? Where did you find it?

              • sonny says:

                Fell in love with the imagery immediately, Joseph. Was a big fan of Michel Legrand. Even the Muppets floored me with their interpretation! 🙂 And who can forget Faye Dunaway in her lilac (i think) dress.

                Googled “windmills of your mind”

              • sonny says:

                I’m still looking for Noel Harrison’s version. I found this in the meantime.


              • sonny says:

                Noel Harrison:

              • josephivo says:

                Just had Neil Diamond version… indeed the Faye Duanaway’s dress seems lilac.

              • karl garcia says:

                seen Thomas Crowne affair?was that the theme song.?

              • karl garcia says:

                Oops havent read the original comment

              • karl garcia says:

                Dnt know if you heard of this version


              • sonny says:

                Karl, scavenge for a DVD of The Thomas Crown Affair with McQueen and Dunaway in the leads. (It can come across dated (costumes) but worth the watch (plot and dialogue).

              • sonny says:

                Colourfield, maganda Karl. It seems no one can go wrong with this music and words.

              • karl garcia says:

                Seen it laser disc version better look for dvd, laserdisk player busted and obsolete.heard colourfied version during the late eighties.

        • Joe America says:

          Most interesting. Well, I’ll order P100 worth. 🙂

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Might get you the management summary if you’re lucky. 🙂 My point being, the data is there but it is usually not for free or in the drawers of embassies and diverse NGOs.

            But my brother did his PhD in economic history on parts of the 19th to early 20th century Philippine business elite. He has a wealth of contacts to people from major firms and a number of top dogs. Will see if he has any ideas that might help – will let you know…

            • PinoyInEurope says:

              My father might know the most be he probably will not tell. My mother knows a lot too, having worked for a European NGO that has contacts to the old country, but she told me not to get involved which I understand so I can’t ask her. She remembers well how we left.

              Not to brag but to give background: my father knew not only Marcos and Ninoy, he went to school with Fernando Poe Jr. – no wonder he is partial to either Grace Poe or Cayetano, whose father he may have known as well, they have similar ideas. My parents knew Ramos, his father and sister, one of my military uncles was with Ramos in Vietnam, my father tried to get me hitched to a Ramos niece, is compadre of two big Muslim politicians, a niece of one of them was the one that was not meant to be… toured Ilocos once with Governor Crisologo, Chavit Singson’s aunt, I remember the fortifications of Sarrat, the old town of Vigan and heavily armed bodyguards. Met Magsaysay Jr. (son of the president) and Cielo Macapagal-Salgado (Gloria’s nicer and humbler sister) – and Cory – in Europe. My father knows Randy David among other guys, I remember him. That is just the tip of the iceberg, more would give too many clues about who I am. Why am I writing this: because I know how the game down there works from having seen it firsthand, left while still young but even from a distance I can see a lot, in fact I am no longer directly involved which is both and advantage and a disadvantage. My Facebook friends add to my picture, from disenchanted Marcos loyalists who then did take part in EDSA and regret it now to fervent Cory supports up to one Muslim who lives near Mamasapano and posts little. A lot of the information I get is very delicate, I cannot post it here, but it contributes to my views.

              The Philippines is abuzz with rumors and suspicions, Mamasapano has opened up a hornet’s nest, the (Muslim?) genie cannot be put back in the bottle that easily. The press and internet comments are but the tip of the iceberg. At the same time I do not want to report the rumours that I hear in the medium, it is not my intention to stir anything up, what I want to be is constructive. What I can do is express my concerns in an abstract way. Knowing way too much on one hand and way too little on the other is often scary.

              • sonny says:

                Then it’s true we (Filipinos) are at a tipping point, not one but many. From my POV, I mentioned previously that I see our trajectory going to some possibilities, part Italian, part Israel, definitely very little America (spacewise) …

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Actually NOW the Philippines is a a nexus point where many possible futures converge. The smallest thing can have huge influence and change the future totally.

                In fact I believe the next two weeks might be crucial but this is just a gut feeling.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      “It would be nice to be open about it so we can address both, the internal and the international, in the proper way.” With this I fully agree. We just differ in nuances.

  10. sonny says:

    Concern for sovereignty must not be only in our mind. Others are also threatened.

    Or maybe not.

  11. pinoyputi says:

    Two quotes I found on the Internet which I found interesting.

    1. In the words of first Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, “Sovereignty is not given, it is taken.

    As a country you take it, democratically agreed so it always leaves you with minority opposition in your country that don’t agree to, for example the VFA.

    2. “Sovereignty, in layman’s terms, means a state or a governing body has the full right and power to govern itself without any interference from outside sources or bodies”

    As a country or human you are not alone in this world and are depended on others.
    Decisions, or the lack off, from neighboring countries has an impact on your sovereignty. Whether it is supply of energy (Russia to Europe) or air pollution from one country to the other influences this sovereignty. You take back your sovereignty when you make decisions, balancing both inside and the outside sources, dependencies and bodies, and accept both the profits and losses.

    • Joe America says:

      Nice statement of how to “own” sovereignty, PP. I’d suggest the Philippines take it back, and not give it away like Santiago would . . . always blaming others for stealing what can’t be stolen, if one is strong enough and smart enough.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        It’s like I wanted to express in my too long example, now summarized neatly:

        1) Nations can be compared to people in this regard.
        2) People are as much free as nations are sovereign.
        a) if you are not strong and smart enough others will walk all over you
        b) but you are not alone, you have to deal with neighbours of every kind
        c) there will be those higher than you or vastly more powerful than you:
        i) for people: police, government offices, Russian mobsters etc.
        ii) for nations: international conventions, environmental change, Russia/China etc.
        iii) you either submit to them, try to negotiate with them – or ignore them at your own risk
        3) don’t blame others about the situation, love it or change it since you can’t leave it.

        Now if this were a paysite, this insight would be worth 5 dollars. Just like some guys who tease you on their website and the next thing that comes is “buy my book for more!” 🙂

        • Joe America says:

          🙂 If readership keeps going up, I’ve got to plug in some ads. Eye poppers and show stoppers . . .

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Distill kindle books out of ideas from the best articles here, sell them on amazon and use the profit to finance some think tank information, e-library access or enhanced website features. Joe you know by now, I am a maniac and could finish a book in 1-2 weeks if I feel like it and can find the time. But I think it the results would better if tempered by your highly experienced editorship and Nordic coolness. I do go Cayetano from time to time. 🙂

            • Joe America says:

              Ahahaha, yeah, but I go Santiago, and where does that leave us?

              We’d better turn to Edgar . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Just brainstorming as the ideas come out. If you look at the time zone, I have been awake the whole night until morning. This is truly a great discussion, high fermentation. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Been there myself, actually, writing blogs in the middle of the night. There indeed is an energy to ideas unrestrained by politics or bigotry, just seeking knowledge, taken or shared. Invigorating . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Luckily being a freelancer gives me some leeway to adjust my time which is good. Gotta get some smokes though now, finished an entire package… 🙂

                Going downstairs to my grocery run by a former Tamil Tiger.

        • pinoyputi says:

          It sounded so very sure my comment to PinoyInEurope in the blog “moving forward after Mamasapano, “the Dutch never went on slave raids they only bought them from the moro’s”. As if I knew all the facts. Yet the simple mentioning of the marker at “Church of Cagsaua (Cagsawa)” in Albay made me doubt. Before I got my sleep I was thinking, if I don’t know about this, what more is it that I don’t know.
          So I dived into my books, pdf’s and internet to find as much info as possible on this Dutch attack in 1636 on Cagsaua. No easy task. Besides my mind and research drifted off to the question, did the Dutch in fact organized or cooperated in slave raids, other than trading. Below I will register most the books I consulted, but let me tell you, I did not find the answer yet on the ransacking of Cagsaua. The information is not readily available and the sources are contradicting. I of course wrote to the one department responsible for the placing of these markers, the Philippine Historical Commission (former: Philippine Historical Committee). As usual when you email to Philippine government agencies, I received no reply (yet). In the book “Conquest and Pestilence in the Early Philippines” by Linda A. Newson I found reference to an attack by Camucones, Mindenaos allied with Dutch that attacked Capalongan, Paracale, Bacón and Tabaco in Camarines, but the year was 1648 with as source Retana, Archivo bibliofilo Filipino. Wenceslao Retana was a Spanish servant and administrator.
          In “Muslim raids in Bicol 1580-1792 by Francisco Mallari the only attack mentioned to Cagsaua was in September 1754. On a history site of Catbalogan I found mentioning of the 4th Camacunes raid in 1636 in Samar but again no mentioning of Dutch. On a facebook page of Joey Sarte Salceda (Dotor of Philosphy, Bicol Universaty) I found mentioning an attack by Dutch, Camucones and Mindanao raiders, but again in 1649 and cited 1636 as the year of destruction. Source: Anaonymous, 1649:12 Retana 1895. Other sources did not clear up the event in 1636. Whether the marker in Cagsaua gives the true story remains to be seen. I am waiting for the PHC with additional information on the sources.
          I suppose this attack was possible. The Dutch, not one nation yet, was at war with Spain from 1568 to 1648. A war that ended with the “Treaty of Munster” part of the Peace of Westphalia. During the period of 1600 to 1648 the VOC (Dutch East India Company) a private Dutch company had large fleets in the area to conquer the spice trade. Portugal and Spain were important enemies that had to be fought. The Dutch would sometimes work together with the Sultanates of Maguindanao, Sulu, Buayan and Ternate. And as sources show with the Camucones from Sabah and East Borneo. I found reference in a source about letters from Batavia to Ternate, that Governor-General Coen suggested raids in Sangir, Mindanao (Butuan Bay) and other islands for slaves and for boys and girls to populate the colonies. They were to be sent to Amboina (Ambon) where the native population left after the Dutch started monopolistic polices. The Dutch had several encounters with Spain in the Philippines, the most important during 1600, 1609, 1617, 1641 and 1646. Other than that, the records show uncountable scrimmages through the 40 years of presence in South East Asia. So it seams the Dutch did co-organized, joined (some) of the slave raids.

          Giving comments to blogs for me depends very much on direct retrievable knowledge combined with my view on ethics. Here I went wrong on the facts but was corrected by my ethics. So, PinoyIn Europe, you were right, I was wrong. It is what it is, we can’t be right every time, all the time.

          A local church Living for Dialogue: Muslim-Christian relations in Mindanao by W.Larousse, Conquest and Pestilence in the Early Philippines” by Linda A. Newson, Muslim raids in Bicol 1580-1792 by Francisco Mallari, Muslims in the Philippines by Majul, The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 by Blair & Robertson, several Internet sites like facebook Joey Satre Salceda, History Catbalogan, and wikipedia.

          • Bert says:

            Small correction: Tabaco is in Albay, not Camarines. It’s now a city. Cagsawa is the name of the church that was buried by a Mayon Volcano eruption in the year 1814 and located in the municipality of Daraga, Albay Province.

            • pinoyputi says:

              I know. I used the text in the book Conquest and Pestilence for the mentioned places. And ruins. And yes, i know it was the name of the church. I did not mention it was a town.

          • Bert says:

            The “Dutch attack on Cagsaua” could not have happened, the church was built by the Franciscans in 1724 (source: Cagsawa Ruins-Wikipedia).

          • PinoyInEurope says:

            Thanx mucho pinoyputi. One more thing that makes clear to me how exceptional this blog is, and I am very sparing with praise, even more sparing than with apologies.. 🙂

            I am Bikolano and that was part of our clan folklore, a very faint childhood memory. Also an island, near Catanduanes, which Dutch unofficially occupied and mined for gold. Didn’t dare to post it though, because I am not a history professional, grew up with it but my destiny went differently. Feared the aggressive debate culture I knew growing up in Pinas and not expecting this blog to be THAT different. I am very pleasantly surprised. 🙂

            Opposite of comedian Gary Lisings answer after being slapped: “I was deeply touched”. 🙂

            • pinoyputi says:

              Walang anuman 🙂 😊 Gladly done.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Thanks for doing more research, I will await the result.

                Please do keep in mind the alleged Dutch island.. 🙂

              • pinoyputi says:

                I read the story on wikipedia about Caramoan island. The place was called Guta de Leche. Lahuy island. Have to dig a little deeper than this. Lately the Islands are known for the Survival reality shows.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Kabayan mo si Bert.

            • Bert says:

              Oragon ka, Noy, doman ka nagdakola? Kaso-arin ka pa naghale doman? Taga ibong ine, nagdakola ako doman sa balyo kan Cagraray Island, one tiny islet inhabited by more or less 150 families called Isla Namanday, facing the Pacific, a very pristine and wild place hardly touched by civilization, :). Not to brag about it but I’m an original sea creature and man of the mountain, taga bulod, hehehe.

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                Mas o menos naiintindihan ko ang Bikol pero mahina, kaya lang sa Maynila ako lumaki, bakasyon lang kaming nagpupunta doon. Legaspi City kami.

                Di kaya Cagraray iyong islang itinutukoy ko na nahawakan ng Dutch? 🙂

              • Bert says:

                Palagay ko iyon nga, PinoyIE. Kasi noong mga bata pa kami natatandaan ko Dutch Condensed Milk ang iniinom ko, ngayon Alaska na, :).

                I can imagine Joe scratching his head trying to figure out what going on here with us. Good that his dear wife is around to translate for him.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, when she is not shopping or watching teledramas or posting on facebook. A thoroughly modern Filipina she is . . .

              • PinoyInEurope says:

                I actually had the impression he understands Filipino…

  12. mercedes santos says:

    Permission to speak, SIR : Maybe you should encourage your wife to join your blog. You might be surprised to find that she can do more investing than spending your moola. . . NO, this is not a snark.

  13. Karl garcia says:

    Economic sovereignty according to r hiro

  14. Karl garcia says:

    Another, I promise this is my last for this topic.
    Philippines in an Asian century r hiro one of the guests

  15. RHiro says:

    Every Filipino and foreign resident here should read The Philippines: A Past Revisited by Renato Constantino….

    A national treasure this man was…….

    His books should be required reading in all public and private schools here…

  16. josephivo says:

    A must read to understand the split between sovereignty of a nation and the future global world:

    • Joe America says:

      A very important exclamation point to your article. We develop allegiances to non-state players like UBER or Facebook. Large corporations are global players and lose all nationality whatsoever, except at tax time. Last year, some 3,500 Americans gave up their US citizenship to simply escape the IRS. What kind of nationality is this??? What kind of sovereignty does it breed?

      We are drifting toward a global state where allegiance is to values or community, not land.

    • sonny says:

      Joseph, I can’t help but recall:

      “Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
      Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel … ” 🙂

      OR constructs of the universe around us:

      singularities, supernovae, asymptotes, gravity, decay …

      OR the world beyond:

      death, judgment, heaven, hell.

      • josephivo says:

        Circles? Maybe, but when does the diameter of the circle becomes so large that nobody can see the difference anymore between the circle and a straight line?

        The distance between science and fiction getting smaller fast. They implanted human genes in a mouse brain and mouse developed human cortex features in its brain, unfortunately the brain gets crushed in a too small scull, also the energy supply would lack. But what if they do the same in a whale or an elephant? Or in vitro in a laboratory? A farm with the brightest human brains? Or the other way around, super-intelligent chips implanted in a human skull?

        Computers do so many routine jobs better than we today. But yesterday’s creative jobs are routine jobs today. And today crative jobs? Will all economic activities be delegated to robots? And philosophy? Some parts as logic or thinking by association are already in the computers domain. And ethical decisions, calculating the largest common good? Religion or the super-natural the last barrier? And what if Dawkins and Hawkins in their new definition on God are right?

        • Joe America says:

          “They implanted human genes in a mouse brain and mouse developed human cortex features in its brain, unfortunately the brain gets crushed in a too small scull . . .” I’m sorry, my associative mind went immediately to leftists from the other blog . . .

        • sonny says:

          As far as the Silicon valley dons are concerned, I can only say since things animate or inanimate carry their own opposites the moment they come into being, limits are part of the same package. Else we will have to construct our own versions of sphinxes, griffins, chimeras and harpies among other things or simply be kind to our neighbors and nurture the young who are already with us to fix our genomes if and when they need fixing.

  17. karl garcia says:

    My only comments on the Spiegel article is that AirBnb was called a digital company, even in the future I can’t imagine how an air bed can be digitized, maybe the digitization would be on the breakfast part. you just sit there and the robots would feed you, but why bother with the airbeds if your customers are going to spend that much? Uber, driven by robots, like me the founder of Uber must have loved the jetsons.

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      There have always been empires (Alexander the Great, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Spanish Empire, British Empire, today’s American Empire) and major technological changes (invention of the wheel – did not reach South America originally, book printing, steam engine, car engine, radio, television, Internet etc.) that changed regions of the world or the whole world, for better or for worse, so that today’s changes are nothing really new.

      Actually the first globalization was the Spanish Empire, there is a book “1493” by Charles C. Mann where he details that most plants mentioned in “Bahay Kubo” are not originally from the Philippines at all. But did all of these globalizations and changes make the world a totally uniform place? Luckily no. Some things became more uniform, some things recombined. Thanks indirectly to the slave trade, we now have jazz and salsa, which both are indirectly descended from African music. Latin American countries all speak Spanish, the original Indian languages are marginalized, but each speak VERY differently.

      Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia would not exist if not for different colonial regimes – but what colonialism left as a result was very different in each of the three big Malay countries. Even the British Commonwealth countries all have very different variations on one theme.

      So – globalization is definitely there, but how it will leave its marks is going to vary locally. So accept the reality of what is happening globally, but see to it locally that your own community benefits from it and is not harmed – that is something one CAN control. A community that is good at defining its own interests can defend and negotiate them better. For example, can everyone migrate to Silicon Valley? Don’t think so. So much for global. Still a State defining things there, the United States. Same thing with the European Union.

      Or the ASEAN free trade zone since 2015 which spells trouble for Philippine-made sugar. Industrially produced Thai sugar costs half of what sakada-made Philippine sugar costs…

      • josephivo says:

        All correct, but you missed the two main points.

        One. Change is no more happening in a linear way, 2+2+2+2… but in an exponential way, 2x2x2x2…. It took the Spanish months to reach the Philippines, weeks for Rizal, days for my parents, 16 hours for my first visit, milliseconds today on Skype. Current Intel chips are billions times bigger than the first in the 70ies.

        Two. In the old days people in power had some influence. Opting for rent and slowing down progress or opting for growth and favoring innovation. National regulations could control products or services and more importantly, the underlying processes. Today some “nerds” in Silicon Valley decide what is good for us, and more importantly how things have to be organized. Our official leaders have difficulty to follow.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          Correct, the pace of change,speed of communications and ease of travel make a major difference. These factors became stronger with every single “globalization”: Roman empire, Spanish empire, British empire and now the de facto American Empire.

          People in power do have influence – those in more powerful regions more than in less powerful ones. Thus the US and the EU can decide to shut out certain immigrants. Countries dependent on tourism or retirement money like the Philippines not as easily. North Korea keeps the Internet mostly for elite use, but the cost will be to high even there. Like you said: leaders have to be knowledgeable about the modern world to succeed. Otherwise those who are more knowledgeable in using the global infrastructure will win.

          But still: countries that have their own power and money base are in the long run better off. Europe can say no to the US in many things because they have that, even if they cannot say no to everything. Like Greek city-states had a bit of a say even within Rome.

          The Philippines can decide whether they are a service nation relying only on BPO and OFWs, or whether they want to use the BPO boom which I believe is temporary, 6-8 years at most, to develop a strong manufacturing and technological base like Taiwan or Korea.

          To use Panem as an analogy, you can decide what kind of District you want to be. There is however not just one Capitol: there is Silicon Valley for technology, New York and Zurich for banking, New York and London for fashion. And I don’t think the world will go totally Panem anyway. For example SAP is globally very powerful, but it’s HQ is NOT in Silicon Valley. BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler-Benz, Mitsubishi, Sony, Samsung are all important global players definitely NOT run from America.

  18. karl garcia says:

    got a text message from my Telco for promos for both airbnb and uber, I underestimated this sharing economy stuff, they can even read my mind, the text was before I typed my comment.
    based on the time of message.

  19. PinoyInEurope says:

    To summarize the point of view I have reached from these discussions: romantic nationalism is definitely outdated. Pragmatic stewardship of community interests, be they local, regional, national, supranational (ASEAN, EU, NATO) or international is what counts nowadays.

    Because in today’s globalized world, one of the worst things that can happen is to be marginalized, but being totally dependent without one’s own voice is even worse. Therefore communities that manage to organize themselves to negotiate and further their own interests in a by now very complex world are going to be the winners of this further stage of globalization. Childish protests are just as useless as total sell-outs, communities have to be united and smart.

    • josephivo says:

      Legislation on new investment algorithms, legislation on designer babies, legislation on internet commercialization…. all will come too late. Globalization influences the way we organize our day, how we spent our money, what we read and think about.

      The old cohesive society with one culture, one religion, one ruling body affecting our whole life is disappearing. New control rooms are set up that launch new ideas, implement them and control them. Expecting that the old rulers will “protect” us becomes unrealistic.

      • PinoyInEurope says:

        Then you need new rulers to protect things. At least control the pace of change and what one makes of it. Go the way of Venezuela, that manages to earn money from its oil and not be like Ecuador whose leaders sold out and is hardly profiting from its own oil.

  20. karl garcia says:

    On your concerns with AFTA, rather than say we will be thrown to the lions den to get mangled. Why not thrown to the lions den and be able to have lion taming skills in an instant. Sure cheaper everything,but we have been dealing with smuggling before, how is this worse tha able to adapt with low prices due to smuggling. Those farmers with rotten produce must find a way to survive eventually…..What happens next is up to them.

    • sonny says:

      Karl, what is AFTA?

    • PinoyInEurope says:

      In today’s world you have to be antifragile – expect anything and be ready for it, like the Nicholas Nassim Talebs book writes about very clearly. I am Chief of Wildlife because I chose to be so, seeing coming.

      Actually free trade can be very good because it forces former monopolies to become more competitive. Too much can be bad if you do not have a minimum standard of quality – this is for example the focus of present free trade discussions between EU and USA.

  21. RHiro says:

    Economy of most states on this planet is mainly people exchanging goods and services amongst themselves. The EU, USA, China, Japan and even the Philippines total international trade as a % of nominal GDP denominated in US dollars is between 20-30%…..

    Using this number as the basis of the openness of an economy, the Philippines is a more open economy than the USA….

    Globalization translated into simple terms is the more open trade in goods and services, free flow of finance capital and labor mobility….

    • josephivo says:

      Goods and services is only one side of the coin. Jollibee and McDonalds hamburgers, Filipino made smartphones, Filipino social media sites…. The way we eat, communicate, play… is changing too. And what is good for us is decided outside our “political” sphere.

      • RHiro says:

        Ah, the tree and the forest issue…Jollibee and McDonald’s are retail services…. Filipino made cell phones are part of the Asian supply chain of off shoring of manufacturing…We assemble not manufacture from scratch…They fall under the import and export sector…

        Granted the globe is going through a digital,communication revolution but that falls under communications and warehousing in the economics accounting table…

        By the way franchising of McDonalds is done under Philippine laws that do not allow 100% ownership by foreigners of retail trade…Hence a Chinese Filipino owns the rights…

        Today only 14 % of Filipino adults access formal financial services….

        Only through quantitative change can qualitative change happen…. The vast majority of Filipinos work in the underground economy. their choices of what they eat, communicate and play is severely limited….

        • josephivo says:

          “The vast majority of Filipinos work in the underground economy. Their choices of what they eat, communicate and play is severely limited….”

          Yap, but did their parents have cellphones? Did their parents play games on cellphones? Did their parent dream of eating at Jollibee?… It is not only about economy, it is also about our goals in live, our way of interacting, our beliefs… changes in our heads, not only in our hands. Where do these changes come from? Who initiates them?

          Yap, but change in society is always initiated at the “top”, people tend to try to imitate the better off. And A class citizens are more typical world citizens than typical Filipino citizens. Manila A class citizens are less interested in Cebu or Davao than in LA, San Francisco or Hong Kong .

          The group of “influencers” is changed and we have less control. We can’t jail people anymore preaching heresies, we can’t defend our favorite recipes anymore, migration to cities changed family dependencies, our prayers for good weather weakened due to climate change.

          • R.Hiro says:

            Change in society is initiated by the “one percenters?” That is a clever premise….Slightly delusional but clever….

            The present crisis in the highly industrialized countries is one of secular stagnation……..Why is money paying out negative interest rates??????

            Japan, the U.S.A. and the EU are facing weak economic growth and the quality of employment and the quality of employment is suffering…Technology based deflation and globalization have gutted Western economies…

            Think about it… Is the present revolution in communication more significant than refrigeration?

            The standard of living in the West in the last century was achieved by a revolution from below….A guy named Marx and Keynes are partly responsible….The West saw the move from an agrarian based economy to an industrial one with a lot of struggles and war.

            Colonial powers gave way to struggles of independent states…

            However we are witnessing today the move from industry to services and the concomitant waves they are creating in the highly industrialized economies.

            The countervailing forces in the past, the labor unions, regulations have all been weakened by the shift in demographics…

            The “one percenters” are dominant…

            But this stagnation in the West is creating cracks within regional groupings and even in the U.S.

            All this because of growing ferment from below who see their incomes and living standards stagnate. Society still stands on its stomach….It’s material base…When that is at risk people get restless….

            Inequality has become the main global issue hounding the planet. The “one percenters” have made Marx relevant once again..

            Onward and upward will be the struggle…

            • josephivo says:

              I fully agree with your analysis, only I believe that it is even worse than what you describe. It is also about what is between our ears, what we value, that is influenced by a small and unchallenged group of people. On top societies are more fragile, more fragmented. The move to cities makes us more independent but less connected.

        • PinoyInEurope says:

          “By the way franchising of McDonalds is done under Philippine laws that do not allow 100% ownership by foreigners of retail trade…Hence a Chinese Filipino owns the rights…”

          That is the main problem: all leaders in the Philippines, be they compradores, patriots or datus, are rent-seekers. Definitions here:

          Now the main political problems of the Philippines are because the patriots and datus are seeing the compradores getting a larger piece of the action than before… nothing more.

  22. PinoyInEurope says:

    Now who said that national institutions don’t mean anything anymore?

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