Are Filipinos a Siphonophore?

Portuguese Man of War National Geographic

[Photo credit: National Geographic]

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By Edgar Lores

Like many observers, I have been puzzled by the intricacies of Filipino behavior.

Why is it, people ask, that Binay is allowed to continue his run for the presidency? In other Asian countries, like Japan and South Korea, a public official tainted with the slightest whiff of scandal would step down and hide his face in shame. And Binay is not only tainted; he is full of it.

And why is it, people further ask, that OFWs are observant of the laws of their host country but become non-observant the moment they step back ashore onto the homeland?

Fellow blogger Josephivo states his befuddlement on the Binay phenomenon this way:

“With a lot of effort I might understand the legal difficulties as the laws were written mostly by people that had some illegal income too, but what I do not understand is how others do not see this strong evidence: the cardinal inviting him, the president shaking his hands, the media showing him at every occasion eating with his hands . . . all as if nothing is going on, as if he is just an ordinary law abiding citizen.  Confusing.”

Confusing? Ahaha, to say the least!

Listen, I have a theory. It’s not a complete explanation of the jigsaw puzzle that is the Filipino psyche; it’s just a jagged piece.

Remember how we were colonized by Spain for nearly 400 years and by the US for close to 50 years?

Duh! How can I forget?” you say.

Well,” I say, “you forgot Marcos was a ruthless dictator who fled Malacanang in 1986, and you voted his son into the Senate just 24 years later, one year short of a human generation.

In his resume, Bongbong forgot he did not earn a full degree from Oxford,” I add.

Ah, so is your theory that we suffer from amnesia, premature Alzheimer’s perhaps?” you ask.

No,” I reply. “We may no longer be the political colony of a foreign power, but the fact is we are still a colony . . . a biological colony”

“Huh?”

Yes, we are a Portuguese Man o’ War.

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Scientific Classification and Description

Name:                    Portuguese Man o’ War
Kingdom:              Animalia
Phylum:                 Cnidaria
Class:                      Hydrozoa
Order:                    Siphonophora
Family:                  Physaliidae
Genus:                   Physalia
Species:                 P. physalis
Binomial Name:  Physalia physalis
Aliases:                  Man-of-war, blue bottle, floating terror

The Portuguese Man-of-War (PMW) is not a single creature. It is a colony. (Refer to Source 1.)

It is a beautiful colony in its own delicately tinged and ethereal way, but it is a deadly colony.

The order Siphonophora is a class of sea creatures made of a colony of individual organisms working together.

The individual organisms are called zooids that are genetic clones of each other, and they group themselves into polyps which perform specialized tasks.

The PMW has four polyps, one at the top that floats above the surface of the water, and three that are clustered below the surface.

At the top, there is the bladder which looks like an old Portuguese warship with its sail unfurled. It performs as the transportation polyp.

Below the bladder, there are clusters of tentacles that average 10 meters in length but that can stretch up to 50 meters. The long, long tentacles form the defense polyp and do the fishing; the short tentacles form the feeding polyp and others the reproductive polyp.

In sum, the PMW is not an “I”.  It is a “WE”. And, I am afraid, it is US.

The Philippine PMW

There can be no doubt that the siphonophore that is our country is a collective society that is highly homogeneous. We can dissect and slice our PMW in different ways to be able to identify the constituent and elemental polyps.

We can see the creature as an ethnic organism, in which case the polyps would be the tribes of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We can see it as an economic organism, in which case the polyps would be the business community, the government regulatory agencies, and the socioeconomic classes as consumers. We can see it as a political organism, in which case the polyps would be the branches of government, the LGUs, the NGOs, and the demos. We can see it from the dynamic of the roles played in the political process, in which case the zooid can be a politician, an entertainer, a masa, a squatter, or a voter.

However our homogeneity is most evident in our religious demography, where the Christian polyp comprises 93% of the population; the Muslim polyp 5%; and the remaining unclassified just a tiny 2 %. The Catholic/Aglipayan zooids alone make up for 83%. (From 2000 census)

(Incidentally, if we see the creature as a conglomeration of communication nodes, social media is a polyp and blogger zooids perform the much needed task of arguing and criticizing (mostly with venom but sometimes with venomous wit) . . . and telling jokes.)

Our Weaknesses

My central thesis is that while we are a siphonophore, we have not evolved to the point where each zooid and each polyp act in concert for the benefit of the entire organism.

As I see it, the basic problem with our PMW can be found in two aspects. The first aspect is biological dysfunctionality, and the second cultural dysfunctionality. The original creature in nature does not suffer from either of these. Oh, I suppose a reproductive zooid may fail to reproduce but the organism does not possess the attribute of culture . . . or does it? As far as anyone knows, the PMW does not have an entertainment polyp, neither a rhythm-and-blues zooid. Hah! Wouldn’t that be hilarious though?

Other Asian countries that are collective in nature are also siphonophores.  The main difference with ours is that successful siphonophores — notably Japan, Singapore and South Korea — have been able to develop a healthy cultural overlay that has injected positive biological and ethical traits into the zooids and polyps and into the whole of the biological organism. This cultural overlay refines the basal survival modality of the individual zooids and polyps. At the other extreme of the Asian experience is the case of North Korea — a more venomous siphonophore than the Philippines — that has an opaque overlay which hides God-knows-what famine and other miseries.

At the biological level, the basic rule of survival for a PMW is that the zooids and polyps perform their specialized functions for the survival benefit of the entire organism.

Contrary to the rule, our biological dysfunctionality lies at two levels.

1. First, the zooids give more importance to themselves and the polyp they belong to, over and above the colony. Thus, in the first instance, we have the Binay zooid putting himself and his family above the body politic. In the second instance, we have the Solid North polyp voting the native son and an outsider mom into national office. More recently we had the INC incident wherein a religious organization crowded into EDSA in a misguided protest that inconvenienced commuters.

2. Second, the polyps do not operate for mutual benefit. Thus, for example, we have religion and religious institutions fighting for: (a) numerical dominance in population; (b) territorial dominance in land and resources; and (c) dominance in influence over the government for their continued existence and for the perpetuation of their dogmas and doctrines often at the expense of the whole. RH Law, anyone?

In turn, I have identified three facets of our cultural dysfunctionality. There could be more.

1. First, our culture still carries over the strains of the pre-Hispanic hierarchy of datu, maharlika and slave that is preserved in the barangay polyp and in the whole of our social stratification. The role of the pre-Hispanic social classes — transformed, extended and strengthened by two waves of colonizers — continue their impaired symbiotic relationship up to this day. We recognize and accept the entitlements of the upper classes, whether social or political. We recognize and accept that rich zooids can abuse the poor and receive special treatment in the halls of justice . . . although we are supposed to be equal under democratic theory. We recognize and accept that politician zooids can steal . . . although stealing runs contrary to the overall health of the biological organism. This acceptance is a corollary of the first biological dysfunction, and the inverse of the colony’s basic rule of survival. Hence we give Binay free rein and allow him a free run. Thankfully, it appears he will not have a free reign. We may even secretly admire him for his gumption. In his place and given the same opportunity, we suspect we would do the same.

2. Second, there is the matter of attachments and non-attachments to subcultural polyps. This is an interesting phenomenon. We are familiar with nepotism, cronyism and favoritism. Then there is the riddle, on one hand, of Filipino zooids forming attachments to polyps that last a lifetime and, on the other hand, there are short-lived attachments of convenience. An example of the former is the brotherhood ties of Greek-letter fraternity polyps forged in the heady days of university life. In the legal profession, there are tales of brother zooids calling in favors from a fraternal zooid who has been appointed to a prestigious judicial bench. Then, too, there is the inexplicable loyalty of Saguisag to Binay, a fellow colleague in the Mabini group of human-rights lawyers.

A prime example of non-attachment is the turncoatism of politicians: since political parties are not founded on principle, opportunistic politicians change parties according to their estimation of a party’s ability to grab and gain power. There is also the schism that runs through religions and religious groups: in Mindanao we have the MILF, the MILN and the BIFF, not to mention the ridoculture; and in the INC we have the spiritualists and the materialists. Here we see disunity to the greater cause where there should be unwavering, even undying, loyalty. A sociologist can spend a lifetime studying these puzzles.

3. Third, there is the reality that, unlike our notable Asian neighbors, we have not developed the proper ethical and aesthetic norms for the benefit of the organism. Norms like reverence, respect, discipline, self-sacrifice, honor, and social equality, not to mention an aesthetic sensibility. I have spoken of the virtue of self-reliance, and JoeAm has been preaching the virtue of sacrificial patriotism forever. True, we possess certain norms but have not been able to put them into full practice. For example in the Rule of Law, the impaired judicial polyp struggles and straggles, unable to fully bring offenders like the Binays to the court, and unable to permanently imprison corrupt senators and representatives. And when we are able to catch a big fish and able to adjudge him guilty, instead of keeping him behind bars as an object lesson we instead let him go — like Corona and Erap.

Returning briefly to the biological aspect, while a zooid in the natural creature cannot survive on its own, Filipino zooids can — and how! The Filipino zooid is a remarkable creature on its own. Our OFWs can truly claim to be world-class. They possess the mimetic qualities of octopi (Phylum: Mollusca; Class: Cephalopoda; Superorder: Octopodiformes; Order: Octopoda). Even so, it is easy to identify a Filipino abroad (Source 2). When abroad they adapt superbly to the cultural norms of their host country. When they return, some are able to bring back and continue to observe their adopted norms. Inevitably, some regress. Alas, the liberated Man-of-Work transforms back to the Man-of-War when safely ensconced in the bosom of his venomous colony.

The Singaporean and Japanese PMWs 

In comparison to our own experience, the polyps of the original Singaporean PMW ran along ethnic lines. It was a mix of a Chinese majority with Malay, Indian and Eurasian minorities. The country was fortunate to have steely-eyed Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) who instilled the adaptive norms of inclusive multiculturalism, meritocracy, discipline, incorruptibility, and cleanliness among many other civic standards and virtues.

We had Marcos who tried but failed because he did not have a sufficiently clear vision. More importantly, he did not possess the qualities he sought to instill. He sought to impose rather than to instill; the distinction is important. Like our bishops, he mocked his own gospel and so did the populace: “Sa ikauunlad ng Bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan.”

The significance of the Aquino presidency rests on the identification of corruption as a central sickness of the biological organism, and in the formulation of the norm of the Straight Path.

In Kierkegaardian terms, corruption is our “sickness unto death.”

In the case of Japan, norms were not imposed by a transformational figure like LKY but were developed organically over centuries of semi-isolation, greatly influenced by Confucian ethics. Arguably, Japan had a more granular social hierarchy than ours, composed of shogun, daimyo, samurai, ronin, peasant, artisan and merchant. But more, Japan had, at the apex of its hierarchy, a royal family with an Emperor seated on the Chrysanthemum Throne.  It seems nations that originated with a monarchy (or are constitutional monarchies or were forged by wise founding fathers), carry the norms of reverence, discipline and self-sacrifice effortlessly.

The Japanese royal family is the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world, and the Emperor is “the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people”. For us, Ninoy had to ask, “Is the Filipino worth dying for?” For the Japanese, the question need not even be raised. Fealty to the Emperor is unquestioned and unquestionable. In World War II, Japanese pilots willingly gave up their lives, for the glory of the Emperor, in waves of kamikaze attacks against Allied vessels.

For the Japanese, reverence, duty and honor combined are the obverse of shame. And when duty is transgressed and shame arises to the fore, honor becomes a higher value than life itself.

In contrast, we are a society of no honor.

What reverence do we have? We have perhaps a little reverence for our immediate elders but not for our ancestors. Is the Western view of old disposable parents to be hidden in aged care homes beginning to take hold? I don’t know. If you lurk in social media, we do not seem to have reverence for anything except our favored candidates. Outside of it, what I do know is that we have reverence for (a) status symbols like cars and the latest technical toys and (b) for idols of popular entertainment and saints made of stone, wood and plastic.

What to do?

Clearly, we have first to conceptualize and identify the norms to be instilled. Then we have to enact them into law (if not done so already), and observe and practice them, either through mindfulness or through habit-formation until they become second-nature. Or . . . or we can wait for a strong man to come along, take away our freedoms, and hammer the needed lessons into our psyche.

There have been many suggestions in this blog site of what needs to be done. I will just list two.

1. To have reverence for the law we have to impose the penalties of the law. We do not have to bring back the death penalty, but why not consider caning as practiced in Singapore and as suggested by blogger Chempo? Corporal punishment induces shame and is effective; and the flesh, the muscles are known to carry memories, a case of matter over mind.

2. To encourage national unity, why not weaken the hold of the Church as suggested by blogger LCpl_X? Ban their meddling, their bloc voting, their brokerage for the best government jobs, and their religious paraphernalia in government buildings. In a secular society, religion should be a personal and congregational matter.

To list all the necessary remedial steps would take another post. I would suggest though that we stop yearning for an LKY. I further suggest that we do not wait another 500 years to refine the cultural overlay. Social media has been instrumental in opening our eyes and, at the individual zooid level, we can do our part now.

Where to?

We Filipinos are a lovely people. We live in a veritable paradise. And yet, and yet . . .

The sad fact of the matter is that our cultural overlay is thin, and we do not act, behave or live according to principles.

Perhaps we can use these questions as a simple guide in the forthcoming elections: Which candidate most exhibits principles?  Which expediency?

The PMW does not have a propulsion system of its own. It is at the mercy of the tides and the wind, just as our country is at mercy of typhoons, sea surges and floods. And volcanoes and earthquakes. And pestilent pests and traffic. Without strong direction and without the inculcation of proper civic virtues, we might continue to drift like the beautiful and deadly Portuguese Man o’ War.

***

Sources:

1. Deadly Beauty: A Portrait of the Portuguese Man-of-War

2. Filipina in U.S.A.: How to identify a Filipino

Comments
375 Responses to “Are Filipinos a Siphonophore?”
  1. karl garcia says:

    What’s a siphonophore?

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      A good basic question.

      1. Dictionary answer: “a colonial marine coelenterate of the order Siphonophora, such as a Portuguese man-of-war.”

      2. Short answer: “a biological colony.”

      3. Extended answer:

      3.1. A biological colony refers “to individual organisms of the same species living closely together, usually for mutual benefit, such as stronger defense or the ability to attack bigger prey.”

      3.2. A good example is a bee colony that consist of individual bees. Each bee has a differentiated function, and could be a single queen; many male drones; or many, many more female worker bees.

      3.3. In my analogy, Filipinos appear to be a biological colony, a superorganism, because of our closeness. The AlDub Nation, as just described by Wilfredo and as attested to by so many commenters, is evidence of this closeness. We are individuals but we react as one to this kalyeserye.
      *****

      • karl garcia says:

        Many thanks master guru.

      • Joe America says:

        I wonder as to the method of communication between the zooids, and between the polyps. Is it just proximity and instinct? This is fascinating stuff, like how dogs are able to find their way home because they have a magnetic comfort point (emotion?) assigned to home, and if they are too far off, their cranial compass simply drives them back to the comfort point. I wonder about this because the AlDub phenomenon, which is a unifying phenomenon among a whole lot of (self-interested) zooids, seems to operate on a very strong emotional bonding level that is beyond expression or even comprehension. It just works on so many levels, that it is like a comfort point.

        I suppose that emotionalism also forms the nationalism that gets evoked at Pacquiao fights, or appreciation of heroes or enthusiasms about entertainers and even God(s). It isn’t intellectual. We can talk until our computer screens turn blue and can’t get across the idea of patriotic sacrifice to a lot (most?)Filipinos. But put it in the right emotive pitches and people relate.

        The suicide rate in Japan is high, the Philippines low. What’s with that? There are obviously DISHARMONIOUS transmissions occurring where individual zooids in Japan are saying “I’m outta here”, but Filipino zooids are saying, “I’m in it for life”. So, if that is not sacrifice, at least it is a bonding. A unity.

        I think we need to find new forms of expression other than logic, and the community of Filipinos will rise, fools no more. Perhaps we are the fools for using language, logic and expectation, rather than artistic expressions and emotion. And no expectation.

        • I remember when I was there, the news was about Korean students jumping off high rises over there. I guess it’s an East Asian thing. Weird.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Base jumping or suicide? Although these two could be the same.
            *****

            • edgar,

              From what I heard, these young Korean students would approach sales representatives or real estate agents to check out top high-rise condo/apt. units and once there they would just take a dive– to the dismay of the agents hoping for some good commission ( from there on out young Koreans were black listed and could only see photos of units ), falling like pumpkins below, splattered all over the pavement. If you’ve not seen a body fall from a high rise, a pumpkin is the best description.

        • i7sharp says:

          @Joe America
          “I think we need to find new forms of expression other than logic, and the community of Filipinos will rise, fools no more. Perhaps we are the fools for using language, logic and expectation, rather than artistic expressions and emotion. And no expectation.”
          ——-

          Let me just zero in on the clause,
          “And no expectation.”

          I do not fully grasp my JoeAm is saying; nonetheless, let me refer to the image you see here:
          https://joeam.com/2015/09/22/the-social-significence-of-aldub/#comment-138116

          Is it just me, or does the Philippines really look like a siphonophore?

          My expectation is that we will see more *magnificence* in the Philippines (in its geography, in its people, in its culture) as we look deeper.

          Speaking of deeper, I came upon the news about the highest grade gold by clicking on the link, News!, in this site:

          http://j.mp/rp-trench

          After six years, I have posted only eight messages – the latest being posted yesterday only in anticipation of Edgar’s article – on siphonophores about which I had known nothing about.

          • Joe America says:

            “And no expectation.” There is a form of magnificence in the laboring poor of the Philippines because of the absence of expectation, for their lives are so bare of “things”, including ambition and insatiable greed (where one has lots but still wants more, as opposed to one wanting things that belong to someone else because my kids and I are hungry) that the stresses are different, almost non-existent in terms that those of us who sought careers and battled our way up to more and more “stuff”, and along the way got depression or neuroses or heart attacks and a lot of anger. Expectation is the gap between what we have and what we think we deserve, and it seems to me that it does not serve us well at times.

            This goes back to touch on josephivo’s article about redefining our social values, and LC_X’s article about austerity.

            Creatures like the Portuguese Man of War have developed a community that cares for itself. I think the Filipino lifestyle (outside the big cities) has a lot going for it in terms of passing through life without pains we bring on ourselves. Taking care of oneself, in the polyp one is dealt.

            If you don’t get this, don’t worry about it. I’m still trying to gather up the ideas myself.

            • i7sharp says:

              “Bayanihan” comes to mind.

              What has come of it?
              Lost?
              Vitiated?
              Forgotten?

              • Joe America says:

                I think it still exists. I had to move a small cottage, less than the size of that house, and a neighbor said he’d get it done for a couple of jugs of Red Horse. A half hour later, 10 guys came ambling up and hauled the cottage to its newly appointed spot. It was hard work, but they thought it was fun, and clearly were happy when they won the physical battle. I was happy to buy the beer.

              • neo canjeca says:

                if I may i7sharp,

                memories sometimes make a bad turn
                there was a Tagala rural sociologist who rang the bell
                about Bayanihan. To say the least, the point made was
                to rethink Bayanihan for what it is. Why are they moving
                those houses, those homes, are they the pioneer, original
                squatters? Aren’t those guys helping wrongly their
                neighbors. Is Bayanihan about helping the landless?

                I was fourteen when I almost broke my right shoulder
                helping squatters move away from Ayala land. Boy, those
                wood were hard and heavy, it takes some harmony,
                synchronicity to lift and put down (to rest) the really
                heavy houses. Am having now a recurring pain
                (probably rheumatis, arthritis) behind my right
                shoulder which Tylenol gives temporary relief.
                It looks good in the picture though. Onli as they say
                in da Pilipins.

                The Bayanihan dancers of PWU is of course another
                Art matter of national pride.

              • neo,

                Maybe you’re describing something that happened in the city, but in the rural area, that’s exactly how it looks like– all that’s missing are the food and drinks. It’s similar to moving day over here, where all your buddies with trucks become even more special friends, after which pizzas and beers all around.

              • Bayanihan is right – I have quantified it in the following posting:

                https://joeam.com/2015/09/22/the-social-significence-of-aldub/#comment-138703

                You need leadership with the energy and rage of Heneral Luna, tempered by the love and community feeling of AlDub – that is what the country’s best leaders have had: Magsaysay with his Mambo and reach out to the poor peasants plus his military measures.

                Guys, my tracert crowdsourcing initiative is a living example, based on a current issue that touches so many in the Philippines, you are all invited to give some LOVE to this!

                Let us see how many zooids take part, if it manages to jolt through the siphonophore.

        • cortyinjp says:

          Joe, from what I’ve read, in Japan, the leading cause of suicide is depression that may be rooted in unemployment or bankruptcy (thereby bringing shame to oneself and one’s family), isolation (with respect to the elderly who have no children or family to live with or visit them) and as for some young people, bullying by peers or a person in authority i.e. athletic coach. Apparently it is a cultural phenomenon, as a keen sense of shame can lead a person to think that ending one’s life is unburdening your family or society in general. But another reason why it may be easier for the Japanese to resort to suicide in the face of overwhelming challenges is the absence of religious influence, like Catholics are brought up to believe that killing oneself is a mortal sin that would extinguish any chance for redemption.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            coryinjp, that’s an apt observation on the religious influence. On the other hand, some cults see suicide as a form of purification (Yukio Mishima), and some have committed mass suicide (Jonestown).
            *****

          • Joe America says:

            Yes, good points. Yet, I sense very little depression or even discouragement among the Filipino working population. There seems instead to be an acceptance that “this is what I do”. Even if it is barely survive. I’m used to the American way of second-guessing everything one does, comparing oneself always with others, trying to measure up, and otherwise doing those introspective things that drive them to self-help books and therapy.

          • chempo says:

            Japan has a high suicide rate, but it’s not the highest in the world. The highest, surprisingly, is Greenland. Don’t know why. It’s least densely populated and cool and serene place.

            If you compare Japanese to Filipino mindset you can see why the former has a greater suicide tendency. To Japanese, shame is a big deal, whether to person or to family. Suicide is not escapism, but taking responsibility. They remove themselves to remove the shame. Culturally, death by taking one’s own life is an honourable way to go, exemplified by the samurai’s honour code bushido for seppuku. Zen Buddhism views suicide as pointless, because of the cycle of rebirth. It does not discuss the value of life as we do in Christianity.

            • Thanks for the clarification, chempo.

              I wonder what siphonophores do with cells that don’t perform anymore.

              This isn’t so much suicide (like the above) now, but it is about taking responsibility. I saw plenty of old people in their death beds inside the homes of their kids or grandkids, just dying many times painfully and with no cognition.

              This same scene was repeated in hospitals over there, for those willing or bamboozled ( by the hospital in need of revenue ) to pay and/or incur debts. Though I don’t agree with young and able bodies opting out, I do think the above phenomenon is a national issue ( much like making too many babies, though they have inherent potential ).

              “Suicide is not escapism, but taking responsibility.” So taking from that, what of those who are truly in the twilight of their years, before they suffer dementia, can the Philippines promote this as something honorable and not a sin against God? Similar movement is happening over here, called the Right to Die. This is probably the best read on this subject that I have come upon, http://www.deadatnoon.com/ ( read it all ).

              No one should have to feel that jumping off high rises, is the only viable option, because the people who’ll have to clean up and see that mess will be traumatize for life ( not to mention hurting others in the process). There should be a better way to die on your own ( or with loved ones ) that is dignified and meaningful.

              That I think is a suicide worth fighting for. What do parts of the siphonophore think?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                I am for a dignified and honorable exit. Euthanasia will never be given serious consideration in a Roman Catholic country like the Philippines. During the RH Law debate, the Church warned this was just the beginning and that D.E.A.T.H.S bills would follow. D=divorce; E=euthanasia; A=abortion; T=total reproductive health; H=homosexuality or gay marriages; S=sex education.

                Incidentally, I think the Jain tradition of sallekhana is beautiful, a courageous, conscious and willing acceptance of death in the midst of life.

                The Right to Life implies the Right to Die.
                *****

              • Divorce and sex education are OK. Every other Catholic country except the Vatican has divorce. Sex education was something that was pioneered during the time of Marcos as part of his family planning programs – looking at Filipino population growth it wasn’t wrong.

                Euthanasia is something quite horrible in my opinion, so is abortion – I would only allow abortion during the first 3 months, in certain special cases like medical indications or rape. Although I have heard from some women that this is not a thing men should be deciding.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                What about same-sex marriage?
                *****

              • There is no legal impediment to two people living together, but the notion of marriage for me implies two different sexes.

                The Church of course is one of the guardians of moral values in the best case and a guardian of bigotry and hypocrisy in the worst case, but I do understand that they are afraid of an erosion of moral values. Where do you set limits?

              • edgar lores says:

                ******
                Irineo, thanks. My thinking would be that the secular State and not the Church sets the limits on these issues. As to where the limits should be set, public opinion is changing around the world. but it will be sometime before most countries catch up with “progressive” thinking on these matters. I place the word “progressive” in quotation marks because these matters are debatable.
                *****

              • Joe America says:

                What good are moral values that fall behind knowledge? The Pope ought not pick and choose what knowledge to adapt to (he seems to believe the science on global warming, but not that homosexuality is a natural condition for many; that is, it is God’s will, it is not a choice).

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          With PMWs, the communication would be cellular pathways. I read that after digestion of food by the feeding polyp, the organism is able to distribute nutrients to each zooid across the entire body though these pathways. The zooids are interconnected, and in some siphonophores there is a sort of backbone structure.

          With humans, say with AlDub Nation, communication would be verbal — but like wildfire — in what I imagine would be a multi-node, multi-dimensional pyramidal structure. As described by Wilfredo, the show becomes a talking point when people meet in person, in social media and especially across the Twitterverse so there is great emotional synergy.

          One thing I have always wondered about Filipinos is how verbal expressions spread like wildfire and gain popular currency. This used to happen even before the Internet. Verbal expressions, verbal icons, verbal memes like “sa tamang panahon” and “eh di wow” which was used in the SONA. I haven’t experienced this in other cultures. Sure certain ideas come into vogue and there is the sharing of popular memes, but nothing like what we have here?

          Is there some sort of racial telepathy? I would not be surprised.

          I listed 4 items about the AlDub Nation phenomenon, and you mentioned one of them: this is whether the attached emotionalism can be used to instill good traits. Incidentally, this was touched on by LCpl_X as well with his reference to negative and positive reinforcement. Wilfredo mentions that the show carries traditional values, and commenters have mentioned it also carries lessons. In that these values and lessons are raised brings them into consciousness. The question is: will they stay in consciousness and alter behavior?

          I guess the easy lessons will, such as visiting a girlfriend at her house rather than just sending a text message. As for new and abstract notions like sacrificial patriotism, I don’t know. I have my doubts.

          Speaking of emotionalism, is AlDub Nation the good side of the Mamasapano rage? (This is another of my 4 items.)

          As to suicide, no, Filipinos are not a suicidal lot. We will cling to life and persevere under the harshest of conditions. Our connectedness is preventative. A bowl of rice will make us happy, and chocolate will send us into paroxysms of ecstasy. We rank 150 out of 170 countries. Japan ranks 7th. But then they did practice ritual seppuku. Singapore ranks 97 which is more than halfway between the Philippines and Japan. (Figures updated 2011.)
          *****

          • Joe America says:

            “Speaking of emotionalism, is AlDub Nation the good side of the Mamasapano rage?” It would certainly seem to be that, a frenzy of love feeding on itself. I wonder if there are any lessons for President Aquino. I’d suggest maybe HE be the subject of Wilfredo’s search for a girlfriend for a designated man, as proposed by LCX.

            • Wil (from his comments): “It mattered to the directors that Alden caught the eye of Yaya Dub and she turned from dismissible clown to blushing maiden in a matter of seconds. It’s not only genius, there is love in what they do although they will never admit it, magkamatayan na (over their dead bodies).”

              I hadn’t considered this whole Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin-schtick

              as being an integral part of this love formula. I seriously doubt the Pres. can pull the Dean Martin routine, so he’ll have to be the clown. So we’ll have to up the suitable bachelorettes age to 30-60. We may be losing the 15-30 demographics the ones that generate interest and buzz, but then again since it is a former President ( unless Joe got word from the top, that he can do this right now ), there’s the celebrity factor that should even out the age issue.

              Either way a great experiment all around. We’ll make the regular commenter on here with a pornographic mind ( karl ) be the casting guy for suitable bachelorettes.

        • “But put it in the right emotive pitches and people relate.” AlDub and Heneral Luna are two very recent examples – one on the lighter side and the other on the more serious side.

          Recent memes of Heneral Luna telling the Congress “Bayan o sarili, negosyo o kalayaan” – Country or self, business or freedom – show how the films message has come across…

          But just look at the names of fan groups of the two major networks – Kapamilya and Kapuso – they are related to “family” and “heart” – Filipinos are simply an emotional people.

          Or even the names of the different Katipunan groups: Bonifacio’s Magdiwang (To Party) and Aguinaldo’s Magdalo (To Visit) which show that the fiesta is extremely important.

          So many words, especially in English are just abstraction to Filipinos, one gets the Filipino moving through emotion, in both positive and negative ways – Rizal shot, the cry of Pugadlawin, Ninoy shot, the anger about Mamasapano, AlDub, Heneral Luna movie…

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            I have always thought we should be a balance of heart and mind. Too much mind, and you might become a cynic. Too much heart… and you become a Filipino.
            *****

            • Joe America says:

              Way to boil two intellectual, emotional blogs into one pithy conclusion . . .

            • Looking at events like Mamasapano and movies like Heneral Luna – feelings especially strong ones can be a catalyst to start Filipinos thinking about things so they are OK.

              The Filipino distance from logic has in my opinion the following causes:

              1. Rote learning which distances the learner from the stuff being learned. Memorizing that there were Generals Luna, Ricarte, Del Pilar and others during the Philippine-American war – who cares, probably the teacher doesn’t either. Show a Filipino a movie though…

              2. The use of foreign language as a tool of power by Filipino elites – not to clarify matters but to confuse the common people, similar to the way the medieval church used Latin. Which is why some Filipino readers STILL think that what we are up to HERE is bullshit.

              Nonetheless there are three logical people in the Heneral Luna movie – Luna, Mabini and Aguinaldo. Luna is logical but driven and highly explosive. Of the two cool-headed ones, Mabini is logical and patriotic, while Aguinaldo is logical for his own interests and his power. Noynoy Aquino is also a logical, cool-headed person – in my evaluation around 2/3 Mabini and 1/3 Aguinaldo, meaning he is mostly patriotic but sometimes he is factional.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                In that analysis, I would take Mabini to be the future role model.
                *****

              • Something between Luna and Mabini. Or between Duterte and Mar Roxas. Sometimes you need passion and energy, sometimes diplomacy. Having said that, it depends on whether you are looking for a DOJ or DOD head (Luna, Duterte) or somebody for DILG or DFA (Mabini, Roxas) – and nobody is perfect anyway. The bottom line though is care for the community – a word I prefer to misunderstood “patriotism” – and honesty.

              • Joe America says:

                “Noynoy Aquino is also a logical, cool-headed person – in my evaluation around 2/3 Mabini and 1/3 Aguinaldo, meaning he is mostly patriotic but sometimes he is factional.”

                Man, that says it all. Perfect read-out, perfect characterization.

          • I just read that it was a Spanish-Filipino guy that bankrolled this whole movie. Who exactly is this Fernando Ortigas guy? He reminds me of Steve Jobs.

            • There is an Ortigas Avenue in Metro Manila, so I gather that the Ortigas family belong to the old wealth that keeps a low profile. Actually there were quite a few Spanish soldiers who joined the ranks of the revolution, and more who later joined the war against the US.

              The grandfather of a family friend was an Andalusian married to a Filipina who joined the revolutionaries – and her father was a Philippine Army Colonel. Luna’s second-in-command Paco Roman (Francisco) who died defending his boss was the son of a Spanish officer and an Ilokana – and was originally in the Spanish cavalry. The first Filipino nationalist was a 19th-century Spanish creole, the only Filipino to become a Spanish noble who spent time with French revolutionaries – more here: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/philippine-history-part-ii-state-section-1/ – there is also a little bit about the first insurrections by Spanish creoles and mestizos in the military.

              Of course Filipino nationalists tended to downplay the role of Spanish creoles and mestizos in the formation of the Filipino state, but I guess many Spaniards who DECIDED to stay in the Philippines may have been more nationalistic than Filipinos in the beginning, exactly because they were like JoeAm who chose to be in the country, while many native Filipinos just were there and were more part of their respective ethnic group than Filipino.

              But the Spanish-Filipinos have become a minority, many left in the 1920s because in Spain the law allows you to get a Spanish passport if you can prove descent and they did not feel at home in an increasing Americanized Philippines, more left in the 1950s after independence and a final batch left in the 1970s which was when Marcos abolished Spanish as a requirement in schools and universities, so those left now are those who want to stay. I don’t quite agree with MRP’s take on the Ayalas – they have earned much in the Philippines but also invest. Always their policy, actually the ZOBEL de Ayalas are German-Spanish in origin and always had a more modern capitalist attitude that you have to invest in order to earn, different from the more feudal and passive Spanish tradition.

              Used to be that the Spanish-Filipinos were the richest and most powerful families, but the past decades have seen the rise of people like Henry Sy, Lucio Tan and Gokongwei – Chinese-Filipinos are now the top dogs among the oligarchs, the only “Spaniards” that remain are the Ayalas. Other examples of Spanish-Filipinos with hardly any native blood are Fernando Poe’s father (his mother was Irish-American) and actor Eddie Mesa, but these are not the rich ones. My region – Bikol – has a strong Mexican strain from the galleon trade. A typical Bikolano may look like a mixture of Hawaiian or Maori (it is the Pacific coast after all) and Mexican (Trillanes, Escudero, Leni Robredo are examples), while in Pampanga and Pangasinan which face toward China there tend to be more people who look a bit Chinese – Limahongs legacy? Or are in terms of origin pure Chinese like Cory whose ancestors were Fujianese – she still spoke the dialect, Kris doesn’t.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Marcos was partly responsible for breaking up the old oligarchies and created new ones with his cronies. The wealth of the old oligarchies have been restored to some extent — the Lopezes for example — but as pointed out new Chinese-Filipinos have risen to the top.

                The cronies are still around and, I think, trying to make a comeback to the top with Grace and Chiz.
                *****

              • This ALDUB phenomenon will make Tito Sotto number 1 senator? oh my…can’t the masa separate tinseldom from reality…?…may God have mercy on us!!

              • Ooops, misplaced comment there…that was in reaction to sir edgar’s post on Tito Sotto’s being number 1 on the senatorial survey. Lost the internet connection last night before I could click Post Comment button.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                That wasn’t me, Mary, that was Wilfredo.
                *****

              • chempo says:

                Interesting bytes Irineo. Thks

            • got it now – Ortigas ( allegedly together with President Manuel Quezon ) owned large parts of Mandaluyong – similar to the Ayalas owning large parts of Makati which used to be the original site of the Manila airport or Nielsen field, the two main avenues were the runways.

              Now if the Ortigas family still owns the land and Megamall etc. just lease it – like it is rumored that the Ayalas still own major parts of Makati – they have really good money, even if they sold it I think they got a good price. Nothing wrong with these guys spending money on culturally valuable stuff, Rockefeller and Carnegie were robber barons but their foundations do a lot for culture in the US – Quezon will probably be part 3 of the trilogy.

    • David Murphy says:

      A siphonophone is a member of the order Siphonophora, which includes the Portugese Man O’ War. I didn’t know either until I read the classification which Mr..Lores thoughtfully included near the beginning of the blog. I doubt that many of the other readers did either so don’t feel bad. It was easy to miss..

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Thanks, David.

        With the amount of input we have to ingest, many of us are becoming speed readers, and are likely to miss something.

        Ingestion may be the smaller part of the problem. Digestion — understanding — would be the larger.
        *****

  2. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/portuguese-man-o-war.html

    Explained already by sir edgar, I keep thinking of it as jellyfish, looking at the pics…wrong!

    The Portuguese man o’ war, (Physalia physalis) is often called a jellyfish, but is actually a species of siphonophore, a group of animals that are closely related to jellyfish. A siphonophore is unusual in that it is comprised of a colony of specialized, genetically identical individuals called zooids — clones — with various forms and functions, all working together as one. Each of the four specialized parts of a man o’ war is responsible for a specific task, such as floating, capturing prey, feeding, and reproduction. Found mostly in tropical and subtropical seas, men o’ war are propelled by winds and ocean currents alone, and sometimes float in legions of 1,000 or more!

    Filipinos are a group of animals closely related to jelly fish, no backbone at all, no principles?…no, hopefully not all..!….Still asleep or daydreaming, apathetic, uncaring of others, some are not, most – sadly are…

    more later…

    • karl garcia says:

      Me too, I thought it was a jellyfish.

    • karl garcia says:

      Mg, i can’t find u on facebook.
      If u like add me: facebook.com/karlgarcia1

      • I haven’t access my FB account in a long while…shades of what happened before, a family member opened an account for me, invited friends in my behalf and tagged a lot of pics resulting in a lot of social interactions without my seeing and knowing them, birthday greetings that went unanswered, unacknowledged…that’s me, in my accounting world….I got active after two years, socialized for a while and then posted status with political themes, and friends got frozen, catatonic and moved on with socializing…unmindful of current events unfolding around them. Life is good, who cares about politics. Outings, going abroad, parties…woot, woot…i persisted until one cousin even poked me…haaaisssst…I need to talk to a few of them one by one, when they are ready to listen, right now, they’re not, soon I hope, before election. Fed up, I went inactive again till I forgot my password, and didnt care anymore, can you believe that? And you know how hopeless I am with these things…Blogging became my world. Will open one again later and befriend you, karl.

        • I keep getting Karl Anthony Garcia of Albay when I searched for karlgarcia1…

          Am on FB now…karl…Mary Grace P. Gonzales

          • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

            So am I: Renée Will Villanueva. Renée is my wife. Friend me. Everyone’s welcome. Facebook is my spawning ground.

            • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

              A tongue twister, and a new learning. We’re in trouble. If being a siphonophore, means we think and move as one, Binay has a chance of getting elected. Put in AlDub Nation into the mix—btw, Tito Sotto is number one senatoriable per recent survey—and Pacman, although I don’t like the guy but that’s a different story, and the Mamasapano rage, every thing we do follows a pattern, humongous rage (collectively), then a return to sanity (collectively), waiting for the next wave (collectively) and so on. Therefore, Binay could really be president because public sentiment is definitely against him now, but watch out for the back flow, we will say he’ll always be Binay, we’ll always be us, he wants the job badly, kawawa naman (pity him—collectively again), then come election time, guess who will get the most votes. Whew! Thanks, Edgar, for the dissection. It’s time to lend a hand to the wheel of Mar. The siphonophore could also turn on him, kawawa din naman si Mar ‘di ba, and so the ebb and rise will go on, threatening everyone at one time, letting it pass at one time. Big thanks for the thought, Edgar. The winner is the one who can track the volatility, turn it into his advantage.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Wilfredo,

                Thank you for finding time to drop in! I think the incredible response to your post will keep you busy until the New Year.

                Yes, we must heed your warnings about Binay. As Yogi says, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
                *****

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                AlDub campaign slogans:

                Para kay [Binay]… walang tamang panahon.
                Para kay [Grace]… hindi pa tamang panahon.
                Para kay [Mar]… panahon na!

                Just change the names in the brackets.
                *****

          • Joe America says:

            Twitter? I find that is where most of my interesting reading gets mentioned. I only follow about 50 or 60 people, but they provide a lot of reference material. I find Facebook cumbersome because I get a zillion notifications that I can’t keep up with. I suppose Instagram is my next horizon. I understand it has passed Twitter on volume. Plugged in . . .

          • karl garcia says:

            MG, Still cant find you try me again search for karl misa garcia.ty
            Will will search you too.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Mary Grace,

      Thank you. You have extended my lament of a thin cultural overlay with the “no backbone” remark. After the highs of the preceding post, the abrupt change in tone may be too shocking to bear for some. May I assure readers that it is not my intention to lift the unbearable lightness of being experienced thus far. The intention is just to understand aspects of our nature as a people and, in doing so, how to attain more or less permanent highs — in real life and not just in fantasy.
      *****

    • PLDT has literally has no backbone – no Internet backbone, which is the main reason for the Philippine Internet being so slow: http://telcotroll.com/fact-sheet-the-globe-pldt-ntc-dost-ip-peering-issue/ – found this article just now, it explains things very well…

  3. karl garcia says:

    Polyps, so close to home someone close to me got them removed recently.the small pimple or wart groups represent the various cluster groups in thehabitat of the siphonophores(sp).

  4. Truly a deep thinker, you are, sir edgar, we normal individuals can hardly fathom the depth, the meanings, the real life examples.

    We fear that the plunderers may not stay in detention for long courtesy of the cunning lawyers whose sold their soul and intellect to those thieves – so true and so sad.

    We lament that Estrada, after a long and tedious court process was convicted but pardoned by another allegedly plunderer ex-president – shamefully real, he’s even allowed to offer himself for president and got the 2nd highest votes, he offered himself to Manilans and they embraced him and elected him mayor who sabotaged the national economy by his Manila truck ban.

    What happened to the tax cases filed by the BIR against Corona? True, he was kicked out, as SC chief but hey, did we ever confirm that he did not avail of retirement benefits, etc?

    Our laws allow politicians ( like Estrada) already convicted but due to a faulty pardon by the grateful beneficiary of EDSA 2 People Power, the SC resorted to a technicality, (placing the promise not to run again in any government position in the whereas, whereas portion and not in the main body of the pardon). Am I wrong? Please correct me if I am, I don’t want to be accused again of what – offering a wrong opinion?

    Our laws allow politicians like Binay who have numerous cases already filed in the Ombudsman’s office to still be a presidential candidate, even if later he is eventually charged and convicted, a mere appeal or motion for reconsideration filed to the CA, later to the SC will be an excuse to make him a qualified candidate. He must be convicted by a final and executory decision by the highest court of the land to prevent him from running – the entire process will take decades, longer than the term of office he is seeking for since day 1 of his proclamation as VP.

    Who will repeal such laws, the politicians who are thieves and members of that dynasty themselves?

    In our dreams.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      The cases that you cite highlight our collective amnesia, our propensity to forgive wrongs too readily, and the shortcomings of our justice system. The zooids, the polyps and the whole of the organism are dysfunctional.

      The legal opinion on Erap may be proper, but what about Erap’s assessment of himself? He made a commitment that he did not honor.

      Despite of all of these, we are a remarkable people, able to find camaraderie, laughter and love in unlikely places in the four corners of the world.
      *****

      • cortyinjp says:

        Cory received a lot of flak for her insistence on reconciliation with justice. The elite opposition were disenfranchised for too long that when they regained power they just lost it. PCGG was a disgrace. When my colleagues and I used to rail against the rumored excesses of government officials, our boss, then a scion from a wealthy family, would say “It is always easy to criticize but who knows we wouldn’t be doing the same things if we were in power!” Or “Everyone has a price.” I imagine this mentality remains, at least among those who have not had a chance to make hay in the last 5 years.

        I’ve observed that Japanese politicians simply complete their prison terms even for only a few years but they actually stay in jail! Indeed, unless the powerful are made to serve out their terms in a real prison, people will not be discouraged to rationalize and continue with the culture of graft and corruption. So heartbreaking.

        We need the youth to learn and to believe that having leaders who have proven their uprightness in government service has a multiplier effect and ultimately benefits the greater number but holding politicians’ feet to the fire should be every citizen’s unceasing concern.

        Thank you, Edgar.

      • karl garcia says:

        Collective selective amnesia.The extrreme are the likes of MRP, remind you til it hurts.

    • I think the cases are going through the longest most convoluted path it can go through MG.
      When you are a former SC CJ you know all the tricks.

  5. “2. To encourage national unity, why not weaken the hold of the Church as suggested by blogger LCpl_X? Ban their meddling, their bloc voting, their brokerage for the best government jobs, and their religious paraphernalia in government buildings. In a secular society, religion should be a personal and congregational matter.”

    Great article, edgar. I think I might have watched something about this on jelly fish, but never really understood how these units functioned. It’s a great metaphor and spring board from which to act. Just like Wil ‘s #AlDub article, harness that Twitter, Web 2.0 movement into something, anything, just not backwards.

    ***

    “Social media has been instrumental in opening our eyes and, at the individual zooid level, we can do our part now.”

    Where I think chempo and I differ is in positive vs. negative reinforcement.

    Both have its place. But for me, the one that’s less military-like is a better option, ie. if you introduce caning in the Philippines, and you have minds that are still very subservient, there’s a good chance you’ll create something opposite of your intended target, which is involvement.

    If you’re gonna cane anyone, cane those in power– I think that would fall under “positive” reinforcement, ie. if we expose these criminals, we’ll get to see them cry in public with red butts to boot.

    ***

    Obstinacy ( be hard-headed, going against the grain ) is another quality, rather than obedience, that needs to be prioritized.

    For example, challenging the Church ( whether Catholic, INC or the Mulism Salafi movement ) we can talk about government & academic strategies, but

    encourage individual, personal tactics of doing this. Read the Bible, read the Qur’an, these are not inerrant or infallible books of God– but by man, and as such will have a bunch of mistakes & contradictions.

    Most believers, keep their faith to themselves and question those above them– they are allies.

    But the loud few, who either knowingly coopt the power of these ancient texts or those unknowingly parroting other individuals’ interpretations for personal gain or a much darker agenda, deserve to be challenged.

    On a personal level, you can do this in break rooms, work space, at church, in rallies, just have a couple of arguments handy ( plenty available online ). Or simply use Web 2.0, Twitter, fb, etc. to post these challenges. Chip away.

    ***

    So that’s just one use of obstinacy— against the Church (Catholic, INC & Muslim)– same tactics can be used pretty much everywhere else in gov’t bureaucracies, private sector ( lack of customer service ), political discourse, school, etc.

    Get involved, get dirty, get to work… Here’s a great video on civics by Richard Dreyfuss, the point is involvement:

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      1. I recommend you have a gander at Source 1.

      2. Between Love and Fear as motivators, fear wins. As you note what will work may be situational, but Love generally requires a higher level of awareness to incite action. I was thinking of using caning for those in power and not for the usual run of criminals. Physical humiliation should remove the smirks from their faces.

      3. Obstinacy and obedience are two sides of the coin. Filipinos are obstinate but they are obstinate in their wrongheadedness. Where they should be obedient to the law — forget plunder just consider the simple matter of not littering — they are obstinate in not following it. One meaning of obstinacy is indeed “refusing to change behavior or ideas.”

      3.1. On the other side of the coin, you are right in that Filipinos are obedient to authority in varying degrees to parental, civic and especially to religious authority as implied in the essay. Here I would encourage in schools the promotion of the scientific paradigm of trying to understand the natural world rather than accepting without question supernatural explanations. However the problem is most of the top schools are sectarian.

      3.2. The emphasis of civics in the Dreyfuss Initiative video should also be taught. Sectarian schools should be able to embrace this type of initiative. Another however: they may not properly teach the separation doctrine.

      3.3. I think social media is now being instrumental in breaking the stranglehold of religion.

      3.3.1. To readers: I am not against religion per se. Religion uplifts our spirits. But the pathologies of religion — such as fundamentalism and exclusivism — can be antihumanistic.
      *****

    • karl garcia says:

      Our penal system where people from the inside get to go out and be hitmen, drug pushers, etc.
      Would caning drive a paradigm shift of discipline? We are so kapalmuks no fear, no shame. sepoku and harakiri never entered thoughts of shamed officials.

      • Karl garcia says:

        Do we even have community service as a penalty?

        • Karl garcia says:

          Community service for those in power won’t work, although it is a bonus. ok cane them guvmint peeps, but the layers of corruption run deep. in the airport, janitors, security, customs, immigration, etc can extort you a million ways and that is just one agency. there is bayanihan: the interagency cooperation on corruption and impunity:

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          It appears we have it as an alternative penalty for a principal or as a subsidiary penalty for an accessory.

          As an alternative penalty, it may be imposed instead of imprisonment, probation or parole, with the consent of the offender.

          For a subsidiary penalty, it may be imposed when (a) the penalty to a crime is a fine, and (b) the offender is unable to pay the fine.

          I have never heard of it being imposed.
          *****

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        I was thinking caning would instill a sense of shame in that we are treating offenders like non-adults.
        *****

  6. josephivo says:

    I like the image, the beauty of the colony and the danger of its poisonous stings.

    But if I remember well PTWs with their sail can tack and sail against the wind or with its polyps as a sea anchor by varying their length (up to 15m long) they can benefit from different undercurrents. They are not fully at the mercy of tides and weather. Also Philippine society has this invisible capability of adjusting in times of adversity, physical or political. One of this invisible Philippine forces is hidden in the fiestas where religion, commerce and revelry merge. Another hidden force is energized by OFWs.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Biological adaptability is amazing. I gathered too that PMWs can anchor themselves, and that their bladders can be biased to the left or to the right. Don’t ask me how.

      The resilience — the antifragility — of the Filipino is well noted.

      We must look into these invisible capabilities. One is our ability to make government funds disappear. I kid but, yes, you are right. I think fiestas are basically the bread and circuses of towns. However, there is an underlying thread of kinship and fellowship. The thread is quite strong. I know that expatriates and OFWs time their visits to coincide with the town fiesta. These are the ties that bind.
      *****

  7. neo canjeca says:

    I AM NOT, REPEAT I AM NOT A SIPHONOPHORE (Portuguese Man of War). My father, and my siblings and my children too may have suffered for it for refusing to be PMW. I, like them believe and live as God’s highest creatures. GOD gave us FREE WILL to be paramount among His living creations including the metamorphic (marble) rocks, the mountains, rivers, the entire Nature; all alive with a life span. We may have lacked the ability to accumulate wealth and properties beyond our needs, but those are our choice. WE ARE NOT ALONE. Even in this page some are like us who, using and exercising free will have traversed life above the animals and inanimate Nature.

    • neo canjeca says:

      Let me put my guard down and start blabbering este sharing. Why call an alleged menace Portuguese Man of War to denigrate the people of Portugal? I have an experience. An OFW, living alone with only a TV for housemate, I saw on the idiot tube soldiers standing erect on tombs calmly shooting firing at scampering teenage boys and girls. I thought at that moment those people need help and I should if I can when the time comes. Time came and UN unexpectedly caused me to be there as a volunteer.

      Among kababayans who honed their skills and courage in Africa, and Cambodia, who mostly I will say are NOT because they abhor the likes of siphonophore we were one in camaraderie. We exchanged happy stories, also the bizzare and the macabre of cruelty to man, of the hauntings, and ghosts of victims, of the cries of dead children entering our dreams.

      Then we were laughing to hear that the American Samoans police volunteers arrested and jailed some drunk soldiers jokingly called Putarguese. We heard it is said they are not popular there because as colonial masters they just left. It is said in history before there were only two which ruled the world: England and Portugal and then now there were how many ?

      Free will causes us to be human the few chosen above the animals and our landscape. Losing it because of greed and whatever makes us poodles and puppies, cats and kittens; worst: blood sucking Anopheles mosquitoes, ticks and termites, venomous snakes, pack of wolves, sharks, tiger man eaters and in this blog siphonopore, the Portuguese Man of War.

      No matter, regardless the mathematics of critical blah, blah and wisdom of science, this Edgar Lores’s piece will be hard and long to displace as one of industrious genius.

      • neo canjeca says:

        “And why is it, people further ask, that OFWs are observant of the laws of their host country but become non-observant the moment they step back ashore onto the homeland?”

        ELEMENTARY My dear Watson. They are afraid of the freezing cold warmth of a jail cell. The dumbos just don’t know or don’t care so they break the law and become deadweights pain in the ass to their country. But that’s being simplistic though it leads us to another smart alecky question. Why are there so many Filipino Associations, even Filipino newspapers in countries of choice of Filipino expats and immigrants?

        It needs high school thinking Dr. Watson. During a Pinoy picnic in the northernmost city of down under, a Pinoy internist told me. He has worked in Canada and USA, and of the mind to say there as many Pinoy organizations as there are as many Pinoys in any foreign country. Often times than not these organizations are quarreling. I thought that’s a stretch of to each each own individual interests. That’s MRI not ultra sound of tribalism.

        Now after reading Lores’s bythes here, I thought it could happen to siphonophores forced abroad to dissemble into heighten tribalism by ethnicity or by professional ties or locales of origin. They retain the goodness of Pinoys. They quarrel because they differ in the interpretation of being a WANNABE sIphonophore no more.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Blabbering? Makes sense to me in that there is some sort of synchronicity between what you wished and what became your reality. I did not know you and our kababayans served in Africa.

        There may not be any denigration in the name of the Man-of-War. The biologist who named it saw a resemblance of the creature with an old Portuguese battleship. The creature is beautiful to look at.

        The issue of Free Will is a very profound one, theologically and philosophically. I would not touch it as I would not a PMW, but your observation of it as a — or THE — defining human characteristic is well made.
        *****

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Neo, thanks. It’s just an analogy in an effort to understand what we are. As individuals, our highest process may be that of individuation, of realizing our true potential according to Maslow’s hierarchy. As social creatures, our highest process would be the creation of a just society.

      Striving to be self-reliant as you are is a worthy ambition and existence.

      If I may echo your sentiment of “we are not alone” in a different sense, the inescapable truth is that we are interdependent upon each other. And perhaps arriving at a place where we profoundly understand our common humanity and, indeed, our oneness with nature may be a worthy undertaking as well. Separation may be an illusion.
      *****

  8. dzandueta says:

    Love the article and the comments. Some parts especially stick out to me:

    “My central thesis is that while we are a siphonophore, we have not evolved to the point where each zooid and each polyp act in concert for the benefit of the entire organism.”

    “we have not developed the proper ethical and aesthetic norms for the benefit of the organism. Norms like reverence, respect, discipline, self-sacrifice, honor, and social equality, not to mention an aesthetic sensibility.”

    “Clearly, we have first to conceptualize and identify the norms to be instilled. Then we have to enact them into law (if not done so already), and observe and practice them, either through mindfulness or through habit-formation until they become second-nature.”

    This one, in particular:

    “Or . . . or we can wait for a strong man to come along, take away our freedoms, and hammer the needed lessons into our psyche.”

    I might be mistaken, but (I think) a lot of us expect a role model rather than a leader. Someone to look up to. Someone to emulate sana. Someone to give us a reason (or more) to be something.

    And of course, all of you know what happens when expectation and reality don’t jibe.

    Given our different (and often conflicting) backgrounds and interests, a challenge then is how to find common ground within those and follow through. Something like that.

    Thanks for the article, edgar. While a metaphor, your piece made understanding our people a tad clearer to me.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      dzandueta,

      I don’t think you are mistaken. Role models do guide us. Our heroes serve as our goalposts, and sometimes we are not able to reach where they stand, sometimes we do, and sometimes hopefully we are able to surpass them.

      That’s a quite subtle distinction you made there between a role model and a leader. Looking at myself, I don’t really look for a leader because I try to be self-reliant. I am not a follower, and I try to stake out my own path. In this, I have had several role models, not exactly in the way they live but in the way they think.

      Our common ground is our common humanity. This consideration should override any of our differences. We should be respectful of these differences… and indeed celebrate our diversity.

      Thank you.
      *****

  9. chempo says:

    Siphonophore — at first read I thought it was a typo for sophomore…

    Edgare, I admit I have Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia — that’s a fear of long words.

    Good article. There’s so much going on in the article. One really needs to dissect the siphonophore creature, examine and discuss it’s parts.

    I’ll choose on the point of “caning” which I think I did not explain well previously. Let’s compare Shariah and Singapore caning:

    Under Shariah — canning is dished out for a variety of offences many of which are moral indiscretions. It is done in public, the intent is to humiliate offenders. Women are subject to the same punishment. The act itself does not appear to be too painful. The lashes are applied to the back of offenders. The cane is thin and long and the strokes are nowhere like a whipping which is really terrible. The objective is subjucation to Islamic moral norms by humiliation.

    In Singapore — canning is only for 2 offences — gangsterism and vandalism. The intent is to instill fear on offenders. Applies to male offenders only. The caning is done with proper medical consideration (doctors check before and after caning, medicate, dress wounds etc…caning is postponed if there is medical reason, or voided if offender is unfit –heart condition, infirmity etc which is hardly the case because we are dealing with gangsters and over-active youths). The cane is long and thick. Caning is done in private — with caner, doctor and a prison official attending. Offender is stripped off pants and lashings done to the butt. Doctors specify how many stroke the offender can take at each session. If the sentence is for many strokes, often the caning is by instalments. The wounds are allowed to heal before the next instalment can be received. The cane is soaked in some solution to minimise tissue damage. The strokes are excruciatingly painful and the skin splits. Caner tries to minimise scars by striking at the same spot. Offenders cannot sit nor sleep on the butt for weeks. The toughest, hardcore gangsters all feared caning.

    The rational for caning — In our earlier years Singapore was infested with the ganster plague, much like the Japanese yakuza. Gangs terrorise to demand extortion money from all businesses, and fight to control territory. The problem with gangsterism was (1) they are habitual offenders (b) Jail time or fines are not deterrent enough. They just wear them as badge of honours. Caning was introduced to instill fear on would-be offenders and for sure non-repeat offence by the prisoner. Over time, the government realised the same punishment will be strong deterrent for vandalism offenders too.

    Since we are talking tough Spore laws, I’ll throw this in for info — Gangster-related crimes had a major problem — no witness will step forward to give evidence. To break the back of gansterism we enacted a special law (which human rights activiists would scream at) whereby an offender can be put away in prison “at the President’s pleasure”. In this case, there is no trial, and the offender has no idea of when he can be released. The good news is, I cannot recall when was the last time this special section of the law was invoked. Gansterism has more or less been eradicated.

    Are Singaporeans generally happy with caning and the special law. The only ones to complain are the criminals, the rest of us have no problems with them. I’m not prescribing these for Philippines although the situation is quite similar. For us, we know what level of security we want so as a society we are willing to stand tough instead of pandering to miscreants.

  10. Is Edgar Lores an octopus? They are supposedly very intelligent creatures.

    His gravatar and his knowledge of the deep sea are additional indications.

  11. Micha says:

    There really is no biological organism existing in nature comparable to the Filipino collective. Even the siphonophore – weird and exotic as it may seem – is doing a far better job in making full use of its differentiated parts working together to maximize its collective flourishing and survival.

    We, on the other hand, are at war with each other. There’s the economic/religious/ethnic/political divide we have to constantly contend with in our national life. Show me a life form in nature doing this kind of destructive behavior and I’ll show you an apt metaphor for our collective psyche.

  12. hackguhaseo says:

    So basically, we don’t work well together because we’re self-serving, the poor are subservient to the rich, society favors the powerful, and religious, ethnic and tribal practices and beliefs are given more importance than secularism, thus countering the perceived notion that we are one nation and one people.

    Yep, just about sums about this country. With that said, we’re pretty far from PMW.

    If PMW were like us, the whole species would have been extinct. If we were like PMW, we would be better off, like Japan or So. Korea.

    That could change in a few hundred years, but there will be a lot of bloodshed on the way there.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Very well summarized. We are far from the natural creature, while our neighbors Japan, Singapore and South Korea are closer. I dearly hope bloodshed is not necessary.
      *****

      • hackguhaseo says:

        Thanks. Exactly.

        On that note, you have a good heart, but someone as smart as you should know better Edgar. In order for the country to get better, it has to change. The vast majority of Filipinos will resist that change tooth and nail. Bloodshed is all but inevitable, and there will be a lot of it too. I can only hope that the worst of it won’t be during our time.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          I would hope we are smart enough to avoid extremes. And judging by the AlDub Nation phenomenon, we do have a good heart.

          Certainly a change to the social fabric is necessary. The way to accomplish this as I see it is to weave in the strands of certain virtuous traits, such as our successful neighbors have done. By fiat as done in Singapore, or by a lengthy organic change as in Japan.

          How to weave these strands in seamlessly — without splattering blood on the fabric and within an acceptable time-frame — is the main problem.
          *****

    • Joe America says:

      I always love a heady dose of cheerful optimism to go with my morning coffee. 🙂

  13. Filipinos are not one siphonophore – each Filipino group however is one, and these groups may ally with one another or fight one another. Like the Magdalo (Aguinaldo) and Magdiwang (Bonifacio) groups of the Katipunan. What is interesting is that the codewords for both of these groups come from partying or visiting someone. Occasional regroupings happen but usually the individual organisms will cluster with those they are familiar with, possibly due to something similar to incompatibility of blood groups. So you will never find an Aquino in the same siphonophore as a Marcos, although Cojuangcos seem to be compatible with both Aquinos and Marcoses. Binays seem to provoke allergic reactions after a while, yet they form a toxic siphonophore of their own.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Ah, so we are legion? Shades of The Exorcist!

      We should remember that there are good groups. Parokya ni Edgar, for one. Gawad Kalinga, for another.
      *****

  14. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    In other countries there is a rule of law, rule of evidenciary procedures and innocent until proven guilty. In the 1stWorld, they do not make public their investigation, the accused has no burden of proof that they are guilty, the accused dignity is protected they do not go public that they are accused not until there is a preponderance of evidences. Nothing like that in the Philippines. In the Philippines Binay is found guilty while popular sought after senator DOJ deLima is still gathering evidences. These people still cannot tie the overpriced money to Binay’s pocket.

    In the 1stWorld, in crime investigation they do not tell the time of death, weapons of crime, how the victim died, nor the name. They only tell us a body was found in two sentences in each paragraph.

    Blago, Monica, Palm Springs and tons of others never knew they were under investigation until they have evidences. When Linda Rose Carotenuto gossiped on Monica, Blogger Drudge picked it up and publish it in his blog but their professional media did not publish it otherwise they’d just be gossiping. Behind the scene the authorities were investigating it without Monica and the president, no less, knowing it. Blago was investigated 5 years back before Blago selled Obama Senate seat. Palm Springs City Hall were surprised, utterly bewildered, when FBI swooped down on them. They never knew they were under investigation.

    In the Philippines, they pagarpar and pang-damay to everybody by just witness accounts and reams and reams of affidavits and all of them go loco. By the time Ate Glo, Erap-para-panta-hERAP and Binay knew about it, they circled their wagon and spun their yarn so tight that UP Topnotch lawyers cannot even untangle it.

    Benigno even took down his name in BSP in Wikipedia, MY FAULT, when I went around newspapers that Benigno was involved in Mt. Makiling sale to Binay.

    All Filipinos law textbooks in University of the Philippines, the school of choice of crooks are american-authored, constiution plagiarized from America, everything about in the Philippines is America but they seem to have a very queer sense of law. But sure, they did accorded that American sailor the American way of investigation and prosecution.

    What I can deduce from this chaotic fiasco is either Americans are wrong and Filipinos are right.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Sereno graduate from UP is another bufoon. She has prejudged Binay by outdating Aguinaldo in the middle of the hearing. She is not recusing. Wow! If this were in the US Americans would be in a tizzy.

      Justice is in the Philippines is perfect as written in textbooks it is the supplicant that cannot seem to know what these books are intended for and how to be used ….

      Just like the Bible … Filiipnos can memorize all the verses, chapters and characters in the Bible … BUT …. (scratching my, not down there, up here on my head) cannot seem to know how to apply these verses to their lives.

      Filipinos listen, yo! You do not need to pray to fix the justice system and the people running it and the Filipinos. IT IS YOU THAT CAN FIX IT. Not God.

      Even Pope Francis has clamored to Americans to fix climate. Pope said and he insinuates “Climate Change cannot wait”. What Pope is saying, “WE CANNOT WAIT FOR GOD, DROP THOSE PRAYER BEADS, LOSE THOSE BIBLE AND LETS GET OUR HANDS DIRTY”

      Let us stand. Let us join our hands together. Repeat after me …. “Our father ……. “

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Mariano, they should appoint you as the Edgar J. Hoover of the Philippines.
      *****

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      If anyone bothered to watch Enron, Bernie Madoff, Blago, Palm Springs City Hall. When FBI swooped down, the employees were caughted by surprised. They have this what-the-f going-on look. ABCNews camera pans to the front of Enron, Madoff Palm Springs City Hall entrances and out FBI carrying boxes and boxes of what? Yes, EVIDENCES. Potential EVIDENCES.

      In the Philippnes scene, NEVER EVER DID I SEE SENATOR/LAWMAKER/INVESTIGATORS CAME OUT OF THE FRONT DOOR WITH BOXES OF EVIDENCES ….. Have anyone of you here seen a parade of investigators with boxes and boxes of evidences? IF ANYONE OF YOU HAVE SEEN ONE YOU ARE LYING.

      Has JoeAm seen one on TV? Has Edgar seen any? No, there were no boxes carted ….. the evidences are typed, planted, manufactured …. Yes, Virginia, in the Philippines is evidences are planted. It is the only tree that can be planted in the Philippines the rest: ajos, sibuyas, bigas, bawang cannot grow in the Philippines, they are smuggled in.

      Gosh, I am ranting. Could it be culture shock? Is Justice in the Philippines cultured? American laws are wrong? I do not know. I cannot know.

      I am just a mere Filipino.

    • chempo says:

      You are right Mariano. In Philippines every cop is a PNP spokesman.

  15. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    In Germany VW CEO resigned because Americans have EVIDENCE not some tattle tale bearing basket full of affidavits …

    In Japan, they resign because they have evidence …. If Filipino officials resign ala` Japan, Germany and Korea by a whiff of tattle taleing gossiper, nobody would be left behind including Benigno because there was a whiff of fishy smell on DAP. There is no clamor for Benigno to resign because ….. THERE-IS-NO-EVIDENCE. OK lang basta Binay because the mind of the people are already singed with hate and convoluted gossip thanks to Philippine Media.

    When can the Filipinos ever get over their addiction to witness accounts, gossip and affidavits?

    Here is another glaring example De Venecia III, This man knew there was fish in ZTE. Instead he went to the media without …. WITHOUT EVIDENCES … pagkatapus pinatulan sa mga walang hiya. When the government subpoena China ZTE, Chinese fired back, DO YOU HAVE EVIDENCE? NADA! ZILCH! NIEN! ZERO! NOTHING!

    Today ZTE’s case one the biggest electronic firm in the world now cannot be heard.

    If de Venecia and the Philippine Media was smart, de Venecia could have spin a wire in his neck and go back to lion’s lair and record the conversation or carted off cartoons of evidences. Well, de Venecia knew that Filipnios would swallow anything and so he did.

    When can Filipinos ever learn?

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Another incredible story in Corona is these folks accepted a stolen information, photocopied and presented by anonymous little lady in red riding hood. We can never know her name … she is free … Totally bewildering befuddlement. She may have contributed to the prosecution of Corona but at the same time, she can be pursued for violating banking secrecy law. Total befuddlement.

      I am also at a loss on these incredible UP-generated bagwomen GiGi Reyes and others. They now can go home free with their loot and kiss their grandkids goodnight sneering and glaring at Filinos for being a loser. If they did have evidences against Enrile, Jinggoy and the rest of PDAF crew they do not need State Witnesses. They do not. Repeat THEY DO NOT. The offer of State witnesses was for them to sing in Philippines Got Talent to the tune of the government. NO EVIDENCE. JUST DAL-DAL AND PANG-DAMAYS. Incredible! Bizarre!

      To this day nobody is investigating who took down the name of Benigno Aquino in Wikiepedia as high ranking Boys Scout of the Philippines that approved the sale of Mt. Makiling to Binay.

      Another bizarric itnereference is Trillanes visit to BinayLand. As to why? What he is going to find out still befuddles my brain. What evidences would there be to be found in BinayLand? I have strings of properties from Babuyan Island to Jolo each of them does not have a sign that says: KEEP OFF. MARIANO PROPERTY. Was this chap Trillanes expecting to find a sign? Jeeeez !!!!

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Obviously the Filipnos have not evolved judicially. Philippine Law is still based on Mary-Magdalene-Jesus-Christ-Risen-from-the-Dead-without-evidence. That is a fact and that is non-negotiable.

      What Filipinos have evolved so far is Honesty. And the Filipino that has evolved is the Presidency. Others, not yet. Because of cabal UP-graduate hungry degenerates that holds power who gets evidenced and who gets affidavited and who gets state witnessed. EVIDENCE NOT NECESSARY.

      Torre de Manila is a genius of barbaric bribery. They waited until it is almost done, then, these mindless drones attacked. They attacked Consunji hoping he’ll come across. Dude, Torrre de Manila is a billion-peso affair and they just have it deconstructed because it height-overlimit? Wonderful !!!

      Funny thing about Torre de Manila the FOCUS IS ON CONSUNJI not those punks who approved it and wimps that did not chatter until it is almost finished. Where was Philippine Media? I do not know they must be asleep drunk with free soup from quivering Chinese restaurants.

      Filipinos still have a lot to learn. Currently in America the highest attainable career of Filipinos is a nurse. And the highest Filipino that attained stardom in D.C. is in the White House. A COOK.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        1. I hate to admit it but I agree with you on the Torre: the city government was responsible together with the media men who were “drunk with free soup from quivering Chinese restaurants.”

        2. And what is the highest attainable career of an American in the Philippines? A blogger mentioned in the SONA?
        *****

        • Joe America says:

          Snort! Chortle! I think it is to play on the national basketball team.

          • Peter Wallace is now a naturalized Filipino by virtue of a Congress Act sponsored by Sen. Pimentel.

            Being a US citizen has more advantages when you are a retiree living here, you can have the best of both worlds for your family. Wallace has a big business here, I think having lived here for more than 4 decades, I think.

            My uncle had a heart transplant, the cost of the operation, hospital bills and anti-rejection meds, the latter being delivered to their door regularly- all through the kindness and generosity of Uncle Sam, . I have said it before, you have an excellent health care over there, Joe. My aunt has a hefty pension in California. Life is good for them there.

            • Karl garcia says:

              I think Peter Wallace is from Australia.

              • yep, .. was thinking of Joe and his family, Joe, a retiree US citizen as compared to the Australian businessman who had live here for more than 4 decades while doing business here…

                .I wish we had the same excellent health care here in the Philippines…When I was hit by a triple whammies health wise (cancer, heart attack and hospital acquired pneumonia) , I was truly worried, financially, on top of the health issues. Fortunately aside from the office HMO, I had my own health insurance that took care of the bills, a different thing in the case of my sister wherein I had to dip into my personal emergency funds.

              • karl garcia says:

                buti nalampasan mo lahat ng iyan.

              • Yeah, God is truly great, nalampasan ko lahat yun.., the cancer was just at cellular level still, not yet on the tissues or organs…when they took it out, am good as new, totally cancer free, the I.C.U. was just for monitoring, the heart attack proved to be transient only although the heart enzyme (troponin) level on my blood was way too high and there was atrial fib for a short while, andiogram result though say am ok, no need for angioplasty or bypass op. The Medical City doctors, nurses and staff are all wonderful… God is truly awesome..

          • “2. And what is the highest attainable career of an American in the Philippines? A blogger mentioned in the SONA?”

            How about special advisor to the next President (Roxas) and the Society of Honor can be the think tank from which Joe draws both inspiration and ideas?

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              Perhaps the informal process is already ongoing.
              *****

            • Joe America says:

              I can guarantee that Mar Roxas and/or his staff read the blog, and we may be performing that advisory role, informally, today. I actually think that Grace Poe and her staff have also read a lot of the stuff . . . and chosen to ignore the advice.

              Except for MRP’s rants about Korina . . . . I think the Roxas people skip those. 🙂

              • i7sharp says:

                @Joe America
                “I can guarantee that Mar Roxas and/or his staff read the blog …”
                ——-

                Would it be asking too much if a staff member is designated to interact with the people here?

                Does PNoy and/or his staff read the blog? Or would that be expecting too much?

                In any event, perhaps they (the latter’s staff) can share with us the latest report on the firefighting and rescue facilities at the airport named after the president’s father.
                (I don’t suspect anything wrong but I can provide very valid reasons for wanting to know.)

                Please see
                http://j.mp/ja-caap

                Am feeling lucky, so let me be bolder:
                Mar Roxas and/or his staff can look into, as examples, the official website of the following places:
                Zamboanga del Sur
                Zamboanga del Norte
                Zamboanga Sibugay
                Zamboanga City
                and tell us what rules, if any, are followed in assigning URLs to provinces, cities/municipalities, and barangays.

                Salamat.

                by the way, the official website of Marinduque province seems to be down. For how long, I have no idea.
                At least I have seen the Marinduque site working.
                I believe there might still be provinces (not a lot; perhaps one or two only) that do not have official websites.

              • Joe America says:

                We can reasonably figure that President Aquino and/or staff read some blogs, yes. It is their job to be widely informed. Yes, it is asking too much to expect them to respond in this forum. They have work to do, reputations to maintain (neutral), and readers who too easily go from observation to conclusion, where conclusion may be wrong. It would be an imposition to expect them to enter the kind of clarifying or argumentative dialogue that goes on here.

              • i7sharp says:

                @Joe America
                x-
                We can reasonably figure that President Aquino and/or staff read some blogs, yes. It is their job to be widely informed.
                -x

                That goes without saying, I guess.

                x–
                Yes, it is asking too much to expect them to respond in this forum. They have work to do, reputations to maintain (neutral), and readers who too easily go from observation to conclusion, where conclusion may be wrong.
                –x

                1. PNoy
                It has been days now since I had brought up the matter about the firefighting and rescue capabilities at the airport (“not the worst airport in the world anymore”) named after his (PNoy’s) father.
                If only because someone brought it up in the blog mentioned by him in his last SONA, I would think he could designate one of his staff (that is, anyone in his administration – numbering in thousands) to tell us the latest assessment of the facilities can be found in such and such website.
                (PNoy could even unofficially choose YOU or someone else here to do him the favor.)

                2. Mar Roxas
                Can one find rhyme and reason here?
                zanorte.gov.ph
                zamboangadelsur.gov.ph
                zamboanga.gov.ph
                sibugayprovince.gov.ph

                What about here?:
                bzn9999,gov.ph – Zamboanga del Norte
                bzs9999.gov.ph – Zamboanga del Sur
                bzszc99.gov.ph – Zamboanga City (located in Zamboanga del Sur)
                bzy9999.gov.ph – Zamboanga Sibugay

                Can we not have a two-letter code for the 81 provinces of the Philippines?
                ab – Abra
                an – Agusan del Norte
                as – Agusan del Sur

                Perhaps we do have them already; if so, can someone share the info?
                You cannot find them here, though:
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-2:PH

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                i7sharp,

                1. The government is too busy solving real problems.

                2. Six of the links do not work. In any case, isn’t it better if you told us your concern and we would be able to help if we could? Sending us on wild-goose chases without giving a hint of what is expected is non-productive.

                3. Why would you need a two-letter code instead of a three-letter code?
                *****

              • Joe America says:

                The recommended protocol, which I have mentioned a good number of times, is to explain the content of a link so that the link means something. Otherwise, it is a waste of space and time. If Mariano encourages people to not read his comments for their repetitiveness and condescension, I7sharp encourages me to never click on one of his links because I’ve too often been driven to something totally irrelevant to the discussion.

              • Joe America says:

                You can impose on them if you wish, insofar as you respect that they may be inclined not to respond. I would choose not to put them in the position of doing anything but what they would choose to do. I’m honored that they have read the blog in the past, and on at least one occasion, found it supportive of the President and Philippines.

              • What I do hope is not just that the government reads this blog, but that many citizens do in order to educate themselves and start thinking a little bit more about vital issues that concern them – so they will make the right choices based on own independent thinking.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Hear! Hear!
                *****

              • i7sharp says:

                bzs9999.gov.ph – Zamboanga del Sur
                bzszc99.gov.ph – Zamboanga City (located in Zamboanga del Sur)

                bzszcup.gov.ph – Dulian (Upper Pasonanca), Zamboanga City in Zamboanga del Sur

                http://j.mp/rp-bzszcup (A few minutes old)

              • Joe America says:

                I have never considered Zamboanga to be a Siphonophore, and I doubt that Mar Roxas is much interested in clicking over.

              • i7sharp says:

                @edgar
                “3. Why would you need a two-letter code instead of a three-letter code?”
                —–

                Why use three when you can do with two. 🙂

                With three, I cannot have this seven:
                bzszcup – 7 characters for Dulian (Upper Pasonanca)

                b – prefix (for, say, “barangay” or any location)
                zs – Zamboanga del Sur
                zc – Zamboanga City
                up – Upper Pasonanca

                Beyond 7, I often find need for more brain. 🙂

                While we are on “coding,” …
                Tonda, in the 1st District of NCR (Metro Manila) has 259 barangays.
                Yes, 259.
                From Barangay 1 to Barangay 267 … yes, 267.
                See them here:
                http://j.mp/bgy-tondo

                bm1tna1 – Barangay 1

                bm1tn2q – Barangay 267

                b – prefix
                m1 – Manila (1st District)
                tn – Tondo
                a1 – hmm, … (thinking outside of the box)

                Edgar, offhand, do you think the 7-character codes for the 259 barangays would hold water?

                To no one in particular (but perhaps to Mr. Mar Roxas):
                Can we not name the barangays (instead of assigning a number to it) after a particular person or event or plant or tree or anything representative of the barangay?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                The max value in hex for two characters is 256. So not enough for 259 barangays. You have to go to a higher number base if you are just reserving 2 characters to denote a barangay. Or you have to increase the 7 character-code to 8 characters.

                If you use purely sequential numeric codes, and not handy mnemonics, you can identify 9999999 entities. If you reserve one character for the “b” prefix, the max will be b999999.
                *****

              • i7sharp says:

                @Joe America
                “I have never considered Zamboanga to be a Siphonophore, and I doubt that Mar Roxas is much interested in clicking over.”
                ——

                Joe, what do you think would make Mar Roxas “click over”?

                Would he believe he can find beauty or good in any barangay?
                It need not be a scenery such as that of Dulian (Upper Pasonanca).

                It can be people.
                Here are some of the beautiful people of Barangay 96:

                A few minutes old:
                Barangay 96, Tondo, 1st District of “Manila”
                http://j.mp/rp-bm1tnk9

              • Joe America says:

                The point is, this is an off-topic line of discussion. If you wish to speak with Mar Roxas try e-mailing his campaign. The purpose of this blog is not to converse with Mar Roxas.

              • i7sharp says:

                @Joe America
                “… I7sharp encourages me to never click on one of his links because I’ve too often been driven to something totally irrelevant to the discussion.”

                It’s “i7sharp,” Joe; with a lower-case “i.”

                1.
                Joe, please share an example of an irrelevant link.

                2.
                Given what I have been devoting time on (which I believe are for the good of my home country – but, of course, you may disagree), what do you think of this?

                “DILG!”
                http://j.mp/ja-dilg

                Have you changed your mind on it?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                i7sharp,

                Why not write a blog?
                *****

              • Joe America says:

                I refuse to click over because you have not explained how the link is relevant to the topic at hand. A link that has no explanation is presumed by me to be not relevant as I have plenty to do without clicking around on mysterious links. And I have no interest in learning your coding methodology.

              • i7sharp says:

                @edgar
                x-
                Hear! Hear!
                -x

                ???

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                That was for Irineo’s comment on citizens reading this blog and developing independent thinking.
                *****

              • i7sharp says:

                @Joe America
                x-
                I refuse to click over because you have not explained how the link is relevant to the topic at hand.
                -x
                ——-

                Joe, this was from no other than YOUR very SELF?

                “DILG!!!”

                Note YOUR three exclamation points.

                But as you can see below,
                I tried to be more subdued by using only one … one exclamation point, that is:
                x–
                “DILG!”
                http://j.mp/ja-dilg
                –x

                x-
                A link that has no explanation is presumed by me to be not relevant as I have plenty to do without clicking around on mysterious links.
                -x
                ——-

                ja = Joe America (you find this mysterious? I have explained this many times)
                dilg = (what did you think it was about?)

                x-
                And I have no interest in learning your coding methodology.
                -x

                Now, I feel dejected, scorned, unappreciated.
                Let me do a Boehner:

              • i7sharp says:

                @Joe America
                “I have never considered Zamboanga to be a Siphonophore, and I doubt that Mar Roxas is much interested in clicking over.”
                ——

                (JoeAm must be asleep by now so I don’t expect an immediate response. He need not respond at all, as far as I am concerned.)

                I don’t quite know what to infer from his “I have never considered Zamboanga to be a Siphonophore.”
                And I wonder what provinces he considers siphonophores.

                I like to look into the good of the siphonophores.
                Here is an extract from a CreationMoments article:

                What’s A Siphonophore?
                x-
                … However, the siphonophore is not the terror of the deep to all creatures. When the siphonophore’s tentacles are extended for feeding, lantern fish and smelt gather. The smelt actually snuggle harmlessly among the tentacles. These fish are waiting for the scraps that result from the siphonophore’s feeding. The siphonophore at dinner is also a good place to hide from other creatures.

                God can make anything He wants. There are no limits to His imagination and power. Many people have said to us, doesn’t an all-powerful, unlimited God mean that God could have created everything any way He wanted? Couldn’t God have used evolution? The answer is, “Yes.” But the God who created the universe itself is also the God who got it right the first time, every time. He said it was perfect. He did not do it by trial and error.
                -x

                If Filipinos are indeed a siphonophore, I would like to look into their magnificence as such.

                And I believe one can find magnificence (beauty, goodness, …) in every part of the Philippines – including Zamboanga, of course.

                But let me continue to share here the beautiful things that I saw online this morning:
                Bagong Silangan, Quezon City, 2nd District (NCR)

                Not quite evident is the fact that Bagong Silangan produced a hero some six years ago – almost to the day. As a matter of fact, it was the selfless heroism of a young man which prompted me to set up a site for the barangay.
                https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/RP-BM2QCBS/conversations/messages/1

                I hope the reader will find time to learn a bit more about
                MUELMAR MAGALLANES
                and say a prayers for those he left behind.

                Who knows, one or two of the people in the photo of the day care center could have perished had Muelmar not sacrificed his life for others.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                On the evidence, we and the universe are evolving. As a Zen master said, “We are perfect… but we can stand a little improvement.”
                *****

              • i7sharp: the link to Roxas’ speech that Joe posted goes straight the to blog of Mar Roxas.

                If you want to reach him, write him there – but my advice is to summarize what you want.

                I know I write long sometimes too, but the focus has to be there, and honestly:

                1) the abbreviations of barangays are not that important. I know from my IT practice that changing keys is costly and usually done only if really needed – better have more characters just in case than to have too little is the principle. Don’t annoy them.

                2) fire safety is an important thing in airports – I know you have been an air traffic controller. Why not write NAIA directly and ask them what they are doing? Then write to us what they wrote back to you, just like I directly engaged the traffic blog owner.

              • i7sharp says:

                @Irineo

                x-
                i7sharp: the link to Roxas’ speech that Joe posted goes straight the to blog of Mar Roxas.

                If you want to reach him, write him there – but my advice is to summarize what you want.
                -x

                I have done my part, methinks.

                x-
                I know I write long sometimes too, but the focus has to be there, and honestly:

                1) the abbreviations of barangays are not that important. I know from my IT practice that changing keys is costly and usually done only if really needed – better have more characters just in case than to have too little is the principle. Don’t annoy them.
                -x

                Ireneo, if there is no rhyme or reason in the nomenclature of government websites, that kind of government needs to be annoyed (if necessary) or spurred to do better.

                They might be annoyed?
                Hindi naman sila bata, ba’t magagalit, ba’t maiiinis?

                x-
                2) fire safety is an important thing in airports – I know you have been an air traffic controller. Why not write NAIA directly and ask them what they are doing? Then write to us what they wrote back to you, just like I directly engaged the traffic blog owner.
                -x

                My point is this:
                The airport named after PNoy’s father is (at best?) “no longer the worst airport in the world.”
                What if, God forbid, what had happened in 1972 happens again?

                You see, …
                In the wee hours of January 22, 1972, the then MIA (Manila International Airport) was gutted to the ground by fire within hours – with 13 people perishing.

                I was told the water from MIA fire trucks could reach up to the 2nd floor only.
                It was the fire truck/s from the city (of Manila) that helped save the dozens of people that had been trapped by thick smoke and heat atop the terminal.

                There!
                I have expressed my concern – out of experience.
                As I have said, for all we know the NAIA facilities might be in tip-top shape.
                I hate to have to say, “I told you so.”

                Bottom line:
                I made mention of two concerns which, IMO, are very easy to deal with.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                i7sharp,

                Thank you. It’s so much better now that you have stated your concerns. It would be so much better if you stated them upfront. All of us have different priorities, and while blogging is a pleasure, it is not all we do. We will try to help if and where we can.
                *****

              • i7sharp says:

                @Edgar
                “You have to go to a higher number base if you are just reserving 2 characters to denote a barangay.”

                Edgar, did you look at this?:
                http://j.mp/bgy-tondo
                I used two alphanumeric characters to denote a barangay.

                What would your code for “Barangay 1” be?
                What about “Barangay 259”?

                Am asking because I really want to find the best way.

                Salamat.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                i7sharp, Good! You seemed to have found a good solution. You are using letter and number combinations. Each letter can have 10 combinations. That’s a total of 260 combinations, which is sufficient for your purpose.
                *****

              • i7sharp says:

                @Edgar,
                “You seemed to have found a good solution.”
                ——-

                Thanks, Edgar.

                I guess, am now ready – though with trepidation – to submit this one:
                (I hope that somehow this will prove Filipinos are good … siphonophores.)

                PSALM 119:176
                in 7-character code:
                PSAb9h6 – puwede ba ‘to?

                Let’s go back a few verses.

                Psalm 99:1
                in 7-character code,
                PSA9901
                is followed by
                Psalm 100:1 which
                in 7-character code can be
                PSAa001 – ‘di ba?

                Psalm 111:1
                in 7-character code:
                PSAb101 – puwede ba ‘to?

                Psalm 115:12
                in 7-character code:
                PSAb512 – puwede ba ‘to?

                Psalm 119:112
                in 7-character code:
                PSAb9b2 – puwede ba ‘to?

                Psalm 119:122
                in 7-character code:
                PSAb9c2 – puwede ba ‘to?

                Psalm 119:135
                in 7-character code:
                PSAb9d5 – puwede ba ‘to?

                and, …
                Psalm 119:176
                in 7-character code:
                PSAb9h6 – puwede ba ‘to?

                Can’t find justification here:
                http://www.convertworld.com/en/numerals/

                But, …
                I will try to get approval from God (through you?) for a
                “pinoy-magical” system for 7-character “numbering” …
                applicable to God’s word only.

                With bated breath,
                Salamat.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                i7sharp,

                It checks out. Congratulations. You don’t need me as an intermediary.
                *****

              • i7sharp says:

                Maraming salamat, Edgar!

              • Bert says:

                Whew, I am glad you guys have found some sort of an agreement, at last.

      • Where exactly do you live in America, MRP? When I lived in Hawaii, the governor is Ben Cayetano, a FilAm. Even in the podunk southern state I live in now, we have FilAm doctors, surgeons, lawyers, reporters, newscasters, engineers, scientists, university professors and all sorts of professionals. I know you often exaggerate to make a point but you are crossing the line of decency when you misinform.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      If Filipino officials resign like other countries… nobody will be left behind.

      Hold that thought. I sort of like it.
      *****

  16. John Dyte says:

    That is some colorful imagery to what I see is a very simple human condition. Human beings operate on the basis of family based clans. One end of that spectrum is individually centric while the other end is family centric. Binay will remain in power for as long as his clan can derive benefit and will only step down when his position may negatively impact the continuity of his clan. Other leaders in other countries do exactly the same whether they are dictator or democratically elected. Marcos could have fought to remain in power but chose not to and in doing so preserved his clan allowing it to survive and thrive. Assad will remain in power until he is killed because he is his clans best hope for survival. If he simply quits, he might protect his immediate family but his clan dies. In my opinion, from a blogger perspective, one path to preventing breaches of trust is to understand the clan.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      John, that’s interesting.

      You posit the family clan as the basic construct with two polarities, the individual and the clan itself. We know that there are higher constructs than the family, such as community (collection of clans) and nation (collection of communities). There could be intermediate constructs as well, such as companies and associations.

      Within the political domain, your view certainly makes sense when looking at Marcos and Assad. But perspectives may change when we look at other leaders. Just as an example, Abe Lincoln. In his case the basic constructs were the northern and southern states, and the higher construct he was wanting to save was the Union. The individual construct, that is Lincoln himself, was the center pin that could cause the basic constructs to merge or separate.

      PNoy may also be said not to be individual- nor clan-centered, seeing that he has no family (wife and children) and part of his clan is against him.

      I will concede though that your viewpoint has merit in certain circumstances and with certain leaders.

      As for Binay, I am intrigued by your statement that he “will remain in power for as long as his clan can derive benefit and will only step down when his position may negatively impact the continuity of his clan.” We know that he, his wife and his son have court cases, either pending or about to be raised. Some have opined that he cannot step down because only by winning the presidency can he be certain of saving himself and the family. This aligns with the first part of your statement. I cannot imagine under what civilized scenario the second part will ever apply. But the man is certainly on the horns of a dilemma.
      *****

      • John Dyte says:

        Edgar, for sure Binay is in a quandary. He will have to decide whether he will risk his fortune to become president. If he loses, he could lose his alliances and his legal woes will only get worse. If he backs off, his alliances could be kept intact and keeping his fortune would be a little easier. His clan can come back another day. But a presidency is too alluring, he will go all the way and we will watch and see what happens.

  17. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    “We Filipinos are a lovely people. We live in a veritable paradise …” – EDGAR

    NO! FILIPINOS ARE NOT LOVELY PEOPLE !!! Filipinos prefer to import half-bred half-white english-snob ex-colonist look American and German beauty queens to represent the “Filipinos are a lovely people” in Miss Beauty Contest. Because Filipinos do not consider themselves lovely unless they are white or yellow.

    Philippines is not even an AGRICULTURAL COUNTRY. Because Ex-LTO Torre, the madwoman of Hacienda Luisita and Dummy of the Cojuangco-Aquino, went to Customs to import rice. Philippines also import and smuggle sibuyas, garlic, onions and wagyus. Because Philippines cannot grow them. Philippines is a desert. No rice. No sibuyas. No garlic. No onions. No wagyus. Even Sofitel buffet restaurant import oysters …. YEAH, SMUGLY DECLARED THEIR OYSTERS ARE IMPORTED FROM FRANCE KASI ANG OYSTER SA PINAS WALANG LASA.

    These are an eggregous display of misplaced culinary snobbery. Filipino cuisine are strong in flavor, soy sauce and vinegar based and is not feast to the eyes to eat. Vietnam, Burma, Lao, Thailand offers plenty of side dishes, greens, spices that comes with my order. In the Philippines …. no! no! no! In AMerica Philippine restaurants, I asked for sili-kulikot they glared at me, like, their eyes popped out of their bubble heads. A simple sili-kulikot cannot provide. Is sili-kulkot expensive? A simple slice of Jalapeno cannot even provide. And their pansit glistened in cholesterol.

    Filipino culinary cuisine is nada. They do not even have presentation. What I saw at Sofitel was more western decoration. Sorry. It is true. Well, maybe for my highly developed taste.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      I must insist we are a lovely people… as attested to by Bienvenido N. Santos in his book “You Lovely People.” We are just temporarily in exile from our true selves.

      “Every Filipino, though well scattered across the globe has a unique sense of individuality, the very Filipino heart which makes us lovely beyond our brown skin, our traits, our values that differentiate us from others. It is in the blood flowing in our veins, the Filipino blood that raises our identity, clamping us together, tightening our bond, nursing our hurts, giving us strength.” — A review of the book by Jamille May Lardizabal (from Goodreads)
      *****

  18. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I agree with Edgar. Philippines is still a colony. If only the Filipnios have colonial mentality Philippines would have been a great place to live. Well, it is the cheapest place in the world to live off my parents 401k. WHAT? COLONIAL MENTALITY? YES! COLONIAL MENTALITY! Colonial Mentality is Goot. It is not the bane as can be read in DepEd-approved looney textbooks.

    The carrier of COLONIAL MENTALITY are the adored mestizo class. The ex-colonist. The current colonizer.

    WHY? Why is Colonial Mentality goot?

    Because, The Mestizo class were, are and never will be charged of corrutpion, bribery, theivery and smuggling BECAUSE THE MESTIZO CLASS, the carrier of COLONIAL MENTALITY are honest !!!!

    All the crooks we see in the papers are browned-skin low-life UP Graduates. Never in my 32 years have I read a Mestizo brought to justice or charged. ONLY THE BROWNED-SKIN COLORED FILIPINOS.

    WHY IS THAT?

    Because the Mestizo class has COLONIAL MENTALITY. COLONIAL MENTALITY IS HONESTY. Do not believe Colonial Mentality is what made Filipinos crook and lazy! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

    …… on the other hand … maybe the browned skin UP graduate journalists and columnists are just AFRAID OF THE MESTIZO CLASS.

    When Ayala was mentioned by Mercado that they were the only ones did not kowtow to Binay, AYALA WAS NEVER MADE FUN OF IN THE PHILIPPINE PRESS. TRILLANES WAS QUIVERINGLY COURTESOUS. In fact, I did not even read about in the papers. My researchers told me Ayala was in the Senate. But it did not make it to the press because there was minumura ni Trillanes. There was RESPECT ACCORDED BEYOND THE OFFICE OF BENIGNO AQUINO. AYALA WAS ACCORDED RESPECT MORE THAN THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES !!!!!

    WOW!!!! VIVA COLONIAL MENTALITY !!!! COLONIAL MENTALITY IS HONESTY !!!!! O, CGURO TAKOT LANG ANG MGA UP-JOURNALISM AND COLUMNIST GRADUATES !

  19. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Filipinos are distrustful of each other. It can be seen of their houses. Their houses are iron-grilled shut with serial locks. EVen the inside to the bedrooms they are locked. They prefer Yale-brand locking devices. When they go out for family fun, someone has to be left behind despite the moat-and-drawbridge, iron grills, attack dogs and Yale-brand locks.

    I’ve also noticed even in Ayala-Alabang and Forbes park subidivisions, they have armed-guards with CCTV and PPV. Once inside, their houses have armed-guards, too!!! It is also iron-grilled, moats-and-drawbridge identify-your-self-who-goes-there-will-be-shot.

    I asked my host why all the security precautions. He said you cannot be too careful because they have government foficials graduate from UP livinig among them. Jeeez !!!

    In another block, there is a PMA-graduate official in the government who have an armada of Military-uissued hummer with guards bristling with HKs. Was this a show off? He cannot know. He is not a filipino he is a foreigner working in Multi-national company in Makati. His neighbor gives him hibbie jibbies.

    Filipinos are distrustful. Filipnjios carry their backpacks in front. Their wallets in front packets. They do not wear sunglasses because sunglasses are snatched off right off their faces.

    Filipinos are also marketed as land of smiles. Filipinos do not smile at all. It is a myth. Filipinos only smiles to foreigners and half-bred. They do not smile to fellow Filipinos.

    Try this, go ask for time, like, “what time is it?” They glared at you. They even ignore you. Because the ruse of Filipinos is to snatch your timepiece. Scarry. So distrustful. Even asking for time they stab you with their stares if ever they look at you, most of the time they just scurry off and ignore you.

    I tried it. I asked for time. They are nice to me. They seemed to be amused when I ask them, like, what? A white american has no cellphone or watch and ask for time? The must be thinking i am a pedophile, gay or hitting on them. NO! NO! nO! They got it wrong !!! I just wanted to test if Filipinos are really friendly.

    Then a friend of mine explained: “Mariano, you are white and handsome. You look like a foreigner. That is why they tell you the time and friendly. They only smile to foreigner or ex-Filipino like you” Wow! I am really honored.

    It is an honor to be white … speak American English … fat wallets … stress-free face. Then they smile. No wonder Filipinos have very smooth wrinkle-free face because they do not have those laugh-lines. Because they do not laugh. Too busy making ends meet.

    • “Try this, go ask for time, like, “what time is it?” They glared at you. ”

      Pinoys in America often answer: “it’s 5 p.m. on my ROLEX”… 🙂

      Well at least that is a prejudice about Filipino-Americans…

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Aha! Ha! Ha! Rolex bought in Santee 🙂

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Ah, the drawing of attention to the latest and faddish accessory – watches, bags, shoes. sunglasses.
        *****

        • I am different from them, which is why if ever I am modest and mention only my Swiss keyboard and never my Swiss watch or my Calvin Klein bifocals… or the Samsonite backpack I use to carry my laptop to the customer, and in fact I don’t even know the brand of my leather shoes or what country they came from if you ask me just that the more expensive of my two pairs looks real good, paid with money from my The Bridge wallet. 🙂

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Not “a” Bridge wallet, but “The” Bridge wallet. I had to google it.
            *****

            • What I wonder about is why the Philippines does not market its traditional handicrafts like the Italians market their leather industry (The Bridge being an example) – Igorot weaving, traditional carpentry which is similar to the Javanese and Balinese stuff VERY prized over here in Europe for its beauty, even old school Marikina leather, Manila cigars and rum which is a Spanish legacy like in Cuba, clothes made out of barong tagalog fabric etc.

              According to the book “Raiding, Trading and Feasting”, Philippine datus promoted handicrafts and artisanship and of course profited from the related business. Top-level high-quality stuff from the Philippines would make money – and add to the country’s image.

          • ahahaha..!…so different..really, a comedian and satirist all rolled into one…

        • mercedes santos says:

          Edgar : I own those bags and they are mine, MINE ☺☺☺

  20. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    When Tiu submitted his Original Land Title allegedly belong to Binay, Tiu harassed his family with lawsuits ….

    When Binay refused to backdown on his presidential aspiration, Binay is harassed with investigation left right front and center …

    When Poe dumped Mar, by proxy, she’s investigated by, who else?

    When Corona did habra kadabra on TRO, he was impeached …

    Now, it is the turn of Escudero. Bagman Ongpin, the financier of Poe-Escdero, is now harassed with investigation that happened in 2009.

    Benigno may be honest …. sure he does carry a big punch. Like what he said to Ex-LTO Torres, “do not cross me or I will cross you”

    • edgar lores says:

      ******
      Mariano,

      You may be unjustly casting aspersions.

      1. The Senate investigation of Binay was started by Senator Trillanes. You allege it was because Binay refused to backdown. What are your sources for this? And how is the President involved?

      2. Who exactly is investigating Poe? Her SET case was prompted by a disqualification case filed by Rizalito David. Can you draw the connection between David and “who else”? Again please cite your sources.

      3. In the last case regarding Torres, the President is quoted to have said, “Ito ang landas ko eh. Kapag ikaw gumawa ng alam mong hindi ko gagawin, hindi tayo magkaibigan.”

      If you were in his shoes, what would you have said?
      *****

    • There’s no title yet for that Binay hacienda…The land reform beneficiaries are supposed to hold on to their awarded properties for a period of xxx years before they can sell, donate or transfer them to another…am reminded of the 300 sqm lot supposed to be awarded to enlisted military, so how many 300 sqm lots are there in the 8,600 plus sqm that Binay allegedly appropriated for himself in that Comembo property in Taguig? That’s part of the cases filed against Binay in the Ombudsman’s office.

  21. edgar lores says:

    *******
    Note the passing of Yogi, who has been referenced several times here. I had no idea he was still around when he was still here.

    ***

    Preserving JoeAm’s sidebar:

    Ah, my Yogi. Thank you for helping to raise me as a competitive kid who loved sports. We’ll miss your iron man performances, the way you never swung at a bad ball, and, of course, your wisdom.

    “I didn’t really say everything I said”

    “I want to thank you for making this day necessary”

    “We made too many wrong mistakes”

    “You can observe a lot by watching”

    “The future ain’t what it used to be”

    “It gets late early out here”

    “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be”

    “If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them”

    “Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel”
    *****

    • i7sharp says:

      OK, Edgar, let me follow suit.

      Am not sure if JoeAm will believe this source:
      http://j.mp/i7-yogi

      x-
      “You know what? If I’d known I was gonna live so long, I probably wouldn’t have gotten so old.”

      “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
      [Well, he meant it because he was giving somebody directions to his house in New Jersey, and either road you took would get you to his house. So “if you come to a fork in the road, take it,” was “you can’t make a mistake here, take either one you want, that’s how you’ll get to my house.”]

      “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

      “Yogi, did you notice it was a man and a woman?” “No, they had towels over their heads.”

      He was checking out of a hotel and he couldn’t get his suitcase closed. Somebody called a bellman. “What’s the problem?”
      “Your towels are too thick.”
      He was stealing towels from the hotel. (laughing)

      -x

      Want more?:
      http://nypost.com/2015/09/23/35-of-yogi-berras-most-memorable-quotes/

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        i7sharp,

        Thank you for the link. That was funny. I believe I’ll make Yogi one my role models, in particular in the aging process. There’s something zen about his attitude and his witticisms. He states the obvious… and you see it for the first time.
        *****

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks. Well worth preserving. I was a baseball fanatic at the age of 7 and Yogi Berra and Micky Mantle were my heroes, and I actually threw a one-hitter as a lad of 13, and struck out the entire team (9 in a row) at age 14. Then my arm fell off. Then girls walked by . . .

    • Karl garcia says:

      It was an honor being called Yogi by Joe. Man, a couple of days ago I shared his quotes on FB.

  22. While reading up on a siphonophore. I learned that the clownfish has a symbiotic relationship with this marine organism. “The clownfish can swim among the tentacles with impunity, possibly owing to their mucus, which does not trigger the nematocysts.”

    In that case, the answer to your question, “Are Filipinos Siphonophore?” is definitely yes. That explains why Filipinos vote clowns in government positions.

    I think the illustration below is interesting as someone took the time to relate Maslow’s to Filipinos’ hierarchy of needs. The pinnacle of the pyramid baffles me. Do Filipinos really think that being a hero the end all and be all of one’s existence? Especially when being a PH hero often involves a bullet/bolo and a face-to-face interview with St. Peter.

    http://image.slidesharecdn.com/pinoymanagement-120930185234-phpapp02/95/pinoy-management-5-1024.jpg?cb=1349031350

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Juana,

      Ahaha! You are beating Juana Change at her own game of seriocomedy.

      Thank you for the clownfish and Maslow hierarchy references. As to the latter, is it because we never see ourselves as unique separate individuals but always part of the collective polyp? Note that each layer of the hierarchy sees the Filipino zooid as a social entity.
      *****

  23. cha says:

    “The sad fact of the matter is that our cultural overlay is thin, and we do not act, behave or live according to principles.”

    Exactly. Although I must say, we Filipinos are not entirely alone in our predicament; specifically about not acting, behaving or living according to principles. But each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, so Tolstoy says. Maybe likewise, we Filipinos live unprincipled lives in our own unique way.

    In his book, Principle Centered Leadership, Stephen Covey points to alternative life centers that occupy our priorities and keep us from living a principle centered life. These alternative centers include money, possessions, family, spouse, self, pleasure, work, church/religion, etc. Previous commentary in this piece and other previous blogs seem to point to the family and religion as mostly occupying the core or center of many a Filipino life. Simply put, we tend to put family before the good of the larger community and our religious beliefs and upbringing above justice and ethics in the conduct of our daily lives.

    So how do we shift the focus, how do we change the core or center of the Filipino? We begin with the self. Our selves. And then we try to create ripples of change through our circles of influence. We become role-models, as someone already suggested in a previous comment. To our spouses, our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our co-workers, students if we are teachers, patients if we are doctors or dentists, our friends and business associates, and so on and on and on. I would also like to think that many of us come here to Joeam’s blog, to Raissa’s, to Irineo’s and so many others because we have been caught in one of those ripples or in most cases are even attempting to cast a few nets of our own to catch more dreamers and believers in what the Filipino can still become. I know I am.

    Are we and those before us succeeding though? I would like to think so. To begin with, the people elected President Aquino and steadfastly supported him as he strove to lead the country on principles of justice and accountability for the most part, with judgement and wisdom to the best of his abilities astride. Of course he hasn’t been perfect, as most leaders go but he surely tried his darnedest best and history as most of us probably suspect, will not only be kind but mostly gracious to him for what he has done for this country.

    But we as a people are not even halfway there yet. The journey and struggle for a principle centered life and culture continues. As the next presidential elections get nearer, there is an almost palpable sense of a struggle between the forces of those who want to see this journey through and those who want to go back to the old ways. Personally, I feel proud and often overwhelmed at the intensity of many of our compatriot’s dogged commitment to the cause. The commentary in social media, political blogs et. al. are often impassioned, very much heartfelt and driven not only by love of country but also an unapologetic belief that the good will prevail as long as we keep at it. The other side are often reduced to unintelligible and even self-incriminating pronouncements that only serve to highlight their own iniquities. If elections could be won on intelligent speech, target hitting queries and earnest commentary, this one will be clearly go the way of the principle centered Filipino.

    Thus Binay is now but a shadow of his previously unbeatable self. And Grace Poe has been and is still being tested as to her true commitment to the nation’s well-being. Mar Roxas, for now, is being swept up by the hopes and dreams of many who wish to continue with the gains of his endorser’s administration. The more clearly he (or Grace Poe for that matter) is able to articulate and demonstrate the principles he will bring with him to the presidency, the more he can win the hearts and minds of his fellow Filipinos.

    As for me, I cast my vote for the emerging Filipino. ❤

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Cha,

      Self. Ripples. Widening circles.

      Very powerful metaphors of where we are now. And I think you perfectly describe the way many of us are engaging with our present circumstances.

      It is said we never meet a person without somewhat influencing him, leaving traces of ourselves however minute. To me, this signifies the importance of being aware of what our true self is… and being true to the principles we believe in and live by. The last part, live by, is important.

      We are memes, role models, according to the original definition: “an element of a culture or system of behavior passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.”

      As to the impassioned commentary in social media, have you noticed lately that bloggers break out in poems, whether in rage or in reverence, more frequently now? Surely, it must be a sign that, from our previous apathy, our deepest sentiments are being harnessed to fulfill our deepest longings for the country.

      And as to the optimism of the emerging Filipino — I, too, cast my vote likewise.
      *****

      • cha says:

        Poetry is the language of the heart. That a number of poets and wordsmiths have either come out of their hiding places or just actually discovered an alternative means of self expression is perhaps an indication of this new willingness to peel away the layers and get to the core of what one is and stands for as a person.

        The recent buzz on the biopic Heneral Luna to me also reflects a renewed interest if not a new emerging sense of history in the Filipino. That many ordinary Filipinos have actually come out in social media endorsing the film and encouraging their friends and family to see the movie and recognise the same issues in our history that still confront us to this very day is really quite encouraging for teachers and advocates for understanding our shared history. That one of the memes going around at the moment is the line in the mpvie about our own worst enemy as Filipinos being our own selves is really telling.

        As I was about to write this reply to your comment, I decided to first check out the speech of Mar Roxas to the Philippine Bar Association which Joeam has highlighted in his must read section. And was I pleasantly surprised to find Roxas also delving on the same drive to get behind and beyond the surface towards a more meaningful core. Here’s what he says towards the end of the speech:

        “Tonight, ladies and gentlemen of the PBA, I talked about depth in a context that many of you have dedicated your entire lives to. Depth—as against the populist pandering we have gotten used to—is what the Daang Matuwid coalition represents, and we trust that the people will effectively discern whether we will continue on this path of effective national leadership, onward to an even more just, even more inclusive Philippines.”

        The guy is onto something.

    • I hope the masa realizes this and see that in Binay and Poe, we will go back to the old ways of Marcos, Estrada, Arroyo where almost everyone will help themselves to the government coffers. Binay, whose plundering ways are all evident in the SBRSC hearings and Poe with the kind of people she chose to associate with, all remnants of the Marcos and Estrada regime.

      • cha says:

        Hi my friend, Mary Grace. I certainly hope so too. It can be quite frustrating when you see evidence to the contrary sometimes, like the recent spate of pro-Marcos commentary on social media. I sometimes find myself asking,where do all these people come from?

        But then I come here and read and savour the intelligent discourse, or to Raissa’s and enjoy the friendly and sometimes not so friendly banter, even Facebook has of late become quite pro-Filipino and so I feel that the Filipino spirit is alive and kicking. The anti-Filipino is decaying and rotting and holding on to dear life but barely rising above the stink and scum oozing out of a malignant case of pure negativity. Marcos is dead. I reckon he’ll stay that way for the rest of our own luves. 🙂

        • Yes, cha..I recently visited raissa’s article on Bong Bong Marcos having a direct hand in trying to recover their ill gotten wealth, and I see what you mean. No matter what rebuttal made, they still stuck to their Marcos idolatry. I think they are paid trolls trying their damnedest to recruit more. Marcos funds are being used nationwide for their propaganda spreading the lie that Marcos is the best president ever, targeting the youth who have no idea of their abuses and plunder. Money is a powerful tool and they are willing to use it just so they can return to the palace. Since BBM is not doing well in the surveys right now, using Binay and Poe could be their Plan B… I say never again!!!

          • Cha, It truly feels to see you here again, my friend. Your posts at raissa’s are all worth reading and sharing.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Yesterday, I happened to pick up the book “Inside the Palace” by Beth Day Romulo, the wife of Carlos P. I found the book in Sydney some years ago from a second-hand bookshop. I was re-reading parts of it — so many fascinating stuff — and will quote this:

            “Someone in Manila figured out that the legitimate income for President Marcos for his twenty years of service — 1966 to 1986 — would have come to a grand total of $327,000. At Malacanang, the President’s daily take from the businesses that remitted 15 to 20 percent directly to him was recorded, held temporarily in the palace ‘money room,’ and then sent out of the country. One of the means used, for several years in the 1980s, was for the money to be brought to the personal desk of the then president and chairman of the Security Bank and Trust Company, Rolando Gapud, who would issue a receipt in his own hand to the bearer (a file of these receipts was found among the President’s papers at Malacanang). Then it was up to Gapud to move the money abroad. For one year alone, from January 1983 to January 1984, Gapud moved $278 million out of Malacanang and into foreign bank accounts.”
            *****

            • cha says:

              Rolando Gapud. Almost forgotten about him. You’d think he would have been treated with ignominy given his role in Marcos’ wealth building schemes. A quick google search instead reveals he is now Chairman of Del Monte Pacific Limited! Ouch.

            • chempo says:

              About Yamashita’s gold that apparently fell into the hands of Marcos — I heard from a friend of a friend that an Indian money changer from Singapore was enlisted by Marcos to help ship out his gold. Marcos could not move those gold via normal legitimate routes. These Indian money changers have intricate network for moving cash and gold all over the world. Tha’s the story in Singapore on how that young Indian money changer was given the chance of a lifetime to move up into big times in relatively short time.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                From “Inside the Palace:”

                “A fascinating case recently reported in a Sydney, Australia, newspaper involves the World War II Japanese gold — referred to in the Philippines as ‘Yamashita’s gold.’ …The whole story came to light last September, when President Marcos, through his son in Singapore, tried to unload 2,000 tons of gold bars in Australia. There were no buyers in Australia for such a large amount of gold, so a deal was in progress with a consortium of Arab buyers in London. The gold bars, which eventually were smuggled out of the Philippines, are said to be stored in Hong Kong, London, Singapore, the United States, Switzerland, Panama and the Netherlands Antilles. The gold was estimated to be worth $22 billion. In this instance, the President was correct in claiming that he was rich before he became President.

                Between the President’s gold bars and Imelda’s real estate, the Marcoses had control of funds that far exceeded the Philippine national debt of $30 billion…”
                *****

              • What I have heard about this gold hoard:

                Up to the time of his rule, the Central Bank controlled all the gold productions of the entire country, from the giant mining companies to the small scale gold panners – they all passed thru the CBP., where every gold were turned to gold bars. All the gold productions stored there from the very beginning (spanning all the previous president before Marcos), all the business enterprises, even the airlines, sugar, logging, coconut, TV stations, the press, power, telephone, mining, they are claimed by the conjugal dictatorship as their personal properties – all allegedly thru dummies, of course except the gold. This Yamashita gold tale was allegedly concocted to justify all those gold in their possessions, some even hinted that they own their own money printing press.

                Tomorrow, I will provide the link of the alleged story, which IMHO is more credible than this Yamashita tale. it’s in the office.

    • i7sharp says:

      @cha
      As for me, I cast my vote for the emerging Filipino. ❤
      ——-

      Yours is probably the first instance of “emerging Filipino” in the blog site.

      Your perspective is probably different from mine but we probably will come closer to agreeing
      if we consider “Harvard 1636 Student Guidelines”
      which you should see here (if properly displayed):

      http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/.a/6a00d834515c5469e201910420509b970c-pi

      If not, try this:
      http://thevinevigil.com/tag/harvard-1636-student-guidelines/

      What had apparently been good or helpful to the youth in America in 1636
      should be good to the “emerging Filipino,” ‘di ba?

      • cha says:

        “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, and therefore to lay Christ at the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of Him. Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein.”

        Harvard 1636 Student Guidelines

        I went to Catholic schools in my early education, so did my husband and our own children, now young adults themselves. I believe the Christian values and teachings have given each of us a good foundation on which we anchor most of the principles we have come to live by both as individuals and as a family. I believe that young people do need to be guided and steered towards being able to positively contribute to their communities and society in general. And part of that preparation and training is actually studying. Studying scripture should be good. But so is reading and studying good literature or and learning or even observing the lives and works of great men and women who have make and/ or have made a difference in our community and the world in general. I even tell my son and daughter, who barely have time to read books nowadays apart from those required by work or their studies, to even just choose good movies or documentaries to watch when they do go out. I tell them it’s probably the next best thing to reading that they can do to stimulate the mind and get them thinking about issues outside of their own self-centered concerns.

        I guess what I’m saying is that Christ being at the center or source of one’s knowledge and learning is definitely helpful, but I wouldn’t want my kids or any other young Filipino to also miss out on other opportunties to learn about the world and their place in it.

        • i7sharp says:

          cha,

          I have four siblings. Our mother prayed the Holy Rosary with us everyday since we were small. That is probably why I have remained religious all my life – although it was not until I was in my 40s that I believe I really knew God – or that God made Himself known to me during a very difficult time in my life – when I had felt hopeless and helpless dealing with a rebellious child.

          Despite myself, God has been good to me. My wife and our three daughters and their spouses and our 7 grandkids are, by the grace of God, doing fine. We are, by no means, a perfect family but, thank God, I have not experienced again the time when our home seemed like so filled with evil spirits.

          I do not now belong to any particular “organized” church although I help assist in Sunday school in a nearby non-denominational church.

          There have been “coincidences” in my life that puzzle me. Many of them.
          No, I have not heard voices from God or seen visions.

          What occurred some hours ago is, I believe, just another coincidence probably worth telling about – if only because it might, in no time, turn out to be “serendipitous” – in a way that might not be clear even to me right away.

          You see, a very close relative emailed me an image of “In God We Trust.” Curious of where she got the info I tried to trace the provenance. One thing led to another and in a few minutes, I came upon the blog site, “The Vine Vigil,”

          http://thevinevigil.com/

          which, by the way, was not really the one I was looking for.

          A cursory glance of the site made me realize I would agree with a lot of what is written there.
          Including what it says about the Pope and President Obama – which I am sure will appall many people. I mean no offense to anyone. I leave myself open to admonition.

          It is on the matter about the King James Bible that I believe I probably would agree with the owner all the way. But I still have to read farther.

          I wish the “emerging Filipino” to be one who will diligently seek, with the help of the Holy Spirit, where the scriptures are – and then actually read or search them in obedience to Christ:
          “Search the scriptures … they are they which testify of me.”
          John 5:39
          http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/John-5-39/

          I have been praying that President Aquino will actually do that.
          Perhaps he is actually doing that now, for all I know.
          I do not mean to be judgmental – but from what I could gather – here and there – he does not earnestly search the scriptures.

          Again I leave myself open to admonitions if I err.

        • i7sharp says:

          @cha
          x-
          I guess what I’m saying is that Christ being at the center or source of one’s knowledge and learning is definitely helpful, but I wouldn’t want my kids or any other young Filipino to also miss out on other opportunties to learn about the world and their place in it.
          -x

          Let me add this, fwiw, to what I had just posted:

          I have worked in about 40 jobs – not necessarily all by choice.
          Some had been very good. I have worked with Australians (with Qantas, to be specific), with Germans, with Japanese, … in the Philippines and in both coasts of the U.S.

          I have had some accomplishments that I can probably say were very good – such as helping a company save fifty million dollars in five years.
          Of course, I did not do it singlehandedly. As a matter, I may even be mistaken in thinking I did help save the company so much.
          It was not an ingenious feat. It was more of a serendipitous thing.

          But having mentioned this again (I had mentioned it, I think, last year), I will provide more info, fwiw – because it is now as good a time as any to do.
          Perhaps Edgar will be the best critic on what I will share on this – hopefully within a day or two. Of course, in doing so, I will have in mind “the emerging Filipino” or the best for the Philippines.

          —————-

          Edgar, it will involve the number 7. 🙂

          • cha says:

            Looking forward to your sharing.

            • i7sharp says:

              @cha
              “Looking forward to your sharing.”
              ——-

              Thanks, cha – that is good enough to keep me going.
              I have felt hesitant many times to do this thing because of fear I will come across as “mayabang.”

              Let me do this by going back to my very first posting here at JoeAm’s blog,

              http://j.mp/ja-dm01

              It was about dreams.

              It is still about dreams.

              Check out Honda’s sweet stop-motion ‘Power of Dreams’ ad:

              http://www.autoblog.com/2015/09/24/honda-stop-motion-power-of-dreams-ad-video/

              The very first time I saw the Hondajet as I opened my computer at the office one early December morning in 2003, I almost fell of my seat!
              I think I started dreaming almost instantly – as I have never dreamed before.
              I imagined, for one, I could go back to aviation again – after so many years.

              Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.
              I hope I don’t turn out to be boring. But we will come to … er, … 7 soon.

              • cha says:

                Maybe you would have read The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes. In this book, she talks about the Law of Attraction, i.e. one attracts into one’s life the experiences, situations, events, and people that “match the frequency” of the one’s thoughts and feelings. To me that is part of the power of dreams. Once conceived in one’s mind, a dream or an aspiration can take a life of its own if one keeps pushing forward. It becomes even more powerful when it becomes a shared aspiration as what is happening in our country right now. Many more Filipinos now dare to dream that we can actually see through these changes, now becoming more apparent, in how we are seen by the world and even more importantly in how we see ourselves.

                Dream on, @i7sharp. (I mean that in a good way.)

              • i7sharp says:

                @cha
                x-
                Dream on, @i7sharp. (I mean that in a good way.)
                -x
                ——-

                Thank you, Cha.
                I know you mean it in a good way. 🙂

                To help me (and you … and others?) quickly get back to this particular point in the thread,
                I created this shortcut

                http://j.mp/ja-cha

                This thread will soon be “stale” so let me try to keep it fresh by seguing (segueing) to the thread of the article (on telcos) that followed it and where I mention of
                ODPC
                and
                OCPC
                and
                GILAS

                http://j.mp/ja-gilas

                In my small way, I will try to pick up (biting more than I can chew?) where the Ayala Foundation left off on GILAS.
                Did I just drop a name? 🙂
                I mean “drop” in a good way, of course.

                I still have 7 very much on my mind (you mentioned of Stephen Covey who I think likes to make use of 7, too).
                I will try to make relevant the use of the 7-character codes discussed or used there,
                “PSAb9h6” for Psalm 119:176
                “bzszcup” for Dulian (Upper Pasonanca, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur)
                and relate them to “Dreams.”

                No, I have not read The Secret – but I read about it in Wikipedia. 🙂
                Who knows I might get to actually read it.

                Salamat!

  24. karl garcia says:

    Are biggest banks are said to be not big enough,that is why they are encouraged to merge.but not gonna happen.
    Mergers and takeovers fail like that Ramon Ang And MVp takeover of GMA seven.
    Is it a diversity problem or a diversification problem?

    On regionalism. I was corrected by fil-am bloggers that filipinos there still has regionalism in their system, they say that is not the case. well and good,but the samahang ilokano samahang bicol,bisaya,etc. gangwars inside the prisons I tend to believe,

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      1. The bank question goes to Mary.

      2. On regionalism, is the reference of “filipinos there” (a) pointing here to the islands or (b) pointing to America? If to the islands, regionalism and tribalism are still extant. For example, in the Solid North voting Bongbong into national office.

      If to America, I believe the experience is mixed. I know the people from our town in Ilocos have congregated in one town and formed a colony in California. In larger cities, I believe the regional bias disappears. What is important is that you are a Filipino.
      *****

      • karl garcia says:

        Thanks so much Edgar.

      • chempo and Joe would be best equipped to discuss bank mergers. My practical ideas regarding them will not be expert opinions and I don’t want to be accused again of going over my head and making opinions on things I’m not an expert in.. Hehe..Am not a banker, nor a lawyer, am just a lowly accountant and banking and law were just minor subjects back during my college days.

        Equitable Bank almost folded up after heavy withdrawals that almost caused a bank run following the impeachment trial involving Joseph Ejercito Estrada a.k.a. Jose Velarde as testified by EBC VP Clarissa Ocampo (who stated that she was sitting just a few chairs away from the deposed president when he signed as Velarde to conceal his plundered billions). The bank merged with PCIBank and became EPCIBank and later on was swallowed by Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc.

  25. karl garcia says:

    BTW,when I said that we ARE change agents, I MEAN it. 🙂

  26. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    NOTES FROM THE EDITOR: See the “Must Read” section if you wish to grasp the presidential Mar Roxas, humorous, serious, high-principled.

    SNIPPETS : The SALN. It is a powerful tool to keep corruption in check. Unfortunately, its power is diluted by a cumbersome, sometimes overly secretive process and bureaucracy. Will we get a set of justices committed enough to transparency and amenable to publishing SALNs automatically? And what about bank secrecy? Any proposal to waive bank secrecy for public officials will certainly encounter resistance from some quarters, and inevitably reach the Supreme Court, whose members themselves may be affected by such a decision.

    It is HALF-TRUE SALN to keep corruption in check. Nowhere in the government bureaucracy checks SALN. SALN is a legalized form of blackmail aginst the opposition. They only check SALN if they get miffed by the opposition. On the other side of the TRUE is it is like a damocles sword hanging over their head to keep in check their corruption.

    It is not HALF-TRUE after all. It is 1/3 True, 1/3 to check corruption and finally 1/3 to keep loyalty to the powerful so they will not be SALNed. CORONA failed 2/3s of the TRUE.

    Who else got SALNed among PDAF Senators? NADA! ZILCH! NOTHING! NIEN!

    Whoever conjured this SALN is a genius.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      SNIPPET “Will the next president rely on old, transactionalist paradigms in choosing his or her appointees? Will he or she treat this as an exercise in weaving a personal, legal safety net? Or will probity, integrity, and competence be the most important criteria in deciding who will be performing the crucial task of being a Justice of the Supreme Court?” – MAR ROXAS

      The Philippines need what the American has. Run these justices thru the Senate. But Philippine Senate wouldn’t even survive if they were in Davao City Duterte handing down personal justice.

      Senators are as crooked as the people in Bureau of Customs. To this day out of PDAF senators only Tanda, Pogi and Sexy got charged. WHY?

      The hold out in Supreme Court is Sereno who prejudged the case, outdated Aguinaldo Principle in the middle of the fight and not recusing herself. Ang Kapal Mukha talaga !

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Mariano, I think you continue to be wrong on Sereno and her view of the Condonation Doctrine.

        The SC can only review a precedent when it is brought up in an ongoing case. It cannot act like Congress that can issue an amendment to existing law at anytime.

        In other words, a judicial opinion is always embedded in a ponencia on an actual case. The SC cannot embed a judicial opinion in a circular.
        *****

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          Asked whether the rejection also meant a denial of Binay’s claim of bias against them, Te said: “They did not say. The only statement given was that they have denied the motion to inhibit.”
          “It’s a motion for voluntary inhibition. It’s up to them. Since they decided not to inhibit, that’s it,” he said.

          Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/698987/3-sc-justices-wont-inhibit-selves-from-junjun-binays-case#ixzz3mml5D0JE

          They simply denied the motion to inhibit without rhyme or reason.

          Three Supreme Court justices are standing their ground amid allegations that they are biased against Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. whom the Ombudsman wants suspended while being investigated in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.

          Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justices Antonio Carpio and Martin Villarama Jr. on Tuesday threw out Binay’s bid to remove them from the panel of magistrates that would decide the case that the Office of Ombudsman had filed in the high court to uphold his suspension.

          “The individual justices concerned have indicated that they are not voluntarily inhibiting from the proceedings; the motion to inhibit is denied,” court spokesman Theodore Te said in a press briefing Tuesday afternoon.

          Well, they are the 2nd to the highest law of the land unless the highest Law of the Land, Benigno Aquino come into view.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            With the mountain of evidence disclosed so far, it is so easy to be biased against Junjun Binay.

            The rhyme and the reason should be obvious: Hustisya Matuwid.

            Note, Mariano, that you have not rebutted my argument of when a judicial doctrine and precedent can be overturned.
            *****

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Mar knows whereof he speaks because Binay is now in Tiis mode. Justice by publicity. Justice by witness accounts. Justice by affidavits.

      Guilty until proven innocent. Not, Innocent until proven guilty.

      Mar, thru his appointed Supreme Court justices will do the following:
      1. If obvious Binay not found guilty, change the law tomake him guilty. This is what Sereno just did with the clappity-clap-clap of Pro-Binays
      2. Banking Secrecy Law? It is only a piece of paper. Little Lady in Red Riding hood was never investigated where she got Corona’s bank account. Who gave it to her. Who violated the Banking Secrecy Law. Why they were not prosecuted.
      3. Since Mar will be a successor to Benigno, there will be more affidavits and witnesses and state side witnesses

      Justice in the Philippines failed. Even Obama is not giving rewards money to Benigno because Benigno cannot produce Marwan’s body except dal-dal thru the naive ignorant media.

      Currently Philippines have two justice system and two sub-justice system:
      1. For the Rich
      2. For the Poor

      Sub-Justice system:
      1. For the foreigners like that US sailor
      2. For the locals

      The Filipinos already have an HONEST PRESIDENT …. What we need is an HONEST PRESIDENT and TRUE HUSTISYA MATUWID not some weder-weder wishy-washy HUSTISYA MATUWID

  27. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Alternative meaning of Siphonophore

    si·phon
    ˈsīfən/Submit

    verb
    1. draw off or convey (money) by means of a siphon.
    2. a projecting tubular part of some animals, especially certain Filipinos, through which money enters and deposited in a foreign bank

    – phore
    verb
    1. a combining form meaning “bearer of,” “thing or part bearing” that specified by the initial element

    These animals are schooled and funded by Philippine Government to study in government-funded University of the Philippines. They are cannibalistic. They bite the hands that schooled them.

    They are tropical animals common in the islands of the Philippines. Unlike dolphins that communicate with clicks, these animals speak impeccable country-club English. Walk on two legs and highly amphibious. They migrate to United States during hot season. Hot season are instigated by Siphonophores in the Senate.

    What is unique about these Filipino animals they bring their money back to tropical Philippines during election to fund their favorite siphonophore. They kiss babies then eat them when they are grown.

    Siphonophores have HUSTISYA MATUWID which they can only define and being defined thru their advantage.

    BEWARE: These siphonophores maybe vegetarian and carnevorous. Most of the time they survive eating taxpayers money.

    SKIN COLOR: They are colored siphonophores. Mostly nog-nog and brown skin, thick lips, curly hairs

    WHO THEY ARE AFRAID OF: Siphonophores are afraid of a colony of colonist Mestizo Class. Siphonophores never mess with the Mestizo Class.

    Name: Colonist
    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Still to be Determined
    Class: Very snooty stiff upper lip
    Order: Roman Catholic
    Family: Ayala to Zobels
    Genus: Totally Genius
    Species: Filipino in name but Spanish in words, in deeds and in language
    Binomial Name: Yes, they have two names like Paolo Xavier, Ramon Paolo
    Aliases: Tisoy, Tisays

    THEY ARE THE ONLY HONEST ANIMALS IN THE PHILIPPINES. You can know them by the color of the skin. They are whites. Facial hairs. Do not speak Talagog. Only English and Spanish.

    FAVORITE WORDS: CONYO! QUE HORROR! BARBARIDAD !!! QUE HORA ES?

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Mariano, this would be brilliant satire except that it is racist claptrap.
      *****

      • and very outdated – it is a satire against the Spanish mestizo oligarchy which de facto no longer is the really big money in the Philippines – except for the Zobel de Ayalas. Most of the really big oligarchic businesses families are now of Chinese origin. The only really old Chinese-Filipino family among them are the Ongpins who date back to the Spanish colonial period. The rest are more recent, from what I have understood so far mainly the descendants of Fujianese who fled Mao in the 1950s, but maybe some of us know more.

        NHerrera is a Chinoy for example and might be able to fill in on that interesting aspect. Possibly also about the assimilation policy that Marcos had – he forced Chinese schools in the Philippines to teach in English and to teach Filipino as a subject from what I remember.

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          50 Richest in the Philippines …. FEW OF THEM ARE FILIPINOS. Most of them belong to the ex-colonist Mestizo class that tried to sell COLONIAL MENTALITY. Because COLONIAL MENTALITY is goot and espouse HONESTY.

          http://www.forbes.com/philippines-billionaires/list/#tab:overall

          Most of the richest lives in the colony of Forbes and Ayala-Alabang.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            No Filipinos. There are brown skin that I can count with my fingers.

            • The only one in the list that you linked who is clearly “Malay” in origin and not Mestizo-Chinese or Mestizo-Spanish is Manny Villar. The Mestizo-Chinese can be divided into those who are from colonial times and those who are not – very different groups. As Edgar wrote, Marcos did weaken the old oligarchs and put in his own cronies – similar to Emperor Napoleon who made his brother King of Italy and created an upstart class around him.

              I know what you are saying – that the established oligarchy and ruling class do not want someone like Binay, one of the “darker folks” – to come up, even the “half-dark” folks like Escudero and Poe are not supposed to change the established, “god-given” order.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                I was looking at the list and some of these could pass off as Malays or not — Manuel Zamora, Tomas Alcantara, Gilberto Duavit, Menardo Jimenez.

                I looked briefly at their bios and this caught my eye:

                “Prior to the Initial Public Offering of GMA-7, Imee Marcos filed a letter with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeking the suspension of the listing citing there was a “cloud of doubt” with regards to the 28 percent ownership of Gilberto Duavit. According to her, the real owner of the shares was her father, the late Ferdinand Marcos and the shares were just entrusted to Gilberto Duavit, Sr.

                However, the SEC junked Marcos’s petition and the listing went on as planned.”

                If Imee’s claim is true, the use of dummies is fraught with danger. I wonder how many more dummies reneged.

                If Binay Hacienda is Binay’s, how will the family be able to claim it back from Tiu? And what was the use of gaining it in the first place? There is no honor among thieves.
                *****

              • There is a very old Spanish saying that those who steal from thieves get a hundred years less in purgatory, so in a way I do not pity the Marcoses, in fact this makes me happy. 🙂

              • chempo says:

                Same story with Lucio Tan and his PAL shares.

      • Joe America says:

        I had to think about this for a little while. We are all observers of the peculiarities of behavior of one group of people or another, and so generalize, which puts us in the category of racist, because we are trying to make points. In this one, MRP’s take seems to be one of “reverse racism”, where he is representing the discriminated class (regular Filipinos) in describing the powers and privileges of the “superior” class, by money and power and privilege. In that vein, it seems to be socially acceptable for blacks to call me, a whitey, names, but not for me to call them names.

        But beyond that . . . and I know others also are critical of Mariano’s criticisms, as being unfair or racially charged . . . I have always believed he is not criticizing the members of any class, but the social values that INDEED are discriminatory and racist. So, it has always seemed to me, he is being critical of the REAL racism, which is the way some people are pigeonholed as “less meaningful” by institutions and values and entitlement, and their own willingness to be subjugated.

        I have always considered that Mariano is Johanthan Swift recommending that we dine on the extra babies to reduce poverty (“A Modest Proposal“). He is not slapping at the people, per se, but the principles imposed on them, or accepted by them.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          That “others also are critical of Mariano’s criticisms, as being unfair or racially charged” is a concession and an admission that his comments can be taken as racist.

          The difficulty with MRP is that it is hard to decipher the “voice of truth” in what he writes.

          When challenged — as Juana has done once and I have done twice in this thread — he either does not respond, deflects, or admits he makes up things. Therefore, one can see or construe there is bias, illogic and deception in what he writes.

          (There is also bias and illogic in what we write but there may be no deception, no intent to deceive.)

          These strains of bias, illogic and deception are hard to detect when MRP uses exaggeration and satire.

          The satire may indeed be satire… but it also may not be.

          No one can tell — not me, not Juana, not Mary, not JoeAm — except Mariano himself. Maybe not even himself. But he will not (or cannot) reveal himself, except to admit he makes up things. Therefore, it is up to the reader to make the interpretation.

          In the shifting eyes behind the mask of satire, the reader might catch a glimpse — or not — of the real beliefs, biases and prejudices that MRP holds.

          Absent clarification from MRP himself, the reader must make a call and, if so inclined, critique MRP’s comments. There is the option to ignore.

          I agree with MRP when he criticizes, for example, the use of whitening beauty products. This is criticism of social value. And so is his post on Filipino distrustfulness in this thread. But he does fall over the line into indecency to use Juana’s standard.

          From what I have read here and in the thousand of comments made by him in other social media over the 4 – 5 years that I have been blogging, I have formed the opinion that MRP looks down on his own nationality. Beneath the humor I detect… a teasing contempt.

          Are we not trying to uplift the nation and the emerging Filipino here?

          The thing is not to change Mariano — an impossible task — but to challenge him when one feels it is necessary.

          The licence granted to MRP to write what he does must also be granted to the reader to interpret what is written.
          *****

          • Joe America says:

            Yes, it must . . . and is.

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              I think this is what triggered my reactive comment:

              From the urban dictionary:

              Nog-nog — From the urban dictionary

              Derogatory Filipino word for a black person, equal to saying nigger. It is commonly used between Filipino when referring to black (African) people. Most Filipino are scared of black people and are overtly racist towards them.
              *****

          • Oftentimes I disagree with MRP and when time and internet connection permit, and other times, I just don’t read, scroll and move on to other commenters. I try to rebut, only to find the same postings making it clear that he is oftentimes not in a listening mode, just like PP before. I take the trouble of making rebuttals simply because this site is being visited by so many now and just like the effect of our tabloid media on our unsuspecting citizens, could influence a lot who are seeking the truth and enlightenment and with time pressure and other priorities, others could not be bothered to sift and separate the grains from the chaf, so to speak, nor the capacity to discern satire or sarcasm or choose not to read MRP. They come here because they are in search of commentaries that are at a higher level than those in PDI or GRP. Anyways, freedom of speech and all that, just sayin.

            There are so few blogs here now that offer discussions aimed at serving the emerging Filipinos.

        • “he is being critical of the REAL racism, which is the way some people are pigeonholed as “less meaningful” by institutions and values and entitlement, and their own willingness to be subjugated.” it is a reality as pervasive in the Philippines as the British class system. Similar to a Father Brown detective story where he asks people whether they saw anyone pass by during the time a murder occured – it turned out they had overlooked the postman. I get MRPs thinking because I have been abroad and out of that system for quite a while – and finally understood what my mother was griping about all the time. Well it was quite unusual that she sent my yaya to evening school, giving her equal opportunity.

          First visit to the Philippines after I left I was shocked how one of my classmates – son of a politician and actually a very nice guy – nearly ran over a poor person with a carriton while trying to park his car. We were all eating outside, I was the only one who looked in shock. Many more small things I observed which I had been oblivious to – how the lower classes were treated like they were simply not there. It felt like an unacknowledged caste system.

          Entitlement has nothing to do with color – it has to do with in-groups and out-groups. After having been away for much longer, I noticed that I no longer was in the in-group and some people gave me the full feel of being a pariah. It hurts at first and you react similar to MRP.

          As for willingness to be subjugated, fear and timidness run deep in the lower classes – my former yaya constantly had to be reminded by my mother and me, when she was already in Germany and had migrated, to stand up for her rights and to know her rights.

          Now as for MRPs view of the political situation – he clearly sees Binay and Poe as victims of an entitled, entrenched class – I am not so sure he is right, but I will not declare him wrong until I have sufficient evidence. As long as the Philippines is basically a closed shop run by rent-seekers who want to keep things to themselves and prevent truly capitalist competition where they would have to deliver for the money they earn, I remain doubtful.

          • Joe America says:

            I think Binay is victim of himself, as is Poe. They are defined by their deeds, not bigotry. Binay has failed to explain what happened to billions in taxpayer money in any terms but those shown through testimony to be lies. Poe is defined by her choices of associates and positions on issues such as China, police actions (Mamasapano), BBL, and INC protests.

            • Stuff posted by MRP recently could give the impression that the whole game is rigged by the ruling group – something that has usually been the case in the past. I wouldn’t play in a casino run by a Filipino political party, might lose big-time. Even on the blackjack table.

              My preliminary analysis of the situation is that the rules of the game are changing and that for the most part LP and Noynoy have kept to these new rules and have caught the others cheating or playing by the old rules. If it makes things cleaner than before I’m fine with that.

      • mercedes santos says:

        Mariano a racist ?? Naah, he is being resisted !!!

    • Joe America says:

      Ahhh, my. I see you see the genius of working with the Humpty Dumpty New World Dictionary, where words mean what we decide they mean, and your definition 2 spilt my coffee. I also think you have geneticists around the globe going for their microscopes to see if these Mestizo’s can be cloned like zooids. They seem to provide a certain boost to most economies, even if the wealth does not get spread very far.

    • josephivo says:

      Didn’t you confuse with the Syphonophmore species we see all around us?

  28. This (older, but still very relevant) article sums up my opinion why the Filipino nation is not yet really a cohesive community: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/increasing-identification-with-the-state/

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Irineo, thank you. Your article impresses the importance of productive businesses to ensure inclusive growth and the creation of wealth to make people identify with the state.

      Here’s another quote from “Inside the Palace” as to the source of the problem:

      There is no instinctive loyalty to the government. During Spanish rule, the only way the average Filipino could acquire anything was to find a Spanish patron or bribe some minor authority for a favor. Forty years of American rule did little to dispel these centuries-old habits. When the Philippines finally achieved its independence, it was assumed that those in power, in the Congress and the palace, would benefit personally from their position. The Marcoses were merely more audacious and greedy than most power-hungry officials.”

      The bolded assumption is what Binay and all the apathetic voters would perpetuate.
      *****

      • Another important aspect of the article is the notion of responsibility for the community.

        My epiphany in that regard – which I did not write into my article of course – was when I carelessly spat on the train platform in the Munich S-Bahn (suburban train). A female guard saw me and told me “do you do that at home, spit on the floor?” – made me think.

        Finally I realized “hey, people here see the community – the city etc.” as a common home which everybody is responsible for. Not just in an abstract way, I felt it and internalized it. That is the way to go when educating Filipinos – make them feel things, not just think about them and then forget a moment after saying “Opo”. Another aspect is trust for state institutions – until people feel this is MY government – in my comment to the article.

        • NHerrera says:

          Been on vacation with the whole family out of country and so have not followed closely developments in the Philippines. But read edgar’s nicely framed and useful thoughts and Irineo’s immediately preceding thoughts which complement’s edgar’s. Thanks to both of you; and Joe for publishing this.

          Last thought: ours may be a very slow-evolving “colony,” relative to the traits and habits discussed but I just hope that when it does evolve positively we will more than make-up in comparison to other countries — that is when combined with the admirable positive traits of the Filipinos. After all, as observed by others, Filipinos adapt rather well and quickly in other countries, sadly for many, in its current evolution. retaining still quite a bit of the negatives as discussed.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            NHerrera, thank you. A vacation makes one younger… even if one is already retired. I hope you slid down to age 50 or lower.
            *****

      • chempo says:

        Edgar — “Inside the Palace — sourcce of problems”

        When China was opening up post-Deng SP businessmen all over the world flocked to China. Back then, “Guanxi” was the norm. The term basically means connection, or ties to officialdom. In reality, it stinks of corruption. But I think China has come a long way and “Guanxi” is no longer THE WAY to do business. If the Chinese can overcome these immoral habits, why can’t Filipinos shake off the Spanish bribes. It boils down to moral fibres again.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          Lately, China has used the death penalty against corruption.

          For us, it has to be a three-step process. First, non-bribable auditors (or whistleblowers) to catch the corrupt. Second, a non-bribable and speedy judiciary (or a special corruption court) to pronounce guilty verdicts. Third and finally, the imposition of the reclusion perpetua penalty without mercy.

          We are failing at the second step with the cases against GMA, and the senators and representatives charged under the PDAF scandal hardly moving. These are important cases because the accused are high-profile.

          I believe if we are able to reach the third step soon, the object lesson against our local “guanxi” will begin to take hold. And there should be continuous reinforcement of the object lesson going forward.

          The problem is the 2016 Election: if the cases extend beyond PNoy’s term, will the political will still be there to fight against corruption?

          As in Singapore’s case, I think moral fibers can be woven into the national fabric.
          *****

          • chempochempo says:

            I agree with your last para. No community can claim exclusivity to moral fibres, it is attainable by any race that puts in the effort. This is best achieved from ground level up – from individuals, the family, extended family, community up to national — but it requires a tough, committed, visionary leader at the top of the hierarchy to provide the spark. That is the sort of CEO one finds in every successful business entity. The kind of leader will drive the kind of organisation, and the President the nation. So we are back to the 2016 election again, and more importantly, whether the person so elected will not just pursue the straight path but have the wisdom to appreciate that the moral core of Filipinos need to be worked on and be the catalyst for that change.

            “…. non-bribable auditors (or whistleblowers) to catch the corrupt”
            Auditors’ job is not to catch miscreants although in the course of their work they do catch the occasional crooks. Auditors’ role is primarily to ensure adequate procedures and processes are in place and that they have been observed and if weaknesses are deviations are discovered, they are addressed and eradicated. From what I gather in public discourse, Filipinos seem to have the misplaced idea that your COA is the policemen of last resort. Putting the policemen’s role with the COA absolve the leadership of institutions from criminal acts within their organisation, indeed that seems to be fait accompli, hence Noli de Castro’s exclaimation in the Globe Asiatique fiasco– “I did’nt know about it. Nobody told me about it.”

            • edgar lores says:

              Thanks, Chempo.

              Yes, the 2016 Elections is critical.

              On the function of government auditing, wouldn’t it be part of their process to verify that the implementing agencies have not only properly disbursed government funds on specified projects but also that a specified project has been completed according to standards? In the case of the Department of Public Works (DPW), I agree that the audit function of inspection should be within the department.

              However in the case of NGOs, specifically the ones under Napoles, I understand that documents were forged containing names and signatures of various recipients of funds. Some of the names were garnered from lists of candidates to government licensing exams. Would it not be a function of CoA to verify the validity of those names and signatures? Not all of the names and signatures, of course, but just randomly verify. If this had been done, Napoles would have been caught without Benhur Luy blowing the whistle. Surely, there is something wrong with CoA procedures if this verification and control step was missing.
              *****

              • chempo says:

                There is a slight difference in the role of internal and external auditors. Internal auditors tend to be more transactional in their work approach, and internal audit is a management tool that may take their functions into areas that external auditors do not normally look at — such as quality controls, efficiency evaluations, special project, etc. Their job is continual, whereas external auditors examination has a time perspective, normally a specific financial year. They concern themselves with whether processes and procedures are complied with in the period under review that helps them to to express confidence on the reliability of the financial statements.

                Given this perspective, internal auditors may take on the policing roles as they are line functionaries of management. External auditors do not report to management, their responsibilities are to third parties that rely on the financial reports, such as investors, creditors, bankers, BIR, other regulators, etc.

                The COA functions as an external auditor, reviewing all agencies and dept of governments and reports to the Executive.

                In the specific examples you brought up, COA would have done all various signature verification, and indeed any other means of verification as their intel and creative minds permit — such as site visits, etc. If I were an auditor in Philippines, I need out-of-the-box approaches to verification methodologies and not rely solely on textbook solutions — a matter of a thief to catch a thief thinking) . The question here is to what extend should COA do the verification — by sampling or to cover the whole population? Professional audit approaches are based on sampling because it is either impossible or impracticable (cost or time reasons) to cover the entire population of transactions. That is one of the reasons why external auditors cannot be the policemen.

                In the difficult case of Philippines, I am inclined to agree that a policing role is necessary which would cover the areas you specified, ie a 100% verification. But to embed that role within the agencies/dept and reporting to the relevant heads, ie, an internal audit unit. would be a futile exercise. Neither would it be wise to have the COA perform that function because a 100% verification becomes a part of the process. The agency should never be involved with transactional activities. I think that is a basic principle. Any failure to identify a deviation will impact the credibility of the COA. And the crooks are extremely nimble The COA must remain an agency with impeccable reputation. I would recommend that a separate entity be established whose function it is to perform specific verification exercises on a 100% coverage basis. Needless to to say, this entity will work closely with the COA.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Chempo, thanks. Not that it matters but I was for random sampling and not 100% verification.

                If CoA is doing any kind of audit sampling and finding that everything is above board, then assertions that the agency is in cahoots with the likes of Napoles gain currency.

                Someone should contribute a blog on CoA and another on Comelec.
                *****

  29. Bing Garcia says:

    So why are the media full of stories spun by these CSO allies of the NPA, about how the lumad are suffering from military heavy-handedness? If not military, then paramilitary supposedly organized by the military, so they are one and the same. Why is it that the leftist version is so quickly adopted, and the lumad version ignored? Solita Monsod

  30. Finally, we are talking about the balance between individualism and collectivism here.

    There are the disciples of Ayn Rand who go for total individualism – in fact some advocates of neoliberalism like Alan Greenspan were objectivists – but they ignore that total individualism is not possible, in fact it amounts to everybody being antisocial and sociopathic, a terrible vision. Because “individualistic” cultures like the USA have certain unwritten rules that make individualism possible, including a certain sense of fairness and honesty that is alien to many other cultures.

    Some degree of cooperation is necessary between people, we are the weakest of all animals, without claws and relatively slow. The first group people belonged to was the tribe or village – around 130 people because according to neurologists this is the number our brains can handle.

    ————————————————————————————————————

    Outside that circle of people one knows, you have those who have experienced similar things – people understand and trust more easily those who have been formed by the same kind of stuff. Townmates, schoolmates, (ex-)colleagues and more – but this is already the second trust circle.

    The third circle would be those who have the same language and culture – both being carriers of memes which encapsulate the lessons learned by groups of people over centuries. People carrying the same memes more easily find a consensus on what they think is wrong and what they think is right. Examples for groups of memes would be:

    1) the Ten Commandments as Christian memes.

    2) Muslim memes in relation to brotherhood and respect (but only applied to fellow MEN).

    3) American memes like freedom and democracy, fair play and equal opportunities.

    4) Spanish memes like “he who steals from a thief gets a hundred years less in purgatory”.

    5) Filipino memes like “natutulog sa pansitan”, “bantay-salakay” or the new meme “katiwalian”.

    ————————————————————————————————————

    Put two Japanese in a room, or two Koreans and most likely 95% of their memes will coincide.

    With two Germans or Americans not as many, but the memes pertaining to core values – YES.

    For most Filipinos, it goes only up to the second circle of trust, the third circle is usually unsure.

    Common memes exist in this third circle, but it encompasses only subgroups of the Philippines.

    The elite, the masa, UP folks, Manila folks, Davao folks etc. – have way too little common ground.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      The specific issues we were discussing was homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

      There are several ways of examining these issues, and certainly the perspective of individual versus community values is one such approach.

      This approach, as I gather, is centered on what values are shared by locality in three widening circles using language and culture as the main criteria: clan or village (first circle), then town or towns (second circle), then province or nation (third circle). In a country that speaks only one main language, the third circle would extend automatically to the entire nation.

      Using this approach, one can rightly conclude that same-sex marriage is not acceptable in the Philippines. Filipinos accept homosexuality socially but not legally. And both Christianity and Islam consider it a sin. (Francis is attempting to accept homosexuals but not homosexuality.)

      Notice that there is a transition in that last paragraph. From country we jump to religion. In doing so the approach by locality is widened from the local to the global. Both Christianity and Islam are global religions. And here we discover that the local cultural memes with respect to homosexuality and same-sex marriage spring from and are imposed by religions that seek to dominate the world.

      Therefore, these issues — their wrongness or rightness — can be and should be discussed from a non-local viewpoint. Culture is malleable.

      The other approaches to examining these issues are the different ethical theories — virtue ethics, consequentialism, deontology and so on.

      For example on homosexuality, the questions that might be raised are: Is homosexuality natural? Do homosexuals choose to become homosexuals or are they born homosexuals?

      And for example on same-sex marriage, the questions might be: Is it fair that the assets of homosexual couples cannot be classified as conjugal property? And that a partner may have no legal rights of inheritance when the other partner dies?

      These questions should be reflected on and debated as human consciousness arises to a certain point, in the same manner that the issue of slavery was debated, fought over and abolished. And the State should change existing laws or craft new laws according to the newer understanding… as it is happening right now for these issues in other countries.
      *****

      • That is one aspect we were discussing – which brought me back to the broader aspect of why the Filipino nation is not able to work together the way the Japanese, Korean, American or German nation is able to. It is because of divergent cultural/group memes.

        Especially when it comes to important core values, these memes diverge – take civic consciousness for example. How do you bring these meme groups together?

        Discussions are well and good if there is enough common ground to have them at all.

        • The bible discussion of LCPL_X and i7sharp was an example of not having enough common ground to really discuss things. Too different premises. You were needed…

          “Filipinos accept homosexuality socially but not legally. ” in fact, Spanish chroniclers noted the presence of “men who behave and dress like women” among the babaylans, so it is part of the original Filipino culture which has survived under all the colonial overlays.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Thanks, for the term “babaylan.” Didn’t know we had a local term for such as Edgar Cayce. And so the meme is kept fresh in racial consciousness by AlDub Nation.
            *****

            • edgar and Ireneo,

              Great discussion here. I know the American Natives had homosexuals or at least transvestites, who they treated as shamans. Basically every where you go around the world, this is true. India has something similar. The “babaylan” you guys brought up I’m sure have parallels throughout Asia.

              “The bible discussion of LCPL_X and i7sharp was an example of not having enough common ground to really discuss things. Too different premises. You were needed…”

              True believers, will be true believers. But for those who weren’t taught these inconsistencies, a discussion like that would have made a difference– maybe some in Pres. Aquino’s staff or Mar Roxas’. So I think with the homosexual stuff in the Bible it can also be argued out (and it’s been done, just hasn’t been given enough air time).

              Paul’s not even part of the original twelve, he just decided to coopt the Jesus story.

              That should be the initial push, read the Gospels separately and without Paul’s letters. Separate them, then examine the letters themselves, because not all of them are Paul’s. Then put them in context, ie. every time you get a bunch of people together whether to pray or party, there will be affairs and/or adultery.

              So if you notice, Paul’s letters to his crowd (as oppose to letters to Romans) is mostly about him telling them to knock-off all the messing around and hooking-ups. Then his letters proceed to talk about what’s better than hooking-up. That’s basically Paul’s Christology.

              So weaken St. Paul’s position and contextualize his letters. From there you can begin the secular debate.

              I for one am against same-sex marriage. When living in the barracks, field-day which is the weekly all hands clean up, the married Marines got to go home early (they were incharge of the common areas, which we usually had to re-clean in the morning). If the option to get out of the barracks is to get married, then I’m sure a bunch of 18 yr old Marines would get married just to live in housing or off base.

              That’s an example about exploiting this phenomenon for financial gain. It’s an open definition now, brothers can marry brothers, mothers their sons, for tax gains, other benefits that come with marriage.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                LCpl_X,

                1. All cultures have common denominators which is not really surprising. These are the bridge ways to a common understanding.

                2. I find it ironic that you raise the argument of fairness against same-sex marriage. Fairness (equitability) is the main argument for it.

                2.1. The field day solution is not to discriminate by civil status. Come up with shifts based on, say, last names. Married soldiers get to go home late once in a while, and unmarried ones should get to enjoy early days off as well.

                3. The deconstruction of the New Testament is on point.

                3.1. The issue of homosexuality can be deconstructed and approached from another direction in the context of the Bible, starting with what Jesus actually said.

                3.2. And what He said was the two greatest commandments. The questions to be raised therefore would be:

                3.2.1. First greatest commandment: Are homosexuals and homosexuality part of God’s creation? There can be no other answer but Yes. Therefore, we should love them with all our heart, soul and mind.

                3.2.2. Second greatest commandment: What if your neighbor was a homosexual? Would you love him (or her) as yourself?

                To make the question more personal, what if your son (or daughter) were homosexual? Would you love him (or her) as yourself? (I believe you would.)

                To make it even more personal, what if you were a homosexual? Would you be able to love yourself as you love your neighbor?

                To all the second-tier questions, Jesus said you must.

                As with your salvation by austerity, look to the message of Christ… and not necessarily to the messenger (the churches).
                *****

              • edgar,

                I just realized having attended (watched) the Pope’s last mass in Philadelphia, that my issue with legal/admin loopholes re the redefining of the word marriage, pales in comparison to the concept of family– what usually happens after people get married.

                The lovingest family I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting were of two gay men (before gay marriage) and their large family– happiest kids I ever met. So if we just focus on family, this whole same-sex marriage thing should dissipate, because families are varied.

                I hadn’t realize this until this afternoon, after the Pope’s homily.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Ah, an epiphany! Bully for you!
                *****

              • 2.3. It may be argued that homosexuals may reproduce through expensive technology, for example, IVF. However, like does not necessarily beget like. If it did, there would be no homosexuals in the world.

                2.4. The issue of perpetuation and homosexuality should not be seen from the viewpoint of the extinction of the species. Indeed, it is the very opposite. It is the overpopulation of the human species that is the problem. And overpopulation may well lead to the extinction of the species, mainly because of the rapid consumption of earth’s resources.

                edgar,

                That gay couple adopted like 10 kids and housed foster children to boot.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Ten?!

                I believe Elton John and partner adopted one, and so did Neil Patrick Harris and partner (using a surrogate).
                *****

              • And those kids all became good, happy adults.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Thank you for empirically validating my contention that like does not beget like.
                *****

              • edgar,

                I don’t buy that ‘like begets like’ argument. Kids see love and loyalty, they respond in kind. Kids see their parents dabble in wife-swapping arrangements in the suburbs, ie. orgies, etc. their kids grow up all screwed up.

                So I totally agree with the Pope, that “holiness” is expressed in small gestures.

                I don’t go to church much, but that was one of the best homilies I’ve had the pleasure of hearing. When I imagine a good loving family that’s the first family that comes to mind– hence, that little epiphany this afternoon.

                It’s not about marriage, it’s about family– and those come in a variety of forms.

                “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
                ― Leo Tolstoy, “Anna Karenina”

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                See the argument in context. The context is biological reproduction, specifically as to gender replication.
                *****

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Ah, sorry, I can see I was in the wrong sub-thread.
                *****

              • “It is the overpopulation of the human species that is the problem.”

                edgar, I was speaking more on that.

                Where there’s over-population, there are unwanted children. If there are family units willing, able, and are actually good at raising kids, the combination of genders that create the conditions for a happy family should trump other

                less important issues, namely Biblical, Quranic, St. Paul’s personal opinion, legal issues, tax codes, etc.

                My most memorable trip over there was to orphanages which housed children of incest.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          Very true. With technology we now live in the global village, although there are far outposts that are still hard to reach. In such a diminishing world where we have so many people travelling around and visiting from other countries — or even just this blog — there may not be enough common ground but a purpose of discussion, and perhaps a growing need, is to arrive at a common ground.
          *****

          • Or at least the appreciation that there are differences, and the capability to accept and define them clearly. Some examples:

            1) You will never have a true common ground between the USA and Europe (except Russia) when it comes to the death penalty. European countries condemn it as barbaric.

            2) Western European and East Asian countries see the state as having an important role in social services, while Eastern European countries and the USA are more laissez-faire.

            3) Germany has legalized prostitution completely. In Sweden it is illegal, but the customer is the one punished if caught. In Spain it is not mentioned in any law but de facto tolerated.

            4) Americans make a big deal about Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, while bare-breasted stars and starlets are on the back page of German tabloid BILD daily.

            5) National IDs are normal in all of Continental Europe, no voter registration needed because everybody has a registered place of residence. UK and USA don’t have them.

            6) Continental Europe has codified laws, UK and USA have precedent based legal systems. The UK does not even have a formal constitution.

            7) Homosexuality is totally frowned upon in Eastern Europe, Putin has described it as a symptom of Western decadence and weakness. In Germany you have openly gay mayors.

            8) Western European countries have large migrant populations. Eastern European countries hardly have migrants and do not want to have any at all if possible.

            In fact the global village is causing rapid change and disorientation for many, because people with different attitudes collide much more quickly and directly.

            Pinoys as individuals and small groups have an advantage in this modern world – their adaptability to changing circumstances – the nation I don’t know.

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              I admire your insights into many cultures.

              Somewhere in this thread I have said we should respect our differences and celebrate our diversity.

              To me the basic question underlying differences and diversity is one of ethics: which differences cause harm either to the individual or to the collective? And which diversities celebrate (that is enhance) the individual and/or the collective? Accordingly:

              1. Is the death penalty harmful to the individual? Yes. Is it harmful to the collective? Debatable.

              2. Is the welfare state beneficial to the individual? Yes, to those in need. Is it beneficial to the collective? Yes, in terms of social justice.
              2.1. Can the welfare state be harmful to the individual? Yes, it might make him lazy. Can it be harmful to the collective? Yes, in that it diverts funds from other priorities.
              2.2. So a balance must be achieved in providing a safety net to citizens versus the need to provide for, say, infrastructure.

              3. Should prostitution be legalized? We should use the term “sex-workers” instead of “prostitutes.”
              3.1. Is it harmful or beneficial to the individual? Yes, harmful in that individuals become mere objects to be manipulated for the fulfillment of base desire. Yes, beneficial in that it provides a level of subsistence for individuals.
              3.2. Is it harmful or beneficial to the collective? Yes, harmful in that public morals are corrupted. Yes, beneficial in that there is a social outlet for repressed desires.
              3.3. So again a balance must be achieved. Perhaps houses of pleasure should be confined to a red light district and sex workers required to have regular medical checkups. Perhaps we should go back to the view that sex workers are sacred votaries, and houses of pleasure temples.

              The point is that all of these issues must be met head on, properly analyzed, and solutions properly implemented. As pointed out, each culture will have its own solutions. To a certain extent, these solutions are and will be arbitrary. So as with my basic approach in most things, the proper thing is to find the principle using such basic ethical criteria as: Will it cause harm and to whom? What is the good for the greatest number? Should the good for the greatest number outweigh individual freedom and rights?

              And it may so happen that a common principle will be found and come to be recognized as culture independent. Again, as with the view on slavery.

              I am not saying it is easy. We have been struggling with these issues for centuries. The UDHR was written half a century ago, and not all countries and religions subscribe to its tenets.

              I hesitate to use the terms “cultural engineering” or “social engineering” as these indicate a degree of control. But individually and collectively we should reflect on these issues dispassionately and rationally with consideration of the latest advances in scientific and secular ethical knowledge, and away from religious prejudice and cultural stasis. I say dispassionately and rationally as if the mind will provide all the answers but, no, we must listen to our hearts as well. True, our minds and hearts will say different things according to our conditioning… which means that the solution process must be dynamic, continually monitored and refined.

              We have not arrived at any efficient solution process collectively. Individually we can initiate this process by questioning, learning and listening. As Cha has said we must start with the self.
              *****

          • http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/what-is-filipino/ – I did write in another article about the need to find ways to communicate with one another to find an organic, real Filipino identity that can survive. What you wrote about weaving the different strands, I also wrote.

            There is a common ground and an instinctive sense of togetherness proven by AlDub or Heneral Luna, but it is more on a gut level, it is the consciousness ng isang bagong gising.

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              May it be so. I would say the synchronicity is the breaking of a new dawn… but that has been co-opted as a campaign slogan.
              *****

              • i7sharp says:

                “campaign slogan”

                This came to mind a day or two ago:

                Roxas-Robredo

                Ro-Ro
                Magilas-Masigla

                Kapag pumatok, remember me. ehehehe

        • chempo says:

          “…why the Filipino nation is not able to work together the way the Japanese, Korean, American or German nation is able to. It is because of divergent cultural/group memes.”

          You are right on the Japs, Koreans + Germans. I think you got it wrong on the Americans — they are even more diverse than Filipinos. In the last 70 years, with a very open door immigration policy, US demography has changed dramatically. American cohesiveness is certainly no longer like it was before. So is this increasing diversity the same reason that is leading the US to slide down to the Filipino panier de crabes

          • American cohesiveness is certainly no longer like it was before. So is this increasing diversity the same reason that is leading the US to slide down to the Filipino panier de crabes”

            American cohesiveness is a grave misunderstanding of America and its history. There was no such “cohesiveness”, there never will be, precisely because diversity. There’s only been diversity from the the git-go– sometimes expressed violently other times calmly. Whether you posit that America was once great, is great or will be again great, you’ll have to include that variable to the whole grand equation– DIVERSITY, that’s always been the constant.

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              Can it be said that America was and is cohesive precisely because of its acceptance and appreciation of diversity?
              *****

              • That would be to G rated (cartoonish), when reality is that this whole American process is R (even NC-17) due to violence and sex. I don’t know about cohesiveness, but I think our strength lies in vitality and vibrancy– there’s a lot of friction.

            • chempo says:

              There was less diversity in American early years. I was referring to the first wave of immigrants which came mainly from Europe. Yes you did have people from diverse origins — Italians, Irish, Germanic, Latinos…but still, they were mainly Europeans, other than the indigenious Indians. Today you have a united nations of peoples in US.

              • Europeans, Arabs, Jews and Africans came from the East. And Chinese, Japanese & Australians came from the West, during the Gold Rush of 1849 ( also from South America ). But way before the Gold Rush of 1849, the Russians came from across and the Spaniards came from the South ( they were catching Sea Otters ).

                Because of the Spaniards (an operation run from Mexico, called Spanish Galleon– South American silver went to China, Chinese stuffs to Mexico then Spain) there were Filipinos in New Orleans and later in Los Angeles– by way of shipwrecks in Norther California (Pacific currents) and simply jumping ship whilst ported in the Pacific or Caribbean.

                Chinese merchants as well as Japanese mercenaries were on board along with Filipino sailors in these Spanish ships. When Russia and the Brits raced to occupy the West coast (from Alaska, Canada, down to California) they too brought with them Chinese and Japanese.

                The Chumash, have DNA links similar to South Pacific peoples, they also share words. So even pre-Colombian history shows mad diversity from the Pacific side.

                You can argue the East coast as more European, Jewish, Arab (and African), but the West coast was a lot more dynamic and diverse, even prior to Jamestown. So again, less diversity is a fallacy– then as now, you had peoples from everywhere.

                Father Junipero Serra was recently canonized by the Pope, and days after the announcement, his gravesite in Carmel, CA (in Carmel mission) was vandalized. People say he brought death and destruction to coastal natives (in the 1770s), that pales in comparison to the systematic annihilation of native peoples in the interior, mountainous tribes in the West and North of California– there was no more West to push them to.

                By the 1849 Gold Rush, these missions actually became sanctuary to many tribal natives, saving the remainder of the natives who survived. The Alamo is another great example of this diversity and friction, and why cohesiveness was never part of our history, https://youtu.be/lhNMwO8XQUw

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Perhaps cohesiveness is not the right word. More “unity” not in opinions or customs or culture. Unity in the notion that America is the greatest nation on earth. Whatever the coutnry of origin is, American citizens are proud to be American.

                This cohesiveness, this unity, was evident in the world wars of the past century, up to and including the Korean war. It has not been so evident since the wars starting from the Vietnam war.
                *****

              • I think mainly because we’ve been the ones starting these wars (starting with Vietnam), they’re aren’t wars of defense.

                As for cohesion and unity, I’ve always likened those words to the Asian mind. My reading of American history is more adversarial than anything, from Gangs of NY to Hatfields vs. McCoys. But diversity, has always been around, the Alamo Scouts is a great example, http://www.alamoscouts.org/special_forces/roster.htm

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              Excellent map! If one divides the map right down the middle along the X-and-Y axes, one can make interesting observations. For one, the Americans have a lower IQ than Russians. I cannot find the Philippines but it should be around the middle in the dark green area where one can find Vietnam and Malaysia.
              *****

              • Tolstoy, Mendeleyev– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitri_Mendeleev , etc. The Russians in California are actually the ones running things in the criminal world, but you’d never read that. Genius.

                I read somewhere that pound for pound there are more geniuses in the Indian sub-continent.

                As for Philippines, I see Malaysia and Indonesia, so maybe between them.

                American IQ, under the Bush administration students had to test, lately parents as well as school districts have protested standardized testing and have boycotted them.

              • Joe America says:

                Yeah, but more inbred means more insanity, so we ‘Merkins may be stupid, but we are not nuts.

              • If one sees the proximity of South Asia, Catholic Europe and Latin America, it is no small wonder that influences from Mexico (the Philippines was originally run from there and not from insular Spain) and Spain were more easily assimilated into Philippine culture, while influences from the US (English-speaking and a bit further away) sometimes still feel different and are until now not fully assimilated into Filipino culture – it is still ongoing.

                And I am not surprised that Orthodox and Islamic countries are close in attitudes.

            • On the inbred thing, in the Middle East, I was surprised how common it was for 1st cousins to marry– romantic stories abound of how they met when they were kids, then you prod further and turns out they grew-up in the same household, 1st cousins.

      • sonny says:

        IMO, this is the time to go to another meta. Religion is one pointer, Community is another. Christianity has pointers to family (perpetuation of species and its support surrogates of church & state).

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          I will limit my response to religion and the perpetuation of the species… as I do not understand the use of the term “surrogate” within the context of the comment.

          1. The demography of the homosexual population is difficult to establish and, in fact, has never been established with any degree of accuracy. However, a generous estimate would be that they compose 10% of the population.

          2. Therefore, given the relatively low percentage, the perpetuation of the species is not an issue.

          2.1. Homosexuals do not reproduce naturally.

          2.2. Even if they did, they would not necessarily reproduce their kind.

          2.3. It may be argued that homosexuals may reproduce through expensive technology, for example, IVF. However, like does not necessarily beget like. If it did, there would be no homosexuals in the world.

          2.4. The issue of perpetuation and homosexuality should not be seen from the viewpoint of the extinction of the species. Indeed, it is the very opposite. It is the overpopulation of the human species that is the problem. And overpopulation may well lead to the extinction of the species, mainly due to the rapid consumption of earth’s resources.

          2.5. So to repeat perpetuation of the species is not an issue with respect to homosexuality in terms of extinction. What the issue is from a moral perspective is the non-acceptance of diversity within the human species.

          2.6. Arguably, a gender demographic that comprises 10% of the world population can hardly be said to be “unnatural.”

          2.6. We discriminate against our own. The discrimination may run along the lines of “race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion property, national or social origin birth or other status” as enumerated by the UDHR. The UDHR is a bit dated in that it does not mention gender.

          2.7. As I have stated elsewhere, organized religion was necessary in the development of humankind. Perhaps it will continue to be so until the extinction of the species. But it is possible to imagine without religion, as the song goes, “all the people living life in peace.”
          *****

  31. neo canjeca says:

    Edgar’s balls has the best semen count. I read Edgar’s piece on MRP. I stopped reading him , MRP not Edgar. I can’t continue reading what I can’t and shall not say or do to a country and it’s people under what ever reason. It is so Filipino (which I am not) to take things with so Christian tolerance that other people will not allow.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Ah… er… what a way to put it, Neo. May your comment be read by this lady I… no, no, no, never mind!
      *****

      • neo canjeca says:

        Edgar: Men have may be in their life time millions swimming them semen, but women este ladies or whatever have only an ovum. That’s a way of justifying why the women were granted more adoration and respect among all creatures. Ever heard of the impossible joke, of an insurance salesman, who’s selling a life insurance policy which covers the insured not from life to death but FROM OVUM TO WORM?

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          Ahaha!
          *****

        • Karl garcia says:

          Beats from womb to tomb. Hehe. LOL

          • Neo Canjeca says:

            the eternal life insurance policy to beat is FROM ERECTION TO RESURRECTION.

            • Neo Canjeca says:

              THOSE clueless combatants fighting tooth and nail for or against ABORTION trying hard to establish when and at what instant life really begins don’t know their chemistry :

              Hydrogen atoms thou art to hydrogen atoms thou shalt return.

              Ashes, the detritus after explosion of an H bomb is really HYDROGEN. So the debate is tangential. The debate is not about Ob-Gyne or religion. To the adult hood of the foetus, it is about economics stupid. Ah haha; papaano napunta doon ang tsika-tsikahan?

              Life really begun after the BIG BANG and no one can really say what’s the date.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Neo, economics is certainly one way of looking at the issue of abortion.

                If I understand you correctly, you are saying that if the prospective mother (or parents) cannot afford a baby, they should abort the baby.

                The argument of economics can cut both ways.

                We know that there are childless couples who would pay a good sum to adopt a baby. We also know that surrogacy has become legal. Hence why not have the baby adopted?

                The danger is not to let baby-making become an industry. And, in the first place, not to let unwanted pregnancies happen through sex education and through making contraception available. Hence, the RH Law. I believe the male pill is coming.
                *****

              • Bert says:

                “Life really begun after the BIG BANG and no one can really say what’s the date.”—Neo

                If I may add…that the Big Bang happened after ERECTION, hehehehe.

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              Neo, you are on a roll. 🙂
              *****

              • neo canjeca says:

                “The danger is not to let baby-making become an industry.”

                Babies for sale or for adoption? Heard about it, but can’t establish as a fact. There was this whisper of a poor couple having a baby every year and giving them for adoption of Aussie childless couples in that foreign assisted project in a southern city. There is too, info that 28 Filipinas got married to Aussie Project Staff. That Eng Corp of NSW commissioned my school (which sent me) to evaluate and study the institutionalization (unheard of?) aspects of the multi-million dollar project.

                There could be isolated cases, but a baby production industry I don’t think will prosper among the human race. Even pigs and chickens should they need cash I don’t think will sell their piglets and chicks. Ah but humans should be content, nothing is stopping them practicing swine and poultry husbandry even worm and dog farming.

              • Bert says:

                Neo, my first inclination was to agree with you, but on second thought there is this nagging question of conscience which could be bothersome as to which is bearable after the facts.

                “Even pigs and chickens should they need cash I don’t think will sell their piglets and chicks.”.

                As a human being (not pig or chicken), could it be less disturbing killing the ‘piglets and chicks’ rather than selling them, or having them adopted? Just curious for your take on this.

            • Karl garcia says:

              Errection to reincarnation…lugi insurance nyan.endless.

  32. jameboy says:

    ARE FILIPINOS A SIPHONOPHORE?

    Of course not. We are a thinking and distinguishing people. We make mistakes just like the rest and we learn and adapt and repent and reform. Animals don’t do nor possess those qualities. We have certain characters and mannerisms of animals, yes, but we are not animals.

    Siphonophore and other animals could be like us, humans, and we can be like them in certain extent or circumstance. We can be in a jocular mood like laughing hyenas or spitting venoms like a cornered cobra or an advancing bull in rage on a torero in an arena but we can never be exactly like them all the time. Also, Filipinos do not live in waters.

    We do not have something other people don’t have. We do not have the exclusive right to hypocrisy, to corruption and other evil deeds man are capable of doing. The same with good gestures and moral acts. We share and possess something in common with other people because we all belong to a group that we call “humankind”.

    I acknowledge the view about the process of colonization and its effect to us as people. I also see religion, regional customs, etc. contributing to the multi-layered or myriad practices prevailing in the country. Geography is also a factor of who we are as a people. But I don’t subscribe to the insinuation about us being the ONLY ONE, excepting all countries and peoples, having the quality of a siphonophore or being like it or like a jellyfish. I have to take such suggestion with some sort of an indifference for I don’t think anyone will take up the cudgel and seriously argue in favor of such insinuation. 👳

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      jameboy,

      I agree with all that you say with two exceptions. As I have written, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea also have the characteristics of siphonophores. We also belong to the animal kingdom.

      That is neither here nor there because we are transformers. Like fish we can dive deep into the deepest ocean, and like birds we can fly.

      And as you say animals are like humans too. They can ratiocinate, like octopi and crows seem to do. And don’t we laugh at the monkeys in the zoo when they act like grandpapa?

      We can also be plants (though in another sense) and we can be implanted.

      I love your point about our common humanity. Irineo and I have touched on this and, as Micha has elsewhere pointed out, we need to deeply realize this if we are to survive as a species.
      *****

      • sonny says:

        I also try to apply Occam’s Razor to the Philippines-as-siphonophore analogy. For starters, where does the analogy (similarity/difference) accurately apply? at the Order level or Genus-Species-Variety level?

        • edgar lores says:

          The analogy works at the Order and Species levels.

          Mostly, only the similarities are analogized.

          1. Generally speaking, the comparison is to the order of siphonophore in its unique feature of being a colony composed of many individual animals, that are clones of each other, with specialized functions. The great similarity is in the homogeneity of our culture and our unseemly dependency upon each other; we seem to be one superorganism. The dissimilarity is that, unlike the Filipino colony, the individual animals cannot exist on their own.

          2. Specifically speaking, the comparison is to the Physalia physalis species, the Portuguese Man o’ War (PMW).

          2.1. One great similarity is the absence of a backbone in the PMW which, in the Filipino colony, signifies the absence of principles in daily living. Some siphonophores have the appearance of possessing a backbone.

          2.2. The other similarity is the absence of a propulsion system in the PMW which, in the Filipino colony, signifies the absence of direction. Just like the PMW, it is at the mercy of tides and winds.
          *****

    • josephivo says:

      A course, humans are humans, that’s not the point. Don’t look at the differences. Look at the forces at play in a siphonophora. What are the mechanism that hold the zooids together, what are the hierarchic arrangements, how are different structures specializing… Any analogies with our society? Any structure that make you think?

      Another parallel is that siphonophora are structures in between simple and complex organism, between more multifunctional simple organism and organism with specialized complex organs. Has the Philippine society a similar structure predictive for future societies? Is mankind evolving in large masses of cooperative humans around certain specialized functions? Reproducing separate from feeding, thinking, wealth collection…. different specialized casts cooperating to form comprehensive nations?

      • jameboy says:

        Is the Philippines or the Filipinos the only one that can be compared to the siphonophora? Are we the only entity that exactly match the characters of that animal? Are we the jellyfish of the world? 😦

  33. jameboy says:

    “And why is it, people further ask, that OFWs are observant of the laws of their host country but become non-observant the moment they step back ashore onto the homeland?”

    ELEMENTARY My dear Watson. They are afraid of the freezing cold warmth of a jail cell. The dumbos just don’t know or don’t care so they break the law and become deadweights pain in the ass to their country. – neo canjeca
    ========
    I don’t think jail condition, warm or cold, has anything to do with it. They respect the laws of their host country because the people and authority there respect it. It’s that simple. Back home, they see their betters or their leaders routinely violate laws with impunity, therefore, they go with the flow. Also, back home is where their networks are (family, cronies, etc.). The security blankets, the protectors, the political padrinos or connections are within reach ready settle any problem or bribe any complainant. In others words, being at home “accords” them some rights than being a visitor in other countries. And that frame of mind is best demonstrated when we visit friends or relatives. We are so respectful, finesse and gentle and good when we are a visitor in other people’s house. 👮

    • neo canjeca says:

      Jameboy thanks for removing the massage in the message. For me using a garden rake
      instead of a pitchfork. Your elaboration is erudition so characteristic of the joe am’s society.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Insightful. Therefore we should behave like temporary visitors on earth? That’s the point of view from sustainability. Leave something for our children and our children’s children.
      *****

      • jameboy says:

        Therefore we should behave like temporary visitors on earth?
        ========
        That should be the ideal intent on the basis of what you just mentioned. Since we all are temporary visitors on this planet we should preserve it for future generation. Problem is, man behaves defending on the environment where his presence is. The comfort level is different when we are in our ‘own’ territory than being in somebody else’s. Our self-confidence, the bravado or the daring side gets to be heightened when we are in our own backyard.

        The point about Pinoys being law-abiding in a foreign land and not when they are in their own country is true but not because of some defect in our character but because of external factors that force or make them to do it.

        We get ‘colonized’ again when we go home by surrendering to the prevailing situation back home. 👮

    • josephivo says:

      In groups there are leaders and followers. Not all dare to start a 3e counter flow lane on a busy Friday evening, but when one starts many will follow, eventually only very few will not try and stick to the traffic rules. Filipinos are valued because they are such a good followers, this is the major component in sticking to the rule or not. Remains the discussion on the “leaders”, who are the individuals that initiate bad behavior? At the core is often “entitlement”, a illnesses with a long colonial history. For some individual rights break common rules, as a jeepney driver I am entitled, it always has been part of my profession, or my large expensive SUV looks as belonging to someone who is entitled… These entitlements totally disappear abroad.

      • What they shouted to the Beatles when they treated them very rudely at the Manila International Airport while leaving – for refusing to give a private concert to Imelda – says everything about entitlement and its reverse: “now we treat you like ordinary person!”

        This means that if you are considered “ordinary”, do not expect any respect or decency in the Philippines. So you try to become entitled or higher to not be one of the downtrodden.

        • neo canjeca says:

          TAUTOLOGY: did Imelda felt entitled to a private audience with the Beatles? Did the Beatles feeling more popular than Jesus Christ felt entitled to refuse. Did Imelda or her followers felt the Beatles ordinary to deserve punishment? Did the Beatles felt Imelda as mere ordinary fan so they are entitled to refuse? So both Imelda and the Beatles got their just due them for being what ? Being ordinary behaving like entitled or both being entitled behaving like ordinary. Both ways being correct and wrong at the same time? Tautological eh?

          • Joe America says:

            Fascinating. According to Wiki, the Beatles had no idea they were breaking with convention, and it was all quite inadvertent that they upset Imelda. The airport scene reads like something from Dante, and … “Upon leaving the country, band members publicly expressed resentment at their treatment, with John Lennon saying ‘If we go back, it will be with an H-bomb. I won’t even fly over the place.’ This also caused the band to end their Asia tour in India.”

            i’M thinking that life under Binay would be . . . . never mind.

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              According to the account of Willie Jurado — then manager of the Manila International Airport — the Beatles were reportedly to have refused the request for a command performance by saying that “if the First Lady wanted to see them, why didn’t she come to their bedroom for a special exhibition?”

              Jurado claims to have seen red and consequently led the defense zooids that beat up the Beatles.

              Obviously, the musician zooids of the Beatles polyp did not belong to the Philippine Man-of-War

              “The British Embassy made a formal apology, and Jurado felt he had performed his chauvinistic duty toward ‘the woman that everybody loved,’ but he received an official reprimand from Marcos, who called the incident a breach of Filipino hospitality.” — From “Imelda Steel Butterfly of the Philippines” by Katherine Ellison.

              ***

              Binay’s sense of entitlement is stratospheric. Better watch out.

              *****

            • There was a rumored incident at the Cultural Center of the Philippines – where Imelda always had her reserved “royal” booth – about how Imelda’s people started filming the performance of an international orchestra without having any agreement with them.

              The conductor immediately stopped playing, and one of Imelda’s people came down and negotiated a contract with them so they would continue playing for the audience.

              Life under Binay would be just as surreal or even worse than under the Marcoses.

              • http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/02/the-beatles-worst-experience/

                The next morning, as they arose, Ringo and John tried to order breakfast from room service. There was an ominous quiet on the other end of the phone line and their order was not taken. As the boys casually turned on the TV, they saw films of President Marcos and a huge group of disappointed children with tears rolling down their faces. Apparently, the Beatles had disappointed and insulted the Madame President and crushed the hearts of the little kids by “snubbing” them. (Presumptuously, Madame Marcos had told the young hopeful children that the Beatles would be making an appearance and that they could meet them in person without first clearing it with the Beatles or their management.)

                Moments later, a newspaper arrived with the headline “Beatles Snub President”. After much ruckus, increasingly worried manager Epstein decided to issue a formal apology over Manila television. As Brian’s apology was being broadcast on TV, the picture mysteriously went off and dead air was transmitted to the viewing public.

  34. fed-up says:

    Joe, IMHO, a Filipino is a “walking identity crisis” for having an oriental body (or physical exterior) attached to an occidental mind (or intellectual interior). This condition is brought about by three centuries of Spanish and half-century of American colonization. As one American author has put it, Filipinos “have spent 300 years in a convent and 50 years in Hollywood.”

  35. Javier Gris says:

    “For the Japanese, reverence, duty and honor combined are the obverse of shame. And when duty is transgressed and shame arises to the fore, honor becomes a higher value than life itself.
    In contrast, we are a society of no honor.
    What reverence do we have? We have perhaps a little reverence for our immediate elders but not for our ancestors. Is the Western view of old disposable parents to be hidden in aged care homes beginning to take hold? I don’t know. If you lurk in social media, we do not seem to have reverence for anything except our favored candidates. Outside of it, what I do know is that we have reverence for (a) status symbols like cars and the latest technical toys and (b) for idols of popular entertainment and saints made of stone, wood and plastic.”

    This is the most precise, and most painful statement about the Filipino I’ve read.

    • Joe America says:

      A very striking statement, Javier. “No reverence.” I’d suggest the only reverence is for “self” rather than politics, politics being the way our needs are presumably met. It is a global condition, as social media and the entertainment environment dilute or erase the giving concepts like patriotism or thinking of others and replace them with ‘take’.

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  1. […] also Edgar Lores’ article “Are Filipinos a Siphonophore” and the evolution to more complex […]



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