Journalists writing about “resilience” are soft

Greg Palast’s approach to investigative journalism can be summed up in one phrase: ‘Stand up for the underdogs, and take on the fatcats.’ [Brett Scott*]

By Joe America

Filipinos are so used to being downtrodden that they turn “survival” into a positive trait. I notice all the time that when people are beaten down, but persist, journalists praise them for being “resilient”. The latest case is in Marawi. Residents, many of whom have died or suffered from illness, starvation, and lack of proper housing, are being praised in articles across the nation as “resilient”.

Google “marawi resilient” and see what comes up. Even the Government’s Philippine News Agency is riding the wave, writing: “Marawi resiliency emerges during crisis”

Well, those who are still alive ought to be happy, but I’m not seeing the reason for praise. Praise to me would be earned by any department that gave the refugees real, lasting relief, or got them back to their homes, assuming they have not been destroyed. That’s a weak assumption, looking at the photos coming out of the war zone.

Resilience is what we all do, every day, to put up with the trials, tribulations, travails, and idiocy we face. If we can crawl into warm bed or a fetal position in the cold dirt at the end of the day, we have been resilient.

Someone who figures out how to thrive in desperate conditions is “inventive”, not resilient.

I know those writing of resilience feel they are uplifting the downtrodden, and that’s nice. But I suggest they start aiming their work and words at the reasons people are sleeping in the dirt, not spend paper and print praising the suffering souls while actually doing very little to help.

If all the journalism effort being spent on feel-good articles were spent inquiring and researching as to why it was that Marawi got invaded, it might be possible to stop other such tragedies, or fix this one quicker.

  • Why did intelligence fail?
  • Had US spy-in-the-sky eyes been pushed away by a rash Presidential decision?
  • Did the President’s dare to Maute to burn the city incite them to burn the city?
  • Why were there so many friendly fire casualties?
  • Why was the US not called in to end the raid in a week?
  • IS AFP capable enough to defend the nation? How many forces are in the AFP? How many were deployed in Marawi? Did they have proper equipment or were they like the SAF in Mamasapano without even the basics of radios?
  • Has DSWD done all that can be, or are they just talking pretty with “Secretary Judy” always in the spotlight?
  • What has DILG done, if anything at all?
  • Where are other potential hot spots in Mindanao? Are intelligence eyes on them?

There is so much real work that could be done other than writing puff pieces about resilience.

Serious investigation work in the Philippines has to be done by the Legislature in part because journalism here is so weak and paparazzi, following behind the death or glamor and writing easy pieces. They aren’t really digging for facts. They aren’t hard-nosed, like the guy in the photo above.

Journalists in the Philippines need to roll up their sleeves, take pride in their profession, and become aggressive snoop dogs doing skilled, focused investigations and writing. There is a time to be respectful, but it isn’t when government spokespeople are avoiding the issue or blowing smoke. The nation needs the truth, not posturing.

Journalists need to DO SOMETHING so that the downtrodden don’t have to recover from disaster all by themselves.

A nation without dedicated, hard-working journalists is not at all resilient. It is a weak and suffering and sorry place.

* * * * * * *

*Photograph from Crowdfunding: Alternative Finance Builds Alternative Journalism

175 Responses to “Journalists writing about “resilience” are soft”
  1. arlene says:

    So sad really. Resilience is a nice trait but sometimes it makes us so passive. Should we allow ourselves to just stay underneath the rubble or fight for our rights to live the way we should? Good morning Joeam 🙂

  2. Edgar Lores says:

    Filipinos are as resilient as the moles in the whack-a-mole game. Don’t you think?

    They never tire of being beaten on the head by all sorts of natural and man-made disasters. The irony is that they invite the man-made disasters upon themselves.

    And papers and journalists play an active role in these man-made disasters… if one can define the sin of omission as active.

    News media rely on politicians and their spin doctors to spell the “truth.” Rappler may be an exception and a consistent practitioner of investigative journalism.

    Many unlikely truths are allowed to be perpetuated, such as:

    o The number of drug addicts is 3 or 4 million and not 1.8 million.
    o The toll of the drug war is less than 3 thousand and not greater than 7 or 12 thousand.
    o Leila de Lima is the Drug Queen.

    And serious allegations are not journalistically investigated. Such as the father did not maintain a DDS and the son is not a ringleader of the DG (Davao Group) and not involved in the smuggling of SUVs, rice or drugs.

    Dick “Whitewash” Gordon has said it is not so — and so it must be the truth.

    So there.

    • Hahaha, yes, that is the resilience and, without solving the problem as to why one is being whacked, one learns nothing and never changes.

      Thank you for putting it squarely on the table for the weakness it actually represents, complacency and submission rather than action.

  3. Miela says:

    Resilience is a word in the Philippines to cover up for government inefficiency and mismanagement

  4. madlanglupa says:

    We rather have something much better than just resilience, to endure yet another disaster, another tragedy, another act of stupidity. Learning from mistakes, that is. Making sure that it doesn’t happen again, or at least reduce the negative effects.

    BTW, the only party able to perform investigative work in my book is PCIJ.

    • I think Rappler is doing well, too, and Inquirer and PhilStar have their moments. The television stations are mainly pandering to power and stardom, even considering the “Duterte Youth” to be worthwhile news. That group is mentally deficient, morally warped, riff raff.

      • madlanglupa says:

        The broadcasters tend to serve more as distractions from truly pressing issues, trying not to deal with the status quo, with the least-common denominator shows, and where it’s more attractive to be a star than just to work and study hard. The only time I watch local TV now is the news, but even then I don’t have a TV anymore, just my computer and phone.

      • Miela says:

        I remember TV stations being better before the 2000s. Not only the news were better, but also the shows. There were even shows that were good supplemantary “education” (yet entertaining for kids) like Sineskwela, ATBP, Hiraya Manawari, Bayani. Now, it seems that the local networks assume that the Filipino audience is dumb. I think TV stations have been plagued with anti-intellectualism for 2 decades now

    • This Rappler article illustrates how the Inquirer is under attack by the Duterte Administration. It is striking both for Rappler’s boldness, and for the tragic likely demise of the Inquirer as a respected source of news.

      • madlanglupa says:

        Either padlock them or buy them out, as Ramon Ang bought sizable pieces of PDI from the Prietos.

        And human rights groups, both from government and NGOs. Brace for impact if in case he decides to ban CHR, Karapatan, and Amnesty International from entering his sanctum sanctorum.

        • There are cracks developing in many places. He has lost the left. He has not gained control of the AFP and evidently Chinese ships are circling both Pagasa and the Rusty Boat. AFP has asked that a diplomatic protest be filed. Sec Cayetano evidently declined. His son is getting heat for drugs. LTFRB is drawing heat on UBER; Duterte has defended LTFRB. His admission that his drug program can’t succeed is causing major blowback. The economy is making strange noises.

          • Miela says:

            Looks like the legislative and executive forgot how “independent thinking” the military can be when pushed to the edge. Did they forget that the military was a crucial aspect for ousting Marcos and Erap? The last thing they want is for the military to have a political opinion.

          • NHerrera says:

            He has not gained control of the AFP …

            It is noteworthy to observe that the military here and in the US — most probably because of their training to be clear-headed, even when drilled also in following the chain-of-command — have given indication of difference of views with their Commander in Chief.

            In the US, because of Trumps statements following the Charlottesville incident, embolding the White Supremacist groups of KKK, Neo-Nazi, etc — effectively rolling back the hard won development on race relationship from the early days of the US — the US Military has weighed in:

            In a rare move, top commanders in the US military are speaking out in the wake of the deadly violence that erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

            Five US Joint Chiefs are issuing public condemnations of white supremacist groups in the wake of the weekend’s racial unrest. President Donald Trump expanded the controversy Tuesday when he appeared to draw a moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and counter-protesters by blaming “both sides” for contributing to violence.

            This is not to diminish the many GOP members and previous US Presidents criticizing Trump for his statements.

            Interesting developments here and the US.

            • NHerrera says:

              For indeed there are races of all sorts in the US Military. What happens if race relationships in this vital sector for US Security deteriorate? Trump, methinks has gone nuts.

            • Trump is alienating everyone now. Duterte is threatening to kill human rights advocates, and drew cheers when he said it. Truly incredible goings on. Could be solar radiation has fried synapses.

        • Miela says:

          The excuses are just getting dumber and dumber and dumber

  5. josephivo says:

    Resilient and timid or resilient and assertive are two different things. Filipinos are taught to be submissive by their parents, there teachers, the Church and by everybody else with a little authority, assertiveness not their strength.

    The serenity prayer for Filipinos ends after the first part of the sentence and they are very, very good at that: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference”. The wisdom that with proper problem solving tools and cooperation a lot can be changed is absent.

    And journalist confuse the use sophisticated phrases with words very few understand with proper assertiveness. But proper problem solving starts indeed with the proper definition of the problem and the investigation of all relevant information, not by trying to find a best picture that appeals most to our emotions.

    • Nice perspective. “And journalist confuse the use sophisticated phrases with words very few understand with proper assertiveness.” True, often. I watched a press conference the other day, and it was like rooting for a horse running in slow motion. Some of the questions were getting to very important points but fell short because either: (1) the journalist could not find the right words to probe further, or (2) the journalist bowed respectfully to the authority of the older spokesman. The people (readers; ‘us’) were unfortunately left uninformed.

  6. Where are, indeed, all the Yolanda and Mamasapano critics of yore gone?

    Now if Judy isn’t confirmed, will that change?

    • Where, indeed. I don’t think anything will change, re Judy.

    • madlanglupa says:

      > all the Yolanda and Mamasapano critics of yore gone?

      They’re now part of the Borg collective, dedicated to the inputting of garbage so that the swarm produces more garbage.

      • I’ll just drop this here. It indicates a framework for working with China is developing.

        • NHerrera says:

          My view of this development carries a good part of Realpolitik in it but I prefer to refer to a previous comment in an earlier blog where I exchanged some comments with edgar.

          One side of me grieves on the effective giving away of our PH treasures. The other side of me characterizes the agreement as containing a good amount of instrumental rationality as against value rationality as Max Weber would have seen it. Thus stated, my discomfort is relieved somewhat by putting the comment in an academic plane.

          My post in an earlier blog defines the terms I used:


          In the current blog as well as a lot of previous blogs, we have discussed the actions of groups and commented, sometimes impliedly, on the rationality of these various groups in taking those actions as well as our own group, say the group that comprises the active members of TSH.

          I have found a gem of a pdf file online which treats of the main work — Economy and Society — of that old scholar and researcher Maximillian Karl Emil Weber, referred to for short as Max Weber. He died in 1920 at age 56. Wiki describes him as a German sociologist, philosopher, jurist, political economist. His ideas profoundly influenced social theory and social research. The portion of the work that concerns me is his characterization of rationality that drives social actions:

          – instrumental rationality
          – value-rationality
          – affectual rationality
          – traditional rationality

          The referred to pdf file is

          Click to access MaxWeberEconomyAndSociety.pdf

          It is 1643 pages long and I started to scan-read it only a day ago. It is a translation from the German and was published after his death, and translated and published into English in that pdf file in 1968 and re-issued in 1978.



          Social action, like all action, may be oriented in four ways. It may be:

          (i) instrumentally rational, that is, determined by expectations as to the behavior of objects in the environment and of other human beings; these expectations are used as “conditions” or “means” for the attainment of the actor’s own rationally pursued and calculated ends;

          (2) value-rational, that is, determined by a conscious belief in the value for its own sake of some ethical, aesthetic, religious, or other form of behavior, independently of its prospects of success;

          (3) affectual (especially emotional), that is, determined by the actor’s specific affects and feeling states;

          (4) traditional, that is, determined by ingrained habituation.


  7. grammy2342 says:

    While “resilience” is a positive word, it also connotes that we just accept our fate and let the “winds of change” determine our future. We have to fight back and strive to improve our lot and not depend on this present government whose attention is not to serve the people but project themselves as “powers” that be.

  8. Vicara says:

    Aside from taking their cue from the administration, many news organizations have assigned the developing Marawi story to inexperienced journalists (millennial, city-based) or studio-based anchors who rely too much on online talk instead of going directly to the front lines, interviewing those directly affected by the armed conflict, or asking (as you said) hard questions. This isn’t just poor deployment by the publishers and editors who serve as gatekeepers of news; the industry is now rife with backroom stories of self-censorship, to pre-empt the wrath of Malacanang and its newly funded blogger brigade.

    There are seasoned journalists now on the ground in Marawi. But they have to strive mightily against the limited attention span of 21st century news consumers in order to bring the day-to-day realities of the conflict to the wider public. They have to contend with (as mentioned) NCR-centric editors, as well as necessary and unnecessary limits on information posed by the military. And at the same time make sure that they aren’t wounded or killed. And now that the conflict appears to be drifting into stalemate, editorial and public attention is again wandering, and the journalists are being assigned elsewhere, to other topics.

    These front-line journalists should be augmented by analysts in the news who can provide context and big-picture thinking on what’s happening, and at least raise the questions noted above. But everyone’s been dropping the ball, for the most part.

    I’d like to hear the perspective as well of the Bangsamoro. Many Maranao leaders have invested their trust in this administration (with a more realistic view of homeboy Duterte than most other Filipinos). The Bangsamoro Basic Law–which many had hoped would be a key topic at the SONA–is in suspended animation somewhere between Malacanang and Congress. That is not unrelated to what is happening on the ground. Are you OK with this administration still? Then say so, and why. (And spare us the emotional we-are-wawa drama; the Maranao are cool logicians experienced in realpolitik.) What are Moro projections regarding the Marawi conflict’s radiating effects and outcomes?

    When interviewers DO bring up these topics, they often fail to provide follow-up questions or to give some sort of context. News anchors and commentators tend to be hands-off when interviewing both the military and Bangsamoro. With the latter, interviewers fear to end up in the quicksand of political incorrectness, even though there may be Moro and non-Moros in the ARMM areas who might be willing to present differing views and honest discussion on what is happening–and on what should be done over the short and long term. Surely there are capable and hardy moderators among 103 million Filipinos who would facilitate such a discussion?

    The truth that is it is the job of both houses of Congress to raise these questions, but do they have the kokote (brains) and political will do so? (This is, sadly, a rhetorical question, the answer to which we all know.)

    And since THEY won’t ask hard questions with the goal of producing clarity (without political grandstanding–such as was engaged in by Marcos and Cayetano a couple of years ago, over Mamasapano), others don’t.

    For decades Mindanaoans have complained that the Manila-centric news media and the general public don’t pay attention to them, don’t understand them, and don’t bother with context, especially with regard to conflict in ARMM areas.

    Well, honeys, it’s your ballgame now. It’s your president. So come out into the spotlight of reasoned discourse. Ask your president and your government and your AFP those tough questions. They might take them from you. Because it increasingly seems that the rest of us don’t count for much in their eyes, while Mindanaoans may still have political capital to spare.

  9. NHerrera says:

    But oh how Journalists life is made easy or soft with Template Style Journalism.

    Sure there is some suffering of the displaced in Marawi, but not to worry, note how resilient they are, and Judy’s DSWD is there — note how her face is splashed all over the place in your favorite newspaper and TV.

    Sure the deterioration of the Philippine Peso and price inflation are concerns, but not to worry, the economy is resilient and the economic managers are up to the job, with the BSP Governor on a 24/7 watch.

    xxx is some concern, but not to worry …

  10. Bill In Oz says:

    Hey folks, there is something very, very bloody important not being here.It’s the huge elephant in the room which Joe has not mentioned and nobody else has yet.

    What is it ?

    The number of journalists who have been executed or just ‘accidentally’ killed in the Philippines. The Philippines was the most dangerous country in the world for journalists before Dutters got elected.

    And now Dutters drug ‘suppression program is killing people every night. Twenty one in Bulacan last night alone !

    Joe what you are demanding of Filipino journalists, if adopted. means that a lot of them will be targeted and die.

    Media industry people, like all of us, just want to do a job, get paid and provide for their families.

    Joe I think this post is unfair. It demands too much of ordinary journalist folks in the Philippines.

    Let foreign journalists write the risky stories. They can fly out quick to safety. Also they do not have families that are available in the Philippines to punish, for saying or writing, the wrong thing.

    • Excellent bridge topic, relevant for sure. It often seems like Filipinos kill journalists for sport, rather like safari time in the tropics. Most of them, like the Ampatuan massacre, involve local journalists and local big-egos at war. The national journalists fall into the category of “too important to kill”, for now, much as other main opposition people are protected by their reputations and the devastating reaction that would follow if something happened to them.

      That’s my quick take on the subject. Others may have better info and insight.

      • popoy says:

        ok, okay, Okay, OKAY, A-OKAY Mr. Bill and Mr. TSOH. You both proved your point about Filipino journalists who were killed or murdered but you’re (may be only eh) not smart alecky enough to say the truth, as they describe themselves and still alive. They are RESILIENT, Resilient, resilient, res . . . may be dead men walking.

        • popoy says:

          Being pretty and handsome is to be what is per se, but to be resilient is an after event state. to be weak, to be compliant, to crawl, to be helpless after an event is to be fucked and not being resilient. That explains justice denied on journalists killed while in line duty. Their bosses and owners of media MAY BE are so RESILIENT.

    • As for unfairness of the post, well, look, the Philippines is a place where life for everyone is cheap. You often read the riot act about how stupid things are here, and that is because everyone is afraid of the PNP and Duterte, and it will not change unless some brave people find a way and the wisdom to speak out, ‘truth against power’ as the saying goes. Am I to stop blogging and turn the reins over to people safely tucked into Australia, or keep writing?

      Unfairness is when you are working bravely on and someone calls you unfair for doing so.

      • Or as my favorite Police Detective, guy by the name of John Rebus in Scotland, would put it, “FYTP!”.

        • Bill In Oz says:

          I never did watch Rebus Joe. So I googled FYTP . I got this meaning : “Fuck you too Pal”.

          Again you are being unfair Joe. I did not write anything abusive in my comment about your post. I simply gave my assessment of it. Your post judges the Filipino journalism profession as lacking in courage or ‘guts’. But when writing a story can get you killed or your family, most people are cautious.

          • Oh, trust me, when you suggest that an article I write will get people killed, that is a heavy load to put on someone. Your point could have been made without it, that writing more aggressively is dangerous, so that is a reason for journalists not to. Those of us who are here, who do not include you, are faced with those realities every time we wake up in the morning. The softness of the news media can get US and many hundreds like us killed if this insane killing as a solution to everything is not stopped. It will only be stopped if pushback occurs. You are arguing for silence toward Duterte, which says you don’t give a flat flying fuck who is killed here, really. 32 people were killed by the PNP in Bulacan yesterday. Suspects, innocent. It netted 325 grams of Shabu and 112 bullets. So kindly don’t whip your guilt trips on me, from the safety of your island at the bottom of the world.

            • Bill In Oz says:

              Joe, you are no mate nor even a pal.

              Abusing me will not solve the problems that journalist face in the Philippines.
              And as you said the other day, the Philippines is driving you crazy. So maybe you need time out.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Joe you gave name of this blog, “The Society of Honor”. You are the blog moderator & host. But your comment ‘FYTP’ directed at me is dishonorable.

              • You took the route of personal disparagement when you suggested this article was unfair and could get people killed. Like John Rebus, I reacted. You implied that I am crazy. I reacted. That I reacted in public, and you do not like it, is your problem, not mine. Just stick to the issue and don’t moralize about or disparage contributors. It is really very simple. Honor is something we strive for. It is not an absolute, and you are not the judge of it in this forum.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                You are an abusive dishonorable arsehole Joe.
                It’s not worth the stress being around you or your blog
                So goodbye to my Filipino friends here.
                If Joe abuses you in future like me now,
                because you have a different opinion
                best to leave as well.

              • Watch out for that door!

                Sorry you don’t understand the problem.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Bill in Oz,

                Sorry, mate, you do not understand.

                At one point in time, JoeAm thought of closing shop when Duterte was elected. He did say goodbye.

                Several commenters here understood why. Why put his family and himself in peril?

                Other commenters — in particular, Micha — accused him of cowardice at a time when the need for resistance was great. The need remains and continues to grow.

                Did JoeAm leave?

                No, he did not.

                He has continued to write, and write, and write. In doing so, he puts himself and his family squarely in the cross-sight of the killings that are happening here, and the masked and unmasked killers that abound.

                Do you see the energy and devotion he puts into his writings? Do you see his prodigious output? Do you see the different prisms he raises to our eyes so that we can see the horrors of what is happening.

                We have a killer President who says, “Maganda yan,” when another massacre that he has instigated occurs.

                Make no mistake. JoeAm’s life and this blog are a commitment to principle, to love of another country which is not his, and to honor.

                So when you say he is being unfair to journalists who do not put their lives at stake — when he himself has — then it is you who is being unfair.

                Do you think that what we discuss here are simply empty ideas and ideals that happen in a vacuum? No! These are matters of life and death.

                Life and death of the Filipino. Life and death for the Filipino. Life and death by the Filipino.

                So, mate, what is profanity compared to life, love, country and death issues?

              • Thank you for understanding, Edgar. I’d write more, but my typewriter might start weeping.

              • Bill,

                Joe treats me like that all the time (well most of the time 😉 ) ,

                but I dish it right back (albeit very professionally and politely). Dish it right back, don’t leave… that’s part of the fun! Stay around, Bill. Like i told ip awhile back, this place is kinda like a bar, the bartender isn’t gonna have a good day every single time, he handed you a free drink and you made a criticism of his drink—– i don’t even do that in a real bar, to a real bartender, Bill… especially when the drink is free!

                But my point is don’t mind the bartender. The name of the bar is Society of Honor, doesn’t necessarily mean we’re all honorable, we’ll have bad days (hell we even had a talk about this word honour and most of us don’t know what it means, except edgar 😉 ). What we do though is dish it right back, it is what makes the atmosphere of the bar fun—- and that’s to Joe’s credit alone, he’s created a fun place, that generates friction that makes fires.

                If you’re looking to be offended, you will always find offense, Bill. I’m sorry, man, but i’m with Joe here, he dished it right back at you, and you stop short (i think he was expecting you to dish it back at him). That’s your problem not his, you ‘ll know when you’ve gone too far, because you’ll get kicked out of the bar.

              • Oh, and i echo, edgar’s comment above, Joe’s life is on the line here (thus also his family). You gotta respect that, Bill. Joe Am isn’t anonymous, he’s met for example Mar Roxas and others (even DU30’s folks), people know who he is, he’s walking a very fine line.

              • sonny says:

                “… Do you see the different prisms he raises to our eyes so that we can see the horrors of what is happening.

                We have a killer President who says, “Maganda yan,” when another massacre that he has instigated occurs.

                Make no mistake. JoeAm’s life and this blog are a commitment to principle, to love of another country which is not his, and to honor.”

                Big time reason to stay … Thanks, Edgar.

              • caliphman says:

                I saw the post sermonIzing Joe about carelessly and maybe even callously exhorting # to put their lives on line by critiquing Duterte on his war on drugs.I have known Joe to engage in many things in his articles and posts in this blog site including bias, irrelevancy, rash or unfounded accusations but his courage, concern and outspokeness not only for Filipino journalism and journalists should be beyond question. If anyone is entitled to preach that the host of this blogsite refrain from asking journalists to do investigative journalism due to its potential perils, someone like Raissa Robles or John Nery whose whereabouts Joe are within reach of Duterte’s thugs and minions. But any fatuous non journalist perhaps like myself safely esconsced continents away has no standing to criticize or berate this host for expecting journalists to expose themselves and their families to the same risks he is facing everyday as sponsor of this blogsite. To these I can only say…FYTP.

              • NHerrera says:

                I would like to join-in with edgar, Lance, sonny, caliphman who have said what have to be said concerning the exchange between Bill and Joe — they have essentially covered the matter with practically no more to be added.

                May I add a small matter, though. About Journalists acting timidly because of the risks to their lives, their courage to write the truth can still effective if couched in language not as vulgar as the President’s since they are trained in the language. If still they cannot do that, may be their job could better used in, say, the BPO industry.

              • NHerrera says:

                Bill, if I may: I have appreciated a lot of posts you have made here and I don’t believe I am the only who have appreciated your contributions. I hope you are able to come back to TSH sometime and to think about the comments made, especially Lance’s — the resilient among us who keeps coming back to be punched ( 🙂 ) but soldiers on; who BTW is one I cannot recall using a language I myself may have used on occasions to refer not to anyone here but on the Administration, politicians or media people.

            • Sup says:

              This is the President of the Republic of the Philippines

              ‘Maganda ‘yun,’ says Duterte on killing of 32 Bulacan druggies


              • popoy says:

                From a wannabe antique poet

                When ire explodes
                Because of exposed fuses
                Brain shrapnels flies
                Hitting bright ideas
                Luckily only for a while
                Makes them Moribound.

                Dahil Seguro, naging engot
                Kaya Nagka PIKUNAN
                Katwiran Nakalimutan
                Dahil sinabi ito sa Tagalog
                Kung hindi maintidihan
                ng Dating mag tsokaran
                Dalawang Pikon
                Kung ang siyota
                O soul mate mga Pinay
                Madaling ipaliwanag
                Kahit walang lambanog,
                Tuba o bahalina, San Mig
                O White Castle puede na
                Kurot ng mahal sa pisngi
                Baka maibalik na
                Lamig sa pagtatalo sa
                Problema ng mundo.

            • sonny says:

              I feel a mild lull in the TSOH “discuss” mode, hence I share this find by a friend to add to the “discuss”-mix on the subject of prismatic views or hobby-horses.

              The link is a monograph written in 1903 by G. Lowes Dickinson, a Brit. He writes about the Chinese culture and includes perspectives & reflections that could be useful in today’s current geo-cultural discourse in and about the PH, America, China and the surrounding zeitgeist in a hyperconnected geo-community. It is a long read but profitable, I hope.

              On Dickinson (Wiki):
              Dickinson was a lecturer (Cambridge) in political science from 1886 to his retirement in 1920, and the college librarian from 1893 to 1896. Dickinson helped establish the Economics and Politics Tripos and taught political science within the University. For 15 years he also lectured at the London School of Economics.
              Dickinson had drafted schemes for a “League of Nations”, and together with Lord Dickinson and Lord Bryce he planned the ideas behind of the League of Nations and played a leading role in the founding of the group of internationalist pacifists known as the Bryce Group. The organisation eventually became the nucleus of the League of Nations Union. In his pamphlet After the War (1915) he wrote of his “League of Peace” as being essentially an organisation for arbitration and conciliation. He felt that the secret diplomacy of the early twentieth century had brought about war and thus could write that, “the impossibility of war, I believe, would be increased in proportion as the issues of foreign policy should be known to and controlled by public opinion.”

              The monograph:


              • The lull can be attributed to having said about all there is to say about a scurrilous government, and people finding new entertainments. And fights. 🙂

              • Edgar Lores says:

                1. I skimmed through the monograph and the theses seem to be:

                1.1. The West is not peaceful. The rule is that Right is Might. This is in contradiction to its basic Christian ethic. Jesus taught that when slapped, one must turn the other cheek.

                1.2. China is peaceful. The rule is that Right is intrinsically Moral and does not require Might. This is in accordance with Confucian ethics, which espouses honor for parents and love for family.

                1.3. In the middle of the 19th century, the West brutalized China and showed it how Might is Right. Beware teaching China the lesson! Because once China adopts Western political ethics, the West invites Chinese domination.

                2. My comments:

                2.1. The events following the publication of the monograph would appear to support the three theses.

                2.1.1. In the middle of the last century, Mao proved that “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

                2.1.2. Also mid-century, China annexed Tibet.

                2.1.3. At the beginning of this century, China is wresting control of a global commons, the South China Sea, and has militarized several islands.

                2.1.4. China is now a superpower and will soon be on par with the West.

                2.2. The first thesis (1.1) is not quite accurate? Jesus also said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” The sword in this verse is not meant to refer to violence but is a metaphor for the social conflict between believers and non-believers. One may conclude that, indeed, Jesus is a Prince of Peace.

                2.3. The second thesis (1.2) is not accurate at all. The history of China is one of a succession of dynasties, each previous one overthrown by uprisings and rebellion. There might have been peace in the household, but the peace in society was often achieved by subjugation (“Tremble and obey!” ) and often by threat of violence… as it is being achieved in modern times (Tiananmen).

                2.4. Therefore, the third thesis (1.3) rests on an illogical premise. One might argue that China’s violence was internal and the West taught China how to exercise it externally. I am not sure this argument holds water as some dynastic wars were expansionist.


              • Thank you for the analysis, Edgar. I did not read the treatise, my brain having succumbed to the laze of a sunny Sunday morning, but found your assessment most enlightening. One thing the US has proved is that might does not make right, but if it is bound to good ideals, responsible freedom is more invigorating and productive than blind obedience to power.

              • sonny says:

                There’s much to keep abreast of anyway in the TSOH, Joe. Lull or not. 🙂

              • NHerrera says:

                One might argue that China’s violence was internal and the West taught China how to exercise it externally.

                Playing psychologist here: that is a truism in some way for individual humans with the internal violence — if latent for some — becoming externalized given the right circumstances.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                A related thought: Japanese tend to strike inward (seppuku) while Filipinos tend to strike outward (run amok).

                The thought would seem to be false given Japan’s aggression in WWII but, for the most part through the centuries, Japan has been an inward-looking society. They are acutely aware of a personal and societal responsibility. Accordingly, they have internally developed standards of beauty and morality that are unique. Leave your phone or camera on a bench and it will be there an hour later. Lose your wallet and it will be returned to you intact.

                In contrast, we Filipinos have almost no concept of our own responsibility. We tend to blame others for our ills. The drug war is Duterte and the PNP running amok. We look to others for standards, say Christian morality, and we imitate the forms but discard the underlying principles. Use your phone in Quiapo and it will be snatched from you. Lose your wallet and it will be gone forever.

              • I think the lack of responsibility is inborn. I tromped my son at Monopoly yesterday and he claimed he lost because he got tired of standing up (next to the bed upon which I was reclined, playing stupendously). That I got all his properties and money had nothing to do with it. It is comical sometimes, but not most of the time.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                But your son is only half-Filipino. In time, he will be half-responsible. 🙂

              • Man, I sure hope so!!!! haha

              • sonny says:

                Likewise here, Edgar. I appreciate your continuance of Dickinson’s analysis and judgment on the European interference of Chinese (dynastic) affairs (the Boxer rebellion) events leading finally to the end of 2000 yrs of Chinese Dynasties. Knowing so little of many things Chinese, I am now trying to absorb a crash course of Chinese history, culture, & politics beyond the stereotypes and glancing familiarity via old Chinoy classmates & friends. Reading Dickinson’s piece is my attempt to add to understanding our current relationship with China. Furthermore, this exercise will necessarily bring in the timeline of what happened to China between the end of the dynasties to the emergence of Mao and the Communist Party in 1949, until finally arriving, however much “wobblying” to the China our president has backed us into.

              • NHerrera says:

                edgar, your

                But your son is only half-Filipino. In time, he will be half-responsible.
                is Exhibit A.

                I am thinking, though, if the 50-50 responsibility assignment may have to be fine-tuned. Meaning, is the German-American DNA stronger than the Filipino DNA? But any adjustment towards the Filipino DNA is countered by the “nurture” aspect provided by Dad.

                And as Junior turns in for the night, he says, It is really alright, Joe. You win one in ten — that is not bad at all. Ask your broker Sal.


                Last note: as an admirer of the Japanese — they are indeed unique.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Sarao Jitney vs. Mercedes-Benz C Class (lowest-priced model) manufactured in Alabama. No comparison in the DNA.

              • 🙂 I am teaching him not to be defined by anyone but himself, and how to recognize any dysfunctional, natural impulses. So I laughed mightily at his reaction to losing at monopoly. He laughed, too.

        • NHerrera says:

          My only request is to know what the last letter in the acronym stand for. But pass over if you feel uncomfortable answering.

          • NHerrera says:

            Ok Bill answered my request. Thanks Bill,

            • Inspector Rebus is a hard-nosed guy, been through a lot, and often has to deal with people who get into his space with opinions he doesn’t like, but is in no position to combat. It might be a senior officer of a police department in London looking down his nose at a Scottish investigator. So “FYTP” is what Rebus mutters to himself as he departs the scene.

              He also has two seven letter words which can be applied when he is really burned, the translation of which is “fucking asshole”. So you see, I was relatively gentle with Bill.

              The author, Ian Rankin, has given me hours of quality time away from the insanity of the Philippines. A used bookstore in Tacloban had almost his entire collection of some 20 books and I bought them all. About 100 pesos per book. Unfortunately, Yolanda wiped the bookstore out and it has not been rebuilt. So I’m stuck with re-reading the ones I have whenever I find myself uttering too many curses.

              • NHerrera says:

                Thanks for the tip on Ian Rankin. I will be on the lookout for his books, next time I go to the “Booksale” shop — named after the second-hand book seller in some SM stores in Metro Manila. The other frustration phrase by Rebus will then be FYTA?

                Sorry for your loss, Joe. I mean most of those Ian Rankins lost to Yolanda. 🙂

              • We battle on, resilient as hell. 🙂

              • Update, Secretary Judy is out. Insanity reins. LP reps on the commission of appointments voted to approve her, Duterte people, not. Secretary Judy praised Duterte for at least giving face to leftists. Meanwhile, a leftist party blasted the ‘US-Duterte’ alliance that threw her out of government. Hahahahaha, those paranoid bastards see the US as a villain every time something bad happens. Mind-locked into the ’50’s. La la la, la la la . . .

            • Bill In Oz says:

              No problem N’Herrera.

    • As for me, Bill. I think there’s room for everyone in the Philippines, foreign journalists, local journalists, national ones, trained, untrained, experienced, no experience, fancy equipment to just a simple smart phone. They should all be out and about , witnessing and documenting stuff of importance.

      I’m of the opinion that democracy is a blood sport, sure we can veneer it with civility (non-violence) and all that fine stuff, but the heart of democracy is violence, it’s physical.

      Charlottesville this past weekend is healthy, gets people out and makes them participate (only problem was the cops weren’t up to the task, and got out of control). But that’s how it should be, get physical (but ideally like a good bar fight, everyone has beers in the end… ideally, but the point is that there should be a galvanizing affect).

      The leftists (Anarchists, etc.) had more cameras than the alt-right (White Supremacists) if you noticed, although the Whites also had cameras (but far fewer). What’s striking is how the two groups used their media generating devices. I suspect the alt-right folks will just post their media for self-consumption, while the leftist weaponized theirs already,

      they catalogued pictures and actually ID’ed White Supremacists one by one, a couple of them have been fired from jobs, families have disavowed loved ones, etc. (they’ve also misidentified a few, so not w/out snags). but this weaponizing of personal media is interesting.

      There’s a lesson there, in how to use media , you don’t have to be a professionally trained journalist, just go out there and bear witness and document evidence and stories (and you can actually make a difference).

      That’s the type of organizing I was asking Joe on the other thread, not the theoretical stuff, but actual organizing, as for funding, hey maybe an NGO can provide bigger cameras (with zoom in or low light capability) to young journalism students, or just hungry passionate individuals who want to chase stories.

      Vicara mentioned how these “journalists” are actually cooped up in Manila, nice & comfy, so have these on the ground cameras provide them with more photos , from which to craft a more complete story. But go out there and bear witness should be the battle cry for the yellows, not stay safe at home, Bill.

      • also in line with what josephivo said above,

      • As we’ve discussed before, some of us are barred from participating in or encouraging opposition to government by the terms of our visas. The best we can do is write the theoretical “stuff” and maybe a citizen not sitting back on his resilience will get a practical idea from it.

        • Joe, I know you can’t, but are there actual organizing for the yellows—- again not theoretical. It’s been over a year now since DU30 election, still nothing?

          • Leni just got elected LP Chairman, and said the party has to rebuild. Teddy Baguilat said the party is accepting “non-politicians” as members, meaning they are building a base. So it is I think regroup for the yellows in the original sense (Liberals) and Leni continues her Angat Buhay program which is connecting NGOs to grassroots projects – something BTW which she can continue to do whether or not BBM snatches the Vice-Presidency from her.

            Angat Buhay (Uplifting Lives) BTW has a lot of corporate sponsors from what I heard – this is where of course LP has its advantage in having private sector connections en masse. Leni and her people of course continue to slog it through slums and barrios in slippers – I once half-joked in my blog that if you wear yellow, you have to be like the Buddhist monks.

            • That is definitely better than the city crowd that has grown so comfortable that they go Waahahah because of Uber shutting down – and indirectly admit Manila IS dangerous if you take normal public transport or even taxis.

              The nouveaux middle class is of course also too comfortable – they are content with having the poor people killed for them, those that they were scared of when they came home, scared of losing their katas ng Saudi mobile phones, but they bear reality a bit more.

              The possible winners in this game are those who, like the barbarians at the gates of ancient Rome, did not go soft in comfort like the Romans did. There are the Mindanaoans of all sorts including the settlers around Duterte, Magdalo, and maybe Leni and crowd.

              • Actually these are not just the barbarians… in times of crisis like the decline of Rome you can remilitarize like Justinian and his group did.. or you can go the way of disciplined non-violence like the Benedictine monks. but that is a form of retreat and you need others to at least tolerate you to secure your survival.. One should not forget that Duterte stood on stage supporting Aquino back in 2013 or Mar grinning beside Du30… during Aquino’s term hardly any investigation of DDS.. that is what you get for relying on certain groups of people to support you, much like the late Roman Empire relied on Germanic mercenaries in some parts – until finally the Lombards came into Rome, had puppet Emperors serving at their pleasure, until they got bored with them and ended the Western Roman Empire.

              • sonny says:

                “… that is what you get for relying on certain groups of people to support you, much like the late Roman Empire relied on Germanic mercenaries in some parts – until finally the Lombards came into Rome, had puppet Emperors serving at their pleasure, until they got bored with them and ended the Western Roman Empire.”

                Thanks, PiE. I forgot all about this. This attenuation of American hegemony, IMO, is one cause for WPS anomaly.

              • That is an aspect also, but the aspect I meant was the coddling of local politicians by national politicians according to need… this is a picture from the 2013 campaign of Aquino, look who is making the L-sign there…and after 2010, was there follow-up on De Lima’s DDS investigations? I think not, unless someone can show me evidence – not an affidavit, just something convincing enough that it wasn’t that way. These are the barbarians you build, just like Arminius was a cavalry commander for the Romans and knew Varus before luring him..

                Or like the Merovingians relied on the Carolingians to do stuff for them – until the Carolingians got bored and decided to be the kings themselves – Charlemagne etc. Sic transit gloria mundi.

            • madlanglupa says:

              > the party has to rebuild.

              and *reinvent* itself. No longer they’ll accept turncoats and opportunists from decadent political families (I find it infuriating that Tongresswoman Roman used the trans card to get popular first on LP then jump ship to the NSP… er, PDP-Laban just because her family asked so on the basis of finding the greener grass of power).

        • @LCX, You may note that many of my critical works aim at institutions, not the President directly. Journalists, PNP, the Senate, the House, various agencies or people. The theme is consistent. “You are not doing enough.” The ideas get circulated broadly on Twitter and Facebook, and are not strictly theoretical. They join with other voices to create a force of thought that reaches mainstream media and legislators. If you wish to participate in the Philippine social/political dialogue in a non-theoretical way, you can follow Irineo’s lead, get set up on Twitter, start the slow slog of building a following, and engage. So even you can get out of this blog . . . which by definition is a theoretical place . . . and “do more”.

          • sonny says:

            “They join with other voices to create a force of thought that reaches mainstream media and legislators.”

            This I can relate to. One can become part of the great Mississippi by less than a kayak at its headwater in Itasca, Minn. Then accrete with the river all the way to New Orleans 2300+ miles away where mighty ships gambol into the ocean.

              • Joe,

                You are right of course that the theoretical stuff has value, but as i’ve said it’s been over a year, the yellows have to get their act together. There has to be something tangible already, what’s the delay, is it Idea Fatigue (too much talking and thinking, and not enough doing)?



                Angat Buhay (Uplifting Lives) BTW has a lot of corporate sponsors from what I heard – this is where of course LP has its advantage in having private sector connections en masse. “

                I’ll look into this further. So your contention is forget the yellows, they’re like Romans in Rome all comfy and safe (full of ideas, and principles, but that’s about it), another colour has to save the Philippines from itself (lets call them whites or blues? using the Philippine flag).

                Now the question is, will they —- realistically — be able to do this, are these other colours true contenders?

              • Maybe not forget the yellows yet – if they go Leni’s way which is more of a countryside and not city-based approach, they may regenerate into something totally different. I am thinking specifically of the likes of Teddy Baguilat and Edcel Lagman, both provincial congressmen. Yellow renewal could come to mean: provincial middle class fighting for its rights against political dynasties, like Leni did in Camarines Sur, BUT if the provinces become TOO armed and dangerous again with warlords running things everywhere like in the 1950s, when Luzon and Visayas were similar to Mindanao today, then forget that. That could be very precarious.

                Another scenario is like the original yellows in 1986: most of them were disappointed pro-Marcos middle-class people, something many refuse to acknowledge until today, but yes, many became middle class in the late 1960s / early 1970s, were happy when Marcos got the drunks of the streets etc. – Manila was a city of opportunity where one could also fail of course, and the winners wanted the losers out of sight, out of mind, much like the new middle class supporting Duterte today. But woe to a patron that does not deliver the goods in the Philippines! So yes, the present red supporters may drift off in a new direction yet unknown. The old boom-party-bust cycle was 15+ years, might just be 3+ years in today’s faster times.

              • I’m concocting an article about three House reps, two of whom you have named. The three musketeers. That first scenario seems to fit what is transpiring. I wonder how rich local warlords are getting. That would indicate the level of support or objection to ‘grass roots yellow’.

        • “you can follow Irineo’s lead, get set up on Twitter, start the slow slog of building a following, and engage.”

          Thanks but no thanks, Joe. I’m logged on using Twitter, but i’ve since let my account fall dormant, i just don’t get Twitter. My interest here, is simply our old talk of high falutin’ vs. on the ground—- i’m always asking how all this theory is becoming practice, so should you guys IMHO.

          • Twitter is not theoretical in the Philippines, it is the modern street march. The trolls have not been able to get a base there. Legislators, SC justices, educators, journalists, lawyers, and common people gather there.

          • The LP under Robredo intends to step up its opposition role, I was informed today. Indeed, the VP today called on people to speak out against the spate of killings the past 2 days, 50+. On the other side, Duterte threatened to kill human rights advocates if they got in the way of justice. In the senate, it was reported by the Sec of Justice, after considerable pulling by LP Sen. Drilon, that the Dept of Justice has only 37 cases working among 4,000 reported EJK deaths.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Lance, this post of Joe’s is critical of journalists in the Philippines as having no curage etc. But journalists are a a ‘threatened’ species in the Philippines. ( Somebody else can look up the number killed in the past decade. ) And I guess each day they see the ‘raw’ of what is happening with police drug executions…

        Turning to your comment : thank you ! it is interesting and provides a way out of the impasse facing journalists.. Bloggers have the capacity to be anonymous. They can move with & among the mass of people. See what is happening and record it. And at far less risk that that facing employed, certified and identified journalists.

        • Bill In Oz says:

          Back in the 1960’s this was the strategy of the Vietcong & NVA fighting against the South Vietnamese government and the US troops – like “Fish in water”

        • I didn’t say they have no courage. I said they bow to seniority and authority when they ought to stand as equals. It is a cultural politeness that does not represent the profession or serve the people well. I think they are plenty courageous, but have not learned to be precise and assertive.

          • In a culture where asking “Why” can earn you a livid stare – even from teachers if they are of the old school type – don’t expect people to learn too much assertiveness.

            There are of course those who ask “Why” in a Western way – like Rappler whose boss was with CNN long – but many more who ask “Why” in the original Filipino way, which means “what the fuck are you doing”? Easier to dare say that to “weak” Aquino than to Raja Rody.

            • So is my appeal for more ‘Maria Ressa’ style probers on the right path, for the well-being of the nation? Or am I expecting too much?

              • The Philippines tends to seesaw between Western and Eastern influences.

                The school of thought that many are going for now is to purge Western influences and totally Easternize. Turkey is going through the same phase now with Erdogan, after an Atatürk tried to Westernize, much like his contemporary Quezon. What makes both the Philippines and Turkey especially attractive is their hinge function between cultural hemispheres. What will the Philippines be without its slightly Westernized flavor? A corrupt slum supplying OFWs to Southeast Asia and the Middle East, a sleazy mix of Malacca and Macau? Somewhat like Lebanon lost its special flavor and advantage at some point by wanting to be Middle Eastern at all costs. OK I heard its women are still hot. These matters I leave to LCPL_X though.

        • Bill,

          You and Joe don’t necessarily disagree. You are of course correct, journalism is dangerous work in the 3rd world in general. And Joe ‘s correct many journalists still alive have cowered.

          There ‘s courage in persisting, in surviving; But there’s also courage in actually reporting.

          How to make it safer is the question, don’t retreat and stay at home, encourage everyone to go out, not just journalists, everyone with a media device go out. That was what’s weird in the Philippines , there was a day Philippines & then a night Philippines (two totally different places). I guess theres tons of analogies and metaphors you can pluck out of that fact, but in the end the day Philippines has to bare witness the night Philippines.

  11. Zen says:

    Short but very effective article on the nuances of being ‘ resilient ‘, JoeAm. It always bothers me, Rizal’s essay on the indolence of the Filipinos. It would seem like we always have an excuse for when something happens to us and then say we are resilient.

    • Yes, that’s what it seems like to me. It is also interesting about Rizal. He is a rock star of history, but only a few intellectuals get what he was saying. Or if they get it, they don’t do anything that would change Rizal’s view.

    • sonny says:

      Side note to Rizal and the ‘indolence’ of the Filipinos – David Barrows (first superintendent of Philippine Public Schools) pointed out that indigenous Filipinos woke up early in the morning to start work, stopped when the sun was hottest, then continued the work day as the heat became more and more tolerable toward the set of sun. I feel Rizal the ilustrado missed that one.

      • What I have also heard is the version that the Spaniards got up at 10 a.m. (late as usual) and only saw the “indigenos” (a Latin American told me that indio is taboo nowadays in their parts, a bit like nigger in the United States) working 1-2 hours. Could be they missed the second part as well because they were having their siesta at that time, so who is in fact lazier? Of course the higher-ranking you were, the less manual labor in the Philippines, including parasol-bearers. My aunt on her way to the jeepney stop at UP in the 1960s had maids carry an umbrella to cover her. Merkel I often see on TV carrying her own umbrella.

        Rizal the ilustrado was of course relatively rich, but they did not own their land either – it was friar property, and increased rents were one reason he did not like them. El Fili has a bit of a changed variation of that theme, including a barangay captain’s father telling him to just think of the friars as a crocodile to feed – the first reference to the term of buwaya for greedy persons or institutions. I think Rizal saw the Filipino as too passive, not lazy.

        • Ahhhh, too passive. Thanks.

          • That’s Machiavelli’s “strength to suffer”. But then again, this guy thinks its a good thing, but he walked around naked,

            • The assumption of non-violent resistance is that the other side is somewhat decent – or ready to back down because the cost of staying would be too high, like Britain in India in 1947. AND the British of then probably knew, better deal with Gandhi/Nehru before others come into play. Because the partition of India/Pakistan for example was not non-violent at all, if we remember.

              1986 went non-violent because Marcos had already lost most of his army and the patron USA (Sen. Laxalt) told Marcos “cut and cut cleanly, the time has come (Marcos answered that he was very very disappointed) so HE chose not to fight back. 2001 did not go as cleanly, since Erap’s wacky supporters from the slums did try to hit back, and the one put into power proved to be more than just a figure with a few minor shades of grey like Cory. So today, who cares?

              In fact, most Philippine institutions seem hollow, the true believers few and far between. Seems as hopeless as being a missionary in a land of cannibals. Do you tell them let’s eat the body of Christ, better than any man? Hahahahaha! Better to know the next eclipse, and order the sun.

              • Agreed. You have to have specific type of enemy, Jesus for example got nailed on the cross. I’m more with Machiavelli, but as sonny knows also a big fan of these guys that have the capacity to suffer.

              • They do have the advantage that they don’t break down that easily under pressure.

                Can be useful, for example, if one falls into enemy hands. The strength to endure pain is part and parcel of the Black Nazarene cult – as well as all the self-flagellants and self-crucifiers.

              • sonny says:

                Or one can exit once on a grand scale either as martyr hoping for an eternal heaven or a real company of 56(?) doe-eyed virgins. (Sen Saguisag asks, how old are the virgins? 🙂 )

              • It might not matter if you let them entertain you – and you don’t entertain them.

                Or was that something from the Jesuit legacies of Gary Lising?

      • I agree. Seems like he was commenting on the effect (of horrid employment practices) rather than the cause (abuse and stupidity). I’ve never seen people work as hard as the construction guys who built my home.

        • Aren’t they like serfs over there, Joe, working industriously for their lord (the contractor, or the construction company for bigger projects). I remember they tended to bring their families along and slept at the job site.

          • sonny says:

            “… they tended to bring their families along and slept at the job site.”

            they still do if the construction project is big & long enough.

            • I’ve always wondered if like serfs they too lived in or around their boss’s home. In Europe, guilds (like unions) finally formed, like carpenters guilds, etc. etc. which off-set the powers of these lords.

              • Guilds formed in the cities, which where either under the “protection” of a specific lord (the castles on mountains high above the towns had their good reason) or in the Holy Roman Empire (Germany) the “Free Imperial Cities” with own charters and imperial protection/tax.

                German on-the-job training for skilled labor still goes by the guild system. You learn from a master until you are called a “bachelor” with necessary skills. They say that in Bavaria, the old right of a master to hit his pupils when they did stupid stuff was still practiced for quite a while.

                Bachelors went cross-country for about a year with a walking stick and offered their services everywhere – learning about life in the process as well. Returned to work for a while, then learn to be masters – only a master had the right to open his own shop then, or to marry!

                The balance of things in the High Middle Ages was that the lords were not fool enough to kill the geese that laid golden eggs for them – the flourishing towns and their tradesmen.

                Some were greedier though, the so-called robber barons who extorted, kidnapped etc.

  12. Duck, my Friends! They are looking for us!

  13. Sabtang Basco says:

    Social Studies In elementary to high school and college Filipinos described like a bamboo. It stands tall when typhoon hits it sways where the wind blows never break and stand back up again: Resilient. Like a bamboo, when it is cut it grows back again. For a bamboo cannot grow again is to earthball it and burn it. It is the only way. If earthballed bamboo is tossed it grows like Filipinos in the U.S. like a bamboo.

    From the beginning to this day Filipinos are taught they are like a bamboo, Resilient. Resilience is inculcated as good trait. Filipinos survived Spaniards. Survived Japanese onslaught. Survived the Americans. Now they are surviving and yet resilient.

    Invaders of Marawi, initially counted by “intelligence” communities were 12, are Filipinos. The invaded are Filipinos. All resilient. If all are resilient it is stalemate.

    12 Muslims invaded Marawi. That is according to Fake News or pekeng-peryodistas. They sent trained Armies. They failed to this day. According to some pundits in Fake News, they invaded to “buy” arms. Why would they invade and buy when they own the whole place? Another Fake News was they brought with them drugs. Fake News is insinuating and implying invaders brought drugs to sell to buy arms. So, there are Merchants of Death in Marawi that sells arms openly? Absolutely Fake News.

    Then these Filipinos squabble about imposition of Martial Law. The squabble is all about the Philosophy of Martial Law because even without Martial Law the Philippine soldiers would still be acting like there was Martial Law to root out the 12 Muslims invaders.

    With or without Martial Law these will still happen:
    1. Soldiers will still re-take Marawi
    2. The invaded will still evacuate Marawi

    So, what is the fuss about imposition and extension of Martial Law? The Fake News is all about the Philosophy of it. The Real News is all about retaking of Marawi.

    • Martial Law is a way to demonstrate authority beyond what the Constitution envisions. The longer it is in place, the weaker the Constitution becomes, and the less powerful the opposition’s voice. We saw today the President taking his aim off of drugs and putting it onto human rights advocates (anyone who speaks for the Constitution) and ‘conspirators’. It is all real.

  14. LG says:

    I agree 1000%. “Resilience” may just be the politically correct term for “resignation”.

  15. karlgarcia says:

    “Someone who figures out how to thrive in desperate conditions is “inventive”, not resilient.”

  16. seedy says:

    “From the beginning to this day Filipinos are taught to be like bamboo, Resilient. Resilience is inculcated as good trait. Filipinos survived Spaniards. They survived the Japanese onslaught. They survived the Americans.”
    Filipinos also survived Marcos.
    They will survive Duterte.
    They are resilient.
    Filipinos do not need Australians or Canadians or Americans or British or Europeans to show them how to survive. They already know.

  17. madlanglupa says:

    Going on-topic: anyone who mentions or quotes an article from Rigberto Tiglao should be taken with a da– no, more like a truckton of salt. He writes supposedly for the pursuit of the truth or justice, but really it’s for his patron Arroyo and the powers-that-be sitting in the Palace, the Senate, the Tongress, the entire circus that is the PRRD Cabinet, and of course, the ironically vengeful Volunteers Abetting Crime and Corruption (as a tongue-in-cheek commenter said).

    Case in point is the controversy surrounding the Mile-Long Building and its environs, which Sultan-President had brought up recently. The question is, why now when it sholud’ve been said many years ago?

    • popoy says:

      If and when in the future Trump (removed or resigned) is no longer POTUS before he finishes his term of office, the news piece below should be hailed as historic document of political correctness in US journalism.


      Never so many has there been among more than 300 million people have peed in their pants.

      Of Course, Of Course

      The OTHERWISE punditry has almost zero statistical probability of a boomerang hitting the thrower’s face.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      The word “immigration” and “immigrant” is abused in the U.S. just because U.S. comprised of immigrants. ENOUGH ALREADY !!! Immigrants of eons ago are better than the current breed of Immigrants. Immigrants of today came to this country to reap what the forefathers had sowed.

      I agree with Donald Trump. Illegal immigrants should leave if they do not they should be rounded up and deported. “Illegal” is illegal as defined. If it is illegal they pay. Stealing is illegal but not illegal immigrant?

      I came to this country with proper documents. Every 6 months I brave the waves of Batanes to go to mainland Philippines to renew my visa like upright citizen should.

      ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT. UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT. UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANT. OUT! OUT! OUT! If they do not Donald Trump white-and-khaki shirts will come after you.

      • MRP, ikaw ba iyan? Your spokening Englishtczhes is very distinct.

        Donald Trump and his immigration policy is misguided. He used the racists and extreme nationalists sentiments to get their votes. That is one reason why he took his time in condemning them in light of the Charlottesville debacle. Hate, intolerance, violence and bigotry has no place in a country built on the back of immigrants.

        The land of opportunity will always have an illegal immigration problem. There are better ways than hatred and walls to solve it. US already has the human resources, departments and policies in place to deal with it. Let the system work. There is no need for grandstanding and divisiveness.

        • lindrell says:

          ‘Tis a good day in the neighborhood. Love the fireworks, honky and pomey ☺

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          MRP? Nope, am not. Only Joe can know.

          Juana, you are saying a goat herder in Botswana wanting to immigrate to the U.S. should not be denied of visa because it is his RIGHT to go to the U.S. because U.S. is made of immigrants? Immigration is an entitlement to all people wherever they came from and has a has stake in the U.S.? If Mr. Goat Herder snucked in the wheel well of Philippine Airlines landed in Hawaii should be read his immigration Rights and given citizenship?

          Emma Lazarus, look what you have done! People all over the world took your sonnet by heart!

  18. Sabtang Basco says:

    Philippine Fake News writing about resilience reflects what they were taught in school: Resilience is Good.

    It is where Philippine Fake News’ fake columnists write Op-Ed promotion of religion never in the USA and the rest of first world. I knew Philippines is a never-ending third world country when Philippine Airline stewardess handed me Philippine Fake News with fake news columnists espousing and promoting religion. Only in third world country. Not in USAToday. Not in Der Speigel. Never in first world countries.

    It is clear as day Filipino columnists never read foreign news and cannot learn journalism.

  19. Juana Pilipinas says:

    I believe most Filipino citizens are shell shocked and suffering from PTSD. The psychological injury is induced by frequent national instability and natural/manmade crises. Symptoms can often misread as cowardice and lack of character. Johns Hopkins researchers found that PTSD results in neurological injury in parts of the brain that are used in decision making, memory and reasoning. Maybe what we need is a national mental health program. We all need our heads checked. Maybe, just maybe, we will finally get rid of most of the society’s ills if we all undergo mental health therapy…

  20. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: this left me laughing loud.

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