Japan and the Philippines

China’s sea defense: First and Second Island Chains.

By Joe America

Many believe that the US, by going inward and isolationist under President Trump, has ceded Southeast Asia to China. Rule of the seas, free trade agreements, financial control . . . all going to China.

I’m not so sure.

I believe the US has ceded her role to Japan, not China.

The US has been the main restraint on China’s aggressive and expansive ambition, and now that responsibility has shifted to Japan.

We know that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has consolidated his power. He now controls two thirds of the Diet. We can guess from his statements and policies that he wants Japan to end its era of concession to the West, coming from the loss of World War II and represented in a policy that Japan’s military is to be used only for defense. Perhaps that means he may decide the military should occupy some islands, too, like China. Or assertively bomb North Korean missile installations if North Korea keeps firing their nuke-capable missiles over Japan.

That is speculative, but one thing is not. Prime Minister Abe recently welcomed Philippine President Duterte with warmth and smiles and respect. Well, it’s hard for Japanese dignitaries to offer anything but respect. Abe would not be so rude as to speak about human rights issues to President Duterte, for Japan believes other nations are entitled to run their own affairs, just as Japan expects other nations to stay out of Japanese affairs.

There were no meaningful protests in Japan against the Duterte visit.

President Duterte was there to try to firm up Japan’s investments in Philippine infrastructure development. Japan has agreed to some modest investments, for example, the start-up funding for planning of the Mega Manila Subway, but not yet for construction of the subway. The Philippines has ideas of claiming billions in cheap funding, so we read  big numbers in the newspaper headlines. But those are tentative until deals are signed. And Japan is likely to go slowly. Cautiously. Making sure they GET as well as give.

One thing I learned while working 13 years directly for Japanese managers who owned our bank is that they don’t make rash judgments. They want details, and assurances. They want to succeed, or win. The last thing they want is a failure announced around the world.

Now President Duterte may want to look like he is the orchestra leader, at least back home, but he is just a third-chair fiddler in the Southeast Asia orchestra. President Aquino was first chair, tuning the region to laws. The conductor is Prime Minister Abe, or People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping, depending on what tune is being played.

Japan, like China, likely believes it has been held back from its historical entitlements by oppression from the US and other Western states. Time to ‘rock and roll’ again . . .

Japan is certainly no match for China, head to head, on any indicator, but she is also no lightweight.

Economy: World Bank ranks Japan’s GDP third at $4.9 trillion behind China’s 11.2 trillion and the US’s 18.6 trillion.

Military: Japan is ranked fourth globally in military might by Business Insider behind the US, Russia, and China, and just ahead of India. In other rankings, China is second. The gap between China and Japan is sizable.

  • China: Budget: $216 billion, Active frontline personnel: 2,333,000, Tanks: 9,150, Total aircraft: 2,860, Submarines: 67
  • Japan: Budget: $41.6 billion, Active frontline personnel: 247,173, Tanks: 678, Total aircraft: 1,613, Submarines: 16

Look for Japan to nurture alliances that will close the power gap. The US will remain a prominent partner, for her military might. But the Philippines is also important as the main land mass along China’s First Island Chain. The First Island Chain forms what Chinese leaders believe is an essential defensive barrier against the US. The Second Island Chain is an ambitious reach halfway across the Pacific.

As the Philippines tilts, so does control of the gateway to the Pacific.

I’d guess that Japan is likely to make many of the investments that President Duterte wants as long as the Philippines holds steady as an independent nation that Japan can rely on to seal China within the First Island Chain. It is apparent that President Duterte is between rocks and hard places with China bearing down, Japan holding the carrot of investments, and the US acting erratically but at least schmoozing the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Because ASEAN is predominantly an economic organization, it is unrealistic to think of it as an alliance that will provide defense for smaller nations against China’s encroachments. The European Union is also predominantly economic. It is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that works to defend member states in Europe. Interestingly enough, the Asian counterpart, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), which was dissolved in 1977 because of disunity, was originally signed in Manila. It had a second name, “The Manila Pact”.

SEATO was formed to stop the spread of communism.

Today, it is not communism that needs to be stopped, as a political ideology, but acquisition and use of sovereign resources for China’s benefit. Only.

The second regional threat in Asia is radical Islam and its terrorist armies, extortionists, and pirates.

It would not be surprising to see Japan take the lead to establish a new regional defense alliance against both threats, Chinese encroachment and terrorism. The partnership might include Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Viet Nam, India, and Australia.

South Korea holds historical bitterness toward Japan, believing Japanese leaders have never been truly contrite about their ruthless deeds. So South Korea is hard to figure.

The Philippines is a chip in play. Good relations with China depend on China restraining her island building near Philippine lands and following through on loans for infrastructure at interest rates that compete with Japan’s. Should she start building military outposts at Scarborough or Pagasa sand bars, or should she require high-interest loans or not support infrastructure development, then the Philippines could easily tilt toward Japan and a regional defense alliance.

Without a doubt, the Philippines has a lot to lose to China’s expansion. It was not accidental that Chinese ships recently spent days at Benham Rise (Philippine Rise), an area rich with methane and other mineral and aquatic resources.

China is just about finished with her First Island Chain project. The island military installations provide the physical defense. Will other nations respect China’s sovereignty in these regions?

That still has to play out. The Philippines was a part of the debate under President Aquino, but has lost that influence under President Duterte. The Philippines is a target, a pawn, not a player.

It seems to me the ball is in Japan’s court to make sure Southeast Asian states remain whole and autonomous.


81 Responses to “Japan and the Philippines”
  1. tonytran2015 says:

    Your map has left the East Vietnam Sea (to China?).

    Japan should restore its glory but there are obstacles.

    Japan needs 6 months from declaration of making to actually owning a tested Nuclear bomb.

    Making missile is ok wirh Japan but making own Missile Interceptors are new game for Japan.

    Building fleets costs money but the economy is not strong.

    Making Lethat Drones and Killer Robots are new game for Japan.

    Japan is not strong enough for the proposed role.

    • Excellent counter-points, tonytran. I didn’t really focus on the East Vietnam Sea, but everything within the nine-dash line is presumed to belong to China, by Chinese leaders. Changing that presumption is the task, and it is a very, very difficult task.

      Japan does not have to provide all the the might herself, only cobble together an alliance that brings together regional military power, and start to work to build a bigger military force and weaponry. I would note that the industrial part of a military industrial build-up is like building infrastructure. It is a plank of the economy.

      Do you believe Viet Nam is willing and able to take the lead?

    • karlgarcia says:

      The missile defense of Japan is way too underrated.


      At least they won’t start from scratch.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Lethal drones and killer robots are a new game for everyone.
        We are talking about Japan here, robots are not exactly new.
        Voltes Five is celebrating its 40th anniversary. 😉


      • tonytran2015 says:

        It is not that I have no trust in Japanese systems, but assessing the effectiveness of any defense system is a high stake business.

        I have not seen many field demonstrations of Japanese missile defense system, so the lives of millions can not be left to them.

        American systems deal with long trajectories of incoming missiles. Can they deal with short trajectories from North Korea to Japan?

        A wrong action based on a wrong assessment may put Japanese cities at risk or may turn a North Korean missile test into a full scale missile war.

        I think that Japan have to go into rearmament at full speed now so that there would be no window of vulnerability when the US withdraw from its current role.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I understand. Yes, it would be impossible to do a secret missile defense test, so if we have read, heard or watched about it, it never happened.

          And they are not allowed to go to war, but no ones stopping them to defend themselves.

          You are also correct, it may all depend on Japanese policy.


          • karlgarcia says:

            I will just lay down how well prepared or unprepared they are based on the article.

            “In the late 1990s, Japan embarked on an tiered ballistic missile defense (BMD) system to protect the country from missile strikes. Umbrella coverage of the Home Islands would take the form of ship-based SM-3 interceptors designed to kill incoming enemy warheads in space, the so-called “midcourse” phase, before they begin to descend upon their targets.

            The second, lower tier would involve point defense of specific potential targets, including military bases and Japanese cities, would take the form of Patriot PAC-3 air defense missile systems that would intercept warheads in the terminal phase. If an incoming warhead managed to penetrate the destroyer screen and headed towards a target protected by Patriot missile batteries, Japan’s BMD network would have a second shot at making a kill.

            Japan began building the umbrella with the Kongo-class guided missile destroyers. Japan built four destroyers, Kongo, Kirishima, Myoko and Chokai, which in capability are virtually identical to early models of the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (Flight II). More importantly, Japan built the destroyers with version 3.6 of the Aegis Combat System, which was designed to intercept ballistic missiles. This required adding the SPY-1D radar and Mk. 41 vertical launch system silos that could house the SM-3 missile interceptor, but turned the four destroyers into potent missile killers.

            The original deployment plan was to have four guided missile destroyers with SM-3 Block 1B interceptors in service. This would allow two destroyers to be at sea at any one time. The 380 mile range of the Block 1B meant that, properly spaced, two destroyers could cover almost the entire country—with the exception of Okinawa and the Ryukyu islands. A third destroyer would ensure complete coverage. In the meantime, Japan would fund development of the SM-3 Block IIA, which would have a maximum range in excess of 1,300 miles—allowing even fewer destroyers to provide even more comprehensive coverage.

            Meanwhile, Japan has steadily built up its arsenal of Patriot surface-to-air missiles. Tokyo purchased the first batch of Patriot PAC-3 missiles in the early 2000s. PAC-3 differs from earlier versions of the Patriot missile, PAC-1 and PAC-2, in being optimized for targeting high-speed incoming missile warheads. PAC-3 is practically a new missile, and a smaller, more compact one at that—a single Patriot missile launcher can carry sixteen of the newer PAC-3 missiles instead of just four of the older PAC-1 or PAC-2. One major downside is that PAC-3 has a range of just twelve miles, making it capable of protecting only specific targets.

            As of 2013, Patriot PAC-3 was deployed in thirteen locations across the country, concentrated in the Kanto and Kansai regions, and the southern island of Kyushu. PAC-3 famously defends Japan’s Ministry of Defense building in Shinjuku, Tokyo, although the missile battery actually protects the greater Tokyo metropolitan area. PAC-3 also protects facilities such as Misawa Air Base in northern Japan and potential targets on the island of Okinawa. This month, further deployments across southern Honshu were reported by the Associated Press, including Hiroshima, Kochi, Shimane and Ehime. While these deployments cover the majority of the population the problem is that virtually all of Japan is a target and it is impossible to provide a two-tiered defense to everything.“

  2. edgar lores says:

    1. I think the geopolitical analysis is on the mark.

    2. The first comment by @tonytran2015 is off the mark because it assumes the time boundary is the present time.

    2.1. China will not make take overt aggressive actions at this time, or anytime soon, except for its not so covert militarization of some South China Sea rocks. It will not do so because:

    o First, its focus is on international trade and economic aggrandizement.
    o Second, its military position vis-a-vis the US is where Japan is now with respect to China.
    o Thirdly, there is the potential alliance among the Asian nations that contest assets in the South China Sea. Albeit this alliance is and will be weak.

    2.2. Therefore, Japan has the time to ramp up its military strength. It is already doing so in reaction to:

    o China’s claims to the disputed Senkaku islands
    o North Korea’s testing of missiles over Japan’s airspace
    o American vacillation

    3. America cession of the role of protecting navigation in the South China Sea is partial and temporary while Trump is at the helm. Even so, the US Defense establishment is unlikely to make the concession official. China’s control of the South China Sea will continue to be tested by the US and Australian warships and flyovers.

    4. We must not forget the potential strong alliances among the US, Japan, Vietnam and other Asian nations, and Australia and New Zealand should push come to shove.

    • It is interesting looking at various nations and try to calculate, do they have the ‘stuff’ to do alliances, which requires the ability to give and take. The give part is problematic. Yet we see Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines working together to stop piracy, so these are fledgling steps toward military alliance. A lot of bilateral training is going on. All that needs to be done is for someone to draw up a sensible piece of paper that ties it together for a bigger purpose, ensuring the territorial integrity of smaller states. Australia could do it, although when I check in on their parliamentary snarlings, it seems other things are on their minds, speed of internet and whatnot.

      Viet Nam does not yet seem to have the ‘gravitas’. Japan is a natural.

    • tonytran2015 says:

      I am sorry to have to rebuke all your argument.
      2.1 Military action relies on surprise for opponents. China may attack the Philippines at any suitable time. Please read the historical accounts of China attack on Tibet, on South Vitnamese Paracel group of islands in 1974, on Communist Vietnamese border in 1979, on Vietnamese Garma island.

      Chinese trade and Chinese military attacks serve the same purpose of bringing new territory under Chinese control. Trading with China will not protect any country from its attack. Even Russia, North Korea still maintains their strong armies on their borders with China.

      Chinese military is presently much more powerful than Japanese one. It is quite willing to engage Japanese military while American forces are not that willing to engage Chinese Navy.(Submarine drone incident during the US 2016 election)

      The potential alliance in Soith East Asia has been split by China with the stategy of Splitting the Bamboo. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are each waiting for Chinese money and “cooperation”. The Philippines have almost abandoned the hard won ruling by the International Tribunal.

      2.2 Japan has to rearm at full speed, there is no time to spare.

      3. America cessation of its role in the South China Sea is neither temporary nor partial. American policy now is America for Israeli and American. There would be no spare money for West Pacific or Indian Ocean.
      Australia military is only a shadow of its former self.
      The Operation named “Freedom of Navigation” has been quietly wound down. Where are the direct flights between Manila and HCMC (Saigon) now? Such flights have been threatened by Chinese missiles on occupied Spratley islands.

      4. The US and Japan may have a strong alliance but Australia did not buy Japanese submarines due to trade (with whom?) consideration! Vietnam is economically controlled by China. So there are only two reliable members in that alliance!

      • edgar lores says:

        2.1. Mutual Defense Treaty (United States – Philippines)

        • Let me just drop this link here, as it addresses a point made earlier by a reader that Viet Nam is in China’s pocket. That appears not to be the case. There have been times of partnership, but also a bitter history. Plus, Viet Nam likes its territories and resents China laying claim to them.


        • tonytran2015 says:

          … and the Philippines still lost its islands to the Chinese Navy!

          • edgar lores says:

            Precision in terminology and logic are required.

            Islands? Rocks, shoals, and outcroppings are not sovereign territory; nations have only sovereign rights over them. And the US does not take sides in territorial disputes.

            • tonytran2015 says:

              You can call them by anything you like, but they are not uncharted and the Chinese Navy now prohibits Phillipinos from going near them, overflying them, where Phillipinos had for ages did. That means Phillipines had lost sovereignty over some of their territory. The “treaty of mutual defence” is not worth the paper on which it was written!

              • edgar lores says:

                Again, precision in logic.

                Filipinos (not “Phillipinos”) have been going to many places for ages. We have been to China. Google Paduka Pahala. Does that mean we have sovereignty over China and all other places to which we have been?

                Again, sovereign rights do not equate to sovereign territory.

                Thank you for your input.

              • “. . . not worth the paper on which it is written . . .” I think US Sec of State Tillerson, or Def Sec Lorenzana of the PH, would not agree with you. I think what you mean to say is “the defense agreement is not doing what I want it to do, bring the US Navy to the defense of Philippine sea territory.”

                Well, states proceed into war with some caution, and try all means of negotiation or testing or minor actions before taking steps from which there is no pulling back.

                The treaty says that if one party’s ships or land is attacked, the other party will assist the state under attack. That has not happened, other than China’s pushing and shoving of fishing boats (akin to its warnings to US ‘free flight’ airplanes to get out of China’s space). And if the PH is attacked, you can believe that the US will not just start launching cruise missiles at China. There will be diplomacy and perhaps sanctions, who knows what. And for sure, it will not be, “Let’s call tonytran2015 to see what we should do.”

              • tonytran2015 says:

                You have known Chinese island grab tactics since the unprovoked Chinese overrun of South Vietnam’s Paracel islands in 1974. You have been aware that China has plans to take islands from you. You still lost the Scarborough to the Chinese Navy!

                Sun Tzu said that if you know your enemy and YOURSELF then you cannot lose all 100 of your battles.

                It is time the Philippines know about its own side.

              • Who do you represent, to know the Philippines better than Filipinos? Your sense of superiority and lecturing approach are rather tiresome. Credentials, please. Purpose for being here, please. Nationality, please.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Take this with a grain of salt, this article and the other artcles of the author is not pro-China.


  4. Sup says:

    @ JoeAm..

    Juli Briskman: People raise $55,000 for a woman fired for giving Donald Trump the finger


    🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. karlgarcia says:

    What is the role of the Philippines in the scheme of things.


    “Duterte was elected by a populace enraged by the status quo. This status quo includes the constant threat posed by drug dealers, the failure to evolve economically and the relationship with the United States. Duterte is deeply distrusted by the elite and seemingly admired by broader society, whom he has to satisfy. His means of satisfying that segment of society ranges from brutal attacks on alleged drug dealers to refusing to submit to the United States. From the outset of his government, Duterte has deliberately refused to abide by the niceties of domestic politics or foreign policies, cursing the United States in many ways.

    The Chinese could not help but notice this and have engaged in a subtle courtship of Duterte. The latest episode in that courtship is Duterte opening up the possibility of joint naval exercises. If anything was going to trigger an American response, it was that because to a large extent maritime cooperation between China and the Philippines means the end of the U.S. maritime strategy in the Pacific.

    It made perfect sense, therefore, for the U.S. president to invite Duterte to Washington. Duterte is said to be a thug. He is also the democratically elected president of a country that is of strategic importance to the United States – albeit one the U.S. felt comfortable ignoring in the past. Trump could have condemned Duterte. But if he did, and Duterte succumbed to Chinese approaches, the United States would face a significant problem with an equally repressive Chinese regime. Morally, it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. Strategically, the Philippines is critical. Without it, U.S. strategy toward China loses one of its wheels.

    It also is not surprising that shortly after Trump’s invitation via a phone call, Xi was on the line to Duterte. I don’t know what was said, but I have no doubt that Xi invited him to visit China again. Because of factors he had little to do with, Duterte has created a bargaining position between two great powers in which he holds many, if not all, of the cards. Anything he asks for is trivial compared to what is at stake for China and the United States.

    There are indications that Duterte had this in mind all along, given his opening attacks on the U.S. and praise for China. Still, what he wants is unclear. He has risks. The elite are pro-American and the masses are not pro-Chinese, just anti-elite. A substantial number of Filipinos live in the United States, and remittances matter. The Chinese might not see his government as a stable platform on which to base their national strategy. The U.S. might decide that a choke point strategy is not viable given Chinese land-based missiles.

    There are endless permutations in a maneuver where the stakes are so high. But in any case, for the moment, the Philippines is in an ideal situation. It is of great value to two great powers, either of which could float its economy with chump change and both of which need the Philippines. Neither of them knows what to make of the Philippine president. The Philippines found its sweet spot, but ultimately, the Chinese need it more, and that is a good reason to stay away from China. The needs of the U.S. permit room for the Philippines to maneuver. The Chinese embrace could become much too passionate for the Philippines’ fragile bones.”

  6. karlgarcia says:

    Our importance to Japan is their ageing and shrinking population, it is not always a our sending domestic helpers,entertainers and care givers.

    We can manufacture for them because they plan to manufacture indegenously .How can they do that if they have many retirees? Either they relax their immigration policies asap or have more off shore plants, and they are very welcome here.

    So better set up Japanese language schools here asap.

  7. popoy says:

    LEADERS of small like those of big countries
    have CHARACTERS, unique as unique they can
    ever only be; revealing of their carats and shine,
    how tall they can be, how heavy they are, not
    knowing perhaps how they will appear
    in the eyes of others.


  8. edgar lores says:


    It seems that 93-year old President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has finally fallen to a military coup… after a 40-year rule.


    And it seems the cause of his fall is a woman… an ambitious woman.

    There was a simmering battle for succession between Grace, Mugabe’s wife, and Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

    Last week, Mugabe fired Mnangagwa after Grace, who is 52 years old and Mugabe’s wife of two decades, accused his supporters of planning a coup.

    The removal cleared the way for “Gucci” Grace — so called for her extravagant shopping sprees — to ascend to the top office… until the military intervened.

    Mnangagwa used to be a former defense minister.

    Any parallels with Marcos, Imelda, and Enrile?

    • They planned the coup, they couped, they conquered. There is no parallel, I think, because VP Robredo is not up to such shenanigans, and I don’t think the AFP has an allegiance to Marcos.

      • edgar lores says:

        I agree about Robredo.

        The parallel I was thinking of was the triangle of Marcos, Imelda, and Enrile.

        I believe there was a contretemps between Imelda and Enrile which made Enrile fear for his life and this eventually led to EDSA.

        • Ahh, I get it now. All I know is that we are witness to one thick bit of history with global and domestic forces careening wildly about, and where they collide is yet to be determined.

        • karlgarcia says:

          The account of Enrile was disputed by Irwin Ver, because he said his dad respected him and even asked him to be his ninong(wedding).
          Fast forward now, Enrile lawyered for Imee during the ongoing battle for Ilocos Norte.

          • edgar lores says:

            There is a love-hate relationship at the top of Philippine politics. Today’s enemy is tomorrow’s friend, if not ally.

            It’s all governed by survivorship and expediency.

  9. popoy says:

    To JoeAm: I’ll need time to put together 2 more books and will be on recess (my favorite subject during my elementary grades) at TSoH. May I therefore request in advance a little of the lots of space here I usually consumed to air my thoughts by posting this advert from the Amazon. Just delete it if you find it inappropriate and unworthy. Could you email to me where I can send two or three copies of the book, It’s in the shelf now of our city public library where I found poetry books cost so much when the contents are hard to understand. Hindi pala medaling bumili at magdonate ng libro sa dating eskuela, dating alma mater. Below is Amazon’s sales talk of the book.


    This outstanding collection of eighty poems selected for Constant Winds: Seven Decades of Life Journey Revealed brings together Andy Ibay’s intimate thoughts on humanity, his shared memories on family & friends, and honest opinions on socio-politics events –some quite controversial yet unique unto itself. Andy didn’t mince any words in his poems. Many are his personal favorites and represent his bold experiments in writing and intellectual explorations. His original thoughts may require a thinking audience.

    The short verse offers a glimpse of his ideas, depth, and diverse realm. This poetry book could potentially be used as part of a learning curriculum in a college or major university. Between the covers of this book, you’ll find a myriad of different themes: living, loving, and laughing. There are some images of successful attempts on art & painting. He shared deep thoughts and self-introspection about mortality, relationships, and dealing with grief, loss. This poetry collection is a great book not only for teachers, students, and educators alike but for Filipino “Pinoy” immigrants and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) as well.

    For poetry lovers and book enthusiasts, this book transports us to the different places around the world he lived in and visited: Guadalupe, Makati City Philippines, Milton, Ontario Canada, and New Jersey, USA. He also shared random memories of life experiences as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and as United Nations (UN) Volunteer in East Timor.

    If you have never purchased a book of poetry before, purchase this now. It is a must-have, first of the seven books in the works. 80 poems total, more to come. Please watch for the next book in the pipeline.


    • karlgarcia says:

      Is it available at National Bookstore or any local bookstore….never mind, I will just find out.

      It has been months seen you first mentioned your book, sorry if until now I have not bought a copy.

      It would be nice if it is in power books or national.

      • popoy says:

        Karl thanks, wait a few days I’ Il find ways for you to have a copy. I thought it is so easy. School libraries in the Philippines may be are starving for books that their former students can easily buy and donate my book but by gam I did not know that book writing and book business is so mysterious, labyrinthine, unfathomable to ordinary mortals until I had a talk with an Indigo Book Store Manager. I got zero enlightenment. Eh.

        • popoy says:

          Yun oblation sa book cover hindi akin yan, yung book designer ang nakaisip nyan, nakita ko na lang sa proof copy. Anyway sa dami naman ng nagawa kong libre para sa UP seguro naman hindi nila ako ipakukulong o sisingilin diyan. Wala pa akong kinita kahit isang kusing diyan, Gusto ko lang meron mai donate yung mga OFW sa dating eskuela nila. Dating OFW din ako, di na lang makapag remit ng dollar ngayon.

          • popoy says:

            this piece appeared in page 44 of Constant Winds:

            There is no GOOD BYE to JoeAm

            On this your interregnum piece
            Your alleged poet Popoy del R. Cartanio
            Would like to say:

            JoeAm, In God’s universe,
            In His just and loving heart
            there’s heaven
            As there are hell, purgatory and limbo
            Where everything is eternal
            In every space and time.

            Till we meet again smacks of eternity
            There is no good bye which make a lie
            Of “parting is such a sweet sorrow”
            we can revert to being hydrogen and oxygen
            then become humans again like our noble thoughts
            of brilliance and selfless longings.

            There is no good bye Joe Am.
            Wala talaga . NADA. There is no stopping
            No cessation, no oblivion only pauses
            in short halting moments of battles
            in our infinite war on the side of affection
            for man’s beauty and justice in God’s image
            like it or not there is no good bye as we
            unknowingly struggle for perfection
            albeit mere words we humbly call
            a society of honor.
            As wannabe something, how can I paint
            A rainforest, a waterfall, a floating glacier,
            A clear or turbulent sky, a flock of geese
            A sick dying child, the face of a mother at childbirth,
            How can I portray in God’s image a
            Society of Honor? Hah, hah, hah.

            Laugh with me Joe Am and the World
            In honest pride laughs with us before
            we in bivouac and armour
            slumber awaiting the coming dawn.
            Mi lukim ya Joe Am.
            August 17, 2016

        • karlgarcia says:

          Thanks as well.

          I just encouraged my dad to push through with his book, but he still having second,third,etc thoughts.
          But at least you took the plunge, the red tape,and the maze will always be there.In the end, it is still family and friends that will
          support you.

          Btw I read there that you lost a love one sometime ago, I am sorry for your loss, I am still grieving myself because I lost a promising star in the making nephew in #Franco, I saw him grow up, that is why it hurts even more.

          • sonny says:

            Neph, I sincerely hope your dad will push on with his book. Kung mayaman lang ako …

            • karlgarcia says:

              You can write your memoirs, and ask your cousins’ contacts in the book publishing and selling sector.
              Thanks Unc, at least the long postponed biography of Senator Biazon will finally push through since we have more time to sit down with him, because he already retired from politics.

              • popoy says:

                Tall (of the trees) Tales from Tigulang:

                When the missus has cheated her husband and her parrot saw the man passing by the window, the parrot was making the racket: KITA KO, KITA KO, KITA KO and the cuckolded husband smiling waved to the man.” Eh. Now, the tale which can be worth something:

                Upon retirement, I thought I had no money to have a book in my name believing I need to have enough money for the first 500 copies. Well, now I thought that was one running bull in Pamplona (not the one near Almanza). Jobs, jobs is what is created and billion bucks is the accident waiting to happen for dollar dragons. That’s what had happened to Microsoft and Apple, Yahoo and Facebook, and of course: AMAZON, which is coming nearby here in Canada to create kuno 50, 000, repeat 50,000 jobs. Some may be critical of the means and ways of Amazon but it gets the dreams done. Have no bread to publish a book? Try Amazon.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks popoy about the Amazon suggestion.
                I will talk to my dad about it, that may make him unpostpone his completing a book.
                Uncle Sonny,
                There is Amazon, your grandkids will enjoy reading your book.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Uncle Sonny,
              How is your blog article for submission to TSoH?

              • sonny says:

                Ay naku, Neph ang bilis ng turnover ng mga ideyas dito sa sasakyang TSoH – nakakatuwa at nakaka-alangan mag-contribute. Kailangan may tamang kumpas sa tempo ng talakayan at dunong ng mga mambabasa dito sa TSoH. Lagi akong nasa first-gear. Baka hilaw ang labas. Impossible dream yata ang tabas ng naiisip kong mag-sulat. Jogging vs sprinting baga. 😦

              • karlgarcia says:

                Ay naku as they say, imagine everyone in front of you is naked.

          • popoy says:

            Karl if it is about our and Samsung’s Mavic, Thanks. Mavic is with God now.

  10. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    Remittances down 8.3% in September
    Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 15, 2017

    Cash sent back home through banks by Filipinos working and living abroad declined 8.3 percent year-on-year to $2.186 billion in September partly due to the closure of a number of overseas money service providers, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported Wednesday.


  11. Sabtang Basco says:

    New word for Filipino politicians:

    ˈrī ˌdin
    a vote cast for an unlisted candidate by writing their name on a ballot paper.
    “the results showed 70 blank ballots and 770 write-ins”
    a candidate for whom a vote is cast by writing their name on a ballot.

    It’s contemplated in Alabama senate race to take out sexual predator Moore by write-in Jeff Sessions.

    This will happen anytime soon in the next Election near you. Copy Cats !

  12. Sabtang Basco says:

    Juicy out-of-topic:

    “Aside from the new Cebu port, the other nine projects approved include: Scaling up of the Second Cordillera Highlands Agricultural Resources Management Project; Expansion of the Philippine Rural Development Project; Improvement/Widening of General Luis-Kaybiga-Polo-Novaliches Road to Valenzuela City; North-South Railway Project – South Line; Confirmation on Unbundling of earlier NEDA Board-Approved Airport Projects; Chico River Pump Irrigation Project; Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project, Stage 2; New Nayong Pilipino at Entertainment City; and Widening of road from Quirino Highway, Quezon City to Gen MacArthur Highway.

    It can be recalled that the NEDA Board, in its first meeting under President Duterte, approved in September nine projects worth a total of P171.14 billion. (FREEMAN)”

    That is a lot of integers! USD$3,355,686,274.50 ! No corruption yet in site except Duterte & Family’s sources of their gazillions. Cebu Port costs Php9.1 Billion not considering expansion and widening of feeder roads, Bus Rapid Transit connecting satellite cities and Light Rail Road.

    Once implemented there will be controversies of scams, corruptions, thievery and commissions. What is weird about Cebu projects there are less controversies. The 2nd bridge they have had has zero scams. Their International Convention Center, which is now disrepair, dilapidated, decapitated and disrepair, were the only one that are wracked with corruption. Well, it was only for a pittance.

    The biggest scam in Cebu history was DPWH ghost highway projects back in the 70s, as what I read in the old papers used to wrap my order of fish from my favorite fish vendors. Marcos acted swiftly. They all went to Muntinlupa until their death. May god not bless their souls.

    One good thing in the Philippines is it is educational to buy fish from the local market because they wrap their fish with fake news.

    Talking about fake news, the above projects were never covered by mainstream media.

  13. caliphman says:

    Japan can be a potential counterweight to China’s economic, political, and trade domination in South East Asia. it cannot challenge China’s military muscle in the region as it’s hands are tied behind it’s back by the strict selfdefense posture of it’s armed forces which is baked into it’s constitution. This necessitates a strategy of dependence on the US to deter nuclear threats from China and North Korea. But it would be a mistake to assume that Japan can ever be expected to take the place of the US in safeguarding much less enforcing the international and national rights of countries within the region.

  14. mirano353 says:

    One thing to consider is mindset. The old saw about “What would GM have done if it purchased a 2 year old startup called Yahoo?” Answer: Nothing. They would not know how to deal with it.

    Same with the Japanese, whom I have worked with for over 25 years, and some, I count as family. Most Japanese salarymen are gutless, docile non-decision makers. I’ve seen this time and time again. So when the time comes for the country to challenge China, I would give a low probability that they would step up to the plate.

    Another thing is that it is an aging country, with a population median age of 46. How many of the 60 million citizens on the elder side of that median have the stomach to be adventurous? As the third wealthiest nation in the world, how much of that wealth will its citizens care to roll the dice on to serve as bulwark agains the Chinese?

    All I’m saying is that its not just the numbers on the book that will determine how another country will behave against a China. A generation of docile salarymen may not have the mindset for such adventures.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      Japanese loyalty in the order of importance
      NATION first = Japan first
      COMPANY 2nd = The company they work for is 2nd
      FAMILY 3rd = Family is last

      When Japan made war, they do not ask question. They just attack. So were Kamikazes. So were the Japanese intelligence officers in Lubang, Mindoro who surrendered decades after the war was over … and they only surrendered to their commanding officer. That is Loyalty.

      Japanese commit harakiri rather than surrender. Yes, they did surrender because Hirohito told them so.

      Filipino loyalty in the order of importance
      Of course not their country … look, they are leaving in mass if they get that coveted VISA
      Company? Naaah, Filipinos are hired … 6 months later they are fired … Who’d care loyalty about Philippine companies ..

      So, when Japanese government tell them to go to war, THEY WILL GO TO WAR …… one of the contributing factor they go to war because they are DOCILE and OBEDIENT. In less than a decade after Japan was obliterated in World War II they became an industrial behemoth to this day. Japanese products are coveted all over the world. Because of their fantastic decision making.

      Japanese are extremely honest and loyal people. Loyal to their country, to their government, to the company they work for and, unfortunately, family last.

      China would be delighted Japan make war against China so they can retaliate the RAPE OF NANKING.

      China vs Japan? Japan obviously wins. Remember after the war in Vietnam when we scurried away with our tails between our legs CHINA INVADED VIETNAM IN THE NORTH WITH “HUMAN WAVE” Vietnam decisively defeated them. China went home broke and defeated.

      Two big countries USA and China. Vietnam defeated them all not counting France.

      JAPAN CAN BEAT CHINA AND RAPE THEM AGAIN. No, Japanese men do not rape anymore because Japanese men refrain from sex. Less Japanese women pregnant. Less Japanese.

    • I worked directly for the Japanese for 13 years and didn’t find them to be as you find them. Risk averse as a business style, yes. Gutless? No way. I also dislike racial characterizations that give individuals no room to be better than the person spouting the characterization.

  15. popoy says:

    I was trawling (trolling?) Phil news when in Rappler I saw something of long yesterday that could well be an input to the Tall Tales of Decameron este Tigulang;

    I was may be in early thirties then, was on my way to lecture in Mambajao, Camiguin (there are eleven volcanoes there aside from Hibok-hibok) when after alighting from PAL jet from Cebu at Cagayan de Oro Airport, I noticed the only other co-passenger fetched by Toyota Hi Lux of the President’s Hotel was a well dressed girl may be in her early twenties. Naka kolorete, attractive and smart looking. She will lecture daw somewhere.

    Much much later I learned she was an activist and was even arrested during Martial Law. Much much more later on the girl became our specialist in Fiscal Administration (Budgeting, Accounting and Auditing). I was College Sec when she became COA Board Secretary.

    When I came back from OFW work, the girl Professor was TOP (Treasurer of the Philippines) under Erap. At the time when FPJ was running against re-electionist Arroyo, when I dropped by to visit ageing, este old Colleagues at the Center for Policy and Administrative studies, I was told by former young staff: “Sir, gusto raw kayong makausap ni Director.”

    So I went to the office of that former smart looking girl I first met in Cag de Oro. “Oy Andy kumusta? Limitadong kwentuhan, then suddencly: Andy this election sinong iboboto mo?” Si Lacson. Leleng. Bakit, bakit si Lacson? Kasi, si Lacson ay isang . . . blah, blah. blah. Hindi naka imik si Leleng. Tapos nagpaalam na ako. Seguro pag nagkita kami ulit ni Leleng ngayong Sec of Educ na siya tatanungin ko kong natatandaan niya yung word na sinabi ko.

    I finished to the end watching the Rappler interview learning in academic way the dissection of fiscal issues affecting teachers. I admire the quality of the mind and tenacity of memory of Leleng. I was told she walks with a cane now, but her face does not show her age.


    bad, my bad link just may be look for the Interview of the Secretary of Education.

    • Sup says:

      I think her brain is getting worse?
      Maybe her PDP -LABAN membership is lowering her brain cells?

      Briones’ admission that “Philippine history is no longer part of the high school curriculum,” plus the existence of the 10 deficient and defective textbooks I cited in “Kuri-kulam” which are presently being used by Grade 6 pupils studying in both public and private schools, affirm my assertion that martial law and the Marcos dictatorship are topics that are not discussed at all in both grade school and high school. Kulang, ’di ba? (Lacking or deficient, isn’t it?) Therefore: “Kurri-kulang-kulang!”

      Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/108722/kuri-kulang-kulang#ixzz4ydWAEq9u
      Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook


      • popoy says:

        Thanks a lot Sup for presenting the other side, that’s what the TSoH is for. Some people are not really that destined to do what’s easy enough and ought to be done. I don’t think your brain is getting better as Leleng’s brain is getting worse. That’s a neurologic matter of which I am not conversant.

  16. sorabsolomon says:

    It’s an interesting read and some valid points for sure. I think of you expand the Chinese scope of influence it goes beyond just their attempts at islands in the South China Sea but also around the Indian Ocean controlling strategic sea and land trade routes. In the same sphere, just like Japan, India is getting their fair share of attention and autonomy.

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