Every hike has hills or rivers

Pacific Crest Trail, Kings Canyon National Park [Photo by Wesley Tils, Los Angeles Times]

By Joe America

After I retired from banking, I took up hiking. It was a good way to get the poisons of stress and the burdens of responsibility out of my system. There is a trail in the Western United States that runs from Mexico to Canada. It’s 2,659 miles long, beginning in the deserts north of Mexico, then winding through mountains, farmlands, mountains and more mountains, with a brutal close . . . if you are hiking south to north . . . through the snowy Cascades at the Canadian border.

The Pacific Crest Trail.

Several hundred people set out every spring and try to do the entire trail over the summer. The challenges are snow, water, food supplies, and grueling terrain. Some hikers pack light, some heavy. All endure hardship.

My personal challenge was to take a summer to do that part of the trail in San Bernardino County where I lived, breaking it down into day hikes and overnighters, walking a part of the trail, then back to my car at the drop-off. I did a couple of stints a week and managed 188 miles in all, covering the stretch from Onyx summit to Mt. Baden Powell. Lots of mountains, the gorgeous Deep Creek area, and more mountains.

How can something that is so difficult be so downright invigorating?

Well, it is the struggle that is the accomplishment, is it not?

I rather look at the current political situation in the Philippines the same way. It is our slice of trail in the timeline of Philippine history.

I hope you all find comfort and joy during the holiday season, release whatever stresses and poisons need to be released, and return in 2018 ready to see what is around the next bend or up that hill before you.

Thanks to all who read along and contribute to the debate on our discussion pages.

A tip of the hiking cap to y’all.

Forward . . . to 2018 . . .


89 Responses to “Every hike has hills or rivers”
  1. arlene says:

    Good afternoon Joeam. so you were into banking too? Small world. Haha, I think it’s more like mountain climbing, you can’t reach the top since there are so many pulling you down. Have a lovely celebration of Christmas Joeam. I do agree, let’s all look forward to 2018.

    • chemrock says:

      So said many, the journey is more important that the destination.

      The destination is the guiding light. The journey builds your character.

      But there are many who takes the short cut and avoid the journey. They reached the destination and achieved faux sense of achievement.

      Merry X’mas from Singapore to Joe for being a jolly good fellow to host an oasis for the sane in a desert full of vultures hovering above. And an equally Merry X’mas to all those who comes to drink from the oasis of knowledge and truth and who came to share.

    • Good afternoon, arlene. Best for the holidays. A tip of the banking hat to you. 🙂

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Happy hiking to all of us.
    Again, have your self a merry Christmas and happy new year.

    I watched an episode in the Gilmore Girls mini series where Lorelie attempted to hike the Pacific trail, but it was cut short because she realized that she wanted to marry Luke.

  3. edgar lores says:

    1. We all have our hikes or struggles — personal and collective. Sometimes the two are separate, sometimes intertwined.

    2. For me, they are kind of separate.

    2.1. My personal struggle is to attain “enlightenment” and to come to a measure of peace. I am at a good place.

    2.2. My collective struggle is being one with our countrymen to overcome the hills and rivers that we face — social, political, economic, and judicial — to arrive at a verisimilitude, if not the reality, of a just and kind society. We are not at a good place.

    3. The similarity between the two challenges is that both require the lifting of the ceiling of consciousness from our historical conditioning.

    3.1. And like a challenging hike, the lifting requires planning, preparation, provisions, training, and sensitivity.

    4. This is a worthy goal: the refinement of consciousness that leads to a refinement of spirit that, in turn, leads to a refinement in the quality of our lives.

    4.1. Perhaps the trick is not to view the refinement in the field of time.

  4. isk says:

    “Ang naglalakad ng matulin, kung matinik ay malalim”

    Merry Christmas Sir and to all of TSH contributors.

  5. Aida mapoy says:

    Happy Holidays Joeam. I thank you so much for all your writings, you write the truth.

  6. Martin Wong says:

    I think I know a little bit about what you did and the attraction of doing it. My wife and daughter and I walked the last 100 or so km of the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain. Some days were pleasant and easy. Some were difficult and tiring. At the end of it, though, what you remember was the journey and what it took to get to the finish. It’s a hike I will always remember and cherish.

    • Ahh, wonderful pilgrimage trail, as I understand. Santiago de Compostela occupies three days of my personal timeline, a spiritual old city of narrow streets and ghosts from the ages staring back from the shop windows. I wrote a poem about the place, but I think the ghosts of other places ran off with it.

  7. Micha says:

    Talk about walking.

    These folks were walking too, from Myanmar across the border of Bangladesh. But it’s far from pleasure inducing walk.

  8. I’ve not traverse the whole trail just parts of it, around the Mojave, Angeles forest & Mammoth area (where the PCH and John Muir trail join and separate),

    I would just add that the most lonely and isolated parts , whatever maps or preconceive notions you have of the trail, will be different.

    Essentially nature has a say in your hike and where the trail leads. I don’t know how you can spin that to some sort of metaphor for the Philippine hike,

    but my point, keep your options open and be ready to ditch the “trail”, say if a huge tree falls on it, a river carves up parts of it, wild animals, bad weather , or your map is wrong.

  9. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    For me, hiking is up there with loving, writing, family, country, God. Joe’s segue to the Philippine experience is spot on. Hiking is sometimes exhilarating, sometimes enervating, sometimes with a view, sometimes being wary of predators, snakes, leeches, tall, blinding grass, rocky trail. But the sky, the air, the stars are the same all throughout. So enjoy the view, suffer the toil, but look up and take a deep breath every so often, for direction, value, meaning, recovery, and gratitude for two legs that keep pumping like pistons, for heart and lungs that fuel mobility, for a mind that says quitting is not an option, that we’re at the point-of-no-return from first step. Thanks, Joe, for the year of enlightenment, for understanding the struggle, for the example of grace under pressure knowing that we’ll reach the desired goal if we are committed and determined enough. Good to know you, brother. Consistency is your gift to us.

    • Thank you Will, and thank you for regularly reminding us that heart is important, and we ought not allow bile and bitterness to become a way of life.

      I am reminded that some of the most harrowing hikes are downhill. When I got out of the army, a friend (Pete) and I rode the Palm Springs tram to the top of the San Jacinto mountains and hiked down a steep canyon (Taquitz). We never expected the steep cliffs that tore our clothes and threatened our lives for two days, or the bee hive that was inadvertently placed right where Pete stepped. We soaked for a half-hour in the cold stream to reduce the swelling of a dozen stings each. I lost my glasses in the panic, and they are still up there somewhere. We managed to straggle out and on the third day, meandered grubby and torn through a housing subdivision at the base of the mountains. A kindly lady drove up and inquired if we would like a cold drink, an angel if ever there were one. She took us to her home, gave us the cold sodas, and let us call Pete’s dad for a pick-up.

      Then there was the time in Australia’s Daintree National Forest . . .

      But I digress . . .

  10. Thea says:

    Hiking in Europe depends on various levels of challlenges and described paths with color signs and indications. Since I am not a hiker but only a stroller, I choose the easy path all the time and enjoy in turtle-pace with many stops the beauty of nature. Yes,paths were made sure safe with set rules and regulations even not to pull out plants nor pick flowers. This way and not that way, unless one ventures for wild mushroom picking.🍄
    We tried this habit here, somewhere in Quezon province. We were required to have a group of guides. A question mark at first. Then, realized that one might get lost eventually without those helping guides.

    The vast difference between nature is there…and so the culture too. Filipinos don’t find each mountain or hill as a beauty to behold but only as source of livelihood and wealth. It is a pity that we suffer from the consequences of these culture yet we never learn even how hard we are hit because of our carelessness.

    And like in a jungle, our leaders rule. No pathways nor indications. No safety measures. Get lost unless one clings to the guide. Be dependent.


    Well, let’s get positive this 2018. Let us love with passion. Love and appreciate with respect our God-given Nature.


  11. madlanglupa says:

    Perfect, a holiday playlist from none other than MLQIII. 🙂

  12. Sabtang Basco says:

    I took up Mad Monkey Hostels mountain hiking recommendations 12 best trail in the Philippines. One of them is Mt. Makiling, an inactive volcano, owned and operated by Philippine Boy Scout. It is an easy Grade C hike of 4-5 hours to the summit. The trail head is at University of the Philippines-Los Banos (Yikes! of all the Universities).

    I would have … could have … when I read in the papers that former ex-vice-president Jejomar Binay and family bought it from Philippine Boy Scout according to Binay’s nemesis, lawmaker and former jailed lieutenant Trillanes.

    I did not want any shoot-out when I am up there between Trillanes and Binay to settle their scores. I did not want to be charged of trespassing or just another statistics (survey actually, in the Philippines they do not have data points to come up with numbers).

    Instead I went to Banaue. The rice terraces is breathtaking, literally, it takes your breath away because of altitude and attitudes of indigenous tribes. 20 pesos to take their pictures ! Hmpppf !

    Banaue Rice Terraces used to be 7th wonders of the world as best I can remember now it is downgraded to 8th. It is UNESCO World Heritage!

    Banaue Rice Terraces is 2,000 years old according to Wikepedia. That is built 17th Century after Christ !!! NOW TAKE THIS … Because what I am about to tell you is absolutely incredible !!!

    “In March 2009 the Ifugao rice terraces were declared[8] free from genetically modified organisms (GMO). An event was organized in Dianara Viewpoint for this announcement where it was graced by Gov. Teodoro Baguilat, Mayor Lino Madchiw, Greenpeace campaigner for Southeast Asia Daniel Ocampo, and Cathy Untalan who was executive director of the Miss Earth Foundation. Before the announcement ceremonies, three mumbaki (traditional priests) performed an Alim, a ritual to ask for blessings where an animal is offered to the gods.” – WIKIPEDIA

    IT MEANS, In 17th Century the Ifugaos, builder of Rice Terraces, were already using GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMO) AND DECLARED IN MARCH 2009 “…free from genetically modified organisms…”

    GMO has been existing in the Philippines for the past 2,000 years !!! TAKE THAT AMERICA AND YOUR SCIENTISTS …. Philippines is in the forefront of genetic engineering !!!!! when the Bible was still thought up.


    • Sabtang Basco says:

      The literate world conspired against the Philippines !!! I do not know why and for what purpose but it is obvious they are conspiring. In every list of the world they always stop at TOP TEN !!! For example this website: http://listverse.com a list of EVERYTHING TOP TEN …

      Why did UNESCO stopped at 7th Wonder of the World? Because Philippine Banaue Rice Terraces is the 8th?

      This is absolutely unfair !!! Why 7th? Why not 8th? Or, 9th? The absolute normal is always TOP TEN !!!

      • Sup says:

        Maybe they did not declare it because the speaker of the house told them…..Also he withheld the budget…..Sorry Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat…….. 🙂

      • chemrock says:

        7 is a mystical number:

        7 colours of the rainbow
        7 colours mixed to obtain white
        7 rows in the periodic table
        7 seas
        7 continents
        7 stellar objects see by naked eyes
        7 oriifices of the human body
        7th day God rested
        7 sacraments
        7 steps that Buddha took when he first learnt to walk
        7 petals of the Lotus that Buddha sits on
        7 represents infinity in Islam
        7 lucky gods of Japan – the Fukujin deities
        7 gates of hell
        7 gates of London’7 gates of Jurasalem
        7 gates of haeven
        7 logic gates
        7 deadly sins
        7 virtues
        7 cycles of rebirth in Hinduism
        7 main chakras of the body
        7 days a week
        7 stages of our life (Shakespeare)
        etc etc etc

        7 is a mystical number. in numerology 7 is the number of the thinker and seeker of truth. Every thing in life has a deeper meaning. 7 represents that reality. In a way, we can say TSOH is 7.

        OK i know George Clooney screwed up with his Oceans’ series. He did’nt start with 7. But there is now a comedy series that corrected this. It’s called Oceans 7 to 11.

        Too bad for Philippines.

        • isk says:

          Wow! Merry Christmas Sir chemrock.

        • Sup says:

          7 makes my head spin……..Merry Christmas sir Chemrock……..

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          Philippines is dropped from mystical countries because Philippines is in the age of enlightenment with all its collateral sins: Corruption. Racism. Rigid social stratification.

          Oh, poor Philippines. At least it is not in the club of 7 gates of hell … wait a minute … they are also not in the 7 gates of heaven. Nor have 7 deadly sins nor 7 virtues. What is constant in the Philippines is 7 days a week BUT IN SABTANG days weeks and years are abstract. I think only the foreigners are the ones counting the days …

          • chemrock says:

            Philippines have 7 days a week of EJK.

            I was told long ago Filipino folks traditionally bade each other well when going off on a journey. It was only in the days of Marcos when folks began using “ingat”. This was appropriate at the time as “ingat@ suggests caution because it was dangerous outside. Today, more than ever, @ingat@ is truly appropriate. (Irineo may have something to say about this?)

            • Sabtang Basco says:

              No doubt about it. Filipinos are bothered about 13,000 EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS but not bothered about many many many more incarcerated, probably have died of miseries in jail, because of jealous, biased, probably paid witnesses affidavits as evidences.


              • chemrock says:

                Re extra judicial incarceration, I agree with you. Remember a prosecutor from Davao said he planted false evidence and sow intrigue to make his cases? Nothing happened. No howls from admin, legislative, judiciary, associations of the bar, nothing from media. It’s like a total eclipse of the sun in Philippines. In most other civilised country in the world, all the cases prosecuted by him would have been declared mistrials. He would be in jail and the govt sued for trillions of pesos. What a country.

  13. Grace Lim Reyes says:

    May everyone find inspiration and hope in these challenging times. Merry Christmas!

  14. Kamote Procopio says:

    Tried hiking in San Diego last year but it’s not for me. I guess I will stick into running for now.

    Merry Christmas Joe and to everyone here in SOH.
    Looking forward to a better 2018.

  15. Sabtang Basco says:

    Before we rip off the last page of the calendar … yes, Filipinos still use printed calendars, in fact, (I hate to use the word “IN FACT” as if nothing are FACTS in the Philippines but mysteries and myths) Calendars in printed form is the most sought after printed materials in the world not the Bible.

    Filipinos compete who has the most calendars received. In fact their eyes brighten up when handed Calendars. Every single homes in the Philippines have calendars. A home is not a home if there are no calendars.

    Why the obsession of calendars? I do not know. One calendar buys LOYALTY !!! I see calendars of Grace Poe. Benigno Aquino. Past Presidents. Only Duterte did not hand out calendars.


  16. Sabtang Basco says:

    How far a walk consider a hike? $64 question?

    • It isn’t the distance that distinguishes. A walk is going from A to B. A hike is going from A to B whilst looking around . . . for snakes, at views, for the path.

    • chemrock says:

      I once stayed in a B&B cottage at Loch Ness area, Scotland. After diner the good folks there asked me what I was going to do. I said I was going for a short walk. They smiled and said over here a short walk is 4 to 5 miles. I was thinking of 100 metres down to the lake shore, stroll a bit hopping to see Nessie pop up, and back to bed, it being chilly n wet.

      So distance is subjective. I think a hike suggest a more organized activity. Like there is objective, a plan, and stuff to carry along.

    • It all depends what shoes you put on, SB. If just your regular sneakers, then you’re just going for a walk; if something sturdier with grippier soles, maybe extra socks to boot, then you’re intending to hike.

      This was on my Christmas list, I hope someone paid attention to my clues, I’ve been a good boy this year!

    • josephivo says:

      In Belgium we don’t live in the wilderness anymore. The farthest away from a house one can get is 500 meters, maybe double that in the Ardennes. No snakes, the only hills we know are molehills, where there are rivers there are bridges.

      All possible trials are marked with numbered nodes, hiking means writing down the numbers you intend to pass and then just follow the arrows indicating these numbers. Careful for the traffic jams on pedestrian bridges during sunny Sunday afternoons when everybody wants to hike and use earplugs if you don’t like to hear people listening to loud cellphones.

      Much more relaxing is the gym, walking on a slightly inclined treadmill will watching the amazing landscapes on the extra large screen in front of you.

      Merry Christmas to all.

  17. distant observer says:

    Just wanted to stop by wishing the host, all contributors, commenters and readers of the Society of Honor merry Christmas. Let’s remember why we celebrate this time of the year in the first place.

    • “Festival of Slaves” as the original intent of the season, seems apt enough (with or without baby Jesus), I’m sure Micha would agree here, you shoulda seen my local Walmart and Target yesterday, people just buying—- I went to get brown sugar for my sister’s Christmas pie and

      NO BROWN SUGAR on the shelves!!! Everyone’s just buying, like slaves conditioned to purchase cheap goods!

      As much as I complain or criticize though, I sure love getting presents, LOL! I’m a slave too, and this is my festival! Yeah for Made in China!!! I guess the joke’s on us! (on all of us).

      Merry Christmas, d.o.! And to all!

      • Micha says:

        Lcpl X,

        Festival of the slaves, yes, more like it. Our slave masters don’t give a whit about christmas.

        When Amazon bought Whole Foods earlier this year Walmart got scared it’s losing the retail war so it also tries to make its presence in the online market by weaning its customers away from its stores. That explains the mostly empty shelves, not the holiday rush buying.

        • chemrock says:

          Happy New Year Lance.
          That’s a good article. Thks for the link.
          They need to incorporate Isaac Ashimov’s 3 Robotic laws :
          1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
          2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
          3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

          Law #1 need to be expanded to ensure no Elon Musk’s starwberry fields cover the entire planet scenario.

      • This article on techlash also covers what you and chemp are discussing below, Micha ,

        The third force will be changing attitudes to China, the rising power of the 21st century. Much as the fear of a rising Germany shaped European policymaking in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so worries about China’s growing clout, and its intentions, form the backdrop today. In China itself, the balance between state and business will remain lopsided. Businesses, whether private or state-owned, will remain under the thumb of the Communist Party; as junior partners in Xi Jinping’s project for Chinese greatness. Even with his power entrenched after the quinquennial party congress, Mr Xi will not reinvent himself as a bold economic reformer. Rather than freer markets in China, the balance will shift towards state intervention by other countries to control China’s activity abroad, as the world grows queasy at China’s swagger.”

      • distant observer says:

        Merry Christmas to you Lance! Festival of Slaves; yes one could frame the “celebrations” which happen every December as that. I too love getting presents, and I am also a slave to consumerism. But I don’t want to be a slave. It is a daily struggle.

        To stay with the time you referenced; a story from the Roman Empire is sometimes quoted as following:
        In ancient Rome, a senator suggested that all slaves should be given a white bracelet to better recognize them. “No,” replied a wise senator, “If they see how many they are, there will be an uprising against us.”

        To realize one’s own bondage is always the first step to more freedom. Of course, it depends on how one defines freedom. As for now, I personally strive for freedom of fear and human judgement. To remember Christmas as the nativity of Jesus helps me to be reminded that there is more to this world and my life than the visible beauties and struggles. It helps me to be reminded that I am only a temporary visitor to this world. And for me, this is the beginning of real freedom.

  18. Micha says:


    A good 2 full years ago, chempo published an article on this site about the likely demise of the American project because of its $18 trillion debt. He was projecting a diminished role of the US dollar in international trade and finance.

    Lo and behold, 2 years later this is what I read this morning on my favorite paper.

    Happy holidays chempo and to all TSOH readers.

    • chemrock says:

      Happy new year to you Micha.

      I applaud your trust in the US, but no doubt you appreciate the Land of the Free is your capitalist devil. The link is a good article, but of course you know Ruchir Sharma is head of the Emerging Markets Equity team at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, one of your capitalist devils. Is his article fact or sublimal messages, who knows.

      Preaching the demise of the dollar does not of necessity mean extolling the PRC. I share the view China is untrustworthy (in various ways) and it would be sheer madness to use the Yen as the alternative world reserve currency. But the lousiest economist somewhere in the world today would not deny China it’s place of prominence in the world economy given it’s sheer size. Given its great importance due to size, China could have led the world to a better era by playing a more responsible leadership role. Sadly, the trajectory of its omnipotence, as displayed in the past 10 years or so, has reinforced distrust of the Chinese.

      Like all great prophecies with no D days, my prediction for the demise of the $ is yet to be played out. 2 years is a relatively short time, it’s yet to be. I believe we are in an era of great flux. There is too much money in the world with nowhere to go. The $ is still the best refuge for lack of alternatives, not because of great trust. The world is held to ransom to use the $ for the time being. The rise of blockchain money is a sure sign of an underlying angst by people for distrust of fiat money. Not that I understand the cryptos, neither do many that jumped onto the bandwagon.

      Whilst we like to sing in praise of the $, it appears to be yet again a source of bearer of great economic pains on the rest of the world. The bond market is heading for massive crash as the yield curve is heading into negative territory. Whenever this happens, the financial world is shaken. It’s empirical. The Fed and ECB are in a bind with no more cards to play. This coming crash will be of a magnitude far surpassing the aggregate of all previous economic crashes in human history. We may trust the $, despite the pains it creates again and again. Perhaps it has become normalised, this boom and bust of the $. Or because we have nowhere else to go.

      • Micha says:


        Your prediction for the dollar collapse has very specific causality, namely, the gargantuan federal gov’t debt of $18 trillion (at that time) and growing.

        That of course is predicated on a wrong assumption about the nature of that debt which is in fact nothing more than the total of private sector and foreign govt savings. To pay it off, all the US federal gov’t has to do is electronically transfer specific amount of bond holder’s savings account to their checking account.

        The so-called federal debt is NOT a crisis waiting to happen.

        There are several factors that may (or will) undermine the world financial system currently dominated by the US.

        The US federal govt debt is NOT one of them.

  19. Sabtang Basco says:

    I was close to going mad Sunday, Christmas eve! All I hear were screaming pigs in distress. Four or five people, who had too much to drink, held down a pig while the other with a rusty dull knife slit the pig’s throat over a plastic pan collecting the blood the children looked on.

    I had to drink to drown out the noise.

    What I do not understand is why didn’t they just shoot the pig dead to get it over with.

  20. Sabtang Basco says:

    News on the other side of the coast across the pacific … in the U.S. Mainland …

    “The FBI later confirmed its agents were conducting the interviews, telling KTLA in an emailed statement that there had been a report of a possible stowaway.”

    Yes, Filipino journalists, an emailed statement after our big boys journalists sent them an inquiring email. Filipino news need not send un-inquiring parroting Filipino journalists. All they do is send an email. Cheaper. Less clueless journalists to pay all they need is replace them with email accounts.

  21. Sabtang Basco says:

    I got a polite invitation for job interview for senior loan officer in a huge financial institution. Can’t do. Turned it down. It is boring job. I retired from school 9 and a half years ago to take up travel.

    Mortgage department is a boring place to work. No need extra brain. Everything is written for them to follow. Customers can do it on-line. They can email their scanned docs. Thru these I can check their FICO at least 750. 20% down. Monthly payments cannot be higher 30% of the household pay checks. What do they need me for? I am already bored already.

    Can’t imagine myself in suits 9-to-5 slugging thru traffic in sleet and snow. I am happy here.

  22. Sabtang Basco says:

    Obvious signs Philippine Media not informing Filipinos:
    1. Filipinos believe Philippines is where Lechon can only be found. Wrong! There are Lechons everywhere: Dominican Republic, China, Hungary, Bali, Indonesia wherever there is fire and pig Lechon can be readily be available. First time I was here, taxi drivers recommended, “Hey, Joe, try our Lechon it is the best”
    2. Wanting bizarre food? They are proud of their balut as if it never existed anywhere else in the world. WRONG AGAIN! Hot vit lon is balut to Vietnamese. It is so common fare in Vietnam. It is available in every street corner. It comes with mint and other green leafy vegetables and plethora of condiments. In the Philippines when they sell balut, THEY ONLY GET BALUT !!! Nothing else !!! Those balut sold in Southern California so-called Filipino Grocery stores are not made by Filipinos. FILIPINOS BUY IT FROM VIETNAMESE IN SEAL BEACH, CAlifornia AND SELL IT IN FILIPINO GROCERY STORES !!! Yet, they are so proud of balut that made me think at first it is a bizarre food from Philippines until I began to travel…to Vietnam.
    3. Pork blood soup. Please Filipinos, soupe de sang, is available in France. OK? But I like soupe de sang in the Philippines better than in France.
    4. Black pudding is a breakfast staple in Ireland. Black pudding, sunny side up, a slice of tomatoe and black Guinness, extra stout, please. Thank you.
    5. What I cannot understand is the pancit. Pancit is like egg noodles slathered with oil in a wok sparsely decorated with vegetables. Don’t like it. Too oily. I just do not get to learn to like it like Pad Thai. Squishy. Slimey. Filipinos eat these with rice. Huh? Yes. Carb+Carb.
    6. Very few choices of bread only Pan de Sol. I like coconut Pan de Sol. Yum …my
    7. I do not understand why they call me “Joe”. “Hey, Joe, drink drink Tanduay” “chocolate, Joe?”
    8. One thing I like about Philippines if you are a tourist down on your luck or your wallet got picked … is … you never go hungry. Filipinos will offer you their last food on the table always, without fail over nice China taken out from their display cabinet. Washed clean. Just for their American “friend”.
    9. To Filipinos all white people are Americans. 🙂 🙂 I do not know why.
    10. Filipinos never take down their Christmas Farol (is that how it is spelled?)
    11. As I mentioned before, they have calendars in every room and the best calendar is in their living room.
    12. They expect Americans are good in written English grammar they should write a blog. Just imagine all 300,000,000 Americans write blogs that would drive people all over the world crazy.
    13. Their coffee is not brewed it is powdered instant coffee.
    14. Filipinos raise their own pigs for big events like wedding, Fiesta, Christmas instead of buying it from SM City. You do not want to watch how they slaughter their pigs.
    15. A foreigner cannot own a property, yet, we allow them to in the U.S.
    16. Their news reporting just sucks hands-down. Their news gathering sucker some more.
    17. Their justice is more like Cirque de Soliel. When another outlandish corruption pops up they forget the last circus and never follow up.
    18. Their news anchor has this high-pitch screaming tone.
    19. Their news hour always has someone crying. Filipinos love news of misfortunes and miseries. Why? Oh, why?

    I BETTER STOP, else, JoeAm will recommend I write a blog which I am not good at.

  23. Sabtang Basco says:

    HOT JOBS – DATA SCIENTISTS that is in the U.S.
    HOT JOBS – Surveyors and pollsters that is in the Philippines because Philippines does not have reliable data if ever they have reliable data the U.P. , Ateneo and la Salle graduates just do not know what to do with it.

    “This career often scores highly in rankings of hot jobs that pay well. Glassdoor calls it one of the top occupations for both 2016 and 2017. The typical data scientist earns almost $129,000 annually, with the in-demand role needed at almost every type of company.

    Businesses are dealing with huge amounts of data created by internet and web applications, which data scientists help analyze and interpret. A background in a STEM field is preferred, such as a degree in computer science, although some professionals attend data-science bootcamps and segue into the role.”


    The Philippines Housing Land Use and Regulatory Board doesn’t know …
    1. out of x number of units in a condo how many are occupied, rented out and bought
    2. how fast it is being sold
    3. out of many how many are re-sold
    4. how many are bought cash and how many are languishing in bank’s mortgage & loan department

    There is a bubble brewing in property market. There is more supply and demand. Pag-Ibig, lending arm of HULRB, is saddled with REPOSSESSED PROPERTIES. The Filipinos are not informed how much banks are holding bad property loans. IT IS NOT IN THE NEWS! All I read is the clueless business sections of Philippine newspapers are complicit in talking up the property market.

    The Philippine media is complicit in fooling the Filipinos.

    These peeps have data points but it seems to be confidential. CALLING SO-CALLED ECONOMIC JOURNALISTS …. Auuurgh, never mind.

  24. Sabtang Basco says:


    As his ’life’s mission,’ Trillanes vows to hold Duterte family accountable for acts

    It depends on how long is “LIFE’s MISSION”. Remember Jejomar Binay ! and we remember Trillanes “LIFE’s MISSION”.

    “LIFE’s MISSION” is only as long as the next election.

  25. Sabtang Basco says:

    Here is an Attorney who is a manager of a radio station in Cebu …. this chap believes that a pseudo-journalist, a fake journalist, can trample the crime scene of self-accident to poke thru the body and pull the wallet so this fake journalist can know who the person is.

    Only the police can touch the body. That is the reason for the yellow tape. AND THE MANAGER OF THIS RADIO STATION AN ATTORNEY? JESUS MARY MOTHER OF GOD …

    If this radio station manager was in the U.S. he’d be out in the streets collecting cans and dumpster diving …..


    Nobody can touch the body. Nobody can move the body. The body should be covered from the view of people. ONLY THE CORONER CAN TOUCH THE BODY. ONLY THE POLICE CAN VIEW THE BODY. Not even an Attorney from the Philippines !!!

    GOD, PLEASE, HELP THE PHILIPPINES especially this attorney!

    • chemrock says:

      Attorneys are sacred cows. In Philippines we have to address attorneys as Attorneys. In our country we simply call the Mr Tan, or Joe. Attorneys in Philippines are a sacred breed that they can use Attorney car plates, just like doctors. Doctors are given the privilege of Doctors car plate so that they can park their cars anywhere when they attend to emergency calls. We can except that. What emergencies do Attorneys in Philippines attend to?

      To retain their sacredness, attorneys in Philippines pack the whole damn country with attorneys in the executive, congress and senate with attorneys. Jobs that require specific engineering, scientific, mechanical, hell even health expertise and knowledge, are handled by attorneys.

      Philippines’ attorneys primarily have confrontation mindsets. They don’t build, they fight. That’s the number one reason the country is in chaos. My apologies to some attorneys who are doing great jobs, but they are a minority.

  26. Sup says:

    Very interesting read how we got fooled again…….

    ”[OPINION] How lawmakers gifted themselves with tax cuts on luxury cars”

    ”most people probably don’t know that lawmakers were able to insert in TRAIN tax cuts on luxury cars. These cuts will inexorably benefit the wealthy – themselves included”


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