The Philippines in 2039, a vibrant neutral state in harmony with China

[Photo source: Interaksyon]

By JoeAm

We have some life’s decisions to make. We’d be wise to consider the future so we choose well. Right now, the Philippines is heading down the path of authoritarian leadership. That’s very different than democracy.

Let’s project the Philippines forward as best we can. We are not statisticians and most of us have the patience of new-media, which means basically none at all. So kindly allow me to just hit a few high spots, leaving lots of room for discussion that drills deeper

Economic growth.

The Philippine economy will continue to outpace the rest of Asia thanks to two strengths: (1) lots of cheap labor not yet fully deployed, and (2) overseas workers sending in their money, to be multiplied by spending here. The nation will steadily become wealthier. Poverty will be a problem, but it will no longer dominate the nation’s character. By 2039, the Philippines will be an economically sound, substantial economic player.

The Philippines will not be Singapore or anything close to it. Incompetence and corruption will continue to plague systems and development. It is best simply to view the personality of the nation as haphazard and inept. But even a nitwit could grow this economy just fine.

Social and Political foundation.

The nation has shifted and will continue to shift from its idealistic western democracy that holds that all people are equal to a structured authoritarian democracy that holds that some people are more entitled than others. The social and political stratification will be vertical and discriminatory rather than horizontal along the idealized premise of equality. In the Philippines, people are not equal, and they will not be in 2039.

Dynastic families, for instance, and those favored by China, will run things. If Federalism is not formalized, families will still retain control of their regions based on election power. Citizens will be happy with leaders they perceive as strong, both locally and nationally. Politics will be brutal, not elegant, but that’s the way it’s always been. It is unlikely to change. That, too, is the personality of the nation.

The Philippines is tribal rather than nationalistic. The nation’s domestic disputes are not along racial, religious, or gender lines, but along ‘power lines’. Who is in charge here, and who do they have to befriend, kill, or bribe to stay powerful? Only the well-traveled and western-educated hang onto the aspirations of equality, civility, and freedoms. Everyone will find a rightful place in the stacking of power and privilege. They’ll move up if they play their cards right and down or out (killed) if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

International alignment. 

The US is being eased out and China is roaring in. This will dramatically reshape the future in ways that are both good and bad. The economy will get a boost from jobs supporting Chinese construction projects, tourists, businesses and workers (malls will thrive, transportation will be robust and congested, and racial flare-ups will dot the timeline, but not enough to change the development path). More Michael Yangs, Dennis Uys, and Bong Gos will move into top economic and political power positions. Filipino politicians and police will enforce domestic compliance and citizens will respond with reliable, obedient service and labor. I suppose the Philippines will look a little like Singapore BEFORE Lee Kuan Yew, but bigger, with Filipinos taking on the look of the underclass Malays and the ruling class the look of Chinese. Racism and unequal opportunities will create a lot of tension but they will not upset the national apple cart.

Global Warming.

By 2039, the Philippines will be spending a generous part of its budget on disaster planning, disaster reconstruction, water management, and food sourcing. Crops will be battered by storms. Infrastructure and economic underpinnings will be eroded by relentless natural disasters. The climate change ‘industry’ will provide a lot of new jobs and a lot of people will struggle and suffer. Many will die.

That, too, is the enduring personality of the Philippines, tragic though it may be. The nation simply does not have the forward planning, critical thinking, or competence needed to build a better response. It won’t have in 2039, either, as the educational foundation, values foundation, and political framework will not support it.

Infrastructure, Technology, and Competence

The nation will see considerable improvement in infrastructure as new trains, better internet, and improved agency and business applications emerge. But systemic incompetence will see the nation lagging behind first-tier nations that have more assertive, sensible, and well-funded development plans. The vertical social and political demands for favors and power will draw money to local priorities and away from national needs. The military will continue to suffer with a paltry budget and commitment.

Well, China will take over the defense of the Philippines, in a rather concessionary way, so no worries . . .

Time bombs

Some things are outside our control. The spat between the US and China, for instance. . . which could blow up into World War III and be as unkind to the Philippines as was World War II. I put “neutral” in the headline because I think that is the most likely path for the Philippines, choosing not to side with either adversary in military engagements.

Global or national economic collapse is possible. If affairs with China get rocky, one can see Chinese leaving the Philippines faster than they arrived, creating havoc with real estate developers, and then banks. A neutral path shading toward China should keep the Philippines fairly well insulated from local, regional, or global collapse. And every one will raise a toast to all those OFWs.

Massive destruction from global warming is more likely after 2039, but it is not outside of reason to anticipate a series of storms or earthquakes that would batter Manila and take the nation to its knees. Or lay waste to rice-growing fields and kill all the pigs. Regions would have to fend for themselves and deal with a population surge and loss of jobs. The poor, as usual, would get the worst of domestic migration and widespread destruction.


The Philippines will be vibrant, angry and accusatory, half-competent, never accountable, and always a delight for those who see many others who are worse off than they are. They will plot how their lives can get even better. Going vertical is the name of the game. Being nice on the way up is not necessary.

Might as well enjoy it . . .

. . . and keep a reality check and sense of humor about it all.

You really can’t expect a real democracy or competence here. People like it loose and rich with opportunities to step on someone to push them down. At least that feels a little like going up.


72 Responses to “The Philippines in 2039, a vibrant neutral state in harmony with China”
  1. edgar lores says:

    The crystal ball is positively incandescent.

    • NHerrera says:


      And I want to repeat what Joe said above: Might as well enjoy it . . . and keep a reality check and sense of humor about it all. You really can’t expect a real democracy or competence here. People like it loose and rich with opportunities to step on someone and push them down. At least that feels a little like going up.

      Now I feel mucho better.

    • Ah, thanks. I told my bookie to get lost, I’d figure it out for myself.

      • NHerrera says:

        But wait.

        80 + 20 = 100.

        Will I reach that age? Probably, with Chinese Medicine of dried seahorse, etc. And with increased libido to boot. Ah, that will be the life. Say hello to your bookie Sal for me and tell him to join me in the “seahorse therapy.”

        • 🙂 Does it go with San Mig, he asked.

        • sonny says:

          Or: a 26-yr-old quadruple bypass + 4 yr-old triple stent + stem-cell technology = 96 yrs for me. I’ll have one to go, please. 🙂

          • NHerrera says:

            The scenario painted in the current blog — not a land of milk and honey for sure — seems like a fun place for us, sonny. I will reserve some dried seahorse for you. 🙂

            • karlgarcia says:

              Is there another way to sebd the attachment, Unc?
              It seems that is an email message.

            • sonny says:

              Neph, I tried to lift the image from an emailed jpeg attachment. No pwede, so far. Malamang security ng yahoo. I won’t try anymore na lang. Sori also, NH.

            • sonny says:

              NH, this must be the place (a state of things, really) you had in mind. 🙂


              I just discovered my age group! I am a Seenager (senior teenager). I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 55-60 years later. I don’t have to go to go to school or work. I get an allowance every month. I have my own pad. I don’t have a curfew. I have a driver’s license and my own car.

              I have ID that gets me into bars and the wine store. I like the wine store best. The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant, they aren’t scared of anything, they have been blessed to live this long, why be scared? And I don’t have acne. Life is good!

              Also, you will feel much more intelligent after reading this, if you are a Seenager. Brains of older people are slow because they know so much. People do not decline mentally with age; it just takes them much longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains. Scientists believe this also makes you hard of hearing as it puts pressure on your inner ear.

              Also, older people often go to another room to get something and when they get there, they stand there wondering what they came for. It is NOT a memory problem; it is nature’s way of making older people do more exercise.

              So there!

              I have more friends I should send this to, but right now I can’t remember their names. So please forward this to your friends; they may be my friends too.

              (@ Karl: this was the jpeg I was trying to copy)

              • sonny, just remember like Charlie Chaplin you can still get girls preggy; also take good care of yourself down there, Lol! you and NH both.


                “This is definitely a subject I’m not totally comfortable discussing, however, it must become part of a conversation among families, caregivers and elderly loved ones. I’m talking about seniors and sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, which is timely considering it is STD Awareness Month.

                Regardless of how much we want to dismiss thoughts of our parents and grandparents engaging in sexual activity of any kind, it happens…more frequently than you may even imagine. Growing numbers of cases involving STDs plague nursing homes and assisted living communities, for a variety of reasons.

                In an article by Derrick Y. McDaniel, “Mr. Eldercare 101,” “STD transmission among the elderly is unfortunately a common and growing problem. For example, between 2007 and 2011, Chlamydia infections among Americans 65 and over, increased by 31 percent, and syphilis by 52 percent.”

              • I remember this song “Love Hurts” was really popular in girlie bars over there, and I thought it very ironic. LOL! i’m like, yeah if you don’t protect yourself, it certainly will hurt! hahahahaaaa…

              • I’m not espousing you two go to girl bars, just espousing the song, you guys should play it more. Dance to it.

              • sonny says:

                Regarding this LC, I would think more along the lines of ‘love-making’ as Barbarella-style. 🙂 (avoids ALL the STD-stuff)

              • LOL, sonny! that’ll work too. 😉

              • Love it. Can’t wait to explain things to my wife when she slaps her forehead as I deal with the pressure in my inner ear.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks uncle Sonny.
                I will forward it to my old man.

              • NHerrera says:

                Yes indeed, sonny: the many blessings of a Seenager. And if one happens to stray out, you can always call dear wife with your old, reliable, loud-alert Nokia and ask: “Honey, why am I here?” To which, bless her, she answers: “I believe you mentioned you ran out of diapers. Now, be sure to ask for the extra heavy type, dear, not the ones you bought two weeks ago. And don’t stay long and flirt with Alice; she has work to do. Go home and I have your favorite split-pea soup waiting for you, Ok?”

                As to karl, and Joe for that matter, I don’t think they have that kind of problem. Well, not yet anyway.

                And here is a thought: It is possible the President has not been seen and gotten to make his bravado speech about the Filipino-Chinese boat incident yet — as he had done with the Canadian basura — because he has run out of EHD diapers.


              • NHerrera says:

                EHD = extra heavy duty

            • sonny says:

              Thanks for the assist, Joe.

  2. “Politics will be brutal, not elegant, but that’s the way it’s always been. It is unlikely to change. That, too, is the personality of the nation.” It was democratic on paper, Christian by ritual ONLY.

    Losing one’s illusions does hurt. Oh yes, there were and are people who are Westernized, but:

    1) The whiter, more cosmopolitan mestizo crowd left for Spain and Latin America after WW2. Including the family of Enrique Iglesias’ mother, Isabel Preysler, for example.

    2) The American-educated crowd, including a lot educated postwar with perfect English like sonny, migrated to the USA from the mid-60s to mid-80s onwards.

    3) From the mid-80s there was more migration to Australia and Canada as the USA closed, this was still an English-speaking crowd but not all as erudite.

    4) The OFW crowd is mostly working class, they usually did not migrate permanently, but they with their more native mindset moving up to middle class changed the tone starting maybe 1990s.

    5) Postwar migration of Chinese (a different kind of Chinoy from the kind that came before 1900 and was shaped by Spain and Catholicism) and mass naturalization in 1975, Marcos time.

    Put 1) and 5) together and you have a different money class than in 1939, 80 years ago.

    Put 2), 3) and 4) together and the middle class is different from 1969, 50 years ago.

    The esprit of the groups from 1) and 2) had barely reached 3) and not at all reached 4) when things started to unravel, while the group mentioned in 5) includes Lucio Tan, Gokongwei etc.

    • “The Philippines is tribal rather than nationalistic. The nation’s domestic disputes are not along racial, religious, or gender lines, but along ‘power lines’. Who is in charge here, and who do they have to befriend, kill, or bribe to stay powerful?” Exactly.

      Tulfo vs. AFP and PNP, for example. Or now some OFW groups defending Tulfos because they see them as champions of the people. My former yaya follows the Tulfo FB pages.

      In 8th century Bavaria, the clan of the Houzzi asked the Catholic Church for help against the ruling Agilolfingian family who were allegedly grabbing their land. The first Bavarian constitution explicitly mentions the Agilolfians (a foreign family appointed by the Merowingians, Franks who were starting the empire Charles the Great would later formalize) followed by five native Bavarian clans, the Houzzi first.

      Somehow that is more like the reality of the Philippines today, a stage in development prior to modern rule of law. Agilolfingians were known for violence and impunity, especially the youth, the worst story was of a young son of a duke who dismembered a bishop, St. Emmeram. Therefore it was smart of the elders of the Houzzi clan to seek help from the church, as they had a common enemy. It did help in formalizing previously informal claims to land, as the church had the advantage of literacy. And the Houzzi had strength in numbers as the largest clan, armed of course. Their enemy had the backing of the powerful Franks in Paris + castles and armor. Rule of law is not a natural state!

      Eventually Western countries found out – the hard way – that set rules accepted by all are better, simply more efficient. How Filipinos deal with rules at present can be seen when they argue on the street basketball court about whether “travelling” or “foul”.

      That all may or may not evolve. Filipinos do prefer to deal with matters more situationally than based on principles/rules, and more personally with patrons/benefactors than with abstract institutions. Institutionalization in the late Spanish period and the US period took root for a while, but that plant wilted over decades as the institutions were not made more modern and efficient. Rules are often quo warrantoed, interpreted ad hominem.

      • “The Philippines will be vibrant, angry and accusatory, half-competent, never accountable, and always a delight for those who see many others who are worse off than they are. They will plot how their lives can get even better. Going vertical is the name of the game. Being nice on the way up is not necessary.” True. We all learn behaviors from our environment. Those who have not seen that it can work differently don’t BELIEVE another way exists.

        And even those who have been around, know other ways, can revert if back in “water”, as they are conditioned by experience to either avoid sharks, try to swim behind them to feed on their rests, or BE sharks. My “Manila instincts” were somewhat reawakened when I spent some time regularly going to somewhat wild Bucharest, Romania for a project.

        Romania is probably changing quicker because a larger percentage of its population works abroad (5 million are abroad, 20 million at home) and there is more circulation, as abroad is not overseas but 1-2 hours flight or 24 hours by overland bus for most of them.

        The EU of course is a good influence on Romania, in terms of funding for anti-corruption drives (400 active prosecutors in its anti-corruption office) and for general development. Pre-EU (1990s) Romania was avoided by truck drivers as its cops were known to extort.

        And the Philippines? Many who can often try to escape, and even mock those who are back home. I sometimes catch myself in a GRP mood, one of mocking superiority. But the lack of a strong identity LCPL_X noted makes it hard to stick together. Or help each other.

        • This article was an effort on my part to stop griping and just project. My goal is to stay here and not regret anything . . . because everywhere else has a reckoning coming, too. 99.9% of us are at the mercy of lunatics.

          • Yes, the world is like in the middle of a dystopian science fiction movie. I think (analytically as usual) that the best chance for the Philippines is if the remaining good minds and principled people have no choice but to stay and try to change things.

            With refugees knocking on the doors of the EU/USA, the easy way out many of us had will not be available to the others. I say this without mockery, just as a self-evident matter.

        • edgar lores says:

          Superb elaborations.

      • I don’t think principles are even understood, or are sneered at in best crab fashion. It is hard to see how they will emerge without institutionalized demand. The Church is weak, educational institutions are passive, most people are oblivious, and businesses are compliant. The military is neither here nor there. It’s every person for himself.

        • Principles can develop once people see “I can also be affected”. The West as we see took about 1.5 millenia to get from a stage similar to the Philippines now (with less modern equipment of course) to today’s modern mentality.

          People are used to their own way of doing things, so everybody adjusts, until a point that there is a critical mass that doesn’t want to adjust anymore and forces change. Things is, we don’t have “psychohistory” (c) Isaac Asimov. We can’t control if or when it happens.

    • Superb analysis. Brain drain. Principles drain. Leftovers are running things . . . haphazardly, with little principle and spotty competence.

    • NHerrera says:

      Useful perspective to have in mind as PH moves to the 2039 era. I believe the Climate Change factor will dominate and will magnify the worst (and perhaps a little of the best) in the Filipinos. The higher ground will be claimed with high barriers and guns by the entitled?

      [This is a shift from my earlier mood above.]

      • Camanava, especially Malabon and Navotas, as more flooded nowadays than decades ago, as they lie near the sea and the ground has already slowly sunk downwards because of groundwater subsidence. It is the poorest area of MM, with the most drugs and tokhang.

        Imagine more of the same with killer drones, for example. Or Tok Hang Yu Version 3.1 androids they send down into the barangays to minimize PNP casualties. Dystopian sci-fi.

        The best we can predict about the future are probabilities, no one really knows it. Remember movies like the Jetsons, I am sure you do. We don’t have flying cars (mostly) but we do have mobile phones and social media. Think back further, to Jules Verne..

        • karlgarcia says:

          We should watch out for killer drones.
          If this goes uncontrolled it would not only be used by authorities , it might be used by criminals and enemies of the state.

          I remember some comments in josephivo’s article where you started on Soylent green then Hunger Games and I pitched in the jetsons.

          About flying cars-
          Grab has chopper taxis for those who can afford, but they are having problems right now because they will be deactivating about 8 thousand hatchbacks.

      • I think if Elon Musk has his way, the movie to see again and again is Matt Damon in “Elysium”,

    • “But the lack of a strong identity LCPL_X noted makes it hard to stick together. Or help each other.”

      Granted , yes.

      but what i’m espousing in the other thread, Ireneo, is convert this weakness into a strength.

      Most of these Miss Universe contestants and winners are mothered by Filipinas who would fit Joe’s

      “Brain drain. Principles drain. Leftovers are running things . . . haphazardly, with little principle and spotty competence.”

      namely, girls who met White dudes, were dark otherwise local of beauty, married and transferred to the land of Big PX or IKEA. had kids. kids halflings grew up, moms from the province, dark in skin, see beauty in them and all of their hopes & dreams, and talks of becoming an “actor” or “actress” in the Philippines begins,

      programmed from early on. They become staples in Filipino entertainment and int’l beauty contests, worshiped by other usually dark and local in looks Filipinos.

      I agree with Joe above, brain/principles drain, poof it’s gone, but there is an increase in beauty and the worship of beauty in the Philippines.

      East Asian beauty is worshiped too in the Philippines, light skin and small eyes, mestizo Chinese, but

      you know what trumps mestizo Chinese, it’s mestizo White. If Filipinos can employ these new breed Filipinos against Han invasion incoming, the better your chances, thus Joe jr. has a big role to play, he is


      Most Filipino there only appreciate the last concept. So scale it up.

      As for and Bruno Mars, yes Black mestizos are looked down upon in the Philippines, but their musical blood whether nature vs. nurture is also of value to most Filipinos, in the end Beauty=Art, and Art is Truth.

      Thus my call for Senator Trillanes to be the guy that tackles head on this K-Pop phenomena sweeping the world, with F-POP. This is the only path where Filipinos can overshadow East Asian values.

      Art and Beauty, this is gonna be your new Brains & Principles.

      • and Yes, you can build an economy around this, Hollywood movies and NYC theaters. I saw first hand East L.A. reborn just by opening new art venues, both performing and studio. Museums (state sponsored) serve as anchors.

        Watch NETFLIX’S Abstract series.

        Ireneo, I believe Berlin’s economy is based on this idea?

  3. caliphman says:

    This blog I think is one the most honest,somber, realistic, and accepting depiction at TSOH of Filipinos as a people and the Philippines as a country. Reality is a bitch but the only way forward is to cast aside illusions and build up ones hopes from bedrock. But there is not much future for any society where corruption is at its core and unrestrained.

  4. edgar lores says:

    Irineo is quoted in MLQIII’s latest column.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Thanks for the heads up, Edgar.

    • NHerrera says:

      I note that MLQIII labeled the quote from Irineo as a “nutshell” — meaning, to me, a nutshell of MLQIII’s article; and thus his article may have sprung from Irineo’s.

    • “A Filipino abroad, Irineo B.R. Salazar (who is the son of the formidable historian Zeus Salazar)”

      Congratz, Ireneo!!! Is he a contemporary of your dad’s or was one of his students??? or has studied your dad’s works? just a very familiar statement to say is all. I know Joe always mentioned MLQIII (something about doppleganger or that they are one and the same, etc.) but this is the first mention of MLQIII and yourself.

      BUT what is all this talk of Goodbye??? Remember who your first comment came from??? 😉 I know I never visit due to German laws of tracking which got me paranoid. but I hope you keep it up, if not archive it in Joe’s blog here. For posterity.

      • MLQ3 might know my father from his time as a UP student.

        And since he does amateur history he will know most names.

        Goodbye does mean I am not writing articles anymore (of course that may change) with the reasons given in the article. Short summary: alienation. The Philippines suddenly feels so distant and strange I can’t quite identify anymore, but the blog stays online, definitely.

        • caliphman says:

          I know and have talked here about that same feeling of alienation. Its hard to write or comment about a country and countrymen one seems estranged from.

          • What is really strange is to feel estranged whilst living in aforesaid country.

            • caliphman says:

              Joe, I feel for you. . Its kinda surreal here too with 87% of Republicans choosing corrupt Trump over country and constitution I thought most Americans would be faithful to.

              • Yes, I agree, it is surreal there, and in the UK, too.

              • edgar lores says:

                It’s surreal in Oz too. The Australian Federal Police raided an ABC newsroom in relation to a story on unlawful killings and misconduct by Australian defense in Afghanistan.

              • Yes, I read about that. It was shocking, such an arrogant abuse of basic rights that make democracy work.

              • NHerrera says:

                What a contrast to the way democracy is practiced in Israel — in at least this respect: the independence of its Justice Department. It has charged both the PM and his wife with breach of trust:

                – the PM for receiving gifts from a businessmen in exchange for tax breaks; and the PM asking favorable coverage from Israel’s largest newspaper in exchange for limiting the circulation of a rival newspaper. [The cases are still under investigation.]

                – the wife for using state funds for catered meals in the PM residence to serve family and guests. The wife pled guilty to a lesser charge.

                Imagine that in contrast to the breach of trust of the US and Philippine Presidents for much worse cases and their respective departments scrambling instead to protect rather than honestly investigating the cases.

          • I find it sad that I am living here, right in the middle of a lot of it and I probably feel at least as alienated as you guys.

            My wife asks me why I seem to have trouble sleeping. I don’t want her to worry about this existential dread I feel walking, working, living in the Philippines.

        • sonny says:

          “Short summary: alienation. The Philippines suddenly feels so distant and strange I can’t quite identify anymore …”

          Me, too. Like watching the backside of S.S. Philippines from a raft in the high seas.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    Re: Global warming.
    The 2 degrees Farenheit increase in global temperature may happen very soon.

    Hot summers causing arctic sinkholes as permafrost thaws rapidly: study

    • NHerrera says:

      Karl, I read an article recently, published by an international body, that by 2050 — aside from other destructive effects of Global Warming — we may have, in countries such as ours, 100 lethal hot days every year [emphasis on the word, “lethal”]. Since we have been having hotter and hotter summers, I can believe that. I will not be here to confirm that statistics though.

      • NH,

        Even if we dwindle from 8 billion to just a few thousands, there’s still hope.

        “Most demographers say we will hit 9 billion before we peak, and what happens then?

        Well, we’ve waxed. So we can wane. Let’s just hope we wane gently. Because once in our history, the world-wide population of human beings skidded so sharply we were down to roughly a thousand reproductive adults. One study says we hit as low as 40.

        Forty? Come on, that can’t be right. Well, the technical term is 40 “breeding pairs” (children not included). More likely there was a drastic dip and then 5,000 to 10,000 bedraggled Homo sapiens struggled together in pitiful little clumps hunting and gathering for thousands of years until, in the late Stone Age, we humans began to recover. But for a time there, says science writer Sam Kean, “We damn near went extinct.”

        • NHerrera says:

          Even if we dwindle from 8 billion to just a few thousands, there’s still hope … Well, we’ve waxed. So we can wane.

          Thanks, but it seems rather like a macabre joke to me. Not a comforting thought.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Cheers NH, Joe said it best, we can project.
        A San Mig toast to you.

  6. karlgarcia says:

    Facial recognition banned in San Fran Cisco.
    I guess that is why there were many KD will play on Game 5 memes of different people including those of Filipinos.(jk) This is debatable because it is a fine line between privacy and security.

  7. popoy says:

    The day is the presumptive twelfth of June, as it replaced the authentic Fourth of July; it’s good
    They did not change the Philippine National Flag, so the piece below
    May have already been posted here in TSoH before, just delete in inappropriate.

    Eche Bucheche of a Country’s Flag

    A Country and its people
    Is known worldwide by its Flag.
    It’s a piece of expensive Cloth and
    Sometimes of printed hard paper.
    It is an upper arm patch of pride,
    Of legal authority and superiority
    Over bad and evil behaviour.

    The Flag is not sacrosanct like a law
    That any human values can not be above it
    Which can deny people
    Their sacred democratic rights.
    It is just a flag, ceremonial and symbolic.

    A country’s Flag is like marble or
    Bronze statue which can be brought down
    And smashed into pieces,
    It’s ONLY an INERT symbol
    Of a people’s reverence of everything
    In the past and present they hold dear,
    will fight and die for.
    DISRESPECT of the Flag can be
    OKAY and encouraged as potent
    Tool to assert and defend the
    inalienable right of free expression.

    It’s never been tried before
    But it could draw blood
    To use an endeared flag
    Against an oppressive behaviour
    And policy of a detested president.

    To kneel before a country’s flag
    In reverence of disrespect reaches
    The apex of the twisted eche bucheche
    By minions of the fattened establishment
    The flag of course and after all
    is only the country’s soul
    Only to the believers and faithful.
    The traitors and charlatans
    may decree to have their own.
    September 25, 2017.

    • There was a recent spat with Trump administration ordering all US embassies (i’m sure all federal flagpoles as well) not to fly the Gay rainbow flag this month.

      which I totally agree with. flags denoting sexual preferences have nothing to do with gov’t offices. Sure you can hang it above your own patio or room, or wave it during protest or celebration, but has no place in gov’t enterprise.

      But piggy backing off your poem Popoy and Joe’s 2039 future, can you imagine if this same Gay flag is what survives of our impending demise, whether thru ice or fire… and all flags Filipino or American, yes even Canadian, all are forgotten???

      the rainbow is afterall the main decoration motif in Jewish synagogues.

  8. NHerrera says:


    Here is an article that parallels the thoughts of the current blog on the trajectory of the Philippines 20 years hence. This one concerns the US — PH’s Uncle Sam, to use that phrase known only for the likes of old folks like myself.

    Fareed Zakaria writes about and titles his article, “The Self-Destruction of American Power.” He writes that after the Berlin Wall was torn down, the US seems to have gone weary and lost interest. This was followed by the great misadventure of Bush in the Iraq and Afghanistan war. And of course, we now have Trump’s Adventure.

    Zakaria in this article reminds me of Irineo.

    • “And of course, we now have Trump’s Adventure.”

      Trump is like Carter, in that both have a healthy aversion to wars, Carter for humanitarian reasons, Trump for all reasons not humanitarian. I’ll cut off my right nut if we go to war under Trump.

      Unlike past presidents, this one seems very comfortable just posturing. W/out follow thru, what many presidents usually term “our resolve” in speeches– very dangerous when presidents say this.

      so long as we don’t go to anymore big wars, keep ’em small. Trump can posture all he wants.


      he’s entertaining, but so long as no wars to come, he’s fine. Let him do his thing.

  9. popoy says:

    PUT ANOTHER WAY – Lazy me as usual in cynical eche bucheche was fast reading this usual excellent JoeAm’s piece. I must sincerely apologize to him for what I did which is really not to plagiarize or correct it or question its accuracy and time validity but to release dormant and disgruntled long bottled-up thoughts BY PUTTING WORDS IN ANOTHER WAY. It’s JoeAms piece really. Please delete entirely if inappropriate.

    Global Warming.

    “[IN 2019,] the Philippines [IS NOT]
    spending a generous part of its budget
    on disaster planning, disaster reconstruction,
    water management, and food sourcing.

    Crops [ARE RELENTLESSLY] battered by storms.
    Infrastructure and economic underpinnings
    [ARE] eroded by [PERENNIAL] natural disasters.
    The climate change ‘industry’ [IN THE FUTURE]
    will [UNLIKELY] provide a lot of new jobs,
    [PRESENTLY A] lot of people [ARE STRUGGLING

    That, [HERE AND NOW] is the enduring
    personality of the Philippines,
    tragic though it may be. The nation simply does
    not have the forward planning, critical thinking,
    or competence needed to build a better response.
    It won’t have [EARLIER OR LATER] in 2039, either,
    as the educational foundation, values foundation,
    and political framework will not support it.”

    • Very nice, Popoy. I’m a poet, but did not know it.

      • popoy says:

        You are welcome JoeAm. My bad and watch out at 82 is to over do anything I write or say be they about praises or criticisms based on my fallible analysis. I came from the extremes of youth innocence to the extremes of childish old age; from a toddler’s freedom to misstep and fall to an unavoidable fall caused by weak knees and diminishing gray matter, making my cranium to be a WAREHOUSE..

        It is really Kafkaism of, from child to child metamorphosis. It is filo not fifo as I have lectured on Warehouse Management. To metaphorize the brain into a warehouse, knowledge and memories come and go in a manner of FIRST IN LAST OUT (FiLo) not FIRST IN FIRST OUT (FiFo). A warehouse worker should not be looked down because he knows how to manage the commodities that goes into his warehouse.

        AMAZON Corp made billions because of mostly warehousing. I read a guy said somewhat: Get employed in Amazon and be a warehouseman.

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