The Philippines, a nation apart from concepts and knowledge

Knowledge [Source: Wharton, Univ. of Pennsylvania]

By Joe America

I’ve finally figured out how to reconcile the absolute stupidity of governance in the Philippines – brutal, corrupt, and incompetent – with the fact that the nation’s people are decent, warm, quick of wit, and fun to be around . . . and ‘satisfied’ with a stupid, punitive form of government.

I cannot call Filipinos dumb because they are not. Filipinos are sharp. But the fact is that the heavy weight of thinking in the nation lacks two crucial components: (1) concepts, and (2) knowledge.

Now a small part of the population has a broader education and does indeed have an appreciation of concepts and knowledge. But the largest part does not.

Filipinos far and wide think in terms of self-interest and pragmatic details.

  • What is the price, not why is the price. The details of rice imports and lost seas don’t enter the picture.
  • If Duterte is like me, he is a good president. The Constitution, ethics, oaths, productivity . . . they don’t matter. Attached to this ‘like me’ is the presumption that the President cheats because he is . . . like me . . . a child of struggle.

Concepts are ideas in search of understanding or better ways to live. I’m reminded of my journalism professor at the University of Southern California who argued that we have education all wrong. We start generalized and then get narrower and narrower in our study. We should instead start narrow and get broader and broader in our study. We would in that way become more knowledgeable and wholesome, rising to our full potential.

The argument leads to grand discussions as to our purpose on life. Is it to be productive or to be smart? New concepts come into play as we debate the subject. Ethics and cheating. Oaths and economy. Wealth and health.

Concepts are the fields, the seeds, and the fertilizer that promote grand thinking.

The Philippines does not have any of that. At all. Not in government, not in the fields. Even the schools fail at teaching how to conceptualize and problem solve. Because. The. Educators. Can’t. Do. It. Either.

Knowledge is the stuff you can look for if you are conceptualizing like crazy and need answers.

How was it done before? What does the science say? What do the statistics say? Shouldn’t we automate so we have better statistics? Shouldn’t we automate so we can see corruption if it occurs? Shouldn’t our students all have computers so they can get to knowledge better?

These are very simple, simple ideas.

Yet they are out of reach for most Filipinos.

The journalists are populist showmen who cannot conceptualize why they are reporting what they are reporting. The senators are populist showboats who could not conceptualize their way out of a wet paper bag. The law is a system of rules, pliable and turned into weapons, not a system of justice, tied to the certainty of facts.

The people are out being resilient, and bless them, being genuine in the process.

I have written a lot of blog articles in search of understanding and constructive ways forward. I’m not inclined these days to put in too much effort to restate what has already been said.

I’m simply satisfied that I understand why I am happy in a nation that is totally oblivious to concepts and knowledge.

Neither of us is going anywhere.

Joe

 

Comments
131 Responses to “The Philippines, a nation apart from concepts and knowledge”
  1. I see I neglected to turn on the comments for this post. Belated best wishes for the holidays to all. Biliran is battered but will recover. Local agencies are taking up the slack for negligent national agencies. BILECO especially deserves credit for having response teams at the ready before the storm rolled in.

    • Belated merry Christmas to you as well, Joe, and all of TSOH.

      Yes, abstract concepts. I think Filipino schooling has failed big-time. Instead of teaching concepts as tools to simplify analysis of reality, it has usually divorced theory and practice as well as reality and meaning in favor of rote. Therefore the barangay mind stayed where it was, rooted in immediate experience, while modern stuff is learned just to get a job. A trainer from Makati once wrote a rant about how modern Filipino managers know all about Excel and MS Project but still support a President who can neither compute nor plan. But then again, modern methods are seen as analysis paralysis. Of course weak reading comprehension is related to lack of conceptual grasp. But how to cure all of that?

      • Micha says:

        “Of course weak reading comprehension is related to lack of conceptual grasp. But how to cure all of that?”

        For one, adequate or proper nutrition from birth?

        • kasambahay says:

          could also be bad example from all around? bad parenting? so highly educated but badly schooled. many children had early foreclosure, meron early moratorium, just hovering around and unable to make decisions; having helicopter parents, overprotected and overindulgent and living their lives in their children.

          spare the rod and spoil the children. then children become adults albeit spoiled, with movable boundaries and questionable standards, finding themselves with like companies. and into society they hit a wall. society can be rigid, that was learned at home sometimes need to be unlearned and there is adjustment to make.

          • kasambahay says:

            I’m reminded tuloy of the story of the enfanta of spain. she lisp kuno and cannot speak properly. and instead of correcting her lisp, the spaniards from the courtiers down copied her lisp and they all lisp too.

            • Obviouthly that did not reach Mexthicko, much lethth the Philippineth.

              • kasambahay says:

                I’m presuming po you’re not surprised what filipinos can do. many of pinoys not only speak the english language like the americans, but also behave like one, carry american names, speak american slang and live in american cities too. similarly po, spanish language being taught in high school is more or less given the same treatment. my teacher in spanish is pinoy through and through but when comes to speaking spanish, lisps better than any spaniards. we students have to read spanish text with correct inflection complete with the required lisping, lol! there was much giggling but we all passed reading test.

                apparently, when we students of the spanish language happened to be in spain, we would blend in and speaking like the natives. unfortunately, many of us students did not make it to spain let alone go to college.

              • Latin American Spanish does not have the lisps. Argentinean sounds strange though as “yo” sounds like it starts with a J, kind of. Only Castilian has lisps, just like King’s English has these snobbish sounding nasal endings, not the American kind of ending.

                Pinoys indeed are good mimics. It is known that some call centers have Pinoys who can be Sue from the West Coast, Andy from the East Coast and other accents even.

                Spain has just recovered from a major economic crisis similar to Greece. Some Latinos find it sweet revenge to see Spaniards do the same toilet cleaning jobs in Germany they made Latinos do in Madrid. But a lot of Spaniards in Spain now speak English, unlike before.

                Most Filipinos in Spain today are kasambahay, similar to Italy. They may have college degrees but went for that as it pays better. Like one former teacher I know who went to be a maid in HK, then married an Englishman there, moved to London and speaks like a local.

                Her niece took over her job in HK and learned perfect Cantonese. Yes, Filipinos adapt.

                It is more of survival mode than deeper understanding, I guess. Like Filipinos got jeeps to become jeepneys but never went into reverse-engineering vehicles, imitating and then even improving them like the Japanese have. “The land of constant beginnings” (N. Rosca)

              • kasambahay says:

                thank you po and happy new year to you.

              • sonny says:

                “It is more of survival mode than deeper understanding, I guess. Like Filipinos got jeeps to become jeepneys but never went into reverse-engineering vehicles, imitating and then even improving them like the Japanese have. “The land of constant beginnings” (N. Rosca)”

                This is where, IMO, lessons from history must be paid attention to more intensely. The total devastation of the World War II was carried out on Philippine soil, reminiscent of the internecine wipeout of the English countryside after the downfall of Camelot. The fractious fits and starts of national governance since 1946 left a trail of “… constant beginnings” in our culture, society, economy and politics. Events such as the Korean War and the Japanese comeback from WW-II can be studied, These two recoveries from similar Philippine events of the time are different by looking at the industrial pictures in those 2 land and cultures before WW2. The industrial superstructures were already and national memory picked up where it left. Maybe the Vietnamese experience is more akin to the Philippine story.

  2. Micha says:

    “I cannot call Filipinos dumb because they are not. Filipinos are sharp. But the fact is that the heavy weight of thinking in the nation lacks two crucial components: (1) concepts, and (2) knowledge.”

    No, Filipinos are not inherently dumb. The dumbing part is being DELIBERATELY made by the ruling class through economic enslavement and subjection to dignity stripping poverty..

    It doesn’t matter if the ruling class are Cory yellows, Marcos red white and blue, or DDS black. Their conceptual plan to perpetuate their privilege and access to wealth is the same : numb and dumb the masses so they become docile and easily manipulated.

    The dramas and intramurals between the ruling class factions only serve as useful distractions to maintain this brutal system.

    Duterte’s threat to the Ayala and Lopez business monopoly is an example of this zarzuela. No substantial policy change or paradigm shift in governance, just more of the same dystopian hell.

    • I wonder if the Philippine left would do any better, or whether they would not quickly put up a similar oligarchy with leftist family names. I doubt egalitarian thinking is truly part of Filipino culture, so they probably would not do what Cuba did, in terms of medicine and education.

      The Philippines had relatively equal opportunities just after the USA left, with one of the best public education systems in the developing world, a system that produced migrants to the USA for lack of job opportunities at home.

      • The Filipino left has its elite demonstrating in the cities and taking part in elite debates, while its foot soldiers are where the goons of politicians also are – in the provinces.

        • popoy says:

          Musings from Foggy Memories

          From foggy memories at
          the slopes of Mount Makiling (1955-59)
          there was Das Capital and the Long March
          as diversion readings to conflict
          ideology neutral animal and plant sciences.

          From Padre Faura to Diliman, QC.
          There were the Tennessee Valley Authority,
          the Favelas, Kibbutz and the Red
          Cultural Revolution as back ground inputs
          to teaching the masters course on
          The Management of Rural Development.

          Mentor postulated then to incredulous
          post grad students that Karl Max’s notion
          of Dictatorship of the Proletariat
          was off-tangent and all wet; because
          the pandemic malady in many countries
          in the undeveloped world
          situate itself not in factories
          but in farms and coastal villages.

          The proletariat was really landless farmers
          and ill-equipped fishermen.
          Factory workers can’t be the proletariat
          where there are NO or just FEW factories
          (like Philippines nowadays?).

          The Cultural Revolution was at best a bulldozer
          that can LEVEL low lying hills of socio-economic
          Inequality among the exploding demography.

          As time goes by very fast
          Communism and Capitalism ideologies
          are not really impervious and impregnable
          as mortal combatants. Both borrow and
          exchange strategy and tactics in
          the retention and application of
          oppressive, naked political power.

          Weak democratic countries succumbed to
          authoritarian rule leading to massive corruption
          further widening inequality while bloated
          faltering communist countries adapt and adopt
          capitalist tactics to strengthen their economies.

          Sad, perhaps very sad, even unfortunate
          It can happen that a country with sub-median intellect
          and administrative capability on concepts and knowledge
          among its rulers could be blindfolded men
          unable to distinguish democracy and capitalism
          like distinctive parts of an elephant. **** 0800291219

          • popoy says:

            The above post before being re-arranged into stanzas:

            From foggy memories at the slopes of Mount Makiling (1955-59). There was Das Capital and the Long March as diversion readings to conflict ideology neutral animal and plant science. From Padre Faura to Diliman, QC. There were the Favelas, Kibbutz and the Red Cultural Revolution as back ground inputs to the masteral course on The Management of Rural Development.

            Mentor postulated to incredulous PG students that Karl Max’s dictatorship of the proletariat was off-tangent and all wet; the pandemic malady in many countries situate itself not factories but in farms and coastal villages. The proletariat was really landless farmers and ill-equipped fishermen. Factory workers can’t be the proletariat where there are NO or just FEW factories (like Philippines nowadays?).

            The Cultural Revolution was at best a bulldozer that can level low lying hills of socio-economic inequality among the population. That the Communism and Capitalism ideologies are not really impervious and impregnable as mortal combatants. Both borrow and exchange strategy and tactics in the retention and application of naked political power.

            Weak democratic countries succumb to authoritarian rule leading to massive corruption while bloated faltering communist countries adapt and adopt capitalist tactics to strengthen the economy. It can happen that a country with sub-median intellect and administrative capability on concepts and knowledge among its rulers could be blindfolded men unable to distinguish democracy and capitalism distinctive parts of an elephant.

      • Micha says:

        “I wonder if the Philippine left would do any better, or whether they would not quickly put up a similar oligarchy with leftist family names.

        Like a Satur Ocampo or Walden Bello oligarchy? The speculation is both preposterous and ridiculous because, technically, leftist ideology is to empower the laboring class and democratize both the working environment and the wealth thus created.

        On this regard we could always look and learn from the lessons of other countries. To either discard, adopt, or refine what was objectively desirable or not.

        Was there a leftist oligarchy in Sweden or France or Mexico or Bolivia or Cuba?

        “I doubt egalitarian thinking is truly part of Filipino culture..”

        The point of staging a revolution is to change the rotten culture of feudalism, both the Spanish variant and the feudalism which emerged under the current capitalist regime.

        “The Philippines had relatively equal opportunities just after the USA left, with one of the best public education systems in the developing world, a system that produced migrants to the USA for lack of job opportunities at home.”

        There goes your colonial economy. confined to agriculture and restricted any attempt to industrialize.

        • Russia is the perfect example of a revolution producing a new oligarchy after some time, of pragmatic power brokers winning over idealistic or narcissistic intellectuals.

          Kadamay as corrupt housing brokers, NPA groups making their cut with miners they worked together before? Bello and Ocampo sidelined by the revolutionary tax extortionists, like Russia’s idealists were sidelined by the former bank robber Dugaschwili aka Stalin?

          Thought experiment: Filipino leftists with their hands on huge funds like PhilHealth, SSS, GSIS, PCSO, state casinos. How many idealists will go the way Jejomar Binay and Harry Roque went? Groups that think they can never do wrong are dangerous.

          • Micha says:

            It’s amazing that 30 years after the collapse of the USSR we’re still talking about Stalinist perversion of the Russian Revolution. Surely in that time span we have already gained enough insight on how to do things better, no?

            And again do not belittle our ability to learn from the lessons in other countries. How is it for example that Jeremy Corbin lost his battle with BoJo on Brexit politics? Or why did Evo Morales was blindsided by the far right in Bolivia?

            Can’t speak for the leftist groups in the country because I do not personally know them but I do not let those issues of possible wrongdoings by individuals cloud the vision for an alternative to this current form of extreme neoliberal capitalism that is ravaging not only this country but is also the cause of existential threat to all life forms on the planet.

          • karlgarcia says:

            I still think an amalgamation of all economic and political systems or a little bit of this and that is the best formula.

            What good is communism where everyone else is equal but the state and its cronies are a cut above the rest.
            So it still is about the few who has power aka the elite.
            Unfortunately,due to survival instincts of men this persists where those without power stick to the powerful or pretend to be powerful.
            The cycle continues, only the names change.

            • The best and happiest countries according to all ratings are still the Nordic countries.

              Some degree of affordable welfare state like in most of Western Europe is still best.

              There always will be differences in intelligence and motivation between people.

              The same salary for a professor and a factory worker devalues the professor while the nomenklatura looked down upon both – and quickly bought up assets after socialism fell, much like the mestizo sons of friars who only were hacienda administrators before.

              Over here at least the rich and poor can all get proper medical care, school and university are free, there are enough public libraries. Equal opportunities are more real than in the Philippines or in Eastern Europe. Or UK, where Thatcher undid the 1950s welfare state.

              But Boris Johnson and his elitists / fake populists will make the UK more like the USA. Savagely neoliberal. Eastern European fake populists are about as dangerous – or more – than DDS cronies. Pale yellow or Euro plutocrats are preferable to crooks anytime.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Re revolutionary taxes
              I can assume here, the case is only the higher ups get to taste the fruits of revolutionary taxes the rest get the spoils, so why bother because mercenaries do not care if they get crumbs, to those not satisfied they splinter and branch out.

              Strikes

              The radicals infiltrate unions feigning sympathy then they have the military 50 meters away sign ages and tarps.
              No wonder there is this red tagging even in student councils.

              This make legit grievances meaningless, all you get is closed companies and closed schools.

              I wonder if there are no conglomerates.
              We all would have small,medium enterprises not having to rely on angel investors.
              Is that possble?

              Why do we have to import rice?

              We do not have direct access. Until now there are obstacles to farm to market roads.
              Some would prefer horses than a vehicle.

              Plus the middleman trader , time and again drives the prices high making the farmer poorer.
              Then they smuggle so they could sell cheap.

              To get rid of squatters some resort to arson or just kill the poor to reduce their numbers Iike what seems to be happening now.

              People migrate to the city because they do not want to become farmers and fishermen, this results to aging farmers and fishermen.

              Yada Yada Yada.

              • kasambahay says:

                tribalism and religiousity, nordic countries have them too. they’re mostly lutherans and you have to belong to a church to get buried, married and baptised, that’s my understanding. and they go to sunday church, celebrate the nativity, etc. as for population, hard to produce babies in cold climate, haha! too cold! not like in warmer countries where people smile and flirt more often, wearing clothes that barely cover thier bottoms, bosoms, etc.

                in nordic countries smiling can cause your face to freeze, your breathe crystallizes and to keep warm, you’re covered from head to toe much like muslims, haha! some look like yetis and bears and they could barely talk for their lips are pursed tight if not frozen. they can only nod their heads in greeting, rarely exchange warm embraces, hugs and back slapping. and summer is too short!

                pinas did tried to copy nordic style of govt like federalism but people thumbed it down.

                it may not be tribalism but many nordic people belong to some sort of clubs, organizations, fraternities, etc. bader mienhof was one.

                there are lot of pinoys in nordic countries now. as for emulating a nordic, I can only think of a moose, I got chased by one! I would not want to be nordic, I want to be me, unique, quirky, idiot at times and just plain silly at other times. though I have one thing in common with the nordic, we both loved our drinks! salud! skal! I love herring too! and rollmops.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Again thanks for your inputs. They do have swell prisons. I saw it in Spider-Man.

              • @kasambahay: I once refused to move to Denmark, even if I had an interesting assignment offered to me there, because paradoxically was there in the summer and found out relatively warm days there (around 21 degrees then and sunny) were about two weeks.

                Experience in one of my first consulting assignments to Sweden had shown me how short the days are there even in winter. Bad enough that the sun goes down around 4 p.m. in Berlin, gets up 8 a.m. around Christmas. Munich has half an hour more both ways, OK. Sweden it is literally just a few hours around lunch and the rest of the time it is dark. No wonder the tax on alcohol is so high over there – people would drink to death otherwise.

                Midsummer is crazy in Stockholm, sundown 10 p.m. literally fades into sunset at like 2 a.m., fortunate to have been there in my early 30s where I could stay up the whole night and even work the next morning without any loss of concentration. Nordics catch up on party.

                Finland in August, another memory of me on a course for two weeks – days get shorter quickly so people try to party as much as they can. Helsinki is dead drunk on weekends.

                Finns are Nordics but not Scandinavians. Jim Jarmusch’s Night on Earth (1991) part characterizes the Finnish people quite well. Kinulit ko na si Karl with the Rome part.

                Finns speak a language that comes from somewhere else, while the Scandinavian tongues are related to one another. Norwegian is like Medieval Swedish, Danish is like some Southern dialects of Swedish. Icelandic is like old Danish. Greenland is part of Denmark.

                First thing I noticed when I visited Copenhagen as a teen was how tall the people were. Yes, they are mostly Protestants. Lutherans. Similar to Northern Germans in many ways.

                https://sciencenordic.com/agriculture-agriculture–fisheries-anthropology/how-the-heavy-plough-changed-the-world/1381548

                But probably the heavy plough, from the year 900 onwards, made a difference in people being able to properly live in Northern Europe. Southern European ploughs BREAK in the clay soil of the North. It was not only cold, it was literally very hard to live there before 900. Probably hunger drove a lot of invasions. Finally, Protestantism made the Nordic people the somewhat settled people they are today. Plus modern houses with proper heating.

                Tropical countries including Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil are full of flirtation due to heat and sparse clothing, but it is easier to just squat somewhere in a hot country. Sure, Munich has squatters under the bridges but they are only men. Women are proven to feel cold faster.

                When winter comes, the makeshift refugee camps of Greece become potentially deadly. Even if the “winter” there is usually just around 10 degrees. While the camps over here in Germany are often containers quickly assembled, like Lego bricks, but with all amenities. Winter over here in Germany, even the men under the bridges seek homeless shelters. Temperatures under the freezing point are deadly if you are outside for too long. Just a few minutes in freezing water can mean certain death if you are not wearing a neoprene suit. Alcohol makes you feel warm but can be deceptive. You think your body is warmer but it is not. Every year, homeless people in Northern Europe die because of that kind of illusion. Rizal wore an overcoat in places like Berlin but in the middle of Luneta he is sweating.

              • kasambahay says:

                cheers, ireneo. for a while I was a laplander and learned to play ice hockey. then I broke my arm and now, I’m in a warm country, my arm healed and my love of strong alcoholic drinks remained.

              • Cold weather does go well with drunk, I agree. I learned the association in the colder realm of Colorado at the age of 18 when we were allowed to drink 3.2% beer, which, if you drink twice as much is effectively 6.4%. Our goal was to smuggle beer pitchers out of the Red Garter Saloon under our heavy winter coats. It was like trophy hunting.

  3. popoy says:

    World destabilizing issues or events might provide reason, even wisdom. Take BREXIT.

    It is a stretch to connect UK’s Brexit to India’s new citizenship law; to Scotland’s mumblings of total exit. With small is beautiful as economic panacea exemplified by smaller snowy nations sans plundering national public officials, it might not be farfetched for Panay island, the Bicol Region and Tagalog Provinces to think of their own version of BREXIT.

    It might take a century for the Filipinos to cut the umbilical cord of nationalized plunder and thievery. Small is beautiful but tribal independence could effectively check plunders by outsiders.

    • popoy says:

      It is more difficult to decapitate wholesale than retail plunder.

      • kasambahay says:

        the way things are going, no need to decapitate wholesale, faking it na lang the way our army faked the surrendering rebels, photoshopped, seen the released pic yet? the rebels can barely afford decent footwear and seems to be floating on air, minus their shadows, lol! as well, the surrendered guns looked brand new to me. I can understand improvised devices, rebels being ragtag and money is tight, but brand new guns, black and shiny and well oiled? I wont be surprised if said pic is re-doctored and then released anew, this time with assortment of homemade guns, bolos, machetes, grenades in all sizes and shapes, pock marked rocket launchers, etc.

        * * *

        filipinos kuno are going to salubong the year 2020 with hope, the only thing they got left in my opinion.

        • popoy says:

          If hope is the only thing we Pinoys got left for the New Year we are truly F#CK#D. Hope is PAGASA in Tagalog. What do we get from Pagasa all year round worst during Christmas? Calamities and state of emergency? We can not even name our weather bureau properly. But wait, WAIT, we have a powerful ANTIDOTE if not a Pacquiao punch against that. We proudly call BAHALA NA. Like Pacquiao and for stamina, we proudly are energized by running the long mile and endless shadow boxing.

          • popoy says:

            The basics and semen of above median governance is SKILLS TRAINING which narrows down to technical skill, human relations skill and CONCEPTUAL SKILL. Technical skill is for those who correctly do the dirty job. Human relations skill is for those who inspire, cajole and command that the job be done. CONCEPTUAL SKILL is the rare ability to see, understand the whole and the minutest part of governance in their dynamic relationships; that physics is the applied aspects of theoretical philosophy. Concepts begin as molecules of systemic thinking which is more than an ability to grasp results from expended time and efforts; more, it is to know the IMPACT of achieved results.

            Having Conceptual skill is knowing that criticisms by other nations against blatant abuse of human rights are not affronts to the dignity, integrity and sovereignty of a democratic nation.
            Dignity, honor and sovereignty are POSITIVE concepts while human rights violations are NEGATIVE CONCEPTS.

            A fraternity brod asked another: What is personality? The brod answered: Brod it is something you do not have.

            • popoy says:

              MORE? It COULD BE as simple as this. A powerful man was abusing his Kasambahay with blatant verbal and physical abuse. A neighbor called his attention about human rights. The wealthy man was seething with anger and told his neighbor: you have attacked my dignity, my honor and my right as an individual. I shall retaliate for the wrong done to me. Well, it could that conceptual thinking isn’t that simple at all. May be REASON too.

              • popoy says:

                It is a highway stretch to connect it with current events, but I was asked to recite this piece in front of an English 11 Class in 1958:

            • sonny says:

              Aye, understanding the plumbed soundings of JoeAm & Popoy pushed my compass to also understand the presence of Alan-a-Dale in Piers Plowman’s Robin Hood legend: Robin’s bard, the wisened soul to harness the savage beast back to its own unfettered wisdom to assess its resources to overcome the evil that unfolds and thrives;

              • sonny says:

                For me one of the golden highlights of participating in TSH exchanges happened in this thread, now a legacy of the late Edgar Lores:

                https://joeam.com/2019/03/07/joe-america-called-out-for-issuing-black-propaganda/#comment-272506

                At the time that edgar shared this, I thought that this to is one of the best historical descriptions of social, religious, political forces broadly operant in the world today, most especially in the current status of Philippine affairs. It is a hallmark of edgar’s thinking process: comprehensive, accurate, cogent with an eye to practicality, well-informed, discussion-inviting, open-ended. The thread was well-complemented by Irineo’s comments.

              • NHerrera says:

                sonny,

                Indeed, I too noticed the fact that almost all substantive comments of edgar are like the efforts of an intelligent, well-read person writing a thesis. To me, that will require a stressful effort. Although, edgar has perhaps the innate facility for that kind of work, I wonder if in some way it caused some stress in edgar, causing his earlier departure from this world — presuming that in his work and other activities he must have done the same thoroughness of effort.

                Happy New Year to you!

              • sonny says:

                NH, thank you and a Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

                I agree with you about the tension and sense of urgency that edgar packed into his clear and comprehensive expositions. I think Herodotus said it best: the frustration of men of much knowledge amidst the disproportionate powerlessness to right things. In some measure one can feel this in the threads of the THS blogs.

              • NHerrera says:

                I think Herodotus said it best: the frustration of men of much knowledge amidst the disproportionate powerlessness to right things. In some measure one can feel this in the threads of the THS blogs.

                Yes.

                Aside from humorous replies or a succession or interchange of clever retorts, many of our comments are distillations of thoughts which however, in the case of edgar and some others here, are close to 100 percent completeness.

  4. popoy says:

    It seems hopeful, full of hope to start the new year to being knowledgeable, to be conceptual. Bertrand Russel was asked in 1952: Is there hope for the world? It’s a long interview and needs to FAST FORWARD to the diamond of B. Russell’s CONCEPTUAL cosmos.

    • sonny says:

      Touche on many many points of the eminent sage. Plato, Marx, John Dewey (my current stop on his pragmatism in education and social reform) notwithstanding, the devil is in the details, as ever. Thanks for the link, Popoy.

  5. popoy says:

    The 2019 now old year ends finding the Philippines at world’s bottom on READING AND COMPREHENSION and proudly high second to the bottom list of Math proficiency. The country’s problem even if it so desire, there’s no more door to go easily down for a lower level. There’s only the hard way to go up the ladder. On the first intellectual ability: Reading and Comprehension, BOOKS are EXPENSIVE. Private schools, Public schools and Municipal Libraries NEED books, more books for enjoyment of the young.

    ADVERT just skip if need be.

    My second book of poetry with a Preface kindly written by Joe America is now available (like the first book) on the internet. I am thinking of least expensive and effective ways to entice Kababayans OFWs, Immigrants and expatriates to shell out some green bucks to donate to their home town schools and libraries. I shall inform TSoH commenters and readers of the best reasonably priced way if they want to donate. Go ogle the links.

    https://www.amazon.com/Constant-Winds-Decades-Revealed-Collection/dp/1539854418/?tag=watchesnew0f-20

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1987716094?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

  6. popoy says:

    SUGGESTED ENTERTAINMENT: For the New Year, here was Irish humour for Blokes and Dames in the British Isle, hardly toilet humor for Iskul Bukol for below median Pinoys where the median in fake news lies just above the second (or is it the fourth) quartile. Just delete if the pieces passim. are deemed contagious, communicable or addictive or worse, blasphemous.

    • sonny says:

      Used to watch him regularly at his peak. His irreverent humor most frequently targetted his own church, the Roman Catholic Church. Many Catholics thought he crossed the line between humor and irreverence many times, IMO. His was tame compared to the current anti-catholic culture.

  7. @sonny: “This is where, IMO, lessons from history must be paid attention to more intensely. The total devastation of the World War II was carried out on Philippine soil, reminiscent of the internecine wipeout of the English countryside after the downfall of Camelot. The fractious fits and starts of national governance since 1946 left a trail of “… constant beginnings” in our culture, society, economy and politics. Events such as the Korean War and the Japanese comeback from WW-II can be studied, These two recoveries from similar Philippine events of the time are different by looking at the industrial pictures in those 2 land and cultures before WW2. The industrial superstructures were already and national memory picked up where it left. Maybe the Vietnamese experience is more akin to the Philippine story.”

    1) a) Yes, national memory is an important aspect. I know from accounts within the German part of my family how national memory played a role after the zero hour. It was like the backup tape being restored and the computer being restarted on a new operating system, Democracy 2.0.

    b) national memory again. Put Germans together and they will discuss first who will do what part of the work in who will have what role. Filipinos might just go and start lifting the bahay kubo. That Germans over-discuss even small to-dos annoyed my father to no end, but that is they way it is.

    c) Korea and Japan. Both copied the Prussian blueprint in the 19th century. Highly organized. Philippine society is more improvisational and immediate in getting stuff done. Other approach.

    2) a) Vietnam was devastated but it now builds its own cars. Car manufacturing – or any sort of complex manufacturing like Indonesia’s planes – are a benchmark for a society’s organization.

    b) Vietnam is also highly organized as a society. More iron willpower. Not path of least resistance.

    3) England after Camelot, after the Romans left Britain. Saxons, Danes, Normans came over. Henry V, though of French ancestry, repulsed a French fleet. After that no fleet from the mainland again landed, not even the Spanish armada. After they were defeated Britain went out to conquer. Though the English approach is more of “muddling through”, improvisational, fitting for islanders. Although the Japanese are islanders too, so that can’t really be the reason. But American films are also full of muddling through, not being prepared but in the end heroically finding a solution.

    Though people are basically the same, no country is the same in the experiences that make up its national spirit, no country has the same geographical, economic and historical situations so all these comparisons are just a guide. Probably it can be derived that leadership matters a lot.

    • It could be the most critical failure of Philippine culture is its attitude to learning and errors.

      1) There is hardly any concept of constructive criticism. Criticism against PNoy was nearly always destructive, hardly every constructive. Constructive criticism against Digong is seen as sedition – words are weapons in tribal warfare, not tools to improve the mind.

      2) The Socratic principle of “I know I know nothing” does not exist, instead there is “when you know, you know”. Admitting you made an error in judgement is almost like admitting one had a mental blackout. That would be applicable only if the judgement to be made were about something immediate and concrete – something relevant in the barangay context of a simple world. In a complex world, both experience and evidence – what one sees and what one derives, much less deduction are enough to fully cover all bases. Mistakes are made. But still, many a Filipino will rather “bilib” in a fool who states his nonsense with certainty, like Digong wildly accusses people, than a person who has doubts and corrects himself. The latter person might be deemed insecure.

      Either the Filipinos who say “when you know you know, and when you decide you decide” have the Force with them and can magically discern matters, which the ancient Greeks could not, and will lead the world to a bright future, or they are doomed to fail.

      But who care, Socrates was rumored not just to be insecure and admit mistakes, which a Filipino would never do, but he was allegedly bakla, so why listen to him! /sarcasm

      • kasambahay says:

        yay! sarcasm is my one true love and how I suffer for it, and still do. never learned, that’s moi. keeps meeting the same problems kasi ako, damn things keep popping up; resurrected, and keeps on headbutting naman ako vs same problems but different faces sometimes leaner, meaner, nastier faces.

        man at the top cannot decide, he’d talk to the reds kuno, no he wont, yes he will, no he wont, yes he – will? then doubled the pay of the armed forces he did, nasa frontline daw kasi ang mga iyon. teachers too are in the frontline, of education vs ignorance and misinformation. doctors, nurses and health care workers are in the frontline in the battle vs diseases and health misconceptions, parents and day to day workers are also in the frontline of keeping internal revenue (taxes) paid and going.

        and yet, man at the top thinks only the armed forces are at the front line! porbida, its no wonder problems are not only popping up like mushrooms only now growing to mega sizes. yr2020 will see 3rd tranche of new taxes, what superb gift to give to a poor ang struggling 3rd world nation.

        teachers are to be given pay rise kuno equivalent to a kilo of rice a day, when is their pay rise going to be, no one knows exactly. next month? next year? next decade?

        • kasambahay says:

          pardon moi po, not a believer ako. hindi ako bilib sa kanya, and I’m going to say this before I’d get picked up again and interrogated: each time I see man at the top visiting wounded soldiers and conferring them medals, my cynical mind is asking. how many of those wounded soldiers are hit by friendly fire? friendly fire when not addressed and properly corrected, will continue on to hit another soldier, then yet another soldier, and casualties could rise.

          ah, as long as there are medals of honor given, cash incentives on the offing and higher pay packet to boot, no one’s talking, no one’s asking silly and cynical questions and all is quiet on the western front. eyes right!

        • Kumonsens, says Pakyaw. How can it be healthy to have a 4T PHP budget today when the last Aquino budget was just over 3T? Either an economic miracle or the country is living beyond its means, any housewife can tell. In fact a housewife is economically more competent than the spoiled average Pinoy macho, including myself. Tarantadong Digong, state visit akala mo outing ng tropa, kainuman at sabit. Basta may balato ayos lang di ba?

          • kasambahay says:

            such good friend bong go is, put duterte in tight spot one too many times. when visiting those nahagip ng lindol sa mindanaw, bong go promised while holding microphone for all to hear that duterte will soon be visiting earthquake stricken cotabato and be giving them tulong financial. only duterte called off sick! no show.

            panelo said duterte is not feeling well and cannot go to cotabato.

            I can put meself in duterte’s shoes: I’d be sick too and not feeling well, if called to give out money I did not have.

            anyhow, pakyaw recently finished his political science studies. going through the rigors of studies and applying himself to the tasks, we could be seeing a slightly different pakyaw. hopefully tempered by knowledge, more outward looking than inward. less for himself and more for others. with improved kumonsens! yes please!

            sorry, I got distracted, okay back to bong go. he once posted pic in the internet of himself and duterte both on motorbikes. duterte looked his age, haggard and ready to be put in the thrash bin. bong go looked fresh, keen and alert. the contrast in their demeanor was startling. if bong go is trying to outdo duterte, he’s succeeding. ayos!

      • kasambahay says:

        one problem with socrates is he did not have billions in intel fund unlike the one known as the man.

        the man has top class intel, only he does not know how to interpret it, lol!

        and the people he appoints to help him weed out the good from the bad are not up to scratch. doj (justice dept) and solgen calida lost the singapore case and so unleash the man onto the water concessionaires. as well, govt lawyers (good governance) lost 4times! their cases vs the marcoses ill gotten wealth. a long line of failures and the man is their default. hiding behind him, mayhap? he’ll muddy up the lot. make people scratch thier heads, looking in both directions and still looking.

        the man at the top complaints of being overworked. he ought to look at the people in close vicinity around him. if only they work harder and apply their best abilities for the betterment of the nation, there would be less default work for the man at the top, my opinion lang po.

        • Micha says:

          Digunggong will be unable to effectively confront the Filipino oligarchs because once he actually does, he’ll be a goner. He’s got no choice but to co-opt and all the freakin’ promises about change will be just that – empty, hallow, stupid, devious.

      • sonny says:

        “It was like the backup tape being restored and the computer being restarted on a new operating system, Democracy 2.0”

        Quite an apt analogy, Irineo.

        A think-tank agency as an executive resource, could use many copies of the backup tapes, create enterprise programs for different conditions and objectives then simulate and study, evaluate the different outcomes and implement the policies with the highest likelihood of accomplishing the desired objectives. Of course the bad guys can do this also. 😦

        • Collecting best practices is what a lot of international consulting firms do.

          Creating toolboxes of useful standards is by various bodies.

          There is criticism though that today’s world over optimizes, leaving too little slack and emergency reserve, burning out people and resources.

    • Micha says:

      @Ireneo

      How about…Filipinos are inferior, technologically backward people with a colonial economy even after 1945 and with a social organization that is still semi-feudal unable to adjust and adopt to the onslaught of western designed capitalism?

      • Too many buzzwords. Let us look at them:

        1) inferior, no. Maybe intentionally ignorant.

        2) Technologically backward? A Makati employee is more likely to have a Samsung S10 than an executive in Munich. A business owner there more likely to drive a BMW X5.

        3) Colonial economy? Are BPOs the modern version of coffee, sugar, tobacco plantations?

        4) Semi-feudal? 19th century German especially Prussia and Japan industrialized from a semi-feudal society. Steel barons Krupp and Thyssen were “von”. Many zaibatsus samurai. Feudal was organized. Munich bridge, salt tax until 1918 = 1/3 king, 1/3 bishop, 1/3 town.

        5) Western capitalism? POGOs are Chinese gambling, not stuff like Google, Amazon. Other Asian countries did not make any excuses. Not Vietnam, Indonesia. They stepped up.

        Buzzwords. A lot of Filipino leftists also have low “reading comprendition”.

        Re feudal: feudalism degenerated into the Mafia system in Sicily when the lords lost power. Marcos hurt the oligarchy, put in cornies, and set the stage for the confused state of today.

        • Micha says:

          Too many holes in your bucket here. Let us look at them.

          1. Inferior and ignorant is almost always interchangeable since knowledge, as we found out, is power.

          2. Technologically backward means we didn’t at least made full use of the pioneering advances in nuclear physics, material science, energy production and other scientific breakthroughs which enabled the industrialization of western economies.

          Having a Samsung S10 and driving a BMW X5 is cool but do we fucking know how to make them?

          We have become the dumping ground for consumption, not production.

          3. Colonial economy means a foreign power impose extraordinary influence on how we run the local economy. That means control and (cheap) access to natural resources and the impotence of our policy makers on how to regulate consumption of foreign made products.

          4. German and Japanese feudalism were backed by heavy push towards industrialization.
          Philippine feudalism got stuck in carabao driven agriculture.

          And even in the field of agriculture we could not excel or flourish. We are now massively importing rice. Food security will be major issue when climate change induced crop failures occur across the globe.

          5. Western designed capitalism is the post WW2 Bretton-Woods system which allowed the US dollar to become the dominant currency and maintaining that dominance, paradoxically enough, even after Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard.

          New York and London became the center of capital power and corruption in the financialization of the world economy.

          Holes in the bucket. Some Filipino-Germans are embracing the neo-liberal crap being put forward by Angela Merkel and their banker hijacked EU system which will become even more wobbly after BoJo executes the Brexit denouement.

          • Sure, holes. I do not pretend to know, but I guess few really do.

            2+3 are related and due to 1 and lack of 4, political will. Other Asia nations produce.

            The Euro was an attempt IMO to establish a 2nd global currency.

            There is productivity in the Eurozone. Britain no longer produces stuff.

            They may or may not succeed in living on banking alone. And if Europe goes poor, no more BMWs for Makati, let us see in five years time Ok? This blog will still be there, 2.1.2025 – this I bilib.

            • Micha says:

              “The Euro was an attempt IMO to establish a 2nd global currency.”

              No, the original intent was to facilitate and provide convenience for inter-country trade and commercial transactions within the EU. That it seeks to replace the dollar as the dominant world reserve currency is an afterthought. But it cannot be a serious contender for that role unless it can actually establish a more stable union and a functioning central government.

              “And if Europe goes poor, no more BMWs for Makati.”

              This is retarded logic. BMW is just one company and its corporate masters know better than to tie its fate to the socio-political and economic rumblings in the continent.

              And, frankly, the heck do I care if there are no more BMW’s for Makati. As if that’s really a big deal? In this time and age where transitioning to electric cars might be both a fad and a necessity to mitigate the effects of global warming.?

              • BMW is going electric very quickly. i5 and electric X5. And I doubt Europe with its high level of education, modern infrastructure and technological capability will go down the drain soon, only an ignorant Pinoy will see us as just old buildings, and not enough English.

                In fact a certain devaluation of our wages might make them more competitive again. Of course there are doomsday scenarios, but in that case I might have to become a blue collar employee of a Chinese sweatshop over here, with a DDS expat boss. Malas na talaga.

                The major stockholder – the Quandt family – will not quit Munich HQ. Have a look at where Munich Technical University and Ludwig Maximilian University rank – among the global Top 50 where UP, Ateneo, La Salle and my alma mater Bonn are not. Research facilities and the people to man them are HERE. Production and distribution logistics as well. History has taught us that places with brainpower that manage to keep and organize it bounce back. Germany and Japan after 1945, Russia since Putin. But Pinoys see an unli-China world.

            • karlgarcia says:

              With the UKs contracting manufacturing soon enough they will also be net importers like us.

              https://www.cityam.com/uk-pmi-manufacturing-sector-contracting-at-fastest-rate-since-2012/

  8. Micha says:

    Welcome to 2020. Welcome to another batch of the Train Law.

    When French President Macron, a former banker and servant of the neoliberal class, tried to impose new taxes on gasoline, it was met with spontaneous strikes and rallies by the Yellow Vest movement and his proposed tax was promptly scrapped or the Gilet Jaunnes will be going after his head.

    Contrast that with Filipino reaction to Duterte’s imposition of new taxes on fuel oil.

    • kasambahay says:

      train law and more taxes. commuters have already thrown rocks at the new train, there are dents on the new train. showing displeasure na siguro. hard life, made harder, kaya may naghimagsik.

      • Micha says:

        We need more than just occasional rock throwing. We need to organize rallies and strikes and street demonstrations. I was expecting transport groups, student activists, tricycle drivers, labor organizations, heck, even members of our so-called civil society to hit the streets but so far, nothing…there’s fear and fatigue in the ranks of the precariat.

        The Filipino proles are tired, broken, exhausted. The assault on their humanity is such that they no longer even know (or care) how to fight back.

        In contrast, Hongkong protesters, instead of being exhausted after months of demonstrations, plan even more and bigger rallies this new year.

        ‘Tangna, di ba tayo nag pa uso ng people power?

        • The Angkas drivers rode in protest, a striking scene of hundreds and hundreds of bikers in blue. All it did was piss off the regulators, and now they will be cancelled. The suffering riders, poor saps, did not support the bikers, and this, I suppose, is the “tired and broken” that you write about. Or it is something different . . . loyalty to the strongman boss, respect for his power, agreement that they are his subjects. He can screw them six ways from Sunday and they will admire him for his swag.

          • kasambahay says:

            much to my shame, I was one of those that did not support the bikers in blue. not my fight.

            it was fight of the biggies and I dont want to be in the middle. already grace poe was there in support of the bikers in blue.

            the up and coming share ride firms: joyride and move it, both want to challenge angkas monopoly on motorbike taxi. me joining in the foray will only get me a bloody nose, so I stay put and watch the big boys haggle for supremacy.

            angkas has around 27K motorbike riders, joyride 7K, and I dont know how many riders move it has. there is a motion to cap riders at 10K. so angkas would have to shed some ot its bikers to other competing share ride firms and maybe lose monopoly too. kaso, joyride’s business development adviser is also secretary general of pdp-laban party, duterte’s party.

            can you see where this is going?

            I’m so not sticking my beak in.

            passengers can always have share ride in any firms be it angkas, joyride and move it.

            • It’s all political nonsense. Angkas invested, equipped, trained, advertised, and found the sweet spot in a market begging for solutions. Winner! So squash them! Bring ‘em down, the show offs! Share the lucre with ME! Perfect example of the way failure works hereabouts.

              • kasambahay says:

                if pimentel has any sense, he ought to add sweetener and compensate angkas for the loss of its 17k riders. fine o pagmultahin both joyride and move it for their late submission, the fine paid given to angkas. it’s better than both joyride and move it finding both their offices set on fire, sabotaged, their riders driven off the road. simbako lang.

                cap of 10K is not workable, too minimalistic to my liking yan. dotr is right to suggest the cap at 30K, giving enough room for the 3 rideshares to move, grow and maneuver. already joyride to close to reaching the 10K cap.

                make the cap at 30K and all is well more or less: no fine imposed to both joyride and move it, and angkas will not lose a rider and wont be so much aggrieved.

              • I don’t understand caps at all. It’s not like riders can cap their need to get to work. Let the market work. Government should just get out of the way.

  9. NHerrera says:

    UNWELCOME APPLICATION OF “CONCEPT AND KNOWLEDGE”

    It is not something that we would wish for at the start of the New Year 2020. However, in the context of PH’s social setting, it seems just a small pain or merely a small itch [at least at this time].

    CONCEPT

    The proliferation of non-citizen Chinese in the country facilitated by liberal policy; the affinity of the Chinese to gambling; the proliferation of gambling houses facilitated by the wealthier of these Chinese; the fact that only a few of even professional gamblers are enriched in gambling — many become losers in the end.

    KNOWLEDGE

    The knowledge of lax judicial system; the ease of bribing government officials to look the other way, etc.

    APPLICATION

    The losers in the gambling casinos and using kidnapping as a gambling activity itself — using the above concept and knowledge in assessing the Benefit-Cost ratio of kidnapping — make kidnapping an attractive activity.

    RESULT

    The recent spate of kidnapping of Vietnamese by Chinese and Chinese themselves by the Chinese is a likely evolution of things.

    THE ABOVE SAID, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

    • For some property owners, POGOs is easiest money.

      The Philippine economy does favor “rent-seekers”. Trying to control utilities is also a form of rent-seeking.

      Opportunistic money comes close second. Sell sugar, send workers abroad, sell labor locally via BPO are examples. Producing stuff means more investment and a real risk. No, easy money is the ideal in the Philippines. As for gambling, PAGCOR already was a big mistake.

      Spain refused Eurovegas near Madrid even during the crisis.

      They have experience with easy money in tourist areas producing a youth that is hooked to it and has less ambition to study. Casinos add crime to the mix, so they decided no.

  10. NHerrera: “Indeed, I too noticed the fact that almost all substantive comments of edgar are like the efforts of an intelligent, well-read person writing a thesis.”

    Edgar was thorough. And in the DISC personality model (Dominant-Initiative-Steadfast-Conscientious) he was definitely a C, conscientious. I recall a FB family photo with his father and siblings. Father’s hair perfectly combed, all men and boys had perfectly shined leather shoes. Once I jokingly asked Edgar where he had been some years ago and what he wore to show how hard it is to stand trial years later – he knew he had been at the office, and that he wore a white or blue shirt!

    I am S, steadfast according to a test I once took. I tend to go by a mix of checklists (but that is what I learned from people like Edgar) and long-term observation of patterns, “holographic learning”.

    • NHerrera says:

      I tend to go by a mix of checklists (but that is what I learned from people like Edgar) and long-term observation of patterns, “holographic learning”.

      Thanks for the thought. I too subscribe to conceptual thinking aided by seeing a range of items aided by patterns and holographic learning. However, we may have to struggle sometimes with some balance to focus on some item against the this range of ideas which may distract in that focus.

  11. karlgarcia says:

    Happy New Year to everyone here!

  12. karlgarcia says:

    The health scares of before like iodine causes thyroid problems led a little to dumbing down.(it affects only those with pre-existing conditions)
    MMR vaccines cause mental retardation is actually a very dumb move that caused anti axels and autism unawareness.

    I don’t believe tv is an idiot box per se, it is your choice if you burn your butt in the couch same with gadgets.

    So as with regards to fake news and fake knowledge, it is as old as the profession of prostitution, I bet this dumbing down will have another name ten years from now.
    Perception management became a buzzword for a while before maybe something like that.

    There was anti intellectualism, anti-anti dictatorship( Voltes V) red-tagging of students and what not.

  13. karlgarcia says:

    After lobbying for the mother tongue as the medium of instruction for the primary school level, it is now suggested that it be in English instead because of the horrendous PISA scores.
    They must figure it out as long as they do not scrap the Kto12.

    • sonny says:

      Many objective measures such as PISA have no corrosive bias against the national interests. So yes, English that is already part of cultural DNA should be learned side-by-side together with our regional languages. We’ll be richer and more valuable this way. Kto12 must stay.

      • The PISA tests are AFAIK conducted in the language of instruction of the pupils taking them – translated. I doubt the high scores of Chinese mainlanders are for reading in English. There is the criticism of Pisa as “neoliberal”, i.e. geared towards how useful education is on the job, but consider that it is from OECD.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Agree on the improbability of the Chinese high scores bases on English comprehension.
          If they did some brainstorming, they left the brain out and left only the storm because of another potential knee-jerk decision.

          Congress is like that after they invite all the experts and form technical working groups, it will all end up depending on the careless whisper of some vested interests individual or groups which often leads to bastardized legislation.

    • kasambahay says:

      considering the chinese’s need to dominate and take ‘no prisoners’, I wont be surprised if chinese students were pretested prior to pisa and given psyche test. and only those that passed psyche test and meet requirements were okayed to sit for pisa: those that did not have emotional baggage, those that did not have short attention span, no traumatic experience prior that could interfere with concentration, none from muslim minority, etc.

      unlike our students na random selection and come as they go, like herd of cattle! sorry.

      • Extreme measures only take you so far. History shows. The Wehrmacht overran Poland so quickly because the tank drivers were nourished with Panzerschokolade, aka meth.

        All resources including the human ones that are exhausted lose effectivity. Why is Germany productive. I think one reason are working hours laws. Max 10 hours a day. 14 hours mandatory break between work. Bavaria has the most holidays but is more productive than Berlin with very few holidays. Besides there is more to life than just making money. This is where I agree with the critics of neoliberalism. The overoptimization that goes with it makes everything a contest. But there is a natural balance. If need be, even nature can fight back.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Mayhaps kb

        • kasambahay says:

          I went to school po with some chinese students. they have mentors most of the times, helping with assignments, doing research, etc. chinese students are very competitive and mostly keep to themselves and all want to be scholars, get education and accommodation for free! and some did become scholars. whether they can sustain scholarship and keep their grades at an all times high, I dont know.

          • A lot of Asians have a highly competitive attitude to learning. Even traditional Filipinos though that kind of mentality is probably lost among many by now. Japan and Korea are known for extremely competitive educational systems and high teen suicide rates.

            Vietnamese children in Berlin whose parents originally came as workers from the “socialist brother country of Vietnam” during the communist era – but lived like workers in Saudi, in camps isolated from the main population – usually outscore German kids in schools now. Singaporeans are also known for being extreme in educational ambition. Check-in personnel in Singapore once laughed openly at hour handcarries labelled “hand laggage” by our maids in Manila. A Malaysian Chinese later told me, yes the Singaporeans drive themselves too hard, we are more relaxed here in KL. Okey la.

  14. karlgarcia says:

    We do not have a conceptual framework what we have is scatterbrained over thinking resulting yo over explaining and not directly answering a question.

    Without a framework,our decision making will go awry this can be seen in the action of our leaders, who shepherds us to the wolf den if not the lion’s den.

    • sonny says:

      An address & challenge to Philippine youth (on decisions & public service)

      • popoy says:

        Imagining I am in year 2030 in search of old speeches of Asian Pope Anthony I stumbled on the internet in TSoH a commencement address in video in 2019 of his Holiness while still the Antonio Cardinal Tagle to the graduates of the University of the Philippines Manila. The speech in many instances were definitions and explanation of many concepts about respectful, honest and truthful service to others and the country. Both for the corrupt and straight public servants the speech is worth listening twice.

        Hallucinating in another way, after reading His Eminence Cardinal Tagle’s invocation and pleadings on his knees (figuratively) to the 2019 graduates of UP Manila to be honorable (dangal) and truthfull (Katapapatan) in the service of the nation (Inang Bayan).

        The speech was of Papal Class that can be delivered with relevance to many countries in situations similar to the Philippines. I thought I should time travel if I can (even just in my dream) to the year 2030 to listen more to the ripen brilliance and purity of the mind of Pope Anthony. Thanks, Sonny for the good choice of a link that delivers immaculate word to porous souls.

        • popoy says:

          Sonny’s post of link mentioning UP Manila warms the heart of a guy I know who after office hours attended night classes in UP Padre Faura, who graduated and became a nobody, but was tasked to co-chair with the country’s only specialist on infectious diseases Dr. Antonio Gonzaga of UP-PGH and UP College of Medicine, the Committee tasked to fine tune and formalized the structure and functions of UP MANILA, the planned and envisioned University of the UP System for the medical sciences and allied professions.

          • sonny says:

            You’re welcome, Popoy.

            Truly indeed, I couldn’t wait to share both the message and powerful language he delivered it.

      • Micha says:

        Oh my god, si Cardinal Tagle nagsesermon tungkol sa trust at integrity. He should be doing that to the very people running the Catholic church because it’s a morally and intellectually bankrupt institution.

        The Catholic church is part of the problem. Yan ang dahilan kung bakit sila nahihirapan kontrahin ang pambabastos ni Duterte sa simbahan, sa mga doktrino nito, at sa mga kaparian mismo.

        The Catholic church in Europe is also a dying institution. Only old folks go to church. Financially though, there’s still the Vatican Bank to reckon with.

        That it is grooming (?) Cardinal Tagle for the papacy is because it is only here and in Latin America where catholicism is still marginally active.

        They plan to aggressively evangelize China and Africa but lots of luck with that.

        • popoy says:

          Micha If I may, Haven’t you in your sufficient years on earth ever heard of the Sermon on the Mount which implores Christians to be not Unchristians to fellow Christians, not to be the Crusaders turned Infidels which could be the impetus that made Christianity the strongest Faith during the middle ages and probably also by their literal construction of the Old Testament;

          like you would like to exercise it’s holy power of excommunicating a President stretched to nullifying the sacraments like baptism, confirmation, marriage, etc. bestowed to him and members of his family to the fourth degree. Which the Roman Catholic Church in effect will deny him and members of his family the quality of humanity that separates man from beast, that distinguishes cave men from the civilized. Those are strong words and perhaps need not be said here in TSoH but it must be offered because though farfetched, concepts like racialism can be conceptualized negatively as racism of hate.

          • popoy says:

            [in italics: I like to avoid misconceptualizing powerful critical thoughts which should be conceptualized as accurately as possible. So, I write this two-cents worth impertinence.]

            “Oh my god, si Cardinal Tagle nagsesermon tungkol sa trust at integrity. He should be doing that to the very people running the Catholic church because it’s a morally and intellectually bankrupt institution.”

            [in italics: Darn! The Cardinal should wash the Church’s dirty linen in public although the church has its rules about trust and integrity? That leaders of religious congregations, thieving political parties, upright Lions, Rotarians, Masonic Temples, etc. are probably doing that without the Free Press bamboozling them to do that. Ordering their communities what to do. Words have body language that distinguishes suggesting from angrily commanding. Press freedom enjoys almost everything else in free speech except COMMANDING. Properly conceptualizing bankruptcy in morals and intellect as well as trust and integrity are like disarming bobby traps. As pundits says: The devils are in the details. To expose and drench the devils with cold water be very patient to rake or shovel the details.]

            “The Catholic church is part of the problem. Yan ang dahilan kung bakit sila nahihirapan kontrahin ang pambabastos ni Duterte sa simbahan, sa mga doktrino nito, at sa mga kaparian mismo.”

            [in italics: What really is the problem that makes the Catholic Church a part of it? Is the Catholic Church and the President, the problem? Are the President’s verbal abuses of the Church, its doctrines and the clergy, parts of what problem?]

            “The Catholic church in Europe is also a dying institution. Only old folks go to church. Financially though, there’s still the Vatican Bank to reckon with.”

            [in italics: A dying institution must be so because of causes, of theo-pathology, or fortunately, because it could also be already convalescing. The state of Finance and Banking needs figures and statistics to suggest viability and strength.]

            “That it is grooming (?) Cardinal Tagle for the papacy is because it is only here and in Latin America where catholicism is still marginally active.”

            [in italics: Conceptualizing words like grooming and papacy invites a blast from the recent past by naming the Popes from John Paul I (less known Albino Cardinal Luciani), John Paul II, Benedict then Francis. Their appointments to the papacy might not because of marginal activity.]

            “They plan to aggressively evangelize China and Africa but lots of luck with that.”
            [in italics: Aggressive evangelization and luck as concepts bring to mind strategy and tactics, required manpower and resources.]

            Lastly, Finally, TSoH readers might ask: what gives Popoy, why split hairs? Why beat dead meat? Why point three fingers to yourself? Don’t you read at all current events and fake news? Popoy answers by invoking distant memory when a Professor in English 101 admonished him: “Popoy, Mister Freshman, be very careful with yours words, you can fail in this class.”

            Concepts and Knowledge are cosmic (cosmosal, galaxic words?) which can detonate and explode the shrapnels of the what’s the HERE AND NOW. Serendipitous it might be but yes, thanks to JoeAm.

            • Micha says:

              Hahaha, pasensya na Popoy, hindi kasi ako makata kaya hindi romantiko ang pag tagpi-tagpi ko ng mga salita.

              Besides, bakit kailangang i-romanticize ang isang institusyon na morally and intellectually bankrupt?

              Yan din ang kasagutan sa tanong mo tungkol sa kung anong problema kaparte ang simbahang katolitko.

              It is morally and intellectually bankrupt kaya wala na syang masyadong impluwensya patungkol sa patakaran ng ating lipunan.

      • sonny says:

        The Cardinal speaks to any person or group of men of goodwill. His messages and themes are proper to him as messenger of Him whom he represents, as an agent of Christ. In this address he was still the Bishop of Imus.

        • popoy says:

          I did not finish the link, listening, digesting, cogitating what Cardinal Tagle was rambling on. My excuse? I won’t even qualify to be a delegate to that convention. I cannot even approximate or be close to their competence. But suffice to say no matter what I know doesn’t really matter to what they know. Theirs is NONE of my business unless, only unless . . . anybody can finish my sentence.

          In the movie TWO POPES (quite doctrinal to watch), Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina was invited to visit Pope Benedict to the Palace of Castel Gandolfo. The Cardinal in civilian attire was gently told the Pope prefers that visiting Cardinals be in their proper attire. The priest, then bishop then cardinal, then Pope is often seen in public places in civilian attire.

  15. karlgarcia says:

    Good examples, good role models we have not, what we have are those tell us to do what they tell you and not what they do and those who reminds you never to get caught.

  16. popoy says:

    When the world is not round or spherical but a longitudinal bipolar mass the Extreme polarities are war and peace. The views by leaders in the news link can be analyzed and classified as warmongers, sissy middle roaders and righteous peaceniks.

    https://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/01/04/20/how-the-world-is-reacting-to-us-killing-of-top-iran-general

    • Micha says:

      .Why he’s calling it a fourth wave instead of de-globalization is not clear..

      • karlgarcia says:

        Maybe because of the global trend of nationalism and confrontation.He considers it an iteration, perhaps.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Looking at this trade war Maga stuff.
          China just took a page from Japan’s padded export data due to subsidies, redefined import substitution, protectionism.
          Kissinger and his fellow lobbyists should be blamed by MAGA advocates, Kissinger lobbied heavily for China for decades.
          Supply chain manipulation, by pressuring suppliers to supply only for them, after years of lobbying for a most favored nation status that is what China did in a nutshell.

          But it takes two to tango so US has its own responsibility to account for as already mentioned above.

          • Micha says:

            It’s a geo-political strategy. By offering a fig-leaf, Kissinger sought to pry away China from close alliance with Russia during the cold war.

            Deng heard the dong of dollars, pronounced it good, and proclaimed the mantra that it’s glorious to be rich.

  17. karlgarcia says:

    This is still a reality.
    Children walking two hours braving forests, rivers, hills just to reach school tired and late then going home is just the same. I rather they just have traffic.

  18. karlgarcia says:

    On English.
    Koreans should thank us for their successful migration to Canada, the US, Australia etc.
    If they have not spent years in the Philippines with their English tutors, they would not be where they are.

    Maybe some Chinese mainlanders are doing the same.

    • sonny says:

      I heard that Filipino teachers in English are the teachers of choice because Filipino mentors are easier to understand in translation. We had a whole building-full of Koreans in Baguio.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Just yesterday I saw 2 buses unload Koreans in a mall in Muntinlupa.
        I asked if they were Chinese that is why I learned they were Korean and there are still a lot of them.

  19. This is a very interesting read. The ideas you have presented are very thought provoking.

    I am also trying to put up blog articles with similar concerns or topics. I have one particular article entitled “Understanding Philippine Culture”. In case you would like to compare notes or ideas, feel free to visit my website: https://www.victoriahoffarth.com.

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