The Philippine nation is dying

[Photo by Basilio H. Sepe. ABS-CBN News.]

By Joe America

What is a nation? It’s the people, industries and culture. It’s the history. The traditions. It’s the laws and the language. It’s the land, the borders.

Where can we find the best description of that nation? In its Constitution. In the structure, the rules, the values, and the inspirations contained in that document. The people who wrote the Constitution took the entirety of a country and a people and their dreams and made it into a nation.

The Philippines has an excellent Constitution. Written by the best and brightest in the land in 1986. The rules are clear and humanitarian. The ideas are inspirational. The framework is solid.

But the Duterte government is tearing it down. Tearing down the independence of the three branches of government, the human rights protections, the sense of fairness and compassion that gives every Filipino real justice, and the very freedoms precious to democracy: free speech, free press, right to equality and dignity.

The idea of truth and transparency is lost to propaganda and State trolls.

One man rises above the institutions of the Constitution to dominate the State’s decisions. To cancel out a treaty that helps keep Filipinos secure and free. To attack target media outlets and intimidate the rest. To divide the nation between good Filipinos who support that man, and bad ones who criticize him.

Not a people equal and respected.

The death of the Philippines can be found it the inability of its citizens, businesses, academic institutions, cities, and government agencies to recognize the struggles of OTHERS and stick up for them. It’s the tribal Philippines where every group or organization places itself above the nation in terms of priority. Above God even. Think about it. 85% of the citizens of the Philippines are satisfied with a President who has orchestrated the killing of thousands outside of due process, with cases filed but not investigated. A nation of Christians who “shalt not kill”.

The Philippines is dying because its people are not capable of seeing the big picture, or grasping the simplest Christian concepts of compassion and fairness.

The Philippines is dying because, throughout its short democratic history, governments have themselves been balkanized, becoming politically nasty, self-dealing, and therefore corrupt and incompetent institutions. National governance is like city governance. Bitter, brutal, and small-minded.

  • You can’t have a nation with senators like Bong Go and ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa who are more loyal to the President than the people they were elected to represent.
  • You can’t have a nation with a police force that kills and deals drugs, where their oaths are abandoned and their wallets drive their official deeds.
  • You can’t have a nation with a propaganda department that distorts the facts and demonizes decent people.
  • You can’t have a nation where journalists must back the official line or risk imprisonment or death.
  • You can’t have a nation with a justice system that abandons the Constitution to oust an unpopular Chief Justice, or jails political opponents on the bribed testimony of convicts.
  • You can’t have a nation when government has so little respect for citizens that it bombs their cities to rubble and then walks away, leaving them in tents and shacks.
  • You can’t have a nation when its armed forces, and Commander in Chief, will not defend the country’s rightful territory, but instead obey the nation occupying that territory.

You can’t have a nation like this.

You CAN have a feudalistic empire, subordinate to China, where . . . as in the days of Rizal . . . the powerful and obedient are rich and everyone else is just there to be used.

Time pounds on. Things happen. Filipino languages, culture, and peoples melt away.

They will be absorbed in a system of vertical values, not horizontal or equal values, where brown skin is bad and servitude is the highest aspiration of 100 million souls.

That’s what a dying nation looks like.

That’s the Philippines, today.


175 Responses to “The Philippine nation is dying”
  1. Nestor Falses says:

    The comments are all factual and true. Surviving as a nation under such a situation, will require a swift change in attitudes, beliefs and a new leader imbued with patriotism and good moral values!!!

  2. “You can’t have a nation with senators like Bong Go and ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa who are more loyal to the President than the people they were elected to represent.”

    I recall how people howled when PNP’s Purisima and Pnoy displayed a similar attitude 5 years ago. They were right but for the wrong reasons.

    “You can’t have a nation when government has so little respect for citizens that it bombs their cities to rubble and then walks away, leaving them in tents and shacks.”

    Or tries to profile them when they study in Manila – because of the religion they have. Interestingly, Digong also portrayed himself as the protector of outsiders and underdogs when it came to poor Mindanaoans – witness Kidapawan.

    “You CAN have a feudalistic empire, subordinate to China, where . . . as in the days of Rizal . . . the powerful and obedient are rich and everyone else is just there to be used.”

    There were aspects of that empire in practice even after 1987 as old habits die hard. The Marcos regime was a feudal empire subservient to the USA, until it became more conscious of human rights and other races than white. Marcos said “I am very, very disappointed” to a US Senator around 34 years ago – like a lackey who felt betrayed by his master. As for Spain, it was partly liberalizing in Rizal’s era, so Rizal also wrote as an appeal to the more modern and decent folks in Spain. But there always have been “two Spains” and the reactionary Spain won over the modern.

    Were there ever two Philippines? The modern Philippines was always a minority. Quezon’s Commonwealth had divorce, but soon after Independence the Sottocracy abolished it – NP+LP! Heneral Luna was modern, so was Mabini. Aguinaldo was not. His local men, the Kawit brigade, killed both Bonifacio and Luna. Marcos preferred Ilocanos as military officers, just like the core clique of Digong is Mindanaoan. Smooth-talking Bicolanos like Tatad and Panelo – outsiders. General Ver was Marcos’ former driver, the equivalent of Bato in stupidity. Marcos closed ABS-CBN.

    The storming of that famous broadcast tower in QC and the program suddenly changing was one of the most iconic moments of 1986. Less iconic but important also – Honda plant opened in 1992. It will close soon. It isn’t like 1986-2016 was just hungry masa and elites feasting. But well..

    • The destructiveness of corruption is hard to see most of the time. But in the Philippines, one only has to look at the general shabbiness and incompetent government agencies. It’s been here forever.

      • Just to quote my quotes of two MLQ3 articles:

        1) Marcos and Us

        2) The Fall of the Fifth Republic

        • And finally, MLQ3 about the Road to EDSA from 1973-1986:

          All the reads are worth it BTW, longganisa and shortganisa.

        • Hmm, I’m not sure I agree cynicism is fear-based. More disgust. I’m not afraid to live in a totalitarian Philippines but it is disgusting the so many Filipinos lack any sense of free will.

          • In the 80s there was still a sense of can-do and 86 was nearly euphoric.

            The stupor of helplessness and worse indifference is so strong today.

          • kasambahay says:

            joeam, I hope you’re not forgetting the poorest of the poor receive 500 pesos monthly from the govt, available sa atm bilang pantawid. may welfare payment po sila. not so great, but.

            it’s not that they lack free will, it could well be they’re appreciative of the monthly help given to them. and making trouble for the govt is not in their agenda, not priority nila yan. sending their children to school is priority.

            • Thanks for the point. We all have free will I suppose, but few the nationalistic fever that sprouts when nations are born or threatened by war. The Philippines is neither. It is frogs in a bucket and the temperature is rising. A few frogs are screaming that ‘this is not right!’, but the others are snoozing warmly.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Many people who misuse and abuse Pantawid get black listed.
              Also ghost pensioners.

              • kasambahay says:

                know what dumb me think? the poor who abused pantawid and those ghost pensioners are maybe not the uber rich who live in mansions and own multiple cars, can easily afford costly air travels and shop in paris, rome, milan, new york, london, etc. staying in swank hotels there or own villas and properties and spend big there.

                the poor, the displaced and the disadvantaged are shamed with abusing pantawid and being patago-tago, and those collecting pension on the sly maybe of their dead relatives, spend their money in the country, buy local and help support local economy. the money they may have stolen is plowed back into the community, the ukay ukay store, the sari sari store, the local tiange, pamasahe to and fro, with a bit of money left over to pay bills, plus the ubiquitous children to be sent to school. mayhap, they stole what the govt should have allocated to them in the 1st place, taken what should have been theirs had it not been diverted to pork barrels.

        • I lived in a small fishing village in northern Mindanao for a time. Voters were bribed, kidnapped, and threatened. Brutal.

          • It never really was quite peaceful.

            Shades of Ampatuan in 1930s Ilocos:

            “..In the afternoon of September 19, 1935, in celebration of Nalundasan’s victory, a number of this followers and partymen paraded in cars and trucks through the municipalities of Currimao, Paoay and Batac, Ilocos Norte, and passed in front of the house of the Marcoses in Batac. The parade is described as provocative and humiliating for the defeated candidate, Mariano Marcos. The assemblyman-elect, Julio Nalundasan, was not, however, destined to reap the fruits of his political laurels for on the night of September 20, 1935, he was shot and killed in his house in Batac..”


            The acquitted shooter was Ferdinand E. Marcos.

            • Warlordism did go down in Luzon and Visayas during Martial Law, after being endemic and having such notorious examples as Durano of Danao, Cebu (an uncle of Digong) or Crisologo of Ilocos, uncle of Chavit Singson. Or famous victims like Moises Padilla. Dinosaurs ruled the earth then, what came after Martial Law in Luzon and Visayas were at most predatory mammals. Until the Tyrannosaurus Dutertex moved north. Scary.

            • Ah, yes. That’s the style.

            • sonny says:

              I am Ilocano as was the late edgar. I will unhesitatingly praise Ilocano virtue to high heavens but I was close enough to Ilocano politics and was disgusted. Come election time politics turns Sicilian – vendetta trumps everything, e.g. murder in the cathedral in broad daylight, wipeout a family if you can, et al…

  3. karlgarcia says:

    The Nation unbuilding can not be compensated by Build Build Build.

    We have an amuck president who wants to kill kill kill a spokesmab who keeps on saying not to take him seriously

    An assistant pretending to be a senator who proud of obstructing justice by giving tips to smugglers and pirates if there would be raids.
    The guy talks tough and always give snide comments about the opposition .

    But even with the other senators that I do joy think belongs there are there, I still like the senate as an institution.
    MLQ3 said that the senators must be per region or something similar.

    I still hope they remove the complications of the people’s initiative because we need a participative democracy that gives power to the people. And unlike in Switzerland where people have a fatigue for direct democracy, I think we need badly need it.

  4. karlgarcia says:

    Our justice system needs more prosecutors and judges.
    I wish those relegated to the Notary publics and Bar review centers will have enough qualifications to serve as fiscals and AI hope there would be more courts so we will have more judges.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    Senator Pangilinan is correct, how can we stop criminality if we can not even prosecute criminals.
    We may have full jails with uncharged prisoners and the streets would be full,of criminals too.
    Killing many of them is not the answer.

  6. Pablo says:

    Build, build, build?
    The nation continues to fall apart at the seams. It has been forecasted, now the first facts are there. The bigger companies are leaving
    This wave will continue until there are only consumers left, no producers.
    Very much to the advantage of the president and it’s backers. The big companies rely on structure, justice and efficiency. The president needs exactly the opposite.
    With the departure of the bigger companies, also the drive to become a reliable and efficient nation disappears.
    More will follow and what will be left will be opportunistic companies sucking the OFW’s resources at an ever increasing rate. Prices will continue to rise and services (schooling etc.) Will continue to be dismantled.
    At the moment I am in Europe and notice how incredibly expensive Philippines has become. Not only the imported goods, but even local produce. A direct consequence of the current policy.
    And 85% of the people won’t see it?
    Untill we are left in shell where prices are sky-high and good jobs can only be found abroad.
    Effective dissolving of a pearl until only goo is left.

    • Yes, descriptive way to put it. Spot on.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I looked for smilar stories With regards to the impending pullout.
      I saw a Nissan prediction last year, but Honda beat them to the punch.

      Wells Fargo and Nokia will leave definitely. Nokia was a great has been who lost to the likes of Apple, Samsung and now Hwawei.
      The bank’s tech sector and BPO can always go to India but they gave us a try, what competitive advantage have we that India does not have.

      • karlgarcia says:

        If this is a pattern, the call center industry would wake up to a rude awakening.
        India will eat up all our BPO.

        • For those who just want to rent out offices and housing, POGOs are the fastest buck. 😦

          • karlgarcia says:

            At least they would no longer have to shop for real estate once the BPOs leave. (omg)

            Libre pasok este 10k per entry sila sa bansa natin kaya naman pals nagdagsaan.

            • kasambahay says:

              10K per entry? apparently, morante has no sweet tooth, immune to pastillas, haha. has nothing to do with pastillas yang tao. still buddy pa rin of the one who has nihilism, he who appreciates the value of nothing and as his wont, not attending edsa yet again. notice po how nihilism man is medyo thin na sa alimpulo sa ulo? must have gotten that from too much lying down and staring at the ceiling. tamad.

              really, not like a cat si morante, not curious why there is a long line of new arriving chinese going to particular office. did not get off his butt for a look-see . I bet his butt must be fast glued to his seat; stuck, haha.

              yeah, I can only imagine how much cut o komisyon goes to man who lacks the curiosity of a cat. immured na from all that rats tail to tail to an office.

              anyhow, I heard pogo was closed for non payment of tax, a matter of 118million yata. but no worry, with pogo cloussure and chinese being chinese, they’ll find things to amuse themselves like victimizing fellow chinese and scamming them. more problem to our kapolisan.

      • Nokia still was employing 700 people at UP Ayala Technohub. Even has-beans can still fund innovation. Losing innovative jobs even if they are from a lesser player is a bigger blow than losing blue collar jobs. Why did Bavaria concentrate so much on getting Siemens after the war, then Microsoft European HQ in the 1990s, then biotech in the 2000s? Why does Munich Technical University have a special campus outside town with an innovation center similar to UP Ayala Technohub? Because that stuff is the future, and every talent you keep is an asset, every asset you lose as painful as Bayern München losing a player to Real Madrid. If you aren’t top league yet, be content with Nokia but didn’t Intel once have a plant in Baguio (Pentium)? Harassing UP Ayala was what Calida recently did. Very “smart”.

        • Cebu City by default has postured perfectly as the creative hub of the Philippines,

          why not encourage this? Locally produced artists and designers. Tech-wise, Filipinos cannot compete with Indians and Chinese, they have numbers, and numbers (i’m sure NH and sonny will agree) is a numbers game.

          But creativity is more individual. Sure you’ll eventually collaborate, but in essence it cannot be scaled up like engineering. I believe , based on what I saw in mid-2000s and hearing now, Cebu City is it.

          schools like this: should be popping up. Collaborate with schools, groups or individuals abroad, but focus on producing (PRODUCING) local talent. you’ll find that there is a huge surplus over there.

          Here’s an idea, people are now into psychedelics again, not just LSD, but frogs and fungi. Based on studies conducted in the mid-2000s it seems they’ve perfected the dosing (dosage), that’s what was missing in the 60s, Leary was taking way too much.

          But still not too many people will become psychenauts (explorers of the mind), but thru Virtual Reality, you can simulate said experience. They’re using VR too for physical therapy. But i believe the natural fit for the Philippines is its penchant for spirituality and magic.

          Cebu City as creative hub is the answer.

        • karlgarcia says:

          That was Texas Instruments in Baguio.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Most semicons moved to Vietnam
            The autoindustry moved to Thailand.

            Consumer products like P and G , CP, Unilever
            to both Vietnam and Thailand.

            Others got the crumbs.

            • karlgarcia says:

              This was 1999.
              Post Asian crisis.
              We did not drop hard because we were only on the ground floor, others were in the penthouse.

    • Not sure about the car companies, they tend to up and leave depending on market patterns– they’re probably posturing now for electric cars.

      As for Nokia R&D consolidating, makes sense.

      Wells Fargo I know they’ve just recently been slapped with a huge bill for defrauding customers, opening unnecessary, redundant accounts because their workers were encouraged indirectly to do so.

      My point,

      Maybe this is more world market patterns not just DU30 specific issue.

      As for BPOs , I know for sure there’s been a backlash with call centers, where companies are now touting American customer service experience here (everyone is sick and tired here of getting Sir’ed or Ma’am’ed to death). Plus much of the questions can now be answered by chat bots, AI.

      It all goes back to a couple of blogs back, where I asked what is the value-added aspect of Filipinos today, that say an Indian or Chinese, or even African cannot do.

      I remember sonny answered nurses, but even that is slipping away Filipinos have no monopoly on nursing any longer, just the other day I was serviced by a Nigerian nurse, a bunch of them now here.

      I know in Japan , Filipinos have cornered the market in caregiving industry, babysitting old or mentally ill folk. But like BPO, just another form of slavery really. You cannot make a future where your value is tied servicing others.

      Ireneo awhile back posted a factory that produced Filipino rubber into quality tires for Filipino customers, that’s what has to be done. Follow the South Korean model.

      Pablo said: “This wave will continue until there are only consumers left, no producers.”

      I don’t think the Philippines ever really produced stuff.

      You call yourselves producers when you actually make stuff on your own, if you’re making stuff for other countries or foreign conglomerates, you’re not (NOT!) technically a ‘producer’.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    If Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi all pack up. We are effed up.
    This is a cluster f bomb

    • kasambahay says:

      on top of the car workers who’ll lose thier jobs, add the 11K workers who’ll also lose thier jobs if abs-cbn folds.

      • karlgarcia says:

        That is the concern, wala naman tayong Philippine car brand na pwede nilang malipatan.

        • kasambahay says:

          if car workers think big and pool all their resources together and form a coop, put all their expertise and experiences gained on the job to good use, they maybe able to do something like manufacture a modern jeepney or two, sell it and profits plowed back to manufacturing more jeepneys.

          but if car workers think small, go their own separate ways and mope, there can only be bleak days ahead.

          as a group, car workers can always go to the internet and ask to be funded like go fund me. the money raised put to livelihood use.

  8. NHerrera says:



    It has gone past the undeniable evidence of dying. Worse, it has gone to the last stages of coma. Will someone be decent enough to unplug. So the good Christians, Muslims, Vikings (?) and others can go to their afterlife of paradise, Valhalla, or whatever they believe in.

    • NHerrera says:

      If I may, this anecdote is not made-up; it happened.

      On a rainy Sunday, back in my younger, still working, days, my 3-year old granddaughter went visiting along with her parents. Passing through our gate then the garage with it’s stained plywood and gaping hole dripping with rain water, my granddaughter on seeing me, exclaimed:

      Grandpa, your house is dying.

      My point: if a 3-year old can recognize a dying situation — and here it is not a person, but a thing — surely, Filipinos who are not all 3-year olds know when a nation is dying. But we keep blind.

  9. Carlos Santiago says:

    The Philippines is dying and will keep on dying until we Filipinos stand up for what is rightfully ours. We have to break free from the attitude of servitude and subservience to the powers that be. We have to take it by our collective will to gain what is rightfully ours. We let it pass the last time the opportunity was at hand. We have nobody to blame but ourselves. What has become of the People Power Revolution of 1986? Are we better off today? To the victor belong the spoils. But sad to say the ORDINARY FILIPINO did not benefit from such SPOILS. We are still WILLING victims of the same dirty politics. Like a herd of cattle being led to the slaughterhouse.

    Para sa Bayan. Gising na Pilipinas para sa maturidad ng ating DEMOKRASYA!

  10. A lot of Filipino nationalists from left and right believe that the state in the Philippines is postcolonial. Indeed it is, as colonialism defined what is the Philippines nowadays. And yes, the Philippine state IS a foreign body still for most Filipinos, some examples are:

    1. Tulfo justice is what most masa understand – or tokhang. Not due process or human rights etc.

    2. Patronage is better understood than formal institutions.

    3. Informal roles like that of Bong Go as conduit to the President are better understood than his formal Senate role.

    4. The reason for many national institutions is not understood, as most have very local awareness – and think good Mayors make good Presidents – big mistake.

    5. Situational and personalistic solutions are better understood than general rules or even maxims..

    5a) which is why a Constitution is probably seen as a hindrance..

    5b) and dealing with Uber, Angkas, Rappler, De Lima, Sereno, Trillanes, ABS/CBN on a case to case basis is closer to the average Filipino mind than abstract rules.

    5c) my personal experience organizing Filipinos in Germany bears out Nr. 5. By-laws of organizations were filed to have registration but often forgotten or followed only roughly – confusing/annoying municipal registrars. Agreed ways of doing things often changed last-minute.

    6) and finally the word of a “datu” or any kind of paternalistic leader is higher than written rules or so. Witness the micro-management – reminding people to just work – that often passes for good governance by mayors.

    PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION: Filipinos can either:

    A) learn the value of abstract rules, roles and institutions at national level the hard way like all other cultures did, but that took centuries; or

    B) absorb the imported institutions of the postcolonial state, adapt them to the culture and vice versa. Learn from others even if Filipino pride hates to.

    The idea of the nation isn’t even there for many Filipinos – it just means the state to them.

    There is surely a vague sense of commonality, of adobo and Manny Pacquiao – maybe ABS/CBN. The rituals of the nation were founded by an elite, didn’t trickle down, as we see clearly today.

  11. Glenn bering says:

    Who are you to say that? Am sure you are one of the yellowshit writers who, for the love of money, forgets the real meaning of self “righteousness”. Better go out, take a better look outside in all the places of the country, feel the true sentiments of the people, THEN COMEBACK TO YOUR TABLE AND THINK IF YOU STILL CAN WRITE THIS. Unless you are a true blooded yellowshit, you will not dare to go out cuz you’re mind is already polluted! You paid shit writer!

    • Welcome to the blog, Glenn. Thanks for representing an opposing view so eloquently. I’ve already been around the Philippines. What impresses me is how an argument for decency, civility, and the Constitution can drive a person such as yourself into such a rage. I’d almost think you can’t face the pain of the truth.

    • Micha says:

      Okey glenn, what is it exactly that we might expect to see if we do indeed bother to “look outside in all the places of the country”?

  12. karlgarcia says:

    I dreamed that he jeepney modernization would produce Filipino Brands manufactured locally, alas, life is but a dream. Row row row your boat.

    If we experimented on the hybrid train, we can experiment on a hybrid car then mass produce it.

    Remove all barriers. It can be done, if allowed to be done.

    I am trying to produce a positive argument from our discussions with Micha.

    Less reliance on oligarchs and neolib policies.
    I know we still submit our resumes to big companies, and we even shun the small time because they may not give you enough benefits and they might close soon.
    But why not help the small company grow and if nothing is happening make something happen and be an entrep if you choose to.

    Our government borrows more domestically until recently. Even banks are oligarch owned. So form more banks and face the giants. Everything is easier said than done, but can be done.

    We import everything, we do not even manufacture ballpens, the staple wires, the pins and needles….
    and the license plates.
    We can start on that.

    There is money in landfills more than what the current scrap business can provide and produce .

    • karlgarcia says:

      I forgot about the Military Industrial Simplex, simplex because we already complicated enough to have many complexes.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Bee fleet, we do not need an air craft carrier.

        Subs, nah they might be subpar and easily detected with no stealth tech.
        But if we get alien tech, then go for it.

    • Chris Albert says:

      The jeepney idea is actually not bad and IS doable. There are conversion kits available and lition batteries could be made quiet easily albeit some parts might need to be imported. (cheap). Rough calculation is that a jeepney could be converted for about 100tsd PHP. Not sure if the grid could handle the loads for charging as they are on the limit already. Thing is who is willing and crazy enough to do it. The real problem is the current climate that kills everything that isn’t Du30 “approved” which cuts everything down to drugs, POGO and businesses for Uy……… If nothing changes very soon then Joeams write up sadly will be true and the nation could well self destruct and fall apart.

    • kasambahay says:

      we can all learn to parry with oligarchs, karlg. where would they be if they dont have consumers and customers like us? people have to realize they have collective power and use it.

  13. felix zamar says:

    Unlike Israel with a clear sense of history and rituals and values passed on from one generation to the next, we Filipinos are just mere islanders residing in paradise with plenty of snakes preying on us. We are just people on a journey jumping from one island to the next with no sense of roots or connection with a whole nation. No wonder, we could easily assimilate in other countries. The moment our close family ties from where we came from have died or have also moved on to other islands, our longing of going back to our birthplace is not so compelling anymore. No wonder, those who actually supported and is still supporting this traitor from davao are those who have already renounced their citizenship as Filipinos. Those who are now comfortable in places where they have migrated, that sense of guilt of leaving their country of origin is supplanted by a perverse attitude of indifference and contempt for those left behind. Maybe, the Philippines deserve to die and let the islanders left behind figure out where they would like to transfer in their next journey, if they can.

  14. karlgarcia says:

    I refuse to subscribe on the OFW allegiance to Duterte.
    I also do not subscribe to the idea that Migrants and OFWs love their country less.
    My Opinion.

  15. josephivo says:

    Since the end of feudalism, nations are based on shared stories, real and imaginary. Shared origins and history, shared heroes or heroic acts, shared threads and opportunities.

    This basket of arousing, unifying stories is almost empty: Pacquiao, some beauty queens and ???

    It seems that all confusing stories aren’t working. Rizal as a hero with his anti-Catholic writings for a catholic nation, Lapu-Lapu and Magellan, Aguinaldo and Bonifacio, Aquino and Imelda, celebrations for EDSA and the heroic overthrow of a dictator while at the same time celebrating a none attending dictatorial president. Hail the perpetrator, hail to his victim.

    The Filipino appreciates the emotional part of the brain so much more than the rational one.

  16. popoy says:

    OIL portrait artists could notice something in the photo in this news link.

    Notice anything Karl and JoeAm?

    NHerrerra is it correct arithmetic to say 11,000 jobless plus 3 dependents each equals 33,000 and hundreds of their symphatizers likely to march on their streets protesting for meals survivals?

    prescience eh?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Bong Go made me sick, now he will appeal to Duterte?

      • I’m glad I’m not the only one who reacts that way. He is Duterte’s shadow, emerging into his own space as set-up for 2022 election. He completely destroys what the Senate represents as an independent institution. He’s a manipulator, setting up all the photo ops for Duterte. Wears his camouflage uniform with the patches facing forward for the cameras. Really slimy fellow.

    • NHerrera says:

      Just a minor adjustment to the scenario, popoy. I suppose the jobless himself or herself also needs meals to survive. So, with each jobless you have 4 (himself and the 3 dependents). You then have 44,000 plus their supporters marching.

  17. popoy says:

    In USA, Actors and actresses CLOSED RANKS to brutally criticize President Trump’s “incorrect politics”, etc., which did not harm their livelihood. Filipino actors and actresses (except those who midnights as thieves and corrupt honorable politicians) are upright, peaceful, and honorable peaceniks (by heredity, by upbringing and character and not by government positions). They are law-abiding and patriotic citizens. They are sleeping dogs and should not be denied their food supply from their honest toil.

    Cambio na karon guid, atras, atras kasimanwa (sori palpak na binisaya). Hindi pa tapos ang boksing but the fat lady already is ready to stop singing.

    • popoy says:

      Sleeping Dogs in a Country

      When is a country has gone to the dogs?
      It may be asked what kind of dogs?
      Dogs for human food, for pets,
      for protection as guard dogs?

      A free country land of the free
      Gone to humane pet dogs
      Like the chihuahua, the poodle,
      The Chow-chow and Spaniel, etc.

      Or a country and people gone
      To ferocious dogs like the Doberman,
      The Rothweiler and the Pitbulls?

      Regardless of what kind of dogs
      Let sleeping dogs lie snoring or in
      Quiet slumber; awakened, they could
      Bite, draw blood, and fight to the death
      for what is dog right.

    • kasambahay says:

      popoy, ako gyud, suportado ang abs-cbn. I’m for it renewing its license. there is already too many people without jobs, all the more reason abs-cbn should be allowed its operation and keep its 11K employees on the payroll. and unlike pogo, abs-cbn pay tax diligently.

      • Micha says:


        Have you considered how ABS-CBN and its oligarch owners are actually undermining Philippine democracy?

        • kasambahay says:

          not from where I’m standing po. it’s our democracy after all. may not be ideal to you, but it’s good enough for us and we’ll hang on to it.

          • kasambahay says:

            almost everybody is undermining our democracy: self serving politicians, bent lawyers, bribery judges, ninja cops and double faced kapolisan, chinese leaning military, npa, joma, govt employees the likes of solgen calida, congress, etc. and yet all professed to be true blue filipinos through and through. sorry, forgot to mention oligarchs!

            our democracy is vibrant and robust, been undermined from the get go, had tackled federalism and won, same with chacha.

          • Micha says:

            If you have no problem with an oligarch whose rent seeking business conglomerate suck wealth from the public domain owning a vast media network, you are not espousing democracy – you are a willing enabler of oligarchy which is the state of Philippine governance today.

            • kasambahay says:

              I’m for abs-cbn renewing its license, thanks.

              • Micha says:

                And it will be renewed because for all his posturing, Duterds don’t have a strong rationale for closing it down other than for his petty personal vendetta. It’s far from him to think along the lines of how the Lopez business dynasty corrodes and undermines Philippine democracy – for he is, afterall, a fascist autocrat who also loves the oligarchs. His sidekicks Pakyaw and Bonggo are already pitching to “save” ABS-CBN.

                And that my friend is why you and Duterte and all the yellow neoliberal loving opposition groups are actually sailing on the same boat.

                JoeAm is right. Philippine democracy is in a coma and the nation is dying.

              • Certainly ABS-CBC will not offend the Duterte party/candidate in 2022, which means the opposition can expect little news coverage.

              • kasambahay says:

                abs-cbn has offended duterte before and is being threatened with closure. and for wanting to keep their jobs, 11K people employed by abs-cbn rallied behind abs-cbn. they want to work here, be near their families and friends and pay tax here and not work overseas and pay tax there, pay for pricey living expenses there and send money home; or worse, be unemployed in their own country.

                abs-cbn runs a business franchise, it will air ads paid for. anyone who can afford to pay air time, will get aired on 1st come 1st serve basis. so book early and pay on time.

  18. NHerrera says:

    Off topic


    While in this new blog topic on the “dying” of the country, we have during this period the continuing background of the rapid spread of the covid-19 virus outside of China raising a lot of concerns such that the stock market has reacted negatively:

    1. New cases have turned up in Bahrain and Afghanistan.
    2. South Korea’s confirmed cases increased to 833 with 8 deaths reported.
    3. Italy’s confirmed cases increased to 215 with 4 deaths.
    4. Iran with a reported confirmed cases of 61 had 12 deaths.
    5. The total “Outside China” confirmed cases now stands at 2374 with total deaths of 34, a mortality rate of 1.4% close to the reference mortality rate of 2.0% in China.

    There is the interesting situation in Iran. Some have speculated that using the reference mortality rate of 2%, Iran could very well have a much higher infected cases than the reported 61. Arithmetical division of 12 by 2% gives 600, a far cry from the reported 61. Thus, speaking roughly, the infected cases — from which the 12 deaths came from — may come to at least a few hundreds instead of 61.

    Meantime in the PH the day’s net PUI-A (Persons under investigation – admitted) has decreased to 126 from a number in the 130s earlier.

    • NHerrera says:

      The Dow suffered a big 2-day point slide (- 6.6%), but it is seen by market analysts/ players as not only due to the coronavirus. The five reasons given are:

      The 2020 election
      Lofty valuations
      The bond market
      Recession fears

      • NHerrera says:

        I got this from my readings this morning.

        The potential for [economic] disaster is sobering. The economies of the world are extraordinarily resilient, yet extraordinarily dependent upon each other in a crisis. Sadly, the things we need most to get us through this — wise leadership, global cooperation and clear thinking — are harder to find than a surgical mask.

        I emphasized the last line because it applies too as a prescription to our dying nation.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Covid-19 will be part of our lives like the cold and flu?
      It will cold, flu and Covid-19 season eventually.


      Harvard University epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch is predicting the coronavirus “will ultimately not be containable” and, within a year, will infect somewhere between 40 and 70 percent of humanity, The Atlantic reports. But don’t be too alarmed. Many of those people, Lipsitch clarifies, won’t have severe illnesses or even show symptoms at all, which is already the case for many people who have tested positive for the virus.

      That’s precisely why he doesn’t think the virus can be stopped. Viruses like SARS, MERS, and the avian flu were eventually contained in part because they were more intense and had a higher fatality rate. In other words, if you were infected by the virus that caused SARS, chances were you weren’t out and about. But because the current coronavirus, known as COVID-19, can be asymptomatic, or at least very mild, there’s a better chance people will likely go about their day as normal. The down side, though, is that it becomes harder to trace and prevent. In that sense it’s similar to the flu, which can also be deadly, but often passes without the infected person seeking medical care.

      The Atlantic reports Lipsitch is definitely not alone in his prediction. There’s an emerging consensus that the outbreak will eventually morph into a new seasonal disease, which, per The Atlantic, could one day turn “cold and flu season” into “cold and flu and COVID-19 season.” Read more at The Atlantic.

      • NHerrera says:

        A good link to read, Chief Karl. However I have a quibble on this statement,

        Harvard University epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch is predicting the coronavirus “will ultimately not be containable” and, within a year, will infect somewhere between 40 and 70 percent of humanity, The Atlantic reports. But don’t be too alarmed. Many of those people, Lipsitch clarifies, won’t have severe illnesses or even show symptoms at all, which is already the case for many people who have tested positive for the virus.

        There are two aspects of a viral epidemic: transmissibility or infectiousness and deadliness. Lipsitch estimates infection of covid-19 to between 40% to 70% of humanity.

        Let us take the middle — 55%. As to deadliness, present statistics from the China data yields a covid-19 mortality rate relative to infected persons as about 2% more or less. Let us do a little arithmetic. 55% of humanity infected means about 4.2 billion infected. So here are the number of deaths:

        With Mortality Rate of 2.0%, 84 million dies;
        With Mortality Rate of 1.0%, 42 million dies;
        With Mortality Rate of 0.1%, 4.2 million dies;
        With Mortality Rate of 0.01%, 420,000 dies.

        I believe flu has a mortality rate of about 0.1%, so assuming covid-19 mortality rate is comparable to that of flu, 4.2 million dying is still a big big ouch. Consider that the mortality rate of covid-19 is still an open question at this time.

        • karlgarcia says:

          You are simply still amazing NH!

        • NHerrera says:


          Two charts of covid-19 daily confirmed cases:

          – In Mainland China
          – Other Locations

          No wonder Health Authorities and the Stock Markets worldwide are spooked.

          [Please note, however, the scale of the vertical axis.]

          • NHerrera says:

            Perhaps I need to elaborate:

            1. Because of the scale (left vertical axis), the China chart still has a few hundreds even on the 26 February bar. I read it as approximately 300 to 400. [This comes from old engineers, like myself, trained in the use of now ancient tool, the “slide rule,” through college and working after graduation. Hehe.]

            2. This is at a comparable level as the 26 February bar of the Other Locations outside of China — which is about 310.

            3. The main point is that whereas the China’s official numbers are waning, those for the other locations — coming particularly from South Korea, Diamond Princess, Italy, Japan, Iran — are on early exponential rise. Figuratively, newly born and growing with plenty of energy to spread the disease.

            4. Iran’s infected persons are suspected to be the origin of those from other Middle Eastern countries with which it has travel connections. Italy too, and Japan may facilitate the infection of those from other countries. Of course now, varied travel restrictions are imposed by these countries.

            5. The situation of the cases in the other locations outside China may be clearer in a week or two, so the experts project.

    • NHerrera says:

      UPDATE:  in the PH, the day’s net PUI-A (Persons under investigation – admitted) has decreased further to 101 with only 4 new PUI-As. The confirmed cases, deaths remains at 3 and 1, respectively.

  19. cheesecake says:

    The answer to whether the nation is dying or not is on the facebook comments on political (even close to one) posts. 😀

    • kasambahay says:

      ah, the nation has died a hundred deaths before, and resurrect as always.

      in death, there is birth.

    • Too mysterious for me. I don’t know what you mean.

      • cheesecake says:

        Sorry. Just trying to imply how divided the people are on almost everything especially if politics is the topic on hand (re: Facebook posts). Worse, you can’t even find a good argument from it.
        Judging the thinking of these people, where will the Philippines go?

      • karlgarcia says:


        • karlgarcia says:

          No critical mass
          In short, the outpouring of anti-Duterte sentiments during both face-to-face gatherings and on social media has yet to translate into an Edsa-like scenario of a critical mass of warm bodies that will stop tanks and stay on the highway for days to help forge a “revolution.”
          In the course of the exchange of views and opinions at meetings and in chat groups, a question pops up: “Do we real¬ly need another Edsa?”
          Among the replies, this one stands out: “Edsa gave back the freedom we lost during martial law, so it’s not a question of whether we need to do another one now, but rather, what do we tell our kids when they ask about EJKs and asshole leaders: ‘Mom, Dad, what were you doing back then?’”
          On a lighter note, many parents might say, “I cursed on Facebook, watched Netflix to keep my sanity and waited for the next scandal to blow up on the madman’s face.”

          Read more:
          Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

          • kasambahay says:

            people probly have different priorities now and instead of giving ideas freely, they sell them. there will be more people smiling but would be scant on discourse.

          • Yes, the passion and outrage are missing. ABS-CBN is more concerning to people than De Lima. A vacuum where need for self determination and the fairness that supports it should be.

            • sonny says:

              A very interesting juxtaposition, Joe. A case study for Philippine sociologist and litigation lawyer maybe? e.g. victimization of ABS-CBN compared to De Lima; the stakes also is more palpable and relatable in one than in the other? The “need for self-determination” has to take a number in the queue of more pressing needs and wants, and more …

  20. karlgarcia says:

    Those who defend Duterte until now because allegedly he is an action man, can do man, a man against corruption, oligarchs, crime….puhlease are we living in the same reality?!

  21. karlgarcia says:

    I have been complaining of too many new cars and easy access to car loans with convenient terms.
    I think of carmageddon not only on EDSA but every chock point after every wide multi-lane highway.

    We love cars, but if there are trains that are not overloaded, buses too then we have solved that.

    But I can never be happy when a car manufacturer moves to Thailand or elsewhere.
    We must have a fall back like our own mass produced DOST innovated vehicles, there are a number of them waiting for a manufacturer.
    We have the bus train, a long train like bus, the hybrid train which one is in operation, but it still needs to be replicated by a manufacturer.
    Of course we have to participate in mass producing ejeeps and hybrid jeeps.
    So many ideas waiting to be unleashed.

  22. karlgarcia says:

    Why not use the auto industry template to license manufacture military vessels, equipment and hardware.
    Lucenses are the answer to intellectual property/ patents.

    • Look up Habibie’s approach to industrialization. It was applied in Indonesia.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I thought Habibie applied it somewhere else. Joke only.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Thanks again Irineo.
          In the Philippines we sacrificed agriculture for mixed-use real estate.

          Habibie assures industrializationwon’t displace agriculture
The Indonesia Times, 21 Maret 1997

          Medan(Times)Industrilization process will not displace agriculture,a state minister says. B.J. Habibie, the state minister for research andtechnology, yesterday in Medan mentioned his belief that the developingindustrialization in Indonesia did not mean the change of agriculture tomanufacture.
          In his written address at the seventh congress of HIPIIS here yesterday,Habibie said, “We will maintain agriculture and never abandon it.”HIPIIS is the Indonesian association for the development of social studies.
          Industrialization now in process in Indonesia, he said, is something”we cannot avoid.” 
”Our development cannot depend only on agriculture.
          ” Agricultural sector’s role as a matter of fact keeps declining.Conversion into nonagricultural usage of land keeps increasing, he said.
          Citing Japan International Cooperation Agency data, Habibie said that”conversion in agricultural center has been very high indeed.”
          In West Java, the national “rice barn.” he estimated around20,000 hectars technically irrigated agricultural land are functionallychanged each year.
          According to JICA projection, said Minister Habibie, until the year2002 there will be around 807,500 hectars of technically irrigated landconversed. The figures is almost the same to the one million hectars peatland the government plans to open in Central Kalimantan, he added.
          Apart from the decreasing agricultural area there are also some weaknesscsin agriculture, said Habibie. In the near future agriculture cannot changeits added value for example its harvest schedule, low cost and high quality.
          Habibie saw the possibilities of increasing the added value of our agriculturalproducts. He gave an example that there is an added value to paddy in Japan,although its price is 20 times higher than the price of paddy in Indonesia.
          In creating new work fields agriculture is regarded less capable, hesaid.
          “The creation of new fields is an urgent matter. Politically speakingif there are no new fields the stability is threatened.
          “Since there is no operetta to change added value in agriculturalsector I find opportunities in another sector. Beck there must be an improvemerlife quality. Then Indonesia products can enter the global market.”
          Meanwhile, Nasikun from Gadjah Mada University remind ed on the industrializationin implementation.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Rather than have potential ghost towns, why not once and for all manufacture.

            The procurement law somehow is not friendly for local industry because of track record requirement is already a barrier for starting manufacturing locally.
            How can you have a track record if you see not allowed to start because you have no track record?

            • karlgarcia says:

              The recent incidents are having to source off shore for a bidder of license plates and somehow question eligibility and qualifications of local sources.
              Just snap example on top of my head.

              The whole defense industry is bereft of. Local suppliers and manufacturers, again because of the provisions of the procurement law.

              • sonny says:

                Karl, if I understand correctly, the problem of the vicious circle seems to be the breaching of the circle for an entry point. That break to me is to have product specifications that are directed to the physical product itself (e.g. the license plate) i.e. engineering specs directed to the dimensions, embossing, make of material, testing requirements, hardness, corrosion indexes, etc. These requirements address the functionality and durability of the product to be procured rather than requirements that are mainly referral and secondary by nature, viz. track record.

                I describe this acceptance/certification process from my experience as production engineer in the fabrication of printed circuits for on-board computers. I found particularly interesting the presence of a resident auditor assigned by the procurer to the manufacturing floor of the provider. Of course this arrangement depends on the critical nature of the product to insure quality governed by the specs.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Ang lalim, Ang hirap pala gumawa ng plaka.

              • kasambahay says:

                maybe it’s just an excuse to bypass local manufacturer, them not being given a chance to manufacture plakas and keep out of the loop. does not have to be immediately perfect those plakas, and sold at lower prices consumers can afford to pay. once gotten contract, local manufacturer will keep competitive edge by modifying their plakas until the correct plaka specification is reached sooner than later.

                local manufacturer can learn, if only given chance. and consumers ought to be given choice between not so perfect but cheaper local plakas vs perfect plakas but dearer. just be honest and let consumers know what they’re buying.

                a wise govt ought to support and foster local products and at the same time, import some products. give consumers wider choices in accordance to what they can afford. my opinion lang.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Again, very pertinent and agreeable points.

              • sonny says:

                Neph, a Philippine military-industrial complex could be beneficial as a seed-generator for Filipino private enterprises if certain goals are agreed upon, e.g. the upgrade of all logistics of the PH Armed Forces, creation of symbiotic mechanisms between the AFP and the private SME sectors dealing with QM, transport & armament agencies of the AFP. This should be in the wet dreams of nationalistic military leaders and private entrepreneurs desiring the ultimate in national security – the preservation of our sovereignty.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Just remove the barriers.In the mean time adapt the autonindustry model short of manufaturing whole vehicles, we manufacture the parts.

  23. Raw says:

    “…an economy that exists only on the remittances of the smart ones who have left. “

  24. Raw says:

    Plain and simple – It is dependent on foreign remittance because it keeps foreign investors out.

    Foreign investors find the 60/40 constitutional provisions such a turn off as they have built the business 100% – then upon entering the Philippines they can only control 40% of the business AND share it with the Philippine entity who will own 60% of the equity.

    This is such an irony – Filipinos keep foreign investors out, then go overseas to work for 100% owned foreign households and/or firms. This is an outcome of the ultra-nationalist agenda which protects Filipino businesses at the expense of Filipino jobseekers and consumers.

    It’s the economic model the politicians have set up so that they don’t have to address the underlying issues that make the Philippines poor.

    Rather than fixing the corruption and inefficiency that prevents investment from coming in, the government just allows (almost encourages it seems) people to easily leave and send money back so that Filipinos can have a reasonable standard of living.

  25. Raw says:

    “It’s powerful”

    Industrial production in the Philippines dropped 9.5 percent year-on-year in December 2019

  26. Raw says:

    Remittances are a key pillar of the nation’s economy, with money sent from the more than 10 million people working abroad account for a tenth of the country’s growth domestic product. The cash helps to fuel consumer spending — the nation’s main growth driver — and boost the central bank’s foreign currency reserves.

    Honda to halt car production in the Philippines.

  27. karlgarcia says:

    True we cannot absorb all returnees even if we ask them all too come back.
    No jobs await them.
    Barriers to entry for balikbayan investors.
    Not an enticing environment for returning scientists, engineers, etc
    AI, automation will hit us even if we decide to stay low-tech.
    Many pessimistic reasons to be desperate, but life has to go on.

    I want my son to have a good life ahead of him. As Much as possible, I want that to be spent here in PH.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Engineers and Scientists lack success and support in their inventions and innovations because of economics.
      Habito a frustrated engineer regrets pursuing a different field while his high school friends from Philippine Science pursued STEM.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Here are the struggles of being an engineer in the PH.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I wish one day the fruits of their brain power and hardwork will be…eaten (what else do you do with fruits?)
        One can certainly say that with the Bravura
        Roasting Machine developed by engineer Ruel M. Mojica, reputed to be the cheapest coffee-roasting machine in the market worldwide. But cheap need not mean lacking in sophistication. Dr. Mojica’s machine is described as the first-ever vertical coffee roaster, itself an innovation that permits more even roasting, and is driven by a microcontroller that permits automatic operation. His invention was motivated by his observation that coffee farmers—which his very own parents were—could receive far higher incomes if they would not stop at selling raw coffee beans, but add value to their farm product. Roasting, according to him, is the single most value-adding operation in coffee production. Indeed, coffee farmers now using his machine have raised their incomes by at least 50 percent.

        Similarly, Dr. Michael Gragasin’s invention of a compact corn mill and impeller rice mill makes the crucial value-adding operation of milling palay into rice widely accessible to farmers, in a country where rice farmers’ incomes place them among the country’s poor. An all too common scene in rice-growing areas is the stark contrast between the humble homes of farmers and the palatial houses of the millers and traders who buy their produce, suggesting lopsided gains in the rice value chain. Rice farmers traditionally sell their palay at low farmgate prices to commercial-scale millers either directly or via traders, receiving the least net income in the value chain, often barely able to recover production costs. Gragasin’s mill, ranging in cost from only P28,000 to P350,000 (vs. traditional mills costing P1-3 million each), can be manufactured domestically and use locally available spare parts, and are thus within reach of groups of farmers. Needing less power to function, his mills also bring down the costs of rice production, and could eventually lower the price Filipinos pay for the staple.

        Mojica and Gragasin are among four latest recipients of the Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence, honoring engineers with notable contributions to solve development challenges in water, sanitation, environment, and sustainability. Another awardee is engineer Alexis Belonio, whose rice husk gasifier stove turns the ubiquitous waste product into a safe, smokeless fuel that can substitute for liquefied petroleum gas in household cooking. Foregoing royalties, Belonio’s design was made freely accessible to small manufacturers, and has found its way into other countries like Vietnam and India. The fourth awardee is Dr. Francis Aldrine Uy, inventor of the USHER (Universal Structural Health Evaluation and Recording) System, a device that allows constant monitoring of the structural integrity of buildings and bridges. Occupants of buildings now using USHER can feel more secure as it minimizes their vulnerability to earthquakes.

        Read more:
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      • karlgarcia says:

        Just when you thought graduating and passing the licensure exam in the Philippines is the end of all your engineering struggles, wait ‘till you get into the world of employment! Being an engineer in the Philippines isn’t as easy as many think it is. There are a lot of struggles starting from looking for a job, getting a good paying salary, to deciding to search for better opportunities abroad.

        Read more at:

        • kasambahay says:

          this may call for new think tank. we are always made to hate oligarchs and their ilk.

          but this is the 20’s now and if nothing else work, engineers can put aside hatred and pitch to oligarchs. oligarchs with money and connections are always on the lookout for new talents and innovations, opportunities to further their businesses and spheres of influence. and if engineers can bridge the gap, they could be in for windfall.

          lots of engineers already work for oligarchs and would probly love to mentor new and emerging talents. so pitch! the only thing engineering graduates can lose is maybe their pride and joblessness. so pitch and pitch well. sadly not all children of engineers want to do engineering, too hard basket. gusto making actors and actresses, rock stars and musicians, bum around the world and spend their inheritance.

          if doctors can work with grueling schedules and deadly diseases, surely emerging engineers can work alongside snooty oligarchs. so pitch! the more they pitch, the more they learn until one day, they hit jackpot.

          • Oligarchs are a natural development in a free market society that is economically robust. Anti-trust measures ought to be in place to restrain undue control over markets. I’m not sure the Philippines has that with the sharp intrusion of politics, rather than the people’s welfare, into government decisions. And for sure, even rich nations need better wealth distribution. That’s so much more critical for poor nations.

            • karlgarcia says:

              The Competition body s showing a lot of promise, I hope that in the future, they sustain that attitude and no fatigue nor cynicism of sorts will overcome them.

    • karlgarcia says:

      The editorial of today’s Philpine Star is very related to my thread but it factors in the Corona Virus.

      EDITORIAL – Job displacement

      Tourism has taken a serious hit and supply chains remain disrupted as China continues to grapple with the coronavirus disease 2019. Now the Philippines must also brace for major disruptions in the deployment of overseas Filipino workers as well as the possible displacement of OFWs who are already employed abroad.

      In Italy, which hosts an estimated 100,000 OFWs, several areas are on lockdown due to COVID-19 contagion. Now the coronavirus is spreading in the Middle East and North Africa, the biggest job market for Filipinos, where at least 2.2 million OFWs are employed. In Iran, where the government has confirmed 12 deaths from COVID-19, the deputy health minister himself has become infected.

      Even if few OFWs would seek repatriation, economists are warning of a global economic slowdown due to the contagion. International gatherings are being cancelled, with even the Tokyo Olympics facing possible deferment.

      An expert of the World Health Organization, which has not yet announced a pandemic, warned that the world is “simply not ready” for the spread of COVID-19. Researchers in several countries are rushing to produce a vaccine, but even if one is developed, mass distribution is still at least a year away.

      Even if the virus contagion does not become as devastating to the Middle East and North Africa as it has been in China, the global slowdown will impact heavily on the MENA economies, which are largely powered by crude oil. This in turn can affect the jobs of millions of migrant workers. The Philippine government must be prepared not just to assist OFWs who might be infected with the coronavirus but also for a possible mass displacement of workers.

      • kasambahay says:

        worldwide deaths due to covid19 is nearing 3000 na. may they all rest in peace, their passing mourned by families and friends. I hope the dead had led fulfilling lives, cherished by loved ones and death not so brutal but a repose kind and easy.

        • kasambahay says:

          the world may simply be not ready for pandemic covid19 but our country is preparing for its eventuality. already there is push to stockpile medicines and antivirals and if need be, to commandeer sites to be turned into makeshift hospitals, treatment centers and associated facilities. I hope duterte is willing to boost health funds for it will sorely be needed.

          our health personnel are also being readied, briefed regularly and can be deployed on short notice.

          • karlgarcia says:

            The LGUs are in NIMBY mode. Nueva Ecija, Tarlac,etc let us see.
            Hope those nurses in call centers will respond to the call of nature este duty.

    • karlgarcia says:

      In addition.

      Populists need fear to keep the populace in place. Marcos used fear effectively for a number of years and so has Mr. Duterte. What is so horrifying though is that Mr. Duterte does not need martial law to keep us in fear, and the reason is that fear makes us believe in him. Fear lurks in our subconscious, in part because Marcos still lives, in revisionist history, even very young Filipinos believing that martial law was a golden era under a dictator… and that, maybe, Edsa was a mistake.

    • kasambahay says:

      haha, joe the kano, know what we do on new year to keep evil spirits out? we make noise and lots of it.

      people clapping and making noise when duterte is around could well be keeping something out as well!

    • I think you nailed it, Joe. Stern father idol showing the way. Figuring they will be taken care of. Delusional.

      • Micha says:

        Duterd himself is an infant in search of a coddling father figure. He ditched Uncle Sam and went straight to Uncle Xi.

        Now Duterd is feeling a little bit unattended because Uncle Xi is busy with trying to stamp out the bug invasion in his frontyard.

        What will babyface Dturd do?

        Maybe Uncle Vlad is right around the corner?

        • I’m struck by the idea that Duterte is a lot like the everyday Filipino struggling to get food on the table by bartering labor for rice, or other ways, living in complete ignorance about the way nations work. And the people are a lot like him, funny but with a mean streak.

  28. karl,

    re engineers and finding the niche for the Philippines re World economy.

    take a look at this dude,

    IMHO, he’s the guy that single handedly catapulted the music industry, tech industry , movie industry and higher education in California to the next level here, thus the whole of the North America, thus the world.

    He’s known as the Johnny Appleseed of LSD.

    Now mescaline the stuff in various cacti in the Americas both north and south, has been well known. LSD synthesized from fungus was around WWII, then in 1955 the active ingredient of magic mushroom, psilocybin, was discovered (by the same dude who synthesized LSD).

    Hofmann who discovered LSD (and ID’ed psilocybin), did so for Sandoz labs (now a subsidiary of Novartis). Sandoz labs decided to crowd source LSD trials by just giving it away for FREE to anyone that wanted it, so long as they write reports of their experiences with it back to Sandoz (they didn’t know what exactly they had).

    So since psilocybin and mescaline didn’t have the backing of some big company, no give aways, LSD became the psychedelic drug that was mainstreamed first. But magic mushrooms and peyote have always been known by various cultures in history, magic mushroom is worldwide, mescaline more the Americas.

    LSD was given away by Sandoz, but it was until AL HUBBARD discovered its true value, that of a mystical experience (he was a devote Catholic prone towards mysticism), this is when LSD really spread.

    And it spread because HUBBARD had a vision one day of an angel telling him that soon you’ll discover something that’ll change your life, make sure to spread it around the world. He didn’t know at the time until he read a write up by Bill W. of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) on the efficacy of LSD for overcoming alcoholism.

    He contacted the doctors doing the LSD/alcoholism experiment, the head dude was , from there his experience first hand the effects of LSD, then realized this was what the angel had spoke of, EPIPHANY!

    so then procured more LSD from Sandoz which they were more than happy to provide given the positive results from its drugs (though unknown still its uses).

    from here, Hubbard gave everyone in Hollywood LSD (Cary Grant being one of them), then the music industry, then folks in academia up and down California, then engineers in the back waters of Menlo Park before it would be known as Silicon Valley.

    it turns out aside from inducing healing and mystical experiences, LSD allowED engineers a means to visualize complex system more eloquently. it allowed for all these patterns to surface that hadn’t been obvious before, and from there Silicon Valley was born, this was in the 50s and 60s,

    Menlo Park was the last spot HUBBARD pollinated in the mid – 60s. The rest as they say is history.


    MY POINT HERE, maybe the Philippines (Cebu City as the creative hub) can divert all these new clinical trials and studies being undertaken on psychedelics today (there is a renaissance now, since mid-2000s, after 30 or so years in the dark since Tim Leary screwed it up for everyone).

    You guys won’t have mescaline , nor LSD, but the Phillippines does have its own species of magic mushrooms, so maybe get UP Los Banyos to focus on magic mushrooms there, do studies, then connect said studies to the wider effort in Europe and North America on psychedelics.

    Google Paul Stamets, karl.

    But laser point it on Cebu City, it is already the creative hub, the hypothesis here is that if you inject psychedelics with proper use (set, setting & guide, the Hubbard method) to the creatives of this city, will the city bloom to be a world class hub of innovation and creativity.

    This is how Silicon Valley was born (and the music/movie industry of California), can it be replicated.

    • p.s. ~ LSD was also in Menlo Park via the V.A. Hospital there, this is where Ken Kesey (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”) was initially exposed to it, as part of the CIA’s MK Ultra experiment (they were figuring out what really was the best use of LSD, as truth serum, mind control , sabotage/chem warfare or simply a means to embarrass enemies, slipped in food or drink).

      It’s a possibility (base on his bio) that AL HUBBARD was also connected to this. Who knows, but Ken Kesey was not part of these engineers, just a guinea pig. So I lump Ken Kesey with Tim Leary, disrupters they were.

      Here’s a video of AL Hubbard and Tim Leary, et al. at a 1979 reunion in L.A. discussing the 50s, 60s, and what could have been. Had Leary just been quiet and did his science.

    • karlgarcia says:

      With you, one thing leads to another all the time.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I tried LCX, but the misdirection worked, I got lost.

        • karl, the premise of the blog is that the Philippine nation is dying.

          hopefully it’s not dead yet, so everyones trying to save it by throwing different ideas on how to jump start it back to life. Re-boot if you will.

          Psychedelics did just that over here, why not the Philippines?

          In my research into psychedelics and its history, I remembered there was a tribe in Mindanao i forgot the name now, and i never actually saw them, but heard of it.

          Maybe Ireneo’s dad will know.

          Apparently once a chief dies, they hang the body upside down, and the guy that wants to be chief (or whatever position became open) was to drink the juices of the hanging corpse dripping in a bowl.

          I’ve always wondered what the effects were of drinking said bowl of juices. But there’s poetry in said practice, IMHO.

        • karl,

          if you look at the pattern of the commentary above, its basically the wording and rewording of Joe’s original sentiment in the blog,

          “They will be absorbed in a system of vertical values, not horizontal or equal values, where brown skin is bad and servitude is the highest aspiration of 100 million souls.”

          Top down, not bottom up.

          If you do a close study of the 50s-60s, this was exactly the same sentiment here in the US. and then by the late 60s and early 70s, a sort of critical mass happened. I believe it reached over there too, but by way of music, books, movies, news and culture, ie. mimicry, not via LSD per se.

          BUT if you really drill down on what was the catalyst of that era, everything points to LSD. Now there was actual critical mass here in California, that’s the reason the tech and entertainment industries are still on top.

          across the US though not as much, but you can map out the big cities with big universities where LSD experiments did (pre-Leary) transpired. These clinical studies usually would bleed out unto campus then throughout the city.

          I just realized in the early 60s, Bernie Sanders was at the University of Chicago. at the time there was healthy LSD program. Also at the time there was upheaval coming from that school emanating to the wider city, repelling top down systems, introducing bottom up.

          You see this over and over.

          So i posit that Bernie tripped on LSD hence at 78 years old, the guy’s still a Socialist, favoring bottom up, not top down, processes.

          He’s already running on de-criminalizing Marijuana for all.

          AOC has been pushing for de-criminalizing and re-sheduling psychedelics from the top classification (DEA), to say Class III where Ketamine is now (ketamine now is being used legally as part of psychotherapy sessions , but that’s just because the top psychedelics better than ketamine are not available, not legal).

          So what I’m saying is Bernie’s woke, karl, that’s why he’s the way he is, thus surely LSD, mescaline & psilocybin will be legal again under his administration, and when AOC becomes president it’ll be Psychedelics for all.

          MY POINT, why not anticipate this move, and have the Philippines basically jump full on in the bandwagon of psychedelic research now (UP Los Banyos can lead they have science/research, but theres also a national arts high school/Nat’l Art Center near Mt. Makiling , BUT Cebu City has to be where it starts). This is connected to my Costa Rican model idea for the Philippines, but internal now, going inside the minds, thus outward outcome will be

          a people re-booted (RE-BOOTED) into a new culture, opposite of what Joe has diagnosed, a people too prone to top down, not bottom up. With psychedelics , bottom up type people now full of vigor, curiosity and creativity.

          The irony (because I do love ironies, karl 😉 ) is that now our first or second signalling of community spread for the new coronavirus is now here in California. And remember before i said Americans don’t like to be rounded up little cattle as the Chinese do apparently.

          obviously, the eventual containment will require top down approach. I’ll make that argument in the current blog not here. But I will stress that if the Chinese all took LSD, they wouldn’t be eating all sorts of protected or otherwise species not fit for human consumption.

          Weirdly the other side-effect to LSD is that you become vegan or vegetarian or end up eating less meat. Thus reducing animal viruses jumping into human population.

          But focus on my point about AOC and getting in the bangwagon now (not later). Ground floor, going up, karl.

          • karlgarcia says:

            You keep on segueing(sp) You are reacting to my comment or at least you put your comment under mine.
            They are interesting, but their random ramdon ness (in purpose) is getting to be a turnoff.

  29. caliphman says:

    It’s not why some but why Most filipinos still clap for Duterte. That Filipinos as a people and society are a throwback to a primitive and brutish time when unbridled power reigned supreme over ideals and morality. Not that Trump and the potential majority of Americans who might still reelect him mirror the descent into darkness of a leader and his people marching lockstep towards societal and moral decay.

  30. popoy says:

    February 27, 2020 FAILED TO POST BECAUSE EMAIL ID hitches

    The eche bucheche of hoarse dogs barking in the dark.

    Sad, VERY SAD, almost idiotic not being able to OPERATIONALISE GNP.

    “Gross national product (GNP) is an estimate of total value of all the FINAL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES turned out in a given period by the means of production owned by a country’s residents.”

    Our farmers as producers need to produce more rice. We need FACTORIES to produce more goods, More Goods, dumbflickets (permanent plebes in economic development). We are in pridefull EXCESS of heroes in the name of SERVICES provided by LABOR in all aspects of human skills and professions to foreign countries amid SCARCITY for our own basic needs. GOODS and SERVICES in sufficiency and abundance is what the GOOD LIFE in a country is all about.
    The country might already be a resounding success in macro economics PGNP (Pinoy Gross National Plunder) which defines as the total value in USD of thievery and plunder from corruption as outputs of total services provided by members and followers of elected officials and political family dynasties in the private as well as public sector.

    In the sixties, as the country leads Asia in producing educated citizenry, there was warning in the academe: Education is not a PRE-CONDITION for National Development. Mis-education and corrupt acculturation of the youth stigmatize and vaporise their role as Hopes of the fatherland.

    So? Therefore what? During the last 15 years how much GOODS annually, did the country produced? A pittance? Forget for the moment the amount of SERVICES contributed by OFW heroes. Think, imagine how much of the total Annual Appropriations Act in trillion pesos WENT TO CORRUPTION? 40% ?, 60 or 70% ? Insomniac Rip Van Winkle has slept for 20 years. A country can snooze for 5 scores in noodle land.

    • True. The Philippine economy is thin, and therefore fragile. The economic impact of the virus may demonstrate that. PAL is already laying off 300. Labor chiefs say 7,000 jobs might be lost. I bet it’s more than that.

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