Getting to innovation in the Philippines

Analysis and Opinion

By Irineo B. R. Salazar

Benny Antiporda vs. UP scientists shows the how little recognition (applied) knowledge in the Philippines often has. Power often still seems to believe it is endowed with wisdom of its own. Appointing incompetents to high positions shows a cavalier attitude toward the functional specialization that is a key component of modernity, which I have tackled in a previous article. Applied knowledge properly used by decision-makers who consult experts is also key to getting the Philippines out of the mud, as the challenges of today are more than bayanihan moving a nipa hut.



Cyberjaya in Malaysia

If one looks at Malaysia, which I saw as quite good in integrating tradition and modernity when I last visited there, or Indonesia, which has been very successful in modernizing thanks to Dr. Habibie who Karl mentioned in his industrialization article, one wonders what the hell the Philippines isn’t doing. There are attempts to get start-ups running; there is a BPO industry, even a small software industry. But there could be a number of things that prevent the country as a whole from truly taking off:

1) There are some who still have the “National Village”mentality, as I described in an article. When my father was teaching and researching in Naples, a Filipina migrant told him “that sounds like a good job, how can I get into that”. Some don’t understand specialization.

2) Others have a certain disdain for applied knowledge. My father when I decided to study Informatics said “it is just a tool” and when I later said “many of my former batchmates in Philippine Science are engineers” he said “why just go for something that ordinary”. NHerrera, now you know that you are an ordinary person, although my often credentialist father MIGHT consider you a truly educated person as I recall you have a PhD as well. (grin)

3) Karl has mentioned in a comment once that some Congressmen in the Philippines treat experts like servants. “We treat you like ordinary person”, some Marcos loyalists told the Beatles after they hadn’t given Imelda a private concert, beating them up at the airport. Frontliners in the Philippines are often treated badly, even scientists at times as we see.

When my German mother told my Filipino father that feudalism was holding back the Philippines, he proudly insisted that Japan had industrialized from feudalism. Well, the difference is that Japanese respect all those who do high quality work, coming from an old tradition of artisanship which I think was ramped up into high quality engineering later on.)

4) Some see education as just a way to get a job and earn money.

The famous “rant” by Gege Sugue castigated, among others “You, who worked for corporations, managed departments and companies, who made your team do overtime work to finish your annual business plans, so that when you presented to your boss and his/her boss, they would approve your plans and budgets. Every MSExcel cell scrutinized. Every projection defended. Every datum analyzed. But you forgot all that managerial thinking, dumped on the institution that served you your MBA and voted for that incompetent, empty, noisy fool who said he would remove algebra from the curriculum, who said that he knew nothing about economics?!? What were you thinking? Were you even thinking?”

Well, a lot of Filipinos might see their job skills as something you do when you are on the job, when the boss requires it, but not as something they internalize as part of life’s skills. The mentality of a people who have served others for way too long. Who often learn stuff in order to pass – or to top if their parents are ambitious – their exams and then forget it after a while. How otherwise can Persida Acosta have had such a high placement in the bar exams?

Possibly that is why my father told me at the outset of my IT career that “anyone can do what you are doing”. Fortunately I moved up to SAP specialization where I could use the complex thinking my Informatics studies in Germany taught me.

SAP’s architecture is after all mainly by one of its founders, Prof. Dr. Hasso Plattner, and the highly innovative new database architecture of HANA is thanks to his own foundation. But an innovative country needs all levels, including the “ordinary” but respectable level I have now.

5) Filipino one-upmanship inhibits public information and even cooperation between experts and informed laymen. In “Widening Philippine Horizons”, I have postulated that ex cathedra arrogance of some of the learned ones, especially those who talk down to the ostensibly less educated just like Dr. Edsel Salvaña often has done on Twitter, is due to friar influence.

A huge contrast to Dr. Salvaña is Prof. Dr. Christian Drosten of the Charité in Berlin, who is an international virus expert who DEVELOPED one of the first Covid tests but has been wonderfully good at explaining a complex subject matter to laymen in the media, raising awareness of the public that tests are needed, making them understand things.

6) Our carpenter Marcelino made high quality furniture from tropical wood, and my father liked to watch him do his work, which could have competed with quality Balinese export furniture. One skill my father had from school days was a bit of carpentry, so he was never a senyorito.

There IS an old artisanal tradition in the Philippines, but it never went beyond its origins.

Raiding, Trading and Feasting by Laura Lee Junkermentions that Filipino chiefs of old protected craftsmen as their good were valuable in the growing trade of the archipelago.

Unlike Japan and Germany, the Philippines didn’t ramp up its artisanal tradition! Why, why?



Old Tagalog in the days of Sulayman even had a word of its own for one-fourth, saykapat, I recall reading in a book about those days. Today there is only kalahati for one-half and wamport for ¼. Tagalogs of then traded even with Japan, as there also were katanas in Manila during that time.

Fractions are needed if you have to weigh stuff you buy or the gold you pay it with, but the coming of the galleon trade meant the natives were relegated to mere menial work while Spaniards in Intramuros traded with the Chinese in what is now Binondo, a cannon shot away to play safe.

The “better” jobs the Spaniards offered to natives were subaltern in nature: scribes, sacristans etc., which could have been the root of subservience, when under, and totaldominance when boss. That mindset is not conducive to true innovation, as “ordinary people” never suggest improvements.

Lantaka swivel gun

Other parts of Asia were more organized, weren’t colonized that early, and I guess also were able to save a certain self-confidence from already existing and more extensive mastery of innovation. Lantakas, Malay cannons used in Manila were originally made in the Majapahit empire, for instance.

Some centuries more and the Philippines would have been at a similar level, imitating and improving stuff from others due to increased trade and warfare. Competition drives progress. Not that the Filipinos didn’t have own innovations especially in boats, as necessity is the main driver of invention.

But the geographical location of the Philippines, as I mentioned in the article “The Philippines: From the Edge to the Middle of Things”, meant it got the stimuli Malaysia and Indonesia got from outside with some delay. And those who came “out of the blue” in 1521 had a longer history of progress.

The Phoenicians were among those with the first alphabet in their area, syllabic but allegedly simplified from Egyptian hieroglyphics. The Greeks imitated and simplified that into the first “real alphabet” with letters. The Romans imitated and modified the Greek alphabet in their turn.

Same with organization – the ancient Greeks who razed Troy must have been underestimated by the certainly more organized mainlanders they invaded. About a thousand years later, the Greeks set out to colonize large part of the Mediterranean. The Romans were basically peasants on donkeys then. Germanic tribes were looked down upon by Roman Tacitus, yet Arminius decimated three Roman legions on his home turf, much like Lapu-Lapu was to kill Magellan on his home turf of Mactan. Later they occupied much of Western Europe, followed by the Vikings from even further in the cold north.

Arabic displaced Greek in many a place when Mohammed set forth with his new religion. Arabs kept a lot of Greek knowledge the Europeans had forgotten during the Dark Ages. Arabs invented algebra, but using an Indian mathematical concept – that of zero, and were far ahead of the Iberian peoples. But the Iberians threw the Moors out of their peninsula and themselves set forth to conquer, using improvements on Arab navigation technology to reach the Moluccas first and the Philippines later.

Geography (all these places aren’t too far) and competition played a role in that long development. Being close by also meant that the neighbors who were behind weren’t TOO far behind and COULD catch up quickly. But Germanic tribes also took around half a millennium to catch up with Romans.

And of course, history has often been a gang fight between peoples, and gang fights mean bragging and intimidation. Prof. Xiao Chua mentions how old colonialist books called the Philippines “Lesser Asia” and at times emphasizes that Filipinos weren’t “bobo” (stupid) as that wording could imply. Dear Xiao, we learned to think of ourselves as “bobo” (and call others bobo like Atty. Gadon does, whom you imitate so marvelously) because in colonialism, “superiority was mostly a matter of bluff”, as an English colonizer once said. Many gang fights start with intimidation and might end there. Luck and geography often make a huge difference. But all is NOT lost. We aren’t pushed to the mountains like the Quechua of the old Inca Empire in Peru. We aren’t a minority like Hawaiians in Hawaii now.



UP Ayala Technohub

Joe wrote recently:  Filipinos must start thinking forward to work on “what can be” rather than being resilient in reacting to what “was”. It might be the job of historians help dispel the national PTSD of an interrupted incipient civilization. The present mess needs resilience too. As for what can be:

1) Encourage popular education, like Prof. Xiao Chua already is doing for history and Gideon Lasco is doing with his articles and his new book “The Philippines is Not a Small Country”. Isaac Asimov wrote that popular science in America was geared towards promoting science in a country that did not like “eggheads”, as they were called in the 1950s. Any American 1950s high school movie will show you how the “guys with glasses”didn’t get dates. “Revenge of the Nerds” was a much later movie. Smart  shaming has to end.

2) Encourage teamwork WITH STRANGERS. A Filipino software entrepreneur I knew used “peer recruitment”, meaning usually the Filipinos in his teams were old college cliques. Working with them as someone NOT part of their cliques was pure hell for me and I stopped doing it.

Outside of in-groups that trust and help each other, Filipino one-upmanship and crab rules. Don’t know if the BPO age has changed that a bit, Giancarlo for sure could tell us more. What I have seen is that Indians in IT worldwide help one another more, even in Internet forums.

3) Encourage interdisciplinary and practitioner-theoretician communication. Filipinos who only know slightly more than others often either “deadma” them (give the silent treatment), intimidate them with lots of gobbledygook, or outright mock them as inferiors, while those who know less often plant the seeds of resentment or become outright anti-intellectual.

Innovative firms like BMW or SAP live from communication that runs from scientists to engineers to technicians all the way to the shop floor and back via the same channels. Applied knowledge lives from constant feedback loops between theory and practice.

With these fundamentals slowly built up, the implementation of other stuff like Karl’s ideas on institutionalizing people power (better informed by resource persons from all expertiseas well as practitioners), agriculture, industry, regenerative development and the barangay will be easier.

Finally, starting small is the key. Romanian high-speed Internet was originally built on a small scale.

When I came with an idea to network all Philippine Embassies and the DFA worldwide in 1995, the then IT responsible of DFA had an expansive idea of how to do it. When I said that small steps are better to finally have stable success (and more resilient, especially in those days were bandwidth was very expensive, and also resilient against hacking as subnetworks can work standalone) his answer was “we are the DFA, we should not think that way”. I wonder what DFA has today, worldwide.

Starting small doesn’t mean staying where you are though. Sarao jeepneys were great in the 1970s. Japanese cars in the 1950s weren’t too far ahead of Sarao jeepneys, but they didn’t stop there while Sarao didn’t continue to improve and innovate.

Now I am not Prof. Dr. Hasso Plattner, I am not Bill Gates, hell I can’t even measure up to Maoi Arroyo with her biotech startup initiative. But these are my two cents, based on what I have seen, from what I have succeeded AND also what I have failed in which can teach one the most.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, Munich, 15 October 2020

* * * * * * *

This is dedicated to the UP Elementary School teacher who helped me discover my aptitude for math with new teaching methods she had just learned in the USA, making me feel less bobo than before.

Also recalling the US popular science books my father brought from UP Clark when he was teaching there to add to our family income, which sparked my initial interest in science and science fiction and made me dream of launching the veryfirst own Filipino satellite, achieved in 2016 by Diwata-1.


264 Responses to “Getting to innovation in the Philippines”
  1. (as info)

    A 16M RANT


    You will never hear the end of it from me for your Duterte vote.

    And the more intelligent, the more educated, the more well-bred, the more “Christian” you are, the more I blame you. Shame on you!

    Yes, it’s a free country, and you have the right to vote according to your free will. But as a citizen, you also have the responsibility to vote for the best candidate. To study the facts available to help us choose a leader who would do the best job to lead us through the challenges of a developing country.

    Of course, we will always disagree about who the best one was. But why did we have to vote for the worst? Yes, the worst. The facts pointed out to that. That’s why eventually, my vote was as much a vote against Duterte as it was a vote for my top choice.

    A truckload of facts, if you had bothered to go beneath the very shallow surface, was accessible through Google. And then as the campaign progressed, you did not have to even dig for reasons not to vote for him. They were glaring, flashing, screaming. Red flags galore. In your face. In the debates. Every time he opened his stinky mouth. Evil oozing from his pores.

    He had no economic plans whatsoever. None! No solutions to unemployment. No vision. No cohesive strategy. No track record. All promises. No substance. Remember that cringe-worthy speech with the Makati Business Club? There he was in all his ampaw (empty/hollow) glory.

    You, who worked for corporations, managed departments and companies, who made your team do overtime work to finish your annual business plans, so that when you presented to your boss and his/her boss, they would approve your plans and budgets. Every MSExcel cell scrutinized. Every projection defended. Every datum analyzed. But you forgot all that managerial thinking, dumped on the institution that served you your MBA and voted for that incompetent, empty, noisy fool who said he would remove algebra from the curriculum, who said that he knew nothing about economics?!? What were you thinking? Were you even thinking?

    And please lang, do not point at Davao as the model for his achievements. That is an insult to the civic communities, the entrepreneurs, the investors, who were the true movers of the city’s economy. If you ever believed the myth about his solving the city’s crime and drug problems, then you have wasted your intellect and education. No. 1 in murder. No. 2 in rape. No. 4 in crime. And never ever got rid of drugs. Ever. After his 20 year rule. After killing children.

    You, doctors, who voted for this Fentanyl addict because you were angry at PNoy and Kim Henares.

    You, entrepreneurs, who voted for him because feeling niyo lang masmadaling maglagay pag siya na ang pangulo.

    You, teachers, corporate trainers, communication and leadership speakers–found substance, form, value, meaning, where there was none. You heard him, saw him deliver speeches that were mad, senseless rambles that disrespected the audience as well as the targets of his diatribes, and then you laughed, and applauded, and called him authentic.

    You, parents, who expect so much from your children and from yourselves, talking about values, education, and etiquette, knowing that we live in a civilized world where manners and common respect make us human and humane, but you expected so much less than that from somebody who was going to lead this country through that much-vaunted change, somebody who would automatically be a role model.You were willing to expose your impressionable youth to this madman, giving him permission to influence your son and tell your daughter that catcalling and rape jokes were fine.

    You, religious leaders, who did the fist sign with your congregation and used the bible to justify your vote?!? How could you? Oh, how my heart ached and cracked for my church and how hard it was to look deep within me to restore my faith in organized religion.

    You political butterflies, who forgot your ideologies, your mandate, the masses you defend and serve, just to get your feet inside Malacanang.

    You, who were there in EDSA to kick out the dictator, you heard him say that he would resign to get Marcos in. And you voted for him?!?

    You, who raged against the pork barrel! In his Cavite sortie, the Duts hinted at releasing Bong Revilla! Binoto mo pa rin siya!

    You, reformed drug addicts, or even just the dabblers, who could testify that change is possible if given the chance. Why were you so willing to rob others of that chance? How selfish of you.

    You, chauvinistic, abusive, philandering men who found justification in this misogynistic pig–oh what can I say to you? Just pray for your own redemption.

    And you! You, my fellow woman. He molested his household helper. He wanted to be first in line to gangbang a missionary. He paraded his mistresses in front of his wife, even when they still lived together. He kissed women on the lips during his campaign, even as he boasted of a common-law wife and a couple more women on the side. I do not understand how all that did not make you rethink your vote. And some of you even called him Tatay, or mylabs. What was wrong with you?

    He ran his city like a fiefdom. No track record at the national level. Dismal performance as Congress Representative–nanood lang ng sine. Disfunctional personal life. Physical and mental health in question. Rumors of murdered media personalities who went against him. Admissions of killing criminals outside the justice system. Rumors of his son involved in smuggling and drug running. His children beating a guest artist just because of a bad joke. At alam naman natin lahat ng ito even during the campaign period. Pero ganun eh. Iba siya. Totoong tao. Bakal na kamay. Change is coming. Huh? What the?!?!

    And then there’s the Death Squads! How could that have been okay with you?!? You didn’t know about it? You didn’t know how bad it was? And you ask me why I blame you?

    One of the reasons I got from my friends–because he’s the only one who can achieve radical change that this country badly needs. Bullcrap! There was never ever any empirical proof of that.

    You just believed the macho stories. You bought into the myth they built with manipulated polls and paid trolls.

    It was a vote of desperation. And you chose to be desperate at a time when our country was at its best economic standing in a long time. When we were emerging as a new tiger. Desperation makes you stupid, you know.

    Yes, we vote for both emotional and logical reasons. I did. The death squad issue was an emotional thing for me. It was against my values. But I also applied logic. It was a method that wasn’t working. The data showed it wasn’t an effective method. And dammit! It was illegal. On top of it being immoral! And there was no logical data for a projection, an intelligent prediction, to make anyone think that he could solve the crime and drug problems of the whole country. Ni walang diagram. Walang PowerPoint presentation. At nung kinuwestiyon siya about the How–sinigaw niya “bayot ka!” Wow lang. Boto ka pa rin. Ibang klase!

    You forgot your education, your managerial orientation, your values, your faith and voted for a womanizing, cursing, murdering, lying, stealing, cheating man who was clinically, officially certified to be mentally imbalanced.

    Two weeks before the vote, we found out that the Duterte family had properties and bank accounts not justified by their earnings as a political dynasty. And that did not make you wonder about his claims of being angry at corruption?!?

    You’ve made up your mind. And you voted for him.

    Because you were angry about traffic, frustrated with the MRT, outraged by laglag bala. And you voted for the one who only said he would solve those problems, without presenting any viable solution, just imaginary numbers and ridiculous deadlines. Naniwala naman kayo.

    You just felt like voting for him. Basta. Duterte talaga.

    YOU. VOTED. For the worst president since Marcos. Maybe even worse than Ferdinand Marcos.
    And look at where that vote has brought us. Really look. Do not just scan the pages of Mocha, Sass, and his army of apologists.

    Loans piling up. Peso slipping. Jobs and investments dwindling. Grants disappearing. Our islands being grabbed from us. Corruption growing. Nepotism, cronyism, incompetence, the death of meritocracy. Fake news hinahayaan at kinukunsinte pa. Wala nang bigas! And shit lang–may crime and drugs pa rin! May traffic pa rin. Sira pa rin ang MRT. At umuulan ng bala, hindi lang sa airport, pati sa kalsada. Batang babaeng may hawak ng Barbie doll naging collateral sa palpak na gerang walang kwenta. Pero ang mga drug lords malaya.

    Eto pa! “Hindi siya trapo!” Gago, he’s the most trapo politician I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime. Guns, goons, gold, cronies, dynasties–he’s got it all. And now–trapo na nga siya, isa pa siyang malaking doormat–Welcome, China! Our Islands, Yours Na. Tinapon ang ating victory sa Hague. At binenta ng libre ang bansa natin. With loan interests on our side. Hindi pa natin tapos bayaran ang mga utang ni Marcos, eto na naman.

    Bwisit kayong lahat. Binoto niyo ay loko-lokong bastos na drug addict. Ang pangit pa.

    Am I being unforgiving? Why? Are you asking for forgiveness?

  2. Micha says:


    You really need to start taking your own medicine and stop comparing the Philippines to other countries because you seem to be sidestepping the much too obvious fact that the natives weren’t free to do as they would have wanted to in terms of innovating industries or, for that matter, the bigger task of nation building.

    You bring out the Sarao Jeepney and Japanese car comparison, for example. Why do you think Japan made progress and our Sarao did not?

    • I just finished watching the new BlackPink: Light up the Sky, and it was really enlightening.

      Firstly, is the Korean diaspora, their producer grew up in California; then the worldly make up of the group; Second, is how K-pop perfected the girl-group/boy-band formula, they just made it obvious that each is replaceable; Third, is merchandizing, plus concert and social media.

      Filipinos have that same diaspora too. Second and third, Filipinos cannot replicate.

      Filipinos the world over are known as musicians, but all they do is cover songs, and if they do do their own songs its not very original. What K-pop is doing is basically same as hip-hop and pop combined (like Halsey, etc.) but they’ve modularized it, so at any given time you can plug and play, because your bench is so deep w/ talent.

      Philippines, a band ages and goes out, no replacement. Eraserheads (the only CD i still have now and listen to from the Philippines, Ultraelectromagneticjam! the one with different bands playing Eraserhead songs) is the only aberration, all other bands and music is just copy/paste. It’s like Filipinos are content with playing Bon Jovi, or Gordon Lightfoot, etc.

      I got into Gordon Lightfoot whilst there.

      Now K-pop is worldwide; Filipinos and their music don’t go abroad really. Same also with Filipino food, don’t get me wrong I love pork too, but compared to other Asian cuisine, like Korean food, so much more tasty and healthy. So innovation I think has to start in the culture, creativity is just not cultivated.

      Start with taste in music and food. IMHO

      • “Filipinos the world over are known as musicians, but all they do is cover songs” Yep. Most Filipino bands the world over go for EXACT imitation. who is the new lead singer of Journey sings EXACTLY like Steve Perry whom he replaced.

        My experience with Filipino karaoke is that EXACTLY singing like whoever’s song you are singing is liked – varying on it annoys the hell out of Pinoys. In my own experience as someone who sings and is a smart-ass often, it gets more hate than being a smart-ass. Somewhat like Martin Nievera got tons of hate for singing Bayang Magiliw other than the orthodox way – not in the religious sense but in the sense of what is commonly accepted. Contrast that with the way Marvin Gaye once sung the US national anthem publicly. Well possibly I just don’t sing as well as I imagine I do, or look too white or arrogant for some. 😀

        UP Concert Chorus in my opinion always uses the same musical arrangements as pioneered by Prof. Ryan Cayabyab who is at the root of a lot of OPM (Original Pilipino Music) and they stick to his style as if it were gospel. They bored me after some time.

        “innovation I think has to start in the culture, creativity is just not cultivated.” – this Filipino streetfood store in Berlin sort of has its own thing, but then again that is free-wheeling Berlin and it seems 2nd generation kids run the store.

        • karl,

          re that OPM video below, see that’s original a punk band doing ballads and not their language. But i agree with Ireneo’s “bored me after some time”, that’s why I asked around and got into Eraserheads there, that’s innovation and creativity.

          And I noticed the girls in bars hated Eraserheads, they prefered their Journey and Bon Jovi.

          Filipinos are very sappy in music taste, like they never came out of their teenage years. And no before you point it out, I’m not really into K-Pop , more interested in how the Koreans broke thru, ever since I listened to Gangdam Style, I’ve been like wow this is a new sound, and

          with the above documentary, I kinda get it now, why they’re producing this new genre.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        This was a thing a few years ago. Foreigners sing OPM songs in youtube and got to show what they are made of in a singing contest in the Philippines.

        100% foreigners will compete against each other in singing competition using Filipino songs and most notably the Original Pilipino Music genre.

      • i7sharp says:

        “So innovation I think has to start in the culture, creativity is just not cultivated.”

        I wonder if I am innovative or creative …
        or, neither. HAHAHA
        What Are Creativity and Innovation?


        José imagines creativity as the proverbial light bulb illuminating above his head.

        Just what are creativity and innovation? You know them when you see them, right? But a deeper understanding of what creativity is—and is not—can help you enhance the creativity of any group you lead. Let’s start with a couple of definitions, and then move on to correct the most common misconceptions people have about creativity.

        Creativity is a process of developing and expressing novel ideas that are likely to be useful.

        Innovation is the embodiment, combination, and/or synthesis of knowledge in original, relevant, valued new products, processes, or services.
        The team completes the creative process, and, as if a giant light bulb has illuminated, the process leads to innovation.

        Embedded in these definitions are three key insights:

        Creativity is not so much a talent as it is a goal-oriented process. Making your group more innovative is not a matter of importing a few people who have creative character traits, and then relying on these folks for all your breakthrough ideas. Rather, it’s a matter of designing a collaborative approach that maximizes everyone’s distinctive gifts, experience, and expertise. Moreover, the purpose or goal of the creative process is the solving of a particular problem or the satisfying of a specific need.
        Creativity involves convergent as well as divergent thinking. The creative process begins with divergent thinking—a breaking away from familiar or established ways of seeing and doing that produces novel ideas. Convergent thinking occurs in the later stages of the process. As the original ideas generated by the divergent thinking are communicated to others, they are evaluated to determine which ideas are genuinely novel and worth pursuing. The group then uses convergent thinking to choose an option with the potential to solve the problem that initiated the creative process.
        An innovation is the end result of the creative process. Again, creativity is a process you employ to improve your problem solving. So you’re not done until your creative efforts have produced a product, service, or process that answers the original need or solves the problem you identified at the outset.

        Key Misconceptions

        Creativity is misunderstood

        José imagines several light bulbs floating above his head and wonders when creativity will strike next.

        There’s actually quite a bit of research on creativity that’s been done over the years. In the course of all this experimentation and exploration, it’s become clear that creativity is a widely misunderstood subject. Do you have any of the following misconceptions about creativity? Doing away with them extends your managerial arena—the range of possible actions you can take to maximize your group’s creative potential.

        By defying the five misconceptions about creativity, managers can extend their teams’ creative dynamics.


    • I don’t know. Please tell us.

      Both countries were independent so what gives?

      • Why is Japanes venture capital investing in Africa now, not the Philippines?


          here you go.. if ever the Africans had a lot more issues but they are inventing ground up.

        • Chris Albert says:

          Simple answer to that……(and crazy if you think about it “outside the box” for a moment)……because investing in Africa is safer, better manageabale and gives a higher ROI……. Sad but that’s how the proverbial cookie crumbles.

          • pablonasid says:

            Due to the Corona, I got stuck in Africa and am amazed how vibrant the place is. How diverse. How different opinions can voice themselves in the many TV stations. How corruption is rampant but gets challenged. Certainly, Africa has huge challenges, HUGE. Climate change can throw a big spanner in the wheel, the racial/tribal issues can spin out of control, population growth is killing and many other issues. But rapidly a self-awareness is building and clearly the economists have hopes for the place, hence their investment strategies. Which leaves the question where The Philippines is heading.. Look and learn or suffer.

            • Thanks Chris and pablo. Chris, it is quite scary to think that people find it SAFER to invest in Africa nowadays than in the Philippines. Well it is the land of the Fraport debacle / NAIA3, Dengvaxia being demonized as well as quo warranto and ab initio so not too surprised.

              Pablo, thanks for confirming the impression of vibrant Africa I get from Deutsche Welle when it comes to innovation as well as many opinions which I get from the feed of a Nigerian FB friend. BTW the Nigerian term for corrupt politicians – yam eaters – is quite picturesque. 😀

              • pablonasid says:

                My Nigerian friend/colleague is a very principled guy in a high position in a big company. Still, whenever he is back in Nigeria, he spends a lot of time going to places in Abuja to discuss with young people. His point of view: If you guys would spend as much effort in work/learning as you do in developing scams, Nigeria would be the richest and most developed place in this world. LOL
                Even there, the young people are getting fed up with the corruption. Yam-Eaters are getting boxed-in slowly.

              • I am wondering if that kind of dialogue is possible at all in the Philippines, not just because of the rich/poor divide and mutual distrust, but maybe even more due to in-group mentality. The way different groups act toward one another in the Philippines makes me pessimistic.

              • Chris Albert says:

                You are welcome. Funny you say this “…… am wondering if that kind of dialogue is possible at all in the Philippines…” I was in the middle of preparing a few llectures and to look into this in general with lecturer from DeLaSale Manila. I will still go ahead with this after the mess with Covit is over. We shall see, if there is a chance we might just push this and then spread it out “under the radar” 😉 I really would love to be able to do this in return for the data i get from the country.

              • Chris, you’re right, of course with an interested group a dialog is possible.

                I was thinking in general of the difficulty to dialog with a lot of people in the Philippines as the common self-awareness Pablo mentioned in Nigeria isn’t there yet among many.

                And all the best for your initiative, such stuff gives some hope, yes resilience can be transformed into entrepreneurship, it is also something I have long felt it just needs to be ramped up and coached properly to thrive – which I feel you will do.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          This is how the Japanese scout and select. Me pakontes.

          • kasambahay says:

            right, you win some, you lose some, no hard feelings. we cannot always be winner. when we lose, we grieve for lost opportunity, but we’ll try again, maybe smarter next time.

            we cannot deny that there are others who have better presentation, can see what we cannot see, address what we could not address, and have the attitude we dont have.

            our parents told us early on that we are special, smart and unique and much loved. but out there in the real world, we sometimes have to fight to be heard, to be noticed, to be given chance, etc.

            be prepared come what may and be willing to learn.

    • pablonasid says:

      Been thinking about this one. I think that Micha, you are wrong. I worked all my life abroad and my Filipino colleagues were the best engineers to work with. Maybe initially, their training lacked a few notches, but they picked up very soon and became a lot easier to work with compared to Indian, Chinese, Paki’s, even better than many Europeans and Americans. HOWEVER, their initial advantage has been lost rapidly and many companies now prefer to employ Indians (etc.etc.etc.). And only THIS generation (and the one before this one) has to blame itself for killing the schooling and reducing competitiveness. Why do you think Japan made progress and our Sarao did not? Because all brains left to abroad and when they come back, most retire and don’t want to have anything to do with improving their country.That is the generation which has the brains and the attitude and experience to do that….. Now, you wonder why that is. Ofcourse, you can blame anything on the history, but then how far back do you want to go? The Chinese think they can go back a thousand years in justifying why the Philippine Sea should be the Chinese Sea. That is BS and looking for excuses. Sorry, mate. Get more Balik-scientists to return and get the schools to admit they are lacking and start looking for experienced trainers, even if they are 60+ years old. But that would admit failure and it is unacceptable, right? So, we pretend that it is sufficient to cook, sing and copy music. Makes life very pleasant for me, but I doubt that this is the way to go for a developing country.

      • I worked all my life abroad and my Filipino colleagues were the best engineers to work with. Maybe initially, their training lacked a few notches, but they picked up very soon and became a lot easier to work with compared to Indian, Chinese, Paki’s, even better than many Europeans and Americans. HOWEVER, their initial advantage has been lost rapidly and many companies now prefer to employ Indians (etc.etc.etc.). And only THIS generation (and the one before this one) has to blame itself for killing the schooling and reducing competitiveness. Thanks Pablo for this important take on things.

        Get more Balik-scientists to return and get the schools to admit they are lacking and start looking for experienced trainers, even if they are 60+ years old. But that would admit failure and it is unacceptable, right? Yes, admitting failure is something a lot of Filipinos can’t do that easily. Many would rather go under persisting in error.

        Stolz geht die Welt zugrunde – pridefully, the world goes under, is an old German saying.

        • And only THIS generation (and the one before this one) has to blame itself for killing the schooling and reducing competitiveness.

          MLQ3 (Manolo Quezon or Manuel Quezon III who is President Quezon’s grandson and a great amateur contemporary Filipino historian, in fact one of the few who dare analyze what happened from the Marcos period onward while others are stuck with Rizal and Bonifacio) postulated that the retirement of the first, highly dedicated batch of public school teachers who started in Commonwealth years as youngsters – and the politicization of teacher recruitment from the early 1970s onwards was what made Philippine public school deteriorate.

          It could also have been populistic pressure to reduce school years. Philippine Science High School early batches in the 1960s had five grades of High School. Someone told us there used to generally be seven years of elementary as well, meaning it WAS ONCE K-12.

          My father went to a public high school in the 1950s, in those days all valedictorians and salutatorians of public high schools got an automatic UP scholarship.

          I also sense that the competitiveness of the 1950s was more positive – by my time in HS it had already become toxic among some, with the twin crab phenomena of one-upmanship and envy already very much there, I sense it might be worse today. I wonder what gave?

          • One thing that also could have contributed to the deterioration of public schooling was OFWs being sent out from 1975 onwards, the flow never abating. A lot of public school teachers – including one I know who is retired now – preferred to be domestic helpers in HK than suffer the difficult underpaid life of a public school teacher in the Philippines. The one I know, an Ilocana, had to trudge into remote villages of Cagayan were kids often did not even speak Ilokano but Ibanag or Itawis. As we can see nowadays a lot of public school teachers cross rivers to get to school or go up mountains to get a signal to download online modules – all in their own time and without extra pay. It is a miracle many still make those sacrifices.

          • pablonasid says:

            Irineo, I think you hit the nail on the head.

            Oh yeah, we try to be valedictorian, salutatorians… But compete against what?? Our own shadow maybe??? We do not compete against universities in other countries. We do not really measure our universities against world-class ones. When the best Filipino university sinks into the morass (, there are little or no consequences. Who cares? When I discuss this with my family who all work at UP, I get the impression that it’s like incest. We only are interested in the mechanics of the system, not in the results. Having studied abroad, we always had the idea that we were up against the French (innovative), Germans (technical excellence), Brits (powerpoint), Americans (expensive top class universities). I do not taste this at all in Philippines, here we make nice papers, we present them sometimes in international fora and then we are happy to return home and busy ourselves in our own world. As you mentioned the valedictorian circus, that is an example of how we hide. I never had anything like that, we were supposed to do our studies and get good results. Some excelled in one area but sucked in others. In their area of excellence, they continued and made themselves a good life. As long as the overall picture was OK, we continued. In other area’s, you needed minimum performance. In Aachen, a prof told me that he did not mind to fail 90-95% of his students (aeronautical engineering) with the argument that you did not want planes to fall out of the sky through incompetence, he just set a minimum standard (and it was bloody high).
            Talking to the DepEd regional director, I only heard stories about organization, nothing about standards and achievements.

            And so we are sinking in the swamp and it will be very difficult to pull ourselves out while other countries are steaming ahead. The differences become (almost) insurmountable.
            But I discussed this in a blog before.

            Competition? I fully concur

            • When I discuss this with my family who all work at UP, I get the impression that it’s like incest. It really is. I grew up in Diliman Campus, my father was a prof there. Elementary School (behind the College of Education then) was mostly with kids of other UP employees. Had I gone by my father’s wish, I would have taught at UP – and like many of my former UP Elementary classmates I probably might have married someone from the village, I mean someone who grew up in Diliman Campus. Nothing wrong with UP Campus, it is a pleasant place with large trees and fresher air than the rest of Metro Manila around it. But after having lived in Europe 11 yrs and finished my Master’s degree I found it a bit parochial.

              We do not compete against universities in other countries. We do not really measure our universities against world-class ones. Nope. In fact I was surprised when I noticed that my alma mater (Bonn University) is WAY ahead of UP and Ateneo on the international lists. Why? I had always heard my father and some other Filipinos act as if UP was in the same league as Harvard and Bonn was just an underfunded (yes) and mediocre (no!) university. My German mother always said UP was “inbred”. Ateneo where she taught is less so, as its University Press has a lot of publications by foreign scholars. UP is often about “we don’t want any outsiders, much less foreigners in our campus”.

              I never had anything like that, we were supposed to do our studies and get good results. Some excelled in one area but sucked in others. In their area of excellence, they continued and made themselves a good life. As long as the overall picture was OK, we continued Nobody cares about my grade when I finished university, much less my Abitur (baccalaureate) grade these days. After some years in a certain career it is the track record one develops in that career that matters. I even know a Chemistry dropout who is now a top SAP manager as he earned his spurs by being a great (if sometimes a bit loony) problem-solver in all kinds of roles – technical, consultant, product manager etc.

              In other area’s, you needed minimum performance.In Germany it does NOT matter whether you TOP the two state exams. But only the ones with A-Grades get to be judges, prosecutors come after that, and the rest are lawyers of different categories. Those who “only” make the first state exame can be notaries or something. In our Informatics course the math courses were so hard around half dropped out at the start. Even I had to repeat some math as math in university is different from high school math – I had missed a few critical weeks and didn’t understand anything anymore all of a sudden.

              In Aachen, a prof told me that he did not mind to fail 90-95% of his students (aeronautical engineering) with the argument that you did not want planes to fall out of the sky through incompetence, he just set a minimum standard (and it was bloody high).If I were to be asked what are Technical Universities are the best in the German-speaking area, I would think of RWTH Aachen, TU München and ETH Zürich first. While Bonn was quite good especially in theoretical stuff – also as there was hardly enough equipment and staff to do enough practical stuff in my time, as an instructor I did have access to a Sun Workstation though, OK – I know these three are in another league.

              Talking to the DepEd regional director, I only heard stories about organization, nothing about standards and achievements.I fortunately never had to deal with UP bureacracy much less DepEd, but I can imagine that there is the same lack of priorities and focus mainly on “proper procedure” no matter how senseless, at a similar level to the famous example many have experienced with banks who will not cash your check if it only has your first given name and you have more on your passport. Or if the check has you with a middle name and your European passport doesn’t have that middle name, same crap.

              Competition? I fully concurI think this is no longer done at Pisay, but in our time at Philippine Science there was a “Director’s List” with all those who had grade point averages above 1.5 – 1 was excellent, 2 was very good, 3 was passing etc., and every year the topnotchers got medals, as if being excellent was like a horse race of sorts. These days I saw a Twitter trend of Pisay students complaining about having a workload that barely lets them have time for anything else – I ask what kind of education is that, what stays in the heads from such an overload, especially at that age, high school? What is the use of learning the details of photosynthesis in 2nd year high, like I did for instance, if one doesn’t know the most common Philippine flora and fauna, much less is able to identify them outside? Thanks again for your important input.

              BTW there is also this insularity among Philippine universities. AND my impression is that interdisciplinary work between different disciplines, even different departments within UP, is hardly there. Too much competitiveness hinders it. And the pissing contests between Filipino scholars and groups of scholars are harsh, even harsher than pissing contests in the Filipino blogosphere or grandstanding of politicians, the tragic thing is that these are truly the best and the brightest the Philippines still has. Many simply leave for elsewhere, not necessarily due to money but because they aren’t into those cockfights. Like you said, the Philippines as a whole loses with those zero-sum games. And if UP was still at the level of a good state university in the USA in the 1950s (I just surmise) it isn’t what it used to be from all I heard. But like you also mentioned, pride leads to denial, and I see most people just looking for culprits and not solutions in order to keep their pride chicken intact. It is truly tragic IMO.

            • sonny says:

              Your memoirs would make an enlightening commentary on the Filipino “soul”, kalooban. I would read and take to heart.

  3. One major thing that I also think inhibits innovation in the Philippines also is the enormous stigma attached to “failure”. Edison tried so many variations until he had a working lightbulb..

    Just a standard warning due to post-Phase 3 vaccine test results made Dengvaxia a “failure” and it is still considered one in the Philippines even if it works elsewhere. There is little of the mindset that mistakes are learning opportunities. They are very quickly pilloried.

    • kasambahay says:

      failure, there was one, took him 7yrs to finish high school instead of the usual 4yrs, one time prosecutor he was and mayor of some sort. and now he is president.

      dengvax po failed in our country thanks to him meddling, his appointee on the forefront and hired dubious experts giving equally dubious opinions. dont mean they are right though.

      • Sanofi reported a risk they had found out about, something they have to do as an obligation by pharma industry standards which are there for a reason. A lot of people latched unto it like piranhas that smelt blood because it was politically a way of tainting the previous admin.

        The result could be that European firms in general aren’t too eager to help the Philippines in this time of Covid where I think the probability of something good coming from the pharma powerhouses over here is very high. Well, even NAIA3 which involved the German Fraport is NOT YET FORGOTTEN over here, as Europeans have long memories. The element of revenge is no longer that strong in modern Europe but TRUST is still hard to find again.

        Yes, of course, some Filipinos could also point to Berlin airport, which will open only after a ten-year delay due to a lot of reasons, and come with the usual “hehe, palpak kayo, tangina ninyo talaga”, an attitude not only paid trolls can have. The attitude of quickly and severely punishing errors instead of trying to fix them constructively is not applicable in modern contexts. Then you have the other side of that mentality is that those who are good at covering up or denying errors are respected. Pretending that the decision to create Dolomite beach was OK even up to the Supreme Court. Joe explains that well in this older article:

        The “so what” factor is that the healthiest society is one that deals forthrightly rather than wages power battles sublimely or under the cover of protected face. Power battles create winners and losers. Forthright dealings create only winners.

        Filipinos are actually aware of the SYMPTOMS of their power-mongering. They recognize this in the behavior of supposedly educated Senator Sotto justifying his plagiarisms, or in the rice worker blaming others for his crop failure. Face it, the Philippines is at its most dysfunctional self when problem solving and good acts are set aside in favor of blames and excuses and playing the victim.

        Most Filipinos are not able to accept mistakes as a normal part of the risks of being human. Face rules. Power as currency reigns supreme. Filipinos deny the value of “trial and error” as scientific method in daily life. They instead waste energy defending, covering, ducking, running, attacking, undermining, dodging and digging at others.

        As for President Duterte, a man like that might have stayed on as a good local official with a pragmatic approach – or never had the pressure to become a lawyer, something which he obviously never was good at. Face and power makes him try to prove something I think, and lash out at people he dislikes by saying “do you think you are bright”. He is a symptom of a society that sets its priorities wrong in so many ways. My drunkard uncle who dropped his law school did so because he was under pressure to “top the bar”, some people told me. What my father once told me is that he had a hell of a talent in writing, and Manang (who already had been my grandfather’s maid in Manila for a while) said he could paint portraits as well. Possibly he would have become an artist and writer, still womanizing and drinking, but his contribution to society might have been greater. While I wonder what my youngest uncle – an engineer – would have contributed to Philippine progress if he hadn’t left for the USA in the early 1970s. But as we all know a lot of factors make people leave the country.

        Joe has also written about how the old Filipino way was/is to want the children to be valedictorians, summa cum laudes and bar topnotchers all the time, but what about those who can’t (always) be the best? My uncle Cesar (who also played basketball well) was one.

        • kasambahay says:

          good genes, you have such good looking tiyo, Irineo. parang si james dean, a rebel without a cause.

          tama po kayo about filipino parents, most live through their kids, invest heavily on their own kids and in return, expect kids to return the investment, do better than them and achieve more, be famous, be stellar, be rich. and like your very guapo uncle, some kids break free to live their own life, choose their own path.

          and you’re such a fantastic writer as well, sabi ko na nga ba, it’s in the genes, the capability.

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    There is bayanihan spirit, but it quickly dissipates, fades, dissolves once the task, mission, transaction is done.
    We act as one during disasters, but disastrous when there are no disasters.
    Not different in always crisis mode US, when there is no crisis, they find one soon enough.

  5. Karl Garcia says:

    The author is spot on.

    “People who tout that the Philippines has an abundance of engineers and skilled laborers, and point to that as proof that the Philippines can make its own weapons, are partly correct. You do, after all, need people who know how to do the work. But you also need other “classes” of workers to make a manufacturing venture viable. For example, you need skilled managers who keep workers working, and happy. You won’t be producing anything if your workers are always on strike. You will also need Industrial Engineers and Accountants to ensure efficient operations; suitably qualified human resources and training personnel to hire, train; and then retain skilled labor, etc.

    Arguably, this is the easiest part of the jigsaw puzzle to address.”

  6. Karl Garcia says:

    Edison was quick to license his intentions, he made other inventions practical for example Graham Bell’s telephone was reinvented into the telegraph.

    He even helped his friend Henry Ford by inspiring him to have his model T come in any color as long as it is black. j/k.

    Meanwhile the Filipinos had inventions urban legends like the moon raker, car that ran on water to actual inventions even before the existence of patent offices, it lacked the making it practical part that where Edison excelled.

    What will we do with all those DOST projects like hybrid engine trains, bus trains, monorails, etc

    • The inventions you list are mainly artisanal – that culture was always there, including the fashion industry which is doing fine.

      The jump to technological was what DOST was trying to seed, however the monorail (DOST AGT) was stopped, the test route in UP Diliman dismantled, don’t know about Alabang. Bus Train tried in Clark I don’t know. Train was already ready for use by PNR but was it continued or just celebrated by the present admin as credit-grabbing for what was started in PNoy time? Diwata 1 is no longer in space from what I read somewhere. Project NOAH was closed, a rudimentary version of it continued in UP Diliman, its sensors abandoned.

      As for innovators abroad, the one name I think of is Dado Banatao, microchip entrepreneur.

      • Game of the Generals mentioned in the Wiki entry is basically a rip-off of Stratego:

        Escrima is of course the native martial art..

        These two sound similar to the kind of innovation that is now all over Africa – solving 3rd world issues with clever use of existing materials and resources, also modern ones:

        Eco-G NanoTechnology developed the Eco-G3000, a low-cost and low-maintenance fuel-emission reduction device. It is designed to reduce vehicular gas consumption and toxic emission.

        Justino Arboleda devised the coconet, a sturdy but biodegradable net made from coconut husk.

  7. Karl Garcia says:

    Irineo you discussed this with Mlq3 in twitter.

    “The Bell Trade Act of 1946, also known as the Philippine Trade Act, was an act passed by the United States Congress specifying policy governing trade between the Philippines and the United States following independence of the Philippines from the United States.[1][2] The United States Congress offered $800 million for post World War II rebuilding funds if the Bell Trade Act was ratified by the Philippine Congress. The specifics of the act required the 1935 Constitution of the Philippines be amended. The Philippine Congress approved the measure on July 2, two days before independence from the United States of America, and on September 18, 1946 approved a plebiscite to amend the Constitution of the Philippines.

    Authored by Missouri Congressman C. Jasper Bell, the Bell Trade Act required:

    Preferential tariffs on US products imported into the Philippines;
    A 2:1 fixed exchange rate between the Philippine peso and the United States dollar;
    No restrictions on currency transfers from the Philippines to the United States;
    “Parity rights” granting U.S. citizens and corporations rights to Philippine natural resources equal to (in parity with) those of Philippine citizens, contrary to Article XIII in the 1935 Philippine Constitution, necessitating a constitutional amendment.[3]
    The Bell Act, particularly the parity clause, was seen by critics as an inexcusable surrender of national sovereignty.[4] The pressure of the sugar barons, particularly those of President Roxas’s home region of Western Visayas, and other landowner interests, however, was irresistible.[4]

    In 1955, the Laurel–Langley Agreement revised the Bell Trade Act.[3] This treaty abolished the United States authority to control the exchange rate of the peso, made parity privileges reciprocal, extended the sugar quota, and extended the time period for the reduction of other quotas and for the progressive application of tariffs on Philippine goods exported to the United States.“

    Mean while the Cold-war came and the WW2 ally USSR suddenly became a threat and Japan’s war crimes was somehow forgotten and eventually aid became full blast, the rest is history.

    • Yes, the main effect was that US products became very cheap and local Philippine products too expensive too produce in comparison, I read somewhere. Somewhat like the 1:1 exchange rate between Deutsche Mark and East German Mark flattened East German firms VERY QUICKLY after German unity – the best of them of course were bought, for example the Görlitz train wagon builders who built train wagons for the entire Communist block are now part of Bombardier if I am not mistaken.

      Re Japan – the Mitsubishi corporation would be an example of what are called “zaibatsus” – going from memory so corrections are appreciated. Though also family-owned, it seems the sometimes century old zaibatsus (I think Matsushita is the oldest) may well have had more urge to reinvest in products than a lot of Filipino oligarchs. The only one I see somewhat investing in research is Ayala with UP Ayala Technohub and a semiconductor firm.

  8. Karl Garcia says:

    “Why was the Philippines left behind when it was one of the first former colony to become free right after the last world war?
    In their book, The Process of Development, James Cypher and James Dietz pointed the need for industrialization as a structural means to accelerate the pace of economic growth and development. They also pointed out that the nature of the structural transformation from primary production to secondary and to tertiary production is part of the process of economic growth and development and that the structural changes, which easy import substitution industrialization (ISI) can help to initiate, is the first stage of industrialization.
    I also wrote last week that according to Yoshihara Kunio during the second half of the nineteenth century, while other developing counties remained dormant, the Philippines under Spain received the first impetus to modernize but that unlike Japan, which began industrialization around this time, the early phase of Philippine development was confined mainly to the export and processing of agriculture products in great demand in the West.
    According to Kunio, the lack of progress outside the processing of agriculture products was appalling because not only sophisticated machines but also even simple manufactured goods were imported, the reason why after independence, the Philippine government went straight into import substitution industrialization or ISI that Cypher and Dietz mentioned above.
    As cited by Kunio, the immediate result of the Philippine’s foray in ISI was for the value added in manufacturing to increase by 12 percent per annum in the first five years of the 1950s. Growth dropped to 7 percent per annum in the following years but since this was still higher that the rest of the economy, the share of manufacturing in the total output of the country continued to rise, reaching about 20 percent by the early 1970s.
    Unfortunately, since then and up to now the same level of manufacturing share remains more or less at the same level. This shows that, while not necessarily a failure, the ISI was not enough to propel the Philippine to faster and higher level of development.
    The four NIEs also went into ISI at first, but not long after that they also followed it up with export industrialization to overcome the limits of the domestic market for their manufacturing output and to earn the necessary foreign exchange needed for growing imports arising out of the need for raw materials of their expanding export industries and other needs of their prospering population.
    Philippine export industrialization indeed began also immediately prior and after Martial Law under Marcos. He pushed export industrialization with the export incentives act and by creating export processing zones, first in Bataan and then in Cebu, Baguio, and Cavite later on. In Mindanao, Marcos also created the 3,000-hectare PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate located in Misamis Oriental (PIE-MO). I personally witnessed the PIE-MO being established while I was still at NEDA Region X based in Cagayan de Oro in Misamis Oriental where I also conducted a study on its impact five years later.
    Despite the presence of the export processing zones and industrial estates, however, foreign investors, which came in droves to Asia and other emerging countries in the world, were somewhat reluctant to come the Philippines, what with the Martial Law and the troubles caused by the Communists insurgents in many parts of the country and the Muslim separatists in Mindanao.
    Anyway, the Philippines, being dependent on the import of oil was also hit big by the first oil crisis 1973, followed by the slowing down of the sugar and coconut products exports later. These, together with the growing foreign debt to be serviced exposed the weakness of the Philippine economy in contrast to the four NIEs and or even Thailand and Malaysia.
    Aggravating the Philippine problem was the inability of the industrial projects undertaken by the cronies of the President to prosper because of reported corruption and lack of proven business ability of the cronies other than being loyal to the president who gave them favors.
    Such was the poor state of development of the Philippines under Marcos, which ended with the collapse of the economy in his last two years in 1984 and 1985 when the Philippine GDP went down by more than 7 percent per annum or by 15 percent more or less in two years.”

    Read more:
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  9. Karl Garcia says:

    “Back in his time Marcos recognized this and introduced the 11 major industrial projects (MIPs), one of which was copper. At the time Atlas Consolidated was among the world’s largest copper mines (the largest in Asia), but its concentrate was being shipped directly offshore and much of the potential gain to the Philippine economy was lost. So he ordered that a copper smelter be built, and it was. And for some 30 years or so it has been operating successfully, but not currently sourcing its raw material (copper concentrate) from local mines. As the volumes are not there, it imports concentrate.

    The copper ingots produced are shipped to the London Metal Exchange warehouse, to be sold for processing into rods, bars, and ingots. Some of that is then shipped back to the Philippines for the manufacture of copper wire and cable. A link in the chain is missing; revenue is lost to others. So the Board of Investments commissioned the Wallace Business Forum to research the feasibility and viability of putting up a plant to produce copper wire rod, and look at the possibility of further downstream integration with the automotive, household, and other industries. This we have done, and now we are delving into the practical issues to make copper rod production a reality.

    If it works and the government recognizes that mining is good for a country, and encourages it again, then we may have an almost complete chain. The final link is to attract more (we have some, but not enough) end-use manufacturers, washing machines and refrigerators, motor cars and ships, and the many other products that use copper.

    A nice side benefit of the smelter is that it secretes sulfuric acid as a byproduct in the manufacture. So a fertilizer plant was put up next to the copper smelter of the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. (Pasar), as fertilizer uses the acid as a raw material.

    It goes further. A smelter has about 60 percent of its cost in power. Electricity, as you well know, is expensive. So Pasar will put up its own plant, and as the most economical size is larger than Pasar’s need, it will supply the excess to the Visayas grid, addressing the current worry of shortages.

    And if the copper rod plant is put up there, an export zone can be created and users of rod can be enticed to locate there, too, providing jobs where they are needed in the countryside—a full community of copper freaks. It’s an ambitious concept, but ambition is what drives progress in the world. It can be done.

    The other MIPs conceived by Marcos were: an aluminum smelter; diesel engine manufacturing; cement industry expansion; coconut industry rationalization; an integrated pulp and paper mill and a petrochemical complex; heavy engineering industries and an integrated steel project; and alcogas.

    The only two that got anywhere are the cement and alcogas projects, and both successfully. The others got derailed for various reasons.

    The coconut industry was seized by Cojuangco, who used coconut levy funds to buy the United Coconut Planters Bank a controlling stake in San Miguel Corp. The Supreme Court has ruled that the stake is owned by coconut farmers. It will now be turned over to the National Treasury on behalf of the millions of coconut farmers and be used for projects in developing the coconut industry.

    A pulp and paper mill needs wood. Greedy, unscrupulous loggers in complicity with local governments have decimated the forests. There’s no wood left, so you can forget this one, and anyway the world is going soft, hard copies of anything are rapidly disappearing.

    An aluminum smelter needs aluminum. The only local source is in Samar. To meet needed volumes bauxite will have to come from Australia. The numbers no longer add up.

    Meanwhile, the petrochemical project is finally taking off after being derailed by a Supreme Court decision in the early 1990s. The vision is to have a fully integrated petrochemical industry, from oil refinery to naphtha cracker to well-diversified downstream production, in about a decade. Strong domestic demand and the opening up of the larger Asean market will create the opportunity for the petrochemical industry to move forward.“

  10. Joel Jr Rudinas says:

    Filipinos ARE capable of innovation in STEM.

    One unfortunate thing here is that the vast majority of Filipinos do not see science the same way as Europeans do although with the increasing number of enrollees in the Engineering fields, i am adamant that is about to change;

    The second unfortunate thing is that there aren’t a lot of partnerships between universities and business in the Philippines apart from the major and big ones.

    There’s also a gap between the business skills of students in STEM because students in STEM do have the technical skills and the appropriate scientific knowledge but unfortunately do not have the appropriate training in business.

    The willingness is there. The manpower (particularly with the growing number of Engineers passing the national exams/EITs) is there. The culture is changing from one leaning against science and technology. It’s that partnerships with the education sector need to be in place. Businesses need to take a risk in partnering with universities (even state-owned and managed ones) to help them deliver a certain product. Universities and students in particular need to partner with businesses to help them deliver a product that helps them solve a problem.

    • It would be nice to see your suggestions taken up by Leni Robredo as policy, come 2022. I hope you keep promoting these ideas across social media. Or write her directly.

    • Thanks Joel for your inputs! Really great stuff.

      And yes I also second Joe’s motion that you write to VP Leni about these ideas.

      It just occurred to me that yes, strong innovation usually happens where two things meet:

      1) top universities AND

      2) venture capital

      Munich has the incubator for startups with proximity to the STEM part of the Munich university based outside in Garching – including coaching. Someone I worked with who also worked for Prof. Plattner showed me that place.

      Don’t know if UP Ayala Technohub is something similar, maybe Giancarlo knows.

      Of course it all works better if government creates hubs in strategic places and more than just UP Ayala Technohub. I wonder if Cebu already has something, maybe geared towards nautical as Karl has already mentioned a strong focus of Visayans in that area?

      • Karl Garcia says:


        Business activities Edit
        The entire development was listed as an approved IT Park by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority in February 2009.[3] This status makes export-oriented companies located therein eligible for temporary tax holiday, permanent reduced rate of corporate income tax, and other incentives.[4] IBM announced in February 2009 that it would open an Innovation Center at the park, its second in Southeast Asia after the one located in Malaysia.[5] Convergys also inaugurated its contact center at TechnoHub in April 2009, along with two others simultaneously opened at Nuvali TechnoHub in Santa Rosa, Laguna and Cebu IT Park in Cebu City.[6]

        • Thanks Karl. Sounds like UP Ayala Technohub as well as the one in Sta. Rosa and Cebu are more on meeting points between international firms and manpower. Doesn’t sound like a real start-up center where young talents meet capital and are coached as entrepreneurs. Nothing wrong with giving people jobs, but that won’t really jumpstart innovative industry. Something more akin to Gate Garching or I guess also CyberJaya and CyberCity COULD of course be an additional function to what these places already are now.

  11. pablonasid says:

    Thank you very much for this great summary and suggestions.
    I would like to add one brain-teaser.
    You mentioned Indonesia and Malaysia as two examples of how it can (should?) be done to pull a “backward” country out of the technology mud. But, these countries already had an industrious culture/history and using this background, it was possibly to base the technology structure on that culture.
    Philippines does not have this background, making it quite different in my opinion.
    But, have a look at Jordan and their switch in their approach.
    Before the present King took over from his father, Jordan was a country drifting along on agriculture and OFW’s, much like Philippines. Too many people, too little land and a feudal leadership structure. When the King took over, he developed a vision for his country. People are it’s main “capital”. So, he saw that technology could be a game-changer and a merge between technology and economy was needed, the result was CyberCity
    People from all over the Middle East go there to get trained. Businesses are developing alongside. This is a one-man vision changing a whole country. And, Karl, I am afraid that the elements in your recipe will not come together in the Filipino environment unless there is a boss-(wo)man with a vision. I happened to be in Jordan when the new King took over and I was just amazed how much difference a single guy can make in a feudal country. Without this kind of leadership, Philippines will not be able to get all their eggs in a row, it will be an expensive overcooked omelet like all those nice initiatives so far.
    That was why I was hopeful in 2016. Things have changed since. Maybe the main difference was that the King had a proper education, married a smart woman who got an even better education and together they build an impressive team.How can we replicate that in Philippines because competent leadership is the critical success factor. The rest will follow hopefully.

    • Thanks pablo! I do agree that Malaysia and Indonesia – the cousins of the Filipinos – don’t have quite the issue of having been conditioned so much into passivity. Someone who knows Indonesia told me on Twitter that Filipinos dream while Indonesians do.

      As Joel noted the culture might be changing, but IMO yes there will have to leadership to give direction and keep these people with initiative from leaving or resigning to the way of things. The PNoy government was on the way there and I hope VP Leni will go further.

      Filipinos have to get out of the rut of learned helplessness as well as a sense of being “bobo” that history has inculcated in many. Initiatives growing are very good but improving the general conditions for innovation and business is also key. Cybercity BTW reminds me of the Malaysian CyberJaya which Mahathir had built in the late 1990s. Basically innovation needs clusters were knowledge from universities and venture capital come together, and where innovators get support, coaching, training – maybe even tax breaks of some sort, I think.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Thanks but the article was written by Irineo.


    1. M-Pesa: the Kenyan money app that impressed Bill Gates

    2. iCow: new ways of doing old things (farming optimization)

    3. Ashifi Gogo: a fresh way to fight counterfeit drugs

    4. SafeMotos: Rwanda’s answer to Uber

    5. Tupuca: home delivery via app

    6. Sun Exchange: making powerful connections (for solar power)

    7. Flutterwave: a foundation for development (cross-border payments)

    8. M-Kopa: mass-scale solar power (connecting homes to solar power)

    9. Kodjo Afate Gnikou: turning waste into riches

    10. MeQasa: transforming Ghana’s property market

    • Why am I putting VP Leni’s recent Online Market Project here? Because it is similar to many African innovations in that it uses available technology in a simple but original way to solve a specific “Third World” kind of issue. Maybe more thinking of this kind is needed in PH:

      ..During their meeting, the vendors and tricycle drivers summed it up for Robredo: the Community Mart was a big help to them.

      “They were telling us how much of a blessing this project is to them. Sa mga vendors, dagdag kita! Sa mga drivers, ngayon lang uli sila nagkaroon ng kita after two months,” she said.

      (For the vendors, they have additional income. For the drivers, they are now earning again after two months.)

      The vice president then thanked her staff and local officials who made this e-market project possible.

      The Community Mart is now servicing residents from eight barangays who can purchase vegetables, fruits, and other food items at the Kamuning Market.

      Covered by the online delivery service are Kamuning, Mariana, Obrero, Sacred Heart, Laging Handa, Pinagkaisahan, South Triangle, Paligsahan, and Roxas District in Quezon City..

      • Therein could lie the key to future success, because a lot of conditions in the Philippines are still “Third World” and messy, nonwithstanding BGC and some other highly developed places, the people with the newest SUVs and the latest mobile phones all the time.

        The “en grande” mentality in the Philippines, exemplified by the DFA IT responsible I talked to once – but certainly manifest in many other examples – could be the reason for the lack of durable, long-term success.

        The Philippines HAD more modern cars than Singapore in the 1960s, but Singapore did more to build the foundations of a really modern society.

        Some Filipinos sneered at Vietnam for using so many bicycles in the 1990s, but where is Vietnam now isn’t it poised to overtake the Philippines? All that “en grande” in the Philippines leaves too many people behind. It is like Dolomite Beach in durability.

        The DDS who consider VP Leni “bobo” for being modest and hard-working are truly stupid.

        BUT of course we have just found out there is NO LACK of strategic concepts for making things better – Karl has posted so many of them. What I don’t see is actual project studies on how to make them doable under Philippine conditions. There are of course some incubator projects now, but the question is how durable are they? Trouble is, I know that a lot of Filipino employees go along with what their bosses tell them to do but DON’T DARE report if something is not working on the ground. Often bosses don’t really want to hear that something is amiss, instead of seeking out feedback and adjusting approaches. LCPL_X has mentioned that a culture of speaking truth to power is lacking. Even Japan which is very face-based has that, it has a polite way of collecting feedback bottom-up and then deciding.

        • Ireneo, re truth to power,

          I saw the most recent JOKOY (he’s a American Filipino comedian) Netflix special where he brought a bunch of younger American Filipinos comedians to Manila to play a packed theatre there.

          And there was this one young comedian, that premised his joke as “how many nurses are here?” I guess he was expecting a bunch of Filipina nurses in the Philippines like there would be in the U.S. But no hands went up.

          Essentially, because Filipina nurses (unless they are already from a rich family) will have other priorities for their hard earned cash than to spend it in some comedy show, in some swank resort. They don’t get paid enough.

          I remember reading Filipina nurses are even paying hospitals to be able to work (in order to fluff their resumes to go abroad).

          My point yes Truth to Power, but know your audience. Adjust your truth to fit the truth on the ground. Otherwise like that joke, it’ll fall flat. He didn’t do research. Nurses in the Philippines are not upper middle class, they are same-same w/ teachers there.

          Which is 10,000 to 15,000 pesos a month maybe, and that comedy show was what 2 months worth of work?

  13. buwayahman says:

    We need a culture change in our country for us to become innovative. Not only should we eliminate the resilience to “what was” but also eliminate the resilience to “what is.” In the world of technology, progress has been achieved in increments and this can only be achieved through continuous improvement, meticulous attention to detail, and a persistent focus on quality.

    Unfortunately, our educational system does not seem to promote this.

    We measure intelligence by the ability to remember things rather than the ability to apply critical thinking. We don’t encourage criticism. We embrace authoritarianism. We have a disdain for the scientific method and instead promote faith-based decision-making. We settle for mediocrity, give up when we have achieved it, and tell ourselves that the pursuit of quality is somebody else’s problem.

    Is there hope for our country to become innovative?

    To some degree we have some of the character traits. For one, we have an understanding of what a customer wants. Many Filipinos in the service industry have quite high EQ so we can imagine ourselves in the shoes of the customer. This is one basis of innovation as innovation springs from delivering what the customer wants even if at first they don’t know what they want.

    We also have a penchant for nitpicking, especially if it pertains to something we don’t like or don’t agree with in the first place.

    And finally we are ingenious in finding solutions even if the solution is outright ridiculous. Innovation does require being creative in solving problems and many brainstorming sessions require the participants to think out-of-box and not discourage the craziest and most far-fetched recommendations.

    If you ask me what would be the one thing to do, it would be to OVERHAUL OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM. Train the next generation of children to think critically, challenge the status quo, and not give in to authority. This will, however, require extreme political will as I bet this will earn the ire of parents (as their children will become “pilosopo”) as well as the church as their foundation of faith will be challenged.

    • Thanks buwayahman! I also see the high EQ of Filipinos or “pakiramdam” (which for instance our nurses abroad are very famous for) as well as Filipino ingenuity or “diskarte” (in the positive sense, a kind of underdog advantage, like I have observed the Romanians built their Internet to be the fastest in the world originally by similar means used by Filipino – and Romanian Roma – urban poor to get electricity without paying, or like Nigerians built MPesa before GCash was a thing in the Philippines because many people there are unbanked, using “Third World” survival capabilities for innovation instead of scamming) as potential.

      The educational system with its rests of Padre Damaso and Padre Millon needs overhaul, definitely I agree with you on that. It is I think responsible for deadening the healthy instincts of many a Filipino and turning them into mere work drones. Who won’t “rock the boat”.

      As I know from Twitter that you are in the BPO business, is it true what I have heard that foreign firms have difficulties finding Filipinos who dare think out of the box and solve problems on their own? Because the rote and excessive obedience inculcated into many a Filipino is good for employees that go by basic call center scripts, of course. Or creating bank employees that nitpick if you have three names on your passport and the check you try to cash has only the first of your three names, something many people have experienced in some variation. Or employees that go by the book. Finish everything, accomplish nothing.

    • i7sharp says:

      “Many Filipinos in the service industry have quite high EQ so we can imagine ourselves in the shoes of the customer.”


      I guess I can deduce from the two postings where it is mentioned.
      But I am glad I searched TSoH for more info because I came upon Edgar Lores’ pining (if I may call it that) for the simple/village life.
      1. Ah, the simple life.

      2. I like the word ‘village’. It brings to mind a world of quaint, rustic charm.

      In another posting, in the same blog article, Edgar asked:
      “And if we control from the top, what criteria do we apply? IQ? EQ? SQ? UQ? PQ, etc?”

      Anyway, …
      What exactly is EQ?


        Emotional intelligence (EI), emotional leadership (EL), emotional quotient (EQ) and emotional intelligence quotient (EIQ), is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).[1][2] Although the term first appeared in 1964,[3] it gained popularity in the 1995 book Emotional Intelligence, written by the science journalist Daniel Goleman.[4]

        Empathy is typically associated with EI, because it relates to an individual connecting their personal experiences with those of others. However, several models exist that aim to measure levels of (empathy) EI. There are currently several models of EI. Goleman’s original model may now be considered a mixed model that combines what has since been modeled separately as ability EI and trait EI. Goleman defined EI as the array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance.[5] The trait model was developed by Konstantinos V. Petrides in 2001. It “encompasses behavioral dispositions and self perceived abilities and is measured through self report”.[6] The ability model, developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer in 2004, focuses on the individual’s ability to process emotional information and use it to navigate the social environment.[7]

        • i7sharp says:

          Thanks, Ireneo (IBRS)!

          “Emotional Quotient” was actually my guess. 🙂

          From the two volumes(?) that Karl shared:
          The Philippine Innovation System:Structure and Characteristics
          Epictetus E. Patalinghug

          Measuring and Examining Innovation in Philippine Business and Industry
          Jose Ramon G. Albert et al.

          I caught glimpse of this:
          “The Philippine innovation system can emulate from the institutional forms established in the United States, Japan, and Germany. It can adapt a few of them, and sometimes improve them to address the country’s needs and advance technological development.”

          In the Philippines where I was born and raised, I worked for Lufthansa German Airlines;
          in the U.S., I worked (through an agency) for American Honda – among forty other entities.

          By the way, like, ahem, Steve Jobs and Rush Limbaugh (to mention only two of my ilk), I was a college drop-out.

          I had two stints at American Honda. In the first one, I created, from raw data, the first database of all the accessories that went into Honda and Acura cars.

          In my 2nd stint, I was informed that if things do not turn out fine, I will be let go after three months. The company had been trying for two years to implement POD (Produce on Demand) – its version of Toyota’s JIT (Just In Time).
          Eventually, I helped the company save $50 million in five years – not single-handedly, of course, but I made the MAJOR contribution, if I may say so, using a VERY SIMPLE idea.
          But, to cut the story short, I was fired for making what I thought was an even better idea.

          Perhaps, someone will ask me what this “better idea” was?
          And I can add more info about my time at Lufthansa if asked. 🙂

  14. Karl Garcia says:

    List of incubators and accelerators in PH

    “Every startup needs a boost, which is why incubators and accelerators exist to give them the foundation and support they need to thrive. While the two types of startup supporters work toward helping entrepreneurs get their feet on the ground, incubators and accelerators differ in terms of focus. Incubators zero in on the disruptive big idea of a startup, while accelerators are more concerned with expanding an already existing business model and concept. As the names suggest, incubators help grow a startup in its infancy stage, and once the startup is ready to stand on its own two feet, this is where the accelerator comes in to propel the company toward rapid growth.“

    • Thanks! The eight TBIs, funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), will be financially supported to lead the assessment, co-development of incubation programs, capacity building, and co-incubation arrangements.

      The Program lead is QBO Innovation Hub in partnership with UPSCALE Innovation Hub of the University of the Philippines, CDO BITES of the University of Science and Technology in Southern Philippines, Ideya of Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, Center for Technopreneurship and Innovation (CTI) of Batangas State University, GTBI of West Visayas State University, Animo Labs of the De La Salle University, and UPLB SIBOL or Startup Innovation and Business Opportunity Linkage Labs.

  15. Karl Garcia says:

    Click to access Inclusive-Filipinnovation-and-Entrepreneurship-Roadmap.pdf

    The Philippine Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap:
    Bridging the Gaps, Setting the Milestones

    • Thanks! It is a DTI policy brief from 2018.

      Currently, the Philippines has a low level of innovation, ranking 73rd of 126 countries in the 2018 Global Innovation Index, behind Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Compared to its neighbors, the country’s ranking has not changed significantly in the last three years.

      The 2018 GII indicated that the areas where the Philippines has been consistently weak are in: a) ease of doing business; b) government operating expenditures in education; c) government expenditure per pupil (% GDP/capita); d) pupil-teacher ratio; e) gross expenditure on research and development (GERD, % of GDP); and f) ease of protecting minority investors.

      now f) is interesting because for a really good stockholder culture to flourish, minority investors have to be protected.

      In the last four years, R&D in the national budget has not reached 0.1% of GDP. The recommendation of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization
      (UNESCO) is to allocate at least 1 percent of GDP for R&D support.

      Comparative data on R&D expenditure shows that the Philippines is investing far less than other countries on activities that drive innovation. Front runners of innovation like Korea, Japan, Israel, China, and Singapore allot a considerable part of their budget on R&D, while neighbors Thailand and Vietnam also invest much in R&D.

      Yep. There are three major powerhouses of R+D worldwide – USA, EU and China. Not surprisingly countries like Sweden invest a lot in research. Korea, Japan, Israel are small countries that invest truly heavily, I also have read somewhere. Innovation is significant.

      The Philippines also lacks the manpower needed to support innovation and
      commercialization activities. Along with Vietnam, it exhibits low availability of
      scientists and engineers, in comparison with countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan,
      Israel, and Singapore.

      Correspondingly, data from UNESCO show that total R&D personnel in the Philippines
      is very miniscule in comparison with innovation leader countries like Korea, Singapore,
      and Japan. This goes to show that base support for innovation and commercialization
      remains comparatively weak in the Philippines.

      There you go – the Philippines seems to lose a lot of its scientists and engineers.

      Likewise, the Philippines does not fare well in terms of research productivity. The country’s ratio of scientific and technical publications relative to GDP is around 1.6, while Thailand and Vietnam produce more than three times of this value (6.5 and 5.6, respectively). The research productivity of Israel, Korea, and Singapore is notably high. It also appears that Malaysia (12.3) is catching up with China (14.1) and Japan (15.1).

      Patent applications are also low, even when compared with other Asian countries like Malaysia or Thailand. The indicators imply that policies and incentives for research productivity must be improved to promote a balance between the incentives for basic and applied research. To achieve this, a shift towards more academe-industry collaboration and commercialization of research is necessary.

      and it is not too “crazy about research” (c) Cynthia Villar.

      Connecting and integrating the key elements and stakeholders of the Philippine innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem is crucial. To address the weak innovation performance of the Philippines, our vision is to close this gap by linking the stakeholders together through the creation of regional inclusive innovation centers (RIICs) in different parts of the country. These RIICs are envisioned to be at the heart of Philippine economic transformation and serve as linchpin of productive collaborations between and among industries, universities, government agencies, LGUs, startups, MSMEs, R&D laboratories, S&T parks, incubators, FabLabs, investors, among many other agents in the ecosystem.

      The ones who wrote this paper obviously are very up to speed.

      But I can imagine that papers like this just disappear in drawers of government or are posted online as “papogi” like so often. Though I am naturally cynical from Makoy times.

      • Even if the DOST incubators seem to be a good start. But in what Ninotchka Rosca has called the “Land of Constant Beginnings”, let us see how that goes.

        Just recalling the DOST train projects that have been aborted, Project NOAH and more.

    • i7sharp says:


      I clicked on the link to the “Roadmap” which comprises 16 pages and says this:

      “Innovation is at the heart of the new industrial policy known as Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (or i3S).”

      hmmm, …

      Here, fwiw, is i7:
      “Inspired Individual Initiatives for Incessant Innovative and Integrated Improvements.”
      You see any redundancies in it?

      In any case, does it manifest … “gilas”?

  16. Karl Garcia says:

    Click to access A-Needs-Assessment-of-the-Philippine-Technology-Sector.pdf

    Driving Innovation to Deliver Economic Value: A Needs Assessment of the Philippines’ Technology Sector

    • Thanks – this is a consulting paper, financed by USAID from 2017:

      Driving Innovation to Deliver Economic Value: A Needs Assessment of the Philippines’ Technology Sector

      “There is no innovation cluster in the Philippines; rather, innovation efforts are ‘fragmented and scattered.’ Coordination is needed in government on what topics to concentrate on. Guidance is needed for companies to exploit resources and programs.”

      ““High-tech start-ups either don’t start, or fail because there is limited mentorship, and the
      funding community is not structured for them. If they start there is no obvious exit strategy
      via acquisition or j-v, so they must also scale, which is a great challenge for even successful entrepreneurs.”

      • Innovation efforts are needed for a wide span of industries depending on the regions where workshops are held. Though Industry 4.0 and high-tech type sectors were the focus, many examples cited were of food and agribusiness.

        Policy and program needs are seemingly preferred to be driven by regional offices
        of government agencies along with local government units. This may indicate policy
        requirements and local difficulties that may not be addressed by national efforts.

        There is a strong demand for shared services facilities or innovation hubs for ICT-type activities, along with agricultural products predominant in the region.

        Human capital development needs for innovation are commonly expressed, with a seemingly systemic lack of training programs and facilities along with academic research in most sectors represented.

        Re training, Karl and kasambahay weren’t you talking about this continuous qualification or whatever program from Trillanes that Pulongdutz wants to cancel? Seem related.

        • kasambahay says:

          ahem, methink the eternal son must have been stung, the aktibista appointed by the eternal father turned out to be travel addict. the 1st yr alone yata him aktibista appointee has racked up 27 overseas travel all for the pursuit of learning kuno.

          naturally, the aktibista was fired, took us all concerned citizens a while to point out to all and sundry, shout out, whined about, that the aktibista is on full junket. until finally, the eternal father got the whiff. well, lest, the aktibista has numerous stamps on his passport to remind him of the places he had been, the things he had seen and the foreign food he had eaten.

          and the position the aktibista had vacated is none the wiser, not been enriched by aktibista’s newly acquired learning, if aktibista had indeed learned any, spending more time at hotels and airports rather than at work.

  17. Micha says:

    Thanks a lot, joe america, for censoring my comment. Your credibility index just gone 25 points south.

    • Your post was ad hominem and not respectful of the contributions people make here, for free. There is a line in the center of the virtual editorial page. To the right are those that build ideas and people, to the left are those that tear them down. The blog aims to the editorial right, at building things, and if my editorial judgment fails the objective, well, God or Edgar, from above, are better qualified to judge than those who are smart enough to build, but refuse to. I also declined to publish a couple of LCX’s comments as I don’t really care to dwell on sexual indiscretions of the holy.

      • You can always re-write your post to focus on the issue at hand, and not the motives or the failings of the writer, in your eyes.

        • Hehe, in that context I shall repost what I posted in FB just recently, related to the link:

          I was an honor student at the start of high school in the Philippines, then later on pretty lazy and interested in other things so I just barely managed to finish high school without getting expelled, then an honor student again in German senior high, then nearly crashed my studies as I failed and had to repeat one major oral exam, then finished the intermediate exams in Informatics a bit late with an average grade, then sped up to finish my Master’s with a “good” (top in my major and minor subject as well as my thesis, average in the regular subjects) so I KNOW how this stuff is like. Sometimes life is a roller-coaster ride, but I like to go by what I once read in”Hagakure, the Book of the Samurai” that “a man who never made a mistake is dangerous”. Mistakes teach humility.

          Luckily I am in Bavaria, where what matter is that you dust yourself off and bounce back. They will NOT sneer at someone who just happens to fall of a motorcycle and emphasize how he fell. Filipinos often do that, but does their stigmatizing make them more succesful?

          Something which BTW my father (though he also has his credentialist and perfectionist sides but then who in this world is perfect) always told me when I made mistakes. Bouncing back is what counts. He certainly took my brother and me to Rocky I-III as kids for a reason. Some commenters here have mentioned growth mentality. That is what the Philippines need to progress, not that disgusting culture of putdown typical Filipino 100%ers represent. If my article helps younger folks than me avoid the pitfalls I encountered, I have succeeded a bit.

          • It’s the path, baby, the path. And others will tread on the trail we make, so why not mosey off into the woods to do a dump, rather than in the middle of the path. Haha. I’ve been in a literary mood all day. At any rate, I very much appreciate the skills you possess in whacking trails through the overgrowth.

            • Thanks Joe. I think that Chris, Pablo and Joel as well as of course Karl with all the stuff he has found, and Buwayahman who is in Filipino BPO, have helped us a lot too in clearing the path and maybe even showing the way to the National Road which is already partly there.

              Except for Buwayahman and Karl, no Filipinos from the Philippines have commented here. Hm, do they think my mentioning some things is because of vindictiveness or something? Nope, I am just mentioning parts of the road I took and some of the things I observed and the obstacles I encountered, the zigzags I had to take and more – with the goal of helping those today find a better way. And voila we have a lot of very constructive comments. Not a lot of shares on this article, but I have learned a lot from all the contributions here so far. 🙂

          • Micha,

            Don’t take all this personally.

            Joe’s a good editor. Trust me, I’m looking at 5 times being permanently banned on here, and still under moderation.

            Think of it as a game, sometimes you get caught, other times you don’t. same with life, Micha. If you really think what you wrote is important, copy/paste it on something else– if it doesn’t past muster, clean it up and re-post. easy peezy. I have plenty to write about, so I tend to just press on.

            I have zero issues with Joe as editor. I ‘m a happy camper here. 😉

            Ireneo, I’m sure i’ve said it before on here but pearl in Arabic is lo’-lo’ , pronounced: , any Bisaya will recognize this word as well, and smile.

            So, it’s one or the other, but thanks for the compliment, Ireneo.

            • Micha says:

              Trust me corporal, joe america is an editor with an agenda – an unapologetic apologist for the yellow brigade and one who espouse, perhaps unwittingly, socially toxic neoliberal bunk.

              And no, I am taking this personally because neoliberalism has been rooted in the country for at least 50 years now, stunting our economy and subjecting millions of our citizens to untold suffering and poverty.

              • Well, at least you are admitting now that Makoy wasn’t a savior after all..

                I shall try to put together some of the stuff posted here by Karl plus what I know and summarize the development of the Philippine economy from 1571 to today:(after all this is my article and though I am just a jack of many trade, master only of IT, I dare use my coconut)

                1) what I called “incipient civilization” with growing trade and urbanization, innovation on an artisanal level but pretty good (balangay, caracoas, lantakas, pinya fiber, abaca clothes, weaving which has survived among the indigenous especially)

                2) galleon trade which relegated Filipino carpenters to building and fixing Spanish galleons, Filipino sailors to fishing and to being seamen of galleons, trade mercantilistic (this is what I learn in iskul-bukol sori ip I not know better) with colonial officials and friars competing for boletas (galleon cargo space) for the very valuable yearly galleon.

                3) encomienda system for a while, with the friar orders staying on their land longest while driving out the old encomiendero landlords. Polo y servicios and bandala, forced labor by natives. There is some degree of mining (Mindoro means gold mine, Paracale in Bicol).

                4) Galleon trade starts to fade, sugar plantations, tobacco (monopoly) and abaca (small- to medium planters like my folks starting 1870s, only few hacienderos due to the topography of Bicol) are started from the late 18th century onwards. America highly involved already in sugar and especially abaca trade (Salem, Massachussets is the hub of that) – the native and mestizo elites get richer, other Europeans come (Basque shipping magnates, Germans like Zobel, French like Gaston of Negros, sugar planting family)

                5) Enter the USA. Friar lands are confiscated and sold of course to those who have money – Philippine elites. These elites are usually also the political elite who benefit from the new system that the USA sets up. Middle class that was already growing in the late 19th century receives a further push via institutions the US builds – government, UP, PMA etc. USA starts Benguet gold mining (Lepanto) and more. Homesteading in Negros means the island becomes even more sugar plantation, Pineapple plantations start in Northern Mindanao.

                6) Parity after Independence and 2:1 Peso-dollar exchange rate. Parity means that US firms have equal access to the Philippine market. 2:1 means that imported US goods are cheaper than locally produced goods, much like 1:1 exchange rate between West and East German Mark flattened most of GDR industry and the rest was sold to West German and international buyers.

                7) Some adjustment of parity during Magsaysay, Filipino first during Garcia times – not Karl, President Carlos Garcia. Could be the 60% Filipino requirement is from Garcia times if I recall my Agoncillo from High School right.

                8) Makoy lets parity run out. Mining goes to his cronies. Logging as well. Major destruction of watersheds, atrocities in Samar especially due to mining and logging. Marcos expropriates some oligarchs like Lopez and gives stuff to his own cronies. Makoy starts two policies which continue until today – EPZA (now PEZA) and OFW export. Karl’s sources indicate that his industrialization policies failed.

                9) Cory. A lot of crony firms are sequestered. ABS-CBN returned to the Lopezes. Some cronies like Lucio Tan survive and thrive in the post-Marcos world. Ramos is considered the major neolib, maybe you can elaborate on that. 1995 was the Philippine Mining Act. Seems this led to even more abusive mining and a run on mining concessions especially GMA time.

                10) Somewhere in between the gambling stuff started, earning money through casinos. BPOs came in in the late 1990s, but IMO without a concept to ramp up into a real software industry.

                11) The most extreme rent-seeking recently has been POGOs. If the Philippines is partly a “plantation” economy and partly a labor export economy relying on OFW remittances like Gulf States rely on oil, POGOs don’t even have local labor benefitting from them.

                12) The result today is probably the worst of both worlds when it comes to protectionism (60% Filipino ownership requirement) and neolib. Few real entrepreneurs in the country, most of the big ones are rent-seekers. Few common stock companies like in modern countries, most ownership is like in 19th century style Manchester capitalism where Krupp still owned Krupp and Thyssen owned Thyssen, though ABS-CBN was already spreading the wealth. An elite that is mostly used to easy money while even those who want change are either caught in not being able to think beyond the present system – OR being trapped in 1970s versions of state capitalism (some Marcosian types) or communism (NDF Maoists).

                Now Micha, if inspite of your differences you can show me that you have the stuff to be a kind of Philippine answer to Varoufakis, I will be very impressed. There are many ways to skin a cat, and as the Philippine situation is unique one INDEED cannot exactly copy Sweden, Germany, USA, Australia or France – or Singapore, Vietnam, Japan or Korea – or Cuba or Brazil. One can compare but must consider the unique combination of factors. Since you are the pro, pakitaan mo naman kami rito. Salamat at Ingat.

              • Inspite of OUR differences, Micha. Wala kang diperensya sa tingin, baka ako ang meron. 😀

                Add to my layman’s analysis the impression that I have that Philippine government is highly inefficient with some notable exceptions, outdated in its structures (mostly 1930s Quezon with some notable Marcosian additions, creating Regions and regional offices WAS a good Marcos technocrat idea, certainly not his own, creating Metro Manila was also his idea though Quezon shortly also had that, Sandiganbayan was Marcos-created while the Ombudsman and CHR are Cory-era reforms, the Local Government Code was Pimentel Senior) and in many a place still infested by senyorito habits dating back to the Kastila.

                Though there is a Philippine Competition Commission now, I don’t know if it is that effective. One good reform from PNoy period. I see that many reforms are stopped by an HOR that represents mainly itself and its desire for PORK, blocking even well-meaning attempts like Leila De Lima’s 2014 Penal Code reform – last reform of the Spanish-era Penal Code was in 1930, my gahd. So there you have my big picture of the present Gordian knot, feel free to add as you are the expert here.

              • The thing is IF you go for massive privatization, you need at least effective regulatory bodies in government. What makes neolib less harmful in the EU especially Germany (which I happen to know best of course) is:

                1) Many cities refuse to fully privatize, they have city-owned firms instead which strive to meet privatization requirements by operating break-even without subsidies – and many like Munich have decided NOT to privatize water, which I believe should be a state matter.

                2) Privatization of education and healthcare is mostly NOT happening in Germany, I know. Eastern European countries like Romania (which I also know well for personal reasons) had a major shock when formerly socialist healthcare and education were strongly privatized. Interestingly, the University of Cluj-Napoca in Transylvania, already a STEM flagship in Communist times, is a major factor in making Cluj a hub of the Romanian software industry – that is a state university, not one of the diploma mill type private ones like in Bucharest.

                3) Strong regulatory bodies. For energy and telecoms in Germany for instance – but also the big players like Deutsche Telekom and e.on are not owned by individuals like the big players in the Philippines, they are broadly owned stock companies. Deutsche Bahn is privatized but still in state ownership. EU regulatory bodies have the clout to tell the likes of Google and Facebook what to do because the EU is a huge market.

                Of course the policies of ECB are neolib, there is no denying that. But another aspect of neolib is massive privatization. The Philippines was always more privatized even before, with private schools compensating for a weak public educational system, subdivisions and malls for weak urban planning and municipal government. Better developed structures over here in Western Europe didn’t allow that to happen, the social systems were only partly weakened after 1995 – GATT becoming WTO. In Eastern Europe it was often wholesale privatization with profiteering by former Communist apparatchiks, sometimes even Mafias.

            • Micha : “Trust me corporal, joe america is an editor with an agenda – an unapologetic apologist for the yellow brigade and one who espouse, perhaps unwittingly, socially toxic neoliberal bunk.”

              Then make your case against his agenda, Micha!!!!! Don’t cry to us about it. Push your agenda, but knowing Joe’s the editor , which means you have to be smart about it. My agenda is simply to search for Joe’s red lines as fun

              (ie. my comments that don’t get published are usually of a sexual or political American politics, so his red lines are somewhere there), whilst sharing relevant and interesting info when I happen to come across them.

              You do have a legit agenda worthy of pushing, Micha– unlike mine which fall under the category of leisure.

              But aside from being too emotional and then MMT/neolib stuff, face it Micha you’re one dimensional commenter on here. Like i7sharp is only about sharing links that people are scared to click on because it isn’t really clear what those links are or go to. I don’t click on his custom links, AT ALL.

              So my advice,

              figure out a way to get your comments published, here’s an idea don’t be too emotional , read it again and if you’re attacking a person, you’re not attacking their ideas. This is a ideas vs. ideas venue, Micha. Not a personal venue.chempo for example, was no one trick pony, but he was a little too attached to his conspiracy theories, thus

              he took it personally, got offended and also had better things to do. You, like me, keep coming back after Joe s editorializing, which means you either don’t mind that much (just feigning offence) or you really think your agenda is worthy of being read, like a crusader. if the later,

              just keep on writing, until Joe okays your comments. or just sit on the side lines until you cool off. 😉 But the water is fine, Micha. and everyone’s having fun. Just jump in.

              • i7sharp says:

                Lance to Micha:
                “… just keep on writing, until Joe okays your comments. or just sit on the side lines until you cool off. 😉 But the water is fine, Micha. and everyone’s having fun. Just jump in.”

                Lance, can you please elaborate?
                One of the things I noticed when I jumped in (a few days ago) was the absence of (listed not necessarily in the order of my admiration of them)
                and about a half dozen more.

                “Like i7sharp is only about sharing links that people are scared to click on because it isn’t really clear what those links are or go to. I don’t click on his custom links, AT ALL.”

                hmm, ….
                Nice. Very nice, Lance 🙂

              • i7sharp,

                Stop customizing your links. Share url’s as is. It’s alot more work to do what you’re doing. As for the missing folks, RHiro and edgar are R.I.P. , NH I’m worry about since he hasn’t shown lately. but karl, Micha, you, Ireneo, and sonny are still commenting. Wil too 3 or 4 blogs ago. don’t forget gian and kasambahay, who I’m still thinking is really MRP. The gang’s still all here, i7sharp. Maybe not as popular as before, but hey 100 comments is still pretty good. Thanks to karl especially.

              • Keep this up and I’ll appoint you co-editor. Haha! Oops . . “LOL”. Sometimes the judgmentalness of us all gets tiresome for me. The negativity abounds, unrest, dissatisfaction, little slurs here and there. The blog is what people make of it, in the main. My job is to keep it from descending into the kinds of hostile nonsense and agenda-pushing found elsewhere. We do fairly well, overall, I think. Perfect? No. Amazing insights here and there? Yes. Thank you for recognizing Karl’s role as the anchor pole.

                As for Micha’s point that I have a yellow agenda, yes, where that means defense of Constitutional principles and values, which is the best guidepost for a moral platform. As for espousing the horrifying neo-liberal principles that are leading the world to self-destruction (I agree to this point), it is entirely inadvertent and always in search of a better way.

                How do we build rather than whine? It requires a conscious effort.

                Thank you for your good sense and persistence.

              • Micha says:


                No luck Sherlock, I’m not interested in pissing contest. This is not about having fun, I can easily find that with friends and family. Unlike you, posting comments here is not my source of enjoyment.

                Our gracious host just censored my comment on ad hominem ground which I find rather strange given the context of conversation.

                Please do not bother replying to this thread. I appreciate your advice but I can manage pretty fine, thank you very much.

              • i7sharp says:

                “Stop customizing your links. Share url’s as is.”

                Lance, I use “branded links”
                … and will soon use “custom branded links.”

                This link
                I treasure
                not only because it is easy to remember …
                “ja” = Joe America (TSoH)
                “dilg” = DILG
                but also .. good.

                For as long as it lasted, that is. 🙂

              • You are a walking violation of editorial guidance aimed at promoting discussion rather than clicking into the unknown. It is a simple courtesy to others to explain what a link will give them in terms of information. Persistent use of unexplained links is ‘spamming’, a gross violation of rules, so consider yourself advised on this point.

              • LCPL_X: kasambahay is NOT MRP, it just so happens that both are Visayan in my opinion. The attitude to life seems similar but kasambahay has very different political leanings than MRP and has NOT ONCE mentioned UP or mestizos as bogeymen, which MRP in his different incarnations including Sabtang Basco often did. You can’t play a character consistently that long as the real person always come out after a while, even virtually.

                “Karl, Micha, you, Ireneo, and sonny are still commenting. Wil too 3 or 4 blogs ago. don’t forget gian”.. Cha also commented but in a somewhat resigned tenor. Will is doing his thing on the ground and stopped writing after Otso Diretso lost – I respect that decision of his.

                “Thanks to karl especially.” The Librarian! Karl and me have been writing in tandem fo about two months now – my stuff more in terms of big-picture analysis, Karl more on actual areas which could be changed as he is the one on the ground.

                This article is an exception as it is something I have been personally involved with – a bit.

                But it is NOT about me, even if I have used personal examples to illustrate certain attitudes that I experienced on the way. Buwayahman, Chris, Pablo, Joel and you LCPL_X got the point and have commented on-topic. The minority opinion I haven’t really heard yet, pertaining to the actual topic of innovation in the Philippines and what is stopping it. My examples might just be exceptions, my analysis might be wrong – I would in fact accept that if properly argued. But anyhow Karl’s sources have given me a clearer, bigger picture now. 🙂

              • Karl Garcia says:

                NH is now on twitter.

    • (Thought this above was interesting. But the one below is relevant to innovation and creativity.)


    CEBU CITY, Philippines– Twenty-two units of High Speed Tactical Watercraft, made by Cebuanos, were recently turned over to the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7).

    The tactical vessels were built by a shipbuilding company called Dynacast that is based in Danao City, Cebu.

    • kasambahay says:

      yay! danao hawak ng mga durano, my family always vote durano. ay, engineering hub yang danao. ah, danao silent achiever. kaso, I feel seasick just looking at those vessels!

      I expect the vessels are not the throw away type, with spare parts readily and locally available. much like the timex watch na gawa din po sa cebu, durable, serviceable and long lasting. I hate products that quickly destruct and soon become part of the landfill.

  19. i7sharp says:

    From five years ago, in this very same site, ja, (Joe America – TSoH)

  20. Karl Garcia says:

    “The creation of various technology centers such as innovation centers, incubation center, fabrication laboratory, and science technology park is perceived to have a crucial role in the creation of jobs and social and economic empowerment. Nowadays, technology business incubation (TBI) is the current trend in capacitating the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) or even the start-up companies. This study explored the issues and challenges faced by TBIs in the three (3) major islands of the Philippines. A qualitative approach was used in collecting the data through personal interviews to the TBI managers to gain in-depth knowledge and understanding to the issues and challenges they are facing. Content analysis was done to identify the relevant information. A total of eight (8) TBIs was selected randomly. The results showed that lack of funding, very slow procurement process, plantilla designation for faculty involve and no clear IP policy were among the issues and challenges that are hindering the development of an effective TBI in the Philippines.”

  21. Karl Garcia says:

    “Technology business incubator (TBI) is one of drive factors that uplift the economic status of a country. It is normally supported by the government to stimulate firms and commercialize technologies developed by the universities. While the Philippines has recently began the establishment of TBIs, challenges have been experienced. These challenges were overcome through trial and error method while adapting to the economic responses. This study presents the best practices of Philippines TBIs. Seven (7) TBIs were randomly selected all over the country. Structured survey and interview questionnaire were used for the gathering of the data. The outcomes of the practices were validated through actual site observation. A framework indicating the success metric for TBIs was developed which consists of (1) driving mechanism and (2) process of implementations.”

  22. Karl Garcia says:

    Click to access pidsdps1728.pdf

    “Innovation involves implementing new or significantly improved goods and services, production processes, marketing, or organizational methods for adding value. The measurement of innovation provides a mechanism for benchmarking national performance, and for examining innovation and its relation to economic growth. Further, examining determinants and bottlenecks to innovation among firms provides inputs to mainstreaming of policies on innovation. In this paper, results of the 2015 Survey of Innovation Activities (SIA), conducted by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), are described and discussed. Survey results suggest that less than half of firms in the country are innovators, with larger-sized firms innovating more than micro, small, and medium establishments (MSMEs). The most innovative behavior among firms in process innovation. Effects of innovation are observed to be largely customer-driven. Firms suggest cost factors to be the most important barrier to innovation. Knowledge and cooperation networks for innovation need strengthening. Government support and its role on innovation is also limited. Firms hardly access technical assistance from government and research institutions. Cooperation of firms on innovation activities with academe is also limited. Firms cooperate more internally with establishments within their enterprise, their customers and suppliers. Government needs to have a champion for developing stronger policies and interventions to support and encourage innovation. It is also important to improve information dissemination on public programs available to assist firms in innovating. Networking, linkages, and collaboration among the government, industry associations, and universities and research institutions also require further enhancement.”

  23. Karl Garcia says:

    Click to access pidsrp0304.pdf

    “National innovation system is anchored on the theory that industrial development requires technological capability in industry, and that exploitation of technology is most critical at the firm level.
    This paper describes the structure and characteristics of the Philippine innovation system and compares it with those of the United States, Japan, and Germany. It concludes that the Philippine innovation system must gear up to the requirements of a catch-up system to fit its institutions to its economic structure. This requires all the elements of the system to address the technological capability, adaptation, assimilation, and modification needs of a catch-up economy.”

    • Thanks Karl! “The Philippine Innovation System:Structure and Characteristics from Philippine Institute for Development Studies, NEDA sa Makati Bldg.”

      By Epictetus E. Patalinghug – a UP Prof. of Econ and Management, coauthor of the book Managing technology for global competitiveness: the Philippine experience (UP Press, 2000).

      (that name is like wow, but well I have Pisay batchmates named Zeno and Demosthenes)

      ..German universities in the nineteenth century accomplished much for science, but ignored engineering on the assumption that the latter lacked the dignity of a science. Some engineering schools were established in the eighteenth century to train administrators in government-owned mining industry, civil engineers and architects in government service, military engineers, and artillery officers. In the 1820s, polytechnic schools were established to train technicians for private industry. Several levels emerged in the vocational and technical education system: apprenticeship system, middle-level schools, and university level. The polytechnic schools raised entrance requirements, improved their teaching, and gained social recognition when their graduates were accepted for public service. In the 1870s, the polytechnic schools were called “Technische Hochschulen,” and were elevated to
      higher status that required similar entrance examinations as the universities. In 1899, the Technische Hochschulen was given the right to grant doctoral degrees. Around 1900, business schools were established and were later developed into university-level institutions.
      Middle level schools were likewise established. Thus, a system of business education emerged with several levels: apprenticeship system, middle-level schools, and university-level institutions..

      ..The Max Planck Society (composed of 60 institutes in 1989) isfinanced by central government and federal state governments on a 50-50 basis. Eighty percent of the funds are concentrated in research in the natural sciences performed by leading scientists recruited from universities. Unlike its predecessor, the Kaiser-Wilhelm Society, which focused on applied research (e.g., textile research, leather research, etc.), the Max Planck Society focused on basic research. The Fraunhofer Society filled the gap left by the Max Planck Society by providing a strong link between universities and industry and concentrating in
      applied research, serving clients from industry and government on project contract basis..

      General wrap-up:

      ..One common denominator in the success story of the American, Japanese, and German innovation systems is the large number of engineers and scientists their educational systems have produced during their technology catch-up period. The large number of people
      bringing the knowledge and methods of science to tackle industrial problems aided the diffusion and utilization of advanced technological knowledge (Mowery and Rosenberg 1993). Table 3 confirms this pattern. The number of scientists and engineers in research-intensive U.S. industries increased from 2775 in 1921 to 45,941. A similar pattern was observed in Japan. The Japanese system significantly increased the number of scientists and engineers from 2,100 in 1965 to 44,000 in 1981 (Table 4). Germany had 474,900 R&D personnel, five times larger than those of South Korea (88,764) in 1992 (Table 5)..

      ..The effectiveness of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in coordinating the technical manpower requirements for economic development remains a major policy issue. If the private sector is not providing the appropriate skills needed for industrial development, are the public technical institutions (including technical universities like Technological University of the Philippines) doing a better job? The private sector is adequately providing computer education skills, although it needs to strengthen the technical aspect of information technology education such as computer engineering, systems integration, and software design. The institutional form of the German technical education system provides a useful benchmark in improving the Philippine technical education system.

      It also says that the Philippine private sector is reluctant to invest in R&D while the government initiatives for R&D are usually inefficient OK the study is from 2000.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Design thinking is key.

      “STEAM is a way to take the benefits of STEM and complete the package by integrating these principles in and through the arts. STEAM takes STEM to the next level: it allows students to connect their learning in these critical areas together with arts practices, elements, design principles, and standards to provide the whole pallet of learning at their disposal. STEAM removes limitations and replaces them with wonder, critique, inquiry, and innovation.”

      • Karl Garcia says:

        “ When design principles are applied to strategy and innovation, the success rate for innovation dramatically improves. Design-led companies such as Apple, Pepsi, IBM, Nike, Procter & Gamble, and SAP have outperformed the S&P 500 over a 10-year period by an extraordinary 211% according to the 2015 Design Value Index created by the Design Management Institute and Motiv Strategies.1

        Great design has that “wow” factor that makes products more desirable and services more appealing to users.

        Designing is more than creating products and services; it can be applied to systems, procedures, protocols, and customer experiences.

        Design is transforming the way leading companies create value. The focus of innovation has shifted from being engineering-driven to design-driven, from product-centric to customer-centric, and from marketing-focused to user-experience-focused. For an increasing number of CEOs, design thinking is at the core of effective strategy development and organisational change.”

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Applying design thinking in social innovation and entrepreneurship

        “In an article by Tim Brown and Jocelyn Wyatt at the Stanford Social Innovation Review, they state that design thinking as an approach involves “capacities that we all have, but that are overlooked by more conventional problem-solving practices.” The traditional design approach to business, for instance, has usually been on enhancing the look and functionality of products. Design thinking, however, goes beyond the façade of looks and functionalities, and places a heavy emphasis on creating products and services that are human-centered and solve a particular problem faced by people. The entire process itself integrates various human elements and cultural aspects.
        Simply put, what design thinking aims to tackle are what one may call institutional voids or systemic problems that have been plaguing society for many years. Be it in the inadequacies of the Philippine government, our healthcare system, mass transportation system, and agricultural productivity, among others, design thinking can bring out new and innovative solutions. However, design thinking is obviously not easy as it involves a continuous articulation of the issue at hand and finding creative means to address that issue.
        Moreover, the caveat is that not every individual or organization would immediately subscribe to the notion behind design thinking, as this typically involves veering away from traditional and well-established mechanisms. Like any radical or innovative change, however, a pinch of resistance is usually expected.”

  24. Karl Garcia says:

    On Nationalization- We akready have to many Government owned corporations which got mismanaged.

    But mismanagement need not entail privatization.
    You do not privatize Philhealth after passing a Universal Healthcare law.
    You do not privatize Customs because a presidential anti-smuggling task force and the Collectors failed.

    Some of those GOCCs need privatization, but not all.
    Some agencies need streamlining like our mixed pension system.
    Merge SSS and GSIS.

    Streamline and automate the Bureacracy, remove overlapping taskforces and agencies.

    For manufacturing, we license produce then reverse engineer legally and fairly.

    STEAM education, make people have systems and design thinking.

    Make eveything future proof.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Unfortunately we needed another bureaucratic layer to streamline the bureacracy, but if it works…

      • Karl Garcia says:

        “Benefits of automation and digitisation

        Once completely implemented, this breakthrough initiative would lower the operational costs for government agencies.

        Moreover, it would pave the way for a faster service offering that will benefit the transacting public.

        In addition, the automation would be pivotal in the government’s effort to go paperless in the coming years.

        It will also eliminate corruption since this will minimise the interaction between applicants and government employees and officials.

        Participation is key

        To this end, ARTA is calling for the proactive participation and support of all government agencies for this initiative.

        As a first step, the heads of government offices and agencies are advised to reach out to the DICT for assistance in their automation efforts.

        DICT Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic introduced a project called Chief Information Officer (CIO) Corps.

        This initiative is a DICT-backed program that will have IT experts from the Department partnering with a government agency’s IT team to offer assistance in the automation and digitisation of their services.

        Furthermore, ARTA will be taking the lead and will be the first to avail of this service in an effort to jumpstart the digital transformation within the organisation.

        Together with DICT, ARTA intends to be the window to the future of government, ultimately paving the way to a digital Philippines, which maximises productivity, minimises waste and eliminates corruption.“

  25. Karl Garcia says:

    Philippine Innovation in the year 2019


    For the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), 2019 was a banner year in its continuing push for the commercialization of technologies developed from local research and development activities of Filipino scientists and innovators.

    One of its flagship R&D projects – development of a hybrid electric train (HET) for the Philippine National Railways – became a success when the prototype train built by the department’s Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) started commercial revenue runs last June, proving that Filipino engineers and technologists can build trains and the PNR need not be reliant on foreign technology.

    Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said that with the success of the HET R&D, the PNR can consider tapping the team assembled by the DOST-MIRDC, composed of local steel fabricators and automotive firms, to build more trains for the line instead of buying expensive trains from abroad…

    Space race

    The year also saw the country join the ranks of the world’s space-faring nations with President Duterte signing into law the Philippine Space Act, which calls for the establishment of the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA).

    Dela Peña said that the PhilSA ensures the country will benefit from the space technology expertise generated from the DOST’s earlier R&D, particularly in projects to develop local capability in the building of microsatellites and nanosatellites, and the establishment of ground receiving stations to receive, store and process satellite images and other data.

    The DOST places the amount of investments it has poured into space R&D at P7.48 billion since 2010.

    This investment funded the successful efforts at building and launching into orbit two microsatellites, Diwata 1 and Diwata 2, and nanosatellite Maya 1, from 2016 to 2018.

    Dela Peña said that with the current DOST thrust at “localization” in the building of future microsatellites and nanosatellites to be launched into space, the country now has the potential of producing applications and other products from this technology.

    On the ground, Dela Peña said DOST had also gotten a boost in its priority program of providing assistance to local tech startups especially with the signing into law of the Innovative Startups Act last April, and the signing of the implementing rules and regulations of the law late last year…

    Herbal inroads

    The DOST chief said that Phase 1 of clinical trials for the anti-dengue herbal medicine obtained from three herbs formulated by a team of researchers from De La Salle University Dasmarinas’ Medical and Health Science Institute led by pharmacologist-epidemiologist Dr. Rita Grace Alvero showed promising results. Phase 2 clinical trials are ongoing.

    “If this will give positive results, it can be applied at our FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as the first anti-dengue medicine,” Dela Peña said.

    The medicine formulated by the team of Alvero is said to be a cocktail of three endemic plants proven to be effective in curing dengue.

    Aside from the promising anti-dengue drug, Dela Peña said that the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development recently launched 18 herbal medicines for possible adoption by pharmaceutical companies.

    Dela Peña said that it will be up to the private adoptors to pursue further clinical trials if they want to develop the herbal medicines into full-fledged medicines…”

    • kasambahay says:

      re: herbal inroads. where is the public defender just when she’s needed? previously, so against dengvax siya, now is chance for her to put her weight to what could be better than her much maligned dengvax and endorse the herbal study. help fund the study and ensure it get through to all stages of the trials. dyahi naman kung oppose siya sa dengvax and yet non committal siya sa possible cure vs dengue. she cannot possibly be leaving people in a lurch lalo na ngayong ulan ng ulan at marami na naman ang mga kiti-kiti ng moskito.

      the public defender has cabal of influencers na mga politicos, doctors, lawyers, bigwigs, etc most of them with deep pockets pa, surely they can sponsor the trials.

  26. Karl Garcia says:

    “Other countries are pouring resources into encouraging innovation in all aspects of national life. The Philippines is not lacking in innovation and creativity. Foreigners at least are taking notice. A report this week said the Thai princess had recognized the inventions of William Moraca, an elementary school principal in General Santos City. Moraca developed a portable windmill, modified solar panel and a water system powered by magnetic field that are providing electricity and clean water to the B’laan and T’boli indigenous communities.

    There must be other unsung innovators out there, waiting not so much for national recognition but for seed funding and government support to mass-produce their inventions for the benefit of the masses. It shouldn’t take a US president or a Thai princess to give Filipino innovators what they need.”

    • kasambahay says:

      alam mo naman ang mga filipino innovators, take anything that comes there way sila, be that from china, russia, israel, estados unidos, thailand, etc. most important is they get a foothold.

      our country has received so many international aids in both vocational learning, trade, etc. even sponsor filipinos to study overseas. we have help, but could well be dwindling now though. our reputation precedes us, and the countries that used to be keen on us are not that keen anymore.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        The next leader should do a lot of courting to the EU and other friends this admin shunned.

        • kasambahay says:

          the world is round po, and if things change sa next election 2022, our kababayans already in EU can surely start the ground work of courting if they’re not too busy, and put in a good word. sabi, they care about philippines kuno and worry about the current situation. and if things indeed change next election, our EU kababayans are probly more than willing to do their fair bit of courting and make the philippines likable again.

          so, if our EU kababayans do manage to come back home for a visit, it will not be to the same nataranta nation but a saner nation, the one they helped pulled back from the abyss.

  27. Karl Garcia says:

    Walden Bello explains how neoliberal economics came to be.

    “It was during the Aquino period that neoliberal economics started its rise to ideological ascendancy. I think it is worthwhile to examine the reasons for the ease with which it captured the heights of both academia and the technocracy during this period.

    First of all, it was associated with several high-powered activist intellectuals and technocrats close to the Aquino administration who had been greatly influenced by the Reagan and Thatcher free-market experiments in the United States and Britain. These included economist Bernie Villegas and Cory Aquino’s secretary of finance Jesus Estanislao. Another key center of emergent neoliberalism was the University of the Philippines School of Economics, which had drafted the extremely influential anti-Marcos White Paper on the Philippine economy in 1985.

    Second, the analysis forwarded by these intellectuals was in synch with the popular mood. This located the economic troubles of the country in what had come to be known as “crony capitalism,” or the use of state agencies to advance the private interests of a few close associates of the dictator. The direct assault on the Keynesian state as the source of inefficiency, which was the most prominent feature of Thatcherism and Reaganism, was a subsdiary element in the case made for market freedom.

    Third, there were simply no credible alternatives to neoliberalism. Keynesian developmentalism, which promoted the role of the state as the strategic factor in the first phase of the ascent to development, was compromised by its personification in the Marcos dictatorship. As for the left’s vision of “nationalist industrialization” or the “national democratic” economy, this hardly went beyond rhetorical flourishes and had been hardly popularized in the period prior to the EDSA Uprising, perhaps owing to the priority that the Communist Party placed on the anti-fascist struggle, which demanded underplaying the view that national democracy was the antechamber to socialism in order to form as wide a front as possible with anti-dictatorial elements of the elite. Then, after the EDSA Uprising, the articulation of an alternative was derailed by the left’s preoccupation with the consequences of its failure to participate in the final act of the ouster of Marcos.

    In short, the neoliberal perspective triumphed by default, and this absence of credible alternatives domestically was complemented by four developments internationally: the collapse of centralized socialism in Eastern Europe, which seemed to deliver the coup d’grace to the socialist alternative; the crisis of the Swedish social democratic model; the seeming success of the Reagan and Thatcher Revolutions in revitalizing the American and British economies; and the rise of the East Asian newly industrializing countries. All four had an impact on the thinking of the middle class and the elites, which are, incidentally, called the “chattering classes” because of their central discursive role in legitimizing social and political perspectives.”

  28. Karl Garcia says:

    Another one of Micha’s pet peeves: Oligarchy

    Long Read.

    Countering Nationalist Oligarchy
    The real threat to liberal democracy

    • Nationalist oligarchy are when government and business honchos are in cahoots. China is one. Japan used to be, and probably still is to an extent. Big businesses in the US lobby hard and make campaign donations to influence national policy. But the US is not a full-fledged nationalist oligarchy. Nor is the Philippines, I think, although the relationships are a bit murky. Duterte’s crony contacts are Dennis Uy and Michail Yang moreso than the domestic oligarchs. Are oligarchs evil? I don’t know. For a nation like the Philippines, they might just be the deep pockets and competence needed to energize the nation under a progressive, honest president.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Thanks Joe,
        I do not think oligarchs who do not game the system are evil.
        I think this is a case of hate the player not the game stuff.

        Like in this article alone, the oligarchs can help drive innovation.
        The Ayala’s, the Sys assist in housing incubators and accelerators.

        This administration failed to do a way with the Public private partnerships and in the end they showed that they only have a favorite oligarch, some billionsire, not even a billionsire twenty years hence.

        • Yes. I don’t understand the departure from PPP. To me, it was genius. I think it was just political envy, the way one mayor would try to trash his predecessor.

          • Karl Garcia says:


            • The PPP’s in theory took longer with all the feasibility studies and swiss challenges. Also, projects undergoing PPP had to qualify within the narrow criteria allowed by the BOT Law that make projects harder to package.

              • Thanks for that insight. The foreign funded projects certainly are not quick. Maybe the restrictive BOT law needs to be reviewed to see how to get projects moving.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Duterte’s hybrid financing did not work either so they had to try a “better” hybrid financing.


              • Karl Garcia says:

                Ah ptocurement.
                I mentioned that here on my maiden blog here.


              • Karl Garcia says:

                “Several studies in the past referred to the Philippine public procurement system as a spawning ground for official corruption. By government’s own estimates, as much as PhP22 billion is lost each year in government spending due to corruption in procurement. Realizing the severity of the situation, a reform process was initiated, which resulted in the enactment of Republic Act No. 9184 otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA) of 2003.”
                “Despite the passage of what is Philippine Procurement System referred to as a world class law– the Government Procurement Reform Act has not been enough to prevent notorious corruption cases from being committed. Issues that continue to plague the procurement system, including the harmonization of rules with the procurement system of foreign donors and creditors, alignment of the procedures in the case of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) projects, and the challenge of operationalizing and implementing the reforms in all levels of government need to be looked into and addressed promptly.”

              • My personal view on the Procurement law is that it shackles people from doing anything.

                It favors big projects to make the effort of corruption worth the effort.

                It essentially slows down the government without really protecting the government from overpricing.

                The Procurement law is so obviously created by people who do not do stuff.

                When lawyers and not doers/Engineers/Businesspeople craft the laws and IRRs.

                Why do I have hate for the procurement law? You cited 22B in corruption. If you factor in the growth rate enabled by government spending and the transformation it can do to lives. Imagine the bridge constructed during the last administration that reduced a 4 hour ride to 30 minutes, there are a lot of projects like these that are shackled by the procurement law.

                If you factor in the complex projects regarding science, development, engineering, technology.

                I have a few friends who applied for a DOST grant, he was successful and finished the grant. He is not getting another grant although it is available. The reports required by the government amounts to about 10-50 extra work that is not really factored in when you initially cost these things. That essentially destroys any profits that can be reinvested in their startups. Given that time is the primary resource of a technology startup DOST is wasting a lot of people’s lives.

                They mean well. The system is just not working. The SYSTEM is the problem.

              • Gian, that reminds me of this satire on bureacracy from an Asterix movie.

                “The House That Sends You Mad”


        The “Big Four” zaibatsu (四大財閥, yondai zaibatsu) of, in chronological order of founding, Sumitomo, Mitsui, Mitsubishi, and Yasuda are the most significant zaibatsu groups. Two of them, Sumitomo and Mitsui, have roots in the Edo period while Mitsubishi and Yasuda trace their origins to the Meiji Restoration. Throughout Meiji to Shōwa, the government employed their financial powers and expertise for various endeavors, including tax collection, military procurement and foreign trade.

        Beyond the Big Four, consensus is lacking as to which companies can be called zaibatsu, and which cannot. After the Russo-Japanese War, a number of so-called “second-tier” zaibatsu also emerged, mostly as the result of business conglomerations and/or the award of lucrative military contracts. Some more famous second-tier zaibatsu included the Okura, Furukawa, and Nakajima groups, among several others.</strong

        After the war there was an attempt to dissolve them, but the USA didn't go all the way with that as Japan was reindustrialized as a bulwark against Communism, so..

        Today, the influence of the zaibatsu can still be seen in the form of financial groups, institutions, and larger companies whose origins reach back to the original zaibatsu, often sharing the same original family names (for example, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation). However, some argue[who?] that the “old mechanisms of financial and administrative control” that zaibatsu once enjoyed have been destroyed. Despite the absence of an actual sweeping change to the existence of large industrial conglomerates in Japan, the zaibatsu’s previous vertically integrated chain of command, ending with a single family, has now widely been displaced by the horizontal relationships of assoiation and coordination characteristic of keiretsu (系列). Keiretsu, meaning “series” or “subsidiary”, could be interpreted as being suggestive of this difference.

        The history of the zaibatsu and their influence within Japanese society are a popular element of Japanese fiction, particularly in anime, manga and video games, often taking the part of the ‘faceless corporation’ engaged in nefarious activities.

        In Germany you had the likes of Krupp and Thyssen (the men themselves) very close to the Kaiser and producing steel for industry and for war. Today Thyssen-Krupp AG is a stock company with a very wide stockholdership.

        Roughly, the German Liberals (FDP) are said to be strongly influenced by rich stockholders including members of the old nobility, the Christian Democrats (CDU, Merkel’s party) are said to be strongly influenced by managers of the large firms (now mostly diversified joint-stock companies) and the Mittelstand (SMEs), the Social Democrats (SPD) are clearly strongly influenced by the trade unions and worker’s councils (which are mandatory for all companies from a certain size and have a mandatory seat or more in supervisory boards). Bavaria’s ruling party Christian Social Union (CSU) is strongly influenced by small-to-medium farmers (though some of them are ecological farmers and vote Green), artisans and Mittelstand, though a part of the Mittelstand (many hotel and restaurant owners) have their stakes in the CSU coalition partner Free Voters (Freie Wähler) – during the Covid crisis it was their boss and Bavarian economics minister Aiwanger who pushed for early opening of businesses and subsidies for hotels and restaurants so the clientele was I think obvious.

        As there will always be different interest groups in society, I think this is better than individual interests of fat cats corrupting politics – or Angkas / ABS-CBN type demos which lead to nothing. Democracy IS a mechanism to reconcile different interests for common good.

        • Well said. Thanks for the update on Japan. My knowledge is confined to Clavell’s “Shogun”.

          • Welcome. Shogun the book and movie is roughly historical. Toranaga is very much like the real Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa who united Japan which was torn apart by warlords fighting each other, made Edo (Tokyo) the new capital and closed the country to foreigners.

            I know (from a manga comic which is historically well researched, but also from some readings) that the samurai went down in importance during the internal peace of that period while an early form of the Yakuza (just like legit businesses, the zaibatsus) went up. By the time Commodore Perry came with gunboats to force Japan to reopen, Japan was ready and quickly went through the Meiji modernization period, surprisingly beating Russia in a naval battle in 1908.

            BTW Ieyasu also created neighborhood associations, something Japan still has today. Don’t know if you have been to Japan, though I know you have worked a lot with Japanese.

            The Japanese neighborhood association is known to be friendly and helpful today. Don’t know how it was during the war, but its copy – the modern Philippine barangay which Marcos copied from the Japanese occupation equivalent in the Philippines – is dominating.

            MLQ3 also wrote about how Japan was seen as a model by a lot of prewar Filipinos. Not as much anymore after wartime atrocities. Though Marcos it seems copied a lot of approaches from the Japanese occupation for his Martial Law is something MLQ3 also writes.

    • The Nazi economic elite was mentioned as an example of nationalistic oligarchy and postwar liberalism in Europe as an attempt to counter that.

      BTW the arguments of the Nazis against “International Financial Capital” with the Jews as culprits both in New York and Berlin were very similar to Marcos’ anti-oligarch propaganda – or MRP’s anti-mestizo oligarch stuff which is the more primitive version of that.

      Of course like Marcos put in his cronies, Nazis had their own businessmen getting rich via being able to buy Jewish-German businesses at fire sale prices during “Aryanisation”.

      After the war liberalisation of course allowed for a lot of new business to grow while the stockholdership of old conglomerates like Krupp and Thyssen diversified and the original owners diversified their investments as well.

      BTW a similarity between the postwar so-called Germany Inc. (Deutschland AG) and Japan is that big banks have major shares in major corporations. Don’t know how widespread stockholdership is among Japanese though. What I know is that they – like many Germans – save a lot of money and that the banks therefore have the capital to own major firms – just read this somewhere. Neoliberalism had Deutsche Bank go into venture capital etc.

      Postwar Germany was a social market economy:

      Theoretically Germany today still is, inspite of many neoliberal elements the basic order is still the same.

      Although aspects were inspired by democratic socialism, the social market approach rejects the socialist ideas of replacing private property and markets with social ownership and economic planning. The “social” element of the model instead refers to support for the provision of equal opportunity and protection of those unable to enter the free market labor force because of old-age, disability, or unemployment.

      De facto postwar Germany had postal service, telecoms, energy, public transport and water in state hands – telecoms are no longer a monopoly now, the state firm Deutsche Telekom is fully privatized and its stockholdership widely spread, the energy market in the hands of privatized state firms (also with many stockholders) while Deutsche Bahn is privatized but not (yet) gone public. Most public transport is in the hands of municipally-owned private corporations – in Munich 100%-city-owned. Water is privatized in Berlin but not in Munich. Deutsche Post is privatized but I don’t know if it is public – it now owns DHL, among others.

  29. i7sharp says:

    There seems to have been no mention of Accenture yet.

    “An international business awards competition, the Stevie Awards recognizes innovation in all forms and is open to all organizations across 29 nations in the Asia-Pacific region. This year, Accenture in the Philippines bagged Gold Awards in three categories: Excellence in Innovation in Business Product and Service Industries for its digital transformation story; Most Innovative Marketing Team of the Year for strategic marketing initiatives for the digital world; Innovation in Human Resources Management, Planning & Practice for its talent training and development programs to drive innovative mindset and culture among its employees. For the Silver Awards categories, Accenture received citation for Innovation in the Use of Events as part of its efforts to redefine recruitment marketing and for Innovation in Internal Communications Videos to showcase inspiring technology work for the company’s millennial employees.”

    • Karl Garcia says:

      There you go. Thanks for not using shortened URLs.

      • i7sharp says:

        Browsing through the article, some thoughts came to mind.

        How about an “innovation” to code each island, each barangay, each purok, etc. in the name of “precision” to aid in “restoration.”
        A mouthful … but probably doable.

        How about a 7-character code for each island in the Philippines.
        How many do we have exactly? 7,642? During low tide?
        Each code can indicate which province, town, barangay it is located in.

        Mulanay in Quezon is BQZMY99 in my arbitray list.
        Barangay Ajos in Mulanay: BQZMYAJ

        How much will it cost?
        I can probably do it for free. 🙂

        • sonny says:

          “de gustibus non est disputandum” There is no accounting for individual tastes – code making/breaking is no exception. sigh …

          • pablonasid says:

            Other countries have done this decades ago. They called it the Postal Code. Not a single number for a million-people-city, but a meaningfull high resolution code. Using this in geomatics makes it extremely usefull. Don’t re-invent ths wheel. Just implement a proven system and THEN use it in innovative ways

            • i7sharp says:

              ” Just implement a proven system and THEN use it in innovative ways”

              Let us take your home barangay (or hometown) as an example.
              What specific code (aside from the Postal Code) do you find useful or helpful?

            • sonny says:

              I think i7 wants to encode our discussions by substituting pointer-data in place of concepts in sentences, i.e. a new syntax/grammar containing only codes in our sentences. Like a reader of a sentence in i7’s system is expected to find the answers/problems in the articles and encyclopedias he wants us to read and then “divine” meanings from those articles. I call this a rosetta system.of discussion. Like the directions one gets in an automated telephone answer navigating system.

              • Yeah, I agree his posts remind me of Ted Nelson’s idea for hypertext, Xanadu, or Claude Shannon’s how much information can you actual encode and still get by… for me I want to click on these links, check it out, but w/out the actual original url I just don’t wanna play Russian roulette.

              • pablonasid says:

                AI? So we can sit back and let the computer generate the posts? This would be interesting, but only for an hour. Although having worked with computers since they entered the office, I think nothing surpasses human interaction and creativity. Let’s stay old fashioned and “talk”, pretend it’s 1995.

              • sonny says:

                “… So we can sit back and let the computer generate the posts?”

                That’s another way of looking at it: study his indexing system and choose & pick any word or phrase and away we go.

              • i7sharp says:

                “… So we can sit back and let the computer generate the posts?”

                That’s another way of looking at it: study his indexing system and choose & pick any word or phrase and away we go.

                Did you, two, just jumped to conclusions … and ran with them. hehehe

                It’s more about simply assigning 7-character codes to locations (islands, barangays, etc.).
                A few years ago, if I recall right, this was discussed with Edgar (Lores).

                By the way, up to now I do not know of any attempt to similarly code chapter and verse citations of the Bible.

                For example, if Genesis 1:1 is coded Gen0101, how would Psalms 119:176 be coded?
                Try googling for “psab9h6” and see what, if any, you get.

              • sonny says:

                Whatever makes you happy, i7. Goodbye and out.

              • i7sharp says:

                Up to now, I still do not know who came up with the idea of a
                HONDA CODE – a 7-digit code.

                Could it have been Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda?
                Was it an “innovation”?
                Or, much ado about nothing?

                In any case, …
                Below, on the left column are part numbers, on the right the corresponding
                Honda Codes:
                64300-S9V-305ZZ 8278483
                64300-S9V-306ZZ 8486599
                64300-S9V-405ZZ 8278491
                64300-S9V-A03ZZ 8085037
                64700-S9V-305ZZ 8278509
                64700-S9V-405ZZ 8278517
                64700-S9V-A02ZZ 8085128
                64700-S9V-A11ZZ 8085136
                67010-S9V-A90ZZ 7053713
                67050-S9V-A90ZZ 7053739
                73201-S10-A01ZA 8117566
                73201-S10-A11ZA 8117574

                Honda would run out of numbers to use after 7 9s:

                Any ideas on the simplest/easiest way to extend the life of the Honda Code?

                I got fired for my idea – 7 days after I had submitted it.

              • pablonasid says:

                Allow characters to be included, then you will not run out of options anytime soon.
                And get your job back

              • i7sharp says:

                “Allow characters to be included, then you will not run out of options anytime soon.”

                The idea I submitted was to use the dash (-).

                In a way, it was making something out of nothing (the dash) to solve a “problem.”
                I say “nothing” because we normally ignore the dash – such as in phone numbers:

                Less number of digits to deal with, thus the code is even easier to memorize.
                You assign a value to the dash based on its position in the code.
                That should last for many years.

                Another special character can be used – an underscore, for example – when necessary.
                That was the logic I had in mind. And I did not see why it would not work.

  30. sonny says:


    On the subject of innovation, I can see that Philippine education should start including a sensitivity to basic research in Math and Sciences (Physical and Social) while the pandemic is challenging our applied technologies and Economics all across the board.

    • I would also stress writing and story-telling (across all mediums), sonny. Most Filipinos are non-readers, if they do read its usually about weddings and galas held by the rich and famous there.

      Although I a m seeing pretty artful animation and cartoons from Cebu. It turns out also that most art on T-shirts, etc. sold here are designed by kids in the Philippines, most in Cebu. Like karl says there is some coryright issues that need ironing out, like drawing for kids books over here but only getting pennies to the dime. So why not write the stories and the animation, whether print or video.

      Is there an export quality publishing house there able to encourage Filipino writers and drawers, etc.

      You look at people like Bezos and Musk and maybe Bill Gates too, they were all initially driven by sci-fi, whether it be the DUNE series, or the newer Expanse, or C. Clarke’s books. DUNE should be popular over there (or any 3rd world nation), because the plight of the Fremen is the plight of the 3rd world.

      For example, military sci-fi:

      But yeah, reading usually equals writing, but i’m saying write these stories, your own sci-fi, fiction, novels…

      • I was reviewing you-tube looking for the Liza Soberano talk to Gabriella Youth that got her red-tagged by trolls and AFP, if there is a difference these days. Clearly, the Philippines is a visual nation because a lot of videos have been done to slander her, for simply speaking about abuse to the *wrong* audience. It becomes rather hopeless to go against that tide of visually powerful attack. People of fame are forced to do what Mehgan Markle did, get off social media and ignore it. And the slanders continue, unabated, feeding off themselves. It’s ugly out.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Speaking of red-tagging.
          You welcome 28,000 Communist Chinese retirees, but declare persona non-grata Communist Filipinos.

          • sonny says:

            Someone made a calculation: 28,000 35-yr-old retirees with multiple-entry visas, 25 military divisions? hmmm …

            • sonny says:

              correction: 5 not 25 military divisions. LC fact-chk?


                sonny, I guess 5 divisions, but I’m not really familiar with units bigger than a battalion. I’ve worked only with detachments of 20-25 folks.

                Needless to say that 28,000 is a lot, less people have been used to justify wars, remember the Falklands war? As sabotage, they can be military or just simply criminals. Either way that’s a lot.

              • sonny says:

                LC, grew up going in and out of military camps, wherever my dad was assigned. He was a reservist-gone-military-career as offshoot of guerilla experience in WW2 and on thru Huk campaigns of the ’50s. I “tasted” military life vicariously this way. I had glimpses at BCT level and Brigade too. Dad was with Adjutant’s office BCT & Brigade HQ.

                Thanks much for the roster graphics, very informative reference. I’ll watch Audie Murphy’s TO HELL AND BACK with lots more gusto again and again. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                My conspiratorial sense is being triggered by this bit of information. The Marcos way had a lot more finesse but the current one is just as deadly. I count economic, socio-political, subversive hydra. Comprehensive, even culinary.

              • watch this video (there’s 4 more videos in the thread, about military deception ):

          • Yes. I’m working on that one. Here is my morning output on Twitter and FB:

            I’m curious, given General Parlade’s veiled threats to Liza Soberano. Does AFP respect the Constitution? I thought she had the right to speak anywhere to anyone. She wasn’t preaching overthrow, but standing against abuse. Why isn’t Parlade defending her? He’s AFP, right?

            Gabriela Youth is the student subset of Gabriela National Alliance of Women, a people centered (left-leaning) organization of considerable history in the Philippines. What is Parlade’s issue with them? They make his job harder? Maybe he needs a different job.

            AFP’s engagement on domestic issues is hugely problematic and has all the markings of a fascist state. Filipinos are not the enemy. Start with that precept and all this terrorism nonsense becomes just that. Nonsense. Filipinos are free, under the Constitution. Defend it, eh?

            • Karl Garcia says:


            • kasambahay says:

              gabriela youth vs duterte youth, it’s no wonder parlade is throwing his weight around. gotta make the boss happy. kaso, gabriela is getting more mileage now with liza soberano being redtagged.

              afp has got a much bigger problem in the south and yet, here’s parlade mouthing his intel far from where the real terrorists are. trying to kickstart the mindanaw-ation of metro manila, kaya? isko wont let him.

              mukhang inunahan lang yata ni parlade dahil may offensive tarp kasi nuon sa tulay warning the populace of the presence of npa right in their midst; nanakot, thus deflecting those responsible for the tarp and went after liza instead.

              so here we are, si liza ang kinalbaryo, those deploying the offensive tarp went their merry ways albeit whistling happily, in my humblest opinion.

              • kasambahay says:

                general parlade, chief of national task force to end local communist armed conflict. no matter which way I look, lisa bears no arm, ganon din po ang dating miss universe na si catriona. hindi sila armado and both liza and catriona have not been in any activities resembling armed conflict, cordite and all.

                parlade is better off asking autographs of both liza and catriona, have selfies with them if that’s allowed now we have pandemic. being paranoid like his boss, will only make parlade lose hair, lol!

        • pablonasid says:

          Meghan may have left social media. But if you attack AOC on social media, you better prepare for an effective and intelligent knockout counterattack.
          It is not hopeless, but your position must be strong.

          • So true, pablo, having an “army” helps. I just saw that she twitched live stream herself playing Among Us. But also it is about building community, I thought this Dave Chapelle interview by David Letterman, was really good:

            (that’s a good teaser clip, remember his wife is Filipina from NYC, but the whole interview is 1 hour long Netflix)

    • That is important – we HAD a research subject in 3rd and 4th year high at Pisay, I can imagine that has remained until now. I find the present Pisay setup of regional science high schools better than the old purely central Diliman Campus as it could reach more kids.

      Though there is another aspect: my mother always wondered why we had the theory of photosynthesis quite early while we hardly knew the names of native plants. German biology curriculum – especially for the older generations, my grandmother was excellent at identifying plants of all kinds, my mother quite good while I with my theoretical knowledge from Pisay only later learned what fruits are in season (after a dressing down by a fruit seller here in Munich “the young people forget nature, it is awful) and what blooms come first in spring.

      Though in our Science Club in Pisay we had field trips, one to Banahaw was memorable, we didn’t get to see any orchids as our adviser hoped, but countless species of insects. This is in line with LCPL_Xs suggestion that all Filipinos should have a greater feel for the country, mentioning how Israelis usually travel all parts of the country in their youth. One who has done that is Gideon Lasco, the well-known mountaineer, anthropologist and doctor, who wrote “The Philippines is Not a Small Country” recently, Ateneo Press, I’ll buy the ebook. Possibly up and coming scientists should also try to learn from Lumads and other “natives” about what they know about nature. And being up and down a river, for instance (I have been up and down parts of the Isar river) gives a feel for its role as a lifegiver for people.

      • Swim. Not too many Filipinos know how to swim. Surprisingly. They should be more like Sama/Badjaus. Spend weekends out in the open sea. Hire an outrigger and just enjoy the sea, bring water, fish, cook, pee and poo in the sea.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        From Gideon Lasco.

        My nephew died of drowning, and I do not want that to happen to many.

        • pablonasid says:

          A few thoughts on this swimming one. I live on a very small island with a fishing community. Very few of the elder people (>50 YO) can swim. Funny enough, in spite of several capsizes, there has been no drowning accident amongst them in the 30 years we live there. There have been several drownings on the island, however, but they were all visitors who did not appreciate the steep dropoffs or the currents.
          Lesson-1: If you don’t know how to handle nature, stay away until you are skilled.

          But, ALL of the younger people can “swim”, they play in the water, watch out for each other and somehow learn to swim by just doing it. They won’t win any contest, but they never drown. And they have loads of fun.
          Lesson-2: Learning from your peers is very effective. and supervision protects against disasters.

          Even if there is no formal swimming education on the island, some kids got trained in swimming in university and with their island background did very well in competitions.
          Lesson-3: What is learned in the cradle is carried to the tomb.

          There are several Filipinos and Filipinas competing a world-class level Just imagine what a boost it would give to the overall swimming capabilities if any of them would make an Olympic medal. Best promotion for swimming ever. Probably all it takes are a few good trainers. It will come, it requires some development.

          If I look at the progress on our island and the increasing amount of pools used for school swimming, I am hopeful that swimming capabilities will rapidly increase.

          And until that time: Stick to lesson-1 and if you don’t, Darwin’s law will sadly prevail.

          Is that a cruel statement?
          In our municipality, about one person per week gets killed riding a motorbike, most of the time he/she would have survived if he/she would have followed basic rules (helmet, speed, alcohol). It would be much more effective to focus on the area’s where most gains can be made easily (regular traffic checks and consistent fines. In general: enforce the law). Let’s focus on the area’s where most gains can be made (at no or little cost) and have fun swimming with our (grand)children, they will do well when we do our task properly. And let’s push the authorities to do THEIR work properly (like traffic checks, general implementation of the law) because I cannot guarantee that our (grand)children, their friends/colleagues and our fellow countrymen will always stick to the rules when I cannot watch them.

          Oh, and please no comment that it is easy for me to use the logic that all my (grand)children are good swimmers. The best swimmers I have seen are the very young streetkids swimming in the harbor. And we had a drowning accident in our immediate family as well, so I think there is a balanced reasoning here.

          • Karl Garcia says:


          • sonny says:

            “… Just imagine what a boost it would give to the overall swimming capabilities if any of them would make an Olympic medal.”

            Remembering out of the box:

            There was such an Olympic champion. At 5 foot 1 inch. In memoriam Vicky Manalo.

            • pablonasid says:

              Vicky?? Born in the US, competing for the US. My argument was that Philippines has much potential and it will be a matter of time before serious medals will be won. At that time, swimming will get a huge boost in popularity.
              Need to be proud of Filipino achievements. And they will come.

        • sonny says:

          I learned how to swim by ROTE.

          Growing up, the 1/2 Olympic size swimming pool at Camp Murphy (now Aguinaldo) was free for dependents at the Officers’ Club. Spent summer weekends at 4ft-depth of the pool and practiced what I read about learning how to swim by the numbers. I eventually could swim at the 10ft-depth end of the pool. 🙂 Then I saw the springboard diving platforms at Balara Swimming pools … 😦

          • Karl Garcia says:

            The Officers” club pool where I learned to float and go under water. But the nearby Health Club of the Lozada’s was where I learned how to swim.

      • I mentioned swimming here, in line with hiking and travel, because

        it is only when you spend time in the seas that you see the condition of the seas (like hiking in the mountains), with trash but also that theres life down there.

        Sure learn in the pool or simply go to where your feet cannot touch the ground, and you’ll swim (eventually be good at it). Sinking and knowing to bob up and down whilst breathing is a good start. A bangka‘s outrigger (bamboo portion) is perfect to bob up and down, and hold on then eventually you venture off.

        The one’s that advocate and fight for the seas and oceans tend to be the ones who’ve spent lots of time there.

        As for deaths in the open seas thru drowning, sans accidents and calamities, it is usually because drowning doesn’t look like drowning like you’ve seen in movies, drowning real drowning in the open seas is quiet, kinda like choking. So recognize real drowning. It doesn’t help either that Filipinos when visiting the beach thus the waters like to drink Tanduay etc. a lot so being drunk and open seas don’t mix too good.

    • pablonasid says:

      It’s a world-wide trend. My son-in-law would be the ultimate engineer, he just is very good at it, but he did economics and engineering courses simultaneously. Then he looked at his dad (an engineer who had a career in engineering) and the colleagues of his dad (started as engineers but drifted into economics) and saw that the ones who switched to economics got a lot more recognition, both in career as well as in pay. So, he decided to take the financial route and leave his engineering training in the cupboard. And that is a world-wide trend.
      However, I saw that (because of the lack of engineers), all my engineering friends had reasonable careers. We just are considered fools (by the financial types) for not making the most out of our capabilities. Well, Karl, please let me be a Bobo, I loved the job and it gave me a good pension. Not as good as my career minded friends, but I had fun doing my job. It has been hard work, but rewarding for me. So, that’s one of the reasons why there are loads of possibilities in engineering (lack of skilled engineers) and nowadays even more in the IT world where I met many self-taught people. But if the financial people now get dumped in the economic downturn, that is a the result of a choice they have made. High rewards, high stakes v.s. lower rewards and lower risks (and more fun).

      • Karl Garcia says:

        You must have been a good engineer.

        • pablonasid says:

          Just loved my job (most of the time) and enjoyed the people I worked with. And everybody makes mistakes, probably I made a lot. But this year, I wrote a little book (mainly for my kids as they only saw sideways what I was doing) and thought: Shit…. this was a good time, let’s make retirement the same… And then came Covid

          • i7sharp says:

            I am sure a lot of people here like you. I am becoming one of them.
            Where (what company, etc.) did you work, if you don’t mind my asking. You need not mention the location.
            I am not an engineer; actually a college drop-out. 🙂

            • pablonasid says:

              Worked in the production outfit of an oil company. From the deserts of the Middle East, the vastness of Siberia, the engineering of Germany, the weird society of Brunei, the jungles of Africa to peculiar Kurdistan. And in all these places you work with people who look very different at first sight, until you realize that basically all people want the same: A healthy family, happy kids, food on the table and a roof over their head. It doesn’t matter whatever language you speak, as long as you respect each other, you can live and work as a team, learn from each other and have loads of fun. Being a college dropout is no excuse, my best colleagues were dropout-types who were eager to learn and just did not give up until they learned the tricks. Hell, 98% of the skills I have now, I had to acquire on the job and 95% of what they taught in university I never needed (but often were good background materials). And that’s why Filipino colleagues were often good company. They had a reasonable good background but were eager to learn, did not give up and we had loads of fun after working hours: good food, a drink or two and an abundance of jokes. That’s why I thought it would be possible to apply some of my tricks when we settled in Philippines after retirement and was so flabbergasted when it went belly-up. Never mind, change tack and try another thing when this Covid thing is under control.

              • i7sharp says:

                Thank you, Pablo.
                I’m glad I asked. 🙂
                That’s fascinating!

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I am glad i7 asked.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                @pablo, I got to as. At first I thought you were Filipino living abroad, but it seems that you are a foreigner with a Filipina wife.
                Please clarify, so I would no longer be guessing. Thanks

              • pablonasid says:

                European initially, but been working and living abroad since ’76, settled in Philippines in ’90 (while still working abroad) and retired back to Philippines in 2015, worked for the municipality and indeed, my Boss hase saved my butt many times because she’s from that area and understands the local intricacies while I blunder along. But, since March, stuck in Africa when we were visiting friends.
                Funny observation: you find my nationality as well as Filipino/a’s everywhere on the world, sometimes they meet and then drift along but you never know where they end up eventually.

              • Karl Garcia says:


          • Karl Garcia says:


      • I agree with you. This is how I try to go about working. Find stuff that you find enjoyable.

    • Thanks Karl. Great stuff about three inventions by Filipino engineers: a coffee roaster that adds value for coffee farmers as well as affordable mills for corn and rice.

      These are similar to African innovation in that they solve a local, usually poor(er) people’s issue with some tweaking to affordable and available technology.

      Not all inventions have to be lightbulbs, telephones and all – and as Karl pointed out the telephone built on the telegraph, the first test was via telegraph lines, no one builds alone.

      • Mulholland the guy that built the LA aqueduct was self-taught. That boulder aqueduct never happened NV blocked it; but that AZ one is there. Thus LA gets most of its water from two sources.

        I’m sure with Google, there can be more self-taught engineers. Just need projects and resource materials to build stuff. Mulholland started out digging canals in the city.

      • sonny says:

        “Not all inventions have to be lightbulbs, telephones and all …”

        Irineo, way back in the day of fountain pens and ink stains on the shirts the only name to remember when buying ink for Parker 51 pens and Esterbrook and others was QUINK (blue, blue black, red). RP and US. QUINK = QUisumbingINK. Well now, the fountain pens are no more. :-(.

        … pontoon bridges and Alejandro Melchor

  31. Re my discussion with Pablo on competition in the Philippines, Joe’s stuff about the insane quest to be valedictorian, this is a book I read long ago but lost track of, here the most important quote – it is from a book by an American woman educator who visited the Philippines in US colonial times:;view=fulltext

    ..Our own national progress and that of the European nations from whom we are descended have been so differently conceived and developed that we can hardly realize the peculiar process through which the Filipinos are passing . We cannot conceive of Robert Fulton tearing his hair and undertaking a course in mechanics with the ulterior View of inventing something to prove that the American race is an inventive one . We cannot imagine Eli Whitney buried in thought, wondering how he could make a cotton gin to disprove the statement that the Americans are an unprogressive people . Cyrus Hal McCormick did not go out and manufacture a reaper because he was infuriated by a German newspaper taunt that the Americans were backward in agriculture . Nor can we fancy that John Hay while dealing with the Chinese crisis in 1900 was continually distracting his mind from the tremendously grave points at issue by wondering if he could not do something a little cleverer than the other diplomats would do..

    ..A great deal has been said in the American press about the eagerness for education here . The desire for education, however, does not come from any real dissatisfaction which the Filipinos have with themselves, but from eagerness to confute the reproach which has been heaped upon them of being unprogressive and uneducated . It is an abnormal condition, the result of association of a people naturally proud and sensitive with a people proud and arrogant . At present the desire for progress in things educational and even in things material is more or less ineffective because it is
    fed from race sensitiveness rather than from genuine discontent with the existing order of things.

    Part of the perspective she has is the typical condescension of the times then, but there is some truth to what she is saying in some places. These passages explain the valedictorian, summa cum laude and bar topnotcher circus, also the desire for “en grande” solutions among some Filipinos.

    • sonny says:

      Rudyard Kipling and “… the white man’s burden” was among the social commentarists of this period. Dean Worcester is another American who had the chance to observe our colonial character in the face of being confronted with so many “new influences” on our erstwhile “idyllic tropical existence.” The most interesting I have come across were those of David Barrows, the first superintendent of Education in colonial Philippines:

      “… In 1900, he got an assignment as superintendent of schools for Manila by William Howard Taft, president of the Philippine Commission. His career in the Philippines was eventful as he was designated to the post of Chief of the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes of the Philippine Islands, and also reconnoitered many unknown areas in the Philippines. In 1903, as general superintendent of education for the Islands, he was instrumental in total reorganization of the educational system.”

      • sonny says:

        PS. Barrows observed the total antithesis of Rizal’s statement of the “indolent Filipino.” Barrows contrasted the 9 to 5 work schedule of the American colonists to that of the Filipino farmer who was up at 4 am then stopped at 10 am to get out of the scorching noon hours and resumed to finish his work from mid-afternoon to the end of day.


          ..Rizal enumerates several reasons that may have caused the Filipinos’ cultural and economic decadence. The frequent wars, insurrections, and invasions have brought disorder to the communities. Chaos has been widespread, and destruction rampant. Many Filipinos have also been sent abroad to fight wars for Spain or for expeditions. Thus, the population has decreased in number. Due to forced labor, many men have been sent to shipyards to construct vessels. Meanwhile, natives who have had enough of abuse have gone to the mountains. As a result, the farms have been neglected. The so-called indolence of Filipinos definitely has deeply rooted causes..

          ..According to Rizal, Filipinos are not responsible for their misfortunes, as they are not their own masters. The Spanish government has not encouraged labor and trade, which ceased after the government treated the country’s neighboring trade partners with great suspicion. Trade has declined, furthermore, because of pirate attacks and the many restrictions imposed by the government, which gives no aid for crops and farmers. This and the abuse suffered under encomenderos have caused many to abandon the fields. Businesses are monopolized by many government officials, red tape and bribery operate on a wide scale, rampant gambling is tolerated by the government. This situation is compounded by the Church’s wrong doctrine which holds that the rich will not go to heaven, thus engendering a wrong attitude toward work. There has also been discrimination in education against natives. These are some of the main reasons that Rizal cites as causing the deterioration of values among the Filipinos..

  32. Karl Garcia says:

    Planned obsolescence can be misconstrued as continuous improvement and or innovation or even design thinking.

    We saw this in the processors x86 till the pentium processors happenned in jjust three years.
    What you gonna have is tind of e-waste.
    Now they phase out 3g and force everyone to upgrade.

    Adapt or perish.
    Trump tried in vain to revive the rust belt, but ironically they are just too rusty or obsolete to. compete or survive so much for iron(y) and rust.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Depeche mode or fast fashion gives you textile waste.
      All those sleepless nights forced by the marketing c-suite to come up with the best design makes the design team expose all their aces fast until they run out of ideas so they just make something old look new or else.
      People consume all especially during inventory sales or revenge consumption after lockdowns like this we are having at the risk of a second wave, so we consume and the more we not throw away the more we hoard the bulkier the trash you throw out once you run out of space.

  33. Karl Garcia says:

    This STEAM is different instead of Arts added to SCi Tech Math, you add agri fisheries.
    Maybe this could modernize our agri fast.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, Agri/Fisheries, Mathematics (STEAM) Education dominates the factors contributory to national growth and development. This study developed the Philippine STEAM Education (PSE) Model to visualize the Philippine Higher STEAM Education and to check how far are we from the global standards. Grounded on theories (Commission on Higher Education Policies, Standards, and Guidelines [PSG’s], Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers [PPST], and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge [TPACK]), the study sourced its data from online survey (extracted from 1900 STEAM educator respondents [national survey]), classroom observations and interviews of 106 participants determined through stratified and random sampling of state universities and privately-managed colleges and universities. Coding (manual and software aided) directed the model (Pedagogical, Assessment, Technological Integration) generation. These models guided the decoding of all indicators of STEAM proficiency attributes and traits to the different TPACK dimensions (T, P, C, PC, TC, TP, TPC) from where the dimensions of the emerging TPACK framework for Philippine Higher STEAM Education surfaced. Analysis of the generated individual domain models (Pedagogical, Assessment, Technological Integration) unified and developed the PSE Model. This unifying model underwent two-tier validation by experts in the different STEAM disciplines and country-wide identified STEAM educators. Results of the development and validation processes generated the final validated PSE Model that presents a visual of the current Philippine STEAM Education. However, the model development and design process identified several constructs foreseen to forecast the ideal Philippine STEAM Education, which the country hopes for, thus, led to crafting the emerging PSE Model as envisioned to represent the Philippine STEAM Education in the 21 century. From these crafted models, the higher education agency of the country may initiate carving policies for STEAM education in the country. R and D (Research and Development) may consider extending this initial endeavor to spawn tools (in assessment), and process (in pedagogy and technology integration) to capitalize on the benefits of the generated models of Philippine STEAM Education.“

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Aimed at creating the Philippine Workforce 4.0, ideally skilled to flourish in the Fourth Revolution era (FIRe), we gear our efforts to revolutionize the country’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agri/Fisheries, Mathematics) Education. The country’s firm stand on improving the human capital, and its science, technology and innovation (Philippine Development Plan [PDP], 2017) is our way towards concretizing Education 4.0, to help bridge us to the FIRe phenomenon (featuring technological revolution to converge and fuse human and the cyber world [Van Duuren 2017] through analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies and the internet of things [IoT] Renjen 2018]to design interconnected digital enterprises capable of more informed decision making tasks [Mars et al., 2014]). We also confirm that a strong STEAM (professionals, and education) will contribute to the knowledge society and economy of the country (Government Office of the Slovak Republic 2018; Morales, 2017), as well as improve its economic competence and competitiveness (English, 2016). The Philippine context STEAM (where “A” refers to Agri/fisheries) in higher and advanced learning focuses on several aspects of teaching and learning, and on the merging of the disciplines to teach a particular STEAM content (Morales et al., 2019), thus, we explore the possibility of generating the Philippine STEAM Education model as our blueprint for STEAM higher and advanced learning and our way towards realizing the country’s development plan themed as AmbisyonNatin 2040 (PDP, 2017). We theorize that weaving all concepts and principles drawn from the nation’s policies, standards, and guidelines defined by its Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for the individual STEAM programs, tempered by the principles of the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers, and looking at these extracted principles, ideas and concepts from the lens of TPACK may help define a contextualized model for the Philippines, which the current study, “TPACK in Philippine STEAM Education,” shares.

      • This makes sense because what we can learn from the Africans – and others – is that innovation must primarily solve local issues, not be done for the sake of being inventive. And yes Agri/Fisheries need an upgrade in the Philippines, though there are already some inventors there doing applicable stuff like coffee roaster and affordable corn/rice mills, broad knowledge would get these areas up in a faster and more sustainable way.

  34. i7sharp says:

    “Form follows function” …
    is the rule?

    Last night, I searched for an old spreadsheet I had done some years ago.
    Having found it, it occurred to me that I may have stopped updating it almost 14 years ago.

    The sight of the spreadsheet made think of “function follows form” – rather than the “rule.”

    A few weeks ago, I began thinking (again) of making the most of what little I know or have experienced.
    This time … in relation to what could become (if not already) the predominant way to educate students:
    online classrooms

    I think many of these images (below) will be of great help along the way:

    • Thanks! i7sharp. I clickd on the link and found this image, which helped me figure something out that i’ve been analyzing for awhile.

      Essentially its about VR/AR/MR re Wargaming, it hasn’t helped solved anything yet, but allowed me to look at MR differently now. Thanks!

      • i7sharp says:

        You’re welcome, Lance.

        The “lemon juicer” looked ugly to me although Hyundai is supposed to make good use of it.
        I guess beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.

        Regarding design, the paperclip comes to mind. And it is the image of the paperclip that prompted me to click on this one:

        As the book demonstrates, “form follows function,” the most common design adage of all, did not come from a European modernist like Walter Gropius or Mies van der Rohe, as is commonly believed. It originated with Louis Sullivan, the American designer of early skyscrapers. For the record, what he actually said was: “Form ever follows function.” Frank Lloyd dissented by saying “form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.”

        In 1964, Marshal McLuhan, a communications theorist, coined the catchphrase “the medium is the message.” In the book, William Bernbach, a founder of the ad firm DDB, responds: “Word of mouth is the best medium of all.”

        • “Medium is the message” reminds me a lot of Shannon’s carrier of information concept and entropy, i7sharp. More on patentability of form and function:

          A design patent would not protect the mechanical structure, but rather will protect the appearance. In this regard it is possible for many different paper clips to receive design protection even though the basic configuration is well known. The question for patentability is whether the presentation or appearance of the functional item is unique.

          Since a design is manifested in appearance, the subject matter of a design patent application may relate to the configuration or shape of an article, to the surface ornamentation applied to an article, or to the combination of configuration and surface ornamentation. A design for surface ornamentation is inseparable from the article to which it is applied and cannot exist alone. It must be a definite pattern of surface ornamentation, applied to an article of manufacture. In other words, a design patent will protect the way something looks, not the way it functions.

          Typically an inventor wants to protect the function of the invention when at all possible. This is because if you obtain a utility patent you will be able to prevent others from making, using, selling or importing into the United States any product that is functionally covered by the claims in the issued patent regardless of whether the device looks anything like what you are making or anything at all like the drawings in your patent application.

          For this reason utility patents have been and always will be stronger, broader and far more desirable to have. But what if you cannot get a utility patent because the underlying invention is not functionally unique, it just looks different? Then you are in the realm of the design patent.

  35. i7sharp says:



  36. Karl Garcia says:

    There seems to be a direction towards STEAM with DOST setting the metrics for teaching proficiency in STEAM. I guess this is the way to go gor our agri-fisheriesyo be competitive

  37. Karl Garcia says:

    Choosing the correct leader consistently will get us out of the mud.

    We had a multiple whammy of having a bad leader surrounded with incompetent people.

    We have roadmaps, we need a good driver who knows where to go even without gps.

    • kasambahay says:

      I dont know how will our country get off the mud now, kasi while we grapple with covid for months, unknown people crept in and fence off a large part of masungi georeserve grabbing 1000 hectares of land kuno. so industrious yata these unknown people that carries ‘long and high powered weapons’. makes me think tuloy of the chinese and the way the crept in and enforced the 9dash line.

      and now it’s being done again, only this time on land na, not sa dagat. those 28 thousand fake chinese retirees may have something to do with this, laying groundwork for more chinese acquisition. brazenly, china has already crossed the border into india, and if push comes to shove, our ever so accommodating country is no match to chinese expansion.

      our govt spend billions on intel and to have not seen this creeping invasion. see no evil, speak no evil . . .

      anyhow, wait and see ako what denr will come up with, after having sent men to check on the georeserve.

  38. i7sharp says:

    Just being honest.

    The very first thing I heard when I woke up was a Bible reading from a YouVersion app on my iPhone next to my pillow.
    It mentions of “reed” and “cubit.”
    It grabbed my attention as never before.
    I had been curious about them “archaic” terms for … for, maybe, less than a year or so … but who knows exactly since, as we all know, …
    Time flies!
    Tempus fugit; carpe diem!

    I googled … using quack, quack, quack … just kidding … I mean, duckduckgo.
    The first few results did not look worth looking into.
    But the first one that made me curious was the site that did not look familiar.

    Without much further ado, let me share it:
    It began thus (thusly?):

    July 27, 2017 by Dr. Mike Bagwell

    Only one verse today, Ezekiel 40:5, so short a lesson?

    For more than one reason, Yes.


    I have browsed through it in less than a minute only.
    But I feel there is MUCH to learn.
    Anything connected to “innovation”? Who knows.
    I hope I will be given a chance to share what I learn from it later … later today.

    Joe, I hope you are doing fine. And this is fine with you.

    • i7sharp says:

      I see “Mona Lisa’s cubits” among the images.

      About Mona Lisa, from Wikipedia:
      “The Mona Lisa is one of the most valuable paintings in the world. It holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known insurance valuation in history at US$100 million in 1962[15] (equivalent to $660 million in 2019).”

      Nothing to do with innovation … but I believe da Vinci, its painter, has said,
      “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

      • i7sharp says:

        First, a correction:
        “To me, this pasteboard is as simple and as useful (if not more so) than the paperclip.”
        shoud read
        “To me, this pasteboard is as simple and as useful as (if not more so than) the paperclip.”
        I hope I got it right this time.

        Second, an observation:
        The silence at TSoH is deafening.
        I know it is nighttime in the Philippines right now.
        But I have seen it happen before (daytime and nighttime) … with WFA (Worldwide Filipino Alliance)
        about which I had mentioned recently: 1,500 members, almost 200,000 postings, etc., etc.

        “wax cold” comes to mind.
        “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
        Matthew 24:12 KJV

        The best and simple example I can cite for “pasteboard” is this:
        It is the simple idea I used to get rolling the P.O.D. – the “Produce On Demand” project of Honda that was going nowhere after two years of implementation.
        Toyota set the precedence with J.I.T. (Just In Time) many years before.

        I hope American Honda will get wind of my claims here.

        If I get kicked out of TSoH for seemingly wild claims, I will simply continue, if called for,
        using Facebook. Look for “ito.ako”
        Of course, “Joe America” can let me go on … to face the music if someone is able to refute the claims.

    • i7sharp says:

      Now is the “later” I was talking about.
      I was hoping I will find something related to precision – not only in measurements but also in matters that can relate to innovations or creativity.

      So far, I have not found it on the site I have linked to.
      As a matter of fact, I found “imprecision” in that site.

      It may sound as if I had picked on the site to later use it as a bad example.
      That definitely is NOT the case. There is much good in it.

      Having said that, let me go back to “innovation” … and inventions.
      Back to this:
      “Not all inventions have to be lightbulbs, telephones and all …”

      We have heard of “copy/paste.”
      As a matter of fact, Lance (LCpl_X) mentioned it twice – on two different occasions in this same blog article on innovation.

      But, how about “pasteboard”?

      It probably cannot be considered as an invention but read about it here:
      The pasteboard is one of the most powerful (and unusual) features. The user chooses a document to “use as pasteboard”. Thereafter, any text copied to the Windows clipboard is appended to the pasteboard document. The resulting combined text can then be used as any other text, and searched to reuse clippings from days or weeks ago.

      To me, this pasteboard is as simple and as useful (if not more so) than the paperclip.
      And it can be used to jump-start education in the Philippines, … if I may say so.
      I can provide simple examples.

      • And here is the difference, i7sharp!

        Are you familiar w/ Ted Nelson’s hypertext (what he meant hyper text to be?).

        • i7sharp says:


          I was more familiar with Neil Larson (and his MaxThink) because, IMO, it was simpler – than Ted Nelson’s work.
          If I recall right, at the time that I was tinkering with MaxThink (I usually dabble only), I was having fun with GeoWorks. It was much easier to use than Windows which soon – alas! – replaced it.

          A bit about MaxThink:

  39. Karl Garcia says:

    STEAM Education for the Gifted in Rural Settings in the Philippines

    [Abstract] This presentation aims to discuss STEAM education for the gifted in rural settings in the Philippines. It will present several programs, initiatives, and innovations done in several public schools in rural areas across the country. It will also present pertinent issues and challenges on the development and implementation of STEAM education for Filipino gifted learners in the country.

    • kasambahay says:

      I’ve heard of similar programs in other countries too, high end universities and colleges on drive a.k.a. recruitment to ID gifted students, nurture them and given education.

      the worthy few, the super gifted ones with higher than average potential, are offered further education and even scholarships in foreign countries but mainly china where the pay is much higher complete with free accommodation, carpark and other perks.

      I have also heard of budding academics refusing to take the offer, foregoing lucrative deals and refusing to relocate to china. kasi, everything goes in china and those contracted may not have the freedom enjoyed back home. life over there kasi is heavily regimented, only projects approved by chinese politburo are . . . I dont know the word . . . done? undertaken? pursued? and those that realized too late what is happening could well be charged with espionage and ends up in jail.

      in other countries, there is heavy albeit ubiquitous chinese presence in the academe, maybe pareho din po sa phillipines: infiltrated na tayo.

  40. Karl Garcia says:

    I am really glad that we are allowed to comment again, all of us were like suspended from commenting for more than a month.
    Let us keep it up, we know the rules and policies here plus the unwritten rules of Joe.

  41. Courtesy of Karl:

    Top Philippines startups:

    Top IT service firms in the Philippines:

  42. Karl Garcia says:

    Since most startups nowadays are tech driven and are also driven by innovation here are the top startups in the PH

    And here are the top IT consultant firms.
    There are lots more companies besides IBM, HP and Accenture.

  43. – an analysis of the innovation and startup landscape in the Philippines by Maoi Arroyo

  44. Karl Garcia says:

    The Implementing rules for the innovative startup act.


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