Seeing the Philippines as a whole nation

Opinion and Analysis

By JoeAm

Sometimes our vision is obscured by walls or fences. If we simply step to the other side, we can see an entirely different, often bigger, picture.

We in the Philippines see the walls of the nation, its limitations formed by poverty, corruption, incompetence, lousy transportation, and political hostilities. Social media take these shortcomings and smear them into our faces daily.

But that is not the whole picture, is it? The whole picture must consider the successes. The achievements. The beauty of the nation and her peoples.

Manny Pacquiao as a boxer is world class. Maria Ressa, my gosh, Nobel recognition. Hidilyn Diaz, gold medal. Ship captains and staff caretaking people around the world. Mayors, doctors, and nurses, in America. Adventurers moving around the world. Musicians and actors, world class. The UNCLOS arbitration win forming the World’s anchor for free seas. President Aquino getting a standing ovation from the Japanese Diet. San Miguel, mall builders, airline companies, residential builders. A population twice the size of England, a dynamic, bubbling consumerism that drives jobs and GDP. Dive resorts, luxury resorts, rustic resorts. Mountains to climb, seas to swim, and fiestas to enjoy.

If we can step to the other side of the wall, we see intelligence, and skills, and courage, and hard work, and accomplishment. Global presence. Good people. The Philippines as a whole, an energetic, dynamic place. An individual sovereign nation unlike any other. A potential rock star.

The only thing keeping the Philippines poor and backward, on this side of the wall, is a small batch of unimaginative, incompetent national and local government officials, the self-dealers.

On the other side of the wall is achievement, pride, and wealth.

Might be wise to elect a President who can open the door.


Photo source: Better Homes and Gardens

98 Responses to “Seeing the Philippines as a whole nation”
  1. Thanks Joe. Of course what President can so that will be the main bone of contention.

    1. The loyalists might repeat Marcos Sr.’s 1965 motto “This nation can be great again”. This time Marcos wasn’t plagiarizing it was Trump. Posing with naked torso (in the rice fields working with the peasants, not on horseback) was something Marcos Sr. did first.

    They might say that the peso had a higher exchange rate (yes it did AT THE START AND BEFORE MARCOS, it was 3.9:1 in 1968 and 19.030 by end of 1985, they would say the literacy was higher than the rest of Asean, but that was a head start due to Quezon building the foundation of the public school system before WW2 (50% literacy after WW2 while Korea only had 20%, still ahead of most of SEA in 1965 but by 1975 Thailand and Vietnam were inching ahead), richer than many countries in Asia (well, Sokor was richer than the Philippines by 1985 but NOT in 1975, I have seen source but I am not surprised as West Germany recruited both Filipina and Sokor nurses in the late 1960s) and wow, what a great Film festival Manila had (never mind the rushed building and the workers buried alive in wet concrete) and wow, what jet-setters the Marcoses were, yes Imelda commandeered PAL planes to go shopping in New York, used PNB New York as a piggy bank, bought jewels a Queen would be jealous of.. Marcoses plundered est. 20% of GNP.

    2. The Far Left might look at both the failures of the Marcos and post-Marcos eras. But they don’t have any idea of how to improve things. Some of them I might even be worse self-dealers when in power, as Oscar Wilde said “virtue is often just lack of opportunity”.

    Classic Yellow did make one mistake in thinking all boats would rise when the tide goes up, a classic mistake of neoliberal thinking as much disproven by reality as Communism has been proven a dismal failure ever since 1989-1991. Both extremes don’t really work.

    3. Pink especially VP Leni does have a strong vision – revive industry via the maritime sector, something Karl will be very happy about, build industries that directly use the resources the Philippines has (something original Industrialization plans already said, go value-added instead of just easy money by mining out the country), and strengthen local manufacturers – in the pandemic OVP ordered local PPE not from China like the admin. There is a vision to make the Philippine entertainment industry on par with South Korea.

    Robredo People’s Council made the following video of the Philippines, Christmas 2026.

    I know there are those who are jaded as they believe “the Yellows failed after 1986”. Well, Aquino had the tide rising and many more boats rising thanks also to 4Ps which is a measure to send poor kids to school. Marcos Sr., the record shows, squandered the potential of a nation, killed a goose that was laying golden eggs. I say Digong did the same and also coasted along using the foundation built before him and claiming credit.

    VP Leni has strong Industrialization plans, Senator Kiko who is teasingly called Farmer Fred by his daughter Kakie has impressive agricultural plans, both have shown great competence in getting stuff done after seeing the big picture and finding solutions. In my book they are a step beyond Aquino III or Mar Roxas who were structured, they are of course better than action agad Marcos or the Popeyes school of Hard Knocks approach of Digong’s people, they work agile, fluidly adjusting implementation to reality, the only approach that can truly work in a fluid national culture. They are definitely the best bet.

    What VP Leni also knows how to do is energize local, something centralists can’t do. She will never quarrel with a Mayor like classic centralist Mar Roxas did. She will either convince the Mayor or Governor or work with someone else locally who is willing. Digong used Federalism (which is not doable in the Philippines, empowering local is) to get votes but proved as much of a centralist as most before him, a legacy of colonialism. But that is yet another topic, a follow-up to Joe’s two previous articles.

    • JoeAm says:

      Nice summary of the current condition, for sure. Your point two highlights the impotence of the Left, a strong ideology absolutely bereft of any path to implementation. They can’t see Robredo’s people/labor initiatives and would instead consider hitching to whom, exactly? They don’t even know how to open their own door, I think.

      And Robredo is indeed a world class leader. In the land of the blind, perhaps.

    • juan says:

      may mga pinoy na mahusay sa isip, sa isip at sa isip lamang. may mga pinoy din mahusay sa isip, sa salita at sa salita lamang. sa panatang makabayan noong ako ay maliit pa at nag aaral, tuwing umaga pagkatapos kumanta ng pambansang awit, nirerecite namin mga studyante ang panatang makabayan…sa huli ay sabi… ako ay isang tunay na pilipino sa isip sa salita at sa gawa. maraming politicco ngayon lalo na ang mga trapo ay puro sa isip, sa salita at pangako pero kulang sa gawa. dito umunlad ang mga pangako na napako sa kalimutan, para bang lang ilista mo sa tubig. si leni ok isang alternativo, pero si iskong basurero ay isang tunay na tao sa isip sa salita at sa gawa para sad mamamyang pinoy. sa tingin ko mas ok sya. sabi ng iba makaduterte, ang sabi ko naman, marunong makisayaw kung ang kanyang pagsasayaw ay sa ikakabuti ng mamamayan. marami na rin siyang nagawa sa maikling panunungkulang bilang yorme sa menila. luminis ang divisoria at maraming lugar sa maynila, maraming illegal na structura ang mga natanggal. nagpatayo ng mga condo at hospital para sa masa. ang kanyang pangsagot sa covid ay masasabi mong maayos. kung hindi lumapit at mga mamayan para magpavaccine e di sina vaccinators ang lumapit, may 24/7 din vaccination stations hindi lang para sa manilenos kundi sa lahat ng pinoy. ito ay tinutularang ng iba. si isko ay makatao din katulad ni leni, katulad ni leni naiintindihan nya rin ang puiso ng masa at mga naghihirap dahil siya ay galing sa mahirap. masasabing di pa sya hubog bilang maging presidente, pero lahat naman ng umupo ay nag on the job training din sila sa mga unang lingo ng kanilang pagigiging presidente. kailangan ng pinas ng isang presidente na may vision, husay sa decision at papaligiran ng mga pangkaraniwang pinoy (kahit di man matalino) pero may isip, may salita, at may gawa para sa kapwa pinoy at ito ay nakikita ko kay yorme. oo may 2 tayong okeng alternativo leni o isko. and i am leaning towards isko.

      • Sa demokrasya may kanya-kanya tayong palagay kaya walang kaso iyan.

        Madidismaya ako kung manalo si Marcos Jr. – kay Yorme hindi.

        Siguro naman alam mo na rin ang nagawa ni VP Leni bilang abogado ng PAO at Saligan, halimbawa para sa Sumilao farmers, bilang Congresswoman from 2013-2016, tapos mga nagawa ng mga kilusan niyang Kaya Natin at Angat Buhay bago pa siya naging VP.

        Tulong sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo, pagtayo ng bahay pagkatapos ng bagyo o para sa mga nasa Marawi pagkatapos ng pagkasira nito, tulong sa nasa laylayan upang umangat ang buhay nila sa sariling pagsikap, tapos sa bandang huli mga ginawa ng OVP sa pandemya: transportasyon para sa frontliners noong simula, Swab Cabs na free testing, Vaccination Express (sa Maynila nagsanib-puwersa sila ni Yorme para dito) at Bayanihan e-Konsulta na libreng tulong sa maysakit. Plus advance mag-isip sa mga programa niya.

        Mas alam ni VP Leni sa tingin ko ang kailangang gawin sa bayan at mas magagawa niya.

        Di ko naman minamaliit na mas gusto mo si Yorme. Noong 2016 halimbawa nakita ko rin kung saan mas may naisip si Grace Poe para sa taongbayan kesa kay Mar Roxas, samantalang mga plano ni Mar mas buo at propesyonal, kritika lang ng marami na kulang daw siya sa pakiramdam sa mahihirap. Hindi na ito masasabi tungkol kay VP Leni na anak ni gitnang uri, di anak mayaman, at habang buhay na sumisilbi sa taongbayan. Pero siguro may dahilan ka rin kung mas gusto mo si Yorme sa dalawa, nasa sa iyo iyon.

        • juan says:

          sana noon ay nag usap ang dalawa para may tambalang leni isko. pero ito ay huli na. mas leaning ako kay yorme dahil ang tingin ko ay ang mga handlers niya ay mga pangkaraniwang mga tao at di pa hubog sa tukso ng trapong politico. maraming balimbing, mga doble kara na lumang politico sa hanay ni leni, sana mali ang kutob ko at haka haka at sa aking mga nababasa. ang utang na loob ay isang magandang katangian ng mga pinoy kung ito ay nagagamit sa kabutihan. pero kung ang katangian ito ay ipapairal para manguna ang pansariling hangad ng isang naniningli at ang hangad ay di sa kabutihan ito ay isa ng bangunot. see ko ang evil, hear ko ang evil, pero pag tinanong ako ng kinauukulan ay no talk ako dahil malaki ang ang pagkakautang ko kay evil doer, immoral na ito. may kanya kanya tayong dahilang at yan ay ang freedom natin…natapos ko na palang napanood si kardo na may dalisay na hangarin pero kung minsan ay may maling pamamaraan. sa aking kathang isip ako ay estudyante parin ng langsangan pero si kardo ay hinubog ng mga mapapait na karanasan kaya masisisi mo ba siya sa kanyang pamamaraan. papanoorin ko uli ang susunod na kabanata, pero sa you tube na lang. you all have a nice day at tuloy ko lang ang aking dreaming.

          • Nabasa ko na pero sa mula sa hanay ng mga loyalist ang “papet ng dilawan”, “papet ng oligarko” atbp. raw si VP Leni. Di naman sila nagbabanggit ng mga pangalan, akala mo tuloy mga Illuminati ang pinag-uusapan, mahiwaga at katakut na puwersa.

            Sa kampong Makoy maliwanag na perang nakaw ang umiiral. Si VP Leni naman hindi gumagastos ng malaki sa kampanya, umaasa sa kusang loob ng volunteers – posibleng ganyan dahil ayaw niyang magkaroon masyado ng utang na loob pagkatapos. Pagdating naman kay Isko hopefully di siya maging tulad ni Erap kung manalo, lumabas kasi noong si Erap na mga gangster pala mga kasabwat niya, mga anak ng jueteng ika nga.

            • kasambahay says:

              soft on duterte and equally soft on makoy and has affinity to both, isko has potential to do worse, lol! hangang-hanga yan kay makoy at gagayahan daw ang mga gawain ni makoy na kahanga-hanga sa kanya pero hindi naman kahanga-hanga sa karamihan.

              akala ko, isko will be innovative and forge on today’s time, not backward looking and copying apo bangkay, maybe run the country the way apo did with lies and deceit and favors to cronies.

              naku, makipolubi kuno yang si isko, pero there is nothing makipulubi with his stand vs the poor in no vax no ride. ini-ntf elcac ang marami. akala ko, bilang dating isang pulubi isko will be understanding to the unfortunates, those burdened and unable to leave work and pila long hours to be vaccinated.

              ano, walang sakay at maglalakad na lang sila hanggang sa ma-heatstroke at mamatay! one less voter for isko.

              • kasambahay says:

                kataka-taka, isko’s running mate ay si dr willie ong, so chosen dahil medical doctor si willie at may covid expertise kuno. isko and willie ought to be on top of covid response. if isko is imitating duterte who has duque at beck and call . . . god have mercy on us.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Kung Totoong si Isko ang plan b at secret weapon ni Digong then never mind.
            jahit sarado na ang isip ko ke Leni-Kiko, me diskurso na dito kailan lang tungkol sa potential ni Isko.

      • geoyao says:

        The Save Arroceros Movement, a group of NGO, had a bad experience with Isko which showed he was not a man of his word. It also showed that he was not consultative in governance. Here are links for a good picture of what happened.

        • JoeAm says:

          Multiple links get a post sent to moderation as possible spam. This is a discussion blog, in the main.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Sa panahon ni Atienza giniba Ang Jai-Alai building para gawing Chinese ornamental musrum, Si Erap me plano din na naudlot. SI mayor Lim lang daw ang di gumalaw ng park. SI Isko naman para daw kalabanin ang mga elitista kung ano man ang ibig nysng sabihin, malay ko.

          • kasambahay says:

            patay na po si mayor alfredo lim in august 2020.

            I understand na like humans, we have to cut our hair when it gets too long and too thick, trees also need pruning. lalo na if trees are threatening to fall down on pedestrians, its branches too heavy and too numerous to sustain, their crown closed and unsightly and there’s lack of air circulation that black spots and fungus grew unchecked.

            para sa akin, pruning trees is okay but uprooting trees to make way for kilometers of concrete paths is really not okay.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              oo nga RIP Mayor Lim. Trees for roads basta irelocate lahat ng pwede. Trees for malls like in Baguio that sucks.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Kahit sabihin natin na ang daan ay para sa kotse lang, mali ito dito din dumadaan ang mga sasakyan ng mahirap. Ang mga tren kahit na gano karaming ries ang gawin kailangan pa din ng road network.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Maganda ang more bike lanes.

  2. Slightly OT, LCPL_X has asked about VP Leni’s recent Zoom sessions. Now what I have heard about with what groups she has had sessions recently is dizzying. But one example is her recent session with RPC Laguna:

    This is a Zoom conference of Doctors for Leni explaining why they support her. One says she became a VP Leni supporters after working at Bayanihan e-Konsulta, the other said she identifies with VP Leni’s service orientation.

    This is all remiscent of VP Leni’s 2016 campaign which was mostly on the ground, with the added socmed factor plus Zoom as an extension of personal contact.

    • Thank, Ireneo!

      I’ve been youtubing VP Leni Zooms and there aren’t much (some uploaded by Rappler), so am assuming that most of these zoom meetings go to fb only and not to YouTube.

      Maybe fb is still the main social media platform there, but I think (like for me) for those not connected to any social media (eg. don’t wanna log-in ) and just Google or youtube these things, might be helpful to post YouTube videos, not necessarily VP Leni campaigns but say these groups that host VP Leni, like this Zoom that I recommend (they’re doing some housekeeping so you can skip at around 8 minutes):

      My point, its pretty educational to cover these Zooms thru and thru. With VP Leni addressing a variety of interests. Featured at Filipino groups, cuz in the end when VP Leni wins these groups have to pull their weight. and not just think campaigning but actually governing. The more Zoom meetings, the better. Put ’em out there.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          or just search in youtube zoom leni robredo you will get a few more.

          • I’m thinking these Zoom meetings are held by groups (like Doctors for Leni, etc.), if you notice most of these videos are from Rappler , karl. I was thinking these groups that invite VP Leni should also post their Zoom meetings, to give VP Leni more coverage. For example that N. Rosca Zoom meeting, that would be a great way to see where VP Leni stands with OFW and see her plans.

            For example, most Filipino groups or orgs that don’t seem to require support from non-Filipino groups (or not dependent on non-Filipinos) are Filipino martial arts groups over there and abroad; also Filipino musicians, but I don’t see them merging as groups, i mean the amount of classic and jazz musicians, not even including pop and rock n roll bands there is astounding,

            I’m still surprised theres not a lot of legit int’l music festivals held in the Philippines.

            And that youtube video I shared is of the local mycological society over here, there’s also hiking groups, local plants groups, etc. etc. all of them merge to be a bigger movement for climate change action and environmental stewardship. Filipino martial arts groups are stewards of a certain cultural subset; so too the Filipino musicians. they have to have some sort of online presence like our mycological society,

            thus be able to host Zoom meetings, then can share it with everyone else interested in it. Yet much of this is from Rappler. which is a newspaper, where are the Filipino groups/societies/orgs are they all in fb, no YouTube, maybe twitter or Instagram, i dunno. But that group that hosted the Zoom, in which N. Rosca was part of, would have been an interesting listen, had it been made available.

      • Thanks for the Zoom links, Ireneo! that’s what I’m talking about. i hope they upload more. I was watching a bit of that youth Zoom, and I think VP Leni should go on offensive and join in on the Walden Bello vs. Inday Sara spat re: mandatory military service.

        I’m not for mandatory military service, and I’m pro-Sara, but I’m more pro-Walden Bello than anything so, I think Inday Sara is barking up the wrong tree here with her ad hominem;

        But I think this is a good discussion to have on mandatory military service. VP Leni of course doesn’t have to attack Inday Sara nor Walden Bello, she can speak from policy level let the lesser minds do ad hominems if they wish to continue on that route, but I hope they treat this policy proposal with the weight it deserves.

        The Israeli model is the best here, but it works because theres existential threat upon them. And Israelis are just super smart. I’m sure theres corruption and some anti-feminist stuff sexual assault stuff like in any military, but they have systems in place. smarts.

        VP Leni can support Inday Sara as well as Walden Bello’s stance, military service need not be military. Find a middle ground, and I think returning and expanding the Boy/Girl scouting model, in which teachers over there are responsible for “militarizing” youth can happen. Don’t involve the military.

        Just fund teachers.

        But when I say “militarizing” I just mean in organization, then their main mission is to do hurricane help, set up comms when down (like HAM radio), logistics when roads are down (wagons, pack animals etc.), hospitals in the fields, etc. etc. all military and military engineering really. all natural man-made disasters can be addressed.

        VP Leni can expand the talk about military service, into something much bigger that’ll help Filipinos.

        Start with these two graphs, all military training should start with these two graphs:

        I hope Inday Sara ups here understanding of military service; Walden Bello reconfigures his; all to fit VP Leni’s which will be more search and rescue/ disaster relief / rebuilding . like this :

    • Also, for “militarizing” in schools especially now with 2 extra years added, 11th and 12th grades, consider also heavy wargames, start with Friedrich boardgame. but also study the man, Friedrich II i think more than Napoleon or any other military heroes this is the guy to study, as he was an artist, musician, philosopher first– before king and general. Filipino kids would be better for it, then study Gen. Smedley Butler.

      “The graduate-level course is a part of Georgetown’s Center for Security Studies and is described in the course listing as follows.

      This course provides a basic introduction to the field of wargaming, emphasizing its use in military strategy and defense policy. The course will examine the fundamental principles of wargaming and game design. Students will be exposed to a range of design philosophies, varying in purpose, style, and format. The course centers on student teams researching, designing, developing, and play-testing an original educational wargame on a topic related to military strategy. Course instruction will be a combination of lecture, gameplay, and discussion – drawing upon both professional and commercial wargames.

      Most of the students who take the elective are pursuing advanced degrees in national security and policy and hope to use this experience to find positions in the defense industry. Some of the students are already defense analysts and are trying to get a better understanding of wargaming and to put more tools in their professional toolbox.”

      Get Filipino kids into wargame design, will connect to Metaverse and gaming at large also, designing and engineering, that’s all military and military useful.

      The Philippines under VP Leni and Inday Sara can totally follow the example of Friedrich II and of Prussia , starting out as discombobulated series of islands (Prussia was this but within land), then forming the most cohesive gov’t under Friedrich II.

      Napoleon studied him.

      • Frederick the Great was truly and interesting character, Prussia an interesting country – officially abolished by the Allies in 1947 for its militaristic legacy. Though especially due to Frederick it also became one of the first modern, enlightened states in Europe.

        Prussia’s most well-known legacy is goose-stepping. The last German soldiers to goose-step did so on Oct. 2, 1990, East German National People’s Army soldiers at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Berlin. Russia, China, Vietnam, Nokor still goose-step.

        The original idea behind goose-stepping is intimidation, something which fits into the settler colonialist legacy of Prussia, originally Brandenburg March while Austria was once the Eastern March, German and Christian areas jutting into pagan Slav territory.

        That the Teutonic Knights of old were to encounter already Catholic Poles and eventually be defeated by Orthodox Russians after Christianizing/Germanizing Slavic tribes in parts of what is now Eastern Germany and Christianizing Baltic tribes adds to complexity..

        ..and that eventually a German Kingdom arose in Prussia which was originally a Baltic state whose clans lost their old language but not their surnames, Old Prussian surnames similar to Lithuanian ones. Prussia’s old capital Königsberg is now Kaliningrad, Russia.

        Brandenburg’s capital Berlin became the Prussia capital when the King of Prussia also became the Elector of Brandenburg. Electoral were those with the power to elect a Holy Roman Emperor when the old Emperor died, thus powerful. All a bit oversimplified still..

        ..but what is also true is the poor quality of soil in Brandenburg. One can see it in Berlin which is basically lakes and sand. This would lead to two of Frederick’s achievements. (To be continued)

        • Well, maybe the conquest of Silesia, now part of Poland, was not an achievement. My great-grandfather on my German grandma’s side, a desk officer of the Prussian Interior Ministry, private referred to Frederick as a landgrabber. But he also was a PWD, slightly crippled for life due to a swimming pool accident in childhood, therefore not able to enter the most prestigious career Prussia had to offer, that of a military man. But Silesia was the granary of Prussia, key to its later conquests with its fertile soil. Complex too as it had German landlords and Polish serfs tilling the fields. Prussian aristocracy, formed out of conquering settlers in Slavic and Baltic lands, was deeply feudal. The Soviets were to wholesale confiscate their lands and insisted that none of these decrees be reversed as one of many preconditions to nodding off German Unity in 1989-1990.

          Also significant was Frederick as the Potato King. Prussian peasants hated that Andes crop but Frederick saw its significance and its efficiency in feeding troops. Germany is unthinkable without potatos today but it was one of his legacies.

          Further legacy: military conscription which was only abolished in Germany in the 2000s. Amended a bit to include only two eldest sons so farmers still had sons left to till their fields, a legacy which remained part of West German law upon rearmament in 1955.

          More on Frederick: he probably was gay. His father, Frederick the Soldier King, was the more hard-core militarist. Took his son to the Smoker’s Club to “toughen him up”, made him serve in the military but Frederick not yet the Great deserted with his “best friend”.

          The “best friend” most probably boyfriend was executed and Frederick was forced to watch by his father’s orders. Frederick did marry as was the obligation in then, but gave his wife was a house on the other side of his Sansoucci Palace grounds in Potsdam.

          He preferred to read, correspond with the philosopher Voltaire and play the flute. He liked his “Long Guys” special troops composed of tall recruits from all parts of his realm. He outdid his father militarily with his conquests, paving the way for Bismarck later on.

          Frederick, inspired by the Enlightenment, also was a legal and administrative reformer, his Prussian Landrecht the foundation of the later 1901 German Civil Code. Though Frederick was already dead when the Stein-Hardenberg reforms modernized Prussia and for instance made the success of German Jews in Berlin possible – plenty of New York Jewish families have Berlin roots BTW – his progressive policies such as accepting French Protestant refugees in Prussia paved the way for many things.

          It is no wonder that Mark Twain described Berlin in his time as “a city where everything is new” and Rizal had the Noli published in Berlin. The heel-clicking Prussian capital was also a capital of science and progressive ideas, a contradiction in many ways.

          • NHerrera says:

            Nice exchange of comments, Irineo and Lance. Thanks, Irineo for the interesting historical items related to Frederick the Great — it reads like a condensed novel.

        • Thanks, Ireneo! I’ve seen Pakistanis and Indians goose step as well and yeah its hella intimidating for sure.

          Of course aside from Friedrich II, his opposition too is worth mentioning who has the most Filipino of names… Ma. Theresa.

          Filipinas , if they are to militarize in the Philippines should definitely cover Maria Theresa. study her exploits, behind the scenes maneuverings, manipulation, influence. Team ups. And the other females Elizabeth Petrovna , mistress Madame de Pompadour, plus Ma. Theresa, who Friedrich called “the First Three Whores of Europe”.

          • Oh yes, his rival in the 7 years war. Erratum: the “Long Guys” were his father’s invention, his father was Frederick William I or the Soldier King of course.

            Due to Maria Theresia a part of Silesia became Austrian and later part of Czechoslovakia. Frederick William or Friedrich Wilhelm I also accepted an entire Bohemian Protestant village to resettle in what is now part of Berlin in 1837 as Austria didn’t want them. The church and the pretty tight religious community have survived in Berlin Rixdorf to this day, with a wonderful open gardens festival in the summer.

            Maria Theresia is part of the history of the Habsburgs turning their imperial ambitions eastwards after losing the Spanish crown to the Bourbons and of also losing Bavaria in the process as its peasants rebelled against Austrian draft in 1705. A church in Southern Munich shows the Hungarian cavalry of the Austrian Imperial army as menacing dark men, Hungarians are a bit darker than a lot of Europeans but not THAT dark. The old man shown as one of the last men standing is a legendary village blacksmith who allegedly was a veteran of the 30 Years War – it ended in 1648 so if he existed he was over 70 then.

            It wasn’t the Bourbon takeover of Spain that made it start losing its colonies from the 19th century onwards, it took Napoleon to weaken Spain sufficiently. The present King of Spain is still a Bourbon, even if he bears a name like the Habsburg Felipe Dos of old.

            This all shows how history ebbs and flows, how realms come and go, leaving their traces in all sorts of places. The final common battle of Austrians and Bavarians together was in 1866, losing against the industrialized juggernaut that Prussia had become by then. Possibly the Philippines if never colonized might have gone through a similar consolidation process of warring principalities and kingdoms, but maybe with a totally different configuration of states in what is now Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Timor Leste and Singapore. I haven’t even mentioned how the Netherlands and the Swiss wrested themselves free of the Habsburgs and the Holy Roman Empire. I will stop now.

    • “Wilderness War is a re-release of a classic GMT game set during the French and Indian War. This was my first exposure to the game, and it is my pleasure to say that it is a fine card-driven game (CDG) game that most anyone can enjoy.”

      “Players will find themselves constantly trying to decide how to use a card. Do you play it to activate an event or apply its operational strength to prepare an area to defend against an Indian raid you can see coming? The frontier is porous and the construction of forts and stockades is important. Reinforcements are key but so is the support of local government bodies, which are necessary for keeping British Provincial Drilled units in the field. Oh, decisions, decisions.

      Many of the cards will be recycled, but a few are removed once the event is played. One really powerful card is Surrender, which offers the ability to have a fort/fortress just give up to a siege. The occupants march out with honor and are “allowed” to move to the nearest friendly fort while the attacker occupies the fort that had been besieged. Surrender also causes the card deck to be reshuffled, including discards.”


      Thanks for the backgrounders, Ireneo!

      I’m not as familiar with the 7 Years War, and have just recently gotten into it tangentially in attempt to study the French and Indian War over here, for this game: “Wilderness War”. Which perfectly segues to the Napoleonic Wars and Clausewitz.

      All of which is relevant to the Philippines if military is made mandatory or if simply going with the Boy/Girl scout model as proposed above, whether fighting fires or people, logistics and movement tend to be similar. So too other natural disasters.

      Many vets here are finding solace after GWOT, into devoting their energies to fighting fires as well as other catastrophies. Everytime i see fire fighter briefings on TV it reminds me of 18th and 19th century warfare maps with lines of Corps and Divisions.

      The wargaming aspect is what IMHO applies to Filipinos conscription, you wanna lessen the effects of corruption by the military. As Walden Bello posits. which I agree. the military in and of itself is a corrupting force, that’s why IMHO teachers are better tasked in militarization, than military folk themselves.

      But wargaming should be used in excess. Keeps the mind nimble.

  3. Karl Garcia says:

    All we need are good leaders to unleash the potential and make those outliers part of the mainstream by making more of them.

    We have the population , but not the necessary man power, human resources or human capital.

    Our farmers are aging, we lack technical people in the Armed forces-warrant officers is still an alien concept here, too many nurses abroad and the rest of the so-called contributors to the brain drain.

    We have discussed dynasties and what good can we get out of them and wish that apples fall from different trees at least by having different role models if their role models suck.

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    After reading all the laundry lists, I am sure that Leni can deliver.

  5. NHerrera says:

    A gem, a gem of a short article in the TSH blog!

    You made my day, Joe.

    It makes me feel good and alive when one considers the possibilities. And we can start on that road to those possibilities come May 2022.

    • JoeAm says:

      Good to know that, NH. Seems clear and simple to me.

      • NHerrera says:

        In the same way the blog topic uses the words “seeing … as a whole …”, I say:

        Let us see the candidates — to the May 2022 election — as a whole, especially the President, the Vice President and Senators relative to what we aspire/ dream:

        The Philippines as a whole, an energetic, dynamic place. An individual sovereign nation unlike any other. A potential rock star. [Ref. JoeAm]

        The big picture of the whole set of candidates most especially the Presidential Candidate matching or congruent to the big picture of our dream.

  6. A bit OT: The Gem-Ver ramming in 2019 and the difference between how the present admin and VP Leni responded, visible on the faces of Capt. Insigne and his family, is also a topic circulating in numerous memes nowadays..

  7. Jessica Soho interviews 4 Presidential aspirants at 6:15 pm.

    VP Leni, Isko, Pacquiao and Lacson. Marcos isn’t coming and even this:

    ..“An aspirant‘s preparedness to lead, ability to govern and capability to be president cannot be tested by his mere appearance on a show that has been perceived by us and our supporters as having previously displayed a preconceived judgement against the Marcoses,” Rodriguez said..

    • kasambahay says:

      man with good muscle coordination was sour graping, lol! isko must have been disappointed, the son of his idol hindi nagpakita.

      si leni nga, she once attended a look-see forum organized by supporters of other candidates. leni was able to present herself well and even thank the supporters for inviting her.

      even though supporters said they wont vote for her, they were glad she turned up and have chat with them.

      people can suss out candidates, how honest, truthful, and how distrustful, etc.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      I saw that fb post of @Cha, it was well written.
      But @Irineo you saw sincerity in Paquiao and the masses might fall for him, but per Cha, except for Leni they were all out of their element. Paquiao wants free eveything…Lacson wants a leagacy etc etc bit Leni answered how she can deliver on the most difficult stuff.

      • Actually not exactly. Pacquiao is sincere and much like a lot of Filipinos when it comes to not understanding government. Isko’s populist rhetoric might have a lot of pull towards some people though. Lacson is competent but a bit cold.

        Leni has both brains and heart which is what is needed. Isko plays the I came from poverty and I can do for the Philippines what I did in Manila cards.

        • My point is that there are many Filipinos who think Pacquiao is doing his job in the Senate because “he helps people” – betraying zero understanding of the job. Many also think that running a city is the same as running a nation, or find statements like Isko’s “I don’t like analysis” proof that he is an “action man”, as they think analysis is just pushing papers and then not doing anything at all. Not everybody understands governance at the level we do I am pretty sure.

        • Karl Garcia says:


  8. Micha says:

    OT but good news:

    Bitcoin drops to six-month low as investors dump speculative assets and Russia is set to follow China in banning all crypto mining and transactions.

    and then we have this:

    Cryptocurrency is not merely a bad investment or speculative bubble. It’s worse than that: it’s a full-on fraud, a scam, a giant Ponzi scheme.

    About time the US follow suit.

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks. [I read the contents of the last link; not the first one because of the paywall.]

      • Micha says:

        Yup, FT’s a bummer putting up a paywall.

        Here’s the last paragraph from the article:

        Turcotte likened the situation in Russia to that of China before Beijing began a more forceful crackdown on the (crypto) industry. “Nobody listened to [Chinese officials] until they actually brought the hammer down,” he said. Last year, China declared that all crypto activities were illegal.

        About time the US follow the rest of civilized world.

        • Micha,

          You never say anything when Bitcoin is up; but when its down you always post articls how its a ponzi scheme and how China (now Russia) is right.

          Post when Bitcoin is up too, balance it out, Micha!

          As for US following Russia/China, nope, Bitcoin as an experiment has to be played out. And the US is better if it is left to do so, play it out! Let Bitcoin play out.

          If we go to war, this will be the best experiment. Russia/China will have their own CBDC. let’s see if they can do w/out the US dollar; whereas US will have centralized and de-centralized monies. best of both worlds!

          • Micha says:

            Those wild swings in volatility means bitcoin can never ever be a tenable currency. It can only be, at best, a commodity – a useless commodity. No, it’s worst than useless because the process of electronic mining consumes tremendous amount of electricity which could have been used instead to power more tangible human needs.

            With the Russian and Chinese ban, Bitcoin is, for all intents and purposes, now a failed experiment.

            • And so what you’re gonna move to Russia or China?

              No they don’t dictate the terms , Micha.

              Just because Russia and China ban Bitcoin don’t mean thats the wisest move.

              America dictates global economy and does so because they like risks, and are open to ideas;

              Russia and China also ban freedom of speech and freedom of press, are we suppose to follow them too?

              Freedom in money is still alive in the US, Bitcoin mining like Ethereum will I think go with proof of stake, maybe not i dunno, karl got some cheddar awhile back for that issue.

              I’m neither for nor against Bitcoin now, due to karl’s intervention, but I’m for it to be left alone, Micha.

              Fuck Russian (and China)!!! what do they know?

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Hey Leave me alone! LOL!

              • Micha says:

                No one’s stopping you from clutching at Bitcoin straws corporal.

                Did you say you’re already a Bitcoin billionaire?

              • That’s the spirit , Micha!

                No one should be stopping anyone from doing Bitcoin, win or lose, bullion or bust. That’s the American way— not Russian nor Chinese. People are free.

                So throw away all your Russian and Chinese propaganda RE Bitcoin. And no China and Russia do not make up the “civilized world”. Bitcoin and crypto are still in play, up or down.

    • juan says:

      i am not a believer of crypto money but i do believe in ponzi schemes with good intentions and management and implementation. if monies collected from member contributors is really intended for its purpose and not used for the capricho of the founder or managers, maganda. insurance, sss, paluwagan or abuluyan are good examples of ponzi sheme with a purpose. the more members you recruit the bigger the collection. the scheme lives to fruity if new members gives breath to its existence. the scheme dies if no new members join the group because the funds will be depleted and the expected returns of the living contributors are not realized bcuz it has been used by the dead contributors.
      and speaking of good laws, pinas has many good laws with good intentions but the big problem is the implementation.

  9. NHerrera says:

    Regarding the conundrum about the Jessica Soho interview with Leni, Ping, Isko, Manny; and the absence of the Lazy, Characterless “Duwag” [ Bongbong is our principal worry. He is too carefree and lazy…He must get character — per Papa ], there is an interesting Israeli study which says size matters [down boys; no, fellows, not what comes directly to your imaginative minds 🙂 ],

    but on the size of visual images to help the mind remember. The big signages and continuing visuals of sizeable caravans in the case of Leni-Kiko Team may help the team. It is as if the Israeli study, fortuitously — or by design by the bright or creative people in the Team — was used predating its publication.

  10. madlanglupa says:

    Ontopic: politicians, bureaucrats, generals, and some tycoons are holding us back: dividing and conquering the people they were supposed to serve, reducing them into chattel for which they use for their personal aims. A country with Marcoses restored will be nothing but a giant celebration of such the power-greedy, hence we still have to fight that future.

    Offtopic: we should make a point remembering these Quislings, so if we seize back the country they shall pay dearly:


    “Americans who received their primary series of vaccines and previously contracted Covid-19 had the highest protection against reinfection and hospitalization during the Delta variant-fueled outbreak, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The study, published Wednesday, looked at four categories of people in New York and California — individuals who were unvaccinated with and without a prior infection and vaccinated people with and without a prior infection.

    The study said protection against reinfection and hospitalization grew significantly among unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals who had previously contracted Covid-19 from the time period before the Delta variant emerged to after it became the dominant strain in the U.S. Prior infection provided better protection than vaccination alone during Delta. The case rates among the unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals with a previous diagnosis and without a previous diagnosis were relatively similar in the California population during the same time period.”

  12. juan says:

    i like to be a kopykat of the good, not the bad, and perhaps the ugly with end result for the good welfare of the majority (not the few or the priviledged). the good and the bad self explanatory, the ugly example is kamay na bakal or batas ni marcial or guerra. and the saying says a thousand good deeds is wiped out by one odd shit or its collorally, is… a thousand bad deeds is covered by one very good deed. it does not mean that if i copy the 1000 good deeds of the perceived bad ass and did not copy the bad deed, i am also a bad ass or its follower bcuz i advocated the 1000 good deeds of the bad ass. now if i only copy the one good deed and not the 1000 bads, of course i am good and can you also accuse me that my idol is the one who had the 1000 bads which was wiped out by the one very good deed.
    in this way i like to be a kopykat. thats me, i like to advocate only the good deeds and forget and erase the bads. kopyahing ang maganda at ilagay na lang sq memory of lessons learned ang mga pangit para di na maulit o tularan. pag kinalimutan malamang history repeats itself.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      isko says he will copy Marcos vision and not the laws. cool! But I still think if he will lose and be vacant for three years I hope he can do something even without being president, same goes for other candidates with good intentions.

      • kasambahay says:

        aba, from ilocos to cebu, maraming kokopyahin itong si isko kapag nanalo bilang presidente, pambansang kopyador baga, lol!

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Talo pa si Sotto copy!

        • juan says:

          ganyan naman talaga. ang buhay ay kopya kopya lang. ang kopyahing ay ang mga good at di ang mga bad. may mga anak kinokopya si ama. pag doktor si ama, parang gusto ni anak na magdoktor din. pag tomador si ama, parang gusto din ni anak na tumoma. noong tayo ay nag aaral kinokopya natin ang ating magandang natutunan at inilalagay sa ating memory bank. para pag may halintulad na karanasan at problema si ating processor ay magcompute at kunin ang karapadapat na ankop na solution. yah si iskong basurero ay isa ring kopyador ng the good but not the bad. sana swertehen sya. syanawa.

  13. juan says:

    isko will perhaps not win bcuz he does not have the support system. if he wins well n good. anyway i hope he continues his good intensions even if he is a non win. ituloy nya lang ang pagbigay niya ng kanyang talent fee sa charity at matularan ang kanyang canned solutions sa manila na very applicapble country wide. any engineers out there, civil, hydro etc. why do we have to sira a perfectly usable cement road and retambak again and elevate some more. why cant we just scrape the old cement road and patong a good thick layer of the new road with cement. we can perhaps find a good bonding agent so the old cement road will adhere to the new layer of thicker cement road. in this way you will save hauling cost and new tambak cost and regrading cost. for hydro enginners perhaps you have observe the small canals build all along the road which are unserviceable or does not even connect to the river or water collection ponds. and the canal covers are not even able to withstand the passage of some trucks and do easily crack. just an observation. maybe you out there have better solutions to our baha problem. maganda ang hi-rise dwelling at ang dwelling area ay sa 2nd flr up. ang ground flr or road level area are fore gathering or meeting areas o laruan ng mga bata. at ako ay nagising kaya hanggang dito na lang mga igan.

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