Goodbye!

Lake Buhi in Camarines SurThis is to be my last post in this blog, as I am distancing myself from Filipino matters. There is too much frustration and too little fulfillment to be found in them nowadays. Besides, my old life in that country – or even among Filipino communities – is a memory.

The more pessimistic view I have of the Filipino has won in reality, while the optimistic view has lost. It may get better but I lack a realistic idea of how it is on the ground. Something also tells me I would be more than uncomfortable trying to find that out.

The direction in which the Philippines has gone now has always been a possibility, although its becoming so real has shocked even those like me who expected it. Unfortunately I cannot truly identify with the place anymore, much less sympathize.

Before the emotions turn into something negative, I have decided to finally stop this. After a long, long time away, the Philippines are finally just another place for me. Though I will probably never find the comfort of seeing them as just an other place.

Kudos especially to the likes of Will Villanueva, who is persevering for his country. Wonderful to see Joe America not giving up on his adopted country, the Philippines. Finally, it is the community one lives in that matters, the place where one truly lives.

Fortunately Germany is a true second home, I am not a migrant as I have family here. My body once left the Philippines in a hurry, the soul travels slower and took its time. But even if the Internet gives me all the information, finally I am NOT THERE to help.

In fact I do not see myself as bold enough to return, especially after such a long time. Me, highly Westernized in a country that seemingly is trying to shake off colonialism? Didn’t feel right during my last visit and will feel even less right now or much later on.

Never mind that I think that exchanging masters makes no sense for the Philippines. Meaning going for Chinese masters, internationally, or new dynasties locally (link) instead of seeking true independence and people power. That is indeed THEIR choice.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 8 June 2019

Paano Ngayon?

Mount Malinaoewan ko na. Baka naman talagang mas komportable ang karamihan ng Pilipino sa mga mukhang magiging mga Senador ngayon (link). Mas katulad na nila sa ugali at lahat. Hindi na iyong mga nakakainis na elitista. Hindi na iyong mga disenteng mga ipokrito. Hindi na iyong mga gustong sundan ang lahat ng batas na sobra-sobra ang borloloy. May ginagawa talaga! Patayin ang adik, linisin ang Boracay, durugin ang Marawi. Pinaninindigan ang alam, lalo na iyong mga destabilizer at mga dilawan na mareklamo!

Magwalâ muna

Pero hayaan muna mag-migrate ang mga iyan, mga hindi tunay na Pilipino (link). Paingles-ingles, padiyos-diyos, tapos puro Constitution. Tanginang mga Inglesero. Tanginang mga Katoliko. E sa Limasawa pa lang, swapang iyong pari na nagmisa. Kapag ang mga Bisaya nag-inom, kasama lahat, hindi lang iyong sa harap ang meron! Tapos ang pinakain sa mga Waray iyang tinapay na matigas at puti at maliit pa sa puto. Anong klaseng pagsasama iyan. Tapos ang sex life nating malandi noon, pinigil nila!

Sino ang di mawiwili sa mapupula mong pisngi?
Lalu na’t mainit-init ang matambok mong pu-
So ko’y lumulukso, dahilang sa ganda mo
Pwede bang mahipo ko ang malaki mo’ng su-
Kat ko’ng akalain, masarap ang balimbing
Pwede bang makatikim ang mahaba ko’ng u-..

Iyan tayo (link)! Kaya dapat malibog ang pinuno natin, hulog mga panty sa kanya (link)! Aanhin natin ang mga Abnoy na ayaw ng mga babae, kesa nakadalawang asawa na! Umalis na nga dito iyong mga gustong maging mga Amerikano, at doon sila kung saan sila puwedeng magsabi ng baklang thank you Sir, please Madam, tayo hindi ganyan. Tignan ninyo si Sass kung paano niya hinarap iyang mayabang na BBC na Ingles (link)! Ngayon, aalis na ang mga puti kasama iyong mga tuta nilang dilawan. Goodbye Felicia!

Pero bakit

Nakakapagod magkunyaring DDS. Pero bakit ba parang pagiging hangal na kaluluwa, bastos, ignorante, bobo at tanga na talaga ang peg ng pagiging Pilipino. Panahon ni Andres Bonifacio, normal pa sigurong marinig mo ito sa ordinaryong tao (link): Mahal ni Chel higit sa lahat ang batas. Pero mas may mahal pa siya sa batas – ang katarungan”  ngayong araw, sa propesor mo lang maririnig o kaya sa mga nasa unibersidad, sa ibang lugar baka sabihan ka pa ng “UGOK!” kapag sinabi mo iyon.

Baka akala ng maraming Pilipino diyan na walang kuwenta ang may pinag-aralan. Posibleng hindi nila nagamit ang pinag-aralan nila dahil napilitan kaagad mag-Saudi. Baka akala nila kahit sino puwede magpatakbo ng gobyerno dahil bulok ang takbo. Huwag sana silang magtaka kapag lalong bulok ang magiging takbo habang tumagal. Sige na nga, ano kayang magandang magagawa nila Bato, Imee, Manny atbp. diyan! Mga nakapunta na sa maunlad na bansa: may mga ganyan ba sa mga Senado nila?

Kinabukasan

Para saan pa kung makakapag-hapi-hapi na ngayon? Manood ng Senado araw-araw. Alisin na ang Eat Bulaga at ilipat doon. May budol-budol muna, tapos may inom at biro. Hay naku, baka makapasok pa si Bam Aquino. Boring naman, baka hindi siya sumama. Sobrang mag-iisip samantalang wala nang dapat isipin. Sagot na lahat ng mga Tsaynis. Di bale kung may utang na maiiwan, problema na iyan ng mga hindi pa ipinapanganak. Pero huwag silang maging pasaway. Kahit dose anyos kulong sila, pag malas tokhang!

May mga natatauhan na sana, pero kulang pa. Hindi ako lubos na naniniwala sa resulta daw ng botohan. Sobrang marami pa ring mga nauuto pa pero may mga nagising na. Kaya lang madalas sa lipunang Pilipino, kung sinong maingay at gago ang naririnig. Mga matitino baka tawagin pang takot o bakla, o pinakagrabe sa lahat “isip ng isip”. Tsaka palalabasin na kaunti lang ang mga tahimik pero matino – kaya siguro pinalabas na tambak ang resulta ng botohan. Ewan ko na talaga kung anong mangyayari ngayon.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, ika-13 ng Mayo 2019

Letting Go

Heavy traffic sa EDSA-Tramo (Pasay)(2017-08-04)is something that makes sense for me with regards to the Philippines, no matter what the outcome of the May 13 elections will be. My life does not depend on them, though it would be sad to see the Philippines go into what for me and many others is just wrong. But then again, what do I really know about what the Filipinos who might just vote for China, Duterte and (feudalistic/tribalistic style) Federalism truly want for themselves? Trying to understand put knots in my head, which is why I have not written for a while.

My Way

There is the phenomenon of My Way Killings (link) in the Philippines, people getting killed for singing my way in a way someone else in the audience obviously doesn’t like. The person who decides to be judge, jury and executioner at the same time is not so far from President Duterte who openly justifies EJKs in Davao (link) with this: “in the matter of elements of progress, Davao is in the forefront and only because we decided..”. Let us look at the logic behind this, even if it is alien to the logic of morality and rule of law.

Think of Metro Manila traffic where there is a lot of law of the jungle in action, including people who choose to force counterflow. My Way. Many junctions in Metro Manila have concrete barriers between lanes to prevent people from crossing them. The abstract idea of rules imposed by lines and lamps seems to evade many. I have seen videos about how rules that should be daily fare on EDSA have to be imposed by cops. In a society of many My Ways, no willing common consensus, is the true solution force?

Our Way

The other solution that has been tried is to limit independent thinking. Aside from the cults that abound in the Philippines, there are cultish elements in its politics as well. Tagging of perceived enemies of one’s own group is the norm – see recent matrices. The Philippine Left, in particular the Communists, purged itself savagely in the 1990s. Groups with a nationalistic bent tend to search for Westernized aspects in the “others”. The variety of Otso Diretso’s slate is NOT something that was typically Filipino before.

Filipino groups often tend to be highly exclusive of anyone who is not within a very narrow range of similarity. Too educated, too rich, too poor, too uneducated, too white or dark? That alone can make people make mean jokes, or want you to “fall off a motorcycle”. Don’t know what I am referring to with the latter? Sorry, then you can’t sit with US hehe. A society that was mostly rural just decades ago and still is very clannish. How does pressure to conform work on migrants and OFWs – or returning academics?

Covenants

Yuval Noah Harari has noted that mankind derives its capability to achieve great things from common ideas. Different religions, but also political ideas, including the liberal-democratic standard ideas like democracy, rule of law, human rights are examples. Having been colonized, Filipinos often did not truly adapt the ideas of the conquerors – they only adjusted, sometimes just to the corrupted form lived by some representatives. Duterte saying the Constitution is nothing to him (link) is in a way just being very honest.

A Constitution is a covenant – or a social contract if one wants to sound more secular. Basically an agreement by a group of people on how they intend to get things together. Society with internalized rules is more pleasant than the  “damaged” kind of Filipino culture – often among the “My Way” clientele – where people get mad if you ask them to follow ANY rules. Or worse, pay their debt, if one was foolish enough to lend money. That clientele might admire Bong Revilla for his chutzpah with plundered money (link).

If the majority of Filipinos are just that way, will Mainland China be the suitable partner? And is a combination of Mao Zedong’s “power grows out of the barrel of a gun” (link) and Digong’s equally cynical and contemptuous approach all that will keep them in line? Or will Filipinos go more for the likes of Chel Diokno, who was recently said by a law school dean (link) to love the law most of all, but love justice even more than the law? How many will have understood that these are not just empty words, not to everyone?

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 11 May 2019

Why is he still alive – asked President Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte listens to the report of Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerreroof a police office who had accused him and his former adviser – a Chinese citizen – of involvement in the drug business (link). Maybe not anymore shocking even to those from the West who have already heard enough of Duterte in the past three years. Probably not shocking to many Filipinos, as the political culture has known these kinds of figures for a long time, with Ramon Durano of Danao who was Congressman of of Cebu’s first district from 1949 to 1972 as an example, described in an article (link):

Ramon Durano is described as a “contradictory figure”.. [he] projected himself as a modest, unpretentious, devoutly Christian family man and patron.  People easily warmed to his authentic folksy provinciano ways.. Ramon’s opponents knew him differently. He had a callous and fearsome reputation. He was known to operate by brutal intimidation, assassination and corruption. Ramon enforced his will using an army of frightening gun-toting goons, who later expanded into killer vigilante squads..

Durano’s wife was Beatriz Duterte, sister of President Duterte’s father Vicente Duterte. One might theorize that the pre-colonial ruling class, coopted by the Spanish, then later naturally using American-style democracy to further their rule upon economically very dependent people, somehow forgot its mandate to serve its own people along the way. But unfortunately the reign of fear seems to have pre-dated Spanish colonialism, as this article which is mainly about the babaylan, precolonial female healers, documents (link):

..A datu’s hold onto power was enhanced by the people’s popular belief of the datu’s arcane knowledge of pangkukulam or pambabarang, a type of black magic that allegedly harms the datu’s enemies.

William Henry Scott (1994) listed some of the most feared supernatural powers of the datu. Ropok was a curse that allowed the datu to control and enslave the mind of any person. Bosong was another type of dark magic that caused swelling in a person’s intestines. Panlus was a spear that also caused intense swelling in the victim who steps over it. Kaykay was believed to be a highly advanced form of dark magic that allowed the datu to pierce his enemy just by pointing at him or her from a distance. Hokhok, the most feared among the datu’s powers, was believed to cause instant death just by the datu’s touch or breath..”

By that catalogue, Duterte is unimpressive. He needs police and military to kill, has no magic like the rulers of old. But certainly he still means well, which is what some of his followers still seem to believe, if one is to go by Manuel L. Quezon III’s satire (link):

For them, being the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful Chief Executive — in other words, the Mahatma or Great Soul of Malacañang — means the President, even when he is wrong, is right, because by being wrong, he rights other wrongs. Confused? Let us stipulate that as one name for the liquidation scheme (Oplan Double Barrel) suggests, the so-called war on drugs takes a shotgun approach. There will be, as the President has told us frankly, collateral damage.

Let us also stipulate what the President has also said, that he was shocked — shocked! Dismayed! — to discover that some policemen were liquidating people without regard to his own carefully crafted rules of engagement. Two years ago, the President even shifted antidrug operations from the police to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) because of this.

Third, the President himself has pointed to various government agencies as the sources of information for his lists, saying he trusts them. This means that the escape clause in such statements is that it is entirely possible that officials will, from time to time, turn out to have abused the President’s trust.

So he does not even have magic discernment, and is reliant on OTHERS for infos? That severely violates the Filipino rule of Thought called When you Know, you know. Well, now we know the Golden Age has passed – how shall we deal with our sorrow?

And though Duterte knows Chinese cruise missiles can hit Manila in 7 minutes (link), one may still ask why he is offering China everything, including national patrimony (link). Is that what datus wanted of subjects – and gave to overlords? Full submission? Hmm..

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 31 March 2019

What is it, gonna be, honesty or jealousy?

Crab Nebulais part of a refrain of a French 1995 funk/hip-hop song (link), but recent events in the Philippines have made it clear how much this seemingly strange choice is the choice. Those who say there is no true honesty (link) are those who are dripping with jealousy. Who will NOT forget Digong’s smirk when he repeatedly told Mar Roxas: “Nooo, you are not a graduate of Wharton!” (link) during one of the Presidential debates of 2016. Roughly, I translate the French of one of the passages of the song I mentioned:

Car la réussite gêne (because success annoys)
L’envie est naturelle (envy is natural)
Mais quand celle-ci est malsaine (but once it is unhealthy)
Ca nous donne (SELF DESTRUCTION) (it gives us SELF DESTRUCTION)
Et tu le sais (SELF DESTRUCTION) (and you know it SELF DESTRUCTION)
Mais tu le fais ! (but you do it)

The Philippines is known for crab mentality, no doubt. Crab mentality has two parts: envying those above and putting down those perceived as below. The pecking order of a postcolonial and hierarchic society breeds a lot of feelings that simmer unseen. (link)

..I am also a parvenu, raised in the provinces by a middle class family, by brave and loving parents who did their best to give I and my sister the best they could afford. They did it despite the fact that my father had to struggle with progressive debilitation and my mother with unimaginable difficulties. I never wrote about this openly, but I also faced during college days discrimination and mockery from the Manileno elites and posh boys and girls for my strange accent (it was more pronounced back in the days) and embarrassing ignorance of pop culture; they looked down at me with all their well-moneyed basic education and privileged American-accented culture. There is so much more I could share at the risk of sounding vindictive (I’m actually cool now) and radical (I’m a social democrat), so i will keep those old wounds out of sight..

Richard Javad Heydarian writes this – the successful, internationally known professor. He says “those humiliations at the hands of the feckless elite helped me better understand Sassot and many ordinary folks like me who have now suddenly found power and platform after years of marginality.” Well, Prof. Heydarian, I understand these people too. But I don’t underestimate the lion’s den you are walking into. Vindictiveness and resentment often hits the first available target, and often outlives its usefulness:

The power obviously does not heal the wound inside, the true reason for the jealousy. Those who are jealous can never be truly honest, as they feel they lack something real. Why else the need, in Imee’s example, to make up college degrees that just don’t exist?

The song has a part which also says: “Ras l’bol des gens qui devant vous vous complimentent et qui derrière souhaitent votre descente” (had enough of people who give you compliments in front and behind you want your descent). That was the old Philippines pre-Duterte in many ways. Today is the age of open jealousy and vindictive malice. I did experience forerunners of that among Philippine migrants and high-level overseas professionals, probably feeling “empowered” being outside the traditional Filipino structures and having someone there who by his speech and background represented everything they felt hurt by. They just want to see you fall and laugh at it. But does Mar Roxas falling from a bike give true joy? Or just hollow, bitter snickering?

Could be that some Filipinos have realized the bad road that jealousy has led them into. Reviving the old heckling about Mar Roxas (link) and VP Leni (link) isn’t quite clicking, while the most refreshing example of honesty one can see, Pilo Hilbay, is smiling (link).

There are of course those who want the normal Filipino to yell at every perceived “elite” and “colonialist”, like Sassot confronting a truly hapless BBC reporter in Manila (link).

There is no honest agenda behind that, just jealousy. And you know it but you do it..

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 10 March 2019

Common Filipino Fallacies – and why they are harmful

Manny Pacman Pacquiao 2The past few months and weeks looking at Philippine politics have shown a number of very harmful fallacies common in Filipino thinking. Certainly my perspective is foreign. But then again, every country has to deal with foreign perspectives about them (link), including the famous “Xenophobe’s Guides” that humorously show quirks of nations, or “Meet the Germans” (link) by Deutsche Welle, with Rachel pointing out German quirks. But having seen familiar fallacies resurface, I cannot help but point them out right here:

  1. Too much Democracy is Harmful for Filipinos. Manny Pacquiao recently said this. But then, it is not the first time I have heard this. Now if Filipinos think democracy is the right to choose which side of the street they want to drive on, he is right. Well I am exaggerating this time, but clearly one has to “take care of one another” (link) as communities in order to have successful democracy and not anarchy.
  2. Criticism is Destabilization. Well, if the one in power is not really interested in the common good but only in the good of a certain group, then it IS destabilization – of a rule not according to the (theoretically) agreed rules defined by the Constitution.
  3. Loyalty is to the Government. The government is just the present management and staff running the state, and the state is supposed to serve the entire nation. Those who want to remove students for being critical are expecting subservience.
  4. Making abuses known abroad is betrayal. The assumed consensus that all people are for certain “measures” of government could probably be due to intimidation and ignorance. Other countries have to deal with reports from abroad as well. Very progressive countries like Germany even have their own Deutsche Welle reporting on issues within the country, without seeing this as an admitting failure.
  5. Admitting mistakes or saying sorry is either weakness or hypocrisy. The assumption that there are no honest mistakes is very much part of the culture. Trolls recently attacked VP Leni for a typographical error, assuming malice (link). Such a cultural attitude CANNOT, by any stretch, understand that Germany has really (mostly!) learned from its mistakes in World War 2. It gets: BBM and Imee.
  6. Criticism is Malicious. Just as there is no concept of an honest mistake, there is no idea that criticism can be a useful catalyst to keep everybody on their toes, keep them from getting too comfortable. Some Filipinos say that in Germany everything is perfect but people keep complaining. An Austrian friend of mine once said stuff is close to perfect over here because of complaints. Japanese Kaizen (link) is based on constant improvement of what is already good enough.
  7. Debates and discussion are useless. One group of Senate candidates maintains. Sure, many Filipino debates are one-upmanship and verbal showmanship without purpose. Often it is merely about who is to blame, which is why people often don’t give in an inch, as a witch trial or Inquisition attitude often still predominates. Think of the Dengvaxia matter which now has scientists who made no mistake being charged with homicide (link) and has caused measles to spread because people became afraid of vaccination. Proper discussions are there to help define the scope of issues, help compare solutions to decide which one(s) to take, and monitor the solution(s). Even errors can be stepping-stones to improvement. But that means assuming that honest mistakes exist, which is hard in a culture of distrust that throws out a Supreme Court Chief Justice on a mere technicality, but acquits Bong Revilla who clearly had strange money coming into his account.
  8. When you know you know. Admitting errors in judgement means incompetence. Doesn’t matter if you were fed incomplete information. Pretending that “drug matrixes” are without error even if some of those listed are already dead is “firm”. Such an attitude works in a village where you can easily verify with your senses. Wider geographical and social contexts mean you will ALWAYS have uncertainty. Meaning that consistent reporting and monitoring standards become important. Fake news and distortion of facts and context becomes even worse. Of course you cannot, like Mocha once did, say there are no EJKs ’cause you don’t see any. That is probably not just “illiterate” or “ignoramus” like some would say, but malice.
  9. Speaking Truth to Power is Disrespect. There is the story I read of a Korean air line that taught its crews to be polite but direct in emergency situations – after an accident where a co-pilot was too “respectful”, meaning indirect, to a pilot about how much fuel the plane still had – until it was too late. There are probably hundreds of ground-level situations in the Philippines where theory and practice are not aligned, but either those below do not speak up – or those above don’t want to hear. The story of MMDA wanting to press charges against someone who uploaded a video of a footbridge with electrical cables showing (link) is an example of power that does not want to correct mistakes, just HIDE them.

Of course it is possibly all just OK. It is logical, actually if one assumes that power and status make right, malice is to be assumed, and those lower are “resilient”, meaning they adjust and don’t complain about stuff like Westerners, yellows and reds all do. That there are no honest mistakes, just honest thieves who are way better than hypocrites, and that nobody ever learns anything after the new age of criminal responsibility, 12 years, because once you are conscious and when you know, you know all is clear.

If that is how the majority thinks – like the abandoned kids in Lord of the Flies – it is hard. Also if the preservers of culture stubbornly insist that a damaged mindset is correct and a more productive mindset is “Western”. But hope springs eternal and so let us just see.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 5 March 2019

Ang babastos ng mga tagabundok!

Camión transportador de botellas y envases de plástico (Av. Patriotismo y Eje 4 Sur Benjamín Franklin, México, D.F.) 01biruin ninyo, tinapunan ng bote si Bong Revilla! Buti nasangga ng agimat ang paglipad ng plastic bottle. Hindi ba nila alam na basura iyan, ano tingin niyo kay Bong, trapo? Pero huli yata talaga sa balita ang mga nandoon, mahilig pa rin yata sa country music. Palibhasa napunta sa may Sagada si Scotty, si Fr. William Henry Scott, na puro gitara at country roads daw ang ikinanta. Tapos akala mo pa kung sino sila, palibhasa marami sa kanilang Anglican, akala nila puwede na nilang bastusin isang matapang na Tagalog!

Mga awit

Sa bagay, pasaway naman talaga ang mga iyan. Lumaban na ang mga iyan noong si Marcos, na alam nating WALA talagang ninakaw ni gabundok (link) o sa bundok nila, gusto silang bigyan ng Chico River dam! Mga walang utang na loob talaga! Kanta nila:

O Makus balileng nagpa-order
Maraming helicopter
Sasakay jungle fighter
Patungo sa encounter

Pero kapag meron namang lumalapit na hindi tagaroon, pinapalit bigla ang kanta:

Mahirap balileng maging pogi
Marami kang babai
Buti pa maging pangit..

Pogi o pangit, patay na si Fr. Balweg (link)! At isa pa, magagawa sa wakas ang Chico River dam, gawa ng kagandahang-loob ng mga Tsino sa Pilipinas (link). Pirmado na!

Keri iyan

Buti hindi sila naglakas-loob kay Imee, pagkat dugo ni Lam-Ang iyan, tumalo sa kanila. Kay mismong El Dorado sila galing, sa haring ginto ng ibinalita ng mga Kastila (link). Yayaman tayong lahat kapag binahaginan tayo ng pamilya Marcos sa kayamanan nila! Tsaka huwag kayong maniniwala sa mga dilawang naninira sa ating Prinsesang Imee. Prinsesa siya, kaya nagpunta siya ng Princeton. Dinaya lang siya ng mga dilawan (link)! Hindi siya tulad ni Kris Aquino na pinagtitripan na lang (link). May class siya. Keri iyan!

Dami na raw Pilipino takot ma-EJK – 8 out of 10 daw (link). O, di ba sabi ni Tatay Digong na meron nang 8 million drug adik sa Pilipinas (link). Di sila ang mga takot mamatay! Tangina ninyo, sino ang nagsabing iba ang 8 out of 10 sa 8 million out of 100 million? Ang dami ninyong alam talaga! Pareho lang iyan. Isa pa itong si Bernard Ong (link). Ayon kay Panelo, iyong 3 million na sinabi ni Duterte noon, Metro Manila lang iyon. Bakit pa pa-compute-compute si Ong, imbesa na MANIWALA siya kay Panelo?

Jess bilib

Ang papel ng Pilipinong tunay, maniwala sa nakakataas. Huwag puro satsat at tanong. Sabi nga ni Manny Pacquiao (link): ‘Too much democracy is bad for the Philippines’. Tandaan ninyo, ang daming natulungan niyan, di baleng laging absent sa Senado (link)! Bakit may attendance pa kasi diyan, ano ba tayo, mga batang tinuturuan pa sa school? Anong silbi ng edukasyon, papogi lang iyan, tapos mahirap balileng maging pogi talaga, tulad ni Manny, marami na siyang babae, eh paano kung nag-aral pa iyan, sosobra na!

So, JESS BILIB. Ano ba kayo, walang faith sa Lord natin! Itong mga tagabundok na Anglican pa raw, walang yatang faith kay Lord Digong. Kasi brainwashed siguro ng American priests. Mga Katoliko brainwashed ng mga putangingang Padre Damaso. Tandaan ninyo na hindi magaling iyong mga puro debate at angal na malas, kundi iyong mga relax lang at magaling sa sayaw, kanta at patawa (link) na tunay na masusuwerte! Huwag puro isip dahil mapapagod lang kayo. Huwag puro duda at simangot! Istap na!

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 3 March 2019

The Infallible Truth

Rodrigo Duterte 070916is what quite a few Filipinos seem to expect from their figures of authority, or how else would President Duterte get away with so many highly varied numbers of drug addicts in the Philippines? Well, law enforcement said he may have “upped estimates as a challenge” to them (link). So he lied because he means well, to get back to the truth? Because it seems that figures cloaked with authority in the Philippines are not only infallible but benevolent, and both goodness and correctness are beyond doubt. Don’t even ask why or where they are leading the flock, as that must be good as well. Alleging they are leading people to a bad place, like the Kangkungan shown below? VERY BAD, as it is questioning the divine wisdom of the chosen leaders of the people!

Who are we to question their judgement using facts and logic? We who are trained in stupid Western ways, and not in the ways the ancient people of Lemuria (link) KNEW and passed to their Filipino descendants, keepers of the fabulous Tallano gold (link). Who really needs to graduate from Princeton (link) as a heir to those mythical powers? Only benighted fools need to go to Wharton (link), because they truly know NOTHING! And those who KNOW they are right do not need debates, unlike those 8 losers (link).

Watcha Makulit

Back to serious. In Philippine schools, is is often those who memorize what the teacher says or parrot the teacher’s opinion who are favored over those asking questions. Ask too much and you are makulit. Nothing to do with a Wayang Kulit that looks like Imee. How makulit all those people are, asking the skin puppet Imee whether she graduated! Graciously, she smiles or pretends not to hear, or talks about something else totally. Who are these commoners to ask about matters we, the godlike, know more about? Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing, thinks Imee, benevolently. After all, the ultimate Trajano penalty for makulit mortals (link) is to be used sparingly.

Wayang Kulit 1890

So do not expect Filipino youth to produce the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez soon. That kind of esprit, if not yet stifled in early school years, learns to be docile later on. Except Trillanes! Duterte recently said: (link)You went overboard. We will initiate an investigation like you and I will subpoena your mother whether you like it not.” Following the logic of Philippine authority that a) Duterte always means well and b) never goes after innocents, can we deduce that Trillanes’ mother’s fault was in how she raised him?

Palusot

Rigorous application of logic, critical thinking, is not a strength of the Philippine school system either. After all, idols with feet of clay in both logic and morals are afraid of being revealed as such. An SWS survey saying the 66% of Filipinos think there are less addicts is applauded (link) – without thinking that it could be because many are HIDING from extrajudicial killings. Of course they will come out of hiding when the killings stop, and probably people will believe the time with killings was better. Just weeks after that came out, the President himself says there are more than ever. But consistency is such a boring Western concept. How great it must be to know everything is bullshit yet holy? That form of mental flexibility escapes me, but will Filipino voters get it as usual? Hmm..

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 1 March 2019

Truth vs. Honor?

Stretcherbondis that the issue when it comes to libel laws? Well, the Philippine definition of libel is (link) as per Article 353 Revised Penal Code: Definition of libel. — A libel is public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. Causing dishonor, discredit, or contempt is the main thing, it seems.

Shaiming the shameless

The Philippine Penal Code is an old Spanish colonial law in spirit, so Filipino libel sounds a bit like one Don Bigote making it impossible for any paper to write that he and his goon Pancho Tarzan actually stole grain from some windmills, unless Art. 361 applies: Proof of the truth. — In every criminal prosecution for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the court and if it appears that the matter charged as libelous is true, and, moreover, that it was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the defendants shall be acquitted. Well, what does good motives and justifiable ends mean? And besides, seems the one accused of libel is considered guilty until he has proven the contrary.

There was this famous misspelled poster “Stop Shaiming President Duterte”. Certain public officials in the Philippines, it seems, do not want to be “shaimed” or exposed. Those who expose seem to be considered bad by the supporters of the entitled one.  This is very much unlike Japanese shame, where those whose wrongdoing is exposed are very ashamed and sometimes even commit suicide. Bong Revilla is the opposite. Well, let us be “happy” he is not trying to use libel law to cover up that he did get 124.5 million pesos (link) though he acts as if he did not know about the money’s dirty origin. The absence of the vanity necessary for “shaim”, the peculiar desire to appear saintly when one isn’t, might be the old hypocrisy disappearing – but in an undesirable way.

Bricks and honor

Germany also still criminalizes libel. But (link) §186 (Defamation) of the German Criminal Code says: Whosoever asserts or disseminates a fact related to another person which may defame him or negatively affect public opinion about him, shall, unless this fact can be proven to be true, be liable..” while § 187 (Intentional defamation) goes even further: Whosoever intentionally and knowingly asserts or disseminates an untrue fact related to another person..” with substantially higher penalties for intentional defamation. Only facts count, whether they are true of not, and whether unproven negative speculations or untruths are intentionally and knowingly spread – not fuzzy stuff like “motives” and “malice”. Harder to abuse such a law.

But enough to protect honor. Because someone who does a bad thing has already damaged his own honor whether people find out or not, point it out or not. True honor is like solid bricks as opposed to an “Honorable” entitled Filipino hiding behind libel laws, whose “honor” is like hollow blocks easily destroyed by a few stones thrown, or by wind. Though what the Filipino public believes and who it respects sometimes puzzles me. Picture like these (link) do show VP Leni’s true (good) colors. Why adore Imee (link)?

Truth and bilib

Pepe Diokno – Chel Diokno’s Dad (link) – said that “Filipinos seek God’s help because we have been made to believe we cannot help ourselves”. Or they seek a trapo’s help. Unlike the Swiss who started their freedom off by ridding themselves of local tyrants. Some Filipinos see certain “strong” figures they can hitch a ride on – even if that ride is funded with money stolen from other groups of Filipinos or even the whole country – as a way to get by, as a way to survive. Imee Marcos with her brazenness fits that profile.

Someone who says (link) “I entered Princeton and as far as I know, I graduated.” though Princeton itself says there are no records of that (link) and calls herself Manang gets the bilib (admiration) of those Adings who want to hitch a ride on her gravy train. Defining a false truth, a house made of hollow blocks and GI sheets, is much easier than a house of solid brick walls and brick roof. Wind that huffs and puffs is not wanted. And if it does come like the Big Bad Wolf and one is without a house, blame Mar Roxas! Exaggerated libel laws, fake degrees, lowest common denominators like being rude, fake news like pictures of Iloilo faked as Davao are signs of people who fear the truth as they might not really “bilib” in themselves. For some it is too late. For others maybe not.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 17 February 2019

Fundamental Disrespect

Taho2was shown to the Filipino policeman thrown taho at by a Chinese student in Manila (link). This is the same category as slapping employees and making them walk on all fours like a Chinese firm recently did (link). Or like the way Japanese slapped Filipinos in World War 2. It is fundamental as it robs the other person of the right to be treated as a fellow human. There are certainly hierarchies everywhere, but once contempt comes into play it is nasty. It may also contain the aspect of demanding “respect” – but as superior treatment.

Well, maybe that kind of respect is what the Chinese woman wanted from the policeman. Similar to the kind of respect whites once demanded from blacks in the American South? Maybe similar to the kind of respect some Filipino politicians demand from the “ordinary”?
Or the respect a certain type of Filipino cops demand from the poor people they harrass? Demanding respect that denies the Other fundamental respect isn’t anything I respect. Fundamental respect is I think the most basic thing between people and groups of people.

The MRT might indeed be one place run like hell by Filipinos, but its rules are its rules. Often conquered, Filipinos are indeed sensitive about foreigners telling them what to do. But there is I think a difference between Australian Sister Fox, deported for “disrespecting” the presumed prerogative of Filipino authorities to violate the human rights of their people, and the entitled sense of superiority of one from a nation that is acting aggressively today, with numerous incidents that look like contempt for Filipinos, brown Asians and Africans.

Unfortunately, parts of the Filipino ruling class have been known to trade solidarity with their own people for power – in exchange for subservience to a foreign ruler. Not different from the way datus sometimes acknowledged a paramount chief in exchange for favors, as detailed in books such as Raiding, Trading and Feasting (link) – or like Congressmen today switch to the majority in exchange for pork: modern raiding, trading and feasting. Datus, then principalia, American-era politicians, Japanese collaborators and now trapos.

Every step essentially brought the leaders of the archipelago further away from their base. There are enough of those who “respect” the people only with fake smiles and envelopes.  There are also the sincere responses defending the right of the simplest Filipino to dignity. Vice-President Robredo, Congressman Gary Alejano, Florin Hilbay and Senator Lacson are those that I have read about until now, there are surely more. May their tribe increase. And fundamental respect, something lacking more and more in today’s world, in general.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 10 February 2019