Finding Common Ground and Sense

Amari Agia Anna Fresco 02is hard in the Philippines. Was Aquino’s rule too elitist (link) or is Duterte’s anti-crime drive too Bang! (link)? Common Filipino principles, do they exist? In the Constitution, in theory. But I wonder how many Filipino Catholics understand what is in the Bible, any more than the natives understood what Padre Damaso was preaching to them, so there we are back to Square One. Filipinos often just say Yes Sir, without any understanding. And act the same old way.

But wait, other countries also went through similar processes, but finally they learned and made their own common principles by which they live (more or less) until today:

  • England from the Wars of the Roses, the original Game of Thrones between York and Lancaster. The Welsh Tudors came from outside, finally Queen Elizabeth winning against the Spanish Armada set the ground for the rise of England to naval power. Then came the Scottish Stuarts, expelled once and replaced by country nobleman, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector = dictator. Stuarts came back and were expelled by the Glorious Revolution. Parliament effectively ran things from then on. John Locke, a Glorious Revolution supporter, inspired Thomas Jefferson…
  • France had its Revolution, its Reign of Terror, Napoleon, the Bourbons returning but just like the Stuarts not learning from their mistakes, the Second Republic with Louis Napoleon, first as President, then as Emperor Napoleon III, who then lost spectacularly against the Germans, then the Third Republic. Hugo and Dumas novels are full of references to these old politics.
  • Spain had almost two centuries of conflict between Carlists and Reformists/Liberals. Even its colonies were affected by this. The final incarnation of Carlism was Franco, some say.

But I believe most Filipinos think this way about their leaders, especially Presidents:

  • In the beginning: nanalo ba kami? Did we win? Being part of the bandwagon feels great, nearly every Philippine President started with high ratings if one is to believe SWS.
  • Towards the middle: nakinabang ba kami? Did we have any advantage? After the bandwagon feeling is gone, there is one’s own interest and the fear that the usual opportunists got more.

Where are the principles here? In school, we behaved when the principal was around. Being immature, we did not have much in terms of principles yet.

Like people, nations also mature. But it takes a common discussion to find this maturity. Might be it is starting now in the Philippines, among some. But hopefully, there are more real philosophers among those leading the discussions, in the sense of real thinkers. Not pilosopos, meaning sophists who only want to justify their own prejudices, their own group or their ego.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, M√ľnchen, 5. Juli 2016



3 thoughts on “Finding Common Ground and Sense

  1. I walked past the Supreme Court building today near Robinsons in Ermita…

    It got me thinking…about laws & lawyers
    Years ago a brother who was a lawyer in Australia made this remark to me : “ALL lawyers are servants of the court bound by it’s ethics & procedures.”

    It comes with being professionally registered as a lawyer.

    But his seems to have got lost in the Philippines from the SC down.

    It does not matter what the laws are if the people charged with maintaining them are just verbal ‘guns for hire’

  2. The Philippines pumps too much sewerage through its democratic pipeline, and thus the output is sewerage (apology to caliphman for stealing the thoughts he stirred up). The pipeline is fine, and the idea that it needs to be federalized is horsehockey until the power brokers understand that they need better laws, not a better pipeline.

    • Exactly… not real solutions for pressing issues and useful rules but the usual stuff to most probably justify vested interests… you have given me the idea to take a break and I am doing so for two weeks.

      Thinking I have been figuratively swimming in the Pasig river by reading on Philippine politics… makes me sick in the stomach… and besides summer is finally coming out over here so better enjoy it.

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