Kampong Phlouk 01are the foundation of successful cities, regions, countries. How are barangays in the Philippines doing? The President says that 40% of barangay captains are involved in drugs (link). Wait, weren’t the barangays also the ones who compiled the drug lists? Used to compel people to surrender and possibly even used to determine who to kill?

And now they plan to appoint barangay OICs (link). Back to the old game the Spanish started when they appointed the principalia to head Philippine barangays – and to control them on behalf of the new rulers. Same game that Marcos played. Not a way to foster true neighborhood solidarity. More of a way to foster paranoia and betrayal.

How intact are neighborhoods in the Philippines anyway? There are horrible stories about some slum areas (link) where people: “..steal from neighbors if only to get by. Children as young as 12.. prostituting their young bodies.. Gangs.. controlling the villages”. Conditions that are a testimony to society’s neglect.

And how good are the people in the “good neighborhoods”? How many barely care about the poverty so close by? How many are OK with the killings? How many have actually thought of donating to help drug war victims? How much middle-class prayerfulness just covers up for soulless consumerism and cozy egoism?

Damaged communities in a damaged culture is the condition I think – drugs, road rage etc. only symptoms. The country might need to rehab or might end up killing itself. Nationwide bossism looks like an ineffective “instant solution”. Self-help, starting locally, seems better. The other alternatives are: cynicism, resignation or migration.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, 24th of March 2017,  München