February 2018
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Intact Neighborhoods

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


3 comments to Intact Neighborhoods

  • karlgarcia

    Don’t know where to place this article, dito na lang sana di mastado off topic.

  • Mariano Renato Pacifico

    Whenever I am in the Philippines I am always scared. Scared my wallet get picked and pockets slashed. Afraid a David Lims in the darkness might shoot me without provocation. Frightened he would hound me, stalk me and finishes me off after being bailed out for a measly sum of USD$2,500.00 for shooting me for honking at him because he stopped in the middle of the street with his Mercedes. Panicky the scared Philippine Press might bury the news of my shooting because the Philippine Press is coward not what they say “the pen is mightier than David Lim” which they buried after two days of mini-circus.

    A Lim figured in a fatal accident. He was not arrested. He was not arrested to check his blood alcohol level. The Local Philippine Press, obviously graduates from University of the Philippines because of their English-snobbery, waffled with their tails between their legs so were the Police. But if it were a truck driver or jeepney driver they are arrested pronto.

    Philippines is a sick country. The Filipinos running it is obviously sick. The Philippine Press cannot analyze law like American Media can analyze National Security Laws. Philippine Press can only analyze Politics. Because in Politics it is neither right nor wrong. Politics is gossips for grown men, like, entertainment gossips to women.

    I never heard a Philippine News outlet criticizing another news outlet. They do not criticize because they are so dense because they spew the same gossips and they are afraid of the wealthy, well-connected and the powerful.

    Aha! ha! ha! So much for “the pen is mightier than the sword”. It doesn’t apply in the Philippines.

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