Speaking in Tongues

Friesach - Dominikanerkirche - Rosenkranzaltar - Pfingstenis the message of Pentecost. Filipinos prefer the Lenten season of pasyon and victimhood to even Easter which is rising from victimhood (link to article). During Pentecost the apostles “began to speak with other languages”… and “every man heard them speak in his own language” (Acts 2:1-6). President-elect Duterte speaks Visayan which many Filipinos speak, Tagalog and English. But generally Filipinos have a weakness when it comes to communicating with others outside their own circles – Duterte when he was in front of the Makati Business Club, Aquino to the common man.

Communication has many aspects – empathy (understanding the feelings of others), emotional intelligence (knowing what you feel, owning up to it but not letting it affect you), listening, explaining in such a way that the other side understands you (the right memes, words, feelings) and bringing things back to facts and to find constructive solutions to problems. With so many Filipinos working in call centers and trained at least in theory on how to communicate, they should be masters of communicating among themselves, but obviously they are not yet there.

India has over 10 times as many languages and people than the Philippines yet is successful. What I have seen of Indian IT teams is – they work together, could that be a difference in attitude? Filipino IT teams I have experienced tended to crab and play one-upmanship and ganging up games. Heneral Luna the movie is a perfect lesson of how such games damaged the Philippines. Heneral Luna himself quarreled with Mascardo via telegram – the social media of those days – and left an important battlefront (link). Aguinaldo had to send an order for the two men to stop.

There are signs of hope though. Tonyo Cruz wrote a letter to Duterte supporters to not act arrogant – as the “New Yellow” on Twitter (link). Well, the LP has been seen as arrogant by many and some of them were. A bit better than most of the KBL (I also knew good loyalists) which was downright domineering in power. Filipinos often tend to abuse power given them, didn’t Rizal himself say “what if the slaves of today become the tyrants of tomorrow”? Power always comes with responsibility – it is not a license to abuse or denigrate those not in power, like internal colonialists.

Crabbing and destructiveness by those outside power is also wrong. Peter Tiu Laviña, Duterte’s adviser, admonished the leftists today not to be just trapos demolishing the country (link). Joe America has told the mainly Aquino/Roxas supporters on his blog to be constructive and not become another Get Real Philippines (link). Politics can be for the “polis” (Greek for city) like in the original democracy, or it can degenerate into a Game of Thrones (link). Pentecost was the birth of Christianity – a community. Can Filipinos finally learn to truly communicate and work together?

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, Pentecost Sunday, May 15, 2016.

20 thoughts on “Speaking in Tongues

  1. What is the beef of benign0, Ilda and GetReal followers against Benigno Aquino and the Liberal Party? Everyday 24/7/365 all benign0 & Ilda blogs about is anti-Benigno Aquino. Why are they beating a dead horse to this day? What is wrong with them? What made them what they are today?

    When we were in antipinoy_dot_com benign0 did an essay against me for attacking Filipinos yet not offering solutions. Now who is talking? benign0 followed my footprints in the sand. He is attacking Mar Roxas, Benigno Aquino and Leni Robredo without offering any solutions.

    benign0 Ilda and her Ilk has become me. Thankfully, they leave a bad taste in people’s mouth that they never went back.

    And, oh, they happen to be pro-Duterte. What if Duterte stumbles? Would they flog Duterte like they do with Aquino administration?

    This is what I wanted to know.

    • In a comment of Mary at JoeAm,Cynthia Patag has filed a cyber crime case against the Ignacio couple. I think they impersonated Cynthia Patag and spread falsehoods and ad hominems.

    • Now the celebs are falling in line at the NBI anti-Cyber crime division.
      If I were Alma Moreno,I would join them,because she was the first one to conceive after elections.

  2. Big boys in the media …. no! no!no! NOT THE IGNORANT LAME BIASED PHILIPPINE MEDIA !!! The REAL MEDIA. The foreign media. Report news that Philippine Media conveniently did not report or lazy to to dig up or just plain Juan Tamad waiting for the news to drop on their head … Here are reports from the media big boys abroad:

    Mysterious Blast in Philippines Fuels Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘Hatred’ of U.S.
    “MANILA — For more than a decade, a mysterious explosion at the Evergreen Hotel in Davao City has been a footnote in the long, checkered history between the Philippines and its former colonial master, the United States. But among those who never let it go was the city’s mayor, Rodrigo Duterte — who is now poised to become the Philippines’ new president.

    In an interview last year before he announced his candidacy, Mr. Duterte went so far as to acknowledge “hatred” for the United States stemming from the obscure episode, when an American named Michael Terrence Meiring was charged with possession of explosives but managed to flee the Philippines.

    Philippines votes for a new president as Duterte holds lead in opinion polls – REUTERS
    “Mr. Duterte’s campaign symbol is a fist – intended for lawbreakers, but seemingly also aimed at the oligarchy,” Miguel Syjuco, a respected Philippine writer, said in an opinion column last week. “The message resonates with the frustrated poor who feel let down by the government, but his fans span all classes.”

    These 5 Facts Explain Rodrigo Duterte’s Victory in the Philippines by Iam Bremmer – TIME MAGAZINE
    “..Here are the five facts you need to know about Rodrigo Duterte, and what his victory means for his country and for others.”

    FILIPINOS can never know about because the Philippine Media is run by so-called graduates from “ELITE” school of University of the Philippines. And, folks, Filipnos compare U.P. to Harvard and other select Ivy-School in the U.S.

    Here is my advise to Duterte, do not put people in the cabinet graduates from University of the Philippines. If they are incompetent they are crooks. If they are crooks they are incompetent. Most of the time they are protected by fellow bar “top-notch” lawyers just because they belong to their alma mater, THE ELITE.

    Duterte, you are well aware that Filipino-investigations are not in synch with American-style Filipino justice. It is obvious. Their witnesses just cannot hold-up to the requirements of American-style Filipino justice. IT IS TOTAL DYSFUNCTION.

    Either Do American-style-investigation for American-style Justice. This is the only way it can work. Not justice by public shaming. Once acquitted the justices are not shamed for incompetence and ignorance. Huge example are the Binays and Abalos. These duo are graduate from U.P. “judged by” U.P. FELLOW GRADUATES.

    It is like putting chicken in like a fox watching the chicken. ENOUGH ALREADY WITH TRAPO … ENOUGH ALREADY WITH TRASCHO (traditional school). You want change, Duterte, that is where you start changing.

    Another thing Duterte, you may have known that U.P. just recently allowed UPCAT review for children wanting to go to U.P. after decades and decades of them putting a huge banner sign in their UPCAT website “WARNING: U.P. does not condone UPCAT reviewing…” to that effect when 1stworld allows their student to take reviewer for SAT EXAM.

    Duterte, please investigate U.P. Defund them for the meantime. Shame U.P. in public like they shame suspects in public.


    And Duterte, watch your back because what happened to Benigno Aquino will also happen to you … SQUABBLING BACKSTABBERS, SUGGESTIVE INNUENDOES, EVIL GOSSIPS … do not trust people around you …. they may be bane to your presidency…. RUN THE PHILIPPINES LIKE YOU RUN DAVAO CITY.

    Yun lang. Peace out.

    • Oh, Duterte, another thing here is one of my pet peeves …. the importation of half-bred half-white english-snobs foreign beauty queens. Will you put a stop on this so Filipinos can be proud of their looks and have dignity who they look like.

      Thank you.

    • Duterte himself had children with a mestiza, so his children all don’t have his kind of nose? Very similar to the nose of my grandfather who also married a mestiza – from Sorsogon. As long as Filipinos choose to see the mestizos and mestizas as better-looking, that will be their standard of beauty which is still colonial in heritage. In the intermissions to the Presidential debate, so many advertisements for whitening creams – this kind of colonial mentality is what Filipinos must overcome THEMSELVES.

    • Bill can certainly say more about the aspects of British colonialism which was very good in administration and adjusting to foreign cultures. The latter is where the United States has been traditionally weak. In the UK you can have immigration officers in Sikh turbans or hijabs – all serving Her Majesty – unthinkable in the USA…

      As for India, it has over 1000 languages and 18 official languages. One of them, Hindi, is the “national language”, but Bill has mentioned that pushing it too hard was quietly taken back after Hindu nationalists tried it and failed. Tagalog nationalists were too hard headed I think, which is why my suggestion in the second article of this blog (three national or official languages – Ilokano, Tagalog, Cebuano) was to give some coverage and representation to most of the archipelago. Just look at the Rappler map of voting by regions (http://ph.rappler.com/elections/2016/results) and you will see the Solid North of Bongbong, while Leni was able to pull Bikol and the related Visayas, even Mindanao. The multi-ethnic reality of the Philippines must be taken into consideration, even if one is not to go fully Federal at this point maybe. Official languages also could mean use them in court and in government, which is reality in Switzerland – all four languages are used, each person speaks at least two.

    • Ok I must be dizzy when I read that somewhere,but I glanced at wikpedia and there are thousands of languages.

      The Filiipino Language even has Sanskrit influence.

  3. Pentecost was started by the Jews,if I am not mistaken.

    Good observation on communication vis-a-vis the the call center industry.
    The next gen maybe good communicators.

    • Pentecost was started by the Jews, but the Apostles speaking in tongues started Christianity. Manong Sonny will for sure be able to give the most accurate description.

      I am still looking into how India managed – the differences in language and temperament there being greater than in the Philippines. But Israel is also an interesting example – they had to work out unity inspite of the vast differences for example between Sephardi (Oriental) and Ashkenazi (European) Jews.

      A deep split exists within the Philippine diaspora that definitely shows in the voting results – strong numbers for Leni coming from the United States (many middle-class Filipinos and Marcos era exiles there), while in the countries with a working class diaspora Bongbong had stronger numbers. In Germany Duterte was strong (I think mostly from the ones working in the Berlin Embassies) while Miriam was second – most probably it was the many scholars (mostly UP, not Talmudic scholars) now in Berlin…

    • Your deep interest in the Jewish diaspora is very admirable, Irineo. The workings between and among discrete lines within the Jewish tribes is an example worth studying and emulating, the biggest being the line between the Divine and human and focused strongly and primarily on the 12 tribes and the preservation of the traditions that pertain to unity and diversity and the care and concern in as many aspects of the individual and the nation. The Catholic Church is the new Israel that closely mirrors this unity in diversity: Scriptures, Doctrine, Traditions – “Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam.”

    • The Jews have their common values and common narrative in the form of Torah and Talmud – it kept them together for two millenia outside their old country. Christianity especially Catholicism also managed to establish its common narrative. The tenacity of the institution St. Peter founded – two millenia of continuity are amazing.

    • This topic of religion, Jews, Christians, Catholicism is quite intriguing to say the least. The temptation to map these three into each other is an invitation to a never ending discussion leading to a lot of places, issues, insights into the depths and breadth of world cultures and history. Good stuff.

    • sorry Sonny the first bishops of Rome with any actual history, or political or religious importance, date from Constantine in the 320’CE. Popes before this time are just names out of the mists of oral tales.

      And by the best information & sources, the man you call Jesus only spoke Aramaic not Latin

    • “Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam.”

      Bill, the languages used to transmit the biblical text are in Hebrew (1000 BC), Greek (ca 200 BC), Aramaic (1000 BC), Latin (75 BC). Yes, Jesus spoke Aramaic and also can be inferred that he knew Latin, Hebrew and Greek, as all three were spoken in those times (4 BC)and places (Judea).

      If you have read the Scriptures, the Church Fathers and Eusebius the historian, all of whom predated Constantine and the works you refer to, then enlighten me why you dismiss them as “mere names out of the mists of oral tales.”

    • Yes Neph, the Jews first celebrated Pentecost, the feast of the harvest of first-fruits. The Christians resonated to this and more. From the event of Pentecost after our Lord’s Ascension, the Catholic doctrines of the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit were derived, of which the gift of tongues is prominently referred to in Acts.

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