October 2017
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A stable country

necessitates stable institutions, first and foremost. Then it needs stable politics. If politics are like in the Philippines, winner-take-all and leave nothing for those outside one’s group, there can never be enough trust to be able to work together. Germany is able to have varying coalitions of colors not because all parties are basically the […]

Free Tertiary Education

is a milestone for the Philippines – something I did not expect. Kudos to Senator Bam Aquino. Thanks to the others who had the sense not to torpedo it. Inspite of Aquino. The Philippine educational system may soon be able to produce the right kind of people for every level, thanks to having K-12 as […]

Quo Vadis, Mindanao?

is the question – especially who will benefit from the extension of Martial Law? Marawi residents and refugees in the area seem not happy with martial law. There are ideas of IDs for Muslims which are highly discriminatory, even downright insulting. Lumads continue to allege military harrassment, some are unhappy now that they voted for […]

Many Filipinos abuse their Servants

and a President who called them his bosses was abused, while a bossy, even abusive President is respected. President Aquino and his people were hands-on in the Zamboanga siege, during the Bohol earthquake and Yolanda. The only time Aquino was hands-off was Mamasapano, and that was when he was blamed a lot. He indeed will […]

Smart and Strong

have a different meaning for some Filipinos. Sandra Cam might be seen as smart and Antonio Contreras as strong. Devious and thick-faced Bongbong Marcos as both. Ethics of people who I think don’t believe in fairness, civility or honesty – possibly because they have never seen much of it in their lives. “Those who have […]

The Absentee President

may have done Filipinos a favor – by showing that his office is not the solution to, nor the source of all problems. The war in Marawi is hopefully winding to a close thanks to a professional army, and the MRT still is running badly while Metro Manila traffic is horrible. Meanwhile, there is mostly […]

Learning from Mistakes

is not a Filipino strength. They are covered up if one’s own (camp) – and punished severely if someone else(‘s camp), at least in politics. Yet skills need time to develop, one has to accept that one botches up things the first (two, three) times and improves if one pays attention to avoiding the old […]

A Nation adrift

is what I see when I look at the Philippines today. For sure the Filipino capacity to play it by ear is a strength in many situations, and might have been one of the things President Duterte was a master of when he ran his City of Davao, if one is to believe the stories […]

Jago and Preman

are terms for two types of Indonesian ‘gangsters’ or ‘bad-asses’. The former ‘good’, the latter ‘bad’. According to Wikipedia, jago (link) “literally means a rooster and refers to a type of strongman that exists as a part of the everyday life in urban and rural areas of Indonesia. The jago is a social and political […]

What is destroyed?

says Simoun to Basilio in Rizal’s El Filibusterismo – “Evil, suffering, miserable weeds that will be replaced by healthy grain. I would call it creation, production, giving life” to justify killing those against his revolution. When Simoun later has taken poison to not fall into the hands of the Spanish alive, Filipino priest Padre Florentino […]

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