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June 2017
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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 […]

True Discipline

is self-discipline and good habits. Japanese schools usually have no janitors. School children clean the school themselves. NO señoritos there. German chancellor Merkel (link) does her own grocery shopping, dragging a small security contingent to the German equivalent of Kroger’s. “If you have good luck, you meet her on a Friday afternoon at the supermarket […]

Trust and Predictability

are two important factors in all human interactions. Both seem to be wanting in the Philippines. People are so often unpredictable – my head spins at times when I look at Philippine politics. Trust is also a rare commodity – the enormous distrust shown between different sides in politics shows it. I am trying to […]

Walang Taong Diyos

kahit gaanong kataas. Kahit na Presidente. Karapat-dapat itong galangin, pero hindi kawalaan ng paggalang ang pagpuna, kaya hindi ako sang-ayon sa ipinost sa OFW Tambayan (link): We, many of Filipinos around the world should know about this. We, and everyone of us should respect our presumptive president. We should stay our mouth with the words […]

Dealing with Duterte

means dealing with ourselves also. Many things Filipinos and those shaped by Filipino culture do not like about him or like about him is what they are themselves – openly or secretly. Author Jessica Zafra has defined Duterte very clearly as the Filipino id, also called the unconscious by more modern psychologists. Author Ninotchka Rosca […]

Changing the Countryside

could be a job for incoming VP Robredo. Never mind that Duterte does not want her in the Cabinet. She is planning to save money by not using the Coconut Palace, set up Branch Offices and use the Vice Presidential funds for projects of her own. It could be a continuation of the grassroots work […]

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