Posts Tagged People

Filipinos know better

Magic mushrooms(Achtung Satire!) than Thais using Dengvaxia (link) and Colombians without drug war (link). First of all, they don’t speak English, not even the Thai Ministry of Health (link). Listen to Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano awe the United Nations with his high-class Ateneo English. All these dark people. All the people from poor countries that do not have giant malls like us (link).  Second, they are not allied with the future Chinese masters of the earth like us. That ICC shudders due to them (link). Third, they are darker than us – we are like the Chinese. Look at our DengVaxpert Persida Acosta.

And who wants to go there? Like I was correctly told by Filipinos from the United States, soccer is only for Latinos. So is Spanish. So who would want to go to Colombia where they speak Spanish? And Thai songs always sound like they are out of tune. How about Phuket? Come on! Pronounce Phuket, Thailand quickly and you immediately think of sex tourism. You don’t get why that’s true? Then you are not able to pack like an 18 year old or like Panelo, and should pack your bags and go. Because the Philippines is the best place on earth, and we only need the best people of the world.

Not German workers on holiday like Thailand. Pweh how cheap! We want only the best of the best. Even Americans are already second-rate. Chinese high rollers are the coming rulers of this world. That is why we decided quickly (link). When you know you know. And when you decide you decide. Just like the cause of the cause is the cause of them all. That is why you must assume that the police when they kill someone they kill, they always know what they know (link). Only women and crazy Westerners change their mind when there is new evidence. We are stronger and smarter than them.

Because our police know when they know and kill when they kill, Chinese usually survive (link). They are making shabu labs? Those who are taking drugs are worse, and hurt our own people. Our President needs China (link) to help us all. He sang for Trump once (link), yet his Asian heart loves Xi Jinping (link). Poetically, our strong leader sees that Chinese-Philippine relations (link“.. would bloom.. like a flower.. into something big and beautiful. It’s one stem and China and the Philippines will bloom, and you and I are in the middle of the flower.” Magical as mushrooms!

And so what now if that yellow Sereno has her SALN now (link)? Because our Solicitor General knows what he knows, and said what he said (link) that “The Court must not allow a person who lacks integrity and has questionable qualifications to sit at the pinnacle”. And when our SolGen shows his fist, we know what we know, that he is strong and smart. So we trust him like Duterte. And VP Leni who went to Germany (link)? Haha, does she think Germany will help against China? Always you must know who is the real supermajority. Believe me. Cause I know I know the cause.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 12 April 2018

 

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A city’s rebirth

Marawi lakecannot be just based on money, the people of Marawi have made clear (link). A natural sense of Heimat (roughly: home and heritage) is tangible in the statement of the Ranaw Multi-Sectoral Movement: “A city symbolizes its people. Built upon the aspirations and dreams of its people. Nurtured by and reflective of the identity of its people. We are not building a city from debris. We are rebuilding a city from history and from memory.” This sounds so very different from the mentality in Manila, which did not care enough about its legacy destroyed during World War 2.

Soul and tradition

“a city is not merely the sum of its buildings. Not merely an occasion for economic gain.” the statement also says. Metro Manila, for the most part, seemed to me at least 90% based on money.  “This is an invasion of a different kind. This one threatens to rob our soul.” the Maranaws say. Strange that Manilans did not notice or care about that kind of invasion just after World War 2.  Maybe only a few people really cared for Intramuros back then. But escaping into a wasteland of malls and subdivisions with nothing but commercialism and glitter does not seem like a solution.

German cities were practically all rebuilt, as much as was possible, from history and memory – even from plans that were hidden in caves to preserve them. People cleared wartime debris with shovels by themselves in small groups. While it is also true that many German city centers look similar due to quick rebuilding after the war, with the same chain stores and a non-remarkable architecture, there was an effort to rebuild, or to at least match the new with the old. Munich was rebuilt well. But that was because a sense of identification was there. Also part of the hard to translate Heimat.

A people adrift?

But what are people without roots, without any home? Just workers and consumers maybe. Or worse, not caring at all. Not caring if the dirt accumulates in the rivers of the city where one lives. Not one’s home really. Because one cares for one’s home. What do people without a true home in their hearts care for? To survive first, to get rich after that. They might not care if those who used to live next door to them when they were still poor and struggling are victimized by tokhang. They might not care who occupies their country as long as their economic lot is good and they feel safe.

Many families and regions have their sense of home – it isn’t as if colonialism destroyed everything among mainstream Filipinos, meaning Christian lowlanders. Whether it is ancestral homes that some clans have, or certain fiestas and saints, or churches. Quiapo Church and its living Nazarene tradition. The great churches of Albay. Or UP Diliman, the home of my childhood, which grieved over an old but beloved shopping center recently (link). But of course there was a lot of migration recently, from provinces to the cities and abroad. Part of the fabric of tradition may have ripped.

What future?

The pride of the Meranaw, their resolve not to sell out, is something that I feel deepest respect for. So unlike many especially in the cities of the Philippines who just care about malls, stuff, trends. My SUV is bigger and shinier than yours. Make way for my Ferrari, do you know who I am! No? Just went to buy the latest Dolce Gabanna. So what if I am the mistress of Mr. Ugly Toad? Haha! Most Filipinos lived in bahay kubos in 1910. Only a few rich had these ancestral homes. Now what? Many have uglier places now and take drugs to feel better, while some are rich beyond all belief.

And the protest against Chinese mega-casinos planned on Boracay has been weak – except for those directly affected on the island. This is no longer about the Spratleys, where only few Filipinos live. “The blueprint of this city is in the hearts and minds of the Meranaws” said the people of the lake. WHAT national blueprint do Filipinos have in their hearts and minds? Hopefully not like in Cambodia, where Chinese casinos abound (link) but “most Cambodians.. are seeing little benefit from this investment.” But would Filipinos even care? Maybe, like so often, when it is too late.

Or will they just be “resilient” – meaning adjusting to nearly anything. Chinese become dominant? Well, everybody will probably just whiten their skin like Persida Acosta! Enough of masquerades. Might be that many, even most, Filipinos have to find their way home inside themselves first of all. Then it might still not be easy to fix and rebuild so much that is damaged. But then it could be done without pawning the future of generations to come, without condemning them to being like slaves. “With fierce determination to keep our people free and dignified.” say the Maranaw. Much respect.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 1 April 2018

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Others thinking you think you’re better

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Serenoare dangerous – in the Philippines and elsewhere. Sara Duterte about EDSA veterans (link), Supreme Court Justices about CJ Sereno, probably many about President Aquino’s handling Dengvaxia – which may have proven successful given recent indications (link). Damn, time for Martial Law and censorship! Increase the number of dengue cases, as yellow must be made bad! And they deserve hatred that is deep and personal, just like Harry Roque wishing Leila de Lima a life in jail (link) – yes, they messed up some things, but what did they do to deserve all of that?

Pakikisama and Schadenfreude

One accusation hurdled against Chief Justice Sereno is lacking pakikisama towards her colleagues in the Supreme Court – again a propaganda strategy that is very Filipino. Pakikisama often means subduing oneself to fit into a group. You don’t like the movie everybody in the barkada has seen? Bad enough if you weren’t there to see it with them. Worse if you say you think it is a stupid movie. An individual opinion against the assumed majority opinion – wow, does he think he is BETTER? Put a UP graduate into the midst of some working-class OFWs without escape. What could happen?

They might probably wait for the first slip-up of the UP graduate, and then display Schadenfreude. Sara Duterte brought the word Schadenfreude into the Philippine vocabulary (link) with regards to Mariel de Leon not topping Miss International – because she criticized the present administration. The sentiment against “yellow”, the previous administration and all related to it, is however more like the Serbian saying Da komsiji crkne krava – “If only the neighbour’s cow would die” (link) – related to the Serbian concept of inat: spitefulness, vindictiveness, hardheadedness + much more.

Spitefulness and Feindbilder

There is a similar spitefulness visible and audible among those who hate Aquino, Sereno, De Lima. Aquino? Sure he messed up certain things. But is the present government doing so much better? Sure it was easy to make him – and Mar Roxas – bogeymen due to their plantation owner origins. Feindbild is the German word for a cluster of prejudices and fears pertaining to a given group. There is also the Feindbild of the English-speaking elite, easy to trigger among common Filipinos. Why otherwise would Mocha focus on Leni Robredo’s US visits and her daughter in Harvard?

There is I think deep envy about what is perceived to be a privileged life, as opposed to one’s own.  Why otherwise make a big deal about Leni’s dresses, like some have done – yet admire the dresses of Isabelle Duterte at a lavish debut? Of course, Leni Robredo has already been identified as part of the other tribe, those who have “had it all” (not true for Leni who lived in the dormitory when she studied at UP) while “we” never had anything and now have the right to luxury and the good life. Even if no one can claim that Leni is lighter in color than most, or Sereno’s nose way too sharp!

Country and town

are both called bayan in Filipino. In a town especially a small one, there is a certain conformity. There is indeed a certain sameness, anywhere in the world. You are ruling a quite homogeneous group of people. The Philippines is a country – forced upon a collection of small communities. Countries need specialized people to be governed properly. The probably first specialized people in the Philippines were the town scribes the Spanish friars trained. More sophisticated governance and business brought about the present “elite” universities that are in international rankings (link).

That the provinces and the poor were left behind is an effect of this development until today. But the present government is playing a dangerous game in mobilizing envy of those left behind against those who had better chances. Mayors can still run their cities by sheer instinct, like Duterte did. For larger entities like countries you need truly competent people – unless you want to return to olden days with plenty of epidemics, pogroms and witch hunts. Isn’t the Philippines getting there? Measles spreading due to fear of vaccines. Pogrom mentality against drug users. And witch hunts.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 3 March 2018

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Black and arrogant

Obama Portrait 2006is what Duterte called Obama (link). Or what he said to jeepney drivers (link) makes it even weirder. Misguided pro-poor, pro-Filipino officials, journalists and academics have gone too far at times in blaming the rich, educated (link) or white people (link) for everything, reasoning with “oppression”. But this is more like the attitude some Filipino upstarts show, claiming higher rank where possible. Lorraine Badoy’s (link) or Krizette Laureta Chu’s (link) towards Pinoy Ako Blog are very similar. So much for a group ostensibly against “elitism and pretentiousness.”

The Duterte crowd looks more and more like a group of wannabes who want privilege without any of the usual reasons for it: performance in the case of a meritocracy, service to the people in the case of a truly pro-people movement – or self-control and bearing for traditional, aristocratic elites. Duterte will have seen the degree of self-control the Japanese imperial couple exercise at all times. He will have seen the performance of Prime Minister Abe, what a work schedule he keeps, while Duterte is reportedly often two hours or more late for speeches in Manila (link) for no reason.

What remains if there is no performance, service or bearing. Pure force? Possibly intimidation. Force will hardly work since the military is not going to help with a revolutionary government (link) while low-key intimidation through continued “drug” killings and political chicanery might work. And Philippine territory shall not remain protected, as recent events are showing (link) – and now? Those who voted him will have to ask themselves whether all of that was worth a few junkies less. The economic situation may even go to worse (link) and if it does, what was this bumpy ride all for?

To hit back, even if it is just with jokes, against the “colonialists” of yore (link). Or to feel like the “white man” just for a short time by making stupid comments about Obama? Or feel like oligarchs by making comments about Jover Laurio of Pinoy Ako Blog who looks like – an average Filipina!? To feel like the sidekicks of the rising superpower China, when all they want is access to sea lanes? Which is what everybody coming to the islands wanted – Brunei, Spain, England, the USA, Japan – and China. Is basking fake victories satisfying – while all one has for the MRT is a prayer (link)?

That is as fleeting as the high of a drug addict. Based on the assumption of no real achievements. This includes the constant misleading nonsense propagated by trolls. And the planned reliance mainly only loans from abroad, and trains one has no capability to maintain, like with the MRT. Why not work in small steps and enjoy the small victories, like VP Leni with her programs (link)? That finally leads to solid successes. But many a Filipino has a wounded ego, similar to Duterte. Dislikes confidence and basks in mediocrity as if nothing else were possible. But is that a solution?

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 11 November 2017

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Wadapak is happening

Martin Andanarone might ask, hearing recent news about Panelo. Not much in the EU, if one is to believe Andanar. Oversexed and underpacked EU officials have not yet asked me when Andanar will conduct a goodwill tour of Europe, with USec Lorraine Badoy and Asec Margaux Uson in tow, as baggage. Might become the most joyous moment in the life of “whites” since Magellan’s men landed in Leyte. Maybe even more joyous than when they arrived in Cebu! Or is more to be learned from the Filipino nation? Learn to procreate again, dear Europeans, and don’t care that much about every single human life?

Most European populations have remained practically static while the Philippine population has increased around fivefold since the 1950s. Filipinos are definitely overpacked now, like sardines. Whether they are overfucked is another question, considering how HIV is rising (link) it could just be carelessness, and the drug war may even worsen it (link). Mayhem and disease like in Africa? Sodom and Gomorrha, while those who live morally upright like Senator Sotto will survive it all? Unfortunately, Senator Pacquiao will have no more excuses if he comes home to his wife infected.

There used to be a repressive aspect to Filipino elite culture, even if the days when one had to pretend to disapprove of premarital sex are practically gone – certain things are untenable in the modern days of the Internet. Well, even during the days of Marcos sexual content served its purpose in keeping the masses distracted. No matter what USec Lorraine Badoy may say about the European Union, a teen/minor like Pepsi Paloma (link) never could play a bold role here legally. The sultry Isabelle Adjani was 28 when she played a vengeful temptress in One Deadly Summer.

That was 1983, the year I turned 18, and today I am surprised I didn’t notice Adjani’s “age” at all. Germany. Nude pictures, bolder than those of Mocha Uson today, in every tabloid. Coin-operated vending machines for condoms in men’s bathrooms. Strong education campaigns when AIDS first came into the scene. I start working in McDonald’s to earn money for my driver’s license. A year later, in 1984, some young people are amused when the Green member of parliament Joseph “Joschka” Fischer calls Bundestag Vice-President Richard Stücklen an asshole – on national TV.

Fischer was known as the first to come into the German parliament in sports shoes in a time when everybody else came in suits. The Green party had its roots in the “1968ers”, hippie-era rebels against the rests of Nazism, stuffy conservatism and the Vietnam war (plus the USA). Fourteen years later, Fischer became Foreign Minister in a coalition with Chancellor Schröder. He was well-liked in Washington, against all odds. Rebels have to grow up, at the latest, the moment they assume power and responsibility. True rebels do, as they have a mission. Mere trapos don’t.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 28 October 2017

 

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What is sacred for President Duterte?

(Jeffrey) Philippine Flag TatterdIndependence Day doesn’t seem to be, it isn’t the first time he didn’t come. The Supreme Court might or might not be, as he has flip-flopped on statements whether he would respect their judgement on Martial Law. The (formerly) pro-Western orientation of the Philippines I doubt.

Are the dead sacred for him? If their name is President Ferdinand E. Marcos, most probably. If they are among the many dead in the drug war, most probably not (link) even if they are children (link). Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo was even flushed down the toilet (link). Like some excrement.

Even Stone Age men, yes even Neanderthals respected the dead and buried them properly. Among enemies in war, it was part of the honor code to bury the enemy properly. Most famous were the honors given to Filipino General Gregorio del Pilar by his enemies in battle, the Texas Rangers.

What is even stranger is that so many Filipinos still seem to be callous (manhid) to all of this. What is still sacred to them, one may ask? Has Filipino culture turned into Wowowee, anything goes? A sense of the sacred makes us human beings. Things beyond daily survival that we think matter.

Respect for the dead who have helped build society we live in. Respect for the nation which should benefit all. Respect for laws which keep our egoisms in check. Respect for women. Respect for commitments to others – partners and allies. Is everything just expediency? What can be trusted?

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, 12. June 2017

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Honeylet and Leni

Cielito Avanceña croprepresent the two major parts of Philippine society – not Mocha and Leni, who are both daughters of judges. One with a tragic twist early in her biography, the other later. Honeylet was a nurse in the United States for four years (link), and women’s names with suffixes as -let or -lyn will almost never be found among the children of the traditional Filipino middle class from which Mocha Uson and Leni both come from. And like many from simpler backgrounds who have come to money, there is a certain initial hunger for conspicious consumption (link) which is not surprising – I have observed this in Filipino migrants when they earn their first bigger money. Doesn’t have to mean that it will go into endless greed like that of Imelda, which I think could have been born more out of narcissistic injury (link), defined as:

“vulnerability in self-esteem which makes narcissistic people very sensitive to ‘injury’ from criticism or defeat. Although they may not show it outwardly, criticism may haunt these individuals and may leave them feeling humiliated, degraded, hollow and empty. They react with disdain, rage, or defiant counterattack.”

Although this description also fits many aspects of Duterte and Mocha. What do they have in common with Imelda? Imelda was the poor cousin of a rich family, often looked down upon. Duterte was the black sheep – of a rich and powerful family. Mocha is a bit of an outcast from her original background, with or without her dancing.

Filipinos and Pilipinos

The traditional middle class can personally relate to the Philippine Republic. Many of them, looking at Facebook, are either friends or friends of friends. Many of them have had parents or even grandparents or ancestors who worked for the government – or were public figures. So there is a maximum of 2-3 degrees of separation between them and nearly anyone important now or before. The identification with the legacy built by so many is personal. Not so with the many -lets or -lyns of the Philippines.

Often they will be (children of) migrants or OFWs who themselves were from simple peasant or working-class families, maybe with an enlisted soldier or a policeman in the mix, who now have a little more. If they have some degree of connection to the traditional middle class, it might be through having worked for one of those families – if these families remember them which not all do. I have seen on the Internet that Raissa Robles’ post about Honeylet’s shopping has generated some angry reactions – which do not really surprise me. It is like “why don’t you let our kind have a share of things also, you rich people”? In his book “Motherless Tongues”, Prof. Vicente Rafael mentions the simple people of the Philippines as  being “acknowledged only to be dismissed” (Page 95, The Cell Phone and the Crowd, Postscript) and mentions the EDSA 3 battlecry as being “Nandyan na kami! Maghanda na kayo!” (we are here, now be prepared). Pilipinos warning Filipinos, two major subcultures often clashing.

The outcast Filipinos

It is outcast Filipinos (with F) like Mocha who are angrier at Leni than anyone from the simple people (Pilipinos with P). Or has anyone heard Honeylet rage against Leni? The destructive, narcissistic rage of outcasts (not all outcasts have that, notably I did not see any of that in Erap for all his faults) tapping the desire for acknowledgement and respect from the simple people is dangerous. This is why it hates the real acknowledgement and respect that Leni and those like her give to the people, calls it “plastic”.

The outcast Filipinos will destroy the entire Philippines, burn the house down if only to take revenge against those that they feel have slighted them. A corrupt President Binay, who represents Pilipinos (with P) moving up, would have been less dangerous to the Philippines than Duterte is now. Now if Filipinos are in general able to acknowledge and respect Pilipinos like VP Leni sincerely does, a lot can be won, the forces of darkness can be dispelled. Yet I do not yet see this point in time reached yet.

The Pinoy Ako Blog (link) delivers the point in a way more common people understand: Dear Honeylet.. Kumusta naman po ang experience sa pagsakay sa private plane na ang pera ng taong bayan ang gumastos? At least nakatipid kayo sa pamasahe sa pagshopping nyo. Shopping money na lang ang nagamit niyo. There is Miyako Isabel (link) from Davao, whose education is UP Anthropology but whose thinking bridges “F and P”, proudly part Lumad in ancestry. More of those are needed.

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, 14 May 2017

 

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Smugness and Contempt

Ernesto Abella, Malacanang Press Conferenceshow in the faces of today’s Filipino leaders (link), in the actions of the police (link) and rich people on the street (link). This is the kind of Philippines I never liked, the one that often showed its face during Martial Law. Those with that attitude considered themselves STRONG back in the days, and all-knowing; as Edgar Lores mentioned in his posting about faces of some leaders: “The main attitude of know-it-alls is hostility. And their main facial expressions consist of smugness and sneering. This is the smugness of arrogance and the sneering of contempt. Panelo is the poster boy of these expressions. Andanar comes a close second. And the President does not come last in the ranking.” And as a Martial Law baby, I knew you better not cross a cop. Or a rich kid in a big car, might have a gun – be insecure and easily pissed off.

Joe America observed well what the country will become if this continues (link): “this government by impunity will continue to stack Filipinos by worth, from powerful to powerless, and the least of them will continue to be exterminated.” But at least Marcos defended Pag-Asa island – the airstrip there was built in his time. Duterte has conceded to China (link) and three Chinese ships shall visit Davao (link) today – which is the last day of the ASEAN summit in Manila. National dignity may be dying next.

That human dignity dies first is a given. The report about police keeping people in a dark passageway just 1 by 5 meters that I linked above mentions this: “When someone defecates, sometimes the officer outside would shout at us asking who had relieved himself.  ‘You’re like pigs! We can smell it outside, what more inside’”. As if conditions already widely reported in Philippine jails had not been bad enough already. So much for the “just and humane” society in the Preamble of the 1987 Constitution.

Preachers like Abella can continue to mouth words of that sort in public, or even say the Philippines is like Singapore nowadays. They are not fooling any smart people.

Lee Kuan Yew did call Filipinos soft and forgiving – for letting the Marcoses come back. He did not in any way suggest that the Filipinos bully people like they do now. What Singapore does represent is a classic Confucian order where the rules are higher than everybody else. Where a very strict rule of law exists with no exceptions. Banning firms from contracts if found to be giving bribes to public officials. Not a fourth-world place where people are kept for weeks in dark passages behind bookcases. Not a place where a rich person in an SUV goes out of his car to slap a poor tricycle driver, just like that – exemplary for the attitude of the entitled who feel they can punish whoever crosses them and their inflated, smug and contemptuous egos. Rules and institutions lead to sustainable progress. Rule by clout back to the jungle.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 29. April 2017

 

 

 

 

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Even Housing Projects

Trees4SaleBNativitasXochiin Germany have trees in them. This struck me looking at the projects occupied by Kadamay. They remind me of refugee camps over here in Germany. Except that refugee camps in Germany are usually container-based and not intended to be permanent settlements. And not intended for locals, while Filipinos are nasty to their own people. Forbes Park is in another world. There one cannot hear the traffic. Trees all over. Even UP has trees all over. Good thing I guess, imagine tropical sun frying those brains?

When I see Facebook photos of Filipinos very relaxed in their summer break, as it is summer there now close to Holy Week, I see them surrounded by nature and at home. Many living in Manila seem to feel genuinely at home only in their home provinces – if they are fortunate enough still to have them. Those living in slums probably don’t have any place to go back to anymore. With the first slums growing after WW2 and accelerating from the 1970s, they are generations removed from their old places.

Even the poor can be content if they have safety and can make a living – and happy if their surroundings are pleasant. Safety was destroyed in many provinces of the Philippines by a de facto civil war lasting for decades – with all sorts of armed groups terrorizing simple folks. Being able to make a living – not really possible for those who did not have at least a little bit of land, or the capital to run a small business. Surroundings – destroyed by mining, by overbuilding? You can’t eat money in the end.

Something in our human nature is programmed to respond positively to nature. We do not naturally take to concrete jungles, where we might feel like apes on Gibraltar. Recently the creeks in Munich were closed for cleaning, dammed up, the water was released against just a few days ago. The clear, fresh water of the creeks of Munich, of the Isar river. Priceless. There are things that matter more than money in the end – starting with our surroundings. Filipinos in Manila have destroyed theirs.

The trajectory of survival can turn into greed easily, wanting to catch up with the neighbors. And at the same time fearing the neighbors who will steal your new mobile – to buy some drugs to make their lives feel less painful for a while? For me, both the addicts in the slums of Manila and the consumerism addicts in its malls are zombies. Maybe the addict might be more able to find happiness under a tree, watching a clean river flow, breathing fresh air? The consumerist might just say – how boooooring!

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 8 April 2017

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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

 

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