The Brewing Trouble between Iran and Iraq will Definitely Crunch the Philippine Economy

The Brewing Trouble between Iran and Iraq

Will Definitely Crunch the Philippine Economy

By Apolinario Villalobos


A statistician’s mind is not needed to understand the negative effect of the trouble between Iran and Iraq to the Philippine economy which is founded on her export of labor to other countries, especially, the Middle East. Even a simple pedestrian will not think deeply what the OFW Filipinos will do in beleaguered Iran and Iraq now that they are at war with each other. Rather than be trapped, they will of course come home – back to joblessness. Worse, the government has not even decided on putting a stop, albeit, temporarily to deployment of OFWs to those countries. As usual, the government waits until the situation becomes uncontrollable and millions will be spent again for the hasty evacuations, and for failures, expect finger-pointing….again.


The government is inutile such that it has not come up with fallback programs for situations like this. What OWWA offers as its livelihood program in the form of loan is not reliable. A success story from this venture is yet to be heard or read or viewed.


The agriculture sector which should have been given attention very long time ago yet, is practically gasping for breath. Literally, it is dying, as the once rice and corn fields are converted now into golf courses and subdivisions. Had these lands been preserved, they could have been used as fallbacks for displaced OFWs. In the first place, the reason why they left the country is to seek a greener pasture, as they say, because they are exploited by loan sharks that control the price of their farm products. This fact is known even by a high school student. Why can’t the appropriate government agency or agencies do something about this problem?


Self-reliance in agriculture has never been in the priority list of the government. A very clear manifestation of this negligence is the unabated importation of agricultural products from other countries. And, the situation is aggravated by smuggling that further chokes the local farmers. There is no effort in improving the agricultural products such as vegetables and rice to make them competitive with those from other countries. Ironically, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) the cradle of knowledge for high-tech rice production is located in the Philippines, particularly, Los Baἧos, Laguna, where rice technicians of other countries learn the rudiments of high-tech rice farming. Yet, the Philippines imports rice from the countries of these foreign scientists!


Trading as a gainful venture in the country is left in the hands of foreign businessmen whose stalls cram the mushrooming malls. What is left to the Filipinos are the “bilao and bangketa” business, in which merchandise are patiently arranged in piles in the round bamboo winnower and sidewalk, or the “sari-sari store”, a hole-on-the-wall “grocery”. And, this is what the OWWA expects the displaced OFWs would do with their pittance capital that it loans to them.


It is a shame that despite the availability of funds that were exposed to have been just pocketed by the corrupt in the government, the Filipinos are left with nothing, especially, for the so-called new heroes of Philippine economy, the OFWs.


Expect again the Philippine government to promise labor contracts sought from other “safe” countries…but for how long will this exportation of labor go on? Why can’t the government do something about the home-based industries and revive agriculture which was the country’s primary revenue earner? Is corruption blocking the way?….your answer is good as mine!



The Hopeless Light Rail Transit (LRT) of Manila

The Hopeless Light Rail Transit (LRT)

By Apolinario Villalobos


When I took the LRT to Sta. Cruz on the morning of January 10, 2016, I noticed that the driver was not making announcements about precautions and as we were approaching stations as part of their standard operating procedure. Instead of the announcement via the PA system, the security guard on board was making the announcement to the highest level of his voice that he could muster. I presumed the driver was not in the mood or just plain lazy, until I finally drew enough courage to ask the security guard why it was so. He told me that the PA system of the train I have taken was kaput…broken…wrecked, defunct – for several days.


While the LRT management may treat such breakdown a trivial matter, for the commuters, especially, those who are new in Manila, it is not. The announcement being made as the train approaches each station is an important information for the local and foreign visitors who are taking the “risk” of riding the LRT train despite the discouraging forewarnings from the media about its frequent breakdown. Without the announcement, those who are not familiar with the stations along the route must crane their neck to have a glimpse of the station signboard or ask other passengers, otherwise, they might overshoot their destination.


The joke today is that, if one plans to take the LRT or its “sister train of anguish”, the MRT, he or she must have an “allowance” of at least two hours. The two hours are for the trek along the rails to the nearest station when the train suddenly comes to a grinding stop….yes, grinding because of the frightening “metal to metal” screeching sound of the wheels. When there’s a downpour, pity are those without umbrella. When the sun is generous with its scorching rays, pity are those without the same contraption for shade.


The elevators are still out of order. The escalators are still resting. The toilets are still padlocked, except for one or two. But, fortunately, the employees are doing their best to be nice with their ever ready smile and uncomplaining stance even when four or five passengers one after another pay in crispy one thousand peso bill. These are the people in the lower rung of operation who are trying make up for the handicaps of the LRT system. Meanwhile, those at the top, including the DOTC secretary, Emilio Abaya, are so embarrassingly naïve to the situation that noisy calls for their resignation fall to deaf ears….theirs and those of the president of the nation, Benigno S. Aquino III.

Hindi Dapat Isipin ng Ibang mga Pari na Tanga ang Lahat ng mga Katoliko

Hindi Dapat Isipin ng ibang mga Pari na Tanga

Ang Lahat ng Mga Katoliko

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Akala ng ibang pari, dahil nakapag-aral sila ng mga salita ng Diyos at ng kasaysayan ng simbahang Katoliko sa loob ng kung ilang taon habang nakakulong sa seminaryo, ay sila lang ang may kaalaman sa mga ganitong bagay kaya  kung umasta sila ay aakalain mong sila lang talaga ang mga pinagpala ng Diyos dahil sa kanilang kaalaman.


Ang katotohanan ay marami ang tumitiwalag sa simbahang Romano Katoliko dahil naliwanagan sila pagkatapos malaman ang mga kahihiyang pilit itinatago ng Vatican, lalo na ang mga makabagong nakakadiring kasalanan ng ibang pari. Tanga ang mga paring ito kung hindi nila mauunawaan ang tulong na naibibigay ng makabagong teknolohiya sa mga Katolikong nakakakuha ng impormasyon sa internet.


Baka mas marami pang alam ang ibang ordinaryong Katoliko tungkol sa kasaysayan ng simbahang Romano Katoliko na hindi pa alam ng karamihan sa mga pari, kaya hindi sila dapat magyabang. Ang dapat gawin sana ng mga kaparian sa panahong ito ay magpakatotoo, magpakabait, magpakumbaba, maging tulad ni Hesus sa ugali, upang kahit papaano ay maipakita nila na ang pagkakamaling nangyari sa nakaraang panahon ay hindi na mauulit pa sa kasalukuyan. Pero ano ang kanilang ginagawa? Mas higit pang kahihiyan ang ibinibigay sa simbahang Romano Katoliko kaya ang bagong santo papa ay parang sirang plaka sa paulit-ulit nitong pagpapaalala sa kanilang mga responsibilidad at obligasyon. Kulang na lang ay murahin sila!


Kung may “pinapatakbo” o mina-manage na parukya ang isang pari, dapat ay magpakita ito ng propesyonalismo dahil ang isang parukya ay isang komunidad na nangangailangan din ng “proper and intelligent management”. Hindi dapat gamiting dahilan ang pagka-ispiritwal ng simbahan upang siya ay makapagdikta o magpasunod ng kanyang kagustuhan dahil gusto lang niyang maipakita na siya ang “lider”. Kung ganyan ang ugali niya, aba eh, bumabalik siya sa panahon ni Padre Damaso noong panahon ng Kastila! Wala siyang karapatang mamuno ng isang lokal na simbahang Katoliko ngayon na sirang-sira na ang reputasyon, dahil sa halip na nakakatulong siya upang makapagbago man lang kahit kapiranggot, lalo pa niyang binabahiran ng putik ang imahe nito.


Dapat pasalamatan ng santo papa ang mga maliliit na religious organizations sa lahat ng komunidad na siyang sumasalo at nagtatakip sa pagkakamali ng kanilang parish priest. Dahil maganda ang ipinapakita ng mga religious organizations hindi masyadong nahahalata ang mga kamalasaduhang ginagawa ng ibang parish priest. Ang mga parish priests ay napapalitan pagkalipas ng kung ilang taon, subalit ang mga religious organizations ay hindi dahil taal silang taga-komunidad kaya kung tutuusin sila ang nagbibigay ng agapay sa mga bagong naitatalagang parish priest, subali’t dahil sa kayabangan ng iba sa mga ito, kalimitan, ilang buwan pa lang pagkatapos silang maitalaga ay umaalingasaw na agad ang mabantot nilang ugali!….sila ang mga makabagong Padre Damaso!


Who Says God has a Day Off?

Who Says God has a Day Off?

By Apolinario Villalobos



Although, one of the Ten Commandments says that the Sabbath should be considered as a day of rest, what I understand is that it refers to the people, because such day should be devoted only for worship. The Roman Catholic Church even changed this to the pagan day worship of the sun – Sunday. Anyway,  what I understand is that the said commandment does not refer to God, as He is supposed to be everywhere every time of the day. To put it bluntly, this is about some Roman Catholic parish offices being closed on Saturday, the original Sabbath. Are the non-secular parish priests who are running most of the parishes emulating the ways of the Pharisees….the so-called hypocrites of the Old Testament? If this is so, these Roman Catholic priests might as well take off their priestly garb and join a Christian sect that is literally following the Old Testament to the letter!


If these hypocrite Roman Catholic parish priests would like to give their lay staff a day off, why not come up with a rotated schedule so that for all days of the week, at least one of them is left in the office? If the regular parish priest would like to go on a day off which is unbecoming, why not request a “roving priest” to take over for at least one day, as all of them are supposed to be helping each other for the sake of the “Christian flock”?


Here is a classic story: In a southern parish, the family of a departed kin requested their parish priest for a Requiem Mass for their loved one. The requested day was Saturday so that relatives who have absented themselves from work could go back home the following day, a Sunday, in time for their return to work still the following day, a Monday. Unfortunately, there was a vehement rejection because the parish office was closed as scheduled…no staff to attend to the bereaved family, although, the church would be open.  Not even the suggestion of the family that they will find another priest to officiate the Mass could move the parish priest to change his decision. Sunday is not allowed for requiem Mass, so that was out as a solution to the problem. At the end, the arrogance of the parish priest prevailed as the schedule was moved two days later to Monday which means, the visiting relatives would be able to report back to work on Wednesday or Thursday, practically missing several days of precious daily earnings!


By the way, hubs of air travel operations in any country has no day off, the police has no day off, the hospital staff has no day off, even the mall staff has no day off, etc. How come, the parish office of the Roman Catholic Church whose reputation is deteriorating every hour of the day cannot open its door to the so-called “Roman Catholic flock”, in an effort to counter the negative impression that is mounting every day? Is it the way of the parish priest in “helping” the seemingly helpless new pope? Or is the parish priest acting like a crab?


The parish priest in question who I was told was newly- assigned in the area has a record of arrogance, and he would like to show to the already restless parishioners that he is the “authority”. Obviously, he has a problem with psychological insecurities. He even allegedly fired parish lay personnel who have spent more than twenty of their precious years serving the church. He is making decisions left and right without proper consultation with the Pastoral Council as a whole, choosing to speak only with the favored members whom he think would support him. In other words, his decisions may be illegal as they are without the consent of the majority of the council members, and may not even be properly covered with signed documents.


The above-mentioned priest is among the embarrassments of the new pope that he mentions every time he has an opportunity, and for which he always ask apologies from the Roman Catholics. An interesting blog about the pope taking off his papal robe before holding a Mass is a clear manifestation that he is not in favor of the un-Christian attitude of many priests of the Roman Catholic Church who are either accused of fund misuse, arrogance and sexual assault.


The attitude of the mentioned parish priest shows that the Anti-Christs could be within the Roman Catholic Church – they, whose ways are contrary to what the true Catholic Church stands for. Anti-Christs in priestly robe are heavily groggy with arrogance because they have the impression that being parish priests they can “play” with the parishioners many of whom are suckers in the name of salvation…parishioners who think that their salvation depends ONLY on their parish priest who is “protected” by the white “sotana”, but could be devils in disguise!


Now, are we still wondering why the Roman Catholic Church is reeling from uncontrolled deterioration and may find it hard to recover unless the hypocrites in white priestly garb and who are heady with arrogance,  are calling the shots despite the reminders of the new pope?


For this kind of arrogant priest, the parishioners should join hands and boot him out before he can do more harm to their community!