Giving Help to Others Does not Necessarily Encourage Dependence or Mendicancy

GIVING HELP TO OTHERS DOES NOT NECESSARILY

ENCOURAGE DEPENDENCE OR MENDICANCY

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

Food in any form is among the basic needs of man, as with clothing and shelter. In a dire situation, it is man’s resourcefulness that makes him survive. If he is in the countryside, he can survive by going to the field and pick edible leaves, shoots and fruits. If he is in the city, he can forage in garbage dumps for morsels that can somehow see him through the day. The innate survival instinct in man is so strong that given the chance, he does not need help from others. In other words, he does not ask for it. Help is extended voluntarily by others who are driven by their desire to extend a hand, as some kind of an advocacy. More so with the government, one mandate of which is the general welfare of the citizens.

 

In my experience of meeting many street dwellers, I learned that despite their impoverished condition, most often, pride prevails every time they are offered help, even suspicious of the giver’s intention. Living on sidewalks is not their primary desire. The deprivation of a decent habitation is due to its prohibitive cost. I met couples who live on sidewalks with the husbands working as messengers and security guards while the wives sell candies and cigarettes….which for me is a decent life. They told me that they are willing to rent but if they do, almost nothing would be left for their subsistence.

 

I have also met many people who go out of their way to set aside a good portion of what they earn to be shared with others. One of them are three women who would cook “pancit” on Sundays, apportion them in many small plastic bags, and using a borrowed single-motorcycle, two of them would scour the streets for beneficiaries – children and families who most often, are junk collectors who need to sell their finds at the end of the day before they can buy food. The three women are themselves, among the deprived city dwellers living under a bridge.

 

Of course, it cannot be denied that today, enterprising syndicates have made use of the impoverished in their racket. In this case, to be blamed should be these evil-minded, and not the victims who are threatened. The Badjaos from southern Mindanao who have invaded prosperous urban areas are another case, as for them, begging is part of their culture.

 

Finally, the program of the government in which qualified families are given cash assistance for the education of their children is also another thing. This assistance is in exchange for the commitment of the parents that the cash should be spent as expected and supported with several requirements. It should be noted that this assistance is “volunteered” by the government as its way of supposedly alleviating the lot of the poor. And, since, it is from the people’s tax, it is in a way, fair, though, unsavory remarks from some sectors pervade the air.

 

In closing, those who want to “feed” others should do it willingly, while those who hesitate due to doubts and apprehensions should not worry, for they can still pray for them…but quietly without the unnecessary remarks tantamount to discouraging others to do such act.

The Philippines Needs Internal Cleansing and Rehabilitation

More than International Exposure Today

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

The Philippines is overexposed. No question about that. The internet is flooded with information about the Philippines. Browse for international singers and Filipino names will be flashed. Browse for exotic islands and white sand beaches of the Philippines will be flashed. Browse for Filipino international beauty title holders and the screen will flash a list. Browse for exotic birds and the Philippines will be shown on screen.  Also, as regards politics, even before the 2016 election, the face of the new president Duterte has “graced” the cyber screen because of his intriguing personality. What else do we need to promote tourism for? There are hundreds of Filipino and international bloggers who write about the Philippines – for free. These are the people who are helping the country in their own unselfish way and driven by their unsolicited and first-hand fascination. Why pay agencies with copywriters whose ideas are copied from what they have browsed in the internet?

 

In this regard, the plan to host the next Ms. Universe pageant is untimely as the country is undergoing some sort of “internal cleansing and rehabilitation”. Whatever expense that may go to the beauty pageant hosting should go to projects with the aforementioned objectives. Due to the very obvious situation, the country is unprepared to host any international event. The direction should be toward what the new president is taking. Why not wait until “cleaning” is done before flaunting a “better” country to the world so that the desired image can be impressed on the mind of inbound-travelers?

 

The Department of Tourism (DOT) should instead, spearhead a concerted effort among travel and tour-related agencies in putting life to the dying and crumbling cultural landmarks. The effort would be like cultivating a garden to be planted with various vegetables which can be sold later. Along this line, it is important to check if the gateways leading to the interiors are just right. Corruption at the airport underlined by the “tanim-bala” scandal should be checked if already eradicated; if facilities of the four airport terminals in Manila are properly functioning; if airports in the provinces are at least presentably clean; if taxi drivers in Manila are no longer hustling passengers; if the traffic around Manila and other prime cities such as Cebu and Davao is minimized; etc.

 

It should be noted that despite the lack of impressive modernistic structures, neighboring Southeast Asian Nations are continually overwhelmed with tourists. Unfortunately, the Philippines is way behind them. The trade secret of these neighboring nations is in the maintenance of their historic and cultural landmarks… which are what their tourism is all about. While the Philippines is no different from them, as she belongs to their category – third world, the difference is in the country’s negligence of its landmarks, even allowing a photo bummer to rise in what was the former site of the Jai-alai fronton at Taft Avenue, so that every time a visitor takes a photo of the Rizal monument at Luneta, the condo hotel of a well-known developer also gets prominent space behind the statue’s image like a sore thumb.

 

A lesson or two could be learned from the wise administration of our neighboring countries on how ecology and tourism could co-exist, especially, because the Philippines is pinned down with an “exotic” tag, and not as a flourishing ultra-modern destination with the likes of China, Australia, America, and many others that the we are desperately and shamelessly trying to mimic.

 

I think the new secretary of Tourism should also check on why the previous administration chose the Makati area as the site of the agency’s headquarters, instead of one where the industry is bustling, thereby, where it is appropriately needed most. The Tourist Belt refers to Malate and Ermita areas where the agency should be, and where there are also buildings that could accommodate all its offices. On the other hand, the new location of the DOT at Buendia Avenue in Makati is far from the airport, port areas, tourism-related venues such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Folk Arts Center, Philippine International Convention Center, Luneta, Ocean Park and Intramuros. Worst, the new location of the DOT is prone to flooding, aside from being hampered with limited parking space, and going there, a traveler has to muster the practically, crawling traffic along EDSA and main Buendia Avenue from Roxas Boulevard.

 

Another concern that comes to my mind is the Philippine Village Hotel right beside the airport terminal 2 with the sprawling vacated area that used to be the Nayong Pilipino. Why not consider the rehabilitation of the hotel so that it can be used as the permanent DOT headquarters? For big events, moveable facilities can be put up in the sprawling area, instead of just being left at the mercy of tall grasses.

 

 

 

True Muslims should Stand Up and Condemn the Senseless Atrocities Committed by those who Claim to be “Muslims”

True Muslims should Stand Up and Condemn

The Senseless Atrocities Committed

by those who Claim to be “Muslims”

by Apolinario Villalobos

 

If the Catholic pope has been very vocal in condemning or at least, calling the attention of the erring Catholics, the priests and bishops included, it is high time for the hierarchy of the Islamic faith to condemn those who claim to be “Muslims”…they, who commit atrocities using “jihad” as an alibi, though, in reality, use such practice in masking their political and monetary intentions. They hold in hostage people and release them in exchange for money, otherwise, they are decapitated.

 

In the restless countries of the African continent trapped in pockets of war, Muslim fanatics impose severe penalties for insignificant violations of their faith. They also unscrupulously destroy priceless historic and cultural landmarks, and rape even pregnant women. In the Philippines, the Abu Sayyaf cut off heads of their hostages if they fail to receive their ransom. Where are the spiritual sensibilities in those acts?

 

In fairness to the rest of the Muslims though, the Islamic faith just like Christianity is also segmented into several sects, some of which are fanatical while the rest are moderate. That is why it is not also fair to issue a sweeping blame just because the fanatics are committing atrocities, in the same manner that not all Christians are corrupt and criminals, hence, a far-reaching blame should not necessarily be uttered against them.

 

Meanwhile, the consoling thought, is that in the Philippines, due to a prevailing law, the media is not allowed to specify the faith of apprehended suspects. Before the promulgation of the law, a suspected Filipino is outright mentioned as “Muslim” if he is one. Had it not been stopped, for fairness sake, erring citizens who are found to be members of the INC or Methodist, or Catholic, etc., for instance, must also be mentioned as such.

 

Finally, members of the Islamic segment of the Philippine population should reciprocate the generous gesture of the new president, Rodrigo Duterte, who profoundly expressed his trust to them, by manifesting their hostility against “un-Islamic” acts. With such, they can let the whole world know that Filipino Muslims and Christians are solidly welded in the name of CHANGE under the new leadership… how drastic such change may be…and most especially, to tone down, if not eradicate the issue on the ISIS threat that is circulating in the south.

 

 

Ang Mga Pulis na Ipinadala at Ipapadala sa Mindanao

ANG MGA PULIS NA IPINADALA

AT IPAPADALA SA MINDANAO

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Ayon sa Philippine National Police, ang mga pinadalang mga pulis at mga ipapadala pa sa Mindanao ay magiging “support” lang daw ng mga taga-roon sa kanilang operation sa pagtugis sa Abu Sayyaf. Mukhang hindi yata maganda ang dating ng ganitong pahayag dahil noon, ang pagpapadala sa Mindanao ay banta ni de la Rosa sa mga tiwaling pulis-Maynila…kaya lumalabas na isang uri ng kaparusahan upang sila ay magbago. Kung hindi sila isasabak sa regular na mga gawain tulad ng operasyon laban sa Abu Sayyaf, lalabas na para lang silang pinagbakasyon, kaya siguradong may maririnig na mga reklamo mula sa mga taga-roong kapulisan na siyang gagawa ng mga “dirty works”.

 

Ang impresyon sa mga pulis-Maynila ay hindi daw sila lumalabas sa initan. Ang iba nga daw ay nahuli pang naglalagay ng “foundation” sa mukha. At, ayon pa rin kay de la Rosa, ang sukatan para malaman kung nagtatrabaho ang isang pulis ay ang kanyang kulay, dahil kung ang balat ng pulis ay may kutis na mala-porselana, ibig sabihin ay nasa loob lang ito ng opisina o di kaya ay nasa lilim kung sakaling nasa “labas” o field. At, dahil naggagalaiti si de la Rosa sa mg “ninja” –  mga pulis Maynila na sangkot sa droga,  sila raw ang mga uunahin. Subali’t bakit bigla yatang nagkaroon ng tono ang mga sinasabi ng PNP?

Ang “Industriya” ng Abuso at Droga sa Pilipinas

ANG “INDUSTRIYA” NG ABUSO AT DROGA SA PILIPINAS

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

NOONG MGA PANAHONG WALA PA SI DUTERTE NA ANG PILIPINAS AY NASA ILALIM NG IBA’T IBANG PRESIDENTE, NAMAYAGPAG ANG PAG-ABUSO NG MGA OPISYAL DAHIL NAKITA NILA ANG KALAMYAAN NG MGA NAKAUPO….WALANG POLITICAL WILL.  LUMALA ANG KORAPSYON, PATI ANG MGA DAPAT MAGPATUPAD NG BATAS AY LUMAKAS ANG LOOB NA UMABUSO NA UMABOT PA SA PAGPROTEKTA NG MGA DRUG LORDS. KAYA ANG SABI NI DUTERTE, KAHIT SA ANONG LENGWAHE, ANG TAWAG SA GINAGAWA NILA AY TREASON… ISANG MALAKING PAGTATAKWIL SA BAYAN, SA TIWALA NG MGA PILIPINO. PAGKATAPOS KASI SILANG GASTUSAN NG MGA PILIPINO UPANG MAGING PROPESYONAL, NAKAYA PA NILANG GAWIN ANG PAG-ABUSO.

 

ANG MGA MESSGENGER NG IBANG AHENSIYA NA KAKARAMPOT ANG SUWELDO AY NAKATIRA SA MGA EXCLUSIVE AT HIGH-END SUBDDVISIONS, HINDI BABABA ANG MGA SASAKYAN SA TATLONG PIRASO NA NAKA-DISPLEY SA GARAHE. ANG KUWENTO PA NG MGA KAPITBAHAY AY NAGSISIGA-SIGAHAN SILA GANOONG BISTADO NAMAN KUNG ANONG URI ANG TRABAHO NILA. KINATAKUTAN SILA DAHIL NAGPAPAKITA PA DAW NG BARIL. ANG IBA AY BASTA NA LANG NAGPAPAPUTOK KUNG LASING….PATI ASONG DUMADAAN LANG AY BINABARIL PARA MAIPAALAM SA MGA KAPITBAHAY NA SILA AY MAY BARIL. NAGKAMALI SILA SA PAGYAYABANG DAHIL MISMONG MGA KAPITBAHAY AY TUTUTSO SA KANILA.

 

NOONG MGA PANAHON PA RING YON  NA WALA PA SI DUTERTE, MARAMI ANG MGA NIRE-RAID NA MGA DRUG LABORATORIES, BILYONES ANG HALAGA NG SHABU NA LIBONG KILO ANG DAMING  NASASAMSAM. NABALITA PA NA ANG MISMONG NASA BODEGA NG PDEA NA DAPAT AY MGA EBIDENSIYA DAW AY NABAWASAN. NAGTURUAN, NAGKAIMBESTIGAHAN PERO ANG MGA KASO AY NALUSAW SA KATAGALAN. ANG NAKAPAGTATAKA LANG, TUWING MAY MA-RAID, ANG MGA TAONG NADADATNAN AY MGA HOUSEBOY NA INTSIK NA HINDI MARUNONG MAG-TAGALOG O INGLES, AT ANG MGA DRUG LORD AY “NAKATAKAS”….BAKIT??!!….SA ISANG BANDA NAMAN, ANG MGA NAMUNO SA MGA “RAID” AY NAGING “STARRING” SA MGA BALITA.

 

NANG UMUPO SI DUTERTE BILANG PRESIDENTE AY SAKA NAGLABASAN ANG MGA KUWENTONG NIRE-RECYCLE DAW ANG MALAKING BAHAGI NG NARE-RECOVER NA DROGA. ANG MGA PULIS NA INVOLVED SA RECYCLING AY TINAWAG NA MGA “NINJA”. MARAMING MGA DRUG RUNNER ANG BASTA NA LANG PINAGPAPATAY – SUNUD SUNOD PA, KAYA ANG SABI NG MARAMI, PINATAY DAW SILA PARA HINDI NILA I-PYAET KUNG SINONG MGA PULIS ANG NAG-UUTOS SA KANILA NA MAGBENTA.

 

NANG IHAYAG NI DUTERTE ANG MGA PANGALAN NG MGA HENERAL NA SANGKOT SA DROGA AY KANYA-KANYA SILANG BITAW NG MGA DEPENSA.  YONG ISA AY HINDI NAMAN DAW DIREKTANG INVOLVED SA RAID, PERO ANG HAWAK NAMANG OPISINA AY MAY KINALAMAN SA ANTI-NARCOTIC. YONG IBA NAGSABI NA “MARAMI NGA DAW SILANG NA-RAID” (PAKIBALIKAN ANG IKA-3 PARAGRAPH NA MAY KINALAMAN SA DEPENSANG SINABI NG MGA GENERAL TUNGKOL SA MGA GINAWA NILANG RAID.)

 

NAGLABASAN NA RIN ANG MGA KUWENTO NA DOBLE ANG KITA NG MGA NANGRI-RAID. KINUKOTONGAN DAW ANG MGA DRUG LORDS AT OPERATOR NG MGA LABORATORIES KAYA HABANG HINDI SILA NAHUHULI AY TULOY ANG KITA NILA MULA SA MGA INTSIK NA NAGHAHASIK NG LAGIM SA PILIPINAS….AT SA NARE-RECOVER NA SHABU AY MALIIT NA BAHAGI LANG NIRE-REPORT DAHIL ANG MALAKING BAHAGI AY NIRE-RECYCLE NG MGA “NINJA” SA PAMAMAGITAN NG MGA RUNNERS NA PINAGPAPATAY NA NILA NGAYON PARA HINDI PUMIYAET KAY DUTERTE.

 

YAN DAW ANG LARAWAN NG “INDUSTRIYA” NG DROGA AT ABUSO SA PILIPINAS….LARAWANG GUSTONG WASAKIN NI DUTERTE.

 

 

Catholic Churches in Big PH Cities should Provide Free Gruel (Lugaw) and Toilet Facilities to the Street Dwellers

Catholic Churches in Big PH Cities Should Provide

Free Gruel (Lugaw) and Toilet Facilities to the Street Dwellers

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

During the ongoing Filipino Catholic Bishops’ conference, the hierarchy should come up with a uniform compassion-founded program such as the putting up of free gruel and toilet for the poor. There are parish churches which are already and somehow, trying to cope with these basic needs, but they are “wanting” in this purpose. To mention, Quiapo cathedral has public toilets but they are open when there are services only. There is no question about their “feeding program” as this project is consistently being carried on by the religious groups. The neighboring church, Sta. Cruz, charges 5pesos per urinal use, and double for the other call of nature, and I do not think, they have a feeding program. When I passed by the vicinity of San Sebastian, I saw a few street dwellers who were sort of queueing outside the fence of the church’s convent, and I was told by one that they were waiting for a free gruel, but only for those who bring their own bowl. Mentioned projects, if there are, vary according to the parish church, perhaps, based on their financial capability. But, can’t churches call on their rich parishioners to donate at least a 25-kilo bag of rice every month, or pledge money for the purchase of ingredients for the gruel, and extra money for the construction of toilets? And to think that during fiestas, there is a shameful display of affluence!

 

As regards the toilets, it is a general knowledge that this facility is among the most-needed in cities, especially, for the street dwellers. One time, I saw a woman squatting in a street corner oblivious of the few passers-by. From the corner of my eye, I later saw that she nonchalantly went back to the pushcart where there was a child and a dog. Within the vicinity, there was no restaurant or small carinderia, but even if there was one, I didn’t think the owner will allow her to use their toilet which is reserved for paying customers. Several times, I saw children who take the risk of defecating on the Pasig River bank. In this regard, the burger joints like Jolibee and Macdonalds allow non-customers to use their toilets, but they have to be decently dressed, as obvious street dwellers are shooed away by their guards!

 

Instead of being very much concerned with the cussing of Duterte, these Catholic “patriarchs” MUST change their direction in consonance with that of the current pope. They should focus on the immediate needs of their flock not to mention the spiritual, instead of the political issues. They should allow Duterte do his thing in ridding the streets of drug addicts, while on their part, they should exert an effort in making a follow through by providing whatever material succor they could provide – food and decency when answering the call of nature for those who try to survive by scavenging for recyclable trash and living on pushcarts and sidewalks.