A Closer Look at the Filipino “Nationalistic” Groups

A Closer Look at the Filipino “Nationalistic” Groups

By Apolinario Villalobos


Even during the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, there were already problems with China as regards the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea, separatist movements and kidnapping in Mindanao, as well as, with Malaysia as regards Sabah, and most especially, corruption in the government. The same problems were inherited by subsequent administrations. But the “nationalistic” groups were more concerned in shouting invectives against America in front of the US Embassy and in burning effigies of American and Filipino presidents. They did not lift a finger in helping the government in its effort to recover Sabah, and not a single rally was held in front of the Chinese Embassy to express their revulsion over the issue on West Philippine Sea. Not even a question was raised as regards the effectiveness of the military against the separatist movement and kidnappings in Mindanao because of its inadequate facilities due to misused funds intended for its modernization. These groups cannot even lay claim on the success in deposing Marcos, because the religious groups and ordinary citizens were the ones responsible for such success.


Despite the open reclamations of China in the West Philippine Sea, these groups were silent, although, belatedly, they somehow held a lightning rally or two, after such, nothing was heard from them again. Despite the ongoing activities of the Abu Sayyaf and separatist groups in Mindanao, they remained silent. The overly grisly Maguindanao and Mamasapano massacres did not entice them a bit to make a move to show their support to the victims. Despite the moving of justice system at a snail’s pace and unabated proliferation of foreign “investors” who are exploiting the natural resources around the country, nothing is heard from them, too.  And despite the blatant control of domestic medium-scale trading in the country by these foreign “investors”, still nothing is heard from these groups.


After the announcement of the Supreme Court’ decision favoring the legality of the US military presence in the country, these groups suddenly came to life. They maintain their claim that such decision shall lead to the construction of the permanent US bases in the country when in fact, nothing of that sort is mentioned in the agreement.


They claim that the continued presence of the American soldiers in the country will lead to the revival of sex- related industry which is not true. Even without the presence of US bases, there is uncontrolled proliferation of the sex trade via the internet, bars and massage parlors, even in the decent districts of Metro Manila.  But still, if they want, they can knock at the doors of Congress and Senate for laws that shall control this kind of industry, and which should be appropriate for the time. On the other hand, they are supposed to know that even the local government can control such industry. And, just what have they done on the issue of poverty that contributed to the fast growth of such industry in the country? They should caution the sex workers if they are really bent on helping their countrymen involved in sex trade which needs to be treated as a separate issue, instead of using this alibi in pursuing their “nationalistic” objective. They seem to be blind to the fact that various sex deals are flourishing even without the issue on the US military presence in the Philippines due to weak national laws and LGU regulations that reek with corrupt motives.


What dedication to advocacy are they talking about when some of them are even holding passports stamped with US visa?  If these groups are really serious in their advocacy, why don’t they hold rallies against the ongoing corruption in the country and the vote-buying, a political tradition that got deeply-entrenched in the Filipino culture? Why don’t they consistently hold rallies for the removal of department secretaries who are being questioned on the issues of smuggling, ghost NGOs, drug trafficking, illegal recruitment, and deplorable state of mass transit facilities such as LRT and MRT, etc. Why don’t they consistently hold rallies for the removal of the president, if they find him to be ineffective just like what was done during the time of Marcos? Why don’t they hold rallies against the unfulfilled promise of the government to modernize the military facilities after prime public properties were sold to foreign investors? Why don’t they picket outside the detention facilities where the Ampatuans are, to show their disgust over the hideous crime that they purportedly committed? These are what the Filipinos want to see and expect from them, as they claim to be “nationalistic” and pro-Filipino.


Obviously, the Philippines has been under a long-tested democracy which unfortunately proved ineffective due to its loop-holed system that led to the propagation of various forms of corruption. And, this is what the left-wing groups want to be changed to a more “nationalistic” system. But what do they mean by “nationalistic”?…a communism-inspired system?


By the way, I just want to make myself clear that not all nationalistic Filipinos have a communistic mentality.



The Heavy Pollution in China should Warn Third-World Countries

The Heavy Pollution in China

Should Warn Third -World Countries

By Apolinario Villalobos


Manufacturing countries that clandestinely hate China have successfully inflicted a “slow death” on the awakened dragon of Asia. They have simply transferred the production aspect of their business in China because of her cheap labor and with it, the byproduct of high technology – the deadly pollution! They have been awfully successful, no question about that!


China today, is practically crawling due to the effect of heavy pollution while countries that own brands manufactured in China are basking under smog-free atmosphere. Every day, internet news carries warnings of the Chinese government to its citizens about the heavy pollution and photos are those of the Chinese citizens with face or surgical mask to lessen their inhalation of the dirty air. An enterprising European country is reportedly exporting fresh bottled air to China.


The phenomenon in China should serve as a warning to the third-world countries that are blinded by the prospect of living in comfort through high technology. China has practically flooded the world with products made in her homeland. Despite such show of opulence, she is far from being satisfied as her expansionistic desire is slowly creeping towards the rest of Asia and the African continent- with all their third world countries.


The governments of these countries would like their forests be uprooted and replaced with factories; would like their fields planted to rice, corn and other staple foods bulldozed to give way to resorts and first-class housing projects; would like their mountains to be drilled for minerals; would like their citizens to be introduced into the mean habits of squalid urban life; would like their centuries-old traditions and faith to be polluted with the immoralities of progress.


As the exploitation lasts only for as long as there are yet to be exploited, their “benefits” are likewise short-lived. When the factories and mining companies stop their exhaustive operations, they leave behind ghost towns and villages- with their rivers poisoned by chemicals and the once-fertile land exhausted of their nutrients making them not suitable even for the lowly grass. Their polluted culture gives rise to a new generation of prostitutes and indolent, and worst, with a twisted view on faith.


The high-technology must be one of the checks that God has imposed on earth to maintain the balance, aside from natural calamities such as typhoon, earthquake, diseases, and floods, as well as, man-made war. Without them, the world would have burst long time ago, due to overpopulation and inadequate sustenance. But, while these are divine penalties, caution should have been observed by man to at least delay and minimize their occurrence. Unfortunately, man is now reaping the fruits of his greed…at high speed!


In the Old Testament, when the God of Israelites wanted them punished for their misdeed, He used the heathen races or tribes to sow disaster upon them. Sometimes He used calamities such as diseases and famine-causing pestilence. The religions of the world are based either directly or indirectly on the Abrahamaic faith, except for some pockets of tribes in unexplored nooks of forests and islands. In a way, most peoples of the world are connected to the God of Israel. Are we now suffering from this divine penalty, mentioned in the Old Testament?

Agrarian Strife… root of poverty and Red Movement in the Philippines

Agrarian Strife…root of poverty

and Red Movement in the Philippines

by Apolinario Villalobos

During the pre-Spanish time, nothing was on record about any agrarian discontent in the country, as it developed only when the Spaniards came and imposed their “encomienda” system. The practice was maintained by the Americans who took over the grip on colonial reins, and worsened when the country became a Republic under corrupt Filipino leaders.

The country is an agricultural nation. But, because of agrarian problems in the provinces, the starving Filipinos sought a better life in the city, where they lived on pavements, under the bridge, along waterways, and slums. In the city they still suffer from poverty, but they are on their own, their life not controlled by landlords who bound them in perpetual debt. They rummage in dump sites for morsels of food and recyclable stuff that they sell to junkshops. Most often what they earn is not enough so that rather than stare at their children dying of hunger, they commit crimes – some petty, some grave. They resort to “running” drugs for pushers, go into prostitution, pick pockets, break into homes, and steal goods in groceries. Had life been good in the province where they tended rice fields and vegetable plots, they would have not spent precious savings for fare to Manila to seek a better life, but found another hell, instead.

The advocates of Communism saw an opportunity in the poor Filipinos’ discontent. They sowed the seeds of the Red ideology among them – successfully. The mass base of the Red Movement has become firmer and broader. Not content in Manila, young Red agents go to the provinces which before were peaceful tourist destinations, especially, the island provinces. In cooperation with the New People’s Army, they meld with the villagers who have been suffering from the exploitation of their landlords, and who did not need any elaborate persuasion….more success.

Meanwhile, instead of resolving the issue on agrarian unrest, the government since the time of Marcos is more interested in developing rice and corn fields into high-end subdivisions and malls. Foreigners in drove took the opportunity using their Filipino dummies. The idea of the government is to make the country at par with neighboring Asian counties that are resplendent in their progress, as well as, provide employment for thousands of graduates with sophisticated courses. Nothing came out of this idea due to corruption which evolved from bad to worst!

And, finally, the once rice-exporting proud nation has become an importer of rice from countries whose rice technicians derived their knowledge from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in Los Baῆos, Laguna – Philippines!

That is the gloomy picture and sad story of a country called, “Pearl of the Orient Seas”, somewhere in the Pacific. It is my country, but, I am still proud of it…though vehemently pray and hope that it will someday be transformed into a better place to live in, with the united effort of the persistent fellow countrymen who still remain “true” Filipinos…at all cost!


How the Red Tide Swept the Philippine Shores, and the founding of Hukbalahap

How the Red Tide Swept the Philippine Shores,

and the founding of Hukbalahap

By Apolinario Villalobos

During the American regime, the “freedom” that was introduced, developed political consciousness among the learned but poor Filipinos – city dwellers and sons of peasants. They joined hands and welded together the laborers of the city and peasants of the provinces, resulting to the sprouting of labor unions. The consciousness was further fanned by inspirations that came in the form of literary works such as novels and dramas.

1922 saw the organization of “Confederacion de Aparceros y Obreros Agricolas de Filipinas (Philippine Confederation of Tenants and Agricultural Workers), by Jacinto Manahan. It was renamed Katipunang Pambansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (National Peasants Union of the Philippines), two years later. The union joined forces with the already organized Philippine Labor Congress to become the formidable tool of the working class during the time.

Leaders of the Philippine Labor Congress (PLC) attended a trade conference in 1928, in Canton, China which was sponsored by the communists. When they returned, they formed the Labor Party, at the same time affiliating the “mother organization”, Philippine Labor Congress with the Red International of Labor Unions. This move transformed the PLC into a communist-oriented union.

In 1929, disagreements ensued within the PLC on policy matters which led to the departure of Crisanto Evangelista who founded the Katipunan ng mga Anak-pawis ng Pilipinas (Congress of Philippine Workingmen). The other leaders, Ruperto S. Cristobal and Antonio Paguia remained with the PLC. Evangelista moved further on by founding Partido Comunista (Communist Party) with Jacinto Manahan, using the Russian ideology as their model. The Communist Party assumed a tolerable image until 1932, during which the Supreme Court declared it to be an illegal association. This did not deter the party from working with the peasants and laborers discreetly. The members were eventually imprisoned.

Meanwhile, on the same year of 1929, Pedro Abad Santos, who belonged to the cultured and learned class of Pampanga, founded the Socialist Party, together with the “Aguman Ding Maldang Talapagobra” (Workers’ and Peasants’ Union) or AMT. The Socialist Party was used by the AMT as its political arm which did not gain fame until after 1932. It operated openly as it was sanctioned by the government, unlike the Communist Party whose illegality led to the imprisonment of its members.

In 1932, when the imprisoned members of the Communist Party were released, it merged with the Socialist Party. The merging led to the impression that even the non-communist members of the Socialist Party, were also communists. Nonetheless, from then on, the group developed to become a sophisticated working class in Central Luzon, aside from becoming more militant.

When war broke out in the Pacific in December 8, 1941, the Philippines was dragged into it. Later on, the retreat of the combined US and Philippine forces to Corregidor and eventual defeat, throw the whole country into confusion. By instinct, the peasants of Pampanga organized a “militia” to protect themselves against the occupying Japanese forces.

The peasant leaders met in February 1942 at barrio Bakwit, Cabiao, Nuevea Ecija. It was attended by Luis Taruc, Juan Feleo, Casto Alejandrino, Matelo del Castillo, F. Sampanga, Jose de Leon, Lino Dizon, Eusebio Aquino, and Mariano Franco. They decided on a “united front” against the aggressors, with the battlecry “Anti-Japanese Above All”. They laid down their three-pronged policy, as: economic (development of all means of providing the people with sustenance and at the same time to sabotage Japanese effort to loot the country); political (discredit the “puppet regime” and destroy its influence); and, military (harass the Japanese).

The peasant leaders met again in a forest between Tarlac, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija in March 29, 1942, to finalize their organization which assumed tha name, “HUKBO NG BAYAN LABAN SA HAPON” or HUKBALAHAP. Its Military Committee was composed of Luis Taruc, Banal (Bernardo Poblete), Casto Alejandrino, and Felipa Culala (Dayang-dayang). Taruc was elected as the chairman with Alejandrino as his deputy.

Unfortunately, Hukbalahap which was originally meant to fight the Japanese aggressors was discredited due to politics and insecurities of the landlords, pushed to the corner, until it finally went underground to fight the unfair policies of the government. The abused peasants with the grain of communistic idealism already planted in their consciousness had no choice but lean on the support that propped them up since before the onset of the WWII. The events that followed were more than expected…

Conflict of Ideologies, Abuse of Authority, and Corruption are the Causes of the Indigenous Filipinos’ Woes Today

Conflict of Ideologies, Abuse of Authority, and Corruption

are the Causes of the Indigenous Filipinos’ Woes Today

by Apolinario Villalobos

When the Spaniards colonized the islands of the Philippines way back in the 1500s, the natives were clustered so that they can be easily “managed” which actually means, conveniently taxed. They were made to settle around the plaza with the church as the focal point of the community. To entice those who were apprehensive and afraid to come down from their mountain abode, joyful occasions such as fiestas were held by the friars. The same practice was employed by the Americans when they took over. Some regions were successfully developed out of clustering, although, some tribes who persisted in maintaining their values and culture remained steadfast in their ancestral domains. There was not much problem during those two regimes because, the natives had only two choices – either embrace the imposed authority thereby, live in “managed” communities, or live in the mountains, far from the colonizers, peacefully. Period.

Today, the native Filipinos who live in their ancestral domain are pitifully squeezed between three forces – that of the government forces, the land grabbers, and the subversives. The government has the duty to protect every Filipino, including the indigenous ones. To make it easy for the government to do it, clustering is again used, pulling the natives from their source of livelihood, in the process. The government had to do this because of the intrusion of the subversives into the ancestral domains of the indigenous Filipinos. Unfortunately, some military contingents became abusive. The land grabbers, meanwhile, using fraudulent documents are practically driving the natives farther into the wilderness. On the other hand, the subversives employ psychological tactics in winning the natives to their side, and in some instances, even with force.

In a not so distant past, some tribes were the ones that complained about the intrusion of the subversives into their midst. Their presence required support which of course meant, doubling of effort on the part of the natives to produce more from their tilled lands. It is only when they could no longer tolerate the mulcting of these subversives that they complained to the government authorities. This is the reason why the government came into the picture – to purportedly protect the natives, necessitating their presence in their communities. In cases of land grabbing, the natives approach militant groups for help, and most often, results are not encouraging due to inaction of the government agencies concernced, that is why, during anti-government rallies, this is among the issues being shouted, a sad reality because most land grabbers are government officials using dummies!

Aside from clustering, another effort of the government to provide protection is the organization of the local defense forces composed of the able-bodied male members of the community. The Abbu Sayyaf was “developed” in this manner. Originally envisioned to augment the government effort in fighting insurgency, it later became into what it is now because of many reasons blamed on the government. In the case of the displaced natives who are seeking the protection of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) in Mindanao, their community-based paramilitary group is called Alamara.

The latest news about the displaced 700 indigenous Filipinos who live under the protection of the United Church of Christ in the Philippine (UCCP), displaced from their ancestral domains for several months now is disheartening. The primary reason why the natives left their homes and farms, is the presence of the military in their communities. The question now is, “who” told them that such presence is not good for them? The quest for communistic ideology is far from being dead in the Philippines. Splinters of communistic groups are well distributed throughout the archipelago even the once-peaceful Bohol, Panay, and Palawan islands.

The issue on displaced tribal communities is not new, especially, as an effect of land grabbing which started when the Spaniards came,  got complicated with the intrusion of Communism in the country, worsened by the politicians who use dummies in this scheme, and got further muddled by the abuse of some military contingents.

As a conclusion, for as long as there are adherents of Communism, land grabbers, abusive military contingents, and corrupt government officials, the problem of the indigenous Filipinos will not be solved. The consolation, however, are the religious groups, one of which is the UCCP, that provide support and affordable protection.

China and the World

China and the World

By Apolinario Villalobos

While China has tricked the US in the latter’s ploys in Asia, it has gone way ahead of Russia in territorial expansion. While the US uses its “big brother” approach, China uses cheap labor as the main factor in becoming an economic giant which made practically the whole world dependent on its cheap and fake products. No wonder why no country, even the United Nations, ever made an attempt to slap China with some kind of an embargo or boycott, which has been the practice to punish other countries, despite its unbecoming actions, particularly,  its reclamations at the West Philippine Sea.

While the US has not done anything yet, as regards territorial expansion, Russia uses force and has been successful in the Ukraine region, and China on the other hand, uses its “resourcefulness” by building fake islands to legally extend its territories, as well as, money to win the confidence of economically-ailing nations.

The ASEAN is obviously helpless in counteracting the moves of China, with most members even blatantly showing their once covert image as allies. There is no hope for the Philippines on the other hand as regards the West Philippine Sea, as even if the United Nations shall decide on its favor, there is a question on how the decision shall be implemented. China is a member of the Security Council of the UN, together with the USA, France and Russia. While the US is obviously helpless even in checking the ongoing reclamations in the West Philippine Sea, France is helplessly silent on the woeful issues that are now befalling third-world member countries, and Russia is clearly on China’s side because it is also doing what the latter is doing, aside from their obvious close relationship to date due to their common objectives. That is the sad picture of the United Nations which China could have perceived a few years after the WWII!

China has already made its presence in the African continent strongly felt with its various investments disguised as “aids”. The nearby Mediterranean could be the next target, thanks to the economic downfall of Greece which China could be regarding as a timely opportunity for their entry into the Mediterranean region. If Greece will eventually get out of the European Union, it will be on its own, but how can it be possible without help from outside, unless drastic moves by the government shall be made such as declaring a Martial Law to enforce stringent measures on spending? The issue on Greece is money. If the Greeks would like to recover from their misfortune, there are so many things that they should sacrifice, so that they will be left with a difficult choice – give up luxurious life under a Martial Law? Or, still enjoy the same life under a “caretaker country” such as China through its “aids”. There is no way for the US to get into the picture because it is also indebted to China.

China could have foreseen the problem of the world which is centered on money that is why it has initiated the organization of AIIB which gained many members in so short a time after the launching. If the image of the United Nations as a reliable organization of nations continues to slide, the World Bank would definitely follow suit. There is no problem with the UN as it has been seen as a helpless organization anyway, so it can just melt away. Besides, the world is seemingly being apportioned today, either three-way or two- way: three-way among the USA, China and Russia, or just two-way between Russia and China. It will be a goodbye to the “manifest destiny” of America as fighter for democracy…and a welcome to the “economic destiny” of China!

Is the world nearing the epoch of “world confederacy”?… in which all nations shall be federated under a permanent leader while left as they are with their own cultural identity?…in which only one monetary token shall be used?…in which two or three universal languages shall be used?…in which the ideology shall be the “hybrid communism”?