Ang Iba’t-ibang Kasilbihan sa Buhay ng Tao…nagtatanong lang naman

Ang Iba’t- Ibang Kasilbihan sa Buhay ng Tao

…nagtatanong lang naman

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Ano ang silbi ng magaling na abogado kung ang kanyang kaalaman ay binabayaran ng mga tiwali sa pamahalaan, mga big time drug dealers, illegal recruiters, landgrabbers, at iba pa upang maabsuwelto sa mga kaso, o di kaya ay binabayaran ng mga talagang may kasalanan upang ang walang sala na walang pambayad sa isang abogado ay makulong?

 

Ano ang silbi ng katalinuhan ng isang tao kung gagamitin niya ito upang manloko ng kapwa, o di kaya ay upang makapasok sa larangan ng pulitika kung saan ay nagmimistula na siyang demonyo dahil sa walang tigil na pagyurak sa karapatan ng kanyang kapwa na nagluklok sa kanya sa puwesto upang sana ay makatulong, subalit, kabaligtaran ang ginawa?

 

Ano ang silbi ng naaaaapaaakahabang dasal, ganoong ang gusto lang namang hingin ng nagdadasal ay yaman “pa more”, di kaya ay kapahamakan ng kapwa na sinasabayan pa ng pagtitik ng kandila?

 

Ano ang silbi ng dasal na maganda pa ang pagka-kuwadro sa mga facebook na nila-like at sini-share, kung ang gumagawa ng mga ito ay hanggang doon lang ang gusto – ang mag-admire lang sa prayer na maganda ang pagka-layout at may background pa, at ang iba ay may accompanying music pa kung i-like, sa halip na bigyan ito ng buhay sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng nakasaad sa sinasabi? (maski ilang milyong beses pang mag-share ng “love your neighbor” ang isang taong hindi nagbabago ng masamang ugali, wala ring silbi ang ginawa niya).

 

Ano ang silbi ng malalaking simbahan kung may araw na sarado ang pinto nila dahil ang mga nangangasiwa sa mga ito ay nag day-off?

 

Ano ang silbi ng mga sinasabi ng bagong santo papa ng Romano Katoliko para sa pagbabago ng ilang mga “pastol” o mga pari kung hindi naman sila sumusunod?

 

Ano ang silbi ng K-12 program na nagdudulot ng bangungot sa mga magulang kung hanggang  Grade 9 lang ang kaya nilang tustusan, kaya bagsak pa rin ang mga anak nila sa mga contractual na trabaho na sumusweldo ng 200-300 pesos sa isang araw? (nagsayang lang ang mga bata ng dalawang taon na ginugol sa Grade 7- 8, na dapat sana ay katumbas na ng diploma ng high school).

 

Ano ang silbi ng Kongreso at Senado kung hindi rin lang sila makapagpasa ng mga batas na “angkop” sa mga kasalukuyang sitwasyon at pangangailangan, dahil mga batas lamang na nakakatulong sa pagtagal nila sa poder ang kanilang inaapura?

 

Ano ang silbi ng demokrasya kung mismong mga namumuno ay pasimuno sa pag-abuso ng mga karapatan ng mga mamamayan?

 

 

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.

The Agony of Mother Nature

The Agony of Mother Nature

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Her womb brought forth life of many sorts

On top of the list is man – wise, clever, shrewd

A creature so sharp, with ego that knows no bound

He, whose selfishness, lifted him up from the ground.

 

At the start, his simple desire brought him food

Also, skins and leaves to cover his bare fragile frame

Then, his carnal yearnings brought him abundant broods

Who later inhabited vast lands – plains, valleys and woods.

 

Man’s desire has no end, never satisfied, not a bit

He not only breached, what to others are sacred realms

Unmindful and blind to whatever will be the consequence –

He even dares to break Mother Nature’s idyllic, blissful silence.

 

Greed drove man to scalp mountains of their trapping –

Verdant and lush forests he fell by indiscriminate burning

Reverberating scream of his chainsaw fill nooks and crevices

That drowns panicky calls of birds and their desperate screeches.

 

Immaculate white and sandy beaches strewn with shells

Though, still practically fringing undiscovered islands and coves

They may no longer be what they are now, as found by those lucky

For their days are numbered just like the rest, now drowned in misery.

 

Islands pockmarked with diggings for much-coveted minerals

Pitifully belch residues to rivers, lakes, coves even gurgling springs

While man grins his widest for the cash, illicitly and cruelly-gained

Mother Nature just cringes in agony, abused, that for long she’ll pain.

 

The air that man breaths for whiffs of comfort, relief and dear life –

Now has become a mist of poison, the scourge of his irresponsibility

For bringing forth metallic contraptions belching toxin just everywhere

And even break auditory succor, shaking the world with so much clatter.

 

With Mother Nature in agony –

man is left…alone,

to determine his destiny!

Panahon na Kaya Upang Buwagin ang Commission on Human Rights?

Panahon na Kaya Upang Buwagin ang

Commission on Human Rights?

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Personally, wala pa akong nalamang may ginawang kapaki-pakinabang ang Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Ang napansin ko pa, kung may isyung matunog, saka ito pumapapel upang makisalo sa interes ng madla…yon bang gigitna din sa eksena upang masapol ng limelight at mga camera.

 

Nabahaw na lang ang isyu sa masaker ng 44 na miyembro ng SAF sa Mamasapano, Maguindanao, ay hindi man lang naringgan ng pahayag ang Komisyon na ito. Dahil kaya nananantiya at tila maraming masasagasaan lalo na ang Presidente? Kahit pa sinabing may mga kakasuhan daw na kung ilan ang  DOJ – mga sundalo at mga rebelde, subali’t, ano naman ang ginawa ng CHR?

 

Nabaon  na lang din sa kalimot ang Maguindanao Massacre ay wala ring narinig na maski paswit o matinis na sipol man lamang mula sa Komisyon na ito. Ang mga Ampatuan ay tila maaambunan ng grasya, kaya ang iba ay nakapag-piyansa na, at napapansin na rin ang kaluwagan sa kanila. Ano pa ang aasahan ng mga mahal sa buhay ng mga biktima kung ganito rin lang ang mangyayari? Wala bang “human rights” ang mga biktima at mga naghihinagpis na mahal nila sa buhay?

 

Ang mga iskwater na inilipat sa mga relocation sites na wala naman palang mga pasilidad na kailangan upang mabuhay ng maayos ay lalo pang naghirap, kaya ang iba ay nagsibalikan sa lunsod kung saan ay may mapupulot na basura upang ibenta…at upang may maipambili ng pagkain. Hindi ba “human rights” ang mabuhay kahit sa paraang isang kahig isang tuka? Hanggang tungkol lang ba sa mga bagay na may kinalaman sa pagpatay ang pakikialaman ng Komisyon na ito?

 

Ang mga Badjao at mga nagra-rugby na mga kabataang nagkalat sa kalye at bangketa, bakit hindi pakialaman ng CHR, ganoong nakita namang inutil din pala ang Department of Social Welfare pagdating sa bagay na ito? Hindi pakikialam kung sumawsaw ang Commission on Human Rights sa mga gawaing para sa mga tinukoy na mga taong dapat tulungan, kundi isang “pakikipagtulungan” sa mga ahensiyang dapat ay may direktang responsibilidad tulad ng Department of Social Welfare at mga local government units. Bakit hindi inspeksiyunin ng Komisyon na ito ang mga rehabilitation facilities ng mga local government units para sa mga kabataan? Baka ang iba ay wala pa ngang maayos na pansamantalang tirahan ng mga kabataan, kaya ang  “social welfare office” ng ibang local government units ay hanggang referral lang, kahit may malaking budget naman!

 

Ang mga biktima ng mga illegal na recruiters, bakit hindi asikasuhin ng CHR, lalo pa at hindi pa sila miyembro ng OWWA? Ang mga nabibiktimang OFW sa ibang bansa, bakit ayaw pakialaman ng CHR sa tulong ng kanilang international counterpart? Akala ko ba, bawa’t bansa ay may Commission on Human Rights. Bakit hindi sila naririnig tuwing may dumadaing na mga Pilipinong OFW na pinagmalupitan ng mga amo nila sa ibang bansa? Ang mga hindi makauwi dahil tumakas lang sa pagmamalupit ng mga amo kaya nagbebenta ng laman upang makaipon ng pamasahe…bakit hindi tulungan ng CHR?

 

Pagdating ng panahon, siguradong mababanggit  sa mga pahina ng kasaysayan ng bansang Pilipinas, na minsan ay may pangulong nagtalaga ng mga tao sa Commission on Human Rights, sa ilalim ng kanyang administrasyon, pero wala palang nagawa…

Ang Lumpiang Sariwa ni Flor Enriquez-Francia sa Quiapo

Ang Lumpiang Sariwa ni Flor Enriques-Francia

Sa Quaipo

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Mahigit apatnapung taon nang kilala ang lumpiang sariwa na binebenta ni Flor Enriquez-Francia sa labas ng simbahan ng Quiapo. Subalit ngayon ang nagpatuloy sa pagtinda ay ang kaniyang pamangkin na si Nathaniel. At, kung dati ay sa bilao lang nakalatag ang mga lumpia, ngayon ay nasa kariton na at naka-styro at may balot pang plastic sheet upang masigurong hindi naaalikabukan o madapuan ng langaw.

 

Una kong natikman ang lumpia noong taong 2002 nang umusyuso ako sa selebrasyon ng kapistahan ng Black Nazarene. Si Flor naman ay nakapuwesto sa hindi kalayuang Avenida dahil ipinagbawal muna ang mga sidewalk vendor sa Plaza Miranda. Sa pag-uusap namin, binanggit niyang basta walang okasyon sa labas ng simbahan ng Quiapo, sa Plaza Miranda siya nagtitinda, kaya nang bumalik ako sa Quiapo makaraan ang ilang linggo ay nakita ko nga siya doon at halos hindi magkandaugaga sa pag-asikaso sa kanyang mga suki. Matagal bago ako nakasingit upang bumili ng dalawang pirasong inilagay niya sa maliit na supot na plastic at nilagyan ng sarsa. Mahirap kainin ang lumpia kung nakatayo at hindi nakalagay sa platito o pinggan. Kailangang hawakan ang supot na parang saging at ang ilabas lang ay ang dulo ng lumpia. Pero kapag sanay na ay madali nang gawin ito.

 

Nang dumagsa ang iba pang vendor sa labas ng Quiapo church ay hindi ko na nakita si Flor. Inisip ko na lang na baka umuwi na sa probinsiya o baka nagsawa na sa pagtinda ng lumpia. Subalit nang minsang namili ako sa Villalobos St. ay may nasalubong akong lalaking nagtutulak ng maliit na cart at ang laman ay mga lumpiang naka-styro.  Hindi ko siya pinansin dahil inisip kong katulad lang din siya ng ibang naglalako ng pagkain sa lugar na yon.

 

Sa pagpasok ng huling linggo nitong Disyembre, bumalik ako sa Quiapo kasama ang mga kaibigang balikbayan upang bumili ng mga panalubong nila pagbalik sa America at Canada. Nakita ko uli ang lalaking nagtutulak ng cart na may mga sariwang lumpia. Nagtanong na ako kung inabot niya ang “original” na nagtitinda ng lumpia sa Quiapo. Ikinagulat ko ang kanyang sagot dahil tiyahin pala niya ang tinutukoy kong tindera, at idinagdag pa niya na ang buong pangalan ay Flor Enriquez-Francia. Nasa bahay na lang daw ito at doon niya inihahanda ang mga lumpia na kinakariton naman ni Nathaniel.

 

Halos isang taon din pala bago naitinda uli ang lumpiang gawa ni Flor at ito ay pinangatawanan na ni Nathaniel na umaming maski anong mangyari sa kanyang tiyahin, ay walang problema dahil naituro na sa kanya ang sekreto sa pagtimpla lalo na ng sarsa. Nakakadalawang hakot ng mga lumpia si Nathaniel hanggang dapit-hapon kaya malaking bagay daw para sa kanilang magtiyahin ang kinikita niya lalo pa at nagkaka-edad na rin ito kaya marami na ring pangangailangan.

 

Ang ginawa ni Flor ay isang halimbawa ng pagbuhos ng katapatan sa anumang bagay na ginagawa – walang panloloko, kaya lumpia man, na sa paningin ng iba ay napaka-simple, kung hindi naman masarap ay madaling makakalimutan. Ganyan dapat ang ugali ng tao… bukal sa kalooban ang anumang ginagawa maliit man ito o malaki, pansarili man o nakaka-apekta ng kapwa.Fresh Lumpia quiapoFresh lumpia quiapo 2

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?

Though how Progressive a Country is, there will always be Poverty because of Corruption

Though how Progressive a Country is, there will always be

Poverty because of Corruption

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Perfection should be ruled out in the reckoning of a progressive country, because there will always be poverty due to corruption somewhere in the system of governance. In other words, the glitter of progress cannot hide poverty. For ultra-progressive countries, the signs may be insignificant as they try to blend with the glamour of urbanity. But in other countries, especially, the third-world, the signs are very prevalent, so that there is always a massive effort to cover them up occasionally, literally, as it is done every time there are special occasions such as visits of foreign dignitaries. This practice is successful in the Philippines.

 

Practically, poverty is the shadow of progress, and literally, too, as where there are looming high-rise buildings that are pockmarks of progress, not far from them are slums or homeless citizens who huddle together under bridges and nooks. These are misguided citizens who flock to the cities after selling their homestead, that have been farmed for several generations, to deceitful land developers, at a measly price. These are the urban squatters willing to be relocated but found out that the promised “paradise” do not even have a deep well so they go back to their sidewalk “homes”. These are contractual workers who have no job securities as they earn only for five to six months, after which they leave their fate to luck while looking for another job.

 

How does corruption ever be involved in the sad fate of the exploited? Simply, by the government’s negligence  in providing decent relocation sites with job opportunities and basic facilities to those uprooted from their city abodes for more than so many years; by its cuddling of the spurious contractualization perpetrated by greedy employers; by its failure to guide and protect the rights of farmers who sell their rice fields to subdivision developers at measly prices that are not even enough to sustain them for six months; by its failure to provide the citizens with the basic necessities as funds are allowed to be pocketed by corrupt officials; and practically by looking the other way despite the availability of laws against vote buying.

 

Third- world country leaders should stop using the word “progressive”, but instead they should use “surviving” to describe their respective economy. If a country’s economy cannot sustain, much less, provide a “comfortable life” to majority of its citizens, then it is still “ailing”…hence, expect poverty to be trailing behind, just a few steps away from the pretentious allegations!

 

 

 

Pag-ipunan ang mga Pangangailangan…huwag umasa sa pangungutang

Pag-ipunan ang mga Pangangailangan

…huwag umasa sa pangungutang

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Pera ang isa sa mga dahilan ng pagkasira ng samahan ng magkakaibigan at magkakapamilya. Sa diretsahang salita, ito ay dahil sa pangungutang ng mga oportunista na umaasang hindi sila sisingilin, kaya kung siningil naman ay sasama ang loob nila. Dapat baguhin na ang ganitong ugali – ang umasa sa ibang nakakaluwag. Kung may mga tao mang nakakaluwag sa buhay, ito ay dahil ngsikap sila para sa kanilang mga pangangailangan. At, hindi dahil “nakakaluwag” na sila sa buhay ay milyonaryo na sila. Ang kaluwagan ay nangangahulugang mayroon silang naitatabi upang madukot sa panahon ng kanilang pangangailangan. Tinatapatan naman ito ng mga mga oportunista ng linyang, “ipagamit mo muna sa akin yan….hindi mo pa naman kailangan”, subalit wala naman palang balak magbayad, o magbayad man ay masama ang loob at may panunumbat pa.

Dapat matutong mag-ipon para sa ibang pangangailangan. Ang piso ay dumadami kung ito ay dadagdagan, kaya huwag  itong hayaang nag-iisang piso lang. May iba kasi diyan na kapag mababa sa isandaang piso ang hawak, ang tingin nila dito ay hindi na pera, kaya kung waldasin ay ganoon na lang. Nariyang ibigay na lang sa mga anak upang gastusin sa internet games, o di kaya ay hayaang nakakalat lang sa loob ng bahay. Sa isang bahay na pinasyalan ko, ang mga barya, pati beyntehin at limampu ay nakapatong lang sa isang ibabaw ng mesa sa sala. Subalit bistado ko rin ang may-ari ng bahay na walang patlang ang pangungutang sa Bombay.

Ibatay sa uri ng pinagkikitaan ang paraan ng pag-ipon. Kung arawan ang kita tulad ng pagtitinda, dapat, araw-araw din kung magtabi ng ipon. Kung suwelduhan naman na 15/30, dapat tuwing suweldo naman magtabi ng extra. Dapat hindi galawin ng kumikita araw-araw ang kanilang puhunan upang hindi mapilitang makapangutang. Ang iba kasi na may ganitong pinagkikitaan, ang tingin sa kinita sa buong araw ay talagang “kinita” lang…hindi nila naisip na kasama dito ang puhunan at tubo, kaya ang dapat galawin ay ang tubo lang.  Ang mga suwelduhan naman, kapag natanggap na ang sahod, ang papasok naman sa isip ay may susunod pang suweldo, kaya okey lang na waldasin ang katatanggap lang na sahod.

Hindi na natuto ang iba sa kasabihang “kung maiksi ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot”. Kahit ang badyet halimbawa ay kapos, ayaw nilang magtipid. Kung ano ang gastusin nila sa panahong nakakaluwag sila sa pera, ganoon pa rin ang ginagawa nila kahit kinakapos sila kaya dinadagdagan nila ng perang inutang ang kakulangan. Sa panahon namang may pagkakataong makaipon sila, todo pa rin ang gastos hanggang maubos ang pera. Kaya lumalabas na talagang walang limitasyon ang gastos nila hangga’t mayroon silang hawak na pera. Walang pagkakaiba sa kanila kung ang hawak nila halimbawa ay sampung libo o isandaan libo, dahil parehong ubos pa rin. Ang lalong nagpasama sa inaasal ng mga taong iresponsable kaya walang naiipon ay ang ugali nilang pandadamay ng ibang tao. Nag-aalala ang mga talagang walang maipahiram na pera. Ang iba namang ayaw magpautang ay gusto lang turuan ng leksiyon ang mga walang konsiyensiyang oportunista na kaibigan o kamag-anak.

Dapat alam na ng mga madalas umutang kung ano ang kanilang mga pangangailangan at kung kaylan dumarating ito, upang mapaglaanan nila ito ng karampatang ipon. Hindi maaaring idahilan ang maliit na sweldo o kinikita, dahil ang mga gastos ay dapat ibatay sa mga ito. Halimbawa, kung hindi kaya ng sweldo ang bayad sa tuition ng anak sa private school, bakit hindi ito ipasok sa public school? Kung kaya namang ihatid at sunduin sa eskwela, bakit iuupa pa ng school bus o tricycle? Kung ang kayang ulam sa araw-araw ay isda at gulay, bakit hindi gumawa ng paraan upang lalo pang makatipid sa halip na umasam pa ng karneng baboy, baka o manok? Wala namang namatay sa hindi pagkain ng karne. Maari rin namang kumain ng karne isang beses sa loob ng isang linggo.  Ang matindi ay ang pagsanay ng mga magulang sa mga anak sa pagkain ng hotdog, hamburger at kung anu-ano pang hindi naman masustansiya, at dinadagdagan pa ng mga chicherya na pang-meryenda. Kaya tuloy may ibang bata na ayaw kumain ng kangkong o talbos ng kamote o sitaw, o galunggong man lang. Sino ang may kasalanan ngayon? May iba pang magulang na nagmamalaki sa pagkuwento na ang anak nila ay hindi kumakain ng gulay at kunwari ay may pahimutok pang sinasabi na, “ewan ko ba”, ganoong alam naman ng iba na kung hindi sila mangutang ay wala silang maisasaing na bigas. Yan ang kaplastikan at kaartehan ng iba!

Ang diskarte ng isa kong kaibigan, si Liza, ay ang pagkaroon ng “food bank” sa kusina. Pagkatapos niyang bayaran ang mga buwanang obligasyon tulad ng kuryente, tubig, at ipa ba, ang natirang pera ay binibili niya ng mga sangkap para sa mga pagkaing karaniwang inihahanda sa party, tulad ng pansit at spaghetti, kaya nakakaipon siya ng mga de-lata, pasta, behon, miki, olive oil, tomato sauce at iba pa. Ginagamit niya ang mga ito sa paghanda kung magbertdey ang mga anak, pasko at bagong taon. Basta may sale, at may ekstra siyang panggastos, bumibili din siya ng mga pangregalo sa pasko. Dahil sa diskarte niya, hindi siya natataranta at lalong hindi nakapangungutang pagdating ng pangangailangan niya.

Ngayong papalapit na ang pasko, hindi na magkandaugaga ang iba sa pag-isip kung ano ang ihahanda o idi-display sa mesa, lalo na ang pagkain sa kapaskuhan at bagong taon. Ang hindi nila naisip ay wala silang pera, kundi mangungutang lang sa iba, lalo na sa Bombay! Kung gusto nila ng maluhong pasko at bagong taon, dapat, Enero pa lang ay nag-iipon na sila….ganoon lang kasimple. At, para naman sa iba pang bagay, dapat paglaanan man lang ng baryang  inaalkansiya!

The Deceitful “Growth” of the Philippine Economy

The Deceitful “Growth” of the Philippine Economy

by Apolinario Villalobos

When President Pnoy Aquino made reports about the “phenomenal” growth of the Philippine economy under his administration, many shrugged their shoulders, as the latter believe otherwise in view of the very obvious poverty that scars the economic landscape, like a creeping amoeba. Pnoy sincerely believes the “truth” in the result of the surveys, which many times have been proven unrealistic, hence, unbelievable. Development should result to fair and real benefits for the appropriate parties. So, whether the Filipinos are, indeed, benefiting from these foreign investments in the country or not, still remains a big question that Pnoy should answer – truthfully.

The Filipino industry is dead long ago, when the country joined the global commerce that enslaved it to one-sided provisions due to quotas involved, favoring giant industrial nations. The Philippines has become the dumping ground of cheap products, especially, those from China and the United States, and woefully, even garbage from Canada! Not even the agriculture industry is spared, as rice and corn fields gave way to subdivisions and business centers. The forests are exploited by loggers financed by foreigners, and so are the mining areas. Manufacturing in the country has become the exclusive venture of foreign investors with Filipinos slaving it out along the length of the assembly lines, and tied to 5-month contract for a measly wage.

The volume and the gross monetary returns of these investments get reported, but the details of the “real profit” are not, because they are hauled back to the countries of the foreign investors. Meanwhile, the only tangible and direct benefit from contractual employment which is the measly wage, is what’s left to Filipinos!…yet, the President Pnoy has the courage to report that the country under his administration has “moved forward” on his “tuwid na daan” (straight path), and that poverty has been decreased!…and very proudly at that!

Pnoy Aquino should stop warbling about “developments” under his term, so that he will not be overwhelmed with criticisms, as he is just basing his claims on questionable survey results. He should not worry, because presidents who preceded him are equally guilty. Just like him, they forgot that the Philippines, is first and foremost, an agricultural nation, yet, this particular segment of the economy was woefully neglected. Instead of preserving what remained of the dastardly exploited natural resources since the American regime, these are left to be further exploited not only by corrupt government officials but by foreign financiers through their dummies, as well.

Public lands were sold, supposedly for their revenue to be used in upgrading government facilities, such as those in the Armed Forces, but nothing happened of it. So, today, the archipelagic Philippines is a miserable sight in the eyes of other nations due to her Navy’s rusty and outmoded ships; the Army’s doleful and inadequate arms and ammunitions; and, the Air Force’s shabby picture with its rickety aircrafts. There are reports that acquisitions have been made…but similar reports were made many years ago…and, remained as just reports.

By the way, though known to be a dictator, Ferdinand Marcos , at the early part of his first term as president, was honest enough to admit the sorry state of the nation with its deteriorating economy. Nobody among the rest of the presidents, including Quezon, the Commonwealth president had the courage to do it.

The situation today is worsened by the obvious cover-up of what are really happening, a gross act of dishonesty. Meanwhile, the country still wallows in the corrupted government system that benefits only a few.

The Evolution of the Deeply-rooted Elitist Political and Economic Dominion that Controls the Philippines

The Evolution of the Deeply-rooted Elitist

Political and Economic Dominion that Controls the Philippines

By Apolinario Villalobos

When the Americans took over the reins of authority over the Philippines from the Spaniards, they saw the convenience in using the existing peasant-tenant relationship. This approach was used by Jacob Schurman who was appointed by the then, President McKinley, to head the Schurman Commission which subtly used the Filipino elite in laying down the groundwork for an effective control of the population in 1899.

In Negros, however, the job of the Americans was made easier by the local elite and landlords who did not wait to be prodded. They took the initiative of organizing a provisional government with the obvious objective of protecting their vast holdings and interests. Among them were Juan Araneta, Jose Luzuriaga, Leandro Locsin, Demetrio Larena, ang Agustin Montilla. They took the effort of contacting the Americans who were busy in their subjugation operations in Luzon and Visayas regions. Finally, on February 1899, representatives of the elite Negrenses succeeded in touching base with the military government under Gen. E. Otis, who eventually, created the Visayan Military district with Gen. James F. Smith at the helm, as the island’s Governor.

As pockets of the Aguinaldo-led resistance movement under the Malolos Revolutionary government were still present in Negros, open hostilities eventually ensued between them and the American-supported Negros elite and landlords, with the latter eventually prevailing.

The same pattern of partnership or collaboration between the elite/landowners and the Americans was also employed in Luzon with Baliuag (Bulacan) as the starting point. The successful takeover of towns by Americans, finally led to the capture of Aguinaldo in 1901, in Isabela. Unfortunately, the effort of the Americans using the mentioned strategy did not succeed in Mindanao. Meanwhile, the organizational plan for the subjugated towns was prepared by a Committee headed by the American-appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Cayetano Arellano.

For the central government’s Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, the American-controlled Philippine Commission, appointed prominent personalities, still from the elite stratum of the population. Very prominent was the Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano, a law professor of the University of Santo Tomas, practicing lawyer and with strong inclination and conviction about the belief in the “sovereignty of the United States over the Philippines.” Other renowned members of the elite society who took political center stage were: Manuel L. Quezon, Manuel  Roxas, Gregorio Araneta, Benito Legarda, Osmeῆa, Jose Laurel, Jose Abad Santos, Elpidio Quirino, Benigno Aquino Sr., Claro M. Recto, Camilo Osias, Emilio Tirona, Juan Sumulong, Pedro Gil, and Ruperto Montinola, among many others.

The Americans were wise in using the elite for their orchestrated control of the Luzon and Visayas regions, and parts of Mindanao. The said group had the fear of losing their privileges and security of their interests, in view of the growing clamor of the masses for the redistribution of land since the later part of the Spanish regime, and they saw an opportunity in cooperating with the Americans in exchange for such objective. They also had an historical distrust of the masses, whom they viewed with disgust, being uneducated and whom they alleged to be dwelling on dubious moral values. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera and Cayetano Arellano were specially, vocal about these views.

The hideous strategy of the Americans with the strong cooperation of the elite not only widened the gap between the peasants and the landlords in the Visayas and Luzon regions. The landlords became richer as they broadened the extent of their haciendas while the peasants became more impoverished as they suffered the same fate under the Spanish landlords that included the friars.

Meanwhile, the control of the three branches of the central government by the elite families, resulted to the “blooming” of political dynasties. The already securely- entrenched political families were joined later on by their financially- struggling allies who became rich when they also, entered the political arena.

Today, the economic and political dominion that controls the country is distributed among the historic political families and landlords, native and mestizo business tycoons who have tract records in supporting the political dynasties that move heaven and earth to perpetuate their hold on political reins of the country, and the new breed of rags-to-riches political “geniuses”. It is an inhuman conspiracy that not even hell can equal!