Ang Dalawang Uri ng Problema

Ang Dalawang Uri ng Problema

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Problema ng iba’y kung anong ihahalo

Sa isang kilong karne

Samantalang ang iba…hapon na subalit

Hindi man lang nakainom ng kape.

 

Problema ng iba’y kung saan kakain

Sa Jollibee ba o MacDo

Samantalang ang iba…hanggang tanghod

ang magagawa’t laway ay tumutulo.

 

Problema ng iba’y ‘di bago ang celfon

Nahihiya sa mga kaibigan

Samantalang ang iba…isang pares na tsinelas

Ay naituturing nang isang karangyaan.

 

Problema ng iba’y saan magbabakasyon

Sa Hongkong ba o Amerika

Samantalang ang iba…malaking problema na

Ang baon at pamasahe patungo sa opisina.

 

Problema ng iba’y luma na raw ang kotse

Dapat palitan, at nakakahiya

Samantalang ang iba…wala man lang sapatos

Na magagamit sa pagpasok sa eskwela.

 

Problema ng iba’y wala daw laptop o tablet

Kailangan daw sa school nila

Nguni’t ang iba …ballpen man lang at papel

Pati notebook ay punit, ni textbook ay wala.

 

Bakit hindi muna tumingin ang iba sa paligid –

Silang nagsasabing kapos daw sa pera?

Bulag ba sila o manhid…walang pakiramdam?

O talagang sagad sa buto ang pagkaganid nila!

Plans, Promises, and Pleadings of Candidates During Philippine Electoral Campaigns

Plans, Promises, and Pleadings of

Candidates During Philippine Electoral Campaigns

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The electoral campaigns in the Philippines are treated by Filipinos as both spectacle and financial opportunity. Candidates assume different convincing facial expressions as they blurt out plans and promises if they are voted to the position and these are spiced up with pleadings that are made colorful with courteous vernacular words such as, “po”, “ho”, “opo”, “oho”, “natin”. Audiences are entertained by singers and dancers from the showbiz industry. Virtually, during electoral campaigns, corrupt personalities become saintly, and worse, demean themselves by being funny as they take the risk of being ridiculed – all in the name of the dirty Philippine politics. As a financial opportunity, well….vote-buying is done in the open, no question about that.

 

Mar Roxas plans to transfer the Manila International Airport to Clark Airbase. He must be dizzy when he mentioned this during an interview. He forgot about the terribly unpredictable traffic along the South Luzon Expressway going through which would take at least three hours before a motorist from Metro Manila could make it to the first Bulacan town. The reality is, if one would come from the Metro Manila area, he or she has to muster, yet, any of the hellish traffic along EDSA, Pasay, Roxas Boulevard, Commonwealth and Rizal Avenue. Passengers are used to reaching the airport today from their residence within the city or the suburbs such as Cavite, Laguna, Novaliches, and Antipolo in just about two or three hours depending on the unpredictable traffic. With the transfer of the airport to Clark, they must allow at least six hours, inclusive of the two hours leeway for the check-in before the published departure time. Worst is if the passenger will have to commute by bus to Clark. To be safe, a passenger will have to spend for an overnight somewhere around Clark Air Base if he or she is taking a flight the following day. Even if the government will offer free shuttle service, the same hellish traffic  will be dealt with along the way.

 

Roxas keeps on promising the continuance of the programs of the administration to which he is so much attached as if with strong sentimentality. What is there to continue, anyway?…the obvious inept and insensitive attitude?…and still, another big question is, has there been anything accomplished that benefits at least the majority of the impoverished? If he is talking about the cash being doled out, such program is still being questioned, as in some areas it is allegedly tainted with graft.  If he is talking about the “progress” based on statistics, this too, is being viewed as dubiously self-serving. He should also, not forget that the administration still has to answer many questions as regards the fate of donations for the typhoon Yolanda victims, aside from so many other issues with the hottest, as the Mamasapano massacre and the purported well-concealed pork barrel in the just-approved budget. It would do him good at least, if he scraps out the “tuwid na daan” from his campaign statements and just promise what he can do. He should make people believe in his capability, not in his association with Aquino whose reputation is debatable. As for being not corrupt, he could claim that.

 

Duterte is promising to eradicate criminality and corruption in six months or he would resign. Unless heads will roll at least within the first two months upon his assumption if elected, he better be prepared with a resignation statement. How can he control the undisciplined and financially-pampered Congress? For a town, city, or province, this may be possible, but not for a nation whose law-making bodies got calloused with corruption.

 

Binay on the other hand, keeps on saying that he is not corrupt. He must be imagining that the Filipinos are idiot! It is suggested that the word “corrupt” be not ever mentioned in any of his campaign ads, or uttered by him. He should, instead, promise hospitals and terminal buildings to be built during his incumbency…and find out if his listeners will boo him just like what he experienced in Cebu.

 

Candidates for the 2016 election know that plans and promises during the past electoral campaigns were made to be broken, so they will do it, too. They should not be meddling in politics if they are not honestly aware of this fact. Those that will come after them will again make promises, propose plans, and plead, as expected. During the electoral campaign that will follow, it will be done again….still, again and again…..a vicious cycle of the dirty Philippine politics!

 

 

The Monstrous Problem of Manila’s Metro Rail Transit (MRT)

The Monstrous Problem of Manila’s Metro Rail Transit (MRT)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The seemingly regular occurrence of crack, though, hairline in some portions of the MRT should have given a clear signal to the management that there is something wrong with the quality of the steel rails. Several years ago, China was prominently put in the limelight when inferior steel bars from the mainland that were supposed to be delivered to the provinces were intercepted. The locals dubbed them as fake steel which was not true, although, just of low-grade quality – inferior. Accordingly, they were sent back, but many are alleging that some are still stashed away in warehouses and being sold liberally. Steel is graded according to its quality that would suit its purpose, as well as, ability to withstand stress, and the grade must be compatible with the kind of welding rod to be used.

 

There is a question now, as to whether quality control has been observed in checking  the delivered steel bars of MRT or not, knowing how the tolerant culture of Filipinos is oftentimes observed in many projects, that has got to do with the “ pwede na” or “sige na lang” attitude.  In fact, when the new trains have been delivered, another problem came out, that of compatibility with the towing capability of the engine. The questionable quality of the steel rails has compounded the poorly-maintained elevators, escalators, and toilet facilities…making the MRT one of the monster problems of the Aquino administrations due to lackadaisical attitude of his supposedly trusted people.

 

Many are wondering why the Light Rail Transit which was built during the Marcos administration seldom encounters frequent problem on the cracked rails. Has it got to do with corruption? There is a general impression today, that corruption during the time of Marcos was stringently “controlled”, unlike the presence of such repugnant practice in practically, all levels of transaction today.

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!

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!

 

 

 

Ang Pagbatikos

Ang Pagbatikos
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang pagbatikos ay hindi nangangahulugang galit ang nambabatikos sa kanyang binabatikos, kung malinis ang kanyang hangarin o layunin. Ang hindi maganda ay ang pagbatikos na ang dahilan ay mababaw lamang at pansarili tulad ng inggit. Ang malinis na layunin ng pagbatikos ay ang pagpamukha sa taong binabatikos tungkol sa kanyang pagkakamali na maaaring hindi niya alam.

Madalas mangyari ang pagbatikos sa larangan ng pulitika tulad ng nangyayari sa mga Binay. Sa kabila ng lampas-taong batikos na natatanggap ngayon ng pamilyang ito, pinipilit pa rin nila na sila ay pinupulitika lamang. In fairness na lang sa kanila, siguro naman, ayon sa standard of morality ng kanilang pamilya ay wala talaga silang ginawang masama. Naalala ko tuloy ang isa kong kaibigan na sinabihan kong may bahid ng lipstick ang kanyang pisngi. Sinagot niya ako ng, “ah, yan ba? biniro lang ako sa opisina”, pero umaalingasaw din siya ng pabangong pambabae na dumikit sa kanyang damit. Kahit halata namang dumaan siya sa bahay ng kanyang kerida na alam ng mga kaibigan niyang ibinabahay niya, todo palusot pa rin siya.

Binabatikos din si Pangulong Pinoy na dahil sa hindi malamang kadahilanan ay bihirang sumagot at kung mangyari man ay idinadaan na lang sa paulit-ulit na pagsabi ng mga pangako niya noong panahon ng kampanyahan na sumentro sa “matuwid na daan” at pagmamalaki ng mga report tungkol sa pag-asenso daw ng bansa na hindi naman pinaniniwalaan . Yon nga lang sinasabayan naman niya ng pagbatikos sa isang babaeng pasyente na may brace sa leeg, na dahilan daw kung bakit naghihirap ngayon ang Pilipinas. Dahil sa ginawa ni Pnoy, biglang nalusaw ang good breeding, na inakala ng mga taong meron siya. Teacher din pala niya ito noong siya ay nag-aaral pa sa Ateneo kaya lalong hindi maganda ang ginagawa niya…batikusin ba naman ang mahal niyang teacher! Dapat ay magpasalamat siya dahil very obvious na may natutunan siya sa kanyang teacher….nakikita naman ng mga tao kung ano ang mga ito.

Sa isyu kay Purisima, ang gusto lamang siguro ni Pnoy ay tumanaw ng utang na loob dito dahil iniligtas daw siya nito mula sa bingit ng kamatayan . Ang pag-apura naman sa pagpasa ng BBL na ngayon ay BL na lang ay dahil siguro sa tangka sanang pagtulong ni Iqbal sa kanyang ama kung hindi ito pinaslang sa NAIA. Ang ganitong pagtanaw ng loob din siguro ang gusto niyang ipakita sa mga taong sinasandalan niya tulad ng mga tagapagsalita niya, lalo na si Abad na itinuturing niyang matalino sa “paghawak” ng budget….marami pa sila sa kanyang gabinete. Siguro para sa presidente, hindi masama ang tumanaw ng utang na loob sa mga best friends. Kaya dahil best friend siya ng mga ito, sinasalag na lang niya ang mga kaliwa’t kanang batikos ng mga tao na gustong pumalit sa kanya. Isa siyang maituturing na best friend na martir na handang sumalag ng mga batikos!…siya ay maituturing na isang rare na species ng tao.

Ang mga mambabatas naman, binabatikos dahil marami daw sa kanila ay mukhang pera, mga korap, mga magnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan, nagbebenta ng budget sa mga taong ang negosyo ay pekeng NGO. Subalit may napatunayan ba? …yan ang tanong nila! Dahil sa fair kuno na justice system, sila ay “innocent until proven guilty”, kaya lahat sila ay matamis pa rin ang ngiti kung humarap sa tao. Meron ngang gusto pa ring tumakbo sa susunod na eleksiyon kahit nasa kulungan na siya. Masama nga namang batikusin ang halos himatayin na sa pagsabing inosente sila, kahit nagsusumigaw ang mga ebidensiyang biglang pagkaroon nila ng mala-palasyong bahay, maraming mamahaling sasakyan, malalawak na lupain, nagkikislapang alahas sa katawan, at maya’t mayang weekend outing sa ibang bansa. Pero ang iba ay wise dahil gumagamit ng mga kaibigang dummy.

May mga nagsabi pang naiinggit lang daw ang mga nambabatikos sa kanila, kasama na diyan ang mga pari dahil hindi nakakagawa ng gusto nila. Dagdag pa nitong mga malilinis kuno, kung gusto daw ng mga nambabatikos, pumasok na rin sila sa pulitika upang madanasan nila kung paanong maipit sa trapik sa pagpunta sa Malakanyang upang maki-tsika sa Pangulo; makipaggitgitan sa elevator sa pagpunta sa opisina ng NGO upang makipag-business talk tungkol sa mga “projects”; makipaghalakhakan sa mga sosyalan after office hours na umaabot hanggang madaling araw kaya nagkakaroon sila ng sore throat; matulog nang nakaupo sa session hall habang ang mga kasamang mambabatas ay nagbibigay ng walang katurya-turyang talumpati; lumamon ng nakakasawang pagkain sa mga 5-star restaurants at hotels; sumakay sa eroplano ng kung ilang beses sa isang linggo dahil ayaw sumakay sa walang class na barko kung umuwi sa kanilang bayan; piliting pangitiin ang mga labi habang ang talukap ng mga mata ay lumalaylay sa sobrang antok, o hindi kaya ay nanlilisik dahil nakipag-away sila sa asawang nahuli nilang may kabit. Ganoon pala kahirap ang maging mambabatas! Kawawa naman pala sila!

Siguro ang maganda ay hayaan na lang dumami ang dumi nila sa kanilang mukha upang lalo pang kumapal at upang lalong hindi nila maramdaman ang kahihiyan dahil sa mga karumaldumal nilang ginagawa!

The Unstable Economic Structure of the Philippines

The Unstable Economic Structure
Of the Philippines
By Apolinario Villalobos

An ideal economic structure is one that assumes the shape of a pyramid, with the broad base stabilized by the productive majority of the population, the midsection consisting of enterprising middle class, and the topmost by the least chunk composed of the rich. The current reality, however, has a different picture. The middle class is slowly diminishing, with significant constituents either joining the majority consisting of the poor or the minority rich. This resulted to the structure’s instability. The whole edifice is dangerously polarized and as the midsection loses its strength, it will not be for long that the topmost chunk will topple. If that happens, the structure is left only with the broad base consisting of the poor. That will what become of our country…a country of poor Filipinos!…thanks to corruption!

The economy of the Philippines is in disarray. One need not be a statistician to perceive this veracity. Prices of commodities that skyrocketed did not go back to their respective former level, but instead continue their ascent; unemployment is on the rise compounded by the number of fresh college and university graduates that steadily balloons every year; and, medium-scale entrepreneurship has waned due to globalization of trade.

One manifestation of the aforementioned phenomena is the exodus of middle-class students from private educational institutions to public schools that have reached their bursting limit. Also, the spending of both the lower and the middle class has greatly lessened due to unemployment. Add to these the dollar remittance of the modern heroes, the overseas Filipino workers, that have likewise diminished as their big bulk of source, the Middle East has long been suffering from internal political unrest.

Overall, the stability of the National Treasury has been affected, leaving the government with no other choice but regularly renew its loans that, as of latest count, already amounted to trillions of pesos. On the other hand, world banks encourage the government to renew loans, by praising the country’s improved credit reliability standing.

While the ordinary Filipinos suffer from the heavy yoke of debt, ever-rising of prices, swelling of poverty, and political instability, the corrupt government officials whose pockets are bulging with ill-gotten wealth and the exploitive rich minority, look on. For how long the ordinary Filipinos can endure the suffering before they finally lose their control, only time can tell.