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 Trail to Malipay (Molino 4, Bacoor City)

The Trail to Malipay

(Molino 4, Bacoor City)

By Apolinario Villalobos

My curiosity about Malipay Elementary School (Main), was kindled by a story about it, as a “small school that could be reached on a long trail that snakes through tall talahib grass”.

August 18, a Tuesday, saw me preparing for my jaunt to Malipay which is a Visayan word for “happy”. I was curious about “Amore”, the terminus of my trip on a multi-cab public transport. That was the information given to me by Mr. Antonio Laurio, Teacher In-Charge of the Malipay Elementary School (Main). I thought Amore was a sitio or barangay. To reach it, I took a multi-cab at the SM City-Bacoor for a 20-minute ride to SM-Molino where I took another multi-cab to Amore which I finally reached after 10 minutes of smooth travel along Daang Hari. There was no traffic as I made the trip at 7:00AM. I found out that Amore was a high-end subdivision, owned by the Villars. The locals use the subdivision as a landmark.

A fifteen minute walk from the highway took me to a junction where a foot trail starts for Malipay. There was a complete transformation of scenery. Behind me was the site of the high-end Amore and the wide road, while before me was the rolling terrain covered with talahib.  The trail really wound through clusters of talahib, as I found out, without a single tree around for even a bit of shade. At 9:00 AM, the heat was harsh and with the uneven corduroy trail, I had to gingerly find secure foothold most of the time. I surmised that the clayish soil must be giving locals hell on rainy days. After about twenty minutes of lonely trek, a motor rider overtook me. I asked the driver if I was taking the right trail to my destination. Aside from giving me a confirmation, he also invited me for a ride which I declined when I saw the almost deflated back tire of his motorbike. He was Jomell Flores whose house was incidentally, right behind the school.

When I reached the school vicinity, I went straight to the house of Mr. Flores who offered me a refreshing drink. After a short respite, I proceeded to the school where I was entertained by Mrs.  Levie Laurio, the school’s Guidance Counselor and wife of Mr. Antonio Laurio  who incidentally left that morning for a very important meeting. Mrs Laurio showed me the seven buildings shaded by moss-covered acacia trees, some of which were planted by her husband during his early days as one of the pioneering teachers. The buildings occupy the northern portion of the almost five thousand square meters campus. Their pink color contrasted well with the green surrounding, with one small area occupied by their “Aero Garden”.

One of the buildings is an unpainted structure intended for the clinic. Another small building has multi-functions – that of reception area, office of the Guidance Counselor, Teacher In-charge, and work area for the teachers. All rooms are observably spick and span with waxed floors. Mrs. Laurio confided that the small area occupied by the school campus and some houses outside the perimeter fence is the only piece of land left with trees. The rest of the sprawling and rolling areas are covered with talahib. From a distance,  the area referred to is like an oasis of relief under the scorching beating of the sun.

The school has no library, but to remedy the situation, books are distributed among the rooms depending on the subject, with some accommodated at the multi-functioning small building which is a clever idea.  There is no stage, not even a low or a small structure that could be used for special outdoor occasions. Just like their drainage system, the construction of which was sponsored by an NGO, it is hoped that another benefactor would donate a stage. During my visit, I also found out that the hand-pump of their deep well broke down again, which perhaps was an indication that it needs a total replacement, not just a repair.

The pupils numbering 231 and who belong to kindergarten up to grade six, live several kilometers away from the school. While trekking is good enough to reach the school during rainless days, it is a different story when the rainy season sets in according to Mr. Alejo Ignacio, one of the teachers. During the wet season, teachers with motorbikes leave their reliable two-wheeled contraption at the guardhouse of Amore, roll up their pants and slip into rubber boots to brave the almost ankle-deep slippery mud and nerve-wracking and almost an hour of hike to school. Meanwhile, I cannot just imagine how the children do it without rubber boots!

The children of Malipay Elementary School showed that, for the less fortunate like them, education really has to be earned the hard way. Their teachers on the other hand, not only share their knowledge with them, but practically go through the same sacrifice. And for such, I believe nobody ever complains, as the name of their school implies that despite their travails, they are trying their best to remain “malipay” or “happy”.

The Malipay elementary schoolchildren need general reference and story books for kindergarten and higher levels, as well as, pencils, ballpens, notebooks, raincoats, and umbrellas. And, in addition to those needs are a stage and brand new deep-well pump, too. This blog is trying to reach out to the viewers with sympathetic heart…