The “Other Side” of Divisoria (Manila, Philippines)

The “Other Side” of Divisoria (Manila, Philippines)

By Apolinario Villalobos


While Divisoria has always been known as the shoppers’ Mecca, especially, during Christmas, there is” another side” of it which I do not want to present as an image of poverty but that of perseverance, patience, and honest endeavor. This is the “other Divisoria” which many people just refuse to see as it might cause them to puke! The accompanying photos show how these honest Filipinos contentedly strive to live in sheer honesty.


The skeptics always say, “it is their fault for going to Manila and suffer deprivation”. These hypocrite skeptics have  TV, radio, and occasionally read newspapers, so they should know that the provinces from where these people who are eking out an honest living on the “other side” of Divisoria, are infested with NPAs, Abu Sayyaf, opportunistic landlords, and loan sharks. For the arrogant, the world is just for those who can afford to live decently. On the other hand, as these skeptics have not endured days of hunger, they may not understand how it is to make a difficult decision to live a hand-to-mouth life in Manila by scavenging in garbage dumps, rather than die of hunger and be in constant fear for dear life in the province.


It is true that the slums have been in existence for many decades now, but there would be no slums had the government ever since the time the nation has become independent, did not get infested with corrupt lawmakers and officials. The slums have been around since the time that deprivation and exploitation have been propagated by learned Filipinos who found their way in the halls of Congress and Senate, as well as, agencies, even at the helm of the government. Unfortunately, the seed of exploitation has grown into an uncontrollable proportion today, making corruption as wrongly and unfairly viewed to be always a part of the Filipino culture.


The striving people from the slums near Divisoria, and other districts of Manila, in this regard, may be viewed by the arrogant as akin to dogs and cats, because of their many children, oftentimes making them utter unsavory remark, such as, “they know they are poor, yet, they keep on having children”.


How I wish these skeptics can also openly, make biting remarks –

  • to the corrupt politicians and government officials, such as, “they graduated from prestigious universities and colleges, yet, they do not know what is right or wrong”


  • to the filthy rich, such as, “they have plenty of money, yet they can’t even throw a piece of bread to a beggar”


  • to the stiff-necked Catholic priests, pastors, and other religious ministers such as, “they are supposed to be representatives of the Lord, but they can’t afford to take a look at the spiritually hungry”


Finally, compared to the disgusting hypocrites, loan sharks, corrupt government officials, arrogant “religious ministers” and conscienceless rich, who are supposed to be learned and intelligent, the people who honestly make a living such as those who belong to the “other side” of Divisoria, are worthy to be called creatures of God – true human beings…slum denizens who are viewed by aforementioned with utter repugnance.


(This blog will definitely, not hurt those who do not belong to the mentioned “classes” of loathsome Filipinos.)



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!



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 Need to Re-examine the historical books about the People whom Spanish Colonizers called “Filipinos”

The Need to Re-examine the Historical Books

About the People whom Spanish Colonizers called “Filipinos”

By Apolinario Villalobos

It is surprising to know that well-known writers were vocal about the supposedly Malaysian ancestry of the Filipinos, a reference which yet, was imposed by the Spanish colonizers. These early writers obviously based their claim on the “Ten Bornean Datus” and the “Code of Kalantiaw”, the veracity of which, have been questioned, since researchers today consider them as “legends”. Pre-Spanish history books made mention about the natives of the islands of Southeast Asian islands, and with whom the early traders such as Indians, Arabs and Chinese had a prosperous commercial intercourse, and in the process intermarried with them. It could be possible that because of trading ventures, those from the Malay Peninsula who have ventured into the Philippine archipelago could have also intermarried with the natives just like the three mentioned groups of traders, but who were never referred to as the ancestors of Filipinos in general . It is unfair then to make a sweeping reference to the Malaysians as the common ancestors of the Filipinos.

The following are some disturbing quotes:

From the poem,”I am a Filipino Boy”, by Amado M. Yuzon, in his book, “The Citizen’s Poems” (1960), the first two line state:

“I am a Filipino boy,

Runs in my veins, Malayan blood;”

From the poem, “Filipinas”, of the same author, from the same book, the second paragraph states:

“I see its face upon your face,

My friend, my sister, my brother;

Your browny skin is its Malayan race,

The Blessed Damosel(?) its mother.

From the book, “Philippine Civics” (1932), used in elementary schools during the American Regime, and authored by Conrado Benitez, p. 16 of Chapter I, the last paragraph states:

“At this point you should recall your Philippine History. How did the first Malay settlers of the Philippines reach these islands? Did they not come in boats called barangays? Yes, these boats or barangays, were loaded with families of Malay immigrants which were related to one another and which constituted a gens(?), or clan, that was under a headman, or chief, or dato. (He must be referring to the legendary “Ten Bornean Datus”).

On page  220, Benitez, emphasized the “Malays” by stating:

“The activities of these early Malays were characterized by cooperation……” (referring to the early Filipinos).

Another emphasis which the same author made was on the title itself of Chapter XIV:

“CHAPTER XIV – How Spain Built Upon our Old Malay Government”

Still, on page 270, Benitez, stated, under a sub-chapter, Bill Of Rights: “Under our old Malayan government, the people had few personal rights.”

Practically, the book of Benitez is replete with reference to the Malaysian ancestry of Filipinos, quoting them all would need several blog pages.  At the time of the book’s publication, he was the Director of Business Administration of the University of the Philippines. His family established the Philippine Women’s University (PWU), located along Taft Avenue. While he was still alive, clamors to re-write history books of the Philippines were loud in view of the questionable ancestry of the Filipinos, based on the controversial “Ten Bornean Datus” and “Code of Kalantiaw”, but he did nothing to republish his own book with necessary rectifications. Researchers who may encounter a copy of the book then, but who has no knowledge on the questionable issue of the Filipino ancestry, will definitely, gobble up the information that Benitez presented.

While the issue on Filipino ancestry has not been settled yet, the Philippine government has added confusion by allowing “authorities” in converting the textbooks into workbooks on other subjects, leaving many students ignorant of what really happened in the past, such as the effort of many national heroes who practically shed blood to gain freedom for the country.

On the issue of Mindanao autonomy, there is no need to cite questionable historic references to give it weight, as we, the people of the Philippines are proud anyway, or our unique Filipino race. There is diversity in religion and culture, just like in any other country, but what cannot be questioned is the harmony that unites us all. And, just like in any other country, the world over, the meddling of politics creates animosities in our country, resulting to the suffering of the Filipinos as a people.

Mineral Resources of the Philippines

Mineral Resources of the Philippines

by Apolinario Villalobos

During the pre-colonial days of the Philippines, only gold was mined by the natives. The precious metal was among the reasons why the archipelago was coveted by colonizers. Different mineral deposits are practically distributed among the islands and islets that compose the archipelago.

Gold can be found in the Mountain Province, Ilocos Norte, Abra, Camarines  Norte, Camarines Sur, and Mindanao; chromite in Zambales, Batangas, Mindoro, Masbate, Palawan, Surigao, Agusan, Davao, Misamis Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, and Mountain Province; copper in Ilocos Norte, Tarlac, Zambales, Batangas, Catanduanes, Antique, Capiz, Negros Occidental, Cebu and Tawi-tawi; iron in Ilocos Norte, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Bulacan, Bataan, Camarines Norte, Marinduque, Surigao,Davao and Palawan; natural asphalt in Leyte. Nonoc island is known for its nickel.

Manganese can be found in  Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Coron Island in the Calamian group, Siquijor, Bohol, Bukidnon, and Leyte; coal in Polilio island, Laguna, Quezon, Mindoro, Capiz, Negros, Cebu, Samar, Davao, Cotabato, and Zamboanga del Sur; oil in Cebu, Cotabato, and Quezon; gypsum in Batangas; sulfur in  Camiguin Island; pyrite in Camarines Sur, Palawan and Surigao; soda feldspar in Cebu, Biiran Island, and Sarangani; phosphate in Pangasinan, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Palawan, Iloilo, Samar and Bohol; quartz sand in Ilocos Norte; magnesite in Davao; granulite and quicksilver in Palawan. Today, the coastline of Ilocos Norte is gashed with non-stop mining of quartz sand by shiploads.

Romblon is known for its world-class marble which can also be mined in the Mountain Province, Guimaras Island, and Bulacan; guano deposit abounds in Pangasinan, Zambales, Camarines Sur, Capiz, Iloilo and Palawan; silica sand can be found in Lubang Island near Palawan, Dinagat island near Surigao, and in Palawan;  limestone abounds in Cagayan, Isabela, Bulacan, Quezon, Samar, Panay island, Cotabato provinces, Cebu, and Palawan.

It is no wonder that “modern colonizers” salivate at the prospect of economically enslaving the Philippines, on account of her abundant mineral deposits which could be considered as “collaterals” for never-ending renewal of debts. This is also the reason why, the Americans immediately demanded the inclusion of the “Parity Rights” in the Philippine Constitution before total self-governance was finally granted.

The West Philippine Sea being disputed with China and other neighboring SEAsian countries, and the Ligwasan Marsh in Cotabato are reputed to be rich in natural gas and deuterium. With the predicted exhaustion of oil deposit in the Middle East, industrialized countries are looking for alternative sources of fuel, and the Philippines is among them.

How can the Filipino, then, not fight for his rights, and protect what are his, such as those that have been mentioned?

The Philippines During the American Regime

The Philippines During the American Regime

By Apolinario Villalobos

With the downfall of the short-lived First Philippine Republic under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the Americans took over to directly rule the archipelago using the governance known as “Insular System”, guided by what were contained in the report of the Schurman Commission in 1899.

Appointments to the public offices were made based on the result of civil service examination taken by aspirants, and not on the basis of family relationship and friendship. Taxes were paid by the “citizens” to the government and in return, they received benefits in many forms. Educational system was initially implemented through the “Thomasites”, the first group of American teachers who were also Protestant evangelists. (Much later, the group was supplanted by the “Peace Corp Volunteers”).

The traditional units of government were maintained, although, their heads were given different references. For the village or barrio, the former “cabeza de barangay” or “teniente del barrio” of the Spanish time, was replaced by the municipal councilor. The “gobernadorcillo” as head of the town was replaced by the “president”. And, on provincial level, the head retained the same title as “provincial governor”.

The Provincial Court was referred to as the Court of First Instance, headed by a Judge, and appointed by the American Governor General. The central or national government was called “Insular Government”, which initially was controlled by a Commission headed by the Governor General. In 1907, however, the Philippine Assembly was created to help the Commission in making laws. It was composed of Filipinos elected by the people. Nine years later, in 1916, the Legislature, composed of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives, was created and empowered with the formulation of laws. The members of the two houses were elected by the people.

The highest court of justice during the Spanish time, the “Audiencia”, became the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands, with Americans as majority of its justices, although, the Head was always a Filipino. All of the justices were appointed by the US President.

Personal rights which had been the focus of the Filipino demands during the Spanish regime, were finally, granted by President McKinley in 1900, and later, officially contained in two Acts of the US Congress. These were the Organic Act of July 1, 1902 and the Autonomous Act or Jones Law of August 29, 1916. The Bill of Rights for the Filipinos enacted by the US Congress was very similar to the principles contained in the Malolos Constitution adopted in 1898, under the First Republic, at the helm of which was Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.

Unfortunately, what has been initially formulated as an ideal Philippine Constitution was stained by the Parity Rights, insisted on by the United States, giving equal rights to the Americans in the exploitation of natural resources and in all other opportunities in the whole country. The insertion was made during the Administration of President Manuel Roxas in 1947.

How the American Parity Rights Provision was inserted in the Philippine Constitution…and who opposed it

How the American Parity Rights

Provision was inserted in the Philippine Constitution

…and who opposed it

By Apolinario Villalobos

The Parity Rights of the Americans was inserted in the Philippine Constitution when Manuel Roxas became the first President of the Philippine Republic in 1946. The said provision gave equal rights to the Americans in the exploitation of the country’s natural resources as well as other business undertakings. In explaining to the Filipinos at Plaza Miranda on March 11, 1947, he said:

“We have today our one big chance to convert our native land into an ideal of democracy. Our one chance is to grow and industrialize to reach the first rank of the nations of the world. We have this chance because of the heroism we displayed in the war, we have this chance because we have demonstrated by deed our love for freedom. We have earned the gratitude of mankind. We can and will show tomorrow that we deserve that gratitude by plunging courageously ahead in the great tasks we face.”

Because of that provision in the Philippine Constitution, the first President of the Republic of the Philippines practically, bound the Filipinos AGAIN to emancipation, this time to Americans.

History teachers never enlightened their students as to who opposed the “emancipation” as only few lines about it were devoted to these “true stalwarts” of Philippine democracy. Among these were Claro M. Recto and Jose P. Laurel who never budged from their commitment to defend the Philippine Constitution. They were joined by Luis Taruc and other elected congressmen who belonged to the Democratic Alliance, whose members were non-collaborators during the WWII, intellectuals and peasants.

The Democratic group posed as hindrance to the passage of the Parity Rights Law which shall alter the Philippine Constitution. With their number, the administration of Roxas feared that the needed three-fourths vote will not be achieved. With the prompting of President Roxas, Congress passed a resolution unseating Taruc and the other members of the Democratic Alliance. The move was based on their alleged electoral frauds and terrorism “committed by Hukbalahaps in Central Luzon which resulted in the election of the six candidates of the Democratic Alliance and one Nacionalista. With them out, the Parity Rights Law was successfully integrated in the Constitution.

The years that followed saw the Filipinos sinking deeper in the muck of poverty, contrary to what Roxas dreamed of prosperity for the whole nation. He was a “dreamy” President whose oratorical promises remained promises until his death.

Today, there is another Roxas who delivers the same kind of promises…although, this time, he “dreams” about the promises of the “tuwid na daan” (straight path) of his mentor, President Pnoy Aquino, son of the former Senator Ninoy Aquino. History, indeed, repeats itself!

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!

Ang Mga Ninuno ng mga Tsino ay Mangangalakal, hindi Mananakop…kaya hindi sila dapat idahilan sa issue ng West Philippine Sea

Ang mga Ninuno ng mga Tsino ay Mangangalakal
Hindi Mananakop…kaya hindi sila dapat idahilan
sa issue ng West Philippine Sea
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Unang-una, hindi dahil ang West Philippines na tinatawag ding “South China Sea” ay may “China”, ay nangangahulugang pagmamay-ari na ito ng mga Tsino. Ang pangalang “South China Sea” ay ginamit bilang reference o batayan ng direksyon ng mga manlalayag noong unang panahon. Wala ni isa mang pahina ng history books ang nagsasabi na sinakop ng Tsina ang karagatang ito. Mangangalakal ang mga Tsino noon kaya kung saan-saan sila nakakarating at ginawang animo ay “highway” ang pinagtatalunang karagatan. Nadatnan ng mga Kastila ang mga Tsino noon bilang tahimik na mga negosyante, subalit may pagkatuso nga lang. Sinona o pinatira sila sa iisang lugar sa kabila ng Pasig at tinawag itong “Parian”. Tinawag din silang “Sangley”, na ang ibig sabihin ay “trader”. Ang Parian ay ang maunlad na ngayong Manila Chinatown, ang kauna-unahang Chinatown sa buong mundo.

Patunay sa kawalan nila ng intensyong manakop ang hindi pagtulong ng emperor ng Tsina noon sa mga Tsino sa Manila, nang mag-aklas ang mga ito laban sa pagmamalabis ng mga Kastila na umabot sa madugong labanan. Ayaw kasi ng emperor nila noon na umalis sila ng Tsina at tumira sa ibang lugar, kaya lumalabas na para silang itinakwil. Nagkaroon pa nga ng tinatatawag na “Bamboo Curtain” noon dahil sa inasal ng Tsina na hindi pakikipagrelasyon ng lubusan sa ibang bansa.

Kaya ang sinasabi ng mga lider ng Tsina ngayon na “nakakahiya” sa kanilang ninuno kung hindi nila ipaglalaban ang “karapatan” nila sa West Philippine Sea ay malabo. Ideya na lang yan ng mga pinuno ng Tsina ngayon dahil nangangailangan sila ng mapaglalagyan ng iba pa nilang mamamayan na umaapaw na sa mainland China, at nangangalap din sila ng pagmumulan ng langis na sinasabing matatagpuan sa West Philippine Sea. Bumabagsak na kasi ang Tsina at nadagdagan pa ng problema nila sa Hongkong dahil gustong kumalas mula sa mainland ang mga Honkongites.

Noong panahon ni Gloria Arroyo, nagkaroon ng joint exploration sa West Philippine Sea ang Tsina at Pilipinas, para sana sa joint exploitation ng matatagpuang langis. Subalit nang makumpirma na mayaman nga sa langis ang ilalim ng karagatan, biglang kumalas ang Tsina sa magandang pakikipagtulungan. Tumahimik sila, at nang bumuwelta ay umiba na ang tono ng kanilang sinasabi, at inungkat pa ang “nine dash” na kaek-ekan nila. Dahil sa “nine dash” na yan, pinalabas nilang “sakop” daw nila ang malaking bahagi ng West Philippine Sea, kaya nag-double time sila sa pag-reclaim ng mga bahura upang maging artificial islands ang mga ito. At, dahil pa rin diyan ay nagkaroon na ng “extension” ang kanilang nasasakop na teritoryo. Ngayon, lumalabas tuloy na talagang legal ang pangangamkam nila! Mga tuso nga…hindi na nagbago!

Mula noong naging aktibo ang Tsina sa pag-reclaim ng mga bahura sa West Philippine Sea, nasira rin ang maganda sanang samahan ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda sa mga kapwa nila mangingisdang Tsino, pati na sa mga nagpapatrulyang Chinese Navy. Nagpapalitan pa sila noon ng pagkain. Ang alam kasi ng lahat noon ay “neutral” ang nasabing karagatan dahil may iba pang mga bansang umaako sa mga bahagi nito, tulad ng Brunei, Malaysia at Vietnam, at wala pang maayos na napapagkasunduan hanggang ngayon.

Ayaw ng Tsina na mamagitan ang United Nations dahil alam nitong kung makialam ang ibang bansa, lalo na ang malalaki, ay matatalo sila. Ang gusto ng Tsina ay bilateral talk lamang sa pagitan nito at ng Pilipinas. Kung mangyayari ito, Pilipinas naman ang matatalo dahil siguradong dodominahen ng makapangyarihang Tsina ang usapan.

Ngayon, ang mayabang na Amerika ay walang magawa kundi mamangha at magbanta. Ang mga bansa namang nakiki-angkin din ng bahagi sa nasabing karagatan ay tahimik lamang dahil walang magawa. Ang isang maliit na hakbang kasi na gagawin ng maliliit na bansang nakiki-angkin ay maaaring gawing dahilan ng Tsina upang lumusob sa kanila. Sa katusuhan ng Tsina, maaari nilang sabihin na ito ay “act of aggression” o di kaya ay “trespassing”, at ang matindi ay baka sabihin nilang nilulusob sila! Hindi malayong mangyari ito, dahil sa kasisinungaling nila, pinapalabas pa nga nila na sila ang inaapi ng Pilipinas dahil nagsampa ito ng reklamo sa United Nations!

Kung sakaling magkaroon ng labanan sa karagatang ito, ang kawawa ay mga bansa ng Timog –kanlurang Asya na ilang daang milya lang ang layo sa mga bahura, kung saan ay mayroon nang base-militar ang Tsina. Malabong asahan ang Amerika na wala naman talagang naitulong sa Pilipinas mula pa noong pinalitan nila ang mga Kastila bilang mananakop. Nagtayo nga sila ng mga eskwelahan, mga tulay at kung anu-ano pa, pero ang kapalit naman ay ang walang pakundangang pakialam sa pamamalakad ng ating gobyerno at pangangahas (exploitation) sa ating likas-yaman (natural resources).

Ang malinaw ngayon, naisahan ng mga Tsino ang wise na mga Amerikano. Ang dahilan kung bakit nagkaroon ng base- militar sa Pilipinas noon ang mga Amerikano ay upang mapangalagaan nila ang kanilang mga interes sa rehiyong ito ng Asya, kaya nga hanggang ngayon ay may base-militar pa rin sila sa Okinawa, Japan. Malas lang nila dahil napatalsik sila noong panahon ni Erap Estrada. Ang ginawang paraan na lang upang maparamdam ang kanilang presensiya sa rehiyon ay ang pagkaroon ng taunang joint military exercises na nakapaloob sa isang tratado na kinukuwestiyon naman ng mga makabayang sector. Ngayon, ang pinakamasakit na black-eye nila ay ang kabiguang maunahan ang mga Tsino sa West Philippine Sea. Akala nila kasi ay hanggang pagnenegosyo at pamemeke lang ang alam ng mga Tsino. Dahil sa mga pangyayari, napatunayang hindi pala ganoon kagaling ang Amerika, na nagbigay ng kahulugan sa kasabihang, “matalino man daw ang matsing ay napaglalangan din!”