Who Takes the Blame for the Emboldened ISIS and Uncontrolled Chinese Expansion towards the West Phil. Sea?

Who Takes the Blame for the Emboldened ISIS

and Uncontrolled Chinese Expansion towards the West Phil. Sea?

By Apolinario Villalobos


When ISIS broke away from Al Q’aida, no nation ever got worried, thinking perhaps, that it is just another struggling terrorist group trying to get noticed by the world, every time it claimed responsibility for certain bombings. Not even the African nations that are located, a stone’s throw away from the lair of this fledgling terror group. Not even when the fledgling group started to conduct kidnapping of foreign correspondents. But when beheadings that they made were posted on facebook and began to invade surrounding villages, the directly-affected nations began to take notice. When cities after cities, and provinces after provinces were overran and European recruits began to trek to the ISIS camps, more nations became apprehensive. When historic and biblical shrines were flattened to the ground the group, and finally, indiscriminate bombings in Paris were made, the whole world took notice….but, too late.


ISIS terrorists practically walked their way into unsuspecting European nations with the so-called evacuees who escaped unrests in their countries. No high-tech device can ever set a low-profile terrorist or a freshly-trained terrorist with no international record yet, apart from an ordinary displaced businessman say, from Turkey, Syria, or wherever within the beleaguered region. All of them practically look alike with their piercing eyes, beards, high aquiline nose, etc.


Pinching attacks were made by an affected nation or two, and there was even a time when the cry for help of Syria was not heeded. But since the attacks were nothing but just pinches, it was not felt by ISIS that has successfully controlled vital cities of Syria. When the uncontrolled mass emigration of Syrians, both civilian and covert terrorists began to cross borders, the whole world got worried, because even the far Southeast Asian nations were asked by the United Nations to accommodate them.


The United Nations made noise when it realized that ISIS is serious in its threats in eroding the global peace. The condemnation of some Islamic nations that do not recognize ISIS as a legitimate jihadist group cannot repair the damage that has been it. Where’s the United Nations organization while all these transpired?


On the West Philippine Sea meanwhile, when only a single atoll was “developed” by China by constructing a military stronghold on its scant topsoil, the Philippines did not mind as it has her own Kalayaan island with huts and a motley number of settlers, as well as, a dirt-topped runway. The presence of Chinese patrol boats did not alarm the Filipino fishermen as the latter were reportedly, swapping foods with the crew. That was about ten or more years ago.


When the Chinese navy crew-Filipino fishermen relationship began to get sour, reports were considered petty so they were not given much attention. Even until the time that the Chinese Navy started acting harshly by driving Filipino fishermen away from Ayungin Shoal, the Philippine government was still not alarmed. Only when bigger Chinese Navy boats began arriving and discreetly reclaimed the Ayungin shoal, did the Philippine government file a protest in the international tribunal of the United Nations, in charge with the law of the sea. America did not lift a finger, because, accordingly, she is on the other side of the world, far from the disputed body of water. It instead, concentrated on the joint-military exercises with the Filipino military. Or, could it be that it was the time when she was in the process of obtaining loans from China?


Of late, however, America seems to be “noisy” as regard the West Philippine issue. Is she really serious, or just displaying a nauseating travesty? Several months back then, while Filipino fishermen were being drenched by the Chinese Navy with water cannons, the president of America is having a grand time meeting with his Chinese counterpart.


In the meantime, what has the United Nations done, since the very start of the controversy? Nothing! It waited until the issue has grown enormously out of proportion in view of the high-tech military facilities that the Chinese have installed on the artificial island that they have boldly built out of an insignificant atoll. Worst, the double-talking Chinese are heaping blames on the Philippines for the transformation of simple bickering on boundary, into an inveterate magnitude today.


The big question now is on the relevance of the United Nations in the face of all the fiascos from Africa to Asia, not to mention, the somewhat contained turmoil in Europe. How can it be called an arbitrational organization of nations when it cannot even prevent tensions among member- nations, much more, control violent eruption of pockets of unrests around the world? Is the United Nations chartered for the expedient and systematic exploitation of the poor member-nations by the powerful ones?

China Did it Again…Passing the Blame to the Philippines and Playing the Downtrodden on the Issue of the West Phil. Sea

China Did it Again…Passing the Blame to the Philippines

and Playing the Downtrodden on the Issue of West Phil. Sea

By Apolinario Villalobos

Here is another disturbing dispatch from Reuter on the latest declaration of China as regards the disputed West Philippine Sea:

“BEIJING/MANILA (Reuters) – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the Philippines’ case against China at an arbitration tribunal over rival claims in the South China Sea had strained relations and that it was up to the Philippines to heal the rift.”( By Sui-Lee Wee and Manuel Mogato)

China is not stopping from presenting an image that oozes with weakness, humility and innocence to illicit sympathy from fence-sitting nations as regards the West Philippine Sea where she has built artificial islands that anytime from now shall be inhabited by thousands of her military personnel, as well as, equipped with military facilities. This is despite her insistence that the reclaimed islands shall be utilized for researches and emergency rescues, although, her covert objective, is first and foremost, expansion of her territory. She is perceived with disdain as a double-talker. Proof to this was when she declared that reclamation in the West Philippine Sea was stopped, but weeks later, the world was gaping at the wonder of the transformation of an atoll into a “high-tech island”, complete with military facilities and runway.

The issue on the West Philippine Sea shall put to test the guts of the United Nation’s International Tribunal charged with the Law of the Sea. Will it go on with the investigations and trials despite the vehement refusal of China to participate as she does not recognize the tribunal’s authority? What will the other co-members of China in the UN Security Council do? Will they join hands and gang-up on her? Will the United Nations order the dismantling of the facilities on the disputed natural and man-made islands, once the tribunal decides in favor of the Philippines?

Practically, the economy of the whole world is in the tight grip of China, as even powerful nations are indebted to her. The Chinese President was recently a guest of Honor in London and accorded very special treatment which their high officials unabashedly admitted to be equated with “economic assistance”. China has also, spearheaded the opening of a bank that competes with the World Bank in offering loans to distressed countries.

The peoples around the globe practically depend on China – from their toothpick, gadgets, food products, equipment, and machineries. Due to the cheap Chinese labor, companies from all over the world, transferred the manufacturing of their goods in China, although, marketing of the products are done in their home countries  In this view, it would seem that once the machines of factories in China will stop, the whole world shall come to a complete stop, too. When the Chinese money declined in value, other moneys in the world followed suit. So, what other manifestations do we need to show that the Chinese, have by their wily manipulation, able to control the world, and that the leaders of the nations that are supposed to be defenders of democracy, are just playing charades to avoid losing face?

Meanwhile, in the “game of the West Philippine Sea”, the pawn is the Philippines…if China will get what she wants, it would be goodbye to the rest of the claims by other SEA nations!

Why Filipino Foods are not Popular Abroad Compared to those of other Asians’

Why Filipino Foods are not Popular Abroad

Compared to those of other Asians’

By Apolinario Villalobos

To put a straight answer to the question….it’s because names of Filipino foods in classy restaurants are “proudly” in Spanish or French, unlike those of other countries with authentic native names. As we know, people of other nations, especially those in the west, prefer the exotic, the native…and not what they already have in their country. So, in their desire to try something exotic, they would go to Korean, Japanese, Indonesian and Thai restaurants for a taste of Asia.

I am expressing this concern after reading an article in a weekend supplement of a broadsheet about a Filipino cook who has gone places, and the write-up is complete with photos of recipes that are his masterpieces – all with French names, though prepared with native ingredients! Filipino cooks who prefer to be called “chefs”, are obviously, so ashamed to name their dishes based on the main ingredient that they use. Perhaps, they should name, for instance, snail cooked in coconut milk, just as “ginataang kuhol”, the fern tops salad as “kinilaw na pako”, the “pinakbet” as just that, as named, coconut pith salad, as “kinilaw na ubod ng niyog”, misua soup as “sopas na misua” instead of “angel’s hair soup”, etc. There is, however, a problem with the “bird’s nest soup” that should be named “sinopas na laway ng ibon”.

There are a few Filipinos based in other countries, and who have ventured into the restaurant business, but most still prefer to hide their Filipino identity by using foreign-sounding names for their establishment, afraid that they will not attract customers, other than fellow Filipinos. Most also prefer to offer Mediterranean dishes introduced by the Spanish colonizers in the Philippines, such as the “arroz Valenciana”, “chorizo”, “estofado”, etc. when these can be prepared the Filipino way and given Filipino names. The hypocritical effort is obviously, an acrid residue of colonial mentality.

It is interesting to note that, in Arab countries, “saluyot” is used as an ingredient in spicy chicken curry, but in our country, only the lowly Filipinos eat the said vegetable, despite the already known fact, that it can prevent diabetes. A classy Chinese restaurant in Manila serves “alugbate” as an appetizer, but again, only mostly Visayans appreciate the said vegetable which is also known as Madagascar spinach or Chinese spinach, and those who cook it, know only of monggo as the appropriate taste enhancer. Still in the Middle East, one way to prepare eggplant is to sauté it in oil and spices until it becomes mushy, which then, is eaten with bread. But in the Philippines, despite the abundance of eggplant, what most Filipinos know as a dish for it is “tortang talong” or an ingredient in “pinakbet”, or an insignificant ingredient in “achara” or pickles, and still for the lowly, “binagoongang talong” or just “inihaw na talong”.

In Thai restaurants, they serve “bagoong rice” with thin slices of green mango and toasted dried krill (alamang) or baby shrimps on the side. Filipinos love it, but local carinderias do not serve them or only very few even attempt to cook it at home, despite the availability of ingredients in wet markets. Still, Filipinos do not mind paying for the pricey Thai coffee, although, it is just an ordinary black coffee mixed with “condensed milk”, that can be prepared at home. And, to top it all, the mentioned offerings are listed in the menu with Thai names!

So far, only the street food vendors are bold enough to give their palatable goodies “exotic” names, such as ‘adidas” for chicken feet, IUD for chicken intestine, “pares” for soupy mixture of shredded beef, cow skin, chili flakes, soy sauce, and toasted garlic – paired with quick-cooked fried rice.

When Fiilipinos have foreign visitors, they are brought to classy restaurants, unless the latter request for something local. Oftentimes, no initiative is taken by most Filipinos to introduce what are ours. A classic attempt, however, was made by a Filipina when she brought her German guest to a mall and went to the Filipino section for candied tamarind. While picking up a pack, the host was proudly talking about the fruit as being abundant in the Philippines. When the guest looked at the label, she saw a “Made in China” printed prominently as the source of the product!….well, at least the proud Filipina tried.

The Entry of Great Britain in the “China Scene” Shows that Everything is Alright with the Dragon Power

The Entry of Great Britain in the “China Scene”

Shows that Everything is Alright with the Dragon Power

By Apolinario Villalobos

President Xi of China was accorded a very warm reception recently when he visited London. The Prime Minister of the host country admitted that such warmth was equivalent to investments that could be equated to thousands of job.

The Security Council of the United Nations is permanently occupied by the world’s four powers – the United States, Russia, Great Britain, China and France. Of the four, only France has not yet shown an obvious affinity to China. However, with what happened in London, will the nation of great chefs, follow suit, by coming up with an alibi to invite China to their romantic country and entice the touted richest country today, to invest, too? But the biggest question is: what will happen to the United Nations, now that the “check and balance” is lost?

Clearly, the lesser nations shall be at the mercy of the four nations’ charades. It will not be long when the four will finally talk among themselves on how to fairly divide the sickly sphere among them. The United States and China have been patting each other’s back indiscreetly, as while the former has been releasing “threats” of incursion in the latter’s artificial boundaries in the West Philippine Sea… China likewise releases “threats” of appropriate actions as needed – all press release. But in the eyes of those in the know, such are just charades. China’s relation with Russia has no problem at all, as there is a silent understanding about the difference in their respective interest – that of Russia in Europe and that of China in Southeast Asia and even the whole of Asia and the Pacific area, thus, her claim of the West Philippine Sea.

Initially, when China released a statement about her reclamation of islets in the West Philippine Sea, only the United States was specially mentioned that can use the facilities to be installed. Later, general statements were made about the use of facilities for maritime rescue, but still no mention about the claimant countries’ involvement. Very obvious is the ultimate objective of China for a one sided compromise, in her favor, of course. China will definitely not allow the dismantling of her installed facilities if the United Nations will decide on the illegality of reclamations. And, in this case, China has found a new and almost equally powerful supporter – Great Britain, a fellow member of the UN Security Council.

Great Britain has been known for condoning piratical activities of her adventurous seafaring people, notorious among them was Drake. Although, the piratical activity was draped with political intents on the issue of maritime boundaries in conflict with Spain, still the selfish and illegally notorious motive was there – piracy.  In her effort to rid her main territory of criminals, she dumped convicts in the far away island of Australia, to make sure that criminals would not be able to swim their way back home. Finally, her colonial effort resulted to the peopling of the New World – America, that later became the “cradle” of world democracy. By the way, Great Britain supports Malaysia against the Philippines on the issue of Sabah.

Today, the wisdom of China seems to have tamed the world powers. The dragon is, indeed, wise when it has awaken again after thousands of years of slumber.

Mga Historical Trivia tungkol sa Pilipinas (part 1)

Mga Historical Trivia tungkol sa Pilipinas (part 1)

ni Apolinario Villalobos)

-Bago dumating ang mga Kastila, partikular, si Magellan, malakas na ang pakikipagkalakalan ng ating mga ninuno sa mga Hapon, Tsino, Cambodians, Indians, Malaysians, Borneans, Moluccans, Javans, at Sumatrans. Balita sa Espanya at iba pang kaharian sa Yuropa ang mga sangkap-panluto na tulad ng pamenta, sili, cinnamon, at iba pa na matatagpuan lamang sa Asya lalo na sa Malacca o Moluccas, at nagpapahaba din ng “buhay” ng hilaw na karne bilang preservative. Ang pakay talaga ng grupo ni Magellan ay ang Moluccas na madaling marating mula sa Pilipinas. Ibig sabihin, itinuring na “transit point” lamang ang Pilipinas. Pangalawang biyahe ni Magellan papunta sana sa Moluccas ang ginawang pagdaong sa mga isla ng Pilipinas, kung saan siya minalas na mapatay ni Lapu-lapu sa Mactan.

-Ang tunay na pangalan ni Magellan na isang Portuguese ay “Fernậo de Magalhậes”. Ang pangalan niya sa Kastila ay “Fernando de Magallanes”, at ang “Ferdinand Magellan” ay sa Ingles naman. Lumipat siya sa pagkiling ng Espanya kahit siya ay Portuguese dahil hindi kinilala ang kanyang naiambag sa mga paglalayag na nagpatanyag sa Portugal. Ininsulto pa siya ng hari noon ng Portugal na si Dom Manuel (the Fortunate) nang humingi siya ng kaunting dagdag na pension. May alipin siyang Asyano na si Enrique, o Henry, na nakatulong ng malaki nang makarating ang grupo niya sa Visayas dahil nakakausap nito ang mga katutubo ng mga isla ng Limasawa, Homonhon at Cebu na una nilang dinaungan. Dalawa ang bersiyon ng kuwento tungkol sa pagkatao ni Enrique. Ang una, siya daw ay anak ng sultan ng Malacca at sa edad na 13 ay sumama sa isang grupong sumalakay sa isang barko ng mga Portuguese at nahuli, pero “sinalo” siya ni Magellan na nagkataong nasa Malacca noon, at dinala siya sa Portugal. Ang pangalawa, siya daw ay isang Visayan na nabihag ng mga pirata at binenta bilang alipin sa Sumatra, hanggang makarating siya sa Malacca. Ang dalawang tawag sa kanya ng mga historian ay, “Henry of Malacca” at “Black Henry”.

-Hindi nagkakaisa ang mga katutubo sa ilalim ng iisang pinuno nang datnan ni Magellan dahil bawa’t isla ay may sariling pinuno o “datu”, at ang may pinakamaraming sakop ay kilala sa tawag na “raha”. Ang unang na-convert sa Kristiyanismo sa Cebu na nakipag-blood compact pa kay Magellan ay si Raha Humabon, pamilya niya at mga sakop. Si Lapu-lapu naman na pinuno ng Mactan ay hindi pumayag at nagbanta pa ng laban kay Magellan kung hindi sila aalis agad. Hindi nakipagtulungan ang mga Kastilang tripulante ng mga galleon na may hinanakit kay Magellan dahil sa pagka-Portuguese nito, sa planong pagsalakay sa Mactan. Hindi sila bumaba ng mga galleon upang lumusob sa mga naghihintay na tropang katutubo sa dalampasigan ng Mactan. Pinanood lamang nila si Magellan at mga kababayan nitong mga Portuguese habang nakikipagbakbakan sa mga katutubo sa dalampasigan hanggang sa siya ay mapatay.

– Nagkaroon ng “peace negotiation” sa pagitan ng mga katutubo at natirang mga Kastilang tauhan ni Magellan pagkatapos ng labanan. Pinagpalagay ng ilang historian na bilang ganti ay nakipagsabwatan si Enrique kay Raha Humabon na “blood brother” ni Magellan, na nagplano kasama si Lapu-lapu, ng isang salu-salo bilang pamamaalam sa mga Kastila. Sa salu-salong naganap, minasaker ang mga Kastila, subalit may iilang maswerteng nakatakas at nakabalik sa mga galleon na agad naglayag. Ang mga buhay na mga Kastilang naiwan ay binihag at ibinenta bilang alipin sa mga mangangalakal na Tsino. Si Enrique naman ay pinagpalagay na bumalik sa kanyang pamilya.

-Ang pakay talaga ng mga Kastila sa pagsakop ng mga isla dahil napasubo na sila, ay upang pagkitaan ito batay sa paniwalang mayaman ang mga ito sa ginto at mga sangkap sa pagluto o spices. Upang magtagumpay sila sa pananakop, pinauna muna ang mga misyonaryo, na bandang huli ay nakipagpaligsahan na rin sa mga opisyal, sa pagpayaman. Ang mga misyonaryo ay mga Jesuits o Hesuwita na kinabibilangan ni St. Francis Xavier o St. Francis of Assissi, at mga Dominikano o Dominicans.

-Ang mistulang tatsulok na kapirasong lupain na ngayon ay ang tinatawag na Intramuros ang tinutukoy noon ng mga Kastila na Manila, at ang Pilipinas naman ay tumutukoy sa iilang isla ng Luzon at Visayas, hindi sakop ang buong Mindanao, kahit na may maliit silang kampo noon sa Zamboanga. Ang “Islas Felipinas” na naging “Filipinas” ay hango sa pangalan ng hari ng Espanya noon na si Philip II.

-Ang mga Kastilang hinakot lamang ng galleon mula sa Espanya upang tumira sa Manila ang tinawag na “Manileῆo” o “Filipino” – mga nakatira sa loob ng Intramuros o “Walled City” na ayon sa mga historian ay tumalo sa kagandahan ng ibang mga siyudad sa Yuropa. Ang tawag sa mga nakatira sa kabilang pampang ng Ilog Pasig (ngayon ay Quiapo at Sta. Cruz) ay mga “Tagalog” (taga-ilog), pero dahil hindi binyagan sa Kristiyano ay tinukoy ding mga “Moro” bilang paghalintulad sa mga “Moors”, mga Moslem na pinalayas mula sa Espanya ng mga Christian Crusaders. Ang iba pang mga nakatira sa kabila ng Ilog Pasig ay mga Intsik na tinawag na “Sangley” isang salitang Amoy na ibig sabihin ay “trader”, at pinilit tumira sa iisang lugar upang makontrol – ang “Parian”, na ngayon ay Chinatown. Ang mga Hapon naman ay pinatira sa hindi kalayuang lugar na ang sentro ay tinatawag ngayong Plaza Dilao. Ang mga nakatira sa mga karatig- lugar ay tinawag na mga “Indio” o “Indian” dahil inihanlintulad naman sila sa mga katutubo ng mga lugar sa South America tulad ng Peru at Mexico na unang sinakop ng mga Kastila.

Malinaw dito na ang mga ninuno natin ay inalipin sa sariling bayan. At, ang “Filipino” bilang katawagan ay hindi talaga laan para sa kanila noong panahon ng mananakop na mga Kastila!

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!”

The Double Talk of China on the Issue of West Philippine Sea…and America’s late entry into the scene

The Double Talk of China
on the Issue of West Philippine Sea
…and America’s late entry into the scene
by Apolinario Villalobos

Going straight to the point, the problem with China as regards the issue on the West Philippine Sea is the tendency of her leaders to “double talk”. Simply put, they talk with fingers crossed behind them. They say that the Philippines is the one doing massive reclamations in that disputed body of water, when all that such poor third-world country has done is try to keep a barnacle-covered ship afloat as a “station” on one of the reefs within her territory, for her haggard coast guards, as well as, keep alive, the spirit of a handful of her citizens on Kalayaan island. The whole world can see this, in contrast to what the giant Asian country is doing such as destroying the habitats of marine life, as they are topped with soil to become fake islands to accommodate airstrips and heavy bunkers for warfare armaments.

To the United States, they offered the use of the soon-to-be finished facilities which the Chinese say are intended for “rescue” operations and protection of the said area. But to the neighboring small Asian countries, their “territory” is “off limits”. The Chinese leaders say that they are respecting the area as a free international maritime highway, yet, they challenge the boats and planes that sail and fly by. They are also saying that they are not disturbing the peace that had been prevailing over the area, yet, they are naïve to the fact that since they started their unrestrained reclamation activities, such peace became a word of the past.

What made the matter worse is America’s getting into the picture…this late. Had this self-proclaimed “protector” of democracy listened to the clamor of the Philippines very long time ago, while reclamations have not been initiated yet, negotiations could have been possible. But with the project almost finished which the Chinese leaders declare to the world as akin to a simple road project, how can they swallow their pride and give in to the demands of a country which is thousands of miles away, and not even among their rival claimants?

Despite the word war and exchanges of threats between the two “giants”, the world still hope that a compromise can be made among claimant nations, but for sure, China will find ways so that the United States shall be kept out of the picture…a humiliating “request” for the so-called protector of world democracy and freedom, and home to the “sedate” United Nations Headquarters…that has done nothing about the issue.

May Pag-asa pa Kayang Makabawi ang Pilipinas sa West Philippine Sea?

May Pag-asa Pa Kayang Makabawi
ang Pilipinas sa West Philippine Sea?
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Masakit sabihing parang wala nang pag-asang magkaroon pa ng katuturan ang mga paghihirap ng Pilipinas sa pagsampa ng mga kaso sa international court laban sa Tsina tungkol sa usapin sa West Philippine Sea. Hayagang sinabi ng Tsina na hindi nila rerespetuhin ano man ang kalalabasan ng imbestigasyon. Ibig sabihin, hindi nila pinaniniwalaan ang poder ng korte.

Ang ASEAN naman na inaasahang magbubuklod laban sa Tsina ay halatang wala ring magawa bilang isang organisasyon. Ang Amerika na halos panikluhuran ng administrasyon upang masandalan sa harap ng banta ng Tsina, ay pinaiigting ang joint exercises at ng sinasabing kasunduan sa pagkakaroon ng animo ay pansamantalang “kampo” at mga daungan sa Pilipinas, mga bagay na hinahadlangan naman ng iba’t ibang makabayang grupo. Sa isang banda ay tama ang mga grupong ito dahil parang ang gusto lang ng Amerika sa Pilipinas ay gamitin nila itong harang sa anumang hindi kanais-nais na kilos ng Tsina sa mga susunod na panahon. Kaya, magkabombahan man, Pilipinas ang unang tatamaan!

Subali’t habang nagpapakita ng pakikipagtulungan ang Amerika sa Pilipinas, pinapalakas naman nito ang ugnayan sa mga Tsino. Ibig sabihin, parang pinaglalaruan lang ng Amerika ang Pilipinas. Malaki daw ang utang ng Amerika sa Tsina.

Nagkaroon kamakaylan lamang ng isang exhibit ng old maps na nagpapakita na noon pa mang unang panahon, ay talagang wala namang ginawang pag-aangkin ang Tsina sa kahit na anong bahagi ng mga karagatan sa paligid ng Pilipinas. Ang mga Tsino noon ay “dumadayo” lamang sa mga isla ng Pilipinas upang makipagkalakalan, hanggang sa magkaroon sila ng sariling distrito sa Maynila na tinawag na “parian” noong panahon ng Kastila, na ngayon ay ang maunlad na Chinatown sa Manila. Sa exhibition ng mga lumang mapa, wala ni isa sa mga ito ang maski may kapirasong pagtukoy ng pag-angkin ng anumang bahura ng Pilipinas, lalo na sa pinag-aagawang West Philippine Sea.

Ang bagong henerasyon ng mga lider ng Tsina ang malinaw na may pakana sa pangangamkam ng mga bahura sa bahagi ng kanlurang karagatan ng Pilipinas, kaya pati ang mga karatig- bansa ay nadamay na rin, dahil pati ang dati na nilang kinikilalang mga bahura ay inaangkin na rin ng Tsina.

Sa mga bansa na may kinalaman sa problemang angkinan, bukod tanging Pilipinas ang mukhang kawawa. Ang nag-iisang barkong kinulapulan na ng kalawang at talaba, na ginawang headquarters ng mga bantay-dagat ay nagmumukhang yagit kung ihambing sa mga dambuhalang barko ng Tsina, at maski ng Vietnam. Maaaring kung hindi pa nabahura ay hindi pa ginawang headquarters at malamang naiwang nakatiwangwang ang bahurang inaangkin ng Pilipinas. Malamang pa rin na, natayuan na rin ng headquarter ng Tsina tulad ng ginawa nila sa ibang bahura. Ngayon, may isa pang bahura silang pinatatayuan din mga estruktura, at pasok na pasok din ito sa teritoryo ng Pilipinas. Sa kabila nito, walang magawa ang Pilipinas kundi manood!

Paano pang matatanggal ang mga estruktura ng Tsina sa mga bahurang pinag-aagawan, kung yong iba ay kung ilang dekada nang nakatayo at ang isa pa ay patapos na?

Malaki ang tiwala ng Tsina sa kakayahan nito ngayon pagdating sa mga bagay na may kinalaman sa kaunlaran – pang-ekonomiya man o pandigma. At dahil dito, hindi basta-basta yuyuko ito sa anumang ipag-uutos ng maski isang international Court. Nakikita ng Tsina na humihina ang United Nations bilang organisasyon ng mga bansa. Wala itong nagawa sa mga nangyayaring kaguluhan sa Middle East at Yuropa. Nakikita at nararamdaman ng Tsina ang kahinaan ng Amerika na dinadaan na lang sa verbal bluff ang mga babala. Napahiya si Obama nang may ilang bansa sa Middle East na hindi lubos na nagbigay sa kanya ng supurta upang “mapulbos” ang Islamic State (IS). Kaya ano pa ang magagawa nito sa Southeast Asia na ang ekonomiya nga lang ay nakagapos na sa Tsina? ….kaya kahit toothpick at cotton buds ng mga bansang miyembro ng ASEAN ay galing Tsina!

Malamang sa malamang, kompromiso ang mangyayari sa West Philippine Sea kung saan hahayaan na lang na pangasiwaan ng Tsina ang mga bahurang napatayuan na nito ng mga estruktura, dahil wala naman talagang kakayahang bumangga ang Pilipinas dito. Maaaring naghihintay lamang ang Tsina ng isang provocative na kilos ng Pilipinas upang gumawa ito ng nakakabahalang aksiyon…na sana ay hindi mangyari. Kaya, kung sa tanong na may magagawa pa ang Pilipinas, sa kabila ng mga inihain nitong reklamo sa international court…para sa akin, ang sagot ay isang malungkot na…wala.

Is the BBL Intent made clear by the MNLF “story” of a Bangsamoro Republik?

Is the BBL Intent Made Clear
by the MNLF “story” of a Bangsamoro Republik?
By Apolinario Villalobos

Ever since MILF came out with its BBL proposal that shall pave the ground for the establishment of the Bangsamoro, some Filipinos did not believe its sincerity as for them, the MNLF and BIFF are not really excluded from the picture. For the suspicious, even the death of the bomb maker, Basit Usman was caused only by a petty misunderstanding between the low-ranking members of the MILF and his (Usman) party that led to provocation and later, the deadly altercation. As for the MNLF, some parties believe that it has a mutual understanding with MILF that stands until the passing of the unrevised BBL. Fortunately, lawmakers discovered that some of BBL’s provisions are leading towards the establishment of a separate state.

When the delay for the passing of the BBL was delayed, there was an immediate reaction from the MNLF. Even Malaysia was alarmed, a questionable reaction as it was just expected to be an observer…and the only one that reacted. The delay is in view of the government’s intention to ensure that the BBL will maintain the status of Bangsamoro as an integral part of the country. Malaysia even warned of trouble, an uncalled for remark….but why? What is its interest in the ongoing process?

Now, the MNLF is saying that its plan is to establish a Bangsamoro Republik that would include the whole of Mindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi islands, Palawan, Sarawak and Sabah, with Malaysia, supposedly behind this effort. Is this the reason why the Sulu sultanate is not supportive of BBL? Why did MNLF come out with such statement only now when there is a problem with the passing of the BBL? Is this not a ploy to force the lawmakers to double time the passing of the BBL, so that they can proceed to the next stage which is the compromise between the MILF, MNLF, and BIFF for the eventual establishment of the republic, a feat which will not require much sweat as the Bangsamoro of MILF, based on the unrevised BBL is a virtual separate state, so leaders can do as they wish? Meanwhile, the BIFF may come in as the republic’s military arm.

If the Bangsamoro Republik will push through, it can easily join Malaysia’s federation as a federal state.

Ethnically, the light-skinned Filipinos without trace of white people’s blood, can trace their ancestry to the Malays. Though disputed, the story of the Ten Bornean Datus who came to the shores of the Philippines to escape the tyranny of their sultan, Makatunaw, tells some. The ten Bornean datus purportedly first landed in the Visayas, particularly Panay, and negotiated with Marikudo, the chieftain of the black-skinned pygmies locally called “ati”, for the purchase of land which they successfully did using a “sadok” (hat) made of gold for the chieftain and a long necklace of gold for his wife, Maniwantiwan or Maniwangtiwang. In another legend, the payment included a basin of gold. From Panay island, some datus sailed down to Mindanao, and some to Luzon where they settled. That is why when the Spaniards came, they found settlements of Mohammedans in Manila and some islands ruled by the “lakans” and “datus”.

As regards Mindanao, briefly, this is how its Islamization and peopling by those from Malaysia, came about: In 1380, Islam was introduced in Sulu via Malacca, by Mudum (Makdum?); followed by Rajah Baginda of Menangkabaw, Sumatra in 1390; and further, followed by Abu Bakr (Bakar) who left Palembang for Sulu in 1450 and married Rajah Baginda’s daughter, Paramisuli. On mainland Mindanao, Serif (Sharif) Kabungsuan, arrived from Johore and also laid down the foundation of Islam. He eventually became the first Sultan of Mindanao, from where, it rapidly spread to Visayas and Luzon. The arrival of the Spaniards made the Muslims retreat to the hinterlands. Their presence in Luzon was confirmed by the Spaniards who called them “Moros” which was intentionally used for its bad repute, but later cleansed by Filipino Muslims with much effort and success.

Another group of settlers, known as Orang Dampuans, came to Mindanao from the south of Annam with the sole purpose of establishing a trading post. The Sulu people when they came were then, called Buranun. The Orang Dampuans were followed by the traders from Banjarmasin and Brunei, important states of the Sri Vijaya Empire. The people of Banjarmasin were called Banjar who brought their beautiful princess to Sulu, and was offered for marriage to the Buranun ruler. With the marriage, Sulu came under the influence of Banjarmasin and from the union, came the rulers of Sulu.

As gleaned from the pages of history, there was a two-pronged movement of people from the Malaysian archipelago, with one that settled first in Panay, in the central Philippines, from where they spread to other islands, and with the massive one that also introduced Islam, that settled first in Sulu and mainland Mindanao, and eventually spread to Visayas and Luzon, until the arrival of the colonizing Spaniards.

The conversion of the majority of Filipinos into Christianity by the colonizing Spaniards made the archipelago “the only Christian-dominated” country in Asia. Unfortunately, despite such spiritual status, many if not most of its officials, do not live up to it, as they proved to be corrupt which is very un-Christian.

On the other hand, Malaysia has a lot to explain if indeed, what the MNLF claims is true. It will come out that they betrayed the trust of the Philippine government when it was asked to sit as observer in its negotiation with MILF. The betrayal is in their cuddling of Nur Misuari and his Bangsamoro Republik advocacy, all the while, that the peace process is going on. Malaysia should vehemently deny it publicly if only to prove that it can still be trusted by the Philippine government. Its silence could mean something which may have a negative implication.

If the people of the whole of Mindanao and Palawan will be made to understand the whole situation that leans heavily on ethnic history of the country, a lot of patience is needed as Christianity has been deeply imbedded in their heart and mind. If the Bangsamoro Republik will materialiaze, definitely, those who live within the territory will no longer be called“Filipino” but “Moro”, as the state will be called “Bangsamoro” or “land of the Moro”.

On solid lands where states or countries are situated, thin demarcation lines that indicate territorial boundary separate them from each other, guarded by foot patrols. If the Bangsamoro Republic materializes, Mindanao and Palawan will be separated from Luzon and Visayas by significantly wide body of water and channels.

The Philippines as an archipelago is “united” by the commercial airlines and roll on-roll off ferries, but not well secured because of the inadequate navy and military facilities. These security contingents use second hand equipment, which are either purchased at bargain prices using measly budget provided by the government or donated by sympathizing countries. And, even the purchases were not spared by evil minded officials as they reeked of corruption. The negligence and corruption in the Philippine government in this regard have caused the immense suffering of the Filipinos in general.

Finally, I do not think the zealous Muslim Filipinos would have thought of the separation, if only the Philippine government has been fair to all the citizens. Corrupt Muslim government officials, on the other hand, should not be blamed solely for their neglect of Mindanao, as the same neglect is also prevalent in the Visayas and Luzon regions, committed by Christian officials. In other words, corruption is prevalent in the whole system of the Philippine republic. And there are even more of these corrupt Christian officials in the central government, so these hypocrite better stop their finger pointing while the innocent ordinary Filipinos, both Muslims and Chrisitians, are left desperately apprehensive, confused, and helpless, as their beloved country is at the verge of being dissected!

The Global Furor Over the Chinese Activities in West Philippine Sea is Too Late in Coming…a hollow and hypocritical sympathy and concern

The Global Furor Over the Chinese Activities
In West Philippine Sea is Too Late in Coming
…a hollow and hypocritical sympathy and concern
By Apolinario Villalobos

The latest furor supposedly of the international community over the reclamations being made by the Chinese in West Philippines Sea is a gross show of man’s hypocrisy…late in coming, yet. The issue has been played up in practically all available medium of information – print, broadcast, internet…for years! Such belated reaction is a hollow sympathy and concern from “fellowmen” of Asians affected by the exploitation of the Chinese. The United Nations sat on the complaint filed by the Philippines despite the glaring basis that are all spelled out in the UN provisions. The closest ally of the Filipinos, the big white brothers – Americans, did not raise even an eyebrow when the Chinese practically disregarded the UN’s territorial demarcation lines, and came up with their own map to show the world that the West Philippine Sea is theirs.

Was the United Nations told by China to hold in abeyance its decision on the complaint of the Philippines until their reclamation activities and structures are beyond the possibility of demolition, necessitating then, a compromise as the only solution?

World powers are wary just now because the conduct of their trade through the mentioned passage will be affected, but they did not say a word then, even when all indications of the reclamation activities point to the building of a military base. Not even a simple statement from UN was issued against China when it prohibited fishermen from claimant countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam from fishing in the disputed area, even as the situation got serious with the Chinese’s humiliation of the poor fishermen by spraying them with water and bumping their fragile vessels….a clear violation of human rights!

The United Nations seems to be powerless against the bullying of China. It is understandable, perhaps, because, the world’s economy is dependent on China in many ways. The world is practically being held hostage by China. Even the so-called “enemies” of China are consumers of Chinese products. So, what can the international community do? Impose sanction? How can it be possible as the big slice of the international community has standing financial accountability with China?

When China arrogantly expressed that it does not favor mediation as regards the resolution on the issue of the West Philippine Sea, not even a single member of the United Nations reacted. The helplessness of the affected countries was aggravated by the continued activities of the Chinese. The Philippines is the most and immediately affected due to its closeness to the reclaimed island, making the country already technically part of China!

Because the structures on the reclaimed island are almost finished, it is doubtful if the Chinese can still be driven off, even if the United Nations shall decide in favor of the Philippines. The only and most peaceable way to resolve the problem would be a compromise which is what China really wanted ever since, and which is expected to be in its favor. This triumph will give China a dangerous signal that it can do anything in Asia.

From Asia, nothing can prevent the Chinese from encroaching in other parts of the globe that they will claim to have been explored by their trading ancestors. As they are well-equipped, the reclamation that they have done in West Philippine Sea can easily be replicated in other shallow parts of the world’s oceans in their bid to further their expansionism.

Clearly, Sinozation of the world is aggressively progressing without let up! If doubtful about this claim, why not check the packages that you buy from groceries and the tags on the shirts that you pick up from racks of department stores, the fake jewelries and beauty products, utensils, tools etc., most especially, why not check the gadgets as to where they were made?…include in your check the packages of toothpicks and cotton buds, too!

As the prophecy says, the dragon that has awaken from its long slumber will make the world tremble with its grunt and fire….