Ang Utang

Ang Utang

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Tatlong uri ang utang – ang may collateral, ang walang collateral, at ang utang na loob.  Ang may collateral ay talagang negosyo dahil may pirmahang nangyayari, subalit ang walang collateral ay maituturing na banal dahil nakasandal lang sa tiwala sa pagitan ng magkakaibigan. Ang pagkakaroon naman ng utang na loob ay nangyayari sa panahon ng pangangailangan ng inaabutan o nag-aabot.

 

Ang collateral ng SSS o GSIS loan ay ang naipong contribution ng umuutang na miyembro. Sa mga malakihang utang na ang pinapataw na interes ay kapareho na halos ng Bombay style na 5/6, and kalimitang collateral ay bahay at lupa o upa, o di kay ay kotse at alahas na mamahalin. Sa ganitong uri ng utangan, kadalasang panalo ay ang nagpautang makapag-remata man o hindi dahil sa laki ng interes. Marami pang ibang utang na tulad ng nabanggit.

 

Sa mga walang collateral na utangan sa pagitan ng magkakaibigan, ang batayan ay ang magandang samahan, at ang iba ay “pay when able” pa. Masaya ang ganitong uri ng utangan dahil sa nangyayaring “taguan” kapag nakahalata ang nagpautang na ang kaibigang umutang ay walang intensiyong magbayad. Ibig sabihin, inabuso ng umutang ang magandang samahan. May umuutang pa na nanunumbat kapag siningil na kung ang nagpautang naman ang nangailangan. Sasabihin ng balasubas na kaibigan sa kawawang inutangan na, “ang yaman-yaman mo na nga naniningil ka pa”. Ugaling hudas ang ganitong uri ng kaibigan na sana ay tamaan ng kidlat!

 

Ang “utang na loob” ang pinakamatinding uri ng utang at maraming bansa ang nasira dahil diyan. Sa panahon ng kampanyahan para sa eleksiyon, namimigay ng pera ang mga tusong kandidato. Ang makakatatanggap ay automatic na nagkaroon ng utang na loob kapag tinanggap niya ang pera na sa katotohanan ay halaga ng boto niya. Kapag nanalo ang namili ng boto, ang mga taong naging biktima niya ay nagkaroon ng utang na loob. Wala na silang magawa kapag nangurakot ang nanalong kandidato sa kaban ng bayan upang mabawi ang nagastos na pinambili ng mga boto!….ganyan sa Pilipinas!…kaya hindi nakapagtataka kung bakit lugmok na lugmok ang mga Pilipino sa mahirap i-describe na pagdurusa. Marami pang ibang uri ng utang na loob na kung ililista lahat ay aabutin ng maraming pages.

 

Ang pinakamadaling bayaran na utang ay ang utang sa Panginoon dahil sa pagbigay Niya sa atin ng buhay. ANG MGA SIMPLENG KABAYARAN LANG SANA AY: MAGPAKABAIT TAYO, MAKISAMA NG MAAYOS SA ATING KAPWA, HUWAG MANLAMANG….AT HIGIT SA LAHAT MAGMAHAL AT MAGRESPETO SA KANYA. BAGO TAYO MAMATAY MAGBAYAD TAYO NG MGA UTANG LALO NA SA ATING PANGINOON!

 

Manila Metropolitan Theater…its history and story of neglect

Manila Metropolitan Theater

…its history and story of neglect

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

A country without a cultural landmark is like a basket that can’t hold water. Nothing is left to stand for the past, be it significant or not. Events just happen and forgotten, and for this, the people’s culture suffers. Many countries, though how small they are, have won the respect of powerful ones because of their rich past, made tangible by whatever remains.

 

The Philippine’s rich past has made its people look for an outlet which took form in plays, songs, poems, paintings, sculpture and other artistic expressions. The admixture of the eastern and western influences, have surfaced in all these expressions. Foreign influences which left their respective sediments in the country nourished cultures which are distinctly different from each other. These are however, consolidated by the Filipinos in a compromising effort to have just one that could be identified with them.

 

That was the benevolent intent which was magnified during the administration of Ferdinand Marcos. The theater was then, beginning to gain momentum in its effort for revival, as plays and concerts were again held, but unfortunately cut short when the feisty president was deposed.

 

Despite its sorry state today, it is important that Filipinos know how such neglected important landmark came to be.

 

The Metropolitan Theater that sprung up on a area of 8,293.58 square meters at Liwasang Bonifacio (formerly, Lawton plaza), embodies the several periods that saw the metamorphosis of the country. The unpretentious environment in which the expressionistic framework of the theater took shape is just a stone’s throw from the Bonifacio monument that stands witness to rallies of disgruntled students and workers. It is also a few steps from Mehan Garden, once a popular recluse of Manilans on weekends. Today, Mehan Garden is part of the Universidad de Manila campus.

 

Its colorful and massive façade reflects its mute desire to stand firm and solid despite the challenges posed by turbulent years that rocked its structure more than five decades ago. The month of February in 1945 saw the crumbling of its roof as a result of bombings and shelling by the Allied Forces during the liberation of Manila. Its walls however, withstood the barrage of both the allies’ and enemy’s fires.

 

But the theater’s story before the dark years of WWII was something else. It was full of struggle and challenges that just strengthened its foundation. In 1924, with an appeal from Mayor Earnshaw, an area of 8,293.58 square meters was leased  by the government of Manila to the Metropolitan Theater Company, represented by Horace Pond, Antonio Milian, Leopoldo Khan, Manuel Camus, Enrique Zobel and Rafael Palma. The land then was used as a flower market of Mehan Garden. It was an untrimmed and not so pleasantly landscaped area that gave way to the theater.

The concerted effort of various communities of Manila that comprised of Americans, Chinese, Spanish and Filipinos, bolstered the hope of the crusading artists. A magazine, Manila’s Philippine Magazine, carried encouraging write ups on the proposed theater in its effort to gain support from its readers. Stocks were sold by the Philippine International Corporation at Php100.00 and Php50.00 to raise the needed fund which was one million pesos.

 

The project inspired many artists. Almost everybody was concerned and did not hesitate to offer help. One of these early sympathizers was Juan M. Arellano, a leading architect of the era, and who was sent to study in the United States with Thomas W. Lamb, an expert in theater construction. His sojourn in the United States marked the birth of a unique theatrical design which stood for the Filipino’s artistic traits. A brother of Arellano, Arcadio, contributed his skill in decking the structure which took form shortly after the cornerstone was laid in 1930.

 

What took shape was what the Phlippine Magazine editor, A.V.H. Hartendorp called modern expressionism. Flagstone paths were cut across lawns greened by tropical creepers and shrubs. On each side of the rectangular theater were pavilions separated from the main hall by open courtyards.

 

The theater’s façade truly expressed the richness of the Malay culture imbibed in the ways of the Filipinos. Colorful were the glasses that made up the big “window” and the tiles on both side of the façade. Philippine plants in relief added exoticness to the theater’s face which was crowned with traditional Muslim minarets. Additional oriental accent was provided by shapely sculptured figures of two women who seemed to be preparing to take flight.

 

The theater’s interior equaled the exterior’s magnificence – wide marble staircase, mural paintings by Amorsolo and modern sculptures by Francisco R. Monti. The latter was an Italian sculptor, who practiced his trade in the country in the early 1930s. To give a feeling of spaciousness, boxes were eliminated. Relief figures cast shadows on the proscenium. Elongated lamps of translucent glass in the shape of bamboo stalks filled up the empty wall on both sides of the hall. The translucent stalks pointed to the ceiling that burst with a cornucopia of mango fruits and leaves.

 

The auditorium’s facilities were excellent, although the seating area could only accommodate 1,670, quite small for a fast-growing city like Manila. Its lighting, acoustics, air-cooling system and dressing rooms were all excellent and almost faultless. However, there was no understage and the orchestra pit was too narrow.

 

Dramatic Philippines was responsible for the showing of outstanding plays that made the theater famous. Very active members were Francisco Rodrigo, Emma Benitez and Narciso Pimentel. The theater’s stage was also grace by the zarzuela queen, Atang de la Rama.

 

Even when the country wallowed in the misery of subordination by a foreign power during the WWII, the theater continued to draw art lovers. It was used by members of the Volunteer Social Aid Committee (VSAC) as a front in raising funds for the underground movement against the Japanese. This group of artists likewise acted as secret mail carriers for Manilans who would like to get in touch with relatives detained at Capas and Cabanatuan. These Manila girls, some of whom were Conchita Sunico, Helen Benitez and Pilar Campos, went to the extent of spending for their own clothing materials which were then designed by Matilde Olmos, the best modiste of European clothes during that time.

 

The scarred Met which lost its roof during the liberation of Manila in February 1945 held on to what remained. Unfortunately, the transition period did not give much impetus to those who were previously active in theatricals. Of the several establishments housed by the Met, only the Magnolia Rendezvous, an ice cream kiosk held firm. Meanwhile the building underwent painful changes from a boxing arena into a cheap motel and gay bar, basketball court, garage and warehouse, until finally, into a home for half a hundred of displaced families.

 

It was in such a sorry state when a new breed of artists surfaced and made an appeal to the government to help salvage the Met. Their plea awakened the public from its long indifference and sheer neglect of a priceless heritage. Trouble between the artists and a group of enterprisers ensued when the latter proposed its demolition to give way to a modernistic commercial complex. A petition was submitted to the National Historical Institute to stop the sacrilegious hand and recognize the theater as an historical landmark.

 

The timely mediation of Mrs. Imelda Marcos gave assurance to the artists’ victory over their destructive opponents. The Met was finally restored to its pre-war grandeur and has been called the Manila Metropolitan Theater.  Its seating capacity was increased from 1,670 to 1,709.

To augment its finances, galleries that fringed the outer structure were rented out to shops that sell handicrafts, restaurants, studious and a night club. Bigger rooms on the second floor were furnished for receptions and meetings. Even the auditorium was leased to a movie company which showed three-dimensional films whenever the theater was free. Once again, shows and concerts were held.

 

The recovery of the theater was, however, short-lived. The emergence of the modern Cultural Center of the Philippines, Folk Arts Theater, modern cinema theaters and other cultural and artistic venues signaled again its slow deterioration. Groups of concerned artists joined hands to prevent its continued relapse to no avail….until, finally, it is back to its former state of gross neglect that we woefully see today. To protect it from intruding street dwellers, the periphery of the structure is fenced with board on which are pasted scenes of its former glory.

 

 

 

The Trying Hard “Has-beens” and “Wannabes” of the Philippine Politics

The Trying Hard “Has-beens” and “Wannabes”

Of the Philippine Politics

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The Philippine politics is hideously polluted by “has-beens” and “wannabes” who try to do anything, just anything to catch the attention of the media. What is revolting about these nincompoops is that, for the “has-beens”, they have none to prove their worth as elected officials, and for the incumbent “wannabes”, they pretend to be intelligent but in reality, are pea-brained who cannot even distinguish a criminal from a victim!

 

Some of the “has-beens” were boot-lickers of Marcos, and who served as agency heads while the rest were either senators or congressmen. And, of course, the “wannabes” are sitting congressmen and senators who try to impress the nation with their “views” on prevailing situations that just make them butts of joke. One of the incumbent senators is dubbed “Trilliling” an allusion that sounds like “Tililing” or crazy. The woman senator who does not deserve to be called “lady” is a “blabbermouth” who loves to look cute in front of TV cameras.

 

Then there’s the “has-been” elected highest official of the land who criticize Duterte as if, he was that competent during his time. It was during his term that government properties were sold left and right. He was suspected to have pocketed huge amount of commissions stashed in the banks of a small nation. They elude the probing eyes of their critics by shutting their mouth, especially, the wife, but the husband sometimes cannot help himself from puffing off smokes of irrelevant remarks.

 

Duterte, in his utmost honest gesture extended a hand for the sake of friendship, reconciliation and even a humble plea for assistance. But his calls fell on their deaf ears, so how can one blame the poor president for becoming harsh at times by bombarding his critics with biting retorts?

Build, Build, Build….then, destroy, destroy, destroy

Build, Build, Build

…then, destroy, destroy, destroy

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

That is how it is in the Philippines. Infrastructures are built and left to deteriorate due to haphazard maintenance. Bridges are provided with lights such as those of Quiapo and Sta. Cruz in Manila, followed by colorful launching complete with media coverage and ribbon cutting, then left to the mercy of vandals and the natural elements due to the negligence of local governments. All airport terminal buildings are in sorry state, one of them even with periodic failure of a lone escalator, while the other one always lands on the pages of broadsheet due to falling ceiling panels. The other one is reported to be with clogged toilets.

 

Once the “underside” of the LRT (Light Rail Transit) was colorfully painted by a mayor of Manila City, but when he lost in the election, the winner upon assumption of post, practically “deleted” the mark of the previous mayor. Millions of pesos were spent for paints to cover the former “design” and color of posts of the transit system and for the new paint, complete with outdoor plants that in time wilted due to their new environment. Today, the “underside” is again in sorry state. Highways and roads that are still in tip-top condition are destroyed to give way to new “toppings” every time new officials assume post or when the term of the incumbent is about to be finished.

 

There is no consistency in the Philippines as regards the maintenance of infrastructures. Many Filipinos even suspect that they were built for “commission”. And with the pronouncement of a government official about the plan of the Duterte administration to build, build, build….what should Filipinos expect? I say…damn it, damn it, damn it! ….which is much better than “shit, shit, shit”!

The “Build, Build, Build” of the Duterte Administration

The “Build, Build, Build” of the Duterte Administration

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

THE NEW ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO “BUILD, BUILD, BUILD”….THEN WHAT?

HOW CAN THE GOVERNMENT AFFORD TO SPEND FOR NEW INFRASTRUCTURES IF IT CANNOT EVEN FINISH A SIMPLE PROJECT SUCH AS EFFECTIVE DRAINAGE SYSTEM AROUND MANILA, MANY OF WHICH ARE LEFT UNFINISHED DUE TO LACK OF BUDGET? AND, THERE IS YET AN IMPORTANT ISSUE ON THE DOABLE OPTION IN DIVERTING THE TRAFFIC FROM THE MAIN THOUROUGHFARES. MOST IMPORTANTLY, THERE IS A NEED TO IMPROVE THE FACILITIES OF THE PHLIPPINE ARMY, PHILIPPINE NAVY AND COAST GUARDS. THE MILITARY IS SO DEPENDENT ON DONATIONS. THE WHOLE LENGTH OF THE COASTAL AREAS AROUND THE ARCHIPELAGIC COUNTRY ARE INADEQUATELY PROTECTED DUE TO THE LACK OF SHIPS AND PATROLS BOATS. ETC. ETC. ETC. ETC. ET.

 

THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD LEAVE THE CONSTRUCTION OF INFRASTRUCTURES TO FOREIGN INVESTORS, PERIOD. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT SHOULD CONCENTRATE ON THE REPAIR OF WHAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN BUILT AS THESE STRUCTURES ARE SHAMEFULLY DILAPIDATED. GOVERNMENT LEADERS SHOULD WORK ON THE PRINCIPLE OF “CONTINUITY”, SO AS NOT TO WASTE THE PEOPLE’S MONEY.

 

THE PROBLEM OF THE PHILIPPINES AS A NATION ARE HER LEADERS AND THINKERS KUNO IN THE GOVERNMENT WHO REFUSE TO MAINTAIN WHAT HAVE BEEN BUILT BY PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS. THEY WOULD RATHER BUILD THEIR OWN STRUCTURES ON WHICH TO IMPRESS THEIR NAMES. WORST, SOME OF THESE MORONS DESTROY WHAT HAVE BEEN BUILT DESPITE THEIR BEING USEFUL AND IN THEIR PLACE, BUILD THEIR OWN!

 

IT IS THIS ATTITUDE THAT INDICATES SELFISHNESS AND CORRUPTION THAT SINKS THE PHILIPPINES FURTHER DOWN THE PIT OF DAMNATION EVERY TIME A NEW ADMINISTRATION TAKES OVER THE REIGNS OF THE GOVERNMENT!

 

AT THIS POINT IN TIME, I AM WONDERING IF PRESIDENT DUTERTE IS BEING WISE ENOUGH IN GETTING PEOPLE TO FILL UP THE POSITIONS IN HIS ADMINISTRATION. MOST OF THEM MAY JUST CAUSE HIS DOWNFALL DUE TO THE FRIENDLY TRUST THAT HE GIVES THEM.

Mga Presumptions and Thought-Provoking Questions

Mga Presumptions and

Thought-Provoking Questions

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

BAKA GUSTO NG MGA LIFE ADVOCATES KUNO NA I-CONDEMN ANG PAGPATAY SA MGA MIYEMBRO NG MAUTE GROUP NA PUMASOK SA MARAWI CITY DAHIL SA KARAPATAN KUNO NILANG MABUHAY….O DI KAYA AY BAKA GUSTO NILANG IPA-IMBISTIGA SA UNCHR….O DI KAYA AY GUSTO NILANG IDAGDAG SA KASO NI DUTERTE NA ISINAMPA NILA SA INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE.

 

BAKA GUSTO RING SABIHIN NG ILANG GURANG NA OBISPO NA MAY KARAPATANG MABUHAY ANG MGA PINATAY NA MIYEMBRO NG MAUTE GROUP AT WALANG KARAPATAN ANG MGA SUNDALONG SILA AY PATAYIN DAHIL DIYOS LANG ANG MAY KARAPATANG GAWIN ITO.

 

KUNG ANG PARING NA-HOSTAGE NG MAUTE GROUP SA MARAWI AY NAGKATAONG BANGAG NA ADDICT ANG GUMAWA, HALIMBAWA, SA LOOB MISMO NG SIMBAHAN HABANG NAG-MIMISA ANG PARI, ANO KAYA ANG GAGAWIN NG SINASABI KONG ILANG OBISPO NA SAGAD-BUTO ANG GALIT KAY DUTERTE?….THESE OLD GUYS SHOULD REMEMBER THAT ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN UNDER THE SUN!…ANG NAKAKAHINDIK ISIPIN AY KUNG AAKALAIN NG ISANG BANGAG NA ADDICT, NA ISANG BABAENG NAKA-GOWN ANG NAKA-SOTANANG PARI AT KANYANG GAGAHASAIN….KUNG MANGYARI YAN, ANO KAYA ANG SASABIHIN NG ILANG MATANDANG OBISPO NA GALIT KAY DUTERTE?…MAGPAPASALAMAT KAYA SILA SA DIYOS DAHIL NAGING MARTYR ANG GINAHASANG PARI?

 

KUNG ANG ISANG INOSENTENG SANGGOL AY NAPAPAGKAMALANG TIYANAK NG ISANG BANGAG NA ADDICT KAYA PINAPATAY NIYA….O DI KAYA ANG ISANG LOLA AY INAAKALA NIYANG ISANG TIN-EDYER KAYA NIYA NAGAGAHASA, PARI PA KAYANG NAKA-MAHABANG SOTANA ANG HINDI NIYA PAGKAKAMALANG NAKA-GOWN NA BABAE…LALO PA KUNG WALANG BIGOTE O BALBAS?

 

Points to Ponder About the Martial Law for Mindanao

Points to Ponder About the Martial Law for Mindanao

By Apolinario Villalalobos

 

  • Political terrorism has become the issue in Mindanao, not religion, as even Muslims are saddened by the murderous spree committed by the Abu Sayyaf and Maute group.

 

  • There are parties or sectors that are against Federalism and the only way to derail the move is by creating a chaos to divert the attention of the government.

 

  • There are giant investors who are against the government’s move to stop logging and mining for the sake of nature conservation. The only way to make them go on with their spurious activities is by ousting Duterte from his post. They have initiated their plan by bringing out “witnesses” and by filing a case against him at the International Court of Justice. By doing so, they would like the world to view Duterte as a “murderer”. They even have the temerity to go back to historical heresies while he was still the mayor of Davao City, despite the fact that the courts in Davao City found him innocent.

 

  • Terrorism in the Phlippines is clearly rooted in Mindanao. If it will not be uprooted or at least checked by declaring Martial Law, it will definitely spread all over the Philippines, especially, Manila as shown by “test explosions” committed by terrorists who claim connection with ISIS, perhaps, to check the capability of the PNP and military. Terrorists in Mindanao are very vocal about their supposedly connection with the ISIS.

 

  • Many Filipinos who are not from Mindanao, hence, did not experience the harrowing experience of being caught between warring factions are so insensitive as to make them declare that Martial Law is against human rights!

 

  • Those who are afraid of the Martial Law are incorrigible law offenders: drug addicts, drug pushers, drug lords, hoarders of food items, employers who do not remit SSS contribution of their employees, employers who exploit their workers by not paying the right wage, arrogant drivers who are fund of dropping names of government officials when caught violating a traffic rule, robbers, pimps, child labor trafficker, illegal recruiters, etc…..and of course, terrorists!

 

  • It is just right for the PNP and the military to set up checkpoints and be strict in checking the motorists, especially, for their ID, as according to the media, members of the Maute group are allegedly going around without ID and easily meld with the local crowd as what they did in Marawi City. Now, expect the human rights advocates to cry foul due to the strict inspections!

 

  • Despite the glaring unrest in Marawi City due to the Maute group’s intrusion, Trillanes still have the gall to taunt Duterte as overly excited to declare Martial Law for Mindanao. With such kind of unbecoming reaction from the future ex-senator, will he still command respect from the Filipinos?….does not Trillanes ever contemplate on the possibility of the terrorism to overflow to other parts of the country?….or could it be that he and his group has a hand in it, as the group would never have such courage without sufficient funding and IMMORAL SUPPORT? ….JUST ASKING LANG NAMAN!