The Charisma of Sultan Kudarat Gov. Pax Mangudadatu and the Inspiring Message in His Speech During the BHW Day (November 9, 2017)

The Charisma of Sultan Kudarat Gov. Pax Mangudadatu

And the Inspiring Message in His Speech During the BHW Day (November 9, 2017)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

I almost missed my chance to meet Sultan Kudarat Governor, Pax Mangudadatu when my schedule on November 9 got mixed up. Had Lotlot Espinosa, not called me about my promise to join her for the Barangay Health Workers’ (BHW) Day at the Capitol Gym, I could have opted for  two other appointments. The celebration was among those lined up for the more than one month celebration of the Kalimudan Festival 2017…the 19th year.

 

Inside the imposing Capitol Gym, the BHWs of the different municipalities including those of Tacurong City represented by the Baras Sanctuary, were already jam-packed on the lower level of the bleachers. The groups were colorfully distinguished by the color of their t-shirts. The honorable governor was already almost halfway from finishing his speech when we entered and considered myself lucky to have caught up with his speech filled with historic details about the province. The portion of his speech that first caught my attention was his declaration of utmost GRATITUDE to the Christians for coming during the 1900’s and helped a lot in educating the indigenous inhabitants, especially, the Muslims.

 

He called on the Sultan Kudaratnons to be TOLERANT in view of the multi-cultured character of the populace. He was practically appealing for UNITY despite differences in religion. He unabashedly mentioned his humble beginnings, practically, struggling to be where he is now, but adding that what he is today, including the political mandates, he owed to God. He underlined his hatred of illegal drugs, thankful that the nation has Duterte as President. But what made his speech very remarkable was his emphasis on the Oneness of God, whatever He is called in various religions which practically struck me. Later, when I sat beside him at the presidential table on stage, I noticed his Masonic ring.

 

While those seated at the presidential table started to enjoy their lunch, the governor kept on looking around until he stood up, went to the lectern and over the microphone, asked the Jollibee representatives to see to it that everybody was given a packed lunch. I heard a story about his giving his portion of lunch to the guy seated not far from him when he noticed that he has not gotten enough on his plate. With what I have personally witnessed that lunchtime inside the gym, the story about his benevolence has been confirmed.

 

Before he left the building, he approached the different groups, and that was when I saw how close he is to his constituents. Despite his little more than 70 years of age, he spritely shook hands and gamely allowed himself to be photographed in their company…the sight was overwhelming! For me, he should be appropriately called, the “Bapa of the Masses” (uncle of the masses).

 

The smile never left his serene face which made him more close to his Rural Health Workers. While looking at him obviously enjoying their company, his soft voice as we conversed a few minutes back, lingered in my mind. I contented myself taking occasional photos and from a short distance, let ecstatic health workers/volunteers savor the special moment with him as for the others to come are for his other constituents…the elders and PWEDs, the artists, etc.

 

I am praying for your health, Bapa Gov Pax!…More power to you!

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Understanding the Muslim Filipinos

Understanding the Muslim Filipinos

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Christian Filipinos should not abhor their brother Muslims in view of the turmoil in Marawi perpetrated by the terroristic Maute Group. A terroristic group or any group with an intention of sowing destruction may arise from among the Christians, too. Unfortunately, many Christian Filipinos have yet to understand their brother Muslims beyond their porkless diet. By culture and religion, there are differences between the two, but they emanated from the same Malayan race, and by geography, they both belong to Asia.

 

Centuries before the Spanish arrival, Islam was well-entrenched in strategic islands of the archipelago, having been introduced in Sulu by Sharif Makdum, a Muslim missionary from Malacca. The first mosque which he built could still be found at Tubig-Indagan, on the island of Simunul. He died in Sibutu where a simple shrine was built in his honor. Makdum was followed by Raha Baginda who arrived in Sulu in 1390, and in 1450, Abu Bkr arrived from Johore who married Princess Paramisuli, daughter of Raha Baginda. Their marriage marked the founding of the Sulu Sultanate.

 

In Mindanao, the first Muslim leader to arrive was Sharif Kabungsuwan, who reached Cotabato (today, part of Maguindanao province) in 1475. He converted the natives into Islam and married the local princess, Putri Tuῆina. Eventually, he became the first Sultan of Maguindanao and his wife, the first Sultana.

 

At the time of the Spanish arrival, many parts of the archipelago were inhabited by Muslims, such as Batangas, Pampanga, Mindoro, Catanduanes and part of what is today, Metro Manila, particularly those along the Pasig River. When Legazpi arrived in 1571, the recognized Muslim “king” of Manila by the natives was Raha Sulayman, while in Tondo, it was Lakan Dula.

 

The Spaniards used the word “Moros” to refer to the fierce inhabitants who resisted their intrusion. The word is derived from the “Moors” who were their primary adversaries in Spain. It was the “fierceness” albeit, intended for the Spanish intruders, that unfortunately, had a negative impression in the mind of Filipino Christians. But, thanks to the later generations of Muslim Filipinos, for today, the reference which has been shortened to “Moro” connotes respectability. Contrary to what many non-Muslims believe, “Mohammedanism” is not a religion because Muhammad, himself, did not claim to have founded a religion. The counterpart of the Bible in Islam is the Koran or Qu’ran.

 

The Five Pillars of the Islamic Faith are: the profession of Faith; praying five times a day facing Mecca; giving alms called “zakah” to the poor; fasting during the month of Ramadan; and pilgrimage to Mecca. Polygamy is allowed, hence, a Muslim may have 4 wives for as long as he can afford to support them and divorce is also permitted.

 

Pigs are considered unclean, hence, pork is detested by Muslims. Alcoholic drinks are also not allowed. It is for this reason that prior to the arrival of Christians in Mindanao, vinegar was concocted from banana. When migrants from the Visayas and Luzon came, tuba (coconut wine) and basi (sugarcane wine) were introduced but only the Christian settlers imbibed them.

 

Many Biblical personages are also mentioned in Koran, the most popular of which are Jesus, Abraham and the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is interesting to note that during Christmastime, some Muslim stalls in Quiapo display Christmas lanterns and Christmas trees. They also practice gift giving to live up with the season.

 

Finally, in the Philippines, politics laced with greed ruined the good relationship between the Christians and Muslims to some extent…

The Philippine Brassware

The Philippine Brassware

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The Maranaos of Lanao find brass as a good object on which they express themselves artistically. Be it on lampstands, “gong”, plant holders, jars, ash trays, and food trays, the Maranao brass artist whose deft hands have been made sensitive by years of experience, imprint his personal expression of the “okir” and “naga” art forms.

 

Synonymous to the southern culture which in itself is exotic, the brassware is usually considered as an object that could enliven any living room, office, restaurant corners, or hotel lobby. Those who visit Marawi City, Jolo, Zamboanga City or Cotabato City, always see to it that they have purchased a brass item to be brought home as a souvenir. Not only are the brassware kept for their decorative value, but also for their cultural significance.

 

While brass handicraft is a waning source of income for some families in other Muslim provinces that have become outlets and showcases, in southern Lanao, particularly, Tugaya, locals still consider it their source of income. Here, some of the artisans still use the crude centuries-old foundry and casting methods. Despite the crudeness of the craft in Tugaya, the cottage industry is struggling for its perpetuation.

 

It is said that the craft was brought to Tugaya by a local trader, Maruhom Maulia, who got the knowledge from his trading trips to Tampasok, Sabah, where brass and bronze items were manufactured. Eventually, while at Tugaya, he fell in love and married the Sultan’s daughter.

 

According to Dr. Manitua Saber, an authority on Islamic arts, the techniques used by the artisans of Tugaya are similar to those being used in Bali, Sumatra and Brunei. Furthermore, he said that the technology could have found its way to Southeast Asia by way of China or India, in 1,000 A.D.

 

There are two processes practiced by the Maranao artisans, such as, the stamping and drip wax techniques. It is interesting to note that the tools which the artisans use are also made by them, usually out of the local materials.

 

In the stamping technique, brass plates are incised using a home-made “compass” to determine the size of the expected design.  Several plain plate tied together are etched or punched with intricate designs of “naga” or “okir”, or both, before they are formed into the desired item. Brassware produced out of this method, are cheaper compared to the drip wax technique which is more tedious, as it involves more time and processes. The latter, actually, revolves around the “mold” technique, and being crude, needs several phases to complete the process.

 

The brassware comes in many forms and uses. Those who are not familiar with the use of the items, would resort to just one thing – use them as decorative accessories in homes and offices. It is not surprising therefore, to find homes whose tables in the living room are accented with brass betel nut containers, open flat iron, small gongs or kulintang set and urns.

In Pasay City, brass and bronze items from the small ash trays and betel nut containers to big jars and urns can be found at the Philtrade Center, beside the World Trade Center, along Roxas Boulevard. Similar items can also be found in the Ermita district of Manila and the Islamic Center in Quiapo.

 

Ang Kuwento ng Buhay ni Mariam

Ang Kuwento ng Buhay ni Mariam

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Una kong nakilala ang kapatid ni Mariam na si Den dahil traysikel niya ang ginamit ko nang bumili ako ng kahoy panggatong sa Datu Paglas. Silang dalawa ay lubusang naulila sa murang edad na parehong wala pang sampung taon. Palipat-lipat sila sa iba’t ibang kamag-anak na ang iba ay napilitang umampon sa kanila kahit sa maikling panahon. May narinig pa silang kuwentuhan ng matatanda nilang kamag-anak na huwag na silang pag-aralin, at sa halip ay gawing utusan na lamang. Habang si Den ay pinag-araro ng bukid kahit wala pang sampung taong gulang, ang kanyang ate na si Mariam ay bugbog naman sa gawaing bahay, at talagang bugbog literally kaya nagkaroon siya ng peklat sa mukha na hindi nawala hanggang ngayon dahil sa sobrang pagmamalupit ng tinirhang kamag-anak.

 

Dahil umabot sa puntong halos wala nang kamag-anak na mag-aampon sa kanila, nagkahiwalay silang dalawa. Naiwan si Mariam sa Buluan at si Den naman, sa murgang edad na halos tin-edyer pa lang ay nakipagsapalaran na sa iba’t ibang bayan. Nagkita lamang silang dalawa nang si Den ay may asawa na at umuwi sa sinilangang bayan kung saan siya ay nagtatraysikel at si Marian naman ay domestic help sa Qatar.

 

Naiwan sa pangangalaga ng kanyang pinsan ang 15 years old na panganay ni Mariam at nag-aaral sa isang pampublikong high school sa katabing bayan ng Buluan, ang President Quirino. Ayon kay Mariam na nakausap ko sa cellphone dahil nasa Qatar siya, matalino ang kanyang anak na lalaki, lalo na sa Mathematics kaya ang pangarap niya para dito ay maging engineer. Sa pag-uusap namin nabanggit niyang ang gross niyang kinikita sa Qatar ay hindi lumalampas sa Php16,000 kada buwan at binabawas niya ng budget para sa pagkain niya. Siya kasi ay empleyado ng isang agency na nangongontrata ng paglilinis ng bahay at per hour ang bayad.

 

Ang pinsang nag-aalaga sa kanyang panganay ay binibigyan niya ng Php1,000 kada buwan para sa pagkain nito. Nagpapadala din siya ng pera para sa kanyang anak na babae na nasa pangangalaga ng asawang hiniwalayan niya. Ang allowance ng kanyang anak na panganay ay Php2,000 kada buwan, at sa halagang iyan kinukuha ang pamasahe at tanghalian kung lunch break sa eskwela. Nagbabaon ang bata ng kanin upang makatipid at dahil maliit lang budget para sa pagkain, bumibili siya ng ginisang alamang na bagoong sa halagang Php5 na pang-ulam.

 

Parehong matalino ang dalawang anak ni Mariam. Kung ang panganay na lalaki ay magaling sa mathematics, ang pangalawa naman na babae ay magaling sa English at Science, at consistent honor student mula pa noong nagsimula itong mag-aral kaya ang pangarap niya para dito ay maging Nurse. Walang hilig makipagbarkada ang dalawa dahil pagkatapos ng klase, diretso daw sila sa bahay upang mag-aral. Nakakarating kay Mariam ang magandang feedback tungkol sa kanyang mga anak sa pamamagitan ng kanyang pinsan. Dahil sa kabaitan ng kanyang mga anak, nagsilbi silang inspirasyon sa kanya.

 

Binanggit ni Mariam na noong bata pa siya,  kahit once a week lang ang pag-aral niya ng Arabic sa Madrasa o Islamic school, at sa loob lang ng isang buwan, pinilit niya ang sariling matuto kaya panay ang self-study niya kapag nasa bahay na. Ang English naman ay sa regular na public school niya natutuhan. Ngayon, parehong magaling na siyang magbasa at magsulat ng English, ganoon din sa Arabic.

 

Tulad ni Den, sinabi sa akin ni Mariam na ayaw niyang matulad sa kanya ang kanyang mga anak kaya hangga’t maaari ay ayaw niyang magkasakit o umabsent sa trabaho dahil ang patakaran ng agency nila “no work, no pay”. Nang huli silang mag-usap ng kanyang panganay, humihingi ito ng dagdag na pera para magamit sa project sa eskwela dahil ang natitirang perang hawak niya ay Php400 na lang. Masakit man sa kalooban niya ay napakiusapan ni Mariam ang anak na pagkasyahin ang pera hanggang sa second week ng July kung kaylan siya makakakuha pa lang ng sahod. Habang sinusulat ko itong blog, hindi ko alam kung nakagawa ng paraan ang anak niya.

 

Naisip ko na ang halagang Php400 pesos ay pinapang-Jollibee lang ng iba, pero para sa anak ni Mariam, kayamanan na itong maituturing na kailangang pagkasyahin sa loob ng dalawang linggo.

Taimtim na Dasal (para sa Ied Il Fitr)

Dasal para sa Eid Il Fitr…

 

Taimtim na Dasal

…bukod-tanging natira nating pag-asa

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Sa pabago-bagong panahong dulot ay pinsala

sa halip na biyaya…

Sa harap ng kagutumang ating nararanasan –

walang katapusan…

At, sa harap ng mga kinatatakutang krimen –

‘wag munang tapusin ang dasal ng “amen”.

 

Magdasal pa tayo ng marubdob at taimtim

‘wag maging sakim…

Sa panahong ang patayan ay kalat sa mundo

piliting ‘wag masiphayo…

basta’t  namumutawi ang dasal sa ating bibig –

sa pag-asa, tayo’y nakahilig!

Ang Pilipinas at mga Pilipino…isang pagtanaw sa nakaraan

ANG PILIPINAS AT MGA PILIPINO

…isang pagtanaw sa nakaraan

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Bago dumating ang mga Kastila, ang mga ninuno ng mga Pilipino ngayon, na noon ay nakatira sa mga kalat-kalat na mga isla ay may narating na kung ang pag-uusapan ay tungkol sa sibilisasyon. Sila ay nakikipagkalakalan na sa iba’t ibang lahi na dumadayo pa galing Japan, Tsina, Malaysia, Indonesia, Arabia, at India. May kaalaman na rin sila sa pagmimina dahil kabilang sa ginagamit nila sa pakikipagkalakalan ay ginto at iba’t ibang uri ng mga kagamitan na yari sa tanso.

 

Ang mga komunidad ay organisado na sa pamumuno ng “lakan” o “datu”. Nang dumating si Magellan, ang Cebu ay maituturing na isang pederasyon ng mga datu at ang kinilala nilang pinuno ay si Raha Humabon. Ang pumatay kay Magellan ay si Lapu-lapu na isa sa mga “mababang datu” o “lesser chieftain” na ang pinamumunuang komunidad ay nasa Mactan. Ang mga nasa Maynila ay pinamumunuan naman ng mga “lakan”, na ang madalas mabanggit ay si Lakan Dula.

 

Ang mga nasa norte o hilaga ay mga tribung pinamunuan ng mga “pinakamatapang” at “pinakamalakas” na ama ng tahanan. Ang mga miyembro ng tribu ay magkakamag-anak, kaya ang pinaka-pinuno ay itinuring na “ama” na rin ng lahat. May sinasamba na rin silang sariling Diyos nang panahong yon, na kung tawagin nila ay “anito”, subalit hindi matanggap ng mga Kastila, kaya ang turing sa kanila ay mga pagano. Para kasi sa mga Kastila, ang hindi “binyagan” sa loob ng simbahan ay pagano, pero nakaligtaan nilang karamihan ng seremonyas sa simbahang Katoliko at mga piyesta ay halaw sa mga tradisyong pagano!

 

Patunay ang hagdan-hagdang palayan o “rice terraces” sa hilaga, ng katalinuhan ng mga sinaunang Pilipino, na ngayon ay itinuturing na isa sa mga nakakamangha sa buong mundo. Sinasabi pa na kung pag-uugpungin ang mga hinagdang palayan, mapapalibutan nito ang buong daigdig. Sa Mindanao naman, bago dumating ang mga Kastila, ang mga sinaunang Pilipino doon ay nakakagawa na ng mga bagay na yari sa ginto, bakal,pilak,  at tanso, na ang isa sa mga pinagmamalaki ay ang “lantaka” o kanyon. Bukod pa diyan ay ang “kris” at mga instrumentiong pantugtog, tulad ng “agong” at “kulintang”.  Patunay ang mga nabanggit na nakakapagmina sila tulad ng mga taga-Visayas, na ginamit nila sa pakikipagkalakalan at pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan. Ang pangalang “Visayas” naman ay halaw sa “Shri-Vishaya Empire”.

 

Hindi pwedeng sabihin na dahil sa Kristiyanismo ay dapat may tinatanaw tayong utang na loob sa mga Kastila. Dapat unawain na ginamit ng mga Kastila ang pananampalataya o relihiyon upang masakop ang mga Pilipino na bandang huli ay kanilang nilamangan o in-exploit o sa madaling salita – niloko. Nagkaroon na ng pananampalataya sa Diyos ang karamihan ng mga Pilipino, lalo na sa Mindanao bago dumating ang mga Kastila dahil sa mga misyonaryong Muslim galing sa Arabia at mga kalapit-bansa.

 

Ang unang misyonaryong Muslim na nakarating sa Pilipinas ay si Mudum (Makdum) na dumaan muna sa Malaysia bago pumunta sa Jolo. Sinundan siya ni Raja Baginda na galing naman sa Sumatra, sumunod ay sina Abu Bakr (Abubakar) at Serif (Shariff) Kabungsuan. Mula sa Mindanao ay kumalat ang pananampalatayang Islam sa Visayas at Luzon kaya nang dumating si Legazpi ay nadatnan na niya ang ganitong relihiyon sa Maynila. Ang mga misyonaryong Muslim ay walang ginawang pananakop, bagkus ay hanggang sa pananampalataya lamang ng Diyos ang kanilang sinaklaw. Sa isang banda naman, upang makapaghikayat ang mga prayleng Kastila ng mga Pilipino ay nagdaos sila ng mga mala-paganong piyesta na kinulayan ng Kristiyanismo, upang ipakita na “masaya at makulay” ang relihiyong ito.

 

Kung hindi sinakop ng Espanya ang Pilipinas, malamang ay isa itong Muslim na bansa tulad ng Malaysia at Indonesia kung saan unang nagka-ugat ang pananampalatayang Islam. Wala namang masama kung ganito ang nangyari dahil parehong Diyos pa rin naman ang pinaniniwalaan yon nga lang ay iba ang katawagan dahil sa Islam ang tawag sa kanya ay “Allah”. Maski papaano ay aasenso pa rin ang mga Pilipino at malamang ang kultura ay talagang dalisay o puro, waling bahid ng kanluraning impluwensiya galing sa Espanya at Amerika.

 

Sa isang banda, kung hindi sa panloloko ng mga Bristish na sumakop sa Malaysia, hindi sana nagulo ang kontratang nagpapatunay na inupahan lamang nina Gustavus Baron de Overbeck at Alfred Dent ang Borneo mula sa Sultan ng Jolo na si Mohammed Jamalul Alam, batay sa pinirmahan nilang kasunduan noong January 28, 1878. Nang bitiwan ng Inglatera ang Malaysia, tila sinadyang hindi nag-iwan ng “bilin” na hindi kasama sa teritoryo nila ang Borneo, dahil pag-aari ito ng Sultan ng Jolo at inupahan lamang ng dalawang negosyanteng British na sina Overbeck at Dent. Patunay din dito ang taunang “upa” na hanggang ngayon ay tinatanggap ng mga naiwang tagapagmana ni Sultan Alam.

 

Nang binitiwan ng Espanya ang Pilipinas sa kamay ng Amerika, magkahalintulad na panloloko rin ang ginawa ng bagong mananakop sa mga Pilipino. Ang sinasabing “tulong” upang mahubog kuno ang katinuan ng mga Pilipino sa sinasabi nilang “demokrasya” ay may kaakibat palang makasariling layunin. Dahil diyan, lalo pang nagdusa ang Pilipinas dahil animo ay ginahasa nang walang puknat ang likas-yaman (natural resources) nito. Idagdag pa diyan ang pagturing sa mga Pilipino na “unggoy” dahil hindi raw sibilisado tulad ng mga Amerikano. Ang tawag na “unggoy” ay nakatala sa maraming aklat tungkol sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas. Pinakita ng mga Amerikano ang kanilang mala-barbaro na ugali noong panahong pilit nilang sinupil ang mga rebelyon. Noon nadanasan ng mga nag-aklas ang iba’t ibang uri ng makahayop na parusa, pati ang pag-masaker (massacre) o paglipol sa mga rebelde at inosenteng sibilyan nang walang habas, na ang hindi makakalimutan ay ang nangyari sa Samar at Jolo.

 

Sa panahon ngayon, di tulad ng Espanya na talagang nagrerespeto na sa Pilipinas bilang isang malayang bansa, ang Amerika ay tila hindi ito matanggap dahil ang turing nito sa Pilipinas hanggang ngayon ay parang isa pa ring “kolonya” o “colony”. Ang masakit pa, bumitaw man sila noon, humirit pa rin sa huling pagkakataon dahil ang unang Saligang Batas ng Pilipinas ay presidente ng Amerika na si Roosevelt ang nag-apruba noong March 23, 1935. Pinahapdi pa ang sakit sa pagsingit ng “parity rights” na nagsasaad ng pantay na karapatan ng mga Amerikano at Pilipino sa paggamit ng lahat na likas- yaman ng bansa, at mga bagay na may kinalaman sa pangangalakal ng Pilipinas!

 

Ngayon, ang Pilipinas sa pamumuno ni Rodrigo Duterte ay pilit nagbabago upang matanggal ang makapal na pagkakulapul ng korapsyon mula pa noong bago pa lang ito nagkaroon ng kalayaan mula sa Amerika, na pinasahol ng iba’t ibang krimen lalo na ang mga may kinalaman sa droga. Ang patunay na iniismol pa rin ng Amerika ang Pilipinas ay ang tahasan at walang pasubaling pagkastigo ni Obama kay Duterte na akala niya ay “empleyado niya sa opisina”. Sino ang hindi makakapagmura sa pambabastos na yan? Pwede naman niyang ipadaan sa embahada ng Amerika kung mayroon man siyang mga pagpuna, subalit hindi niya ginawa, dahil nga malinaw na wala siyang respeto sa Pilipinas, at gusto niyang ipakita sa mundo na “kayang-kaya” pa rin ito ng Amerika!

 

Ang isa palang “disadvantage” kung sakaling hindi nagkaroon ng “western influence” ang Pilipinas ay baka walang international beauty queen na Pilipina, dahil kung mapapansin, ang mga nananalong “Pilipina” sa international beauty pageants ay may pangalang banyaga at ang “karakas” o mukha ay halatang banyaga rin!

 

A Call to Keep Mindanao Business Ventures for Filipinos Only

A CALL TO KEEP MINDANAO BUSINESS VENTURES

FOR FILIPINOS ONLY

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

IN VIEW OF THE LOOMING FEDERALIZATION OF THE PHILIPPINES , IN MY OPINION, BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN MINDANAO SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THE FILIPINOS- THE MINDANAOANS, RATHER THAN THE FOREIGNERS. SECURITY AND DIGNITY ARE ASSURED FROM DIRECT AND CONTINUOUS INCOME EARNED BY SMALL FILIPINO ENTREPRENEURS RATHER THAN, FROM CONTRACTUAL JOBS IN ENTITIES OPERATED BY FOREIGNERS.

 

THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD LEARN A LESSON OR TWO FROM THE “BILAO” ENTERPRISES THAT ARE PROLIFERATING AROUND THE COUNTRY – SMALL BUSINESS VENTURES OF FILIPINOS. ALL THEY NEED IS REGULATION THAT COMES IN THE FORM OF APPROPRIATE SITES AND REASONABLE TAX. INSTEAD OF LETTING FOREIGN-FINANCED STRUCTURES USING FILIPINO DUMMIES, WHY NOT MAKE USE OF THEM AS SITES FOR “BAZAAR” SITES FOR MINDANAOANS?

 

THE SMALL FILIPINO BUSINESSMEN NEED UNDERSTANDING AND COMPASSION FROM THE GOVERNMENT….THEY WHO ENDURE THE SEARING HEAT OF THE SUN IN THEIR DESIRE TO EARN HONESTLY, BUT DUE TO LACK OF SPACE AND GOVERNMENT SUPPORT, THEY ARE FORCED TO VENTURE INTO SIDEWALKS AND STREETS, ONLY TO BE APPREHENDED BY AUTHORITIES…A PITIFUL AND COMMON HAPPENING IN MANILA. THESE SMALL ENTREPRENEURS ALSO BITE THE BAIT OF LOAN SHARKS BECAUSE OF THE PROHIBITIVE LOAN POLICIES OF THE BANKS. THE DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (DTI) HAS QUIXOTIC  “PROGRAMS”  DELIVERED IN SEMINARS, BUT WITHOUT REALISTIC SUPPORT AS THE SMALL ENTREPRENEURS ARE THEN LEFT ON THEIR OWN WHEN THEY SECURE FINANCING. THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN IN MINDANAO.

 

WITH THE EFFORT OF THE GOVERNMENT TO OBTAIN A LONG-LASTING PEACE IN MINDANAO FOUNDED ON HARMONIOUS RELATIONSHIP AMONG MINDANAOANS , THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD OFFER REALISTIC HELP TO THEM, INSTEAD OF OPENING THE REGION TO OUTSIDERS WHICH COULD MEAN ANOTHER PROBLEM ON THE NEVER-ENDING CONTRACTUALIZATION AND THE UNEASY FEELING OF INSECURITY.

 

IF THE GATES OF MINDANAO WILL BE OPENED WIDE FOR THOSE FROM THE MIDDLE EAST, HOW SURE ARE WE THAT THE SURGE WILL NOT INCLUDE TERRORISTS, PARTICULARLY, ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND SYRIA (ISIS) ADVOCATES WHICH IS HAPPENING NOW IN EUROPE?  MUST THE DESIRE FOR PROGRESS BE USED TO INVITE SUICIDE BOMBERS TO STEALTHILY CREEP INTO THE MIDST OF THE PEACE-LOVING MINDANAOANS?