Sunday, June 29, 2008
Elation and euphoria are back in the Philippines and across the borders today as Manny Paquiao beat David Diaz in the lightweight division of world boxing. Flat on his face in the ring’s floor, Diaz looked like a whacked baby in comatose, ready to face the surgeon for some serious eye and facial injuries sustained during nine (9) rounds of unrelenting offensive from the unbeatable Manny.
From the first through the ninth rounds, Manny Paquiao exhibited superior punching and maneuvering ability and was the clear upper hand points-wise for all of those rounds. His superiority in both speed and power, added to his outstanding maneuvering skill, made him throw every kind of punch on the pathetic Diaz, candidate of America, with ease.
On the 5th round of the game, my compassion as a yogi-mystic began to surface while watching with eyes glued 105% on the TV screen. My compassion was, of course, addressed towards Diaz, whose face already sustained bleeding as early as the 2nd round, and I wished that Manny would knock him out on the 6th round as a matter of compassion. It would be cruel for any professional boxer to go on throwing deadly punches on an enemy who is almost down, and should, in my mind, work out to knock out the opponent early enough so as to minimize heavy injuries that could lead to death at the worse.
That knock out came finally on the 9th round, which made me felt a feeling of relief, and so I exclaimed my jubilation for my compatriot’s victory and compassion. Of course, I thanked God that Diaz is still intact, and was able to stand on his feet at least, thus assuring no further need for surgical operations or whatever. It was just a fight, may this fighter practice more. But like the rest of my kabayans, Manny has warmed our hearts so much again, and on this day he’s the one hero who had united the nation for at least some couples of hours.
Manny is now assured of his Hall of Fame status, with his gaining of a 4th title victory, notwithstanding the awarding to him of the most prestigious World Boxing Council or WBC belt at the 135-lb category. He is also impeccably Asia’s best, as it was the first time that an Asian won four (4) world titles in his career, thus ensuring Asia it’s place in the globe as a continent worth watching for.
Finally, and this is what has given us great pride, Manny’s latest victory has ensured Philippine supremacy in boxing from here on till maybe at least ten (10) years to come. Manny was not just representing himself, but rather he’s the chief icon among couples of others in the middle down to lower weight categories. The coterie of top-gun boxers have made Manila the team to beat, and had swept off Mexico and Thailand as the previous holders of this sports tiara.
For all boxers as a whole, Manny Paquiao’s latest victory had added prestige to the lower boxing weight divisions, and the spotlight of boxing had all the more been focused on these divisions away from the middle-to-heavy weights. He joins the coterie of titans such as De La Joya who earlier gave so much prestige to the lower-to-middle divisions.
Mabuhay si Manny Paquiao! Mabuhay ang mga Filipino boxers! Mabuhay ang Inang Bayan!
Writ 29 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Wars fatten financiers’ purses. This has been an established fact, a modus operandi of abominable usurers since the time of the Greek and Italian city-states yet.
The modus is simple, though complex in their implementation. The financier oligarchs, planning behind the scenes, would identify sources of potential conflict, reasons for launching them, and then finance war machines on both sides of the competing parties. Whoever wins hardly matters at all, what matters is that the financiers win all of the time.
This was experimented early during the time yet of the Greek city-states. At the height of its glory, Athens’ oligarchs decided to go on ceaseless war operations that were funded by them, with the aim of course of cashing on the efforts thereafter. The result was the catastrophic Peloponnesian Wars and the Dark Age that followed thereafter and drastically ended the historic Homeric golden age.
The same pattern can be observed in the launching of the Crusade wars. Venice provided the logistics, while Normandy provided the main warfront assets. The result was the Dark Age of that epoch, accompanied by bubonic plagues, depopulations, and Inquisitorial genocides. It took two hundred (200) years of Renaissance (Western renaissance for that matter) in order to get the West out of that rut.
Fast forward to the 20th century, the similar pattern of oligarchic machinations created monsters on both camps of the West. Lenin and Trotsky, funded by the financiers, were entrusted with the mission of terminating the Russian tsar and creating the totalitarian dream of the Fabian socialists. Massive inputs of funds and technologies were then secretly infused in creating the industrial-military complex of the Stalinist regime, ready for its forthcoming mission of an apocalytic clash with the fascists.
The same oligarchic cabal then created the monster of fascism, both of Mussolini and Hitler. They funded the industrial-military complex of Germany in particular, and then waited in the wings for the world war II to happen. How could Hitler’s group of black magic occult paupers (see Germanenorden and Vril Society) ever rise to power and create a huge movement and war machine without massive funding from the oligarchs? And that oligarchy included the Vatican by the way.
The very same financier oligarchs created the military-industrial complex of the United States of America. The same oligarchic cabal enjoy, till these days, the privilege of undertaking armaments production without having to pass through bidding procedures. So much rent-seeking takes place in the process, reeking colossal profits for the same oligarchic families.
The same families today control the financial flows of the globe. The British control 34% while Americans (control) 18%, thus bringing to 52% the control by the Anglo-Saxon oligarchs of total financial flows. Add the control by the Dutch, French, German, Venetian and Japanese, and you can see their almost total control of the world’s financial flows. (See derivatives controls in the Bank of International Settlements.)
Being in control of financial flows, it is most appropriate for the greedy financiers to foment frontier wars everywhere. Instant fireworks anywhere in the planet today instantly induce massive cross-border financial flows in that area of the planet. The resultant cross-border flows can then induce synchronic cross-border financial flows in the other continents for that matter.
This is what makes terrorist movements important for the financiers. Through the CIA, MI6 and related intelligence arms, terrorist movements can be constituted, funded, and then launched. The symphonies of terror attacks everywhere across the planet would be the most desired Wagnerian notes of the financiers, whose purses will fatten perpetually just by waging micro-conflicts in different countries.
Even nuclear arms have already been re-tooled and re-engineered by the military-industrial complexes of the oligarchy’s Northern hemisphere to adjust to frontier wars and micro-conflicts. The Balkans were the guinea pigs of the same weaponry arsenal way back in the 1990s yet, and the successes accruing on those experiences have emboldened military-industrial complexes to perfect the same weapons systems for present and future uses.
In my own country, I learned along the way that the insurgent movements here always had the hands of international intelligence units of the North at their very inception. The Maoist New Peoples’ Army had involved the CIA (agent Ninoy Aquino) in its founding and linkaging with the Communist Party of the Philippines (Maoist), and then infused with CIA agents in its hierarchy who maneuvered US arms to be used by them that came straight from the former military bases here. The Muslim insurgencies also involved American spies at their inception, and quid pro quo negotiations with Americans should the insurgents win in the south. The Abu Sayyaf was organized and trained by the CIA to serve as contingent Islam force against the pro-Soviet government of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
Documentations of British intelligence involvement in the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt are classic case studies of the machinations of the oligarchy in the Arab lands. It is now history that the same brotherhood became the base for forming jihadists and mujahideens of many countries, involving both the Sunni and Shi’ite forces.
No matter what continent we may examine, we are always confronted with the machinations of the financiers in the mounting of wars and terror operations. Wars without end means fattened purses without end. That is how demonic the minds of the financiers are characterzied, purely greedy and demonic.
[Writ 22 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Friday, June 27, 2008
Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
Erle: The erleargonza.blogspot.com’s my main site. About relations, wisdom, cosmic awareness, self-development. …I am a sociologist, economist, consultant, yogi, mystic, guru of self-realization, artist, powerlifter. Age 49.
Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?
Erle: Yes. I’m learning to write blog-style. I used to write technical-academic-scientific. I’m learning.
I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?
Erle: I’m new as a blogger. The most memorable now is the commentary, both positive and antipathetic. I like feedbacks a lot. Among all feedbacks, those from spiritual seekers who seek a guru are the most memorable.
What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?Erle: Open the blogs everyday. Begin at 7 a.m. Continue on time availability. Till 9:30 pm I work.
What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?
Erle: Blogs, cellphones are the coolest. Blogs for internet-based.
Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?
Erle: Very much. Tried & tested even here in Manila.
What do you think sets Your site apart from others?
Erle: I’m a guru and yogi, I can intuit on higher knowledge not knowable to the ordinary, not even to geniuses. Such as the opening of the stargate portal to other star systems, I saw this in my vision.
If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?
Erle: Big dreamer, far-sighted dreamer.
What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
Erle: Happiest: release of my 1st book. …Gloomiest? None really, simply sad but not ‘gloomiest’.
Do you think [the use of Twitter and other social networking tools by politicians] is bandwagon jumping or what?
Erle: Of course. But do they have any better choice?
If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for - what would your top 3 choices be?
Erle: Egypt–Great Pyramid; Glastonbury in England; Maui in Hawaii
What is your favorite book and why?
Erle: Secret Doctrine by Blavatsky. It’s the most advanced lesson in wisdom, mysticism for me.
What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?
Erle: Level of intelligence, by looking at their forehead, head configuration, sensing their aura.
Is there anyone from your past that once told you you couldn’t write?
Erle: No, never.
How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?
Erle: I can’t say much. My blogging is for serving spiritual seekers, hobby, not for money (I’m studying this now).
Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?
Erle: Not exactly. Even very busy professionals became successful bloggers which is just their hobby.
What are your thoughts on corporate blogs and what do you think the biggest advantages and disadvantages are?
Erle: It’s their choice, not mine to make judgement about. It’s cool, it can reach out to many, can’t say of disadvantages.
What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world more friendlier and less hostile?
Erle: Very much. Blogging is new. But it’s beginning to become the ’salon’ or ‘coffee shop’ of the future where ideas get to shape the world out there.
Who are your top five favourite bloggers?
Erle: I hardly have time to read others’ blogs really, can’t comment.
Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?
Erle: Catchy title, non-technical but short.
What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?
Erle: A great people! Nothing can erase that. Pakistan was once part of the seat of Mogul (I was a majarajah there during Akbar’s time, what can I say…)
Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?
Erle: Not really. Being a sociologist, I expect uniqueness.
What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?
Erle: Developed: the most strategic industries are in the high-tech industrial sectors. Developing, still mired in low-tech industries such as furniture, garments & textiles, and very big agricultural sector (past 50% of GDP).
What is the future of blogging?
Erle: Very very big! It is the salon of the future! It is where geniuses of the world meet, also the mystics and superhumans of the world. Very big!
You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
I got connected to new contacts, professional friends. Some of them already arranged face-to-face negotiations with me in Manila, inviting me to projects. It began when they read me, and i read their interests.
What are your future plans?
Erle: Become a master of wisdom, travel to other nations as a guru-master. Continue using blogs and open a formal URL.
Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
Work out to strengthen your nation, unite, bond amid ethnic differences. Don’t succumb to the whims of the global oligarchs who want to fragment Pakistan and then control the mini-states later. You are a great people, believe in your historical grandeur and collective strenth. Allah hu Akbar!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Since the stock markets began to plunge late last year, downturns that began with the implosion of the housing subprime mortgage bubble, over 2000 points were already shaved off from the Dow Jones index, the prime index of the USA’s stock markets. It’s now down to nearly 11,000 points from its best time total of 13,000+ points last year, representing actually a 20% plunge.
Each point in the Down Jones is worth $1 Billion as the roughest minimum estimate, though this may range up to $1.5 Billion, depending on the season of trading. Using the minimum as the yardstick, a 20% plunge from a total of 13,000+ index represents at least $2 Trillion worth of loses. If we were to add the loses in the other indices notably the Nasdaq, the figure can get us up to $3 Trillions loses.
Do note that the figure of $3 Trillions is only a conservative estimate. If we use the same figure to compute for the Global Portfolio loses, and multiply this with the number 6 (US’ portfolio capital flows represent 16% or 1/6 of total global flows, using BIS index), the operation would yield a total of $18 Trillions worth of portfolio investments gone down the drain.
It should be stressed that those loses are now gone forever. The stock market investors should better think of other options at this moment, since the plunge hasn’t ceased yet. Those loses of theirs will not return, rest assured. The plunge, per my forecast, will take a long time going yet till middle of next year.
The alarm bells are now up for a total global financial meltdown, and so every concerned fellow of the planet must make necessary preparations for the worst, whatever the worst could be. Corporate social responsibility or CSR may now need to do some contingency re-assessment and re-adjustment of goals and strategies, in the light of the continuing plunge.
Likewise should states rethink their goals and options, recheck their fiscal situation and re-adjust targets accordingly. There has been so much knee-jerked reactions by state players, central banks included, that must be re-examined, including pumping too much liquidities, rescuing ailing or bankrupt banks the erroneous way, and re-allocating budgets for populist welfare subsidies that would, in the short run, only lead to serious fiscal problems in the short run.
What is surfacing much clearly is that the old tools being applied—to salve the crisis—don’t seem to work as much as expected. The search for sound options is a tough challenging one, and the expectations from consumers, who have already slowed down consumption generally, are intensifying. Let us watch out for more contingent events.
[Writ 26 June 2008, Quezon City, Manila]
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Kapayapaan! Paz! Pax! Peace!
Oil price hike or OPH can be a precipitating factor behind military coups d etat. Since OPH is among the world’s focal issues today, we may as well reflect on a country case to examine how the OPH precipitated the launching of military coups: the Philippine case.
Before everything else, I hope the difference between military coup and mutiny is clear to the readers. A military coup is an offensive action aimed at a seizure of state power (coup d’etat). A mutiny is a defensive action, sometimes not sufficiently planned but a reaction against perceived injustices, often localized, and isn’t necessarily aimed at a seizure of state power.
In Manila’s experience, there never was a case of a mutiny that was precipitated by the OPH issue. But couples of military coups were launched that began with the OPH issue, and moved on to well organized assaults by an equally well equipped and fairly quantitatively endowed ‘warm bodies’ of an insurgent force within the national army that is backed up by its fraternal cadres within the national police.
The coup events took place in the 1980s yet, and were waged by the RAM-YOU-SFP coalition of army + police officers and enlisted men. RAM stands for Reform the Armed Forces Union, a reformist group of middle officers; YOU, Young Officers Union, a group of militant, radical nationalist junior officers; and, SFP, Soldiers of the Filipino People, a group of officers and personnel professing loyalty to the deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The same coalition signed a peace pact with the Ramos regime in the 1990s, its top leader Col. Honasan had been elected senator of the republic, and is among the insurgent groups that signed a negotiated settlement with the Philippine state.
OPH-precipitated coups have been confined to the 1980s events since then, the recent attempts at seizures of power being anchored on a different set of issues. However, it should be noted that the strategic issues raised by the military insurgents then till now have always been the 3 Cs: corruption, criminality, and communism. With the decline of the Cold War and the decriminalization of membership in communist parties (repeal of Republic Act 1700 or Anti-Subversion Law), communism has become a less palatable factor in the coup formulas.
The event often ran this way (simplified timeline):
· An OPH is officially announced, automatically raising the prices of gasoline, kerosene, diesel, lubricants, and an assorted list of fossil fuel-based downstream commodities. This will then lead to a spiraling of OPHs within days to weeks.
· Perceiving the erosive impact of OPH on the purchasing power of laborers, the Left forces would then wage coordinated trade union protest to bring down oil prices. Middle forces and transport groups join the actions, and major cities become paralyzed. The popular actions would culminate in boycotts and calls for ‘general strike’ orchestrated particularly by the Maoists (e.g BAYAN, KMU).
· The ‘general strike’ option is perceived as a take-over by the Communists of the state. As a pre-emptive strike to save the Philippine state from totalitarian downslide, the military insurgents launch a coup that ought to be as wide-scale in scope as possible. Certain establishments (e.g. state media) are seized, select military camps are bombed and captured, aerial assaults provide air cover, until some event will put a stop to the actions. (e.g. in the 1989 coup, the US Air Force provided ‘persuasion flights’ support to Corazon Aquino to scare away the Tora-Tora planes of the insurgents).
Sadly for the insurgents, and fortunately for the middle classes who would never again support any authoritarian regime in the Philippines, no coup attempt ever succeeded at all. However, this is not to present a fixed idea that no military coup will ever succeed in the future, this is another matter altogether.
Since the coup option has never faded in the minds of the army officers here, analysts and forecasters have to re-open the possibility of the OPH becoming again a precipitating factor in launching one general assault soon. The same thing holds for other countries as well, such as those 40+ countries that saw urban riots took place as protest reactions to ‘grains price hikes’ or GPH. A confluence of OPH-GPH would serve as a very powerful precipitating impetus for waging a coup assault for that matter.
The tall order than is to nip the bud by presenting well-blended policy mixtures and institutional adjustments to the consumers. Incidentally, this is easier said than done. Since the magnitude of OPH is indubitably global, and the causal global factors are so complex, the forced option is to use populist welfare tools such as massive subsidies to food, tax cuts, taking off oil value-added tax or VAT, trimming down import duties, and so on.
Whether such actions will not redound to hyper-inflation and fiscal catastrophe in the short run is something worth observing. In which case, spiraling hyper-inflation can be the precipitating factor, with OPH serving as one factor precipitating it (hyper-inflation). Let us see how the various states, both developed and emerging markets, will respond to the OPH and downward economic spiral of the moment.
Meantime, our jittered state officials will have sleepless nights forthcoming as army insurgents on the loose are busy organizing for their next ‘golpe de estado’ adventure.
[Writ 24 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
It is a stormy morning actually as I write this piece, and it seems to coincide with stormy events in the European continent at the moment. The continental storm has got to do with the finalization of the Lisbon treaty that could have effected complete political integration of Europe.
What makes the treaty questionable, in the opinion of many in Europe and across the globe, is that it didn’t pass through the public opinion mills and debates. Engaging Europeans themselves in voting for the measure could have been the most important method to ensure public consent about the unification treaty.
What is scary about the treaty, per analysis from many quarters including the Guardian and Executive Intelligence Review, is that it could pave the way for a central authority that is an undisguised totalitarian regime. A continental police state could have been the result of the full implementation, which is scheduled on January 2009, coinciding with the report to office of a new president in the United States.
Already, certain political personages are salivating for sitting in the throne of European president in case the treaty will be fully enforced. Tony Blair, former premier of the UK, is among those top candidates, and is noted to be very interested in becoming the first president of the political Union. In that case, he will be the first legitimate Emperor Palpatin, who will then sign marching orders for das boots mobilizations and conflagration of a total magnitude that will dwarf what the planet had ever experienced.
If the treaty will be fully implemented, the NATO will become the instant military wing, and the nuclear arsenal of the UK and France will be placed under the direction of Brussels. The NATO will become the command center for an EU-USA hegemonic partnership that will bring warfare to its next level across the planet.
The whole of Europe will suddenly become a police state of nightmarish proportions. The immigrants there today as well as the prison inmates will instantly turn into slave labor for global corporations. The scheme, as it was already tested in the USA, is for greater privatization of prison services. It is but another disguise for slave labor pure and plain.
You may have noticed the massive influx today of immigrants to Europe. This had already been pre-planned before to raise the level of future slave laborers in the new totalitarian continent. They will backstop the prisoners whose numbers will increase by many folds as brutal police forces will be rounding up every suspicious member of a neighborhood supposedly to check on guns, drugs, alcohol drinking binge, sex orgy parties, criminals, and so on.
That totalitarian march of Europe had been checkmated for a while, as Ireland sought its citizens’ vote on the matter. Irish people rejected the treaty, and so this gives Europe some breathing space to re-think about the compass of political economic life. It could in fact be a chance to abolish the European Union altogether, which is really nothing but a central regulatory arm of the Anglo-Dutch-Teutonic oligarchy within its own backyard.
Let us all keep our eyes wide opened, vigilant to the max as events unfold in Europe. We can never again allow a totalitarian regime in that continent, whose spill-over effect would be a rapid resurgence of Japanese militarism in Asia. No, never again can we see a repeat of the fascistic days of the ‘30s & ‘40s.
[Writ 22 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Sunday, June 22, 2008
That sounds like a tall order of a command. It really is no command but a task, a lifelong task. It fused together ‘know’ and ‘self’, the task being to ‘know the self’ in its totality.
Self-knowledge is knowledge of a very high order. This we mystics are very much aware of. We regard self-discovery as the last frontier, the frontier of ‘inner space’.
To be able to make adventures in ‘inner space’ and discover truths along the way is the very task of a seeker or knower.
To take it for granted that you already know yourself, or pretend that you know yourself 105%, is pure hubris. On the other hand, to be so disabled from knowing the self, so much that you cannot even think of qualities that indicate your personality and level of psychological integration, is a mark of deep fragmentation and disorder. Both tendencies must be discarded.
It pays to know the self. Today’s gurus of success are very right in their contention that persons who have greater insights about themselves get to become more successful than those who don’t. Robert Kiyosaki and John Maxwell, who are on top of this chain of success gurus, have declared this contention very explicitly and kept on re-echoing it in their various writings.
Know the self well, as this is the way to a more successful future. This is another way of writing the formula. To put it in mathematical language:
Success = fn (self-insight)
Success = A + B X (Self-insight)
Where A = Goals in life
B= Pace of acknowledgement and absorption of self-insight
The Teaching is so filled with methods for self-insight, methods and information that past gurus have already shared to the world. You can go ahead and study them well.
Take a look at astrology and numerology. They are examples of methods for self-analysis and insight devised by masters in antiquity. It pays to study them well. The better if you do the study yourself rather than rely all the time on an external agent (numerologist, astrologer) to do the analysis for you. There are information packages that would be best for you to find out for yourself, as you derive the information intuitively.
As a young yogi in the making, I did study numerology and practice its analytical powers on myself and my former students (1980s, 90s). Numerology, using the combined Pythagorean-Chaldean methods, worked so wondrously that each person done with a reading exclaimed their mighty accuracy of up to 90% most often. The lowest self-assessment I received for efficacy was 80%, with 20% error. The highest was at 95%. That high precision renders numerology into a great scientific tool!
Learn as many methods as you can. Study Jung, Freud, Maslow, Erikson, and other personality psychologists. Study also the methods for examining abnormal psychology, so that you will have an advanced method of self-integration assessment. Nobody is perfect, each one of us has degrees of personal fragmentation that’s why we’re here in the physical plane. So please take pains to study the methods and even undergo psychological tests from time to time. This is for your own good.
The last thing expected of you is to declare that you’re perfect okay and other people are very defective. If you make this self-claim, please see a psychiatrist as you delude yourself with grandiose states. You may need to be locked up in an institution, the better for you. Amen.
[Writ 09 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Happy Centennial Anniversary to my Beloved Alma Mater, the University of the Philippines!
Being a development expert, I wish to highlight in this briefer the developmental side to the premier university of my beloved country. The University or the Philippines or U.P. is foremost of all an indication of the maturity of Filipino education and educators, in that after 100 years of existence, we as a people were able to show to the world the viability of a grand university run by ourselves (Filipinos).
Tertiary education was imported directly from the West, being transplanted here from Europe during the Spanish colonial era (1500s-1800s). Albeit the idea of tertiary institutes run by Filipinos themselves is a fairly recent development. To be exact, it was only after World War II, coherent with our own independence from the USA, that the striving for Filipino-run tertiary educational institutions became one of the greatest challenges in Philippine education.
The University of the Philippines was constituted by the Americans after the conclusion of the Philippine-American War. When that war ended in 1900, there was a period of intense reorganization of the entire society and state, as well as the reconstruction of the economy that was damaged by two (2) consecutive wars (the Philippine revolution against Spain was the first). In 1908 the University of the Philippines was born.
The idea of a premier state university was not, however, an imposition by the USA on the Philippines. During the brief period of Aguinaldo government (1898-2000), the new Philippine state already prioritized the constitution of such a university in consonance with its desire to establish a modern educational program. The pedagogy of that university, had it succeeded, could have been close to those of Spain’s tops, notably the University of Barcelona and University of Madrid.
But the grand vision of the new republic wasn’t fulfilled as the Americans grabbed that opportunity for self-governance by the new state. However, the Americans themselves realized the soundness of the concept, and so they took on the cudgels for constituting a premier state university. The flagship campus was then the Padre Faura campus in Manila, while the branch outside Manila was the UP College Los Banos. The Philippine General Hospital served as the service arm of the new university. Anglo-Saxon pedagogy and philosophy served as the core foundation, following those of the Ivy League universities.
Americans served as the first professors and administrators of the noble institution. Then, gradually their Filipino apprentices joined the faculty, until the time was ripe for Filipinos to serve as top management officials. Note that it took two (2) decades for such a process to take. When the grand statesman Manuel Luis Quezon became President of the commonwealth, Filipinos were already showing their prowess in administering the university, designing and managing academic programs, launching pioneering research programs, and running classrooms as professors.
The commonwealth government was a testing period for self-governance which incidentally found solid support inside the United States congress and executive. By the early 19040s the self-governance prowess of Filipinos in the state university was already established. So when the USA departed from the Philippines in 1946, Filipinos already had the upper hand in running this institution and there was no great need to import experts (professors and consultants) to run the university.
It was a rough ride all along for the state university. No matter how rough it may have seem, when asked for an opinion, I would prefer to stress the victory of Filipinos first of all in showing the capability to run the university ourselves.
Since that time on, the state university had become the bastion of nationalism and critical thinking in the country. During the dark years of Martial Law, the U.P. became the most powerful lamp that lighted the surrounds for the whole nation, and people outside were dying to read the Philippine Collegian and dying to hear U.P. professors and youth leaders speak about the true state of the nation. This libertarian and Enlightenment facets of the U.P. are very much intact till these days.
Furthermore, the Filipinos were already able to veer away from their Anglo-Saxon heritage in U.P. Gradual Filipinization across the decades led to a rediscovery of the Pacific and Asian roots of Philippine culture, and the result was a blending of Western (Anglo-Saxon, Continental) and Eastern (Malayan, Asiatic) philosophy cum pedagogy. The U.P has led efforts at re-engineering the Filipino language from a conversational to an intellectualizing language sufficient for articulating higher level concepts, a re-engineering that continues till these days.
Finally, the U.P. also evolved into the top producer of knowledge and art works for the archipelago. It is the nation’s top think-tank, the bastion of national collective reflection, where we can find the highest concentration of brilliant minds among professors, research scientists, artists and students. All other institutions in the country seek counsel from the U.P. about their core state of affairs, a proof of the maturity and esteem that the U.P had gained across the decades.
Long and arduous will be the route that the state university will traverse yet, but having proved its resiliency and capacity across one century, I am confident that this University will grow and prosper over the next one hundred (100) years of its sojourn. Let us all wish the best of luck for this very noble institution, which may turn out to be the last bastion of freedom for Asia at a time of growing global fascism.
Glory, genius, grandeur!
[20 June 2008, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Visionary genius, patriot, martyr for Philippine independence, Gat Jose Rizal was a man too far ahead of his own time. So titanic was the luck that came upon this blessed archipelago, the Philippine islands, for the embodiment among its humble people of this encyclopedic mind, Dr. Jose Rizal. He is impeccably a ‘man for all seasons’. And he is the national hero of the Philippine nation.
Most nations declare among their top patriots a warrior or military leader as their ‘national hero’. But for the Philippines, ours’ is a genius, an intellectual giant, a mind capable of engaging in issues so recondite and subjects so diverse that, in so short a span, he was able to pen an enormous variegation of topics that befit, in their totality, an encyclopedia. At the age of 35, he was terminated by the demonic imperial forces of Spain, but he never died in vain. On the contrary, his death continued to inspire libertarian patriots here and in other Asian lands, an inspiration that continues for our youth till these days.
Mystically gifted, little did people know that he was actually transformed into a spiritual guru before his death. His guruship was unique, in that he mentored his fellows on the wisdom of nationhood and patriotism. One of his avowed readers if not disciples, Mohandas Gandhi of India, followed in his steps and became, upon his transformation into a spiritual master, a mentor of nationhood and patriotism just like Rizal.
So mighty a mind Rizal possessed, without doubt, that till these days his works overshadow the combined works of his own fellow patriots, including those who’ve gained double doctorate degrees and published widely in academic circles. Rizal’s following is solid, he need not further articulate nor gesticulate thoughts in the vogue of a desperate social marketing campaign, for even long after his death, youthful and scholarly minds read him, try to follow his ethical precepts, and emulate his exemplary patriotic behavior.
He was the first Filipino. Before his time, the term Filipino was bestowed only on those Spaniards born and raised in the Philipines. The Malayan natives were pejoratively called Indios; Chinese, Sangleys; Aetas and IPs, negritos and montanosas; and Muslims, Moros. With scathing indictment of arrogant racism of Spaniards most especially the friars, Rizal declared, with his mighty pen, that from this day on everybody born and raised in the islands will be called Filipino. That was how we islanders were to be bestowed with the name Filipino, a term that will stick till way into the distant future when a ‘Filipino race’ will evolve from out of a mere nationality today.
In his thoughts he pre-empted the political philosophy of Antonio Gramsci, the eminent Marxist leader of the Italian Left. Rizal mentored his fellow patriots that it will prove unwise to wage an insurrectionary campaign and seize political power, at a time when the ideas of nationhood haven’t permeated the private sphere yet. The most fitting strategy for that long-term goal—of building nationhood—is education. Build the new world’s ideas first till they become hegemonic, after which winning a revolution will be more facile as it was in the French revolution. That’s Rizal, and that’s Gramsci as well, but Rizal preceded Gramsci, let the world be made aware of this fact.
In gender relations, Rizal was no less ahead of his time. He scorned the ‘Old World woman complex’ so deeply that he chose to bury this woman in catacombs of history, which he did by killing Maria Clara, the Old World’s embodiment, in his novels. He advanced the idea of Modern Woman in the figures of the ‘women of Malolos’, even as he championed women who were civic-minded, actively engaged as co-partner in shaping the modern world, intellectually adroit and well-schooled. The Filipino nation he likened to the figure of Sisa in his novels, a nurturing mother who no matter under dire duress will never self-destruct but will stand out firm, tall and well-esteemed by fellows.
Amid Rizal’s liberalism, he never had any fondness for anarchism. Following Zola’s novel-writing tradition (e.g. Germinal), Rizal embodied the anarchist in the young bourgeois creole Ibarra who, at the end of his novel scripts, self-destructed. Anarchism can never be a substitute for prudent authority that should follow the Enlightenment principles of reason, progress, fraternity, and scientific verity. He was a true-blue liberal nationalist, never an anarchist.
We Filipino nationalists will continue to be inspired by Gat Jose Rizal. And his thoughts, the most treasured jewels of Asia during his time, will continue to inspire us, diadems that we magnanimously share to all enthused Fellows of the Planet, thoughts that mentor and serve as balm on the soul, like unto those writ by the most sagely personages. For these are the thoughts of a man no less sagely than the wisest of the days of old, thoughts that long after they are gone will continue to make waves into the minds of men and women of many generations yet to come.
Hail Gat Jose Rizal! Glory, genius, grandeur!
[12 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The recession stay, the downward global economic spiral will continue for an indefinite time. This is the pattern that we can now see across the globe.
Stock markets have been crashing, going through a freefall for couples of months now. In Manila, the Philippine stock market is down at 2,500+ points as of this morning, or 800 points short of its best performance of 3,300+ late last year. The pattern is true in other stock markets as well.
One thing is clear: this is a global meltdown going on, and the spiral’s turn-around towards more positive gains in the succeeding months. Trillions of dollars have already gone down the drain, loses that may never be recovered again.
Many pockets are getting badly hurt, both from the fund-rich hedge funds and portfolio financiers to ordinary middle class investors. Just about two (2) years ago, everything was bullish in world stocks, most especially in Asia. That situation had since evaporated.
Unfortunately, the harbingers of liberal dogma are still banking on liberalization policies that have proved to be so bankrupt they are, in fact, the very cause of this global meltdown shaping up. The ‘virtual economy’ unleashed by liberalization resulted to looting sprees by fund managers and hedge fund operators, the same money that they partly utilize for corporate social responsibility.
Now the oil price hikes and currency market volatilities have compounded the recession. It’s just mid-2008 by the way, and there’s still the bombing of Iran that we all await as the non-surprise ‘surprise attack’ from neo-cons and Zionist fascists, which will guarantee higher prices for oil and better dollar leveraging power. This will come sooner or later.
Forecasting has been made simpler by anarchic events at this moment. There is no end in sight to the recession, oil prices will still move up, and the recession will lead to a deeper meltdown of the liberal financial-monetary system of casino-style looting by financier operators.
Better do some belt-tightening if you haven’t done this yet. Let’s continue to watch the horrible unfolding of events. Madness and unparalleled greed have shattered the financial-monetary system, the ‘virtual economy’ of predatory financiers.
[Writ 12 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Good afternoon from Manila!
The headlines and front pages of the major dailies here are focused (scoop) on the Ces Drilon abduction by the Abu Sayyaf, the CIA-created jihadist group operating in Mindanao (southern Philippines; Ces Drilon is a rated journalist of the oligarchic ABS-CBN). Reports say the P15 Million rock-bottom ransom is out, and that the jihadists have signaled an ultimatum.
As this is happening, the national army is massing up troops and intelligence assets in the area, supposedly as part of the ‘stick tactic’ that could glue the terrorists to the bargaining table. This is old-hat psych-op that belabors on the obvious, which even kindergarten minds are aware about.
The real score in the current ‘abduction game’ as well as in previous ones is that it is an opportunity for rouge military officers to sell armaments to the terrorists. I have already tackled the matter of rouge arms sellers, and factored the USA’s Pentagon neo-cons as the current force behind such abominations within the Philippines’ armed forces or national army.
As discussed in a previous article, terrorist abduction is an amusingly ‘win/win’ situation in an affected area. I also tacked the matter of pricing strategy for ransom and the network of peacekeepers involved in the process. The one bannered on headlines, worth P15 Million, is the rock-bottom price, while the maximum ransom, per estimates leaking to media and experts, shoots up to $5 Million.
The question that comes into mind now is, with the massing up of army operations in the affected area (Indanan, Sulu island province), how would the abduction be handled as a whole from both sides? Aware that rouge elements are inside the army who are up to sell arms to the jihadists, do the terrorists possess the funds for paying the rouge soldiers?
The problem, which finance experts may better reflect on, is that the cash to pay rebels hasn’t been fully forwarded yet. The only cash paid so far was for the release of the camera crewman of Drilon, who is a low-bankable player and in the latest abduction game. Though seemingly a nuisance, the value of the crew is that, while negotiations were in process for his release, the jihadists were able to spy on the connecting threads and linkages of operators and peacekeepers on the “other side” of the table.
Such a situation is precisely what hedge funds are for. Portfolio capital can serve precisely as cash forward to the party involved (jihadists), while the same portfolio operator can likewise hedge the scheduled cash flow inputs of the paying group (Lopez group). As I was saying in a previous article, insurance companies and hedge funds operators have a ‘window of opportunity’ in the context of a ‘force majeure’ event such as terror abduction.
The final question is, in case that no cash forwards will get through to the jihadists, and no guarantees for luscious purchases by the army and designated bagmen operators, will the ‘stick operations’ pursue? Will Drilon finally be released by the jihadists in case that they feel the pressure from the army assault on their lairs?
These types of operations are already routine in Mindanao’s life and hardly make a dent on public attention that is focused on other hard issues like oil price hikes and inflation. What makes the case unique is the person of Drilon who is an asset of the ABS-CBN, a Lopez family firm. The jihadists know the great sins of the Lopez utilities notably the Meralco on the public, which could factor in the dynamics of the abduction.
Needless to say, the Lopez sinners can pay the price of the latest game. Government can also exact a bit of revenge for the beating it got when its board representatives in the MERALCO lose in bidding for chairmanship and juicy posts. Or, perhaps a turn-around that could see the release of Drilon and heavy beating (with high casualties) of the jihadists would happen, thus increasing the palatability of the government control of the MERALCO firm.
The scenario is no determinate one as the situation is fluid. You can make your own guesses about the compass of the abduction. In case you’re following up on the news, better do your own scenario building now while the “soup is hot.”
[Writ 17 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Monday, June 16, 2008
In the beginning were Truman and McCarthy, collectively the ‘Father’ of Cold War. The Father ‘breathed’ out from His inner recesses, and off came a-birthing the new being called the Cold War. Mighty and dreadful, this being unleashed destructive forces of such unparalleled beauty in the eyes of the Father, and so, on the 7th day, the Father slept, fulfilled that his mighty Dragon of destruction has been doing its job well.
So mighty was this Dragon of Destruction that in my beloved nation, the new Philippine republic, everything that looked like a demon (read: patriot) must be staked alive in the town plaza, and upon the expiration of last breath, the demons must be paraded around town. Communists, socialists, nationalists, civil libertarians all appeared as ‘birds of the same feather’ and are, per the Pavlovian stock of knowledge of this hungry dragon, of equal demonic quality as the witches of Salem. Kill them whenever you see them in sight!
Fellows, the Father is long dead, his two heads (Truman, McCarthy) long gone, but many of us still think, both consciously and unconsciously, like the sons and daughters of the Father. We perceive and stigmatize those patriots inside our backyards, whose mindsets remain outside our perceptive perimeters of accepted political forces, as non-human witches worth our termination en masse.
The Cold War mindset has been responsible for the rabid witch-hunt perceptions of insurgent groups. Never mind if the insurgents are not exactly those terrorists that were largely creations of the CIA (Al Quada, Abu Sayyaf) and British Intelligence (Muslim Brotherhood offshoots), insurgents that lay claim to legitimacy of their agenda and relative civility of their methods and tactics. They are sorcerers, they must be hunted and terminated like deadly wolves, show them no mercy, and so name every plethora of denigration and demonization one can think of about any social or political group.
Fellows, when you have patriotic groups around, such as our Muslim and Left rebels here in the Philippines, please treat them as your siblings. Shed off that Cold War mindset, accept them, embrace them, integrate their cadres into the mainstream. And, ipso facto, integrate their armies into your state’s army and national police. Take off that distrust, condescension, arrogance and hubris, period. Accept them without precondition.
The end of Manila’s war with the Moro National Liberation Front or MNLF proves to be a very instructive case. As part of the negotiated settlement, troops of the Bangsa Moro Army or BMA, military wing of the MNLF, must be integrated into the army and national police. 7,000 troops were then screened from the guerilla ranks, received training, re-orientation and indoctrination, and voila! They proved they were equal to the task of being a soldier or cop for the Philippine state!
Please note that we have a history in the islands of deep distrust towards Muslims. The Muslim ethnicities never ever bowed to Western colonial authority for the whole period of 400 years of colonization, they always waged military campaigns against the Spaniards, and were pacified only after bloody integration campaigns by the American forces. “A good Muslim is a dead Muslim,” so goes this rather demented aphorism that I grew up with as a young boy in the 1960s.
Who would ever trust Muslim troops within the army in the 1970s at the peak of the Mindanao war? Or the ceasefire days of the 1980s? No, Sir, nobody could trust Muslims as they fell within the ambit of Cold War discourse and the demented, bigoted perception about them by the majority Westernized peoples.
But the 1990s was a different context. The Philippine state booted out American GIs and re-acquired the U.S. military base lands here, independent foreign policy was championed, the Cold War was eroding fast. The Christian Democrats, who were catapulted to power (President Ramos was among its top leaders), were very open in coalitioning with radical forces, the Left most specially. And so when President Ramos became president, it was among his top agenda to conclude all insurgencies here via the carrot way of negotiated settlement: the ‘win/win’ solution to age-old rebellions.
The military rebels (RAM-YOU, RAM = Reform the Armed Forces, YOU = Young Officers Union or YOU) finally agreed to a settlement and be integrated into the mainstream and the army/police. Likewise did the MNLF agree to a settlement, the top MNLF leaders were elected to the top posts of the Autonomous Region of Mindanao or ARMM, the BMA troops got integrated into the army and national police.
We simply shed off our Cold War mindset right then, and were so euphoric at the fulfilling results of the peace talks. Being a nationalist and socialist, my own Cold War antipathies towards our soldiers and cops eroded, my trust for them quite returned. I had always been under the surveillance of the state intelligence groups here, for nigh three (3) decades, and till these days my dossiers are still in the files of the said groups even if, by 2004-05, I served government as a bureau official.
Albeit I’d reserve my most euphoric moment, with tons of tears of happiness shed, when our other insurgencies will be concluded and their armies likewise integrated into our police and army. Never mind about nauseated rationalizations such as those questions of competency, mental orientation, and other Cold War hubris, they belong to the dirtiest dustbins. Integrate the insurgents at all cost and full acceptance, without preconditions.
[Writ 10 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Good afternoon from Manila!
As of this moment, Manila is in the heat of coffee shop speculations about the fate of the recently abducted Ces Drilon & crew, personnel of the oligarchic network ABS-CBN, by the Abu Sayyaf. The ‘cara y cruz’ debate is whether the Lopez group will pay for the ransom of Drilon & crew, amounting to $5 Million more or less.
Having observed peacekeeping for some time now, and having had the privilege of being close to peace negotiators on both camps (state and rebel counsels), I know very well about the perks that go with peacekeeping. A favorite popular idiom today, when one is uncertain whether to push through with a work engagement, is “i-career mo na” (make a career out of it). This goes through for peacekeeping.
Let me ping straight to the point: there’s a lot of kickbacks in peacekeeping, that is why it is a great project engagement for any state official to role-play peacekeeper. On the terrorist side, mujahideen work becomes adventure, fun and good life as sweet money would come around every time that abductions and raids would be mounted. Abduction, specifically, is a ‘win/win’ situation (Fidel Ramos favorite idiom).
Here is the value chain of abduction: A group of young terrorists are tasked to abduct any bankable personage or group. Most probably a preliminary assessment had been done about the ‘book value’ of the proposed victims. With all parameters and actions observed (on the backward and forward linkages, inputs and outputs), the group then proceeds to abduct the bankable victim and team members.
The ever ready peacekeepers, actual (those with mandates) and potential (those local and other personages who can do go-between or back-channel tasks), will then quickly respond to the situation. The terrorists are aware of the chain of peacekeepers, and knowing the “10% goes to Boss” S.O.P., they already padded the price of the ransom. A lot of contingency expenses are entailed in the negotiations, a lot of risks too, so all operating expenditures must be covered in the ransom estimate.
The bargaining then begins as soon as the peacekeepers rendezvous with the terrorists or their authorized agents. To show semblance of civility and concern, the peacekeepers would try to strike a bargain, but not rock-bottom please. Nobody wants to come home empty-handed, please understand.
Upon doing the preliminary rendezvous, the terrorist group or T-Group would then re-assess the estimate. They have already done their own counter-espionage about the ‘chain of peacekeepers’, so this dovetails in the decision whether it is sound to scale down or move up the ransom. Factoring along the number of new T-Group recruits who may need immediate ‘glad tidings’ support is also an important decision input here.
The family or firm that is set to pay ransom will make the pronouncement that “there will be no ransom” and the rationale that “we will not and never will negotiate with criminals and terrorists.” This is a mere cover-up by-line, remember, I know this for a fact. Non-payment is too remote from reality, I’m very certain about this.
What is factual is that the family or firm would have to decide quickly to pay more as soon as a bargain had been done via back-channel. Often than not, the paying group must also offer gifts (payola incentives) to the back-channel negotiators. Payment must really be quick and sweeping. Because failure to do so would make the T-Group raise the ransom, and the negotiations after that would be more difficult, hazardous, and the chain of peacekeepers would rise, perhaps following 2-3 chain tracks.
So, what happens upon the conclusion of the deal is that everybody will be happy. Jihadists are awash with funds for operations and payments of assets, locality’s banks are awash with fresh cash that will then circulate back into the local economy, and happiest of all will be the peacekeepers whose purses and secret vaults will bulge with fresh funds. Everybody gets a lot of news exposures, the media personnel abducted will have tons of materials for new write ups and reportage, the paying group will project an angelic mien as philanthropic moguls worth your emulation.
Perhaps the insurance companies should cash in on terror abductions and attacks, and open up ‘terror insurance’ or maybe peg them as ‘force majeure’ with specifications applicable to terror-operated abductions. And, maybe they can even partner with wealthy peacekeepers to study the viability of hedge funds operations for abductions. Isn’t this a fantastic proposal?
[Writ 15 June 2008, Manila, Quezon City]
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Good afternoon from Manila!
Is it possible to practice guru for nationhood? Everybody who knows the term ‘guru’ or teacher expects the role of somebody who mentors on the level of the individual psyche, or intervenes on the individual level. Let me shed light about the matter.
There are different levels of consciousness and awareness. Each one of us has an individual aspect to our consciousness, which sociologists call the ‘individual self’ or authentic self. The individual self is the repository of our personality, the totality of our behavior system that allows us to behave in many circumstances in a unique way. The mind of our unique self is called the ‘individual mind’ plain and simple.
As we move up the ladder of sociality, we encounter the ‘collective consciousness’. Sociologists used the terms ‘conscience collective’ (Durkheim), ‘social consciousness’ (Marx), and ‘social self’ (G.H.Mead) to refer to this level of consciousness and type of self. The rules that guide our behavior are deposited in our collective memory and operate through our ‘social self’.
The nation is a cultural being that comprises of a congregation or agglomeration of diverse ethnicities, races, social classes, genders, and other social identities. At the level of nation, collective consciousness operates and congeals as rules, national culture and identity. Nationhood therefore is no fixed thing, born from out of a silver platter, but is rather an entity that has to be collectively constructed.
It is in the task of constructing nationhood that diverse teachers do come to help mold minds of people towards accepting a common culture, identity and normative template as a people. Gurus are indeed sent from time to time, whose missions have to do with galvanizing collective consciousness towards an ‘enlightened society’ rather than focus on individual learning of the Teaching.
Among the various mystics who were sent forth by the Divine Hierarchy to focus on the collective consciousness formation, Jose Rizal and Mahatma Gandhi come to mind as the prototypes for modernity. Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero, practically expended his time and effort teaching his fellow islander Malayans in accepting an identity as ‘Filipino’ and learning the patriotic values and duties that go with practicing citizenship.
Mahatma Gandhi, who read Rizal and must have been aware of the mystic-guru side to the first Filipino, likewise embarked on the noble mission of teaching nationhood for his beloved India. Among the patriotic virtues that he taught, that of ahimsa (peace/non-violence) stands out as the most. He preached nationhood till the last breath of his physical body, and did a lot of punishing self-sacrifices just to prove his point. Even his profession and money pursuits he sacrificed in the last instance.
Both of them eventually lost their lives for the cause. Rizal was executed by the Spanish overlords of his beloved Philippines, while Gandhi was assassinated by a partisan fanatic. During that moment of death, what people don’t realize is that, as their respective souls departed, they made inner commitments to Cosmic Hierarchy that they partly shoulder the collective karma of their nation. In other words, they carried the cross for their nation, in the same way the Jesus carried the cross of the entire planet Earth’s humanity.
In a similar way, gurus who intervene on the level of individual consciousness do take a part of the karma of their respective individual disciples. Some of them suddenly acquire incurable cancer, some would lose their voice partly, while some others could die from absorbing so many vibrations and bad karmas of their disciples. That’s what it means to become a guru: take on the cross for others.
So, Fellows, let us please appreciate the noble works of gurus for nationhood for their selfless dedication to their thankless jobs. They more than deserve accolades for their sacrifices and gargantuan feats. No wonder why some people regard them as worth the cult worship, revere them like gods. They deserve enormous respect, to say the least.
[Writ 09 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Friday, June 13, 2008
As I was moving back to home-base, done with my gym exercise, my eyes caught the news bit in the newsstands about the biggest Philippine flag recently unfurled in Baguio City. So huge was the flag, it weighed over 3 tons.
Whoever may have conceived the idea (a lady), she was acting magnanimously on the behest of her own Guide from Above. The choice of creating and unfurling a big flag, on the occasion of Philippine Independence day, can be perceived as a token of patriotism and love for fellow Filipinos.
On a deeper level, however, the unfurling of a flag so huge goes beyond simple tokenism. There’s more to the flag beyond people coming together and building bridges of Love for peace and world healing, which indeed had been delivered by the flag team at the moment of unfurling. It also goes beyond the hospitality of the Baguio people that was rightly exhibited too at that moment of unfurling.
For one, the size signifies the growth and galvanization of the Filipino identity and weltanschauung that took over 300 years to build. Building that weltanschauung began when the secularization movement was launched during the Spanish Era, and then moved on to the nationalist movement of Rizal’s time, and onwards to the Filipino Renaissance of the 1990s (pre-centennial through post-centennial jubilee). The Renaissance still goes on and may be the next phase of weltanschauung formation that would take probably two (2) centuries to ferment.
The Philippine nation used to be circumscribed within the confines of the archipelago, the same island group that was created by Westphalian-type treaties among world powers. Today, the nation has gone beyond the archipelago’s borders, as Filipinos have been spread across the globe, nearly 100 million strong.
That huge flag signified the strength of the weltanschauung formation galvanizing as identity, psyche, collective taste and temper that now inhere among the equally large population of 100 million. A globalized people and nation must be signified with dignity and honor by an emblem as huge as the world: a 3+ tonner flag. Hugeness means strength, power, potency, global extent. It means there is not any place in the world that we can’t dip our hands into and be part of their reshaping. It means global imprint, global impact.
The year of unfurling is very auspicious: 110th year after the independence declaration. 110 contains the numbers 11 and 10, 11 X 10 equals 110. 11 signifies conquest and leadership in certain domains of planetary life. 10 means 9 + 1, the number of completion that starts with zero (1 is leadership, 9 is martial abilities). Somehow, the Cosmic Hierarchs are heralding to the world, via this huge flag, on this 110th year of Filipinas, that from hereon a new phase of history begins: the phase of global leadership in certain aspects of life.
By the fact that Filipinos were spread across the globe, a feat that can be attributed largely to the Divine Hierarchy in pursuit of a greater Plan (which we 3-dimensional mortals are blind about), already is one cause for wonderment. Hidden Divine Hands are working on these islands, and so the message of the Hierarchy to the Dark Forces who want to destroy our people is for them to ‘make no mistake’, the Divine Plan holds and will hold through. No Dark Force can ever wreck the destiny of the Filipinos, a destiny that has global effects in the future eras to come.
Not even the destruction today of the archipelago through WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and the mass termination of 90 million inhabitants can ever kill Divine Plan. That huge quake that struck China recently, using a Tesla Earthquake Machine or TEM, was already a forewarning by the Dark Forces (Luciferans) of their resolve for destruction and global domination. But they will fail, they can never make Filipinos submit to their dictates, the future Filipino as a distinct sub-race or ‘species race’ will come, no Luciferan abomination can deter or deviate it from happening.
My kudos goes to the team that did this flag project. But most specially, I salute the Cosmic Hierarchy who actually gave the go signal for this event to take place on this year, 2008, the 110th anniversary of our independence.
[Writ 13 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Good afternoon from Manila!
Fellows of Planet Earth, better prepare yourself for the eventualities that have become a fact of life: high gas prices, and high food prices. Let me focus here on high gas prices, although gas and food are very much inter-related.
The good news for those workers and businesses that utilize the US dollar for their transactions is that the dollar will be quite strong for a time. My own forecast is that, over the next twelve (12) months at least, the strong dollar stays. The dollar is used to transact oil, remember, so you’d see its strength sustained for a time as oil price hikes will be the ‘event of the moment’ in the short run.
The dollar was actually already in the downward trend, moving rapidly towards a crash from middle of 2007 onwards. The US recession came, confidence in the dollar was low, and so the currency traders desired so strongly to unload as much dollar as they can before it would go up again.
To make things more hair-raising, the global financiers actually wanted the dollar to get crashed like smashed potato. The financiers’ problem last year was: which currency to substitute for the dollar given that Uncle Sam’s currency remains as the international legal tender, thanks to the Bretton Woods agreement that ensured this role for the same currency.
The options eventually narrowed down to just two: the (a) Euro or the (b) pounds sterling. Some quarters among the financiers were for the pounds sterling, and it seemed this dominated financier mindsets last year, though there were insiders who opted for the euro.
The next question was, granted that a currency option war clear, say that the pounds sterling will be the currency of the moment, will the volume of pounds across the globe suffice to make a sweeping decision to dump the dollar? The volume of dollars across the globe is simply gargantuan, it just isn’t that easy to play God with this currency.
Finally, at the end of the day, with speculators playing around to keep gas prices up, the forced decision was for the dollar to stay after all. This is, in fact, a revenge of Uncle Sam on those predatory forces who simply wish to play God with currencies and destroy national economies without compunction, no matter if many poor lives will be dead in their crashing effects.
On the other hand, Anglo-American oil men are having a field day as speculative trading has shifted to their side for some time, and will be so for at least twelve (12) months. The US dollar’s downward spiral has been put on hold for a time, and the said oil men will be happier by many folds in the months ahead as their purses will bloat to Glad Tidings.
Fellows, accept this as a fact of life: oil prices will be up. Prepare your necessary contingency measures as their effects will be upon you.
[11 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Good afternoon, Fellows of Planet Earth!
The FAO just concluded the global food summit recently in Europe, and many concerned fellows are asking whether there will be an overflowing of food in our plates after this conference. For the simple folks, the double query is whether there will be food in their plate, and whether food prices can go down a bit to alleviate the hurt on their pockets.
You see, when folks’ pockets are in pain at the same time that food prices are prohibitive and food availability insecure, chances are that they’d go out rioting. We saw the rioting take burst forth in at least thirty-seven (37) countries across the globe.
So, after the FAO summit, is food guaranteed for everyone else (food security) at fairly affordable price (fair trade)? And, may it be added, without those anarchic riots that go with food-related protests? Whether these answers were responded to in the summit isn’t really clear after all. It seems that the food body ended with more questions to answer than for a reduction of those that already hound the food sector.
Let’s take the issues one at a time. First of all, the food prices went up sky high couples of weeks back due largely to predatory financiers’ speculations on the food commodity futures. And this speculation was made possible largely due to the liberalized currency, financial and monetary markets, thanks to the GATT-Uruguay Rounds and the preceding liberalization efforts that began way back 1971 yet.
That’s why, when tasked to re-draw the policy architecture for the food sector in the Philippines, this expert, acting as project consultant for a national NGO coalition here, recommended the strict enforcement of monetary and financial control measures as part of ‘fair trade’ policies. Volatile currency and financial markets redound to food insecurity in the short run, as the facts now reveal. (See the book E. Argonza, Fair Trade and Food Security: Framework and Policy Architecture, Kaisampalad, 2005/08.)
Next comes those affecting the backward and forward linkages of the food sector. The monopoly of patents (note Monsanto case), inefficient production technologies, pest management issues, and other related issues continue to pester the supply side. Hoarding and smuggling pester the sector on the demand side. Then, there is the high protection walls of Northern economies on the sector, trade barriers that are nowhere near to being addressed.
There are much more issues to reflect about. Name a contentious issue, and find out whether this was answered by the summit. FAO summits are now turning to be more like the WTO meetings that ended in fiasco. With fiasco comes violent protests as expected. Incidentally, we can’t put protests on our plates to nourish our bodies.
[Writ 11 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Erle Frayne Argonza
Philippine solidarity to all Fellows on Planet Earth!
On the 12th of June 1896, as the sun was rising, the Philippine Flag was raised for the first time in Kawit, Cavite. The Philippine National Anthem was also played, in the genre of classical marches, putting it alongside the French Republic’s anthem. Emilio Aguinaldo, first president of the new republic, declared the independence of the Philippines from Spain and the official birthing of the Philippine nation-state.
That moment of victory, no matter how short-lived it was as the American forces soon snapped off the flame of liberty in the islands, was of gigantic significance to all Asia. For the first time, a modern republic was born, forged from out of the struggles and blood of the Filipino people, who fought arduously against the mighty empire of the Spanish Crown. Over three (3) centuries of Western imperial cruelties, demonic calumnies and abominable barbarities were officially ended that day.
All of Asia watched the unfolding events in the islands then. The young patriarch of the nation, Dr. Jose Rizal, was terminated by the Spaniards in 1896 yet, but his ideas of nationhood spread like wildfire across the archipelago after that infamous moment of his execution. With the founding of a new republic, the Asians realized that nationhood ideas, typified by the thoughts of Rizal, were viable. No matter how mighty an evil empire would be against a colonized people of Asia, the latter will be able to forge collective might and will, terminate imperial rule and build a new sovereign nation-state.
Thus were our fellow Asians emboldened to study the path of national liberation, build the patriotic ideas and revolutionary movements that will serve as their executor vehicles, and wage libertarian campaigns to the finish, even if it will take thousands to millions of martyrs to conclude the national liberation project. Gandhi, Aung San, Sukarno, Sun Yat Sen and leading patriots from fellow Asian lands, who read and digested Rizal’s writings well, stood out among our great leaders in Asia, and the rest was history.
Modern nationhood in Asia started in my beloved country. This is an established fact, though seemingly ignored and forgotten. Because it started here, let it be the duty and obligation of all fellow patriotic Filipino to continue to spread goodwill and good faith unto all the peoples of Earth, whether from developing or developed states. For in today’s context, there are those powerful predatory forces that aspire no end to snuff out the nation-states in the name of their ignominious greed, lust for power, and tyrannical might.
Back home, here, we nationalist patriots continue our struggle against the pro-colonial forces in all spheres of life. Rizal’s dream here hasn’t completely galvanized yet, as the pro-colonials and the oligarchs they serve are ensconced in all terrains of social, cultural, political and economic life. We nationalists are in the margins, while the pro-colonials and pro-oligarchs are hegemonic, and so we will continue with our struggles until the destructive dragons of colonialism and oligarchism will be effectively slaughtered here.
Let the world remember this heraldry, that on the 12th of June 1896, nationhood and the values that underpin it (sovereignty, liberty, brotherhood, patriotism, prosperity) were born and planted in the Philippines as the first instance of nationhood in all of Asia. This being the sublime narrative, we patriotic Filipinos shall continue to bear with us the flame of liberty, and will defend the values that forged nationhood to the last instance of our breaths and energies. That which was first will be the last to fall, and will, with the blessing of Divine Hierarchy, never fall in spirit and wisdom to pursue the grand mission of helping other nations build their own narratives and practices of nationhood.
Hail the Philippine nation! Glory, genius, grandeur!
[12 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Saltiness of food is like a 2-bladed sword. One sharp side of it has to do with the positive effects of salt on the body, of salt’s function to preserve body water in high temperature and humid environments. The other sharp side has to do with salt’s inducement of hypertension.
Coming from a family with a history of cardio-vascular ailments, I already decided to cut down on salty foods. Cardiovascular ailments are now among the top killers in the archipelago, surpassing the once endemic tropical diseases like tuberculosis, cholera, malaria and broncho-pneumonia. Well, the latter ailments are still prevalent among our poor folks, but among the middle and upper classes cancer and cardiovascular diseases are the tops.
The question is, why do Filipinos love to eat salty food? This is a tough though fulfilling theoretical problem, and as a former professor I loved to challenge my students to think hard by giving them theoretical problems. My students often end up feeling smarter with these kinds of exercises.
In this piece, I’d choose to highlight the mystical-esoteric side to the problem. As a mystic, I am aware that salt is a very powerful substance to neutralize and scare away goblins and other earth elementals. During my training as a mystic (by a Guru of Light), depowering goblins and malevolent spirits was among my menu of courses, and salt was a standard substance taught to us in our neutralization of goblin psychic attack.
I can very easily see, based on this information, that the ancient Filipinos (called Maharlokans, or the inhabitants of the Maharloka subcontinent of the larger Lemurian continent) could have known well the power of salt applied to neutralizing negative energies most specially earth elemental energies. Till these days Filipinos are aware of elementals of earth and water (not much about air & fire elements), aware about possible attacks from bad elementals (not all are bad please).
Another purpose of salt could be that it is, together with garlic, a strong neutralizer against Dark changelings more so the Aswang variety. The Aswang is human at daytime, who by nighttime changes into an animal such as a dog or a giant chicken with half-body and wings (manananggal).
Well, as to the authenticity of changelings, this a subject that I wouldn’t rather touch, as it borders superstition. I would leave the matter to a mere belief for now, a belief that evil spirits can transmogrify a ritual practitioner into an abominable animal that sucks the blood of babies (manananggal). The dog-shaped Aswang will kill and taste blood of victims of all ages, as the belief goes.
Taking the above belief as a basis, the inclination to cook salty food could be a preventive measure to keep aswangs and goblins away. Not only that, maybe the old generation folks were even admonished to always keep a pack of salt with them along the road, as this could deter some bad spirits from tailing them.
Now, dear reader, are you satisfied with this kind of explanation? Please try explaining it yourself, and do feel some fun in the process. Theorizing is a tough thing, but full of fun too. Try it.
[Writ 03 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
One is free to think of the cultural behavior as either good or bad, depending on where you are in the health & wellness scale. If you are in a hot region where water is relatively scarce, salty food may serve you well as the salt can help in retaining the body’s water and prevent dehydration. On the other hand, if one suffers from perennial hypertension, salty food could be bad.
Take a look at the Jollibee hamburger. Why do you think is this burger, which doesn’t taste like the originals (European/American), did good in the Philippine market? So good did this burger start off in its early origins that the love for it spread like wildfire, and had already crossed the borders to as far as the USA. Jollibee Corp itself is now a global corporation, thanks to people’s love for its burger.
Packaging has got nothing to do with it. Branding could possibly explain it, most specially the mascot of a (a) ‘jolly bee’ that signifies the happy side of Filipinos (jolly) and (b) the capacity to do things impossible even under the most rigorous circumstances (bumble bee’s wings are too small to carry it theoretically, yet it can fly! Impossible!).
But no, those marketing strategy things of packaging and branding are merely secondary. The real reason is that the originator of the burger, Mr. Tony Tan himself, was able to capture the Filipino taste in the burger, resulting to a Filipinized or salty burger. This successful consumer story is a case of indigenizing foreign food so as to suit the local taste and, ergo, create a big market for the product.
Now, the deeper question is, what explanation can be advanced to explain the salty taste of Filipinos? This is the tougher question which is a good problem for students of social and cultural theories.
One explanation could be that ancient science—of the Lemurians, the forefather of Malayo-Polynesians including Filipinos—could have resulted to prescribing food that are salty. The Philippines, located near the equator, always exudes humid and hot climate throughout the year, save for the few months of rainy monsoon season.
Salt, mixed with the proper diet of fish, vegetables, and fruits, may have served well the need of the islanders to preserve water in the body. No matter how abundant the archipelago may be in waters, surrounded as it is by oceans and seas, it is hot and sultry almost the year round. And so the ancient islanders, who were the survivors of past cataclysms (including the ones that destroyed the Lemurian continent), easily recalled from their collective memory those bits of science that could make them survive in a drastically changed terrain and climatic condition.
Nice thought for the day. Meantime, for those who haven’t tasted the Jollibee burger, please try to savor one yourself. Enjoy your meal!
[Writ 03 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Magandang hapon! (Good afternoon!)