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Monday, April 30, 2018

OFWs are a LIABILITY because they are turning the Philippine economy into an OBESE economy

We see today the Philippines has an obese economy. Its bones (infrastructure and capital base) are buckling under the weight of sugar-fed fat it accumulated through OFWism and consumerism. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are the equivalent of revenue candy fed to a malnourished economy. They provide a short-term energy fix that gets that next meal but, in the long run, causes more problems and sustains bad habits.
The favourite excuse Filipinos like telling themselves is that OFWs exist in the enormous numbers we suffer today because of “government mismanagement” of the economy. Perhaps so. But, see, we must consider that where there possibly is such “mismanagement” then and now, the other inconvienient truth is that there is also the underlying character of the Filipino then and now too. The earlier is the popular topic, the latter the more confronting but less “polite” to discuss. The conversation around the earlier is the easy space to inhabit. The latter conversation about how the fundamental character of the Filipino contributes to the persistence of the OFW cancer is the more uncomfortable space.
What is interesting is the favourite argument of OFW apologists — that OFW’s contribute immensely to the Philippine economy. In reality, this “counter”-argument actually further highlights the the point I make — that an economy dependent on OFW remittances is not a healthy economy. It is a sick addicted economy that is keeping its fire burning by frantically tossing paper into it rather than sitting back relaxed and watching logs get consumed sustainably.
Filipinos churn out warm bodies then deploy them overseas as a quick fix to “save” a society that has never learned to build domestic capital sustainably. They get burnt out in the slave economies of the Arab world then come back a depleted resources to a society hollowed-out by a half-parented generation — a generation that, not surprisingly, will have been indoctrinated in the OFW-as-hero narrative and, as such, be of the mindset that going overseas to be “heroic” is the career path of choice.
The only mismanagement on the government’s part is the continued propagation of the misinformed narrative that OFWs are heroes and that OFWism is a noble long-term pursuit rather than the dangerous addictive stopgap solution that it actually is. Think jeepneys, tossing garbage and sewage into esteros, and using traffic enforcers as traffic cones along EDSA. OFWism fits right in with those classic case-studies of Filipino dysfunctional thinking. OFWism is a national policy that occupies a special exhibit in that big growing Museum of Filipino Pwede Na Yan Solutions. Anybody who believes OFWs are a subject of “national pride” needs to have their pointed heads examined. OFWs are not the Philippines’ future. OFWism is a big black hole where aspirations to be a great nation and people go to jump into, never to be seen again.

About benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.


Do Filipinos want to continue to be known as the world’s servants?

The latest brouhaha surrounding the diplomatic row with Kuwait that erupted following the going “viral” of a video of a “rescue operation” instigated by Filipino diplomatic personnel there has attracted much debate. The “discussion” surrounding this circus focuses on the minutiae of the debacle the Philippine government finds itself in in the immediate aftermath. What of the more than 250,000 OFWs deployed there now? What happens if the Philippines’ diplomatic mission to Kuwait is crippled? Who’s fault is it that this video was even made and why was it wrong (or right) to spread it over social media?
Thing is, all of those “concerns” miss the bigger conversation that needs to be had. That conversation is easily started with a simple question: Do Filipinos want to continue to be known as the world’s servants?
It’s a confronting question but it is a valid question nonetheless. The answer is obvious of course. OFWs are a liability. They suck foreign service resources, imperil the nation’s social fabric, depreciate the global image of the Philippines, and weaken the Philippines’ position in most negotiations with foreign governments. The Philippines cannot take its place in the global stage on an equal footing with other nations if it has a master-and-servant relationship with most of these nations. This current situation of pathetic dependence on OFWism is, in fact, worse than being subject to imperialism. As a colony, at least, Filipinos had only one colonial master. As a society with an economy dependent on OFWs, Filipinos are subject to a hundred masters.
Like the fight for “freedom” from imperialism, the fight for freedom from the clutches of OFWism should be regarded as the new Independence movement. The Philippines will never be a truly independent nation if it cannot host the means of livelihood of its own citizens. It is highly-imperative that the nation be completely purged of its addiction to OFWs.
The alternative is the continued self-inflicted emotional blackmail on a national scale that we are seeing today. The national “debate” is completely framed by this emotional blackmail. Politicians, the media, and so-called “activists” pander to the “plight” of OFWs. Indeed, at the centre of the current diplomatic row with Kuwait are bloggers identified with the current administration of President Rodrigo Duterte who made names for themselves pandering to OFWs.
Understand this. Soldiers and warriors are heroes. People who invent longer-lasting lightbulbs are heroes. People who risk financial ruin to pursue an unprecedented business venture are heroes. OFWs? These are not heroes. They don’t add to the collective national equity of the Philippines. As can be seen today, they are a mere political bargaining chip pushed back and forth in a dysfunctional “national debate”.
President Duterte is at a crossroads today. He will need to choose between two paths: (1) the safe pwede-na-yan path of upholding a status quo of debilitating dependence on OFWism and (2) the scary path of weaning or quitting the Philippines cold turkey off OFWs. The second path is scary because it is an unpopular path involving big risks and lots of pain. But the payoff, though uncertain, is potentially big. Compare that to the first path which has proven to be no more than a slow death unfolding over several decades. It is not a path truly excellent societies tread. Duterte could very possibly be that rare man for such a job — to lead Filipinos down the scary path that Filipinos need to tread if they truly aspire to build a great nation.

About benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.


April 30, 2018 - Holy Spirit

April 30, 2018 - Holy Spirit

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Father Patrick Langan, LC

John 14: 21-26

Jesus said to his disciples: "Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him." Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, "Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name-- he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for granting me the opportunity to be with you. There are things in life, Lord, that attract me, but you attract me more. I hope in you, and I love you. Maybe I don’t really understand what it means to love, and maybe I don’t love the way I should, but I do love you.

Petition: Lord, a lot of images distract me. Help me do something about this.

1. The Danger: It is easy to forget you, Lord, especially with all the images that are around me. Every image I harbor in my heart, every emotion I abandon myself to leaves its mark. These can come from the radio, the Internet, songs, novels… anywhere. They seem to swamp my mind and make it easier to forget you. These images and emotions can also impoverish, degrade, limit and reduce my ability to extract from life its magnificent content, usefulness and happiness. You remind me that I should use everything only in as much as it helps me to reach you, my final goal.

2. The Gift: On the other hand, I know you have sent us the gift of the Holy Spirit. As you promise in this Gospel, he will never stop reminding me of you. All I have to do is let his projector fill my imagination with images, with thoughts, with insights. Of course, I also have to use the world’s media correctly and in moderation. Holy Spirit, I know you are near; take possession of my soul and make it all your own. Guide my every decision so that I choose what is right and reject what is evil.

3. Accepting the Gift: When I do forget, the Holy Spirit will remind me of all that Christ has said. All of the emotions and thoughts you inspire, Holy Spirit, will enrich my ability to live enthusiastically and forcefully. You will fill my mind with great and powerful images. All I have to do is open myself to you.

“The habitual difficulty in prayer is distraction. […] To set about hunting down distractions would be to fall into their trap, when all that is necessary is to turn back to our heart: for a distraction reveals to us what we are attached to, and this humble awareness before the Lord should awaken our preferential love for him and lead us resolutely to offer him our heart to be purified. Therein lies the battle, the choice of which master to serve” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2729).

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I have the option of letting myself be consumed with thoughts of anger, lust and power—thoughts that will make me grow old and become a more intense version of myself, closed in on myself. Help me take the steps to avoid these temptations. Allow the Holy Spirit to animate my mind and my soul.

Resolution: I will clear my mind by filling my thoughts with God and his things.

Sunday, April 29, 2018




Pres. Duterte Tuluyan ng kinansela ang M.O.U sa Kuwait, OFW pinapauwi na

Masamang Balita ayon kay Presidente

Thinking Pinoy Rey Joseph RJ Nieto Ultimately Blames OUMWA Usec Sara Arriola For Rescue Video Fiasco

It was late last night when I learned that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was finally forced by the fame whoring blunder committed by Thinking Pinoy RJ Nieto to appeal to 262,000 Filipino OFWs in Kuwait to leave their jobs and come home.
In a series of posts, Nieto admits to having uploaded and shared on his Facebook page the controversial video of Filipino officials said to be whisking away a reportedly distressed OFW.
Having been known to brag that his Facebook page Thinking Pinoy reaches more people than Philippine Star and other Philippine news websites, it is very certain that the Kuwaiti government had seen the rescue video on his page.
Nieto’s video provided the Kuwaiti government basis to hand Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa two notes of protest and expel him from their country as well as to order their ambassador to the Philippines to return to Kuwait.
This also put on hold a Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippines and Kuwait which would have helped assure the safety and well being of 262,000 OFWs.

As of this writing, Nieto continues to be unapologetic for forcing Duterte’s hand into making a move that may plunge 262,000 Filipino families into poverty and insists that only DFA officials be held accountable for uploading the controversial rescue video.
In a post on Thinking Pinoy, Nieto lays blame on OUMWA Executive Director Raul Dado and DFA Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy Elmer Cato for uploading and sharing the video on their Facebook accounts.
A friend who has been with the DFA for a number of years tells me that he finds it very unlikely that Dado and Cato would have, ON THEIR OWN ACCORD, uploaded and shared the incriminating video of Filipino DFA personnel stealing away an OFW unescorted by Kuwaiti authorities.
Being officials of the DFA, my friend says it is expected of them to know and abide by the laws and customs of their host country. They should have known that their “rescue” of an OFW didn’t strictly conform with the legal requirements for such acts — one being the need to be escorted by Kuwaiti authorities.
Which leads me to ask, was the OFW in such dire peril that DFA personnel had no choice but the effect a rescue without Kuwaiti escorts? Or was pressure brought upon them to effect a rescue that could be documented and then shown as part of a publicity ploy?
My friend at the DFA says after years of working in a bureaucracy, he knows well enough that Dado and Cato would have first gotten approval for their actions from their higher ups.

He says that Dado would have checked for approval with OUMWA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola before uploading the incriminating video. He is not sure if Cato reports to Arriola or directly to Foreign Secretary Cayetano, but he thinks it is safe to assume that he also got approval from Usec. Arriola.
Thing is, Arriola was in Kuwait when the OFW rescue was done. Several reports from ABS-CBN place Arriola in that country on March 30 and April 21, 2018.
In a report titled PH envoy summoned over video showing extraction of maids from Kuwaiti homes”, Arriola and her team was reported to have arrived in Kuwait on Friday to oversee and assist the Philippine Embassy in the repatriation of undocumented overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait who received amnesty from the Kuwait government.
Moreover, in the same report, it is said that the “embassy led by Villa is coordinating with Kuwaiti authorities for the preparation of the upcoming visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Kuwait, which will likely happen after the Holy Month of Ramadan sometime in June.”

These facts as well as Nieto’s assertion that the DFA is to be blamed for the rescue video fiasco makes it seem that Nieto is saying that Arriola had the rescue video released as a ploy that would have helped dramatize and publicize Arriola’s repatriation of undocumented overseas Filipino workers.
Thing is, many people have told me of Usec. Arriola’s close association with Nieto and more than three separate sources have told me that she provides Nieto with an allowance from Arriola in exchange for his services.
What Nieto said about the DFA being culpable for the rescue video fiasco seems to suggest that Arriola:
  1. Ordered the rescue of an OFW
  2. Ordered that video be taken of said rescue
  3. Ordered the Cato and Dado upload the rescue video on Facebook
  4. Ordered her assistant Drei Natabio to upload and share the rescue video on his Facebook account
  5. Ordered the release of the rescue video to a viber group of journalists covering the DFA
Thing is, I’ve seen Nieto falsely accuse a number of officials and asked for their resignation or dismissal by the president. I wouldn’t be surprised if he asked for Arriola’s dismissal just to cover for his complicity in the rescue video fiasco that heavily damaged Philippine relations with Kuwait and threatens to render 262,000 OFWs in Kuwait jobless for an undeterminable period of time..

About Paul Farol

Communications consultant.


April 29, 2018 - How to Remain in Him

April 29, 2018 - How to Remain in Him

Fifth Sunday of Easter
Father Edward Hopkins, LC

John 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."

Introductory Prayer: I believe in you, Lord. You are my life and the source of all happiness. I trust that by being faithful to your inspirations, deepening my faith, and observing your commands, I will grow. I love you, Lord. I offer you this prayer to intensify my love and preserve my life in you. You are my hope and my strength.

Petition: Without you, Jesus, I can do nothing. Lord Jesus, may I remain in you.

1. “Unless You Believe…” “Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18). In today’s world, truth and faith are viewed as relative. Yet, Jesus was very specific and demanding in what he taught. How precious and important are his words to me? How well do I know my faith? Do I care for, study and protect it as that upon which my eternal salvation depends? How well am I able to articulate it to others? Martyrs have died for confessing their faith in Christ. “Those who belong to Christ through faith and baptism must confess their baptismal faith before men” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 14).

2. “Unless You Obey My Commandments…” “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love…” (John 14:10). It is not enough to believe in our hearts and minds, or to profess with our lips, if we do not live Christ’s teachings in our life. Jesus reminds the Rich Young Man of the commandments as the first step to eternal life (Matthew 19:16-22). St. Paul reminds the early Christians of this: “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:9).
The life of Christ, the life of the vine, is holiness, virtue and sacrificial love. I remain in him if I am growing. How much am I growing in morality and in following Christ? Where does Jesus most want me to grow? Do I believe I can do it, united to the vine? Or do I believe I can do it “without Him”? “He who believes in Christ becomes a son of God. This filial adoption transforms him by giving him the ability to follow the example of Christ. It makes him capable of acting rightly and doing good. In union with his Savior, the disciple attains the perfection of charity which is holiness” (CCC, n. 1709).
3. “Unless You Pray…” St. Peter was warned by Christ that without prayer he could not be faithful (cf. Matthew 26:41). The entire moral life depends on the degree of our interior union with Christ. “His person becomes, through the Spirit, the living and interior rule of our activity” (CCC, n. 2074). His grace, inspirations and strength allow us to overcome our weakness and do the Father’s will. As long as we do not experience God in prayer, it will be selfishness that will keep guiding and ruling our lives. Prayer and, in an especially effective way, the sacraments, strengthen our bonds with Christ, motivate our actions with his love, fill our minds with his words, and encourage our life with his presence.
In this busy world I am sometimes tempted to reduce prayer to spontaneous acts of faith or urgent cries for help. I get too bogged down to make time for Christ, so instead I give him only the leftovers. In the increasing challenge to transform the world with Christ, do I expect to produce significant apostolic fruit without the corresponding dedication to prayer? In the noise of life, do I believe in my need for substantial, exclusive and deep moments with Christ? Jesus decided to “remain with me” in the gift of his Eucharist. How often do I “remain in him” before the Eucharist?

Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord, help me to experience you and your love in prayer. Enable me to foster my relationship with you by listening attentively to your word taught to me authentically by your Church. May my life give validity to my faith and words! How often I hunger after the world’s withered husks that could never satisfy my inner longings! Lord, help me to hunger for you alone, so that I will turn to you and be filled with the comfort and joy of your intimate friendship.

Resolution: During an hour of prayer, preferably before the Blessed Sacrament, I will reflect on the Gospel and ask Jesus what more I need to do to remain in him.

Saturday, April 28, 2018



April 28, 2018 - Supernatural Secrets

April 28, 2018 - Supernatural Secrets

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Father Steven Reilly, LC
John 14:7-14

Jesus said to his disciples: "If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."

Introductory Prayer: Father, how empty is the life that doesn’t know the joy of Jesus your Son. I have come to this prayer today to know you and your Son better, to love you more and to imitate your perfections. Thank you for this time of prayer.

Petition: Father, help me to be aware of your presence in my soul.

1. The Father and Jesus Are One: The liturgy gives us a second look at this Gospel passage. The great truth that Jesus is sharing with Philip is that as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus and the Father are one – they are inseparable. We worship Christ. We don’t merely honor him as the best of men; he is the God-man whom we adore. What Jesus is by nature we are empowered to be by grace. With our baptism, we became adopted children of God. Brought into the family of the Trinity, the divine persons dwell in our soul as in a temple. Do we realize the dignity we have been given?

2. Doing the Same Works As Jesus: Herein lies the possibility of doing the works of Jesus. If he lives in us, he can work through us. What an opportunity to cooperate with grace! When we are loving, kind and disciplined, we aren’t merely being good. These good deeds are more than just good; they have an eternal value. After all, they are the “works of Jesus.” We receive the reward for his works. Such is the generosity of the Master whom we serve!

3. Ask and You Shall Receive: The name of Jesus is powerful. He commands us to ask in his name for the things we need so that in granting them to us, the Father may be glorified. When we kneel before the tabernacle, we must approach the Lord with total and absolute confidence. He knows that our faith will grow when we experience his power in action: “Ask and you shall receive!” (Matthew 7:7-9).

 Conversation with Christ: Lord, what a consoling thought is it that the Holy Trinity dwells in my soul. I am a child of God! Help me to do the works of God! I ask this in your name.

Resolution: Because God dwells in my soul I will try to treat others as he would treat them.

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Philippine Government should APOLOGISE to Kuwait on behalf of ALL Filipinos

The “diplomatic crisis” between the Philippines and Kuwait is fast snowballing into a circus bigger than Ben Hur. At the heart of the matter is the inability to just simply apologise — essentially the same character flaw that turned the 2010 Hong Kong tourist massacre crisis into a similar diplomatic debacle. The only real pathway to resolution is for the Philippine government to apologise unconditionally.
I explored earlier the bigger root cause of crises like these in yesterday’s piece “Filipino dependence on overseas employment is what is at the root of the Kuwait diplomatic crisis”. To recap, there wouldn’t be problems like these if overseas foreign workers did not exist in such enormous numbers to begin with. The existence of OFWs is a crippling chip on the table that hinders any ability on the part of the Philippine government to negotiate with other governments on equal terms. Without a doubt, OFW-ism is just an outcome of the Philippines’ overall failure to take care of itself in a self-sufficient way.
But, okay, so lets put that bigger picture aside for a moment and just say that OFWs are just another one of those self-created social cancers that is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
So what now?
Granted, certain social media personalities should have been a bit more circumspect about turning what is now widely-regarded as a video that is damaging on a national scale into a viral spectacle. But, ultimately, the blame rests on those bozos who (1) captured the footage to begin with and (2) shared it with others. Perhaps, too, one could appeal to the humanitarian sense in Filipino diplomatic personnel in Kuwait taking matters into their own hands. Thing is, however, (1) all those “good intentions” were sought in a manner that is against Kuwaiti law and (2) they got caught on video doing that.
In short, there are two options.
Option 1: The Philippine Government needs to apologise to the Kuwaiti Government if tens of thousands of Filipino jobs now and in the future are to be saved.
Option 2: Play hard ball on the basis of claims that the Kuwaitis routinely dragged their feet when it came to acting on issues to do with the safety and welfare of the OFW they host.
Suffice to say, Option 2 is really not an option — specially in a democracy hobbled by a half-brained national discourse composed of shrill social media chatter and “prayerful” poltiicians who pander to all that. In that sense, Filipinos are victims of their own OFWism — OFWs being liabilities to their own aspirations to be true humanists. But reality is harsh. Money is the only real thing at stake here. Money talks and money talks more loudly and way above the shrill virtue signalling of social media “influencers”. Money (specifically the need for it) requires a compromise on safety and wellbeing — essentially the very compromise OFWs have turned into an entire way of life.
The good news is that having just one option makes things a bit easy. All the Philippine Government needs to do then is to apologise. If this is becoming quite repetitive, it could be because it is a sign that we are all just overthinking this little issue a wee bit. As soon as we accept that when money is tight and you are stuck in a job you hate, well, you just need to suck it up and put up with the boss — until you get a better offer elsewhere.

About benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.


April 27, 2018 - Our Gaze Fixed on Christ

April 27, 2018 - Our Gaze Fixed on Christ

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Father Steven Reilly, LC
John 14:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way." Thomas said to him, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Introductory Prayer: Father, how empty is the life that doesn’t know the joy of Jesus your Son. I have come to this prayer today to know you and your Son better, to love you more and to imitate your perfections. Thank you for this time of prayer.

Petition: Lord Jesus, grant me a greater intensity in my relationship with you, the Way, the Truth and the Life!

1. Follow Me, I Am the Way: Remember the olden days, when you would stop in a gas station and ask directions? “Follow me” was the easiest way to give directions. Something like that is happening in the Gospel today. To Thomas’ question, “How can we know the way?” Jesus gives himself as the answer. We know the way with infallible precision. A personal and passionate relationship with Christ is the sure way through this confusing world. Let us keep our relationship with Jesus always on our spiritual GPS. Whenever we have a doubt, we should ask ourselves, “How would Jesus act in this situation? What is the path he would follow?”

2. Believe in Me, I Am the Truth: Jesus gives his followers a truth so rock solid, that nothing can shake them. Just as he is the Way, he is also the Truth. “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12). With the Truth of Jesus, we have the answer to basically any question we need to ask. What a comfort it is to have Jesus as the Truth in this world of jaded souls and in this climate of relativism.

3. Come to Me, I Am the Life: “He’s the life of the party” is a compliment of high regard in certain circles. He’s the spark plug, the guarantee for an entertaining evening. If he’s not there, a deflated feeling hangs in the air and everybody wonders if there isn’t a better way to be spending their time. A life lived with Jesus is never dull. He is the “Life” of more than just a party. The Christian with an intense relationship with Christ is completely fulfilled — he is never bored, nor is he boring.

 Conversation with Christ: Lord, you are the Way, the Truth and the Life. I thank you for giving me the great grace of my Catholic faith. Help me to share with others the immense joy of this personal relationship you have given me.

Resolution: I will speak to someone today about having a personal relationship with Christ.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

What way if not the Duterte Way?

Despite volumes of work on the subject of the increasingly-evident vacuousness of today’s Opposition, there seems to be little change in the substance underlying their “movement”. The best they have so far come up with is the rather quaint “Join the Resistance” call-to-action which they bandy around using the hashtag #JoinTheResistance. Dubbed an “online movement”, the activities related to this initiative consist mainly of tweeting various platitudes and attaching said hashtag.
Is anybody actually doing any thinking within the Philippine opposition? Probably not. Otherwise, there would be some observable semblance of evolution happening in that space. Instead, all we see are the same tired old fear mongering around the same old political bogeymen — the need for bread and circuses, the veneration of bygone “heroes”, and the pompous shows of piety as a means to acquire moral ascendancy for their “movement”. If the current Opposition led by the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) were a mousetrap, the cheese it is using as bait would be an unrecognisable lump that’s long been blackened by a thick coat of mould. A mouse foolish enough to scurry away with it without tripping the trap would die of food poisoning anyway.
Take stock of the rhetoric being spewed by the Opposition’s foremost “thought leaders” and you will be hard-pressed to find anything that even resembles an idea pegged on the future. Instead, practically everything about the Yellowtard rhetoric is anchored in the past — the “horrors” of the “Martial Law Era” and the “glory” of the EDSA “revolution” topping the list. Every criticism or challenge to the positions taken by the incumbent administration are referenced against these historical memetic relics. There is no challenge that pertains to prospects and none that counter-argues with alternatives. Indeed, the very slogan itself — Join the Resistance — implies a proposal to rebel without the benefit of a clear cause.
What cause does the Yellowtard-led Philippine Opposition of today champion? Your guess is as good as mine. What seems to be lost in the pointed heads of today’s Yellowtard leaders is that the euphemisms and platitudes they use as fodder for their slogans are the very concepts that lost them an entire nation back in 2016. What is truly baffling is how they continue to soldier on today on the back of their dud notions of how Philippine society ought to be. As the venerable Albert Einstein say,you can’t solve a problem using the same thinking that created it.
All the Opposition need to do is answer a simple question:
What way if not the Duterte Way?
The Yellowtards need to accept that reverting back to their way — down that yellow brick road of Cold War yore — is no longer an option. Attempts to re-brand it have failed. For the sake of the hoped-for emergence of a real Opposition that Filipinos actually need, the Yellowtards should bow out of Philippine politics and make way for fresh ideas. The use-by date of the current old guard of Yellowtards has passed a long time ago. Time for a new breed of Opposition thought leaders who apply thinking to solve the nation’s problems rather than mere prayer.

About benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.


Filipino dependence on overseas employment is what is at the root of the Kuwait “diplomatic crisis”

Back in the old days before social media there was a particularly “viral” email going around that enjoined humanity to “imagine a world without Overseas Filipino Workers”. The author of the email went on the wax poetic about such a world where there’d be catastrophic shortages in nurses, elderly care, welders, and all sorts of other professions and services that the First World “depend on” for their prosperity.
I found the author’s presumption of the First World’s “dependence” on OFW labour quite astounding. We are made to believe by this obscure author that Filipinos are the source of First World wealth. The facts, however, say otherwise. It is the other way around. Filipinos are pathetically dependent on First World employment. What Filipinos who swallowed the drivel of this old “viral” email hook line and sinker fail to understand is that the First World, over centuries, accumulated and created the capital that accounts for their wealth. And it is this vast capital base now baked into their national economies at work for them that employs Filipinos.
Seen in this bigger context, the Kuwait “diplomatic crisis” that the Philippine government is currently embroiled in is a debatable “disaster” that, in actual fact, has long been waiting to happen. The incident reveals Filipinos’ long-recognised inability to do things by the book. At stake are tens of thousands of undocumented Filipino workers in the affluent Arab state. And in the spotlight is an illegal rescue operation that the Philippines’ diplomatic outpost over there may have been undertaking for years. An illegal activity that serves illegal workers: That’s just two layers of behaviour that falls outside of Kuwaiti law. It is quite understandable that the Kuwaitis are fuming.
It is interesting too the multiple layers of desperation highlighted in this latest circus — the desperation evident in the lengths Filipinos would go to for employment overseas and the the lengths their own government personnel would go to to rescuethem from that employment.
Two layers of desperation; plus,
Two layers of unlawful activity;
Four layers of national dysfunction.
In short, there is a bigger cause-and-effect system happening way above the level of discourse within which the Kuwait diplomatic crisis is being “debated” by the Philippines’ foremost “thought leaders”. The national thinking’s got it all wrong. OFWs aren’t heroes. They are liabilities. Their enormous numbers expose the Philippines to the sorts of diplomatic risks that disproportionately set the agenda for the Philippines’ beggared foreign policy. In the middle of pracitcally every transaction or negotiation the Philippine government enters into with a foreign government is the OFW chip. It is played shrewdly by most foreign governments that deal with the Philippine government and it is a chip most feared by the average Filipino foreign mission or delegation.
If shabu and basketball are the opiates of the average Filipino, foreign employment is the opiate of their national economy. Like the convesations about jeepneys, environmental disasters, and drugs, the bigger conversation that needs to be had following this recent Kuwait diplomatic brouhaha is the issue of the Philippine economy’s serious OFW addiction. Perhaps this is an addiction worth waging a war against. Perhaps President Rodrigo Duterte is the man to lead such a war.

About benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.