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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Samira Gutoc is talking about herself and not Duterte.

Sadly, she was appointed to the BTC to change the lives of Muslims in the Philippinea but she chose her own personal anger because she did not have the stomach about a bad joke. Yes, we admit it was a really bad joke and Duterte is a sloppy comedian. But is that enough to resign from a job that was supposed to be the basis for real autonomy?

Reality is, she chose to abandon a man whose action was to give the Bangsa Moro the automomy it craved for so many decades but she could not take his careless words. She valued more the words rather than the action. And that is the politician she will be. Words more than actions.

Duterte does not represent the ignorant because he was willing to give women all the legislative backing for them to be empowered despite his bias. PRD was a product of a bygone society where men were the better sex. But he is willing to implement something he may not fully grasp because he knows it is a good thing for everyone. When the Revised Penal Code was drafted in 1930, the all male committee decided to punish women more for infidelity and made it difficult for men to be jailed for the same act. Human nature favors self-perpetuation. It takes a lot of humility to be a champion for womens' rights despite his own personal tendencies. Gutoc failed to see that because she was the ignorant one. Because for her, it was ONLY about her personal hurt as a woman by the words and forgot what Duterte did for women and for the Muslims. She could not even factor in the basic fact that in her own culture, the disparity of rights between men and women made her subservient to men. PRD gave her the impetus to be in equal footing with the men to give birth to the Bangsa Moro. Instead of showing to everyone that women are equal to men in many aspects, she simply showed the weakness of her character. Strong women equal to men are not broken by words. They stay to finish the job. The weak ones like Gutoc just quit and mope.

And she is running for the Senate, a post where she is a superminority as a woman and as a Muslim. We are expecting her to be treated kindly in the eyes of the public but away from the watchful public scrutiny, she will experience what all woman Senators experience and what Muslim legislators get to feel. And if she cannot take a bad joke and walk away, the Senate is more than a bad joke.

Gutoc is doing a great disservice to all women by being an example of someone who expects an accommodation because she is a woman. That is as sexist as it can get. Treat me with care because I am delicate. Do not joke about rape and stuff because it hurts my feelings. Are you not playing the stereotype then? Are you not perpetuating the very same idea of weakness that is the reason why some men rape women because they think they are weak. Honestly, the rape culture is not just an effect of male chauvenism but it is also a result of female sensitivity which others perceive as weakness.

And who is unsympathetic? A self-proclaimed womanizer who tries to promote womens rights with legislation like the Extended Maternity Benefits Law or a feminist who decides to call someone a sexist because she could only hear the words despite all his actions.

The truth is, like all the Yellows that came before her, she is also a hypocrite. The one who preaches acceptance in diversity for everyone but does not accept other differences. She expects Duterte to understand her but cannot give the same level of understanding to a man who is also shaped by his circumstances.

Let me tell you this, I believe that Duterte is someone who reflects the Filipino mind. We have biases and flaws but like most, we laugh about it, decide we are human and do something to change our ways. I have heard so many distasteful gay jokes in my life and yes, it has an impact on how we are treated but we don't cry foul over the words. We cry foul over the hate crimes. Why?

Because words will never have meaning to someone who has no predisposition to bigotry. It cannot make someone decide to rape a woman because someone said a joke about it. There is a distasteful joke on gays, "Pasiriti ko, dong!! " (shower me, boy). To a normal gay, it has no implication. To a pedophile, it can be a suggestion because "dong" is a term given to young boys.

Words will only justify an act to a person who is already a bigot because society and our personal circumstances create our biases not words.

And you know why I wrote this post? Because you are the bigot here. You just called those who support him ignorant. 

And that is the condascention that is more hurtful. Yes, those are just words. Problem is, you meant it.

I hope you lose bigtime. Because the ignorant will make sure you will.

Bruce Villafuerte Rivera
Sara Zimmerman Duterte
Salvador Panelo
Martin Andanar
Lorraine Marie T. Badoy


A story in https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/03/29/19/maria-ressa-arrested-at-airport-slams-travesty-of-justice says after her arrest this morning for alleged violation of the Anti-Dummy Law, Rappler boss Maria Ressa commented:

“This is insane. Such violations of the Bill of Rights and the PH Constitution. This is a travesty of justice. I have done nothing wrong. I am not a criminal. I am treated like a criminal. It shows you how intolerant of journalists this government is. This is another press freedom issue."

You’re the one who’s INSANE, Ressa. An insane ego-tripper of the WORST KIND!

Alam na alam mo, Ressa, na KORTE LAMANG ang may karapatan at kapangyarihan na magsabi kung ang isang tao ay nagkasala o hindi, naging kriminal o hindi. Korte din lamang ang may kapangyarihan na magsabi kung nagkamali o hindi ang sinuman sa pagpapatupad ng batas.  HINDI IKAW O SINUPAMAN. Kung sasabihin mong hindi mo alam iyon, Ressa, KILABUTAN KA SA KATANGAHAN MO AT KAHIHIYAN.

Intolerant of journalists this government is?

Inquirer, ABS-CBN and other media firms critical of President Digong Duterte ARE STILL EXISTING. And for their non-stop attacks on Digong in any manner and form the President and his government HAVE NOT SUED them, or any other media company or person, for libel.

How TRAGIC, to put it mildly, that for your PERCEIVED intellect, you don’t seem to know the correct meaning of intolerant.

Another press freedom issue? The Anti-Dummy Law is for how a business was set up in accordance with the law, And NOT for how that business exercises its freedom of expression or what it says on anything. How STUPID can you get, Ressa.

You’re neither press freedom nor justice, personified, Ressa. Whether you like it or not. And don’t even DREAM that you have the credibility to FOOL THE PEOPLE with your mere words.
Makakatulong  po ng malaki para araw-araw akong makapag-post kung iki-click ninyo at titingnan ang mga advertisement sa paligid ng ating blog. LIbre ho ang magclick. Salamat po lagi sa tiwala. God Bless us all.


Help Orion Perez D to Bring Positive Change to The Philippines

Written by Eurasia Future on 2019-03-31

Orion Perez D is a tireless campaigner for the three major reforms that The Philippines desperately needs. His CoRRECT Movement advocates for a shift to parliamentary governance, federalism throughout The Philippines and a new constitution that eliminates the poverty inducing restrictions on foreign direct investment.
Orion is looking to raise funds in order to organise further Roadshows, seminars, talks and other educational events to help explain why the reforms for which he advocates will help make The Philippines a more prosperous, open and safer country for all. To donate, please click here.
Below is Orion’s full video explaining the key advantages that meaningful political reform will bring to The Philippines.
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Bongbong Marcos protest supervising Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa: MAY TINATAGO ka ba sa resulta ng recount?

Ilang ulit nang nabalita na tapos na ang recount sa pilot provinces ni Bonbong. WALA namang security threat kung ilalabas mo na iyong resulta. Hindi naman magkaka-civil war. Wala namang magrarambulan. Wala namang manggi-giyera sa Pilipinas kung malalaman ng sambayanan ang resulta.

Kaya bakit AYAW mo pa ring ilabas ang resulta? HINDI NAMAN TANGA ang sambayanan para hindi maintindihang hindi pa final result iyong recount. At WALA ka rin namang binbigay na justification hanggang ngayon.

WALA ka na ngang nabalitang aksiyon, pati na ang Comelec, sa lahat ng PISIKAL NA EBIDENSIYA NG DAYAAN na nabulgar na. Sa halip na aksiyon, NEWS BLACKOUT ang pinairal mo.

Ngayon, pati resulta ng recount, BAWAL DING MALAMAN ng sambayanan!

Tagilid ba si Leni Robredo, Justice, kaya’t hindi pa puwedeng malaman ang resulta, at mga nangyari o nangyayari pa, sa recount? O may mga KATARANTADUHAN pa bang nabisto na hindi kayang maipaliwanag ng kinauukulan?

Mga kababayan, WALA TAYONG GARANTIYA hanggang ngayon na WALANG DAYAAN O ANUMANG KAWALANGHIYAAN na nangyari o nangyayari sa recount. Itama ako ninunan kung mali ako ---HINDI 24 ORAS ARAW-ARAW NA NAKIKITA ng mga supporter ni Bongbong ang mga balota at ang recount area.

WALANG BIBITAW, WALANG KUKURAP, WALANG MAGPAPALOKO sa anumang press release ng kalaban.


Makakatulong po ng malaki para araw-araw akong makapag-post kung iki-click ninyo at titingnan ang mga advertisement sa paligid ng ating blog. LIbre ho ang magclick. Salamat po lagi sa tiwala. God Bless us all. 30


March 31, 2019 – And if a Person is Spiritually Blind?

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Father Steven Reilly, LC

Note regarding the Gospel text: The passage below may or may not be the Gospel text that appears on this date in some of the printed missals such as Magnificat or others. Since the Gospel that the Roman missal offers for the Fourth Sunday of Lent – Cycle C was just read on Saturday, March 23, following the suggestion of several of the episcopal conferences, we are using the Gospel from Cycle A. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

John 9: 1-41
As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So, they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore, his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” So, for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out. Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.
Introductory Prayer: Father, I come to you like the man born blind. I am totally dependent on your grace. I want to show you my love by being totally open to the graces you will give me through this meditation.
Petition: Lord, help my faith grow when I encounter adversity.
  1. Who’s to Blame? Many people, moved by compassion, would drop a coin into the cup, thinking all the while, “Poor devil, must have been quite a sinner.” The disciples, though they had heard Jesus’ many parables about mercy, show a tiny bit of this “misfortune-equals-divine-punishment” outlook themselves. But, perhaps it could have been his parents who are to blame? The disciples are frequently criticized for being slow on the uptake, but that is because they are the mirror that deflects the criticism from where it should really go: to ourselves. How often, when bad things happen, we wonder if God really loves us. We can find ourselves shaking our fist and muttering, “He doesn’t care what happens to me.” Jesus’ answer to this lack of faith is as sharp as it is consoling: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”
  1. Faith Can Grow through Adversity! The simple life of the formerly blind beggar became quite complicated indeed. Instead of encountering rejoicing friends and family upon receiving the miracle, he encounters confrontation. The adversity is intense; the hostility of the Pharisees is palpable. Yet through it all, the man remains steadfast in his belief in Jesus. In fact, with each attack at his credibility and even with his parents wanting to keep a safe distance, the man’s adherence to Jesus grows and grows. This is seen in the way he refers to Jesus. “The man Jesus” … “He is a Prophet” … “I do believe, LORD.” From “man” to “prophet” to “Lord”: That is the work of God shining through this unlikely apostle! Let’s look at the situations in our life that challenge our faith. Could we, like this man, turn the tables and make it a faith-growing opportunity? Like him, could we be better witnesses to Jesus?
  1. He Worshiped Him: Faith not only grows through adversity. It can sometimes make a giant leap. Nowhere else in the New Testament, before the Resurrection, do we encounter Jesus being “worshiped.” The man once blind now is gifted with dazzling light: Jesus is Lord, Jesus is God! That gift is so great, so amazing, that there is no looking back. The man has been tossed out of the synagogue which, according to the Jewish culture of the time, was the moral equivalent of a death sentence; cut off from the people, he was a non-person. Yet there are no regrets. The vision of spiritual truth, the astounding realization of who Jesus is, more than repays any sacrifice.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I long to please you with my life. Help me to recognize when you are trying to do God’s works through me. Often, I am slow to see any positive value to passing adversity. But I know with your help I can be a witness to you. Like the man you cured of his blindness, I cry out to you, “I do believe, Lord!”
Resolution: Each time I encounter adversity, I will make an act of faith stronger than the last one.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

GMA’s Rubbish and Maniacal Reporting

Dear GMA Network,

Your headline today maliciously states that “US urges Duterte government to let Ressa, Rappler operate freely”. You quoted a US State Department Spokesperson speaking ill of our law enforcement’s arrest of Maria Ressa for violation of our laws on Anti Dummy law. Yet you never named that spokesperson for the public to know if he has the authority to speak on behalf of the US government. Ergo, it’s a ghost… an airman… a fart… or a product of your idiotic imagination. If you can’t name the person whom you quoted for lack of authority, then say so for fuck sake! Don’t treat the Filipino public as idiot as you are because we are not.

Just to remind you that in the country’s foreign relations, only the President of a country or its duly authorized representative – in the case of the US Government, it’s the US Secretary of the State Department Mike Pompeo - can speak on behalf of the US government as regards its position on the particular incident of the other country - as a matter of foreign diplomacy and the US foreign policy on that particular country. e.g. Philippines. But what makes your article looks preposterously stupid to international relations students and for the public for that matter, is the fact that you mentioned President Trump’s admiration for Duterte on his policies on drugs and media and yet you cited a US State Department’s anonymous spokesperson’s position on the arrest of a journalist who attacks Duterte as if, it is the US government’s position. Ergo, you put premium on the spokesperson’s statement over that of the US State Department Mike Pompeo and the US Government President Trump– the only authorized mouthpieces of the US government on the matter. Isn’t this bloody forlorn for you to publish such rubbish piece of s**t?

If the statement you quoted is coming from a spokesperson, how can you call it as a US government’s position knowing you contradicted yourself already by citing US President Trump’s favorable sentiment on Duterte? If it’s coming from the spokesperson alone, then quote him with his name and refrain from saying that it is the position of the US government being contradictory to what you cited about Trump’s support for Duterte. If you can’t name him, then he is not in the position to represent neither the US State Department nor the White House. His statement therefore is not that of the US government for fuck sake! So, you deliberately parade a malicious headline and article to generate sentiments against the Philippine government. What the fuck is this - destabilization? Pathetic!

With this GMA’s hullabaloo and the chaos the mainstream media outfits have been causing this country to suffer, we, Filipinos are reminded of how journalists in this country these days have transformed themselves into streets whores (save for those decent ones) and the mainstream broadsheet publications like GMA turned into brothels of journalist "burikats" being pimped by their political handlers….yet they have the galls to cry attacks on press freedom when they willingly and sadistically allowed themselves to be mercilessly whacked from behind in a political orgysm driven by their maniacal monetary lustful desires- where only the oligarchs and the moneyed pimps can afford to go for the scandalous shows!

Yes folks, journalism in the Philippines is a shame - a "sexually" scandalous shame to be blunt about it... Sanamagan! – Jun Avelino

(Please share if you like – Jun Avelino)

Diminished sovereignty


I DECIDED to support President Rodrigo Duterte, despite the fact that I did not vote for him and even if I have fundamental differences with his war on drugs.

This is simply because I saw in his bravado, all captured in his crass, vulgar hyperboles, a man who had the courage to stand up to the leaders of strong and powerful countries. In fact, even if I was scandalized when he cursed the Pope, a part of me was amazed at his audacity that apparently spared no one, or at least that’s what I thought.

As a country, we have always been treated like a doormat, a distant outpost, a loyal server by our stronger allies. Ours is a history of being seen as a dependent economy by our creditors and aid-givers. Ours is a reliable vote that can be counted on by the United States, as we continued our post-colonial existence as some kind of an indicator country for US interests. Wherever the US went, there went the Philippines too. And it is something that pained me so much.

It is precisely because of this that I simply endured and shrugged off many of the President’s imperfections and flaws, and willingly staked my name and friendships, even my employment, if only to support a President who inspired me to hope that we will become truly a sovereign country with an independent foreign policy. I even celebrated his diplomacy as a form of creative destruction, where his boldness would disrupt the familiar patterns in which we have found ourselves embedded and implicated, even destroying this, if only to create new ways of engaging our partners. And I saw it as a clarion call that would usher in a new identity for us as an autonomous, independent and sovereign player. I imagined a Republic that would be taken seriously and be respected as an equal. While pragmatically such would have been a tall order, there was no doubt in my mind then that the President would lead and inspire us. Watching him curse President Obama and the Pope, leaders of two entities to which we have loyal but contentious relationships, greatly impressed on me the hope that indeed change had come.

I take sovereignty seriously. I treasure the day we will embrace a truly independent foreign policy. This is precisely why I supported the President’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). It is less because it is singling out the President, but more because the actions of Fatou Bensouda, its Gambian chief prosecutor, have the potential of amounting to an assault on our sovereignty. I am offended by the possibility that we will be treated like a failed state that is unwilling and unable to investigate and prosecute crimes listed in the Rome Statute.

We are a sovereign country. The President rode into office full of the promise to be different, and by different I thought it meant, as what I initially gleaned from his early actions vis-à-vis the US, EU and our other traditional partners, that he would usher in the era of a truly independent foreign policy. Unfortunately, what we saw instead was merely a pivot towards China. The change that came turned out to be not towards an independent and autonomous stance, but towards another epicenter of power.

And this is, with all honesty, truly disappointing. The President abandoned the gains we made when we received a favorable ruling from the Hague on the West Philippine Sea. Admitting our weakness in being unable to enforce the ruling, which to him was a merely a useless piece of paper, he opted instead to approach China from a less confrontational stance. Indeed, the warming of our relationship enabled us to secure loans from China to finance his ambitious infrastructure programs. But at the same time, China also kept harassing our fishers even in areas to which we have rights.

While I oppose the filing of cases by former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario and former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales against China at the ICC protesting the harassment of our fishers, I am greatly disturbed by what has been exposed by Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that our government has waived the immunity of our patrimonial assets in connection with the Chico River Pump Irrigation loan agreement signed with China. I am greatly disturbed because this can pave the way for China to seize some of our national patrimony in the event we fail to pay for our loans.

It was revealed by Justice Carpio that under paragraph 8.1 of the loan agreement, the Philippines has waived immunity over all its assets, except those properties used by Philippine embassies and missions, those under Philippine military control, and those assets for public or governmental use. These would cover all our patrimonial assets and assets dedicated to commercial use. These include the oil and gas in the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea, including the gas fields in the Reed Bank which the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling declared as within the Philippine EEZ.

The Department of Finance has already denied that such a loan agreement exists, but the revelations of Justice Carpio appear to be more convincing. What is certainly not comforting is the stance of presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo, when he claimed that there is nothing wrong in using our natural resources as collateral for our loans since we will be able to pay these anyway. This, even as he once again publicly admitted our helplessness in relation to China, which he acknowledged as the one in control of the West Philippine Sea, practically undermining our claims over the area.

While running to the ICC to intervene only makes us appear weak that we can’t talk to China directly on the issue, Panelo’s declaration can be construed as a self-inflicted affirmation that we are indeed weak.


Maria Ressa vs. Nas Daily: Why The Young and Old See Today’s Philippines Differently

Throughout this week, journalist and former diplomat Rigoberto Tiglao has exposed several major truths about Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and her quest to defame Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, his supporters and the modern Philippines as a whole. First, Tiglao exposed how Ressa is an American who only got a passport from The Philippines (that she hardly uses) in 2004. Then, Tiglao exposed how Ressa’s failing career was rescued by powerful and ultimately foreign benefactors who needed a go-to “journalistic” outlet in order to advance their anti-Duterte/anti-Philippine agenda, whilst using a seemingly “authentic” voice. Finally, Tiglao revealed that Ressa’s American backers have close links with the wider US ‘deep state’ and that Rappler was essentially used to advanced the neo-imperial/neo-liberal agenda of the rich and powerful in Washington. At the same time, there have also been numerous rumours spreading that Ressa’s parents (likely one, but possibly both) were Indonesian rather than Filipino, although this has yet to be confirmed, as was stated by Tiglao in one of his pieces.
While Ressa has used her platforms to bash The Philippines and flaunt Philippine law, another much younger commentator spent the better part of last year promoting The Philippines and OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) in a deeply positive light. His name is Nuseir Yassin, but most people know him as ‘Nas Daily’. Like Ressa, Yassin had a somewhat atypical background but unlike Ressa, Yassin is very open about being a Muslim Palestinian with Israel citizenship, typically referred to either as a Palestinian-Israeli or Arab-Israeli.
After going to university and working in the United States, Yassin started making his minute long Nas Daily videos which documented his numerous experiences travelling around the world. When he got to The Philippines, Yassin in his own words found the country to be the world’s most “lovable”, whilst he also developed a special relationship with the Filipino people. As such, Nas made an entire video dedicated to the OFWs he met in multiple large and small countries that he travelled to, in addition to multiple videos filmed in various parts of The Philippines.
While Yassin’s videos are generally thought of as positive and informative, they too are not entirely without controversy. His experiences in China arose controversy that he later tried to de-escalate by saying that he does not want to project hostility against China, but instead seeks to promote greater connectivity with China. Likewise, as could be expected, some of his videos concerning or hinting at the Israel-Palestine conflict, were deemed to be controversial.
In this sense, while Yassin isn’t a traditional political commentator or journalist, his effect on the wider world has been greater than most traditional political commentators or journalists, because in the true contemporary style, he prefers to show rather than to tell. Filipinos have remained among his largest fan base for multiple reasons. For one, Filipinos speak English but tend to be even more active on social media than Canadians, Americans, British or Australians. More importantly though, Yassin came to The Philippines from a truly international perspective and he did so at a time when many from the west in particular were insulting the country because of the global liberal war against President Duterte. In spite of this, Yassin let Filipinos and let the country speak for itself and the message was one of supreme positivity. As such, Filipinos become followers of his video as a whole, beyond just those involving Filipino themes.
This week, Philippine Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat presented Yassin with a special certificate of recognition in Manila, which honours Yassin for the positive work he has done to tell the wider world about the natural beauty of The Philippines and the natural warmth of the Filipino people. It was a fitting celebration of the fact that at a time when The Philippines is being slandered by many media corporations of the Rappler variety, someone defied the odds and instead showed The Philippines in a natural light.
And thus one sees a schism between the online material that the powers that be want people to see and that which people are naturally attracted to. Rappler’s website was first unveiled as something that marketed itself as new and fresh, but this has largely been subsumed by content that promotes the old discredited policies and old discredited politicians that Filipinos collectively rejected when they voted for President Duterte, a leader that Filipinos continue to support in overwhelming numbers.
By contrast, Nas Daily videos were not aimed at either criticising nor praising Duterte, but were instead concerned with telling uplifting stories about the country itself and about the Filipino people. Like with most things in the modern world, people vote with their feet and it seems clear enough that for ordinary Filipinos, Nas Daily videos are considered a far more realistic account of life in The Philippines and life for Filipinos, than is the character assassination style “journalism” of Rappler.
Thus, one sees a generation gap in which Rappler represents old ideas and old money attempting to stay relevant, whilst the Nas Daily videos are the creation of one young web pioneer, his small team and the ordinary people who are the real stars of his videos. In this sense, the future has been allowed to speak for itself and its message rings out above those stuck in the past.

The Rappler Who Cried Wolf

Written by Adam Garrie on 2019-03-29

Rappler CEO Maria Ressa has been released on bail after being arrested on charges linked to the anti-dummy law against securities fraud. Like clockwork, Ressa’s rich and powerful friends on the international liberal media circuit began posting articles and social media updates which decried a supposed “lack of press freedom” in The Philippines. But the fact of the matter is that the only thing that changes after Ressa’s increasingly frequent arrests is the number of people who actually care.

Rappler’s sensationalist style of “journalism” is known for seeking as much attention as possible and after former diplomat Rigoberto Tiglao recently exposed the means and methods of Rappler’s international supporters, it is becoming clear that while Rappler and its supporters continue their choreographed acts of “journalistic” origami, even those previously inclined towards buying the pro-Ressa narrative are becoming deeply desensitised to her antics.

The fact of the matter is that to a man living in a cave, feeling the sun on his face would be a novel experience. But to the man in the desert, feeling the sun’s warmth is just part of life. As such, the pattern of Ressa being arrested for breaking the law, Ressa being bailed out due to the fact that Rappler is clearly backed by people far richer than the average Filipino and finally Ressa using the free press in The Philippines to drone on and one and on about how un-free The Philippines allegedly is, simply has little impact.

Oscar Wilde said that “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about”. But when one reads from the same script day in and day out, the talking tends to blend in with the sound of wind against a tree. In other words, the fact that Rappler continues to publish its sensationalist content while Ressa continues to complain through the entire process, is just becoming a humdrum occurrence.

Even her supporters seem to be losing some steam in the same way that someone who has lost faith in religion might still go to church but not really internalise or even care about what is being chanted from the altar. In this sense, Ressa is actually a victim – she is a victim of her own public relations campaign which has failed to capture the sustained interest of the public, whether in The Philippines or abroad.

The worst thing that can happen to a person who continually courts controversy is that he or she ceases becoming controversial. This is what is happening to Ressa, she is becoming mundane, predictable, repetitive and still as smug as ever. She could always use her American passport to fly to the Grand Canyon and attempt to ride over the top in a motorcycle, but short of such daredevil stunts, it would appear that Ressa’s 15 minutes of infamy are ticking away by the day.

Like an exiled dictator forgotten in his homeland and ignored in his country of asylum, one could imagine Ressa ultimately fleeing Philippine justice and moving permanently to America where she’ll sit in the corner of some snobby bookstore in San Francisco speaking to a group of 10 people about how she almost overthrow the President of The Philippines…and even they will only pretend to believe her because they feel sorry for her multiple failures.


March 30, 2019 – Into the Abyss of Our Unworthiness

Saturday of the Third Week of Lent

Luke 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the Temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you. I believe that you have created me and redeemed me from sin. I believe that everything that is good in my life comes from you : my existence, my faith, my education, what virtues I have. I come to you today in prayer to place my life before you. I know that you are the source of all goodness in me. So often I wonder if I really know how to pray. I wonder how fruitful my prayer is. In the face of my misery I offer you the one thing I know I can offer: my humility before your majesty.
Petition: Lord, help me to be humble when I approach you in prayer
  1. Parallel Monologues, Not Conversation: The Pharisee went up to the Temple to pray. We can assume that his intention was to talk with God. As he stood there in the Temple, he thought he was praying: he was in the right place, he was facing the right direction, he seemed to be doing the right thing. But his prayer was contorted. In fact, it was not prayer at all; it was a self-righteous discourse. If a friend were to ask him the next day if he had said his prayers, he would have said, “Yes.” Is my own prayer sometimes a false prayer like the Pharisee’s? Do I think I am praying, doing all of the right things, but in reality, not praying at all and only justifying myself?
  1. The Bare Minimum Does Not Satisfy: The poor Pharisee gets painted as the “bad guy” in this parable. However, he is not an outwardly evil person. He does not commit grave sins. He is honest, faithful to his wife, generous in his giving. But his pride blinds him to a much deeper relationship with God. He lives his religion as the bare minimum of not committing grave sins. His prayer is sterile. I must examine myself to make sure I am not doing the same, thinking I am doing all the right things but in reality, barely living my faith. God does not ask us simply to avoid evil. He invites us to do good. True generosity is what brings peace and fulfillment to our lives.
  1. Humility: An Essential Element of Prayer: The tax collector is justified not because he has done all of the right things, but because he has the humility to recognize his own sinfulness. Perhaps he even heard what the Pharisee was saying and it moved him all the more to plead for God’s mercy. One of the most important characteristics of our prayer is that it be humble. When we go to pray, we must approach God recognizing our sinfulness and weakness and the fact that we have received everything good that we have from him. This is what makes our prayer fruitful. God loves a humble, contrite heart.
Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord, grant me a humble, contrite heart. You know my misery. I offer you the misery of my sinfulness so that you can purify it and do with it as you will. I do not want to live my life merely avoiding the big sins. I want to have a deep and intimate relationship with you founded on substantial humility.
Resolution: I will always make an act of humility at the beginning of my prayer.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Gusto ata Ni Maria Ressa ang sumalubong sa kanya sa NAIA Banda

Being Digong

Dan Jimenez

This is from half the world away with nothing at stake. No fear or favor. A premise not even seeking an audience. Just an expression of thoughts shaped by honest conjectures and wide eyed observations. May those who will spare their precious time to read find worth and reason in what will be written.

Digong is 74 years old. Counting the years forward seems a dare for death to come sooner. Looking back to the years he lived and saying mea culpas for what he did wrong will be more prudent. Taking stock of his accomplishments is history's job. In his present, he is either Michael the Archangel, God's vengeful soldier or Lucifer, the devil himself. For those who swear in his heart's goodness, the foul mouth can be tolerated. Even liked. Too many bad things were done to the Filipino. It is time to turn the page and usher the dawn of a new era. The garbage man who must collect all the refuse and the smelly trash can not remain immaculately clean. In the dump, in the mountains of Payatas, the hero and the villain both reek of despicable odor. Both wallow in garbage. Those who deny such, insult their own intelligence.

Duterte broke into the national scene promising to be tough. Uncompromising. He said no corruption and unrelentless war on drugs. He has fired supporters and friends for just a whiff of graft. And the drug war he launched which should be fought by each Filipino man, woman and child continues. Still the critics and naysayers are not without dirt to dispense. He is corrupt. Why can't he sign the bank waiver and show his accounts? Look at all the dead that his war against the poor exacted. He is the number one drug dealer! He is going to bankrupt the country with all those loans from China. And see how he lets the Chinese just take over our islands and assault our sovereignty!

It is said that he who plants a tree realizes he may never enjoy its shade. Thus, the planter shows the ultimate unselfishness and nobility. Digong has started the building of bridges, those he may not even have the chance to cross. Airports, those he may not even land on. Subways, those he may not even ride. Roads and highways, those he may not even drive on. And other infrastructures the people need. Not just today. But for tomorrow.

The tree planter may not reap the tree's benefits. He plants anyways.

Those he fired said nothing of their former boss. They were just thankful for the chance to serve. And as for those who remain to be a part of his administration, there is no rambling of disgust nor insurrection. The detractors' charges of corruption, treason and malgovernance seem to fall on deaf ears. Must it be concluded that all the President's men and women have all turned a blind eye to his malevolence? And that no one among them is patriotic enough and moral enough to conclude that serving the president is not only a gross mistake but against the Filipino people? Or do they see up close and personal, who the President is, what he thinks, what his visions are? Do they relish being a part of an administration dedicated to serving the people, of advancing the country to where it should be? Do they aspire and toil not only for themselves and their families but for generations yet unborn? And do they subscribe to the wisdom of the tree planter as well?

A person is known by whom he associates with. The roll of those who serve with the President shows a decent bunch. One that the country can trust.

Everybody dies. That reality is more stark to the old. Destiny seems more on target. Power, influence, fame and fortune will all end. Life's satisfaction and gratification get scarce with the passing days. Food, wine, women and song become more of an illusion, a wish. The body and the senses go with age as nature dictates. What is left? The legacy perhaps that one lived not just for himself but for others as well. And that one tried his best to leave a better world.

At 74, there must be little that Digong will want for himself. Not a feast, not accolades, not even a realm for the senses. Maybe he just wanted to hear a thank you from a farmer who enjoys free irrigation, from a soldier whose salary and benefits have increased, from a retiree whose pension meets his subsistence, from a student who goes to college without tuition, from a sick man who is being treated at a hospital for free, from a once drug addict embracing a new lease on life, from a former rebel back in the folds of the law, from a once miserable commuter now enjoying the improved transport system, from a balikbayan no longer dealing with fleecing at the airports. Yes, a thank you from a people proud to be Filipinos again.

There are tons of things that must be done. Digong, even at 74 can not stop, can not let go. His date with destiny still to be written.


Marcos Vs Cory, Magkaalaman na


You shall love your neighbor as yourself

March 29, 2019 – Discussions With Lawyers 

Friday of the Third Week of Lent

Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “the first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is one and there is no other than he. And to love him with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I prepare during this Lent to celebrate the great mystery of your resurrection, I come before you in prayer so that you can form me and direct me. I long for the sinfulness of my life to be burned away so that I can glorify you with a pure and contrite heart. You know my sinfulness. You know my pride and sensuality. I offer you my prayer today as a small token of my love. My hope is that from the little I am able to love, you will teach me to love with a magnanimous heart. I want to be part of your Kingdom. I do not want to be on the fringes but to plunge myself into the depths of your love.
Petition: Lord, teach me to love you with my whole heart, soul and mind and with all my strength.
  1. The Proper Hierarchy of Laws: The question concerning the first of the commandments was debated much by the scribes and Pharisees. There is a human desire to know what is first and what is second: to be able to put things in order. We are often attracted to the promise made by this or that guru about the one secret that will make us happy, healthy, or successful in business. So, our natural curiosity is attracted to know what the first commandment is, what we must do above all. We want to say, “Just tell me plain and simple what I must do, and I will do it.” Here Jesus lays out, plain and simple, how we must live our lives: loving God with everything we are and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Does his command resonate in my heart and actions?
  1. Love Goes Beyond Formalism: The scribe comments that these laws are greater than any burnt offering or sacrifice. A sacrifice or burnt offering without love is empty. It is love for God and neighbor that gives all of our sacrifices, trials and good works their value. Love is at the heart of our perfection, and when we are keeping this greatest of the laws – to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength – then all of the lesser things in life will fall into place. Does my life give evidence to this hierarchy of values? If not, what specifically do I need to do to bring about the proper order?
  1. Longing for the Experience of God’s Love: Jesus congratulates the scribe for his understanding and tells him that he is not far from the Kingdom of God. It gives us occasion to ask ourselves, “How far am I from the Kingdom of God?” This scribe’s knowledge was not merely book knowledge, for it is not in simply knowing a certain number of truths that we obtain the Kingdom of God. Rather it was an intimate knowledge of love – knowing in a practical way how to give one’s heart, soul, mind and strength to God. Is drawing closer to the Kingdom of God my biggest priority? What do I need to do to get or stay on track? Have I humbly, confidently and fervently asked Our Lord for the grace to help me? Do I ponder on and recognize every day God’s loving presence and providence in my life? Do I realize and thank God for his love?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me to keep in mind your commandment of love and to live it with all my strength. I do not want to live my faith with a mere intellectual knowledge of your commandments; I want to live it with a deep intimate knowledge that bears fruits of true holiness.
Resolution: Before beginning each activity of the day I will stop and ask myself how I can live it with love.

“Open the bypass!” Are we talking about water flow or vehicle traffic?

Private enterprise could be colluding to assure ‘special’ Filipinos get more water than all the rest.

It seems quite hilarious that the possibility that the water “crisis” gripping Metro Manila at the moment has an obvious solution. Reports of a certain Angel Salazar who claims to have been an employee of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) from 1982 to 2012 that a certain “bypass” only needs to be “opened” to relieve the supply issues supposedly plaguing Metro Manilans has been making the rounds. A certain Miles Jamito posted screenshots on Facebook of what looks like a conversation between Salazar and MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty where Salazar suggests in one detailed explanation how private interests may be at work preventing this obvious solution from being implemented.
According to Salazar (edited for readability based on the above-mentioned screenshots);
Maynilad wants [radial gates LP1 and LP2] closed because they could not draw more than their allocation if [these are] open. Hydraulically, even if [these gates] are fully open, they are limited because of the drop in hydraulic head at the portal. That is why Maynilad will do everything to have [these always closed. Then comes] the MWSS Regulatory Board which is a government agency [tasked with overseeing the two concessionaires], Maynilad and Manila Water, and the magic happens and the bypass is closed creating a water crisis at Manila Water East Zone.
The bypass was conceptualized and constructed to bypass seepage and evaporation losses if raw water from Angat Dam is made to pass through the La Mesa Dam. It is for this reason that it should always be open. [Water is wasted if it is made to flow through La Mesa reservoir. More imporantly,] this is the only control that Manila Water has to get its 40% share and prevent Maynilad from getting more than its 60% share.
OPEN THE BYPASS and see the result.
If these are all true, then it is clear that the water crisis is not a real problem. It is not even a case of negligence. It seems to be a case of a deliberate triangle of collusion amongst private enterprises and stage agencies. The executives of two private entities, Manila Water and Maynilad are very likely aware of both (1) the artificial problem caused by the measures their companies may have taken to deliberately degrade the efficiency of the supply infrastructure their respective businesses tap and (2) an ongoing effort to ensure that the regulatory body (or crooked individuals within it) is in on the conspiracy to ring-fence private interests to the detriment of public welfare.
Indeed, stepping back to regard the bigger picture, this “problem” is no different from the enormous traffic problem paralysing Metro Manila. The traffic problem in Metro Manila is also a result of private interests deliberately hindering traffic flow between ring-fenced enclaves, private infrastructure domains, and zones made exclusive by nothing more than illegal entitlement.
There is a bigger principle at work here that is a common denominator that underlies both the water and traffic “crises” that crush the spirits of the inhabitants of an entire major capital magalopolis. The good news here is that at the root of these vast engineered crises are just a tiny handful of powerful players — two or three huge private oligarch-run corporations engaged in the “development” of property and infrastructure and just two “regulators” who are likely to be in their payroll — the MWSS, in the case of water supply, and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) perhaps, in the case of traffic.
As such, the solution is, in essence, a top-down one. It could begin by having the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) initiate an investigation of the Boards of Directors and Trustees of these corporations and government agencies focusing on how complicit their top executives are in perpetuating problems that could have been easily solved if they had done their jobs properly.
Best of all, this is campaign season and candidates desperate for fodder for campaign promises are in the homestretch of their campaigns. This is a high-profile issue with an obvious solution that impacts ordinary voters and has on exhibit lots of big juicy heads that could be made to roll when and if the NBI steps up to the challenge and gets the wheels of justice spinning.
It’s time.

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