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Jul 31

Oblivious to change

Last week I had a chance to address an international gathering of people affiliated with Liberal parties, on the subject of Asian Values versus Liberal Democracy. My thesis was simple: at the heart of the contention by proponents of “Asian Values” as some sort of superior alternative to Western-style Liberal Democracy, is an appreciation -from long practice by senior-citizen politicians- of the motive power of the anti-colonial struggle. It is no coincidence that Lee Kwan Yew is the primary ideological exponent of “Asian Values” and for the purpose of defending the political heritage shared by the nations that emerged from Western colonialism in our part of the world: the one-party state in which political dynasts coexist cosily with big business. But, I told my audience, former colonies have been independent for close to three generations now (in the case of the first to emerge from colonial status, namely the Philippines and India), and for the rest, at least two (or in Brunei’s case, a full generation). The end of the Cold War also marked the end of our part of the world as one of the battlegrounds of the Cold War, and so, the even the era of neocolonialism can be considered to have passed. The motive power of resisting democracy as part of nationalist reawakening, is fading; and with the passing of the generations who can still recall life before independence, to my mind, so will pass the idea that Liberal Democratic values are an alien concept.

But my talk got me thinking further on how we frame our problems in a manner that dates back to the days prior to independence, with the challenges of getting a newly-independent nation on its feet in mind. One such question is that of Muslim Mindanao, which tends to be framed by neoconservatives in a manner reminiscent of the confrontation between Japanese and European Fascism and the Western democracies; it is no coincidence that if Radical Islam pines for the restoration of the Caliphate that came to an end with the secular Republic of Turkey and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, then Rome on the other hand is fighting a two-front war against secularism and Islamic influence in Europe, and that American neoconservatives and Bin Laden both view their struggle for power from the perspective of the Crusades.

In our own case, the question of Muslim Mindanao continues to be perceived from the point of view of our peaceful struggle for independence: that Muslim Mindanao is in danger of being lost. That the solution must be to contain the Muslims, and if possible, to prevent a power vacuum in Mindanao as a whole, and that can only happen by filling it with Christians. the problem, of course, is that Mindanao’s already filled with Christians; while Muslim Filipinos are now reproducing so vigorously, that their populations have taken to finding living space elsewhere in the archipelago.

Yet most of us, I’d suggest, still think that Muslim Mindanao is one discrete place, and one which can be cordoned off, if only the national government could muster the political will and military might; that we take it for granted that there is an immemorial territory that defines who Muslim Filipinos are, is a mentality to which many of our older exponents of Federalism also subscribe, and what they and the non-traditional Muslim Filipino leaders who’ve emerged since the 1960s have in common, is the belief that the Philippine nation-state must be refashioned as a means to achieve what they believe will be a historical vindication for their sub-nations: with some proposing outright nationhood and secession.

To be sure perhaps as recently as a decade or two ago, this notion remained sound, in that they could speak as advocates of populations who dwelled in defined territories and who shared a common culture defined by a common language; today, I believe it’s increasingly untenable. I’ve mentioned before that the old obediences are being eroded not only by migration and immigration abroad, but migration at home; dynasties must constantly shrink their territories, to hold them, as new residents arrive, devoid of the traditional notions of obedience these dynasts could once upon a time.

Phillanguages.jpg

Take a look at this Wikipedia map, which divides the country along lingguistic lines. And then bear in mind some observations made to me by former U.P. President Francisco Nemenzo, a Cebuano, when I ran into him in Cebu’s airport some months back.

He said that a kind of mapping project has been taking place, and formerly lingguistically-pure areas have started to change, often quite quickly and usually, remarkably.

The examples I recall are that areas surrounding Iloilo have turned Cebuano-speaking while areas of Mindanao formerly Cebuano-dominated are now turning Ilonggo-speaking; if I recall correctly he even said the growing lingguistic population in Mindanao were the Ilonggos and no longer the Cebuanos; as for Cebu itself, he said, fully ten percent of its population was Muslim, a trend that began with refugees during the Marcos-era Moro Wars, and that the Muslims in Cebu were mainly Tausug. There are growing pockets of Muslim Filipino residents not only in Metro Manila, but up North and even in the Visayas; when I took the fast ferry from San Carlos City in Negros Occidental to Toledo City in Cebu, the ferry service was Muslim-owned.

Add to this snippets I’ve picked up from people as I’ve pursued the topic Nemenzo brought up. In Quezon Province, for example, there are growing pockets of Bicolano speakers; Aurora province, on the other hand, is increasingly marked by an Ilocano presence; the Ilocos itself, in some parts, seems quite depopulated, and a decade ago I experienced an Ilocos Sur tourism official telling off a group of kids from whom we asked directions, because they talked to us in Filipino (from Cebuano educators I hear that Cebu City, at least, now has its first generation of youths who prefer to converse with each other in Filipino). There are, of course, entire areas well known for their populations being composed mainly of immigrants: Imperial Manila has been a Visayan city, for all intents and purposes, for two generations (Why then, I asked Nemenzo, haven’t more Visayan words entered the Tagalog spoken in Manila? His response was interesting: the effect of the Visayans has been not on vocabulary, but on grammar: the simplification of Tagalog, as spoken in Manila, and therefore, used in the media, is a manifestation of Visayans stripping Tagalog of its grammatical encrustations from the time Tagalog itself evolved from Cebuano in the distant past!).

This suggests to me that what we have come to take for granted, has been gradually disappearing for some time and is actually accelerating at present; and among other things, this means that viewing Muslim Mindanao as either a place to be contained, or something that can be lost (or, as I’ve considered in the past, something to consider detaching from the republic) is certainly impossible now if it was ever possible at all in the past.

I told the gathered Liberals (though it’s not too clear to me what the youth represents belonging to variously-named parties have in common, politically) -from the United States, Germany, Belgium, Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, and of course the Philippines- that the false dichotomy between Asian Values and Liberal Democracy was a problem with a demographic solution: addressing the youth leaders from the two wings of the presently-divided Liberal Party in the Philippines in particular, I urged them to be confident that their decision to maintain solidarity among party mates from their generation, even as their elders squabbled, would be vindicated. But only, I said, when the party elders died and they, by sheer attrition, took over.

The same applies, I think, to many of the seemingly intractable problems we face nationally, with a political scene dominated by increasingly geriatric big shots who long ago abandoned their idealism and who have lost their capacity to be imaginative. It takes some time to understand it, but on the whole, there are signs that when the dinosaurs go, we will find a more highly evolved generation of Filipinos taking their place: one that might be more adept at balancing idealism with pragmatism, in problem solving, in cooperation, in sustained effort and so forth. Whether they are conscious of it, or only instinctively yet dimly aware of it, the elders now ruling the roost in mainstream politics and in the various rebel organization, are fighting the battle everyone eventually loses: against their own mortality. What was fresh, even radical, or even tried, tested, and true for their generation, whether you are Fidel V. Ramos, Juan Ponce Enrile, Joker Arroyo, Jose Ma. Sison, Nur Misuari, Joseph Estrada or even President Arroyo, was forged in the crucible of a Philippines that is dissolving. And so, they are furiously trying to write an appropriately grand epitaph for themselves.

Consider the relevance, however, of achieving a Muslim Federal State, at a time when a remarkable expansion of Muslims into other parts of the Philippines is taking place: or of demanding near-divorce from the Republic for Ilocandia or Cebu, when their own populations have changed drastically: demarcations that ignore changes in demographics, such as the movement of Ilocanos into areas once considered -and dominated by- Tagalog people. As it is, one of the big problems that exists in expanding the current territory of the ARMM, is that while once claimed by the old Sultanate of Sulu, among others, the areas being demanded as an integral homeland for Filipino Muslims takes neither traditional divisions within the Muslim community (Tausug versus Maranao, etc., etc.) into account, or how they ceased being dominated by Muslims long ago; or how, even, in these border areas, claims of Christian settler supremacy is often by means of hair-thin margin.

112 comments

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  1. Bert

    “cvj: democracy has at least a handful of examples — citizens who later find out they have been morons for using the wrong criteria to choose who to vote for president.”-UP n

    UP n, how about the smart citizen who is not a moron, used the right criteria, then the president he voted for and won shed the sheep’s clothing then make full use of his fangs and appetite? Do you consider him a ‘bahala na’ citizen even if he wants to ‘surge the gate’?

  2. leytenian

    “The neophyte senator said instead of sourcing funds for pro-poor programs from VAT, the government should set their eyes on curbing smuggling instead, which reportedly costs the government P142 billion a year in losses.”
    “”He said that stopping smuggling would indeed prove more difficult to carry out than collecting VAT…

    http://ph.news.yahoo.com/gma/20080728/tph-senators-say-arroyo-s-defense-of-vat-d6cd5cf.html

    If Escudero thinks that stopping smuggling will help reduce VAT, then he should provide solutions. Mahirap daw … of course, problem is very difficult to solve if one do not have the “know HOW”…

    STOP SMUGGLING then kung ayaw nila sa VAT.

    mga news sa atin , backward pa rin. It’s not productive. It’s actually sad.

  3. vic

    A case about “trash”

    Tracey Tyler
    LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER
    It may be garbage, but a single bag can tell the story of our lives.

    Those banana peels, letters, pill bottles and razors can reveal intimate details about the occupants of a home, from their medical and financial health to political or religious affiliations – not to mention fingerprints and DNA.

    How would you feel if a neighbour rifled through your refuse to better understand your habits? What if those rummaging were police?

    That’s happening already in Canada, with some officers even masquerading as garbage collectors. But not everyone is convinced the practice should continue.

    The issue is headed for the Supreme Court of Canada, with federal and provincial prosecutors, criminal lawyers and civil libertarians now preparing for a crucial legal battle this fall over the question of whether our garbage is private.
    http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/471609

    This is a very interesting case where a former member of the country’s Swim Team was convicted of Drug Trafficking from evidence collected from his garbage leading to executing a search warrant for his residence..His case appeal will be heard by the SC in October and the Canadian Civil Liberties is Intervening on His behalf…

    The Challenge: the collections and examinations of his Garbage violated his Charter right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

  4. UP n student

    to Bert:… on “bahala na“. What do you think of these words from hvrds:

    Unfortunately many are still asleep with their eyes open.
    It is like the difference between having sex and making love.

    or these from Willy Acuna (Dallas, Texas) :

    Manolo, the more we trust people to determine their destiny, the more they work hard to prove they are capable. This is the genuine essence of freedom after all, just exactly what your Grandfather deeply and sincerely believed.

    Or these, from cvj (Singapore):

    … moronic is the indomitable faith of many in the Filipino middle class of a Messiah/philosopher-king coming to fix things.

    Different folks, different strokes. Me, I’ve mentioned of optimists who say that in the end, things will eventually be all right. Or at least, in the reckoning will be justice.

    And there are the optimists who say “bring it on!!” with their belief ” … the better-prepared wins.”

    Different folks, different strokes. Democracy in action.

    =========================
    But I do sense that there are people who believe that Pinas is a hopeless damaged culture unable to generate in the foreseeable future a capable leader (because it/Pinas has been unable to generate a capable leader in the past many generations)?

  5. PSI

    Not to disparage hearing all sides as part of democratic process, but the Philippines has similar symptoms of ‘globosclerosis’, or what Mr. David Brook of New York Times defines as the ‘inability to solve problem after problem’ because too many groups have the power to torpedo initiatives.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/opinion/01brooks.html?em

    “This dispersion should, in theory, be a good thing, but in practice, multipolarity means that more groups have effective veto power over collective action. In practice, this new pluralistic world has given rise to globosclerosis…”

    “…all it takes is a few well-placed parochial interests to bring a vast global process tumbling down. ”

    Plus the TROs being issued left and right by gung-ho judges and you have complete paralysis.

  6. leytenian

    Before SONA:
    She pointed out that there is “no room in the development of our country to tolerate smuggling and the corruption that goes with it when so much remains to be done to invest in the nation — we have a lot of room to increase our tax and customs collections through strengthening investments in technology and innovation.”
    http://www.gov.ph/news/default.asp?i=20828
    After SONA:
    “A large volume of smuggling in the country is done through water and most of this is oil smuggling,” the PASG official said.”

    http://www.gov.ph/news/?i=21691

    Let’s See if Philippine Coast Guard , Bureau of Customs and Wathdog Bodies can implement Arroyo’s program. If this one fail, it is not Arroyo. It’s the department or units who were given orders. Let’s wait and see result of performance. There should be prosecution and penalty to people who are smugglers at least within 6 months of implementation. If nothing is solved or at least mentioned by the media, then the smugglers are the people who are supposed to implement by way of bribes.

  7. leytenian

    One role of media or journalism is to assist or follow up new policies or program if it’s been implemented. And the focus would be- the result of one’s performance.
    Few Good programs that need media attention for follow-ups are..
    1. Public Schools on Sex education
    2. Peace Education on Mindanao
    3. Smuggling
    4. Price Stability by BSP…
    5. My kamote lol
    at marami pa. Every executive department and every senator’s program must be scrutinized. Pushing implementation is crucial for our democracy. The ” Bahala Na” attitude is a common reaction due to lack of positive result from non-implementation and poor performance.
    Another role of Media/ Journalism/ Articles/Blogs are to encourage majority.

  8. cvj

    PSI, since you’re into David Brooks, i think you should read this…

    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/2008/08/david-brooks-rewrites-history.php

  9. Bert

    “Unfortunately for us the tiger has to be killed but we should have the tiger give birth to tiger cubs and
    we could train and defang the cubs while we still can AND CHANGE THE HISTORY OF TIGERS.”-hvrds

    Too bloody and too risky, evolution will take too long without guarantee of desired ideal outcome.

    Taming tiger is not new, been done before. There is no definite choice in sight. Who knows, out there in the multitude of promising citizens might be the answer.

    Let’s continue with the process. It’s the practical choice, shorter time element but might take forever, no guarantee of desired result either. But the alternative is bloodcurdling.

    Our smart job now is to eliminate the present stagnation, and dispense with the status quo which we found wanting.

    According to the law, of course.

  10. BrianB

    Ordinary reportage,

    Hey guys, look at this: http://ordinaryreportage.wordpress.com/

    Not the most brainy blog out there but this is what I have been praying for…. i.e “ordinary reportage.”

  11. Pilipinoparin

    Now GMA has a legacy…..the Balkanization of RP. The first to go is Mindanao, The Moro Republic of Mindanao. What’s next?

  12. Pilipinoparin

    I am for VAT if….

    1, some commodities are are not included such as basic needs like food, clothing for children, etc.
    2. increased VAT for all kinds of useless things like diamonds, cigarettes, alcohol. etc.
    3. Funds collected from VAT go directly to the National Treasury with full and strict accounting….no dirty hands should touch the funds.

  13. hvrds

    It is becoming very apparent that the move for Federalism is preparing to move to the starting gate.

    If the ARRM polls are postponed that will be the signal that the push can go mainstream.

    It is interesting to note that American foreign policy is greatly influenced by the GWOT.

    With the American military taking the lead role with it’s many garrisons around the world.

    The Americans after the lessons of the Philippine insurgency and the Vietnam War are now fighting smarter. They are not only studying military history but the history of why there are wars.

    In Iraq Gen Petreus who started the de facto partition of the various ethnic and sectarian groups in Iraq with the pacification campaign known as the surge with tactics borrowed from the Vietnam war (Phoenix)has succeeded in bringing down the violence.

    The tactics are not new. Torture, assasinations hamleting are all part of a counterinsurgency.

    The left in the Philippines is all too familiar with it.

    Now some of the same tactics are being applied to solve the problem of the Muslim insurgency here in the Philippines.

    India and Pakistan, Yugoslavia, Iraq and now the formula for the ARRM. Partition or the more acceptable word Federalism.

    “Petraeus’ guys”

    Members of the staff assembled by Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, who takes command of U.S. forces in Iraq today:

    Col. Michael Meese, a Princeton economist and son of former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, will coordinate security and reconstruction efforts.

    Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, an Australian army officer with a Ph.D. in anthropology who studied Islamic extremism in Indonesia, will be chief adviser on counterinsurgency operations

    Col. Peter Mansoor, who received a Ph.D. at Ohio State for a dissertation on how Army infantry divisions were developed during World War II, will be Petraeus’ executive officer in Baghdad.

    Col. H.R. McMaster’s 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in northwestern Iraq provided one of the few bright spots for the U.S. military in Iraq by taking back the city of Tall Afar from an insurgent group.

    Lt. Col. Douglas Ollivant, who holds a political-science Ph.D. on Thomas Jefferson, caught Petraeus’ attention with an essay scorning the U.S. military’s reliance on big “forward operating bases” in Iraq.

    Ahmed Hashim, who holds a Ph.D. from MIT and teaches at the Naval War College, wrote a book criticizing the U.S. military operation in Iraq and advocated partitioning the country along ethnic and sectarian lines.

    The Washington Post

    “Kilcullen is one of the most influential Australian military minds of his generation. He grew up on Sydney’s north shore, the son of academics. He studied counterinsurgency as a cadet at Duntroon, served for more than 20 years in the Australian Army and was awarded a PhD in political science from the University fo NSW for a thesis on Indonesian insurgent and terrorist groups and counterinsurgency methods. He has been a military adviser to the Indonesian Special Forces in counterinsurgency, taught counterinsurgency tactics at the British School of Infantry, and served in peacekeeping operations in Cyprus and Bougainville. Kilcullen also commanded an Australian infantry company in counterinsurgency operations in East Timor and trained and led East Timorese forces after the independence vote in 1999. He was a special adviser for irregular warfare to the 2005 US Quadrennial Defence Review and is Rice’s chief strategist on counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism, working in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia.”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22263435-31477,00.html
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003565701_petraeus10.html

    The Philippine military establishment was one of the founding gurus of U.S. counterinsurgency wars.

    It had to take a white guy to essentially teach King Kanuto something the pinoys had already taught them.

    Calling Victor Corpus!!!!!!

    Ppinoys are being considered as prime candidates for the New U.S. Foreign Legion.

    A new primary export for POEA

  14. KG

    Justice Scalia,

    Communications:

    come to think of it, sa miss univerese o ibang beauty pageant kaya kung gumamit na lang tayo ng interpreter tulad ng mga ibang bansa. Dito baluktot lang ang dila pagdating sa inggles ng pambato, headline na eh.Its not crab mentality
    iniisip agad natin ang sasabihin ng iba, e yung iba naman gumagamit din ng interpreter.

  15. KG

    Another research activity of mine are the LUMADS.
    puro tayo christian musim dichotomy nalimutan na natin ang mga lumad.

    gutom na ako kaya gusto ko kumain ng englog.
    Scalia, masarap eh.

  16. KG

    “The Challenge: the collections and examinations of his Garbage violated his Charter right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.”

    Vic,
    kung mangyari yan baka macancel ang CSI at House.

  17. hvrds

    The issues of the WTO/IMF-WB all boil down to one reality-
    Self determination or sovereignty. The dollar empire has very serious cracks. Those that can stand versus it have drawn the line. The Phils. well, we have been prostitutes for so long sodomy is normal.

    “The battle lines of the new world order were exposed at the World Trade Organization this week. The breakdown of the Doha round of trade negotiations over a clash between the United States and China and India about farm protections underscored how these new economic giants are changing the balance of power. ” NY Times

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/02/opinion/02sat1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

  18. KG

    PSI,
    This is not nitpicking.
    here is a critique of the David Brook’s NYtimes artcle:

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/chang/18941

  19. UP n student

    hvrds — busy pointing to the wisdom of PMA/Baguio grads. — did not print the aussie’s COunterINsurgency doctrine:

    The goal was no longer finding and killing the enemy: it became protecting the population that supports the country’s government, winning more and more people to that group and pushing the insurgents to the margins. “If you try to kill the enemy, you end up destroying the haystack to kill the needle,” Kilcullen states. “But you can drive the insurgents away, like combing fleas out of a dog. And then you hard-wire them out of the environment.”

    the same doctrine that Pinas Army/Marines/PNP has been employing all these years against the NPA and the MILF.

  20. PSI

    Bangsomoro to get own state – Philippine Daiy Inquirer

    “PRACTICALLY A NEW STATE WITH “A DEFINED TERRITORY” and “a system of governance suitable and acceptable to [the Bangsamoro] as a distinct dominant people” will be established in Mindanao under the proposed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Ancestral Domain between the Philippine government and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front.”

    “Under the proposed agreement, which is scheduled to be signed on Tuesday, the planned Bangsamoro homeland will have its own “basic law,” its own police and internal security force, and its own system of banking and finance, civil service, education and legislative and electoral institutions, as well as full authority to develop and dispose of minerals and other natural resources within its territory.”

    The report states that constitional amendment is required for the ancestral domain pact.

    Now this begs the question:

    why were the local communities not consulted? The erudite in Mindanao affairs will declare that such an agreement would foster similar nationalism, inclidng by Mindanao Christians.

    On the ARMM elections, international observers from ten countries are coming, except the United States. Did the latter have prior knowledge that the elections are not pushing through?

    This lends some substance to Mr. Ricky Carandang’s conspiracy plot. Are events unfolding for a constitutional change, including now to extend PGMA’s term? Things are not what they seem to be.

    If they get away with this, she is really one lucky (and smart) queen bee.

  21. leytenian

    What’s in Charter Change for me?
    “Mass media and advertising are proposed to be liberalized as well for greater competitiveness and the uplifting of their standards. It seems illogical that we ban foreigners in these areas of investment but when we turn on our TV sets, for as long as we are subscribers of a cable network, we are greeted by mostly foreign movies or shows. What’s wrong with allowing them to come here, open employment opportunities and pay much-needed taxes to the government?”
    http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=ritaLindaJimeno_feb27_2006

  22. vic

    KG, we’ll find out. the SC is quite quick and it does not mean the end of it of Garbage scavengers, but what the intervenor is insisting is like any Search, to be Legal should have a Search Warrants issued by the courts. But this is quite a very interesting case, because it will involve, first the argument when is ownership of Garbage ends, when it is put on the roadside for pick up, dump in the land fill, in the re-cycling plants ready to be melted or crushed or inside the bins in the Garage..the Nine men and women in Robes have a lot of questions to ponder..

  23. Willy Acuña

    Mr. Leytenian,

    I like your perspective! How about a Harvard University branch at Bonifacio Global City?

    Those who are scared of competition are a bunch of cowards! The sooner y’all open the Philippine economy to the world, the sooner we can break that economic monopoly and patronage of the Ayalas, Lopezes, and all the rest of such greedy and selfish Filipino aristocrats who own real estate properties and other businesses in the USA, just in case. I can’t stand such hypocrisy among the elite in the Philippines. Their control of the Philippine economy must be broken and destroyed for good , once and for all, and that can only be accomplished if 100% foreign ownership on businesses in the Philippines is allowed! Gosh, I can’t even buy a real estate property in the Philippines, just because I am an American Citizen, even though my blood is pure 100% Filipino( well, a little bit of Spanish blood). Isn’t this ridiculous? Open economies like Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai(UAE) and other progressive countries attract investments. Enough of this nonesense of distorted Filipino patriotism and nationalism, when 60% of Filipinos are wallowing in massive poverty! There is nothing to be proud about that! Open the economy and investments and jobs will flood the market like abundant “milk and honey”!
    If we are all really secure of being Filipinos, then what are we afraid about?

    It’s time to open the box, welcome everyone, change the constitution and extend freedom to all Filipinos to charter their own destiny. Never allow Gloria to run again in 2010 even when the constitution is changed. Why is everybody scared of Gloria running in 2010? Very simple, include a specific provision not allowing Gloria to run again when the constitution is finally changed! What’s complicated about that! If she still has a sense of decency left in her veins and enough intelligence left in her brain, she better decide to quit when her term is over in 2010. Otherwise history will remember her as the Filipino icon of stupity, along with Marcos and Imelda!

    Willy Acuña
    Dallas, Texas
    USA

  24. hvrds

    I have just noticed that the likes of Borat from Kazachstan have increased in this blog.

    In relative terms the most closed economy is the United States. How come — ????

    Open economies are measured based on their openess to labor markets, capital markets and physical goods and services markets…. as based on their ratios to the country’s GDP.

    The only country that has an almost privileged position in the world economy as far as capital markets are concerned is the U.S.

    They have imposed the dollar standard on the economies of the world. They do not have a foreign exchange risk.

  25. leytenian

    Hi Willy,

    i am a married woman. lol.

  26. magdiwang

    The only country that has an almost privileged position in the world economy as far as capital markets are concerned is the U.S.

    They have imposed the dollar standard on the economies of the world. They do not have a foreign exchange risk.

    who said life is fair. the us is also the sole guarantor of world security. make its armed forces a third rate military. the dollar is as good as the peso.

    the yuan is appreciating and the euro is depreciating against the greenback in the last four weeks. the cabal in wall street are pulling a fast one again.

    so hvrds please educate us what is your prescription for our country to take off economically.

  27. vic

    http://www.thestar.com/News/Ideas/article/471758

    while waiting for the next thread, here are some good tips on how to avoid being a victim of Lightning as the season is upon us (rainy season).

    Only one in 10 die, but most people hit are never quite the same

    • Don’t use a landline telephone during a lightning storm – a cell or cordless phone is safe – and don’t take a shower. Electrical charges may be carried through the plumbing and wiring.
    • At home during a lightning storm, stay away from doors and windows.
    • If you’re caught outdoors during a lightning storm and have nowhere to seek shelter, crouch down on the balls of your feet to make yourself as small as possible and reduce the area of contact with the ground. Do not lie flat.
    • Wearing rubber-soled shoes will not protect you from lightning. Lightning has already traveled thousands of metres through the air, which is a poor conductor.
    • A car is a safe place in a lightning storm, not because of the rubber tires, but because the metal exterior acts as a pathway for the lightning to flow around the car into the ground. Keep your hands in your lap.
    • On a golf course, head for the woods on the edges of the fairways. Stand in the lowest-lying area, under trees of uniform height, avoiding the tallest.
    • Playing baseball, stay away from the metal backstop. Remove metal cleats.
    • Lightning kills more people in the developed world than any other natural phenomenon.
    • More than 50 per cent of lightning deaths occur after a thunderstorm has passed.
    • 90 per cent of lightning victims survive.
    (Sources: Environment Canada; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

  28. vic

    http://www.thestar.com/News/Ideas/article/471758

    while waiting for the next thread, here are some
    good tips on how to avoid being a victim of Lightning as the season is upon us (rainy season).

    Only one in 10 die, but most people hit are never quite the same

    • Don’t use a landline telephone during a lightning storm – a cell or cordless phone is safe – and don’t take a shower. Electrical charges may be carried through the plumbing and wiring.
    • At home during a lightning storm, stay away from doors and windows.
    • If you’re caught outdoors during a lightning storm and have nowhere to seek shelter, crouch down on the balls of your feet to make yourself as small as possible and reduce the area of contact with the ground. Do not lie flat.
    • Wearing rubber-soled shoes will not protect you from lightning. Lightning has already traveled thousands of metres through the air, which is a poor conductor.
    • A car is a safe place in a lightning storm, not because of the rubber tires, but because the metal exterior acts as a pathway for the lightning to flow around the car into the ground. Keep your hands in your lap.
    • On a golf course, head for the woods on the edges of the fairways. Stand in the lowest-lying area, under trees of uniform height, avoiding the tallest.
    • Playing baseball, stay away from the metal backstop. Remove metal cleats.
    • Lightning kills more people in the developed world than any other natural phenomenon.
    • More than 50 per cent of lightning deaths occur after a thunderstorm has passed.
    • 90 per cent of lightning victims survive.
    (Sources: Environment Canada; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

  29. anthony scalia

    Kevin Garnett,

    “come to think of it, sa miss univerese o ibang beauty pageant kaya kung gumamit na lang tayo ng interpreter tulad ng mga ibang bansa. Dito baluktot lang ang dila pagdating sa inggles ng pambato, headline na eh.Its not crab mentality
    iniisip agad natin ang sasabihin ng iba, e yung iba naman gumagamit din ng interpreter.”

    korek! ewan ko ba sa atin, katapusan na ng mundo kapag di nakapag-ingles.

    nakakahiya talaga ang Pinoy – ginawang national aspiration ang pag-ingles!

    God bless the local call center industry! The Philippines may have surpassed India as the global leader in voice BPO, but voice BPO is at the lower end of the entire BPO spectrum. The real big money is at the higher end – IT, finance and accounting, HR, etc – where India is still the runaway global leader

  30. Willy

    Leytenian,

    My apology! =)

    Willy

  31. Willy

    hvrds,

    With due respect, I am so amazed how uneducated you are about the US economy! Check your facts. Your anti-American attitude is an indication of your low self-esteem as a Filipino. Maybe, you should conduct a serious economic research why America is still the world’s strongest economy despite her problems. If you haven’t been to the US, perhaps, you should visit and see the difference. An open economy is not measured solely on local labor market openness and other factors you mentioned, rather it is measured on equal economic playing field and how a country deals with business investments, domestic and foreign alike. The factors you stated based on the percentage of the US GDP were quite misleading. The reason why, is not because the US has a closed economy, it is rather because domestic investments are stronger than that of foreign sources. Ask yourself why America remains the most competitive country in the world? If you dislike America that much, don’t look any farther, just look at your neighborhood, take a serious look at Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Taiwan.
    You can express your opinion without comparing others with Borat. When people express their thoughts and ipinions, it is because they care to contribute in the free market of ideas and share their hope to better the world, and in this case the Philippines.
    Your prejudicial attitude towards others is quite disturbing, acting superior and yet deep within there is that feeling of inferiority and the only way to satisfy it is to describe others badly, who are just as “intelligent as you are”. Grow up and learn to respect other opinions. =)

    Willy

  32. leytenian

    hvrds.

    US model and its monetary policy can sometimes be used to analyze using closed-economy models. This is clearly a good example in a fixed exchange rate regime where the US is the world’s currency country. As you mention, US has no exchange rate risk. It may also be the case under flexible exchange rate regimes where foreign countries manage their exchange rates by “mimicing” U.S. monetary policy.

    Pure close economic model is no longer useful in analyzing real economic problems, if indeed it were.

    Article : An open economy, a closed society
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/08/16/news/edmesquita.php

  33. leytenian

    the 1987 constitution can be an example of a close economic model in terms of management and decision making. the LGU’s have no autonomy of their region. This type of model is no longer acceptable. Cebu is branded as Cebu and currently marketing as ” the island in the pacific” to Hongkong, Europe, Japan and China. It do not associate the word Philippines in terms of marketing its tourism industry. Manila is known because of its Manila envelope and paper. Why is that? . Where’s our brand name Philippines? Have we been deleted in the map?

  34. leytenian

    The Philippines is branded as corrupt, young women marrying old white men. Where’s the Pearl of the Orient thing?
    common Philippines, wake up…
    kaya siguro ” MABUHAY” lol

  35. Willy

    Leytenian,

    No country in the world is required by the US to use American $ as the standard monetary exchange. In fact the Euro is now stronger than the American currency and as a result some rich oil countries in the middle east now are using the Euro. So let’s quit blaming America and accept personal responsibility in chartering Philippine destiny. Blaming others will take us nowhere! The reason why majority of countries in the world stick with the American $ is because whether you like it or not, the American economy is still the biggest and strongest economy in the world in terms of GDP? So let’s look inward into the Philippine economy. For starters, get rid of graft and corruption rampant in Philippines society, from taxi drivers to the lady in Malacanang.

    Willy

  36. PSI

    Talking of oblivious to change:

    Things seldom or are slow , if at all, change in these islands of ours.

    Filipino corporations it seems are oblivious to the dire things happening in the country. These business people have taken to heart Nobel economist Milton Friedman’s philosophy that the social responsibility of corporations is to maximize profits.

    That is s why, the oligarchic-owners of these firms continue with their rent-seeking, inward-looking business models. And that’s why we had this latest Sulpicious sea tragedy again.

    But lo and behold. The foremost disciple of Milton Friedman had already a a change of heart. William Bill Gates III, retired CEO of Microsoft, who used the firm’s dominant market posiiotn to amass billionsof profits year-in-and-year-out, and made Microsoft the biggest corporation (in terms of market value) at one time.

    Bill Gates is now preaching ‘creative capitalism’ and funneling billions of dollars to benefit the world’s poor and and deadly disease.

    What about are corporate titans and industry captains? Well, our own Friedman-disciples are into lower cots SMS texts (state induced), PBA basketball teams, coffee break with Court of Appeals’ judges, etc.

    Well, at least some have sponsored Gawad Kalinga housing projects.

  37. leytenian

    PSI,

    Don’t forget Ayala Corporation. They owned most of the BPO centers/building for rent in the Philippines. It’s time for others to get in… ChaCha will open this restriction and allowing others to play…

    Also, Don’t forget ABS-CBN….
    decentralization, federalism, Chacha- con-ass , con-com or whatever change are keys to breaking the monopoly.
    These elites are not trained to compete nor understand social responsibility except train to brainwash our country.

  38. cvj

    No country in the world is required by the US to use American $ as the standard monetary exchange. – Willy Acuna

    During the inception of the IMF, the economist John Maynard Keynes proposed an international currency…

    … the international currency, the bancor, (i.e. bank gold) proposed by John Maynard Keynes and the British delegation at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944… were to be reserved for exchanges between central banks but, rather than their value being fixed in terms of a basket of other currencies, they were defined in terms of gold. The US also went to Bretton Woods with a plan for a world currency, the unitas, but as the Nobel-Prize winning economist Robert Mundell once put it “academic international idealism fell prey to economic national self-interest” and both rival schemes were dropped. Instead, the US imposed a system under which the liquidity required for world trade was to be provided by gold and by dollars linked to gold at a fixed rate, $35 an ounce. By so doing, America effectively made itself the world’s bank.

    …so in a way, the United States did require the US Dollar to be the international medium of exchange.

  39. cvj

    Link where i got the above quote:

    http://www.fiohnetwork.org/future/global_money.htm

  40. PSI

    Leytenian,

    Yes, I copy you. Just didn’t want to mention corporate names, that’s why.

    A foreign guest recently commented that she was dismayed to see how bad the misery and poverty have become since she last visited five years ago. Especially in the streets of Metro Manila.

    But what appalled her now was the seemin indifference of the people who could afford to help. Or so it seemed, she mentioned.

  41. UP n student

    PSI : I said the same thing to my high school classmates in Pinas. I said “… bakit ang mga Pilipino ngayon, ang tigas ng puso sa mga mahihirap?” and they nodded in agreement. A few minutes later, they began to use my sentence in their own words. Their version — “… Isang problema sa Pilipinas ngayon, ang mga Pilipinong mayayaman, ang tigas ng puso sa mga mahihirap”

  42. grd

    The Philippines is branded as corrupt, young women marrying old white men… leytenian

    leytenian,

    you’re not married to an old white man, right?

    but what’s marrying old white men got to do with corruption? i personally know some decent ladies marrying old white men. and they are even economically well off in the phils. with stable jobs. they made a choice. as for those other poor young ladies, they served well there old white men, right? they’re sometimes even treated as nannies and abused. victims of fraud. so, it’s not funny at all.

  43. leytenian

    grd,
    I was talking about Philippine branding.
    ” as for those other poor young ladies, they served well there old white men, right? they’re sometimes even treated as nannies and abused. victims of fraud”
    this is what I meant about branding-bad publicity. economically, i do admire those young women who have no other choice. it’s a smart thing to do.

    of course I understand that some women have made good choices for marrying old men … i will apologize for generalizing. I should have not said it that way. It wasn’t nice.
    And.. no- i’m not married to an old white man.

  44. Bencard

    psi, speaking of social responsibility, the philippine society, from the wealthiest oligarch to the garbage sorters of payatas, are generally concerned only with the welfare of their immediate family. concern for fellowmen or country gets low priority, if at all.

  45. UP n student

    Side-topic: More indicators on the importance of being a high-productivity country. Reason — oil prices affecting transportation costs.

    Globe-spanning supply chains . . . make less sense today than they did a few years ago. To avoid having to ship all its products from abroad, the Swedish furniture manufacturer Ikea opened its first factory in the United States in May. Some electronics companies that left Mexico in recent years for the lower wages in China are now returning to Mexico, because they can lower costs by trucking their output overland to American consumers.

    Decisions like those suggest that what some economists call a neighborhood effect — putting factories closer to components suppliers and to consumers, to reduce transportation costs — could grow in importance if oil remains expensive.

    Made-in-Canada clothes (and tools, electronics) have always been competitive — the better value compared to made-in-Philippines clothes. Canada’s competitiveness (for the American market) is looking better and better.

  46. hvrds

    “Otherwise, “citizen of the world” and “global citizenship” are, strictly speaking, nonsense. Citizenship is defined by legal and loyalty attachments to a particular political entity with a distinctive regime and culture. Neither the world nor the globe is such an entity. ” Geroge Will

    Reality bites………. fiscal and monetary policies are national in character. There is no such thing as the global economy too. The reason for the stresses for all these years is the contending interests of nations.

    Only one country in the world makes it international in reality ….

    “Does it make sense for United States Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to be touring the Middle East supporting the region’s hard dollar exchange-rate pegs, while the Bush administration simultaneously blasts Asian countries for not letting their currencies appreciate faster against the dollar? Unfortunately, this blatant inconsistency stems from the US’s continuing economic and financial vulnerability rather than reflecting any compelling economic logic. Instead of promoting dollar pegs, as Paulson is, the US should be supporting the International Monetary Fund’s behind-the-scenes efforts to promote de-linking of oil currencies and the dollar. ”

    “Perhaps the Bush administration worries that if oil countries abandoned the dollar standard, today’s dollar weakness would turn into a rout. But the US should be far more worried about promoting faster adjustment of its still-gaping trade deficit, which in many ways lies at the root of the recent sub-prime mortgage crisis. The administration’s multi-pronged effort to postpone pain to US consumers, including super easy monetary and fiscal policy, only risks a greater crisis in the not-too-distant future. It is not at all hard to imagine the whole strategy boomeranging in early 2009, soon after the next US president takes office. ” K. Rogoff, former chief economist of the IMF

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/rogoff43

    Ignorance can be bliss sometimes but in case of economics and using brands like open and close economies without understanding what the words mean is dangerous.

    The trade miniter of Brazil in the last Doha round meetings complained that the West has been repeating the lie so often about trade similar to what Goebbels had proposed. Keep on repeating a lie and people will believe it to be true.

    Just ask the BSP why the export of pesos is heavily restricted and why the export of dollars that are in the hands of the public is not?

    How can one discuss monetary polcies when most pundits are not even aware of what decontrol means and its implications relative to the Philippine experience.

  47. UP n student

    And here is another reminder of the importance to have capable citizens elected into the Philippine Lower House and Senate. The GOP-MILF Memorandum of Agreement on the BJE is about to be signed.

    Enabling law required

    Both Ermita and Esperon contended that the MOA was a “preliminary agreement” and pointed to provisions there stating that nothing would be executory unless there was a law enabling its implementation and everything must be done within the legal framework. Ermita said this meant that any agreement between the government and the MILF had to be in accordance with the Constitution.

    Both Ermita and Esperon stressed that the MOA called for the holding of a plebiscite in order to expand the Moro homeland.

    “Any plebiscite will be pursuant only to an enabling law enacted by Congress,” Esperon said. “We are not giving away Mindanao.”

  48. hvrds

    “the US imposed a system under which the liquidity required for world trade was to be provided by gold and by dollars linked to gold at a fixed rate, $35 an ounce. ”

    …so in a way, the United States did require the US Dollar to be the international medium of exchange.

    Impeccable pundit logic. Why functional literacy is most important.

    The first sentence above confirm that the gold exchange standard was behind the dollar. Dollars were priced based on the value of gold and not gold priced in dollars.

    Today the dollar is backed up by a promise and nothing else. From Muhgabe to Bernanke you can simply issue dollars and create inflation to cure deflation. Alas it has been done too many times.

    So oil today is not longer priced in dollars but the dollars are priced in oil.

    I hope this not too complicated to understand.

  49. leytenian

    hvrds,
    Gold? Dollar? Oil?

    “if the dollar had stayed even with the Euro since 2000, then we’d have $57 Oil, not $100 Oil. So an increase, yes, but not nearly as shocking. More importantly, if the dollar was “as good as gold”, then literally the price of oil would have just barely risen at all, maybe to $30.
    Rising oil prices act like a TAX to American consumers. It offset much of the” stimulus’ from loser money. The Fed will get a lot less bang for its easier buck . ”

    http://blog.adamnash.com/2008/01/05/statistics-matter-oil-dollars-euros-gold/

  50. leytenian

    “How can one discuss monetary polcies when most pundits are not even aware of what decontrol means and its implications relative to the Philippine experience”

    i forgot… a TAX to worldwide consumers.

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