A few odds and ends I learned over the weekend:
1. If you ask a Tausug, “have you eaten,” his only reply can be, “of course!” If you want to invite a Tausug to eat, tell him, “let’s eat!” If he demurs, invite him to “eat some more!” When a non-Tausug receives an invitation to attend a party, the usual vague “well, I’ll try” or “I’ll see” is taken as a definite yes, which can lead to hurt feelings on the part of the expectant host.
2. The problem with the new Chief of Staff of the AFP is his reputation for a kind of insubordinate thinking -no one, it’s alleged, can really command him. So the military is then set up as even more of a baronial institution independent of civilian authority.
3. If we look at Naga, Capiz, and General Santos, cities as places where the country is moving forward, how far behind are other places? In terms of how these cities have harnessed information technology, one person sadly says, other parts of the country are behind “as much as thirty years.” If these three cities, among others, are places fostering a culture of cooperation and excellence, how much is that culture dependent on dynamic local executives? Almost totally it seems -which shows how much more has to be done: were their chief executives to pass from the scene, there seems to be no consensus advances would survive those local executives.
Weekend political scuttlebutt revolved around two topics: the President’s health, and what was left unsaid but could be read between the lines from the published mentions of her attending physicians: anyway the President’s been released from hospital and put on a strict regimen; and second, whether the wrangling over funds sent to Beirut was more about the DFA not trusting the Philippine ambassador there with hard currency, and thus preferring to send money in trickles so it would be properly accounted for.
However, Senator Joker Arroyo believes there is really missing money.
Angus Reid Consultants says Filipinos Split Over New Constitution.
In the punditocracy, my column today (first of two parts) is Institutionalizing people power.
Billy Esposo reveals what he had everyone on tenterhooks for: the Anointed One of both he and former president Ramos as the next man to lead the country is… Quezon City Mayor Felicano Belmonte, Jr. I must say, I’m very happy as a Quezon City resident and Belmonte has arrested the tide of disintegration and inefficiency that had seemingly engulfed the city. Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista is rather under appreciated, too. But presidential timber?
Amando Doronila says the State of the Nation address revealed the twin pillars of the presidency are: the bayonet and the pork barrel. He believes she’s decided the 2007 elections are necessary to give her a mandate, and that constitutional amendments will be off the table until then.
W. Scott Thompson writing in The New Straits Times, suggests the President is a Marcos in the making -and this, from opinions he’s gathered from people close to her:
In a discussion last week, he recalled my column in 2001, noting that Arroyo had a full decade of power at her disposal (no sitting president is going to fail to win re-election!), a name and fortune already achieved, and could devote herself to her place in history by transforming her country. Instead she chose the time-honoured path of “trapos” (traditional politician) politics, rather than reform. It is felt in every quarter.
My source went on to say that she might leave the country with a worse legacy than Marcos…
“The problem with Arroyo is that she is simply eroding all the achievements of the past, she is tearing away at what has been accomplished. Her husband has institutionalised greed to a new standard.
“With Marcos,” he went on, “you knew something had to give. The country had to change. We had a revolution. She is going to wear the country down, grind it down to a sick performer, saved from bankruptcy by the success of the neighbourhood.”
Ducky Paredes comments on PAL’s first flight -and how the Secretary of Justice helped a fellow official evade arrest.
Bong Austero is left breathless by Mirant.
In Thailand: reconciliation or further division? This is the question before the opposition.
In the blogosphere, here’s a blog with political commentary with a twist: Kung Fu Shoes Says.
(Link to front page image: Kottke.org.)
Achieving Happiness says allegations concerning the evaporation of funds at the Overseas Worker Welfare Administration is not new.
Design Observer has top ten things never taught in design school -which can apply to life and work in general, too.