Self Righteous, Pseudo Cause Oriented Groups Do More Damage Than ‘Greedy Corporations’

Early in the morning, I got involved in a bit of a heated exchange with an anonymous blogger called PJ — a supporter of Project Save 182.

You see, I have a thing against deceptive and dishonest people on the internet.  I hate people who put up a scheme to dupe thousands of people into supporting causes, which at the end of it, is not really what it claims to be.

What makes it even more puke-worthy is the indignant, self-righteousness that goes with it.

Self-righteous, pseudo cause oriented groups do more damage than “greedy corporations” especially when they steal attention and support from authentic, well thought out, and carefully implemented causes.

THIS is what I think Baguio should look like. Take out all the effing buildings, houses, and shanties.

I’ve been told by one or two people from Baguio that PS182 does NOT reflect the sentiments of most of the people in Baguio City — their sentiments being far more expansive than the narrow focus on 182 trees, one mall chain, and an obvious agenda.

Conversations with residents of Baguio City like Lisa Araneta, Grace Bandoy, and Allison Gundram, as well as conversations with Benguet natives like Louis Pawid, tend to give a more authentic view of the situation and issues in Baguio.

Lisa and Grace have been very vocal about the performance of certain Baguio City and Benguet officials.

I’ve met Lisa personally once or twice and in our long conversation over Alfredo’s famous hamburger, she gave me a three hour briefing on a vast array of political issues involving  Baguio City and the rest of the Cordillera Autonomous Region .  It gave me more reason to respect Philippine northern cultures and how for the most part, they tend to solve their problems by themselves — I suspect, this is because of a deeply ingrained trait of self-sufficiency.  They’re not like some cultures in the Southern Philippines whose leaders have exploited the use of armed groups and secession as a leverage to ask for government funds which they fail to account for later.

Grace has is more vocal about the corruption in Baguio City Hall, pointing out city projects and policy decisions that may have been used by certain officials to make money in the form of kick-backs or unwarranted commissions.

Louis Pawid, a colleague and good friend for many years, immersed me in Benguet culture for a number of months in 2011 and it was in my incursions into the heart of his province that I became aware of the extent of his province’s ecological situation.  I have a feeling that Louis may lecture me later when I point out that the unimpeded spread of agriculture in Benguet — where entire mountains are planted with cabbage, broccoli, string beans and sayote — is probably ruining the ecology of the uplands.

Next to agriculture, the other avenues for development in Benguet are mining and tourism — both of which have their own challenges as far as sustainability are concerned.

So, from Louis’ standpoint, charting the development for Benguet is a tricky problem.  But I wouldn’t worry too much about it, because, as I have said, our northern Philippine cultures have an ingrained trait of self-sufficiency.  I have faith that they’ll sort out their problems.

Is Project Save 182 really an environmental group?  Some of the things I’ve seen them doing  and the people who are vocally supporting them online make me a bit suspicious.

Sure, “saving the trees” can easily be lumped together with all other environmental causes and look like one, until you get a whiff of what’s really happening over in most of Benguet — where Baguio is just a small part of.

I have my doubts about Project Save 182 because instead of connecting the ‘earth balling issue’ as an eye-opener to the bigger issue of entire pine forests being replaced by vegetable farms, rice fields, subdivisions, and squatter colonies, it seems they’ve spun off into an attack on the entire SM brand.

Anonymous blogger admits PS182 is just an anti-SM group.

Now, some people who support the group are now also ranting about SM’s labor policies.  Contractualization, they say, is another ‘evil’ that SM is doing — in response to which, I would probably point out that joblessness and informal labor arrangements are worse and more prevalent.

For sure, people allied with Project Save 182 will make sure other issues will crop up against SM as they wear out or retire their ‘environmentalist’ veneer.

In the meantime, well, people will still be going to the mall — if not SM’s mall, then Rustans or Robinsons or what-have-you.

In fact, All Souls Day is coming up and I am sure, all the people that PS182 and Boycott SM wants to keep away from the mall chain will definitely turn up in the hundreds of thousands with plastic pumpkin trick or treat pails and cheap costumes.

I suppose PS182 will raise a holler and it will be drowned out by the sounds of cash registers beeping and sales girls greeting everyone “mamser”.

The Boycott SM Facebook Page or Group doesn’t have to bother with me, I am no fan of SM.

I used to like going to the mall, but over the years I began hating going to the mall, any mall.  I don’t like the crowds in it, I don’t like breathing recycled air even if it is cool, I don’t like the garish displays, I don’t like the being constantly prodded to buy stuff I do not need, having been a trained salesman in my early adulthood I hate sales people who don’t know enough about what they are selling, and I don’t like the intense commercialism of these places — as if we aren’t bombarded enough by commercials, it has to come in the form of a poorly paid girl or guy hawking a brochure or begging you to try out free samples.

Whenever I want to spend time outside my house, I spend it at the Marikina Sports Plaza with my kid and we have a lot of fun running around the place.  It is far healthier than breathing recycled air while gobbling up what passes for food in food courts or walking around looking at all the cheap stuff Made In China.

And before I end this fourth piece on PS182, let me just point out that it’s absolute stupidity for PS182 to crow about Sting’s decision to change concert venues as a victory for their online campaign.

For one, as I have mentioned in a previous post, the new venue will be in a place that is TRAFFIC ridden on ordinary days.  Just imagine how it would be like when Sting stages his concert there! OMG!  Is that at all a triumph for Captain Planet? I don’t think so.

Concerts aren’t exactly environmentally friendly, U2′s 44 concerts is equal to carbon created by the four band members traveling the (34) million miles from Earth to Mars in a passenger plane.

Another is that online campaigning uses the INTERNET, which accounts for 300 million tonnes of CO2 – as much as all the coal, oil and gas burned in Turkey or Poland in one year, or more than half of those burned in the UK.  Moreover, all the gadgets and equipment used by online campaigners come from MINING — which not only involves the destruction of forests but also pollutes the earth and water.

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50 Comments on “Self Righteous, Pseudo Cause Oriented Groups Do More Damage Than ‘Greedy Corporations’”

    1. Oh look, it’s the idiot who keeps posting red herrings. Have you come back for another beating, Bayan PaTROLLer?

      Keep posting stupid propaganda and we WILL keep BASHING your stupid president.

    2. Citing rappler does not help your argument. Rappler is a source of BIASED news. Your post has just become an EPIC FAIL.

      1. In the words of Tito Ces on Twitter, “Who owns Rappler”?
        Personal observation, the reporters there so kilig about the last SONA they posted pictures of their press passes a day before the SONA. Please tell me those guys are being objective. Consider the imbecile who was doing the proclaiming that no one will mistake for Winston Churchill. Maybe Winston – Salem. Dear Mr. President. You can’t quit smoking? My advice, smoke double as much. Is that libel?

    3. Arroyo has nothing to do about it.

      More like a conspiracy theory than hard fact. And you cite Rappler? You should be ashamed of yourself. 😀

    4. Hindi sa pagtotroso ang dahilan. It’s more on the cancellation of flood control projects. And don’t underestimate mining because MINING MAKES CIVILIZATIONS.

      BTW, LET ME LAUGH EVEN HARDER!!! XD

    5. Bayan Patroller:

      Somehow, your focus on Arroyo has let you overlooked the fact that this year President BS Aquino approved of and FUNDED (with his pork barrel) a fencing project around Burnham Park that goes AGAINST the zeitgeist of nearly EVERY Baguio citizen. Not only is the fencing project environmentally detrimental, it also increases pollution in and around various areas around Burnham Park.

      In contrast, President Arroyo in 2009 declared the GSIS property just in front of UP Baguio a protected mini-forest habitat zone. Had it not been for her, in her defense, that zone would now have been a 12-storey SM condominium complex that defies Baguio building codes.

      Stop it with your sycophancy for BS Aquino, especially when you have no experience of environmental politics of your own to share.

  1. This is what I say to people online and offline:

    “Real activists align, they do not alienate. Let those who want to save just the Luneta Hill (SM) trees save the Luneta Hill trees, let those who want to save all the trees try to do that, let those who want to focus on the whole of Baguio try to ‘save’ the whole of Baguio.

    There should be no ‘we are right and you are wrong” here when it comes to addressing issues, no creation of enemies among the protesters (as some small minds are wont to do). City Hall likes that.”

    Thank you, Paul, for giving us more insights into this Sting-SM brouhaha (I had failed to remember the Smart-Philex connection which makes the change of venue pointless in terms of the environment, for example).

    This MOA cancellation is a victory for Save 182 in their war against SM. Many are still hoping it will result in no more trees being killed in Luneta Hill, for that is the real concern here.

    The Baguio pine trees have sacrificed their lives to open our eyes to what is wrong in Baguio and in the Philippines. If their deaths cause the downfall of a corporate giant like SM, I have to say, “Hanep!”

    1. Trees and all considered Lisa, I do hope that this leads more towards the bigger environmental issue in Benguet and the rest of the Philippines.

      The way it’s turning out, well, going for SM’s labor practices just doesn’t seem to fit.

      Anyway, that’s Project Save 182 and that’s their business.

      They’ve had their 15 minutes of fame. Perhaps it’s time for other groups to speak up and get attention, as well as support.

  2. Kulang kulang mga seating areas sa ibang mall na napuntahan ko.

    Para siguro sa mga fastfood shops maupo ang mga tao at mapilitang bumili ng pagkain.

  3. Lisa araneta and grace bandoy are faithful supporters of a politician whose ambition is to become the mayor of baguio city. Lisa araneta’s ambition is to become the first lady of baguio city, (her mayoralty candidate is married to another woman more beautiful and sensible than lisa). These two whores can say whatever they want against those city officials but will forever remain as LOSERS!

    1. Care to prove your allegations about them being so-called “whores”? You seem so sure about yourself and your self-righteous indignation.

      1. Haaay Paul, I am sorry that some small minds in this small town have decided to bring their garbage to your site. These cowards refuse to handle issues, and that’s why my beloved Baguio suffers.

        There are no genuine environmental groups here to speak of, the people would rather do battle with a corporation and other co-residents than take on a corrupt government that is party to the degradation. This is why the city looks and behaves as it does now.

  4. Vanessa, you are saying that Lisa is the girlfriend of the mayoralty candidate who is married. Is that it? Para lang ma clear up ito.

  5. To say that Northern Luzon is populated by people who are ‘different’ than the people in S. Mindanao because they ‘sort out their own problems’,well that is exactly what is being done in Mindanao,the same thing…up north maybe done with a lil less violence,but the same thing.A group or groups of people who want to determine their own vision of what their societies are to be like,with no say from manila.OK.
    The author states that corruption is rife in both north and south but there are apparently two women in Baguio who want to be part of a non-corrupt government.OK.
    The author then states he is suspicious of bloggers causes,even though he is a blogger,and that he is disdainful and hates malls and advertising.OK.
    BUT,can the author actually point out what will be done differently by the two ladies whose praises he is lauding?Stating that Minadanao and N.Luzon are different but both have a corruption problem seems a bit contradictory and then to say they are different and point out that they solve their own problems makes the two places almost identical,politically anyway.But OK,I am left wondering exactly what,if anything,the author is trying to do or say here,besides contradict himself.
    I would venture a guess that a corporation may have a hand in this plan 182.I would also go a little further and flat out disagree with the notion that corporations are not the worst offenders of the environment,labor laws and just about every other problem human beings face these days…in all of these a corporate monster is in-variably involved and wants to crush all competition,pay the lowest possible wages,corrupt all politicians to their corporate will and rule the planet by any means necessary to carry out their plans.They make bloggers and their agendas look paltry,feeble and bereft of any ability to stop them.
    I wish I thought I was wrong in this line of thinking BUT the evidence is too overwhelming to dismiss as if it is otherwise.

  6. FYI, if you really researched you should have learned that PS 182 is an organic movement. It came to be out of the “simultaneuos” protest, one of the biggest protest in Baguio.

    1. Organic? Versus… what? Fertilized? LOL!

      Sorry for making fun of your term, but, I guess it just deserves it.

      The thing is, if at all it is ‘organic’ or maybe the better word here is ‘spontaneous’ does it make it more authentic or real?

      1. I think its one thing to be “organic” and its another to be fighting for the right thing. You can be “organic” but still be myopic and miss the bigger problems…

    2. I think it would be best if dumay defined the word “organic” when it comes to movements, specifically theirs.

      Because with all things considered, every movement ever created can be considered “organic.”

  7. We must preserved clean air, and good environment. Protect the environment for future generation. Stop all corporate greed…

  8. Vanessa, i’m not a fucking whore sorry to disappoint you hahaha, patunayan mo muna yan bago ka mag coment ng ganyan
    – as to the SM issue, lets wait for the court’s decision on the case, it will be coming out soon, both sides presented their sides thoroughly, fairly
    – as to the political side of things in baguio, i reiterate that the destruction, dilapidation of baguio was brought about by the ‘development’ that the Vergara-Domogan tandem and their cohorts in the city council of baguio, the timpuyog ti baguio group, started when they took over baguio some two decades ago.
    – as to the issue on Sting’s change of concert venue – Sting should prove he is not a godd*mn capitalist by putting out his concert for free! Tutal din lang at pinanindigan niya ang pagiging ‘anti-opressor’ niya, he is no different from henry sy if he’s going to make millions of money out of that concert!

    1. Hey Grace! Good one!

      I think Vanessa here is actually either from the camp of Domogan or Vergara.

      I cannot presume to know more than what has been told to me about the worsening state of Baguio and Benguet.

      Perhaps it is time that more people, like you, speak up more.

      With your permission, I’ll put up your comments as a post here.

      1. Actually, I have this gut feeling that Vanessa is actually one of Baguio’s congressional candidates for 2013, one who as far as I can tell has a messianic complex. HE’s been stalking Lisa for years now.

      2. I’ve a pretty good idea what camp that Vanessa is from, she’s not from the vergara or domogan camp, but from the camp of this as*hole politician in Baguio who plays all sides with all his many faces, trying to make money out of every possible political issue in the city, and they claim to be activists fighting for whatever cause, actually all causes (for money).

  9. Political greed is the root cause of all the problems in baguio, we badly need a change in this city’s leadership and governance, this has been going on for two decades already! 20 years! These corrupt officials should take their bow!

    1. Maybe they should BUT they won’t.It is the root cause of the problems not only in Baguio but the entire country and it has been going on since 1948.
      There is only one way to stop it.

  10. Caliing somebody a whore is just low, low, low…..i called the corrupt officials in baguio all sorts of names but i never went that low …… This is why i’d rather they pass that anti-cybercrime law! Its better to know who hates you and wants you imprisoned than dealing with people with pseudo names and photos….

    1. Dont let it bother you sweetheart,ya know? What kind of person says such things? Take a look at where it is coming from and you will realize you are getting upset about nothing,a real nothing.

      1. Hahaha, i’ve actually been called all sorts of names by people out there, but its my first time to be called such a word, it doesnt sound good hahaha, i can take bitch, crazy, crazy bitch….but the whore word?! What the hell does it even mean hahahaha oh well, i guess people can really say anything they want….ipasa na cybercrime law hahaha!

  11. Salamat Po sa mga believers, but let us just go back to the real issue in baguio, which is the political greed that is the source of all the destruction happening in the city. Let us inform our generation of parents and grandparents (who keep on voting for mayor domogan and cong. Vergara) , that it is their motto “aramid ti pakakitaan” (sa gawa nakikita), that actually destroyed baguio. They cemented and sold every single available lot in the city of baguio, thus this non-stop, rapid urbanization. Squatters are even welcome in the city for these are additional votes for the corrupt officials here

  12. Voters of these two should now realize that that it is the “aramid ti pakakitaan” that actually ruined this very city! How ironic, BAGUIO GISING!!

  13. The PS 182 came about like a Tsunami that the organizer was not prepared what to do. PS182 I know was initially to stop SM from uprooting those trees at Luneta Hill. However, it opened up more problems than what it was intended to do.

    And many people who have been looking for ways to bring out their “angers” about they see as injustices being committed around Baguio; and others to the whole nation of beloved Philippines saw an opportunity to bring out their grievances.

    So, there is your many problems, and pains, and contradicting ideas they expressed in the name of PS182.

    But, I believe the person who started the project has a genuine heart, and only wanted to save the trees (and wanted to focus on it). so, others put up their own pages on FBook, maybe for the reason that PS182 is not able to address their concerns, like boycotting the whole SM idea which is using the goal of ps182 as the reason, when in fact, if you read through their lines, the boycott is about deeper concerns, e.g. the problems of allege injustices being committed by SM against labor laws.

    Because of those different concerns brought out in the name of PS182 -it made the group look like a horse without a real direction. I say, It has a direction and purpose, but it’s the people and other groups that needs help to be redirected on their own goals are making it hard for the group to move.

    Thus, I suggest to anyone who wants fame like PS182(people with selfish intentions), or people with a clean heart to dissect and see what are the problems exposed by the popularity of PS182 needs to be separated from the group and map their own ways to solve it without dragging PS182. I believe there are many who will join them if they can present their goal and purpose clearly and most of all with honesty.

    1. If indeed Save 182 has good intentions then it has to be transparent. It has to present where “donations” go and how they’re spent. It also has to have a charter by which it could act without what you call the meddling of “different concerns.”

      That’s why I bailed out of Save 182: because of the sheer hypocrisy of many of those who claim to be its leaders. For example, how could one of these leaders claim to be an “environmentalist” when their family endorses strip mining in the Cordilleras? How could Save 182 be of “God’s side” when they resort to demonizing SM, calling it (and the family which owns it) “Satan Mall”?

  14. …with regards to allege using the group to collect money and for selfish motive is outrageous. Anyone can say that, and I can also say that you are paid to write this article for the purpose of putting into disgrace the main man who started PS182. You are right it does not reflect everything because its concern is more pinpointed; However some people wants the group to represent everything! They got dismayed. They were not served so now they are using you to write this allegation. And since you made an allegation and shouting to the world PS182 is corrupt, I want to ask you, “How much were you PAID by the company to do that?” You are a corrupt blogger, using your website to slander a group for a sum of money.

    By the way, the picture you have here as Baguio looks beautiful. It’s a perfect place for Once Baguio was as a summer capital, and a place to escape the chaos of the cities.

    1. Tough talk for someone with no last name. Hahahahah!

      Anyway, the fact that there has been a lot of talk about Yangot and others are allegedly getting funding for their cause. There is nothing wrong with that at all, because when the people behind the movement are credible and the movement is something people they can sign on to, it will get support.

      Now, when that support comes in the form of money, it better be accounted for and there better be a lot of transparency — all transactions should be document and supported by receipts, official or otherwise.

      I don’t think anyone here said that Yangot or any of the people of PS182 LINED THEIR POCKETS with the money they purportedly received.

      Moreover, the manner and tone of your reply here seems to betray unwarranted emotionalism which could be a hint that what was said here actually struck a nerve…

      Because, you know, THE TRUTH HURTS LIKE A BITCH.

      Anyway, more things will be brought to light and more questions will be asked.

  15. Very likely not, as there are ways to minimize cutting or balling trees while allowing for business to thrive. But PH has not yet caught up with that.

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