The best solution to combat COVID-19 is to NOT be poor

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I used to hate the term “bahala na”. This single two-word term encapsulates the whole trouble with the Philippines — a society of people who habitually hope for the best without doing their best. On the other hand, bahala na as a national philosophy makes some sort of perverse sense in a time when everything we had come to know to be sensible had gone out the window. The idea of a “new normal” to describe the period “post-COVID19” itself does not make sense for now for two reasons.

Firstly, nobody has any idea when the “post-COVID19” period will begin. Pretty much the only thing that will herald that hypothetical era will be a vaccine. Forecasts around when these will become available vary widely which only highlights the uncertainty ahead. But, even then, vaccines against coronaviral diseases which include the common cold and flus are elusive. The most recent reported breakthroughs are measures that are “aimed at enhancing the immune response and stimulating high levels of neutralising antibodies” which is fundamentally different from ones that induce immune responses specific to a pathogen (such as vaccines against smallpox and polio). This means that the likelihood of a COVID-19 re-infection may be reduced but not to a level comparable to vaccines against the latter diseases.

The idea that there is a “new normal post-COVID19” is therefore prayerful wishing at best for now. The fact is, coming to my second point, there really is no substitute for sensible living in whatever world we face whether it was the “old” “pre-COVID” or the “new” “post-COVID” world. Healthy living and building strong personal constitutions are the foundations of a robust immune system. If the best “vaccine” in development to combat COVID-19 is essentially just some sort of vitamin that delivers a general boost to the immune system fundamentally the same as those “cold and flu tablets” anyone can buy off the shelf, then there are lessons that can be taken from stuff we all presumably learned in kindergarten — get enough sleep, maintain a balanced diet, wash your hands frequently, and don’t be poor.

One general lesson from all this is that more affluent societies will always be in a better position to deal with crises most of which are natural and unpredictable just like those all-too-familiar typhoons and, yes, just like pandemics such as these. You therefore need stockpiles of resources to be prepared — lots of cash in the bank, an ability to produce in your own backyard what you consume, and commitments that you can service.

Many “activists” decry how the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic “hit the poor the hardest”. Well, no shit, right? The same can be said of just about any sort of aversity that comes around the corner. But, see, the whole definition of poverty becomes even more relevant in times like these.

Poverty is a habitual entering into commitments one is inherently unable to honour.

The fact is, the Philippines is not in a position to effectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in an equitable manner in much the same way it never actually ever had the capability to deal with any general disaster to begin with. When Haiyan hit the Philippines back in 2013, the country depended on massive amounts of foreign assistance to deal with its aftermath. That option is no longer available as even its old Papa Bear former colonial master, erstwhile the world’s mightiest nation, has its hands full dealing with its own internal COVID-19 challenges.

What keeps the Philippines multi-dimensionally impoverished and its politics hopelessly paralysed is its untenable commitment to the massive emotional blackmail that is its enormous population of sub-productive citizens. When we recognise this to be the fundamental problem with the Philippines, the “solution” to any disaster is really one that only hindsight can offer — that we should not have committed to breeding such an enormous number of mouths to feed and — when said disasters strike — care for. An enormous population requires lots of technology and infrastructure to sustain. Anyone equipped with even just elementary school level history and economics “expert” knowledge can see that those are two endeavours that Philippine society has exhibited practically zero track record of excellence in.

What then given this reality about the Philippines? Well, bahala na. As usual “hope” in a “new normal” for the Philippines “post-COVID19” lies in stuff only foreign resources can provide — a vaccine being developed in a laboratory in a country Filipinos only see on TV and money they can only access by pandhandling across vast oceans. Within its own islands, there is only emotional blackmail which, at best, induces the quaint poetic appeals to “social justice” the usual “activists” and “thought leaders” of a discredited partisan community and religious oligarchy wax over Zoom “webinars”.

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36 Comments on “The best solution to combat COVID-19 is to NOT be poor”

  1. I agree. The “god will provide” and failure to plan past the next meal is the biggest problem in the country. It also doesn’t help that every pretty girl thinks the way to raise her family out of poverty is to prostitute herself out and con some western guy into marrying her so he can support the entire tribe. Holy crap, in most societies hard work is valued, not marrying some old guy who DID work hard all his life.

    1. did you know guys that quarantine is inhumane! why not take a temperature reading on the forehead to see if there’s a fever? and if temperature is normal it means it’s healthy. quarantine is one of the first thing mengele did to exterminate those with genetic defects then vaccination the final killer.

  2. There are some solutions that the Filipinos should NOT become poor & even become ignorant with or without the COVID-19 outbreak are:

    1) There should be a strict laws that could force the Filipino people to become discipline or else they’ll face a severe punishment like death penalty, higher fines & weeks of community services and this is what the city of Singapore and other highly disciplined countries like Japan, South Korea & Taiwan do, watch this video to know the reason: https://youtu.be/r9XRrmNZTeE

    2) Remove the 60/40 quota restrictions on FDI as mandated on the “bulok” 1987 Constitution and allow a 100% foreign business ownership in our country & then those foreign or multi-national companies should invest it more on the far flung provinces in our country to give more job opportunities, livelihood & new hope to those Filipinos who are living in a poor or underdeveloped provinces and again, also base on this video link: https://youtu.be/tCWKv7mIe0Y

    3) Improve our educational system particularly on the 4 important subjects that are very important on the development of our nation and these are: Math, Science, Philosophy & Logic and GMRC (or also known as Good Manners and Right Conduct) as what the Department of Education wants it: https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/02/19/deped-welcomes-gmrc-revival-in-basic-education/

    4) Our country should become a federal/parliamentary republic through charter change. And most of the 2 video links are came from Correct Philippines, an organization that are pursuing the Charter Change in our country from a current unitary/presidential form of gov’t to a federal/parliamentary form of gov’t. You could check their official website at: https://correctphilippines.org/ to know more on their agendas.

    1. mrericx,
      GMRC (or also known as Good Manners and Right Conduct) is NOT a subject as part of any school’s curriculum in my country. Why? Because what you call GMRC is part of the upbringing/raising done by parents. And if the parents cant do it right (or dont know how to do it), I will be straightend out by society and eventually the law (behaving a-social and ending up in jail). But if parents cant do it (right) or dont know how to do it, I rather wish they will NOT procreate. Saves money, time, effort and saves a lot of poverty.

      1. Robert Haighton,
        Well not here in my country, ‘cuz its much more different & worst than in your country, the Netherlands unless if my country would be like Singapore and the way to do that is of course a tougher & strict disciplinary education from the schools, and/or a tougher & strict disciplinary laws coming from the government [and heck, those Commission on Human Rights are crybabies!].

        In the case of education, in order to make Filipino students to become a good & disciplined students you must either:

        1) Make those Filipino students to become a part time janitors in their schools right after their school classes instead of doing a “lakwatsa” (a Tagalog word for loafing around in which it was a loanword from a Spanish language) just like what the Japanese students do: https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/students-in-japan-clean-their-own-classrooms-and-school-toilets-and-the-reason-is-incredible-1227619-2018-05-06

        2) I forgot to mention this one that ROTC should bring back to the Philippine school curriculum as a part of a discipline driven education: https://www.getrealphilippines.com/2017/02/mandatory-military-training-ph-schools-needed-toughen-temperamental-millennials/

        3) And if if either two of them didn’t work it out, then a hard headed Filipino student should do a Buddhist & military style disciplinary values just like this blogger from Correctphilippines.org that he’d mentioned on his blog on how the Taiwanese students became discipline themselves through that kind of disciplinary method: https://correctphilippines.org/culture_or_system/

  3. “Bahala Na” is some expression Filipinos use to entrust everything to God, in projects, they did not even planned, and cannot even understand. They are “hoping” that their God will assist them, to do the work for them, to make the project succeed. Unfortunately, most of the time, this did not work. And they failed most of the time….it is not their God’s fault…it is their own fault , because they embarked in projects they did not planned well and understood well…

    “God helps those who help themselves”, is a good saying.

    Most of the Filipinos are poor, because they are too lazy to improve themselves, and innovate things to better their works and their lives. Refusing to think, makes you poor; and to be too lazy to think, makes you even poorer. Our politicians wants us all to remain poor and ignorant; so that they can scam us and harvest our votes during election. There are many crooks in the government, because being a crook in our country pays…few crooks are going to jail.

    We don’t know much about the COVID 19 pandemic. It is still an enigma. It is a virus…it can be transmitted easily. It is airborne. Some people, easily die from it. Some people are resistant to it.
    So, a COVID resistant person, can just go to a crowd normally and infect many people in the crowd.

    Scientists and researchers are working for a vaccine; however, it will not be available until the end of the year (they say)…So, as Filipinos, we just say : “Bahala Na ! Paktay kung Paktay !

  4. Lol @ benign0 the FOOL, great “idea”

    Great idea. In fact today. I. will. decide. to. NOT BE POOR!
    I WILL NOT BE POOR!!!!!!!!!

    clap* clap* clap*

    Welp, money still did not magically appear in my wallet. Gotta go to work coz I got bills to pay.

    Shows that your level of thinking is just “Paris Hilton” level. And for all your faux intellectualism youre nothing but a hypocrite and a con-man

    Let them eat cake, am I right benign0?!?!
    Must be nice living in Australia eh? being one of those so-called “PANHANDLERS who lives across the ocean”!?!?!?! Your words not mine.

    LOL. Crazy you bitchin about pinoys living abroad while being a pinoy living abroad.
    What a joke. You and your garbage chi-chi blog.

  5. The best solution is not to be poor? Well, it’s time for you to answer some questions:

    1.) You have been having statements against foreign direct investment. In your article about COVID-19 and globalization you mentioned:

    Whatever the case and whatever the excuses of the past, the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented economic crisis it is creating brings back home a clear message. Third World countries like the Philippines need to work at becoming truly independent. Specifically, the Philippines needs to learn to sustain its population primarily through domestic production and investment. Can’t do that they say? Well that just means there are too many Filipinos than can be sustained by their domestic product. Tough luck, right?

    So really, you expect the Philippines to just develop on its own?

    2.) Do you realize that Singapore was once worse than the Philippines? I suggest you read From Third World to First by Lee Kwan Yew. Do you realize Singapore accepted foreign direct investment as a necessary component for its economic improvement?

    While at it, I hope you can read this one:

    Get Real Philippines Shows How It’s Still CLUELESS ABOUT ECONOMICS This COVID-19 Outbreak

    Sad to say you are staying in Australia yet you don’t see what makes your current country better.

    1. So it seems your alternative is to not be independent. Interesting. I do expect the Philippines to develop on its own — because that is essentially the message COVID-19 brought to the fore. A lot of the “pain” it caused is really just an outcome of an entire people’s hubris, primarily around the notion that we could increase our population to this ENORMOUS size and expect to sustain it using foreign technology and “foreign investment”.

      That’s a macrocosm of the very same anak nang anak and then asa sa “daddy” (in various senses of that latter word) syndrome that we observe at every class level and across every demographic of Philippine society.

      1. Sean Akizuki, on what @benign0 actually means that the Filipinos should become a CULTURALLY MATURED people, i.e. Filipinos should become more discipline, we should become self-reliant, become strong & not being softie, we must love & respect our country rather than love & respect to a foreign country, not becoming lazy/sloth, etc. and not too becoming dependent on foreigners or aliens who will manage in our country as what John F. Kennedy said that ask not what your country can do for you but you must do for your country.

        And of course we won’t close FDI in our country BUT if the Filipino people would work in a mulit-national companies & stayed in our country rather than leaving our country & find a job there then after his contract expired or if he’ll leaves his work from a multi-national company & he have a full knowledge & experience & earned more money from his previous jobs in a multi-national company (for example an I.T. company like Oracle or Amazon), then he could make his own business here and hire his own employees who are looking for a job here in the Philippines without going to a foreign countries. And this is what some Asian countries like China, South Korea, Taiwan & Japan had done for the past years & what the Chinese, Taiwanese, South Korean & Japanese companies had made their own companies & marketed to the world market?

        1) China – Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, TCL, Tiktok, Alibaba, etc.

        2) Taiwan – Acer, Asus, etc.

        3) South Korea – Hyundai, Samsung, Kia, LG, etc.

        4) Japan – Sony, Panasonic, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Isuzu, etc.

        If those 4 Asian countries can do that, then why can’t we?

        1. @mrericx

          Sean Akizuki, on what @benign0 actually means that the Filipinos should become a CULTURALLY MATURED people, i.e. Filipinos should become more discipline, we should become self-reliant, become strong & not being softie, we must love & respect our country rather than love & respect to a foreign country, not becoming lazy/sloth, etc. and not too becoming dependent on foreigners or aliens who will manage in our country as what John F. Kennedy said that ask not what your country can do for you but you must do for your country.

          Do you know what’s the solution? System change is badly needed!

          That’s why I propose to change to the parliamentary system because it will really force both sides of the coin (government and opposition) to come up with better ideas. Some presidential countries using parliamentary features are doing better because of that.

          And of course we won’t close FDI in our country BUT if the Filipino people would work in a mulit-national companies & stayed in our country rather than leaving our country & find a job there then after his contract expired or if he’ll leaves his work from a multi-national company & he have a full knowledge & experience & earned more money from his previous jobs in a multi-national company (for example an I.T. company like Oracle or Amazon), then he could make his own business here and hire his own employees who are looking for a job here in the Philippines without going to a foreign countries. And this is what some Asian countries like China, South Korea, Taiwan & Japan had done for the past years & what the Chinese, Taiwanese, South Korean & Japanese companies had made their own companies & marketed to the world market?

          1) China – Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, TCL, Tiktok, Alibaba, etc.

          2) Taiwan – Acer, Asus, etc.

          3) South Korea – Hyundai, Samsung, Kia, LG, etc.

          4) Japan – Sony, Panasonic, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Isuzu, etc.

          If those 4 Asian countries can do that, then why can’t we?

          Do you want to know the reality? Those countries are FDI friendly. Yes, I can agree with you not to close the country to FDI. FDIs provide competition which will force Filipino businesses to be on their toes all the time. FDI friendly countries encourage innovation. What Filipinos need is to be exposed to competition and open markets.

          @Benigno

          So it seems your alternative is to not be independent. Interesting. I do expect the Philippines to develop on its own — because that is essentially the message COVID-19 brought to the fore. A lot of the “pain” it caused is really just an outcome of an entire people’s hubris, primarily around the notion that we could increase our population to this ENORMOUS size and expect to sustain it using foreign technology and “foreign investment”.

          That’s a macrocosm of the very same anak nang anak and then asa sa “daddy” (in various senses of that latter word) syndrome that we observe at every class level and across every demographic of Philippine society.

          TBH the proposal of market markets doesn’t mean we won’t be independent. Rather, it’s about being interdependent. We rely on each other. Filipinos will invite FDIs which in turn will force Filipino businesses to evolve and grab opportunities for more customers. This is to bring in the money badly needed to help fight COVID-19. Also, having FDI hospitals can help fight against COVID-19. Economics is also needed because money is needed to spend on the crisis.

          If you really think first world countries develop on their own – think again. They had foreign investment involved which in turn produced jobs and revenues. I wonder did you even study Australia’s economic success that you are there?

        2. Rather, it’s about being interdependent. We rely on each other.

          Well that’s the trick, isn’t? For Filipinos, “rely on each other” is a one-way street where we tend to gravitate more towards the easy, lazy way of relying rather than independence. Given the option, Filipinos tend to opt for reliance and less on independence.

          Globalisation is really about options. Smart and strong societies get the balance mostly right. The Philippines has a history of swinging more towards the reliance side. This means the problem is cultural and no amount of “system change” will solve that problem.

  6. Globalisation is really about options. Smart and strong societies get the balance mostly right. The Philippines has a history of swinging more towards the reliance side. This means the problem is cultural and no amount of “system change” will solve that problem.

    Okay, I wonder did you even realize Singapore used to be worse than the Philippines? I guess Singapore was always the way it was huh? You admire Singapore a lot yet you can’t see it was once worse than the Philippines.

    So how do you ever plan to change the culture of Filipinos then?

    1. You need a strong leader to change culture. As you can see, “democracy” put Filipinos on the opposite path and turned them all into a bunch of snowflakes.

      This is also why the role of a big mass media network like ABS-CBN is important and why the nature of the content should be changed. In its current form, ABS-CBN made out typical Pinoy thinking and mannerisms into something cool to be emulated rather than eradicated. Which is why we see today the prevalence of badaf and jeje culture dominating the airwaves and the “national debate”.

      1. benign0,

        The change and initiative all starts with President Duterte and not with Filipino masses. As how you described the masses they are already lost so you can’t push them to get better. The ray of hope now is with the government. It has all the taxes of the Filipinos with a budget of 4 trillion pesos in 2020 plus the onerous loans it got from China and other countries. That 4 trillion plus loans have the great command of changing the system.

        Getting rid of a network like the juggernut ABS-CBN is a band-aid solution to your so called cultural problem. Why not your dictator president command his congressmen and senators to pass a law that would compel the tv network giants (abs-cbn, gma-7, tv5 etc.) to have Educational programs inserted in their tv business 4-8 hours daily or suffer severe penalties? Or if this act is unconstitutional then change the constitution. That would be a sustainable solution to the problem.

        The truth is, Duterte never got serious on your tv jejemons benign0. He got rid of ABS-CBN because it becomes personal to him and not because of its tv programs. Look at the GMA-7 and TV5, he renewed their 25-year franchise respectively even though they promote trashy programs that you hate about. That means he never thought of your media hatred.

      2. Not sure if benign0 is dead serious with his statement above. He, undeniably, did not lift a finger in protest then and seemed silent, even amenable, when President Duterte started appointing showbiz personalities in various government positions left and right:

        Mocha Uson in MTRCB, PCOO and OWWA; Gay couple Aiza Seguerra and Liza Diño-Seguerra in National Youth Commission (NYC) and Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP); Cesar Montano in Tourism Board Promotions; Kat de Castro in Department of Tourism (DOT); Arnell Ignacio in PAGCOR and OWWA; Jimmy Bondoc in PAGCOR; Dennis Padilla, Luke Mejares and Paolo Santos in MTRCB.

        Freddie Aguilar isn’t actually someone you can call a strong leader but he promised to revolutionize filipino culture. At some point, he nearly got the post for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). The camp of President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Freddie Aguilar to head the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. He didn’t get it due to a technicality.

        “Election to the NCCA chair is among the heads of the cultural agencies that sit on the NCCA board in an ex-officio capacity as well as the heads of the four sub-commissions — on Arts, on Culture and Heritage (SCH), Information and Dissemination, and Cultural Communities.”

        The reasoning shifts gear somehow according to one’s politics, interest and convenience.

        1. benign0, seems like you lost any good argument and your short question to us only makes you a fool by not following the argument above where it leads. Proves to us you are incapable of debate.

        2. Yeah sure benign0, just keep on pretending or be as dishonest as you can. Readers are not blind not to comprehend where the argument above leads to Duterte. You are playing lazy thinking here. We are not. How many times you lost in an argument like this. Either you don’t reply or you engage in a faulty reasoning. Shame.

        3. @Jason: Nope I’m not being dishonest. I’m asking you a simple question.

          What makes you two think I was talking about Duterte?

      3. I’m thinking about benign0’s statements here:

        “… the [Philippines] problem is cultural and no amount of “system change” will solve that problem.”

        “You need a strong leader to change culture.”

        And Riot’s given example of the Duterte administration’s failed attempt of appointment of unqualified and undeserving Mr. Freddie Aguilar as Head of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) here:

        “Election to the NCCA chair is among the heads of the cultural agencies that sit on the NCCA board in an ex-officio capacity as well as the heads of the four sub-commissions — on Arts, on Culture and Heritage (SCH), Information and Dissemination, and Cultural Communities.”

        To think that the NCCA with its own rule of electoral system has prevented even a strong leader like President Duterte from appointing someone of his own preference in an institution under his own administration is something that spells a difference.

        What if something like this could be designed nationally in a grander scheme of things for the Philippines?

        You then realize that strong leaders and weak states with weak institutions simply just don’t cut it.

      4. This is for Sean Akizuki, now since he want our country to become a federal/parliamentary form of government & attract more FDI in our country but he forgot to mention that he didn’t like the oligarch in our country like those Ayala, Lopez, MVP, etc. then why don’t he shouldn’t join this organization called Correct Philippines (and see the links of their official website as what I’d posted a replied message for this topic above) and that’s not a problem. And by the way, here’s a link of a video message coming from the founder of Correct Philippines by the name of Orion Perez in which he’d uploaded it on Youtube during the 2016 election and made a messages for the Filipino elites & oligarch in our country in order to make his clear demand on why our country should shift the political system from a unitary/presidential form into a parliamentary/federal form of government & removing the FDI restrictions from the current 1987 constitution: https://youtu.be/5nHwyELxvNk

        But alright since if we will grant this political reform in our country shifting from unitary/presidential to a federal/parliamentary form of government then here’s another problem, the irrational cultural image of the Filipino people & we REALLY need to change or improve that as well. We MUST shift our culture from being a Western type & stone age society into an Asian style cultural approach which are more pragmatic, discipline & Machiavellian type of culture just like in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan & Singapore and turn away from being more Westernized/liberal way of culture in which our country would be dragging down on the development & our country’s images to the world.

        1. These talks of transitional change in the form of government from presidential to parliamentary is nothing new. As a matter of fact it was already started and implemented a long time ago.

          The late President Marcos in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 1982 said:

          “Five months hence, we shall commence the implementation of our new Five-Year Development Program for the years 1983 to 1987. And no one is in doubt either that in facing up to these problems and challenges of the day, national planning for the future cannot merely rest on the perspective of a single year or two years. And thus, we have both a five-year program and a long-range program that goes all the way to the end of the century.”

          “Our quest for an effective system of government and a dynamic political order has been a long one, indeed, and perhaps in all candors we can say to the history writer that we have tried almost every option and alternative.”

          (The concern was to perform and to prepare adequately for the transitions from crisis government to representative government. An effective system of government would take its place and face whatever crisis may confront the nation.)

          Under the new system, a prime minister nominated by the president and elected by the Parliament will run the day-to-day functions of government, responsible both to the president and to Parliament.

          The president will be responsible for defense, security and foreign affairs and for choosing the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the five-member Advisory Council that will serve as temporary successor in the event of death or incapacity of the president.

          The new governmental form, described as similar to the French presidential system, was devised to avoid the adversary nature of the American system or the instability of the pure parliamentary form.

          But as we know it today, the prospect for historical change ground to a halt. brought about by the rude US-backed 1986 edsa political take over.

        2. @mrericx

          This is for Sean Akizuki, now since he want our country to become a federal/parliamentary form of government & attract more FDI in our country but he forgot to mention that he didn’t like the oligarch in our country like those Ayala, Lopez, MVP, etc. then why don’t he shouldn’t join this organization called Correct Philippines (and see the links of their official website as what I’d posted a replied message for this topic above) and that’s not a problem. And by the way, here’s a link of a video message coming from the founder of Correct Philippines by the name of Orion Perez in which he’d uploaded it on Youtube during the 2016 election and made a messages for the Filipino elites & oligarch in our country in order to make his clear demand on why our country should shift the political system from a unitary/presidential form into a parliamentary/federal form of government & removing the FDI restrictions from the current 1987 constitution: https://youtu.be/5nHwyELxvNk

          Actually I support Correct PH because they are solutions-oriented. System change is necessary for cultural change. Allowing FDIs to invest in the Philippines will either help Filipino businesses evolve.

          Yes, I forgot to mention about the oligarchy here. They have become so complacent because of a lack of competition.

          But alright since if we will grant this political reform in our country shifting from unitary/presidential to a federal/parliamentary form of government then here’s another problem, the irrational cultural image of the Filipino people & we REALLY need to change or improve that as well. We MUST shift our culture from being a Western type & stone age society into an Asian style cultural approach which are more pragmatic, discipline & Machiavellian type of culture just like in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan & Singapore and turn away from being more Westernized/liberal way of culture in which our country would be dragging down on the development & our country’s images to the world.

          Running it the way Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore would do it would be more beneficial to the Philippines. Having a strict democracy is balancing between freedom and rules.

  7. “Poverty is a habitual entering into commitments one is inherently unable to honour.”

    Somehow you just described the so-called freemarket.

  8. a world where everyone is rich will indeed be a better one not just in terms of combating covid. sadly it will not happen as long as the church still combats contraception. give a woman control over her reproductive cycle, make her a productive worker and not just a baby producer/raiser and the floor will rise, it never fails.

  9. not be poor.. There are remedies out there that cost a lot less and are more effective than those sold and recommended by physicians. I don’t know. There’s just so much incongruence.

  10. mr. benign0,

    You have the belief that no amount of ‘system change’ will ever solve the ‘filipino problem’ which is deeply rooted in culture and that ONLY a strong leader can make that change happen.

    Who is this strong Filipino leader? Does he even exist in our time today here in the Philippines? Can you name this Filipino leader and what are the important things he needs to do exactly to realize such a change?

    But, if you believe you can’t name anyone, and, just feel the need to continue pointing out every aspect of filipino cultural problems, what then are you trying to achieve with your articles? What actual results do you expect from them and in what time frame?

    Do you happen to believe in any ideology that explains and provides prescriptions or are you just more comfortable and prefer open-ended pointing out of problems?

    Please don’t make an example of ‘tiny’ Singapore and LKY as a model (though much can be learned from their experience!) to compare with the much ‘bigger’ Philippines with its own unique geographic and demographic conditions and a more complex socio-politico-economic and historical conditions.

    It will be appreciated if you choose not reply with another question and keep us guessing. Thanks in advance!

    1. Admittedly, finding a strong leader who does good for the nation specially in one as enormous as the Philippines is highly unlikely. This means that there really does not seem to be much promise of a better future for Filipinos.

  11. Your statement does not sound too positive. Does it mean to signify something, like resignation and/or surrender? China is a much bigger country than ours but was ably unified by Chairman Mao Tse-tung. It’s quite interesting then how a former Filipino leader was already looking thoughtfully along this line as he found admiration and inspiration in Mao’s achievement.

    Here’s an excerpt of exchanges between Mr. William Buckley, Jr. and Ferdinand Marcos in 1977 in a program called Firing Line:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO-rPsmYghk

    MR. BUCKLEY: You were quoted in a story in Time magazine a few months ago as follows. It was a rather arresting quotation. Time magazine wrote, “The contemporary world figure admired most by both Marcos and Imelda is China’s Chairman Mao Tse-tung. Reason: Mao, as the president puts it, united ‘800 million volatile and historically disparate and separated people.'” I remember it was almost ten years ago that Marshall Ky was quoted as saying that the figure he admired most was Adolf Hitler. He intended by that a very narrow construction. Many Americans are curious whether your alleged admiration for Mao Tse-tung is an admiration in any sense of his philosophy, of his techniques for staying in power, or is it purely a narrow construction of what he accomplished that commends him to you?

    PRESIDENT MARCOS: Ah, the latter. Actually China will always be a concern of any small country close to the mainland, and every leader in Southeast Asia studies what happens in China. We all know that China will be the center of almost everything within a decade or two. Right now it’s consolidating, and a leader does disservice to his people if he does not know what is happening in China. We–almost everybody–admires Chairman Mao Tse-tung for the accomplishment of what many Chinese leaders have failed at. This is the unification of the Chinese people, a people divided, isolated, degraded, colonized, a people that was marked as a sleeping giant even by Napoleon, but a people with potentialities and this is, of course, as I said, an admiration that is limited to the mere achievement of unification of that people.

    —–

    MR. BUCKLEY: Of course. Well, let me ask you then a philosophical question. In my country we fought a very bloody war to prevent secession just over a hundred years ago, and Abraham Lincoln, in a famous letter to a New York editor, said that he sought to preserve the Union above all things. Is it your judgment that any means are tolerable–including the repression used by Mao Tse-tung on such a vast scale–to bring about the unification of a national abstraction?

    PRESIDENT MARCOS: Yes and no. I myself am of the belief that authority must be utilized by government to obtain certain noble objectives, but that authority must be circumscribed.

    —–

    MR. BUCKLEY: But you admire him just the same?

    PRESIDENT MARCOS: No. I admired the manner in which–notwithstanding the fact that the Chinese people have never been used to a single leadership–they accept that single leadership. Yes, he may have used, of course, repression. I concede that. However, as I have said, the fact is he united these people. One of the things that I have always maintained is that repression is not necessarily a means to unity. Repression can backfire. Repression can cause rebellion, revolution. Repression, say, among the people like the Philippines– Filipinos–would result in immediate revolution.

  12. Leadership inherently involves self-sacrifice. People refer to the actions of their leaders so the standards should come from above. We have our own set of conditions but the common goals that unite us have the stronger force , yes/no? We’re capable of a system that goes beyond outdoing each other. We strengthen our own to be able to cooperate. You help somebody else even though you might be the one to go down later. It’s not about whose life is more worthy. The action will be self-causing.

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