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Author Topic: Current Political Unrest......How does it affect us?  (Read 7578 times)

Offline Rick B

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Re: Current Political Unrest......How does it affect us?
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2008, 08:30:34 PM »
Michael1636

i just think what you have said is spot on, be involved and try to be positive in your small sphere of influence, but if you come here with a crusading agenda, well good luck you will need it

Offline Mike M.

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Re: Current Political Unrest......How does it affect us?
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2008, 05:52:19 AM »
I have always had a do-gooder attitude and have never really examined that aspect of my personality. However, last week I taught a class on \"altruism\" in social psychology and in the preparation had some thoughts about Filipinos.   Filipinos claim/seem to be strong in pakipagkapua...rough translation is they think and act more for others than for themselves.  They also boast about utang na loob or a deep investment in indebtedness to others and acceptance of indebtedness from others.  I was trying to compare the two ideas: giving freely to others and indebtedness to others and found i could not reconcile these two ideas.  If you owe someone something, how is it possible to give something freely to them?

Anyway, this post is getting out of hand too quickly.  I enjoy doing for others as long as the doing is somewhat convenient, within my sphere of interest, and appears to have a positive outcome.  I don\'t like to be taken for granted however, and once you give something here there is a strong tendency to slap you in that category.  Mostly I ignore the warning signs that what I do has been posted as a road sign to the hungry masses.  I try hard to take no credit.  I am asked constantly to be the speaker at schools, meetings,business clubs, etc., and pretty much I avoid that level of advertisement because it licenses those in attendance to put me in their resource category. 

Example:  We are shopping at South (local market) when a PNP woman approached me and pushed really hard for me to help her get to Canada.  Groan, she shows up at my house with hubby and kid and we visit the internet where i , Canadian Immigration, applications, and job search.  I gave her simple instructions for following up

Offline Mike M.

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Re: Current Political Unrest......How does it affect us?
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2008, 05:57:11 AM »
Sorry, fat fingers follow on:    on the internet I get her an email id (gmail), show her browser, canadian immigration, job search, application process, etc.  I help her locate internet cafe.  She and her family stay and eat.  After 4 hours I gently throw them out.  She\'s back today.   

None of her behavior is thought of as imposing.  She is in the utang na loob line and is building up credits for me.  She will owe me. Everyone owes me.  Everyone comes to charge at my store. 

Mike M.

Offline michael16136

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Re: Current Political Unrest......How does it affect us?
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2008, 12:20:39 PM »
Ah Dr. Mike you are truly a nicer person than I am. I\'ve been asked to teach classes (said no), to speak at various functions (said no) and to help people find jobs (said no) and by now, people seem to have gotten the idea not to ask any more. Of course one reason for me is that I spend about 9-10 hours per day at my day job, and I do not have a lot of energy, commitment, zeal or willingness left over. I will however, provide help gladly on an individual basis, when I think that my help will result in some sort of positive outcome. Having spent most of my professional career in development though, and having witnessed the ineffectiveness of most large-scale \"gifts,\" I\'ve become somewhat cynical about affecting any sort of real change. It\'s been my limited experience that responding to one \"emergency\" merely perpetuates additional emergencies in an endless cycle of dependence.

While I accept that \"utang na loob\" is an observable facet of Philippine culture, I think that \"pakipagkapua\" is largely a self-proclaimed trait that exists more in the telling than the doing. It\'s not something that I\'ve observed very much and I don\'t think you need to try to reconcile the opposing forces intellectually because the one does not (my opinion only) exist. What does exist--at least from what I\'ve seen--is an endless cycle of debt. partial repayment and the creation of additional debt. I see very little intellectual curiosity on the part of Filipinos to question this cycle or even any struggle to understand it. It seems to be accepted, at least among the poor, as unquestioningly as most aspects of Catholicism and with as little understanding.

I think this whole aspect of the national culture explains why I\'ve never been tempted or tried to \"go native\" to any degree whatsoever. It also explains partially why I don\'t want to/need to be friends with the local vegetable sellers, fish mongers, sidewalk vendors et al. I just do not want to become part of the local scene to that extent.

Offline Mike M.

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Re: Current Political Unrest......How does it affect us?
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2008, 06:16:08 AM »
Mike I have been meaning to ask about your job and maybe you posted somewhere and I missed it.  I\'m curious to know what you do and a bit about you.  Did you marry a local? 

So the pagkapua thing is a local legend?  Part of the poster Filipina on hospitality and wide smiles?  I usually tack it on to the return money to the familhy and the church commitmenty dogmas.  I don\'t see it in action too often.  I was pleased to read that my past provisional governor was famous for building social services and making contributions to my province, though she was also known for stealing less than any other governor in the Philippines. 

Thanks for the mental input.::))


Mike M. 

Offline michael16136

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Re: Current Political Unrest......How does it affect us?
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2008, 09:34:36 AM »
I do not want to say too much here, but I\'d be happy to respond with greater detail by email if you like. I work on managing a very large development project that focuses exclusively on conflict-affected areas of Mindanao, which includes all of the ARMM, most of North and South Cotabato, much of Sarangani and parts of the CARAGAS region. Since i travel within the areas of project focus I do get to see a lot of fairly remote places that most foreigners do not and probably would not want to see. I also get to work with government at all levels, from the barangays through the national agencies.

I\'ve not studies the pagkapua stuff so I don\'t know much how it functions as a cultural norm. My comments were based on the fact that I\'ve rarely observed it. In my judgment, stealing funds and then returning a portion to the people from whom you stole it in the first place does not qualify, and that\'s pretty much what politicians do here at all levels. The only difference I\'ve observed is the degree of greed but not the presence thereof.

Offline wfox11

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Re: Current Political Unrest......How does it affect us?
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2008, 11:09:24 PM »
I read somewhere that \"debt is the glue which holds Philippine society together.\" I\'ve only visited the PI a few times but I\'ve read some of Dr. Jose Rizal\'s books (google the Gutenberg Project for free online literature). The old saw \"the more things change the more they stay the same\" applies.

When the wife and I retire to the PI we plan to support a few local charities to whatever extent we can, and use that support as an excuse for not being anyone\'s bank. My motto: \"In God we trust. All others pay cash.\"

Wes
Ronald Reagan said \"sometimes our right hand doesn\'t know what our far-right hand is doing.\"

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Re: Current Political Unrest......How does it affect us?
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2008, 09:24:34 AM »
I couldn\'t say any better than micheai16136. My wife and I do the good things in our part of wherever we are in a quiet way.   

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Re: Current Political Unrest......How does it affect us?
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2008, 02:44:35 PM »
I would think that a situation like what happened \'65 (ie Year of Living Dangerously) is unlikely in RP given the good hearted nature of Filipinos.

Although I was alarmed at the Filipino on Filipino violence during elections - the sleepy little island of Bantayan off NW coast of Cebu - really shook me >> http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/regions/view_article.php?article_id=63821
With 32 people killed  :o in pre election period it was a real wake up call

At any political activity, best to keep LOW profile kano or filipino



When one of Gloria\'s cousins approached us about supporting his bid as an barangay official I informed him that i couldn\'t, as a foreigner get involved, but that Glo was free to do what she wished. She helped......he didn\'t grease enough palms and didn\'t get elected.

Offline michael16136

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Re: Current Political Unrest......How does it affect us?
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2008, 03:23:47 PM »
I hope this does not sound overly cynical since it\'s meant as an observation only, based on having lived here for a while now. It\'s my opinion that the current president is and will remain unmoved by and indifferent to the street demonstrations, the hysterical newspaper articles, and the opinions of editorial writers. It\'s only when and if her fellow oligarchs, who have drunk from the gravy train for generations, believe that the public scandals and the glare of international condemnation have jeopardized the gravy train, that they will tell her it\'s time to step aside. Once opportunities to steal begin to shrink dramatically--because potential funding sources are drying up--then you will have a change in leadership. The ascendancy of another group of oligarchs however, will change nothing. The greed will merely become lower profile so that the tiny minority that controls all of the wealth of the country can resume business as usual in a lower key.  As another contributor said recently:  plus ca change, plus que la meme chose;the more things change, the more they remain the same.