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Showing posts from 2010

Rizal Day (2010) report of Noynoy to the Media - the real story

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I noticed a few things in the latest "report" Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III issued to the Filipino public. "Gains are now being felt" was his "report" to reporters given after officiating Rizal Day rites in Manila. And what are these "gains"? He counts (1) a "budget surplus" registered now after a forecast of a P6 billion "deficit" when he first took office and (2) an "improved employment picture" mostly propped up by the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. From all that he was supposedly given a thumbs up by certain interesting sectors of Philippine society which I will go into in the third point I make.

Am I a social networking star?

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Rate of growth in the take up of social networking among Filipinos is among the highest in the world. From just 160,000 in July 2008, the number of Facebook users in the Philippines grew by huge leaps to 2.7 million in 2009 and then 14.6 million in 2010. The rate at which Filipinos are infesting Facebook is astounding, indeed. And while our immense numbers go on to pad Mark Zuckerberg's score card, the question remains:

Are we adding intellectual, social, or cultural capital to the community?

What is so outrageous about a limit on broadband internet usage?

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In a recent article on ProPinoy.net, blogger Cocoy Dayao laments the implementation of volume caps on internet usage in the Philippines by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). Before we fly off the handle here, I believe we first need to step back a bit and ask this more fundamental question:

How exactly does increased access to high-speed internet for the average Filipino consumer make her "more productive"?

Making less money for more junk: How the 'New Media' is the new fossil fuel

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Ten years ago, we thought that the biggest thing the Web was going to be was a high-tech mail order catalogue. Some of the most publicised tech stunts in the first Web boom of the late 1990's involved geeks voluntarily locking themselves indoors for weeks and subsisting on stuff that can be ordered via the Web -- all to highlight the foreseen downfall of businesses derided by first-generation Web heads and their Wall Street cheerleaders as "bricks-and-mortar" establishments. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com was rewarded for fitting that "vision" when he was made TIMEPerson of the Year in 1999.

We now know that the Web went on to prove that its biggest direct value to the average schmoe was as a forum for "social networking". Facebook.com enhanced real-world and real-person networking while a plethora of massively-multiplayer gaming platforms opened alternate realities for alternate-person networking.

Ergo: 2010 TIME Person of the Year = Facebook's …

Philippine culture as seen through the nation's toilets

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What by most standards is already a "squeaky clean" society apparently is not enough for a people who set high standards for themselves. The Singapore Government has set a goal to make their 30,000 public rest rooms even cleaner than clean. According to the Restroom Association (Singapore) (RAS), only 500 of these public toilet facilities were "up to its standards".

What are these standards that even antiseptic Singapore's toilet facilities struggle to meet?

Noynoy Aquino still crying over his cherished 'Truth Commission'

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Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III continues to be beleaguered by a Supreme Court that is "'singling out' his administration". Trouble is, it's all in his mind -- a mind conditioned to squeeze every drop of equity off the victim card that is. Poor guy. He can't seem to move on and focus on next steps. According to a PhilStar.com report, Noynoy almost three weeks since the Philippine Supreme Court junked his precious "Truth" Commission remains "disappointed" with that outcome. He further laments...

Is it worth getting out of bed to go to Catholic mass in Jolo?

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Bombing a place of worship is just so unoriginal, and that also goes for the statements of "outrage" flying back and forth. For me, the heart of the matter lies in the more fundamental conjecture: if there was no organised religion, people wouldn't be sitting ducks in any church to begin with, whether it is a church in Jolo, a mosque, a synagogue or whatever the hell else people go to to "worship" and, as such, become targets for the zealous violence delivered by believers of other competing religions in the names of their respective gods.

Eric Manalang of Pro-Life shows his true colours

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Ana Santos shared on ProPinoy.net a letter from Pro-Life head honcho Eric Manalang. The letter was a response for a request from Ms Santos for an interview for IRIN News, the media arm of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Aside from the really appalling English grammar used in the letter there was one key point I noted and is contained in the following excerpt...

Christmas rush: its evolutionary origins

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The holiday season is made out to be a time of reflective re-visiting of our personal bonds with family and friends. However, reading all these reports about the The Rush -- and the congestion it causes -- from both the Media and friends, it seems to me, that the very perspective that is encouraged in the greetings and messages we exchange is the biggest casualty of the Silly Season.

Overcoming idiotic Filipino drivers: Three tips for navigating Manila traffic

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From a macro collective perspective, the Manila traffic situation is really a simple issue. What we call the "mess" that is Manila traffic is no more than an emergent property; a collective outcome of the idiotic behaviour of the system's individual elements -- Idiotic Filipino Drivers. Tell-tale signs of a truly idiotic driver is a traffic negotiation style characterised by frequent rapid acceleration followed by hard braking, and awkward squeezing into tight spots. All are hallmarks of a habitual failure to anticipate, empathise, and foresee.

The King of Kings versus the King of Comedy

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War, famine, pestilence, poverty, and child-molesting priests. There are millions of things that the men-in-robes of the Philippine Catholic Church could be raising a stink about. Instead they focus today on Dolphy's comedy film Father Jejemon, where certain scenes allegedly "disrespect" certain holy rituals of the Catholic faith. King of comedy told to respect King of Kings reports the Inquirer.net, perhaps inadvertently highlighting how our esteemed clerics forget that their "King" is not necessarily all Filipinos' king.

Rail transport in the Philippines gaining many fans!

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I recently came across a couple of on-line communities whose members shared an interest in following development of rail transport in the Philippines. One was on the PinoyExchange.com thread The New Look of PNR where forum participants shared photos of and news about the services and facilities being developed by the Philippine National Railways (PNR). Among the participants in that thread were the admins of the Facebook.com page PNR, MRT, LRT in the Philippines (PMLP@Facebook).

The Extended "So What?" Test and why this is very important today

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The call out "Where are the results?" is a rhetorical question. It is a qualifier to any assertions we make about certain things and can be used as a polite way of saying So what? or, better yet, to further qualify a response to the "So What?" question.

When, for example, we make an assertion, the best way to test whether said assertion is relevant is to ask ourselves: So what?

Mayor Alfredo "dead HK tourists" Lim accompanies P-Noy to launch book on Aquino successes

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As the famous saying goes. the winners get to write history. That, indeed, is what is happening as President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III launches The Inaugural -- a book about, what else, him and his family. Everything about the book has Kamaganak Inc written all over it. The book is published by Maria Montelibano, a cousin (surprised?) of Noynoy.

Top celebrity endorsers tell us something about Philippine society

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A "study" conducted by Synergy Business Consultancy (SBC) revealed the most powerful celebrity endorsers in the Philippines, with Manny "Aprub Agad!" Pacquiao, Vicki "Charice's face is getting wider" Belo, and Venus "Major Major" Raj topping the list. These are people who will be paid millions by Big Corporate to stand behind their products flashing their winning smiles at their adoring fans.

You're in good company in the Get Real Philippines Network!

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Thank you for your continued interest in the top network of commentary outlets in the Philippine blogosphere. There is no other community of pundits more insightful, more original, more consistent, and more open than the men and women who make up the Get Real Philippines Network.

Number of Filipinos who can work but don't: 29.1 MILLION!

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According to a report released by the Philippine Central Bank (BSP), remittances by overseas workers to the Philippines was supposedly the "highest monthly level so far recorded". This was reported by the Inquirer.net as due to a "robust demand by foreign companies for Filipino skilled and professional workers".

Willie Revillame can be President or a Senator someday, but not an SC Justice

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It's safe to say that it is every unlikely that Willie Revillame will ever be a Supreme Court justice. But can we be just as certain with regard to the prospect of Revillame possibly making a bid for a seat in Congress or even the Presidency someday? Among the three branches of the Philippine government, it is only the judiciary that requires specialist expertise in the officers who serve within it. Compare that to the executive and legislative branches where actors, boozers, retards, rapists, has-been comedians, and other losers and misguided mutineers all have a better-than-average shot at a lucrative seat within them.

Extra! Extra! The Philippines is a "basket case"!

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Rather laughable is the high expectations that the Usual Suspects of petty Philippine politics harbour of what may be revealed by WikiLeaks about the Philippines. According to an Inquirer.net "report", Filipino "militants" expect the information from Julian Assange's infamous site to "reveal detailed information exposing the extent of US involvement in the country's internal affairs" and another bozo crowed how "never before have the secret workings of US foreign policy been opened to such public scrutiny".

Shoddy police work in the Philippines due to unscientific minds

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If there was anything that the final "resolution" of the Vizconde Massacre -- the "crime of the decade" -- achieved, it was casting the spotlight, yet again, on the astounding incompetence of the state's law enforcement, intelligence, and investigation services. Missing witnesses, tampered evidence, lack of control over crime scenes, and spineless management of the Media characterised the case then just as these characterised much of the more recent spectacles of the Philippines' keystonian police operations.

The Philippines: where armed soldiers and cops run amok for a "cause"

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Mistress of Jolog Central, Ellen Tordesillas, called the occassion "Proof that good things can come out of Congress". The Philippine House of Representatives today approved President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's Proclamation 75 granting "amnesty" to rebel "soldiers" Antonio Trillanes and Danilo Lim. Funny how what can now be considered "the first initiative of President Aquino which has been passed by Congress" involves the cutting loose of a bunch of crooks even as he coddles personal cronies whose gross incompetence had contributed to the preventable deaths of eight Hong Kong tourists in a tragic hostage drama back in August 23.

Outsourcing: the gold rush that may further impoverish Filipinos

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There's been a lot of trumpets being blown over how the Philippines had recently surpassed India as the world's biggest remote supplier of call centre and back-end business process outsourced (BPO) services. The value proposition of such services to the market is quite clear as far as Filipinos are concerned: they are delivered on the cheap by a society awash with under-employed university graduates who speak excellent English.

Noynoy's Truth Commission will have slowed down an already sluggish justice system

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The Supreme Court was probably right in shooting down President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's pet project, the "Truth Commission". If you are going to define an entire term of office by a "reform" agenda directed against past improprieties, then you should go the whole nine yards. This means covering all cases of such that transpired over the entire period the current Constitution (the legal framework within which the "Truth Commission" will supposedly work) was in effect. That means all cases that came up from 1986 to 2010 as well as all people involved.

Manny Pacquiao's compatriots - di naman pala papalag

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Proud to be like Manny Pacquiao Pinoys watch helplessly as China builds structures on territory claimed by the Philippine government. China had reportedly constructed a "lighthouse" on Subi Reef -- an area occupied by Chinese military personnel but also claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam.

But what can we do? Laments Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon...

Walden Bello is the first ocho-ocho revolutionary of the Second Aquino Presidency!

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Don't look now, but Akbayan party list representative Walden Bello has the distinction of being the first bozo to make that all-too-familiar but tired old call for "people power" a.k.a. Ocho-Ocho "Revolution" of the post-Arroyo era. According to Bello, the ten justices who ruled Aquino's pet "Truth Commission" project unconstitutional need to be "taught a lesson"...

Noynoy's report on the Supreme Court decision to junk the Truth Commission

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Reading the address of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to the Filipino people on the Supreme Court Decision junking Executive Order Number One was really painful. It was a painful read because it was in Tagalog. But I managed to capture a few salient points that stood out (indicated in italics after translation into English)...

Is it wrong to seek the truth?

Who said it is?

Isn't it my duty to punish people who broke the law?

Who says it isn't? Then again there's the matter of this "amnesty" you granted to "Senator" Antonio Trillanes and Danilo Lim...

A jolog solution to Arroyo's astute "investment" in the Philippine Supreme Court

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I don't really give a rat's arse who is "unconstitutional" nor who is the Righteous One or the Evil One in this whole small-minded drama being spun around this whole "Truth Commission" failure-to-launch fiasco. What I do see is an amusing contest of wits, political acumen, and foresight. So far, the party leading the race as far as this set of contest criteria is concerned is quite clear. Former President, now House Representative, Gloria Arroyo has remained consistent to the winning form she's exhibited over the last ten years -- that of a tenacious and savvy politician; a stark contrast to the bumbling comedy-of-errors that is the Second Aquino Admiistration.

Ten things that being popular among Filipinos proves about you

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Crows the Inquirer.net at its top headline: "Aquino's rating hits 79%"! It is indeed a celebration of the rise of a president who truly reflects the character of the people he leads.

But what exactly does being popular among Filipinos prove? Let me count the ways. Being popular among Filipinos proves...

Gringo, the commies, and bozos like Trillanes and Lim are all the same - Malacanang

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Looks like it is turning out that "Senator" Antonio Trillanes, his pal Danilo Lim, and their band of rebel ex-soldiers were a lot better off in the hands of the justice system than coddled by the Second Aquino Administration. Hearings on Proclamation 75 have stalled due to another instance of the pwede-na-yan regard to work quality of Malacanang staff...

The Roman Catholic Church is losing its grip on the concept of Christmas

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According to retired bishop Teodoro Bacani, Santa Claus is stealing the true spirit of Christmas and as such we are seeing this supposedly blessed holiday of Christendom "deteriorating into a shopping frenzy". Okay, padre, why don't we go back a bit and investigate what "Christmas" really is, shall we?

Ask most people what they think Christmas is, and they will answer that it is the day commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. But was Christ really born on the 25th of December? For that matter, is Christmas as we know it celebrated on that date, really a holiday introduced by the Christian faith?

Money wasted on the non-essentials cannot mask gaps in the essentials

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I saw this Asian girl at the mall today sitting together with her family opposite from where I was sitting at the food court. She must have been about seventeen or eighteen, and she looked like the sort who spends quite a bit on her looks, judging from her exquisitely-tinted hair, her manicured eyebrows, trendy clothes, and designer spectacles.

Kuligligs are really a simple issue

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I just recently came across the term "kuliglig". It refers to a motorised pedicab -- a pedicab fitted with some kind of small gasoline-powered motor normally used for motorising small boats. It's another one of those instances of "Pinoy ingenuity", I suppose. A modern-day jeepney-style "adaptation" to the chronic dire situation that is the Philippine condition. These vehicles are flat-out illegal. But like that other renowned Filipino lifestyle -- squatting (which is also illegal) -- operating kuligligs had recently become the latest fodder for the quaint ululations of Filipino populism.

Filipinos as "assets": a highly-questionable assumption used by "pro-life" advocates

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The venerable Abe Margallo in his FilipinoVoices.com article House Bill 5043, quo vadis (whatever the hell does "quo vadis" mean, anyway?) makes another one of those typically irresponsible rah-rah assertions about the issues of population and reproduction -- the sort that fuels primitivism in already hopelessly backward Philippine society. The cornerstones of his thesis are the following ululations:

(1) Filipinos are "assets", so the more such assets we produce, the more value is delivered to the society.

(2) The reason Filipinos remain poor despite their being an "asset" is that they lack "opportunit[ies] to work and earn income".

(3) The "economic elites" have not done their "duty" to invest more of their resources into creating said "opportunities" for the masses.

Guess again, gramps. Here are some reality checks for you...

No resolution for 8 Hong Kong tourist deaths while Trillanes and Lim set to be cut loose

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No heads have rolled yet in the aftermath of a botched hostage rescue that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead and we are already seeing a bunch of bandits led by "rebel" leaders Antonio Trillanes and Danilo Lim who needlessly endangered civilian lives in a misguided "mutiny" all set to be set loose back into society.

Already the Hong Kong government had initiated its own public inquest into the handling of the hostage drama that left eight of their citizens dead.

Leaving it up to the Ayalas to educate the next generation of Filipinos

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It seems the government of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's solution to improving access to publication is to make government less accountable for public education and leave it up to big private profit-oriented corporations to educate the next generation of Filipinos.

The Philippines vs Singapore: Jeepney vs Formula 1

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The Philippines with its population of 96 million registered a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $117 billion in 2006. Singapore for its part, with its relatively paltry population of 4.6 million delivered a GDP of $132 billion on the same year.


For less than half a tenth of the humanity Filipinos apply to the job of adding value to the economy, Singapore delivers more in absolute terms.

Antonio Trillanes's quaint adventurism - justified using flawed thinking

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The bid for amnesty of mutiny plotters Antonio Trillanes and Danilo Lim now hinges on the politics that surround their case -- the childish whims of an adolescent President and the brownie-points-sniffing people's "representatives" in Congress.

Isn't this ironic?

These are the very sorts of Pinoy-style politics upon which Trillanes and Lim justified the banditry they exhibited in the Peninsula and Oakwood.

What the Philippines had "achieved" over the last decade

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From the year 2000 to 2010 the population of the Philippines increased by eighteen million people. At this rate we will likely have increased our numbers by almost the entire population of Australia by 2012 since the turn of the century.

Danilo Lim and Antonio Trillanes deserve to rot in jail

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The whole evaluation being made around whether Antonio Trillanes, Danilo Lim and their band of morons deserve to be granted amnesty misses the whole point. The whole point is in how they, with reckless impunity, endangered civilian life using weapons that were entrusted to them by the state. Perhaps it makes it easy for people like "Father" Joaquin Bernas to see this now as just a question of what the intent was and how much remorse is being expressed today, because no one was hurt or killed...

A bit of a laugh: Noynoy likened to Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew

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Should Singapore's elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew feel insulted? The latest ululation this time from a bunch of brown-nosing bozos comparing a man with a vision to a man who cannot plan his way out of a paper bag.

Proud to be white-skinned Filipinos

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I gotta hand it to the fine marketing minds employed by the Neutrogena empire. They use "fairness" and "brightness" as euphemisms to describe what are essentially skin whitening products. Just check out the latest press release of the Neutrogena line of products to add to one's "skin-brightening beauty regimen". These are products that, according to the marketing tag line, "aim to brighten complexion and give fair, even-toned skin" (more info on the Neutrogena Philippines Facebook page).

Branding the Philippines: learning from the Singapore experience

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Singapore's survival as a resource-poor country depended on intellectual-capital-applied rather than on hawking raw materials and minerals to the rest of the world ad infinitum (a mindset that impoverishes countries like the Philippines). Here is an excerpt from a piece written by management expert Tom Peters which I cited in my book.

Gel Relos Santos: Manny Pacquiao statue to "scare off Mexicans"

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"Pres[ident]. [Barack] Obama wants to know if they can build a Manny Pacquiao statue to scare off Mexicans from illegally crossing US border." So goes a "joke" made by Filipino-American community leader Gel Relos Santos on her Facebook profile in a post that has since been deleted.

The following screen grab showing the ensuing heated debate on the merits and demerits of this fine specimen of Pinoy "humour", however, was captured and is preserved here (and reproduced below but cropped to fit the page) for posterity.

Ironic: Bayan Muna rep hails Pacquiao - a product of the American Dream

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Here's another one of those ironies that escape the renowned vacuous sensibilities of Filipinos. Bayan Muna "representative" Teddy CasiƱo gushes over the outcome of the latest bout that saw Manny Pacquiao emerge victorious once again:
"Manny is the epitome of skill, competence, sportsmanship, perseverance and everything good about being Filipino. He makes me proud to be a congressman.

Photos of a group of Filipino men slaughtering and eating a dog

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Just saw the photo below making the rounds on Facebook. The album from which it was lifted was posted by the Animal Welfare Coalition (see also AnimalWelfare.com.ph). The caption of the album indicated that the photos were "proudly posted" by a certain Bigleng Arcilla on "November 8" and whose friends include "Jeff Pecson, Jannella Cruz, Ar Tubaces Jr., Arian Canlas, Jhenypher Sison, Aljon Masiclat, Jerome Cabuso, Aldwin Arcilla, Darwin Delos Reyes, Emanuel Dane Sevilla, Al Mungcal, Aw Arcilla".

The Philippines: a journey back to natural primitivism since 1946

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A factoid we Filipinos often fret about has to do with the whole wasted opportunity we now struggle to come to terms with around our supposedly being a promising emerging regional star back in the 1950s -- our being Number Two to Japan's Number One in economic development back then while all the rest -- Singapore, Taiwan, the Koreas, Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong were all mosquito-infested colonial outposts. We were the poster child of American colonial legacy and looked up to as a role model to be emulated. What happened?

Does quality of leadership necessarily determine a society's ability to prosper?

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In the on-going debate around whether a shift in form of government will yield any significant change in our ability to prosper as a society over the foreseeable future (if there is such a thing), we have established that there is some validity in the assumption that quality of leadership has a strong causal relationship with system of governance. However, the second component that links prosperity to system of governance remains suspect; i.e. that Quality of elected leaders determines ability of a society to prosper.

South Korea kicks Pinoy commie ass

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South Korean government deports Filipino communists, and Filipinos get mad and try to get even! Indeed, the Philippines is living up to its place in the scheme of human civilisation as the butt of jokes exchanged by diplomats whenever they come together for grilled steaks and beers. According to Warden Bello...
"We cannot turn a blind eye to the South Korean government’s act of repression against Filipino nationals. This arbitrary act manifests a lack of respect for the Philippine government and the Filipino nation," Bello said in a statement.

P-Noy's relationship with Mislang: things that make you go "hmmm..."

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Philippine President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) is turning into the very sort of person that he says he despises. For all the accusations of misconduct and transgression he hurls at former President Gloria Arroyo, there is now enough evidence for Filipinos to say that he is acting in the same way he is describing GMA and those associated with her – with complete impunity on all misbehavior and mismanagement in dispensing their duties as public servants.

Carmen Mislang is innocent because ill-bred people do not know any better

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No malicious intent in tweeting "Wine sucks" -- or so Ms Carmen "Mai" Mislang thinks. The reason she (and most of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's administration) thinks all's good in the aftermath of this tragic gaffe comes down to breeding. When one sees no harm done in what is an obvious act of rudeness, that indicates the nature of one's breeding.

Ill-bred people do not know better. That is because they were brought up to not know any better.