Pops on the Philippines, Procrastination, Protest, Politics, and Poverty

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I have been trying for two weeks to write another article for LIP, or any article for that matter, major case of writers block. I write for a living now. When I have an assignment no problem, I can do it, but just to sit here and try thinking of something to write about is almost torture.

Mindanao Bob says, “Procrastination is a killer” in an article for his website Habits for Smart People. It came at a good time. When I read it, I decided to take action, get off my ass, and start writing! That was 5 days ago. Well, better late then never.  BTW – Right at the same time, I saw Bob’s article, I stumbled upon another article – Procrastination: Ten Things To Know. Read that if you are having the same problem I am having.

Procrastinating

Maybe I will stop procrastinating tomorrow

Now that I have gotten started, I have a lot on my mind that has building for the past 2 weeks I want to share with you all.

So Many Things to Write About

I was thinking to write about the earthquake in Japan and its possible affect on the Philippines. I did a lot of research. Wow, there are so many articles, and there is no definite answer about anything. Just Google “Affect of Earthquake in Japan on Philippines” and you will see what I mean. What do I know? There are so many smart people out there, however I don’t think it is really going to make much of a difference here in the Philippines.

Sure, there will be less money coming from remittances from OFW’s in Japan to their relatives’ here. The Philippines is already so poor who can tell the difference? They aren’t going to stop food imports. But if your food is glowing green, I wouldn’t recommend eating it! If it is something like broccoli, how can you tell?

Flowers from WowPhilippines

I don’t mean to joke; it is a terrible thing that happened there for sure. Nevertheless, it isn’t the first time and won’t be the last. We are on “the Ring of Fire” along with Japan. What is the risk of a major earthquake here? Guaranteed son, but who knows when. The problem is that the Philippines certainly isn’t prepared with any disaster management plan comparable to Japan.

I do not have time to worry about earthquakes, radiation, and lack of Japanese car parts. I have enough about which to worry. I need a distraction. That is why I spend a lot of time surfing the internet so I do not have to think about my problems. Then I see so many problems in the news I am back to where I started!

Oh my god, if there is an earthquake I’m sure my old apartment is going to come down crushing me like a grape, or maybe more like a tomato with red juice-blood squirting everywhere. Oh my God, there is a 300-foot wall of water coming down Makati Ave! Wonder if Momar Kaddafi comes here to my house to hide from the rebel forces! That is really – really scary! What if … WAKE UP DAVE – WAKE UP! It is only a dream!

Well it all seems like a bad dream sometimes, but let’s not worry too much, although the world certainly seems to be going through quite an upheaval, from major earthquakes and floods, to political storms.

What's happening here?

What’s happening here?

There Is Something Happening Here – What It Is Isn’t Exactly Clear

After decades of stasis, the Middle East and North Africa is in an uproar.Here is some perspective on the political storm  from  Wikipedia:

The 2010–11 Middle East and North Africa protests, also known as the Arab Spring, are a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests, which have been taking place in the Middle East and North Africa since 18 December 2010.

To date, there are revolutions in:

  • Tunisia
  • Egypt
  • Libya
  • Ivory Coast

Major protests in:

  • Algeria
  • Bahrain
  • Iran
  • Djibouti
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Syria
  • Oman
  • Yemen

Minor protests in:

  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan
  • Western Sahara

The protests have shared techniques of civil resistance in sustained campaigns involving strikes, demonstrations, marches and rallies, as well as the use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to organize, communicate, and raise awareness in the face of state attempts at repression and Internet censorship.

Fear Spreads Like Wild Fire

With all this stuff going on how do you really know what is true and what is not?

Did you know that there is a race of inter-dimensional reptilian-aliens that live off our fear? In this interest, they constantly sow fear in the world so they can thrive. If you don’t believe me just look it up on the internet.

Whether it is true or not that there are such beings, it is certainly true that there are forces, people conspiring, groups, whom ever, who find it in their interest to keep us constantly worried and fearful about everything.

Just for example, go to this link and look at this radiation dosage chart. If you study it, you will see that you would get ten times the dosage of radiation in just one flight from New York to LA, than if you spent the whole day at the at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant!

Everything You Know is Wrong! By POPS $19.99

Why do they spread so much fear about radiation? Is it as serious as they make it out to be? All I can say is don’t believe everything you hear, do some research. Is there a motive or is it just ignorance? The answer to all of these questions and more can be answered buy purchasing my new book “Everything You Know is Wrong” for only $19.99.

I will give you another example how these powerful people (under the direction of their Reptilian Masters) spread fear to suit their own purposes. Look at this completely crazy thing going on in Afghanistan with those poor souls being beheaded over some religious nut far way in the USA, burning one Koran.

A video was made of it and put on YouTube, but that isn’t how the Afghanis found out. Many of these simple (minded) folk don’t even have electricity, let alone the internet! Many Afghans did not know about the Quran-burning until Karzai condemned it four days after it happened in a speech.

Now why did he have to go and say that? Was it just stupidity or a calculated move of Karzai and his cronies, to further their selfish interest?

BTW, it is somewhat funny; I saw an interview with the pastor, Terry Jones, when asked about his church members he said, “Some had left the church, well actually – all of them.” Just he and his one assistant are all that remain. They have to carry guns now because of numerous death threats.

As long as they keep every one divided and filled with fear the power elite can keep us from storming their castles and hangin’ em’ by their eggs! That brings me around to my next topic and back to the Philippines.

Revolution in the Philippines

  • The first Philippine Revolution (1896–1898), called the “Tagalog War” by the Spanish, was an armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and the Spanish colonial authorities which resulted in the secession of the Philippine Islands from the Spanish Empire.
  • In June 1899, the developing First Philippine Republic formally declared war against the United States. The Philippine-American War then ensued where between 250,000 to one million Filipinos died. Read the whole story at Wikipedia.
  • The latest is the People Power Revolution (also known as the EDSA Revolution and the Philippine Revolution of 1986) which was a series of popular nonviolent prayerful mass street demonstrations. The popular movement sprang up to oust the corrupt Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

People Power Revolution 1986

*(US President Ronald Regan supported him until just before the end)

While democracy as Filipinos knew it was restored, rampant corruption plagued the government that led to the 2001 EDSA Revolution, which deposed President Joseph Estrada.

Short Memories

While the Marcoses fled, and the former president died in exile in Hawaii, his wife Imelda Marcos has now come back and won a seat in the House of Representatives and his son Ferdinand Jr. was elected senator in 2010. Joseph Estrada actually ran for president again in 2010 against Aquino and almost won! I have determined that the Filipinos either have a very short memory or are very forgiving!

The revolution may have had brought changes to the leadership in the country, but the power remained concentrated among a small rich elite. The new President, Benigno Aquino, is from a wealthy family. The poor are still poor, and the rich are still in charge.

In the Philippines about 200 families own or control 70% of the wealth. They control the congress and the army ensures their survival. Only a handful of rich families, politicians, and tycoons own or control most of the private arable land in the Philippines while the majority goes landless and hungry. For example, 7 out of 10 peasants still do not own land while less than 1/3 of landowners own more than 80% of agricultural land. The previous government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo negotiated a 25-year lease with South Korea for 94,000 hectares of prime arable land in Mindoro for food production for South Koreans while Filipinos went landless and hungry.

Since the rapid increase in commodity prices worldwide four years ago, rice has remained at an all-time high in the Philippines. Small farmers did not benefit – fertilizer and pesticide costs rose, and the government did not offer higher prices to farmers to grow more rice, instead they imported millions of tones of rice and allowed traders to manipulate the prices by hoarding. So as usual, the rich are getting richer on the hunger of the poor.

(Taken from an article by Father Shay Cullen whom I will write about next week – I met him recently.)

Distribution of Wealth

The cause of all the worlds’ problems of poverty and misery are not simple. Economics is a complicated and deep study understood by few. However, the disparity of wealth is one feature of the world economy that can be readily seen as a glaring injustice or at least a major culprit when you look at the statistics -

Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man according to Forbes, just moved his family into a $1 billion Mumbai skyscraper — occupying all 27 stories.

The richest 1% of adults in the world own 40% of the planet’s wealth, according to the largest study yet of wealth distribution. The wealthiest 2 percent own more than half of all global household assets. According to the most recent “Global Wealth Report” by Credit Suisse, the wealthiest 0.5% control over 35% of the wealth of the world.

Those in financial services, internet, telecommunications, and media sectors predominate among the super rich.

Look at Bill Gates who has a net worth of somewhere around 50 billion dollars. That means that there are approximately 140 different nations that have a yearly GDP, which is smaller than the amount of money Bill Gates has!

Then there is CNN founder Ted Turner who is the largest private landowner in the United States. Today, Turner owns approximately two million acres. That is an amount greater than the landmasses of the states of Delaware (where I come from) and Rhode Island combined.

Today global wealth is more highly concentrated in the hands of the few than it ever has been at any other point in modern history. Once, most people knew how to grow their own food, raise their own animals, and take care of themselves. There weren’t many that were fabulously wealthy.

Unfortunately, over the past several decades a growing percentage of agricultural land has been taken by big corporations and by corrupt governments. Hundreds of millions of people have had to leave their land and go into highly concentrated urban areas.

To have a small business of your own has become increasingly difficult, as global corporations have come to dominate nearly every sector of the world economy. We have a global system now in 2011 where a few at the top are obscenely wealthy while about half the people living on earth are wretchedly poor. Billions of people around the globe are wondering where their next meal is going to come from.

  1. Approximately 1 billion people throughout the world go to bed hungry each night.
  2. Every 3.6 seconds someone starves to death and three-quarters of them are children under the age of five.
  3. As you read this, there are 2.6 billion people around the world that lack basic sanitation.
  4. More than 3 billion people, close to half the world’s population, live on less than 2 dollar a day.
  5. There are 400 million children in the world today that have no access to safe water.
  6. 28 percent of all children in developing countries are considered to be underweight or have had their growth stunted as a result of malnutrition.
  7. In 2008, 9 million children died before they reached their fifth birthdays. A third of all of these deaths was due either directly or indirectly to lack of food.

At this point, some may want to start arguing about how bad capitalism is and about how wonderful socialism and communism are. Well all of these systems are failing! There are other alternatives and I will get into that some day. The bottom line is that there needs to be some cap on the amount of wealth that one individual or group can hold. How to do this is also another discussion.

Well that’s all now folks. I will continue the discussion next week with more on the cause’s of poverty, and its effect on the Philippines, plus the work of Father Shay regarding these problems, and why the Philippines is due for another revolution.  (Not that I am instigating one!)

God Bless All in these troublesome times,   Oh BTW – I was joking about the book! If anyone wants it, maybe i will have to write it.

POPS

Post Author: PopsB (10 Posts)

I was born in 1952 in Dover Delaware. I am a direct descendant of John Alden the famous Pilgrim, so somewhere in my genes I have a predilection to go to far away lands perhaps! I am married to Phresedes Bennett AKA Babes. I have lived in the Philippines about 3 years now. I used to play in bands when I was younger. I have written a lot of really good songs. When ever I go to a karaoke bar my wife makes me sing “House of the Rising Sun”. Everyone will take notice at that point. I have a very strong voice and presence. I have supported myself mostly in the construction business before I came here. I am pretty much a jack of all trades, an expert with all kinds of power tools. Since I have been in the Philippines I have been in the Telecommunications Business specializing in IT security. I also have gotten into the Canadian Immigration Business. I have been a puppet a poet a pirate a pawn and a king. I have been up and down and all around and I know one thing! Each time I find myself flat on my face. I pick my self up and get back into the race! That’s Life. (No i wasn't really a pirate that is a song by Frank Sinatra folks)


Comments

  1. says

    Geez Pops, that article, true as it may be, is depressing as hell!!

    You are possibly guilty of telling only a half truth in some cases.

    You call out Bill Gates by name… rich, certainly but he and his wife give away millions and millions each year thru The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Warren Buffett, another filthy rich man, has pledged to give away 99% of his fortune, mostly thru the Gates Foundation. Buffett is also trying to shame other billionaires to give away large sums of their fortunes. Point is that not all billionaires are bad people. Meanwhile, the “World Riches Man”, Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico, apparently would not give you the time of day as his quest for wealth seems to be driven by pure greed.

    One of the truism of this world: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, in just about every country on the face of this earth. Sad to say, but I think that is especially true with the Philippines.

    • dave bennett says

      Hi Rich! Thanks for commenting – you are the first. I am thinking this article will stir up some comments. Don’ t mean to depress anyone. I was fresh from hearing Father Shay speak and that kind of got me going. I am not really a very political kind of person.

      There are always two sides to every story. Your right about Bill Gates he is very generous. I am not saying your bad if your rich . He is just a good example of how rich people can get. I certainly wouldn’t mind being richer. You know i think Paul McCartney is also one of the most wealthy in the world or was. And he isn’t a bad sort of chap!

      The main point is to show the balance of wealth. The other side to the story is a lot of people are poor because they are lazy!

      Anyway i am at work now, slaving away for a measly $20,000 pesos a month, which is only enough for my rent and electric and now i am broke till next payday. And that is GOOD PAY for the Philippines!

      You know it just occurred to me, isn’t it ironic that the first comment i get about this article is from a guy named – RICH!

      Thanks Again,

      POPS

      • says

        Hi Pops,
        Yes my name does probably set me up for some “grief” when I retire in the Philippines. Maybe I need to start going by my middle name, O’Neal or just Neal or change it to something like “Jesus” — lots of Spanish people go by that name. Maybe with all the Catholics in the Philippines, the Jesus name would command a little more respect.

    • Papa Duck says

      Rich

      Paul Allen wrote a book and he had some interesting comments about his former partner Bill Gates. Good Read.

  2. Roselyn says

    Hi Pops: Great article. Thanks for the research. I didn’t know that the Philippines leased land from South Korea in Mindoro. I thought that foreigners could not own land in the Philippines. There must be a loophole of some sort for South Korea to get a hold of such extensive areas.

    • dave bennett says

      Hi Roselyn!

      Yes there is a lot of loop holes i suspect or else how could the Chinese own so much in the Philippines!

      There was a good bit of research i did. Thank God for Wikipedia, it is really a great source of info.

      Thanks for the comment!

      POPS

    • jonathan says

      Roselyn,

      I think what Pops meant was the South Koreans renewed the lease of an arable land of Mindoro in the Philippines which is not owning the property/land. There’s a lot of foreign businesses who are doing the same . With regards to the Chinese owning a lot of properties, we must remember that majority of these Chinese are really Chinoys (Filipino-Chinese). History shows that China has been trading with the PH since time immemorial even before the Spanish conquistadores came.

      • jonathan says

        Sorry to reply to my own comment.

        What I meant here is the system of leasing of properties/land to foreigners/foreign businesses is normal but leasing of an “arable land” as pointed out by Pops is totally questionable and warrants further inquiries. I don’t know if the law required limits as to what type of land can be leased?

  3. Gary Wigle says

    Things will only get worst Pops. Just wait until the of this century. China will be the Super Power with a base on the Moon. Just what we need. Nukes on the Moon. The USA will be 2nd rate as it is fast becoming now. The Philippines? Only God knows what will happen here and it might not be good. Thanks Pops, as always a good read.

    • dave bennett says

      Hey Gary,
      God i hope China doesn’t get to the moon. I feel sad America is slipping so fast. I hope there can be some turn around in the Philippines. I didn’t mean to be negative it is just that i see so much happening, felt compelled to comment on it.

      The problem is that because nobody can really deal with things like this, don’t know or don’t care – is the reason it can all get this way. But there are some positive things happening and i will talk about them in my next article. If i can make it another 30 years it will be really interesting to see how everything goes!

      Let’s count our blessings,

      POPS

    • Papa Duck says

      Gary, Pops

      I don’t think we will still be around by the time China has a base on the moon. So no worries. Good article Pops!

  4. says

    Hi Pops – At my age I only wish to read and hear about the positive aspects of life on this planet. If you read, write and hear about negativity you start to believe it and that takes the smile of your face and the joy out of living. My motto is thankyou for another day of being alive to see the wonders all around us. And I hope the doom and gloom merchants go forth and multiply.
    Regards.
    Jim.

    • dave bennett says

      Hi Jim,

      I know where your coming from. Don’t mean to bring you down. But it is important that people have some awareness i think, of what is going on.

      You live out there in the jungle almost. I live here right in the middle of all this. I am constantly reminded everyday of the sad state of a lot of people that live here.

      Just yesterday a slum burned down here for the fourth time right down the road, leaving ten thousand homeless. The report said that around 37% of the population here lives in these kinds of slums.

      I can’t ignore the suffering all around me. But there are positive things happening and i will talk about those next article.

      Thanks for the comment.

      POPS

  5. Biz Doc says

    hi pops,

    depressing as the global & local stats you cited may sound, you however missed one major, major, major thing !

    we’re said to be living the end times.

    hehe! ” )

    cheers,

    • dave bennett says

      Hey Biz Doc,

      I don’t think the world will end until the sun explodes! But that is in several billion years. So we don’t have to worry. But we are in for some more crazy things I think. The changes right now are really pretty exciting in a lot of ways.

      What worry’s me the most though is the air and water are getting screwed up. I have to live with that every day as i can hardly breath anymore form all the damn pollution here.

      But all in all if you have food shelter and a family you are lucky as there are so many who are in much worse shape. So let us count our blessings and try to do good in the world while we are here. Doesn’t matter if the whole world ends. It will end for each of us when we die anyway. Can’t get around that.

      Hope you are having a good life.

      Thanks for the Comments,

      POPS

      • Biz Doc says

        hi pops,

        publicly-available information on solar activity cited by analysts for 2011 economic forecasts all point to steadily-increasing temperature levels not just on earth, but also in other planets within our solar system (the same data cited by those trying to debunk human responsibility for climate change btw). the sun need not burst to decimate life on earth– solar flares alone are sufficient to disrupt so many things on earth, that some scientists are fearing that the increasing frequency of solar flare activity will trigger our undoing. contrasting scientific data with biblical end times prophecies can really make you go, hmm! ” )

        all we can do is pray i guess ?

        cheers,

        • dave bennett says

          Well you know Biz doc it is funny you brought this up. I didn’t want to mention it and get everyone all doom and gloomy, God forbid, but 2012 we are supposed to see major solar flares and guess what it has already started to happen.

          A giant solar flare — the biggest in four years — leapt from the face of the sun on February 6 and barely missed us. Imagine a worse case scenario where all the electric grid is knocked out for a year. Can you imagine how our electricity dependent world will suffer!

          But all those poor people who don’t have any electric anyway – maybe they will be the ones who can deal with it !

          And Yellowstone national park is heating up also! Maybe that movie 2012 will come true.

          Anyway i am not going to worry about it. I am going to just have a good time till the end. Right now i am drinking some gin and i have three beautiful naked lady’s rubbing me all over with coconut oil!

          Thanks for all the comments.

          POPS

          P.S. Well the gin part is true!

          • Biz Doc says

            hi pops,

            sounds like a good idea for a solar flare surge— just ‘gin’ and bear it! hehe ” )

            cheers,

    • Papa Duck says

      Biz Doc

      Totally agree with you on that. All you have to do is look around and see whats happening. Hope that i’m wrong though.

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