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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

(MARCH 8) INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2016: MEET THE WOMEN WHO WON'T BE CELEBRATING
[Not every woman will be marching under the feminist banner this year]


MARCH 8 -Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014 Getty Images - If your children are sexist, then so are you You've tried to protect them from gender stereotypes, and yet they're sitting in front of you telling you that boys can't wear dresses. The effects on the brain are shocking - but they can be turned around. MEET THE WOMEN WHO ARE NOT CELEBRATING...

ALSO: Cardinal Tagle condoles with Blessed Mother Teresa's nuns
[FROM RADIO VATICAN: Four gunmen attacked an old people's home in the Yemeni port of Aden on Friday, killing at least 15 people, including four Missionaries of Charity nuns of Mother Teresa, the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia told the Vatican’s Fides news agency.]


MARCH 10 -Four nuns of Mother Teresa slain by gunmen in Yemen --Four gunmen attacked an old people's home in the Yemeni port of Aden on Friday, killing at least 15 people, including four Missionaries of Charity nuns of Mother Teresa, the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia told the Vatican’s Fides news agency. The Vicariate said two of the slain nuns were from Rwanda and one each from India and Kenya. One nun who survived and was rescued by locals said that she hid inside a fridge in a store room. NEWS REPORT FROM THE VATICAN RADIO Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle condoles with the religious nuns of the Missionaries of Charity who lost four colleagues in Yemen in a violent attack of a retirement home, in a report posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website. Tagle, who is also Caritas Internationalis head, lamented the death of Sisters Anselm from India, Margherite from Rwanda, Reginette from Rwanda and Judith from Kenya. The Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation for women that was founded by Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata who is expected to be declared a saint during a consistory of cardinals in Rome this month. The congregation has several mission houses in the Philippines, including the Home for the Sick, Abandoned and Dying destitutes in Tondo, Manila and House of Joy in Cebu City. “Ipinaparating po natin ang pakikiisa sa mga madre ng Missionaries of Charity sa kanilang pananalangin sa trahedya sa Yemen. (We express our solidarity with the Missionaries of Charity in their prayer for the tragedy in Yemen),” Tagle told Church-run Radio Veritas on Wednesday. READ MORE...RRELATED, Pope Francis condemns "diabolic" attack on Missionaries of Charity in Yemen...

ALSO:
Women workers worse off under Aquino – KMU


MARCH 9 -This year’s March 8 is the last International Working Women’s Day under Pres. Noynoy Aquino. The condition of women workers has only worsened in the six years of Daang Matuwid.
According to Ibon Foundation, the number of unemployed Filipinos are at an historical high, while the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics say that women comprise only 39 percent of employed Filipinos. Women form the majority of the unemployed, and many find precarious work in the informal sector. As a result of the regionalization of wage-setting and other attacks on the legally-mandated minimum wage, there remains no genuine minimum wage in the country. Women workers suffer more from this because of wage discrimination. Contractualization is already the norm in most workplaces in the country and it continues to spread. Women workers are concentrated in sectors of the economy which are some of the the most contractualized – the service sector, special economic zones, and agro-corporations. Women contractuals are deprived of maternity benefits. Because they can be laid off from work easily, contractual women are the ones most vulnerable to sexual exploitation by managers and capitalists. Majority of the workers who died in factory fires under Aquino’s term – Kentex (2015), Asia Micro Tech (2014), Novo Jeans (2012) – are women. Workers suffer more from the violations of Occupational Health and Safety standards committed by capitalists and abetted by the government. READ MORE...RELATED, UnBLOGGED -The #Philippines is a nation of starstruck ignoramuses...

ALSO:
Aquino hit on Filipina women’s suffering


MARCH 8 -Spreading light in the dark. People release sky-lanterns on the eve of International Women’s Day on March 7 to support women’s advocacies, particularly against discrimination and violence.
AFP
THE plight of Filipina women workers worsened under the Aquino administration with those in the countryside suffering the brunt of his anti-women policies, the economic research group IBON Foundation said as it marked International Women’s Day on Tuesday. “It has been more than a century since International Working Women’s Day was established as women workers were fighting against oppression and inequality, demanded better pay, shorter working hours and voting rights,” the group said. “Today, Filipino women are still struggling for better pay and working conditions and a better future for the nation and their children,” they added. Citing independent figures, IBON said that women working in agriculture made 13 percent less (P135.85) than their male counterparts (P156.32) in 2010 but this hardly improved in 2014 under President Benigno Aquino III with women making P166.92, or 12 percent less than the male wage of P190.47. In the manufacturing sector, the wage gap between women and men even went up 7.3 percent from P296.36 to P319.75 in 2010 to 11 percent (Php323.34 versus Php363.45) in 2014. READ MORE...

ALSO: What is an empowered woman? Advocates weigh in


MARCH 8 -Speaking to ANC' "Talkback with Tina Monson Palma," Emmeline Verzosa, executive director of the Philippine Commission on Women; Jean Enriquez, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Asia Pacific; and Pacita Juan, a social entrepreneur and current president of ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle, expressed their views on what makes a woman empowered.
Are Filipino women empowered? For these women's rights advocates, being empowered means being able to control their own lives.
"At the end of the day if a woman is able to decide for herself and determine her destiny, then she's empowered. But there are different levels of empowerment, so we have a measure," Verzosa said. She also explained that there are different levels to measure a woman's empowerment, including her access to resources, and her awareness of her rights. "First is, are her basic needs met? Health, nutrition, food, welfare needs. Seconds is, does she have access to credit, training, resources. Again, the government should provide that to her and she should know where to get that. The third level is changing the consciousness, consciousness raising. Is she able to know that she shouldn't be boxed into certain stereotypes. The fourth level is, can she participate in matters that affect her life. The fifth level is having control, having control over her life, over her own decisions," Verzosa explained. For Juan, being empowered means having control over one's body and decisions. "Physically and otherwise, are you able to make decisions," she said. Although there are a lot of women who considered themselves empowered, Enriquez said that some women in rural areas are not even aware of their rights. "Their right to their own body. The right to not be violated, the right to have equal resources, to be able to divide work inside the home," she said. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

International Women’s Day 2016: Meet the women who won't be celebrating
[Not every woman will be marching under the feminist banner this year]


Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014 Getty Images

MANILA, MARCH 14, 2016 (INDEPENDENT.CO.UK) Not every woman will be marching under the feminist banner this year.




Paula Wright, 45

I stopped identifying as a feminist a few years ago when I was studying rape and discovered that prominent feminist organisations were misrepresenting rape prosecution statistics for political reasons.

The Stern Report on Rape later officially confirmed this and also noted that the practice could stop victims coming forward – in other words, feminism was placing ideology before truth and before people. I found that unconscionable. It is still happening.

Rape statistics are constantly being misrepresented to frighten women and make them believe they live in a “rape culture”. In fact, successful rape prosecutions are on a par with other crimes at over 50 per cent.

Even attrition rates are commensurable to other crimes and victims should not feel there is little chance of receiving justice if they come forward.

Our justice system is not failing victims of rape. Rather feminism is failing us and our justice system. I identify as an egalitarian. Follow Paula: @SexyIsntSexist

Ellen Grace Jones, 33

I am resolutely, unequivocally not a feminist. Saying that, would I have been waving placards alongside the suffragettes?

Hell yes. Am I supportive of women’s rights? Of course. But feminism today has been co-opted by a hyper-offended, self-serving, navel-gazing Twitterati mob who mostly care about furthering their own (actually rather privileged) agenda than the plight of their fellow sisterhood who are, like, genuinely oppressed.

You know, women living under Sharia Law or the 80 per cent of North Korean female refugees that have become “commodities for purchase.”

Case in point: the International Women’s Day schedule is almost all career-enhancing, work-centric conferences and events for the benefit and advancement of Western women. Suspiciously absent are charitable causes which would really empower oppressed and abused women in the rest of the world that do not have any voice at all.

Irrespective, I have no beef with International Women’s Day existing, but as an egalitarian who champions equal rights of both sexes, maybe International Men's Day deserves the same blanket, wall-to-wall coverage too? Follow Ellen: @EllenGraceJones

Elizabeth Hobson, 27

It’s been noted that the best thing that can be said about feminism is that it’s redundant in a culture where we have equal rights. I think that this statement obfuscates the damage it does.

It’s a recipe for ruining lives, as we see in divorce statistics. Proceedings are predominantly initiated by women, who leave to be happy, but end up unhappy and often having done irreparable damage to their children.

The family court system is hostile to fathers' rights and is an example of the political, not just personal, devastation that feminism has wreaked on equality and why it must be stopped. Follow Elizabeth: @anti_fembot

Jane Sandeman, 53

The modern feminist movement carries some problematic outlooks with it that can seem divisive, rather than forging a way forward for true equality.

I have always been more attracted by the term humanism - it seems much richer to try and understand what makes us fully human - and then from there understand the barriers that people face to realise this.

At times that is understanding women have to face particular barriers and calling for those who are humanists - both women and men to address that.

Cia Ferguson, 17

Egalitarians are those who strive for equality for everyone at the same time.

When anyone classifies themselves as a feminist, they are pressing for women's rights more than equality. I am not a feminist because the word will only divide the world more.


GMA NEWS

Cardinal Tagle condoles with Blessed Mother Teresa's nuns Published March 10, 2016 2:57am Updated March 10, 2016 2:59am


Four nuns of Mother Teresa slain by gunmen in Yemen --Four gunmen attacked an old people's home in the Yemeni port of Aden on Friday, killing at least 15 people, including four Missionaries of Charity nuns of Mother Teresa, the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia told the Vatican’s Fides news agency. The Vicariate said two of the slain nuns were from Rwanda and one each from India and Kenya. One nun who survived and was rescued by locals said that she hid inside a fridge in a store room. NEWS REPORT FROM THE VATICAN RADIO MARCH 3, 2016

Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle condoles with the religious nuns of the Missionaries of Charity who lost four colleagues in Yemen in a violent attack of a retirement home, in a report posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.

Tagle, who is also Caritas Internationalis head, lamented the death of Sisters Anselm from India, Margherite from Rwanda, Reginette from Rwanda and Judith from Kenya.


TAGLE

The Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation for women that was founded by Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata who is expected to be declared a saint during a consistory of cardinals in Rome this month.

The congregation has several mission houses in the Philippines, including the Home for the Sick, Abandoned and Dying destitutes in Tondo, Manila and House of Joy in Cebu City.

“Ipinaparating po natin ang pakikiisa sa mga madre ng Missionaries of Charity sa kanilang pananalangin sa trahedya sa Yemen. (We express our solidarity with the Missionaries of Charity in their prayer for the tragedy in Yemen),” Tagle told Church-run Radio Veritas on Wednesday.

READ MORE...

“Kailanman hindi tayo dapat maging kampante kapag ang buhay ng tao ay nalalapastangan (Never should we become complacent when the life of people is defiled),” he said.

The Manila archbishop also asked for prayers for the perpetrators who also destroyed religious statues and a crucifix in the chapel.


Blessed Mother Teresa on Prayer with the nuns: “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” Blessed Mother Teresa" FROM THE SALESIAN BLOGSPOT

Pope Francis earlier called the nuns “modern-day martyrs” and victims of “indifference.” — BAP, GMA News

-----------------------------

RELATED FROM THE VATICAN RADIO

Pope Francis condemns "diabolic" attack on Missionaries of Charity in Yemen


Guards stand outside a home for the elderly run by the Missionaries of Charity attacked by gunmen on Friday which killed 4 religious sisters and 12 others. Pope Francis called the attack “senseless and diabolical.” - EPA

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis was “shocked and profoundly saddened” by the murder of four Missionaries of Charity and twelve other people at a home for the elderly in Aden, Yemen.

Gunmen entered the building on Friday and went room-to-room, handcuffing victims before shooting them in the head.

A message signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the Holy Father “sends the assurance of his prayers for the dead and his spiritual closeness to their families and to all affected from this act of senseless and diabolical violence.”

The message said Pope Francis “prays that this pointless slaughter will awaken consciences, lead to a change of heart, and inspire all parties to lay down their arms and take up the path of dialogue.”

It concludes with a strong appeal for an end to the ongoing violence in Yemen.

“In the name of God, he calls upon all parties in the present conflict to renounce violence, and to renew their commitment to the people of Yemen, particularly those most in need, whom the Sisters and their helpers sought to serve” – the message reads – “Upon everyone suffering from this violence, the Holy Father invokes God’s blessing, and in a special ways he extends to the Missionaries of Charity his prayerful sympathy and solidarity.”


Mother Teresa’s canonization date expected on March 15 ‎ Blessed Mother Teresa Blessed Mother Teresa -Pope Francis will hold an ordinary public consistory of cardinals in the Vatican March 15, during which he will sign the decree for the canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata and four others. The dates and venue of their sainthood ceremony are expected to be declared at the consistory. Pope Francis had officially cleared Blessed Mother Teresa for sainthood on Dec. 17, 2015, recognizing the miraculous healing through her intercession of a Brazilian man with multiple brain abscesses. Mother Teresa was conferred the title Blessed in Rome, Italy, on October 19, 2003, after Pope St. John Paul II recognized the miraculous healing of an Indian woman with a tumour in her abdomen. RADIO VATICAN MARCH 3, 2016


Pope Francis has condemned the attack in Yemen. Photo: AFP

His Holiness Pope Francis was shocked and profoundly saddened to learn of the killing of four Missionaries of Charity and twelve others at a home for the elderly in Aden.

He sends the assurance of his prayers for the dead and his spiritual closeness to their families and to all affected from this act of senseless and diabolical violence. He prays that this pointless slaughter will awaken consciences, lead to a change of heart, and inspire all parties to lay down their arms and take up the path of dialogue.

In the name of God, he calls upon all parties in the present conflict to renounce violence, and to renew their commitment to the people of Yemen, particularly those most in need, whom the Sisters and their helpers sought to serve.

Upon everyone suffering from this violence, the Holy Father invokes God’s blessing, and in a special ways he extends to the Missionaries of Charity his prayerful sympathy and solidarity.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State


MANILA STANDARD

Aquino hit over Filipinas’ suffering posted March 09, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito


Spreading light in the dark. People release sky-lanterns on the eve of International Women’s Day on March 7 to support women’s advocacies, particularly against discrimination and violence. AFP

THE plight of Filipina women workers worsened under the Aquino administration with those in the countryside suffering the brunt of his anti-women policies, the economic research group IBON Foundation said as it marked International Women’s Day on Tuesday.

“It has been more than a century since International Working Women’s Day was established as women workers were fighting against oppression and inequality, demanded better pay, shorter working hours and voting rights,” the group said.

“Today, Filipino women are still struggling for better pay and working conditions and a better future for the nation and their children,” they added.

Citing independent figures, IBON said that women working in agriculture made 13 percent less (P135.85) than their male counterparts (P156.32) in 2010 but this hardly improved in 2014 under President Benigno Aquino III with women making P166.92, or 12 percent less than the male wage of P190.47.

In the manufacturing sector, the wage gap between women and men even went up 7.3 percent from P296.36 to P319.75 in 2010 to 11 percent (Php323.34 versus Php363.45) in 2014.

READ MORE...

The group said these wage distortions has only created further job insecurity and poor quality work and intensified the exploitation of women workers in the country today.

The group also observed that women working in the informal sector increased from 41.9 percent in 2010 to 43.6 percent of the total number of unpaid family and self-employed workers in 2014.

The percentage of unpaid women family workers meanwhile rose from 55.8 percent of total unpaid family workers in 2010 to 57.0 percent in 2014. The portion of self-employed women also went up from 36.6 percent to 38.4 percent within the same period.

IBON also noted that the number of working children increased from 2.1 million in 2010 to 2.2 million 2014. Girls comprised 37% of working children in 2014 with the majority working in agriculture.


KMU PRESS RELEASE

Women workers worse off under Aquino – KMU Press Statement 08 March 2016

This year’s March 8 is the last International Working Women’s Day under Pres. Noynoy Aquino. The condition of women workers has only worsened in the six years of Daang Matuwid.

According to Ibon Foundation, the number of unemployed Filipinos are at an historical high, while the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics say that women comprise only 39 percent of employed Filipinos. Women form the majority of the unemployed, and many find precarious work in the informal sector.

As a result of the regionalization of wage-setting and other attacks on the legally-mandated minimum wage, there remains no genuine minimum wage in the country. Women workers suffer more from this because of wage discrimination.

Contractualization is already the norm in most workplaces in the country and it continues to spread. Women workers are concentrated in sectors of the economy which are some of the the most contractualized – the service sector, special economic zones, and agro-corporations.

Women contractuals are deprived of maternity benefits. Because they can be laid off from work easily, contractual women are the ones most vulnerable to sexual exploitation by managers and capitalists.

Majority of the workers who died in factory fires under Aquino’s term – Kentex (2015), Asia Micro Tech (2014), Novo Jeans (2012) – are women. Workers suffer more from the violations of Occupational Health and Safety standards committed by capitalists and abetted by the government.

READ MORE...

The rising cost of commodities and social services make life even more difficult for women workers, who often double-duty as homemakers. Gabriela reports that police reports of violence against women have peaked in the past months.

Today, we go beyond exposing the situation of Filipino women workers and call on them to unite and fight. History has shown that women workers are exemplary warriors in the fight for national liberation, working-class liberation, and women’s liberation.

Majority of the workers who launched the historic 1975 strike in La Tondeña are women. Women workers have fought the US-backed Marcos dictatorship and succeeding oppressive regimes hand-in-hand with male workers.

Women workers, unite and fight! Let us fight for a National Minimum Wage, P750. Let us fight for the banning of contractual employment. Let us fight to exercise our trade-union rights. Let us fight for safer workplaces. Let us fight for national liberation, workers’ liberation and women’s liberation.

Reference: Nitz Gonzaga, KMU vice-chair for women’s affairs, 0928-2794241

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RELATED FROM GETREALPHILIPPINES.COM (FLASHBACK JANUARY 2015)

The #Philippines is a nation of starstruck ignoramuses January 4, 2015 by benign0

[The following is an article by Star columnist Don Pedero published in The Philippine Star 29 October 2000 and also featured in Get Real Philippines on the same year.]

* * *
Last July 23, I wrote about Nasty (short for Anastacio), a balikbayan from Los Angeles, who, while vacationing in Manila, had nothing to say but negative comments about the Philippines and the Filipinos.

The article elicited a deluge of comments from our readers. Though some agreed with his curt observations, most were enraged at the repulsive way he acted and whined.

For me, he was the classic epitome of the “crow perched on a carabao,” thinking and acting nauseatingly superior just because he has become an American citizen, inequitably comparing everything here to how they are in the first world.

I was particularly irked by his repulsive “know it all” attitude and peeved no end by his irritating Waray-American twang.

Those who have not read that article may access philstar.com and click archives, then select July 23 and click Lifestyle.

The article is entitled “Little Brown Americans.” As a backgrounder, here is an excerpt:
The next day, I took them on a little city tour and accompanied them to do extra shopping at the duty-free shop. They were to leave two days later for their respective provinces (Randy is from Pampanga, Nasty, from Samar).
“God, ang dilem-dilem naman ditow (it is so dark here)!” screamed Nasty in his characteristic Taglish slang, “At ang inet-inet pa (and so warm)!” (READ  MORE BELOW FROM THE FILIPINO-AMERICAN FORUM)

* * *


Manila's monstrous traffic jams choke the life out of the Philippines' premiere city.

All throughout the day, Nasty complained about everything. He griped that all Filipinos he encountered were dense and inefficient (I hope that didn’t include me!); that the traffic was horrendous and drivers “drove like they were late for their funerals”; that the pollution from the smoke-belching vehicles was irritating his dainty, surgically-pinched nose.

He was disgusted that water closets didn’t work; horrified that there was no toilet paper in public toilets (“God, how do you people do it?” he bewailed); petrified by street children begging while soaking wet in the rain (“Where are the parents of these kids?” he nagged).

He moaned about the proliferation of slums, people crossing the superhighways (“There should be underground or overhead walkways for pedestrians!” he demanded), the potholes on the streets, the disgusting garbage and filth all over the city, and the annoying floods! And all these he observed in just one day!

Weeks after the publication of the article, I took Nasty’s silence to mean that of contempt and anger. I must admit that I didn’t care because I was really turned off by his arrogance. The good news is, Nasty has finally decided to break his silence and give us his side, loaded with a big piece of his mind. The bad news is, he hits more sensitive chords and it stings.

* * *

Nasty’s E-Mail

Dear Dero,
My Zen master says, “Never fight fire with fire.” So, I sat in a lotus position, imbibed the ethereal qualities of cool mountain water and stoically resisted the temptation of answering back to defend myself in rebuttal of your article. I kept quiet while you and your readers had a charlatan holiday, dissecting and fanning sarcasm on my every comment about your country and your people.

I am not mad at you for writing that piece. I was never upset at any point, even after your readers from all over the world e-mailed in their two-cents’ worth. In fact, I found it rather amusing and carnival-like.

I even felt happy that people still came to the defense of your Philippines!

If you noticed, I now refer to the Philippines and Filipinos as your country and your people. Every time I went back there for vacation, my Filipino-ness always took the better of me (blame those damn green mangoes smothered with bagoong!) and made me forget that I am, in all reality, what you aptly called a “Little Brown American.” I have come to terms with my own identity- I am, after all, an American citizen carrying an American passport!

What precipitated my quick decision to sever my ties with your country (aside from your ***** of an article) were the Abu Sayyaf abductions (que barbaridad!), the Payatas-like downslide of the peso (eat your hearts out, I earn sweet American dollars!), the “devoid of conscience” graft and corruption in your government (this has gone on for the longest time-how shameful!), and lately, the stupid “Juetengate” and juicy but enraging “Boracay” mansion gossips. With all these, who would be proud to be a Filipino?

Besides, to tell you frankly, those Erap jokes are no longer funny- they are passé and leave a bad taste in the mouth and heart.

No Apology

If I sounded brash and insensitive with the way I threw my comments, well, I cannot do any-thing about that because that is the way I am, and I offer no apology.

Here, in America, you have to tell it like it is or you’ll never be taken seriously. I have learned to drop my “Pinoy sugarcoating” because out here, you get nothing done if you are meek and sweet and pa-api. Hindi puwede mag-Anita Linda dito!


Filipinos are reminded every now and then of their slobbery whenever monsoon floods strike.

When I commented about your pollution, street children mendicants, slums,potholes, toilets that don’t work, garbage, floods, and most of all, the Pinoys’ chronic lack of discipline, I was merely putting into words what I saw. I can’t blame your being blind about your country’s situation.

My Zen master says, “One cannot easily see the dirt in one’s eye.” I am sure though that you are aware of those sordid details, but have grown accustomed to them (like most Manileños have). All the complaints I aired may have hurt your pride but what I wanted you to realize is this: The things I pointed out are all symptoms of a failing, falling nation!

Suffering A National Karma?

Could yours be a country cursed with a huge national karmic debt? It could be payback time, you know. Look back into your history, look deep inside your hearts-what could you have done as a nation to deserve this fiasco you are in today?

What you are faced with didn’t just happen overnight-it developed and grew into a monster in the course of time. Deeply imbedded in the psyche of the Filipino is the amalgamation of the characters and events that have impacted your lives – Dona Victorina, Dona Concepcion, poor Sisa as well the other hilarious and tragic characters of Dr. Jose Rizal… Stonehill…the notorious gangsters immortalized by your Filipino movies like Asiong Salonga (hmmm!), et al…the killers in your (I thought they’d never end!) massacre movies…those cheap, appalling titles of your movies…those staged “religious miracles” that your naive masses believed…family men with pushy queridas (mistresses)…your crooked politicians, undependable police officers and greedy customs collectors…your bribe-hungry court judges…Imeldific, gloriously smiling and crying at the same time, bejeweled. (How very Fellini!)


Filipino showbiz politicians are elected to office not because of who they are in real life.

What you are is the sum total of your history, your heritage and culture,your education, the crap that your press sensationalizes, the bad icons that your movies glorify, the artificial values your advertising extols, the bad examples your leaders and role models project. What you feed your country’s mind is what it becomes. You have become the ugly monster that you’ve created. You are now crying all the tears your sickeningly sentimental movies wailed out for years and years!

Your Biggest Fault

If there is one thing that comes to mind, I think your biggest fault would be your individual greed. “Ako muna!” seems to be the national mantra. The trouble is, very few people think for the common good in a deplorable “to each his own kurakot” festival. Coupled with your crab mentality of pushing down others, this can be fatal. You think barangay, not national.

Hello, everybody else around the world is thinking global! Europe is unshackling her national boundaries while you are building fences around your nipa huts.

Do yourselves a favor and look at your nation as a ship. All of you are in it and it is sinking! Realize your oneness-what hurts your brother hurts you, too. Think about the future of your children and the succeeding generations, and do something about it quick before your poor little banca plunges forever into the irretrievable depths of despair.

Star-Struck Nation

You are a nation of star-struck ignoramuses. You are easily awed by your movie stars who are usually nothing but uneducated, aquiline-nosed and light-skinned ******** picked up from some gutter somewhere. I have seen what these artistas illusionadas can get away with. They just flash their capped-tooth smiles and policemen let them get away with traffic violations; they bat their false eyelashes and customs officers impose no duty on their suspicious balikbayan boxes.


President BS Aquino managed to find time in his ‘busy’ schedule to grace the royal wedding of Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera.

Worst of all, with the Filipino movie industry taking a nosedive, hordes of actors and show personalities went into politics. It is, as they say, the next best “racket”-there is more money to be made in the politicking business than in show business! (And what is this I hear that in the coming elections, more are jumping into the arena? Mag-hara-kiri na kayo!)

How can you expect these comedians and actors, who only know how to take directions from their directors, to direct your nation?

For them, politics will just be an “act”. No big surprise here, for they are mere actors with no original scripts to speak, no original visions to share. So what can you expect but a government that is a comedy of errors. Serves you and your star- struck nation right!

My Zen master says, “Give unto Caesar what is due to Caesar, but keep Charlie Chaplin on the silver screen to make us laugh.

” To survive, you must teach your citizenry to say no to three things – no to drugs, no to stealing and graft and corruption, and no to artistas in politics. I hope you’ve learned your lesson by now. (Yours is the only country where Mexican soap stars are received like royalty in the presidential palace. How shoddy! God forbid-Fernando Carrillo might end up being your next president. At least he has great abs and doesn’t wobble like a penguin when he walks!)

For those artistas who honestly believe that they can make a positive difference in the Filipino masses’ life, they must first study law, business and public administration, and immerse themselves in the life and passion of Mother Teresa. Politics is not an art for dilettante artistas to dabble in. It is called “Political Science,” hello?!

Educate Your Masses

Educate the masses – especially your electorate. What you need is an intelligent vote aside from, of course, intelligent candidates.

The University of San Carlos in Cebu City, founded in 1595, and the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, established in 1611, are the oldest universities in Asia, and are even older than Harvard. But the standard of Pinoy education has deteriorated so much that the Philippines ranks among the poorest in the educational hierarchy of Asia.


The next generation of Filipinos is being misguided and mis-educated by their leaders and elders.

Education, education, education-that’s what you need in this age of information, information, information.

If all your social, religious and political sectors don’t sit down now and decide to take the Right Way, the Philippines and your children’s children will be grand losers in the worldwide rush to the future. Education is one sure way to salvation. Teach what is right, good, beautiful and beneficial.

Downplay all negativity if you cannot eliminate it altogether.

The Ideal President

I’ve got news for you. (As if you didn’t already know.) No matter whom you put up there as your leader or president, it will be the same banana.

Even a holy man can turn into another J. E. (Judas Escariot) for a few pieces of silver. Kumpares, alalays, relatives and cronies will encrust like flies and maggots on his cordon sanitaire. And it will be the same despicable “Sa amin na ‘to!” hullabaloo all over again.

Take an advice from Aling Epang: “Pumili ng matanda, mayaman, mabait, at madaling mamatay.”

Get a president who is old – so that he is full of wisdom, rich – so he won’t need to steal more money, goodhearted – so he will render heartfelt service to his people, and is in the sunset of his life – so that he will think of nothing but gaining good points to present when he meets his Creator.

And may I add: At iisa lang ang pamilya! This is, of course, asking for the moon. Just pray fervently for an intelligent leader with a pure heart who genuinely loves the common tao!

Magpakatotoo Kayo! Wake up and look at the real you.

Enough with looking at your reflection in glorious, self-embellishing mirrors.

The tropical sun can play tricks, you know. Do not wait for darkness to fall before you take that much-needed long, hard look at your real situation. Magpakatotoo kayo, ano? This isn’t a wake-up call-it is the final alarm!

Save the ship while you still can.

Don’t wait till your people have no more dreams left to hang on to, no more hope to sustain their broken spirits. I came home, spent my penny-pinched savings so that even in the minutest way I could help your bruised economy. Your politicians sit on their fat, farting butts and get balatos (kuno!) in the millions. Receivers are as guilty as the givers. Now, tell me, who is really nasty?

I Have Made My Decision; So Should You.

My Zen master says, “Life is all about decisions, not choices.”

I have made a decision which I know will be very hard for me to keep- You will never hear from me again (not in this vein) and I will not even think of visiting or 'buwisiting' your Manila ever.

This is my way of letting you know that I have given up on you. Bahala na kayo!

Only you can help yourselves because at the stage you are in, nobody would want to help you.

My Zen master says, “You have to fall to learn to rise again.” How much lower do you want to go?


Philippine media played a huge role in the bungled handling of the 2010 Mendoza hostage crisis which resulted in the death of 9 Hong Kong tourists.

Anyway, regarding the Philippines as a tourist destination, you have a lot of cleaning up and face-lifting to do before foreigners would dare go to your islands again.

The Abu Sayyaf episode has done your tourism industry more damage than you could ever imagine, and it will take a long time before the world forgets. (By the way, your tourism projects are lusterless and have no global impact. If you want real business, spruce up your infrastructure and do aggressive marketing on the World Wide Web!)

Of course, I would gladly reverse my decision if someone offered me exclusive lordship over lotto, bingo, jueteng, pintakasi and the jai alai.

Think about it: this will be to your advantage because I never give tong or blood commission to anyone! (If only your president used the millions he received from those gambling lords to build homes for the masses, you wouldn’t have any more squatters.

Huling hirit: defrost those Marcos billions, pay off some debt, place the rest in high-yield investments, feed your hungry, and spread bounty and joy to every Filipino!

Are you stupid or what? – That’s your money sucked from the blood of your people!)

I have made my decision, now make yours. I would hate for the day to come when I’d have to say, “I told you so!” Good luck! (You need it.)

An ex-Filipino,
J. Anastasio “Nasty”
P. S. My Zen master says, “Vox populi is not always the voice of God.”
P. P. S. Come over to L.A and I’ll show you a great time!
P. P. P. S. Our friend Randy says hello! We will be going to Vancouver to feast our eyes on the colors of autumn. Wish you could join us.
P. P. P. P. S. The new Miss America, Angela Perez Baraquio, is of Filipino ancestry. Dero, her parents hail from Pangasinan just like you! But keep in mind that she is an American (in case some wise fools over there claim her to be Filipino like they always do whenever someone becomes successful).
Wait for the girl to say it- don’t put words in her mouth!
P. P. P. P. P. S. Mabuhay kayo (SANA)!
P. P. P. P. P. P. S. Sa totoo lang, MAGDUSA KAYONG LAHAT! (Don’t you just love my Waray-Kano accent?) He-he-he!
– Same


* * *

My Short Reply
Dear Nasty,
Thanks for your e-mail. I swear you sort of stole the words from right under my tongue. Now, I am utterly speechless.
Send my regards to Randy. Wishing you the best!

THE FOLLOWING IS COPIED AND PASTED FROM THE FILIPINO-AMERICAN FORUM

An article that makes so much sense. We complain all too frequently just about almost everything but don't offer any solution to problems besetting our beloved country. There is one way to solve such problems though. That is by electing into office the right people. But in this, there is another problem. Who are the right people?

Subj: Little Brown People
Date: 09/22/03 6:16:25 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: guyj@...
To: ddelrosario@..., mgmr@..., eiturla@aol.

Source: Phil Star, Lifestyles, Sunday Life
Date: July 23, 2000

Little Brown American

By Dero Pedero
A few weeks ago, I drove to the airport to pick up
Randy, a balikbayan friend. He enplaned from
New York where he resides, stopped over in Los
Angeles to join a friend, and together, they flew in
on a "buy one, fly two" ticket deal. Sensible move,
I thought, considering the high cost of travel these
days. My friend e-mailed me that he'd be wearing
a red "I love NY" cap. Knowing that, I spotted
him immediately. In turn, I tied a red ribbon on to
my radio antenna so he also recognized my car
right away. He waved and I pulled over to the
arrival curb to greet them.

He introduced me to his friend, Nasty, who
seemed frazzled after all the airport entry rituals.
True to Pinoy form, they had tons of luggage and
balikbayan boxes! There was no way everything
could fit into my car, so we agreed that it was best
for Nasty to take an airport taxi to the hotel they
were booked in. Nasty complained about the heat
and how rude the customs officer was. His English
sounded kind of weird; it is best described as
singsong Visayan English with an incongruous
American twang.

BACK TO RECOVER HIS SANITY

On the way to the hotel, Randy informed me that if
not for the length of travel and the delays in the
schedule, it would have been a pleasant flight. He
said that he needed the trip back "home" to find his
center and recover his sanity. Of course, home for
him now is Manhattan where he has been living for
the past 23 years. I trailed the taxi that Nasty rode
on the way to the hotel.

It was my first time to meet Nasty so I asked
Randy about him -- where he was originally from,
what he did for a living and how he got such a
colorful name. I found out that he was from Samar,
got his name for being so difficult and bitchy,
worked as a credit investigator (a perfect job for
his personality!), and that his real name was
Anastacio. He was called Tacio by his relatives,
while his close friends in America nicknamed him
Anaconda after the monster snake. Randy and I
kept laughing and laughing. Then, it started to rain.

While creeping along Roxas Boulevard's
rain-aggravated Friday traffic, the most unthinkable
happened. Nasty's taxi blew a tire! Randy and I
were hysterically laughing at the sight of Anaconda
fuming inside the cab while the poor driver
changed the flat tire.

MANILA HAS SHRUNK!

The next day, I took them on a quick city tour
and accompanied them to do extra shopping at
the duty free shop. They were to leave two days
later for their respective provinces (Randy is
from Pampanga, Nasty, from Samar).

"God, ang dilem-dilem naman ditow (it is so
dark here)!" screamed Nasty in his characteristic
Taglish slang, "At ang inet-inet pa" (and so
warm)!

All throughout the day, Nasty complained about
everything. He griped that all Filipinos he
encountered were dense and inefficient (I hope that
didn't include me!); that the traffic was horrendous
and drivers "drove like they were late for their
funerals"; that the pollution from the
smoke-belching vehicles was irritating his dainty,
surgically-pinched nose. He was disgusted that
water faucets didn't work; horrified that there was
no toilet paper in public toilets ("God, how do you
people do it?" he bewailed); petrified by street
children begging while soaking wet in the rain
("Where are the parents of these kids?" he
nagged). He moaned about the proliferation of
slums, people crossing the superhighways ("There
should be underground or overhead walkways for
pedestrians!" he demanded), the potholes on the
streets, the disgusting garbage and filth all over the
city, and the annoying floods! And all these he
observed in just one day! (Hello, Mr. Politician,
are you listening?)

But this comment blew me away: "Has Manila
shrunk? Ang li-et-li-et! It seemed so much bigger
before I left! Avenida Rizal was wide and huge,
now it is so narrow and constricted. Even Rizal's
monument seems shorter than how I remember it!"

A CROW PERCHED ON A CARABAO

I felt the blood rush up my head every time he
opened his mouth. What added to my irritation
was the all-knowing way he dished out his opinions
aggravated by his American slang that was thick
with Waray accent. (He would pronounce
solution as "sulotion"!) I was just an inch away
from reaching boiling point. If not for Randy, I
would have...grrr! I did not confront him but
instead gave him the cold shoulder. To my mind,
Nasty was the personification of the fable of the
small crow that was perched on a carabao who
perceived himself taller and grander than he
actually was.

A GRAIN OF TRUTH

When I went home that night, I couldn't help but
review in my mind Nasty's gripes. I realized that I
really didn't listen to his wails because I was turned
off by his nasty (pun intended!) ways. I recognized
that I was defensive and hurt, and although it was
hard to accept, I knew that there was a grain of
truth (or even grains!) to his pungent comments.

I remembered Hollywood actress Claire Danes'
unkind remarks about Manila in that infamous
interview/write-up that infuriated the whole nation.
The girl was just giving her impressions of the city.
I am sure her seeming bitchiness had no hidden
agenda. All she gave was her honest opinion of
what she saw. Was Nasty just being honest too?

NOT THE FIRST TIME

The "Nasty scenario" has happened before; in fact,
it happens all the time. Whenever we would have
balikbayan guests, relatives or friends, they would
always complain about something. Somehow, they
always manage to find a wrong thing or two about
this country.

I have many friends, mostly successful
professionals who are US residents or citizens
living first world lives, housed in spectacular
condos and mansions, driving Mercedes Benzes,
Jaguars and BMW's. Whenever they would come
for vacation, and even when I'd visit them in the
US, our conversations would always lead to
complaints about everything, from the Philippine
weather, traffic and political bureaucracy to the
unruliness, "stupidity", and mal-education of the
Filipinos. As far as they can see, nothing can ever
be right about the country! I believe that this is due
to the fact that they keep comparing the Philippines
to the United States. Unfair!

So, I tell them to either shut up or come up with
solutions to such problems. I advise them to be
kinder (at least in words) to their ex-people (after
all, they already are "Americans"!) and refrain from
dishing out hurting comments unless they are willing
to come over and straighten out the "mess". They
should focus on the constructive, not the criticism
aspect of "constructive criticism". Besides if the
Philippines were so bad, why do they keep coming
back anyway?

QUICK TO CRITICIZE BUT DO NOTHING
TO HELP

Of course, most of my friends would not give up
the luxury of their lifestyles in the States to come
back and try to make a difference. They would
rather enjoy their grand lives and be lost sons and
daughters to their motherland. These days,
whenever someone makes a derogatory comment
about the country, if he is pleasant, I would reply,
"The Filipino is on his way to illumination and
enlightenment. Give him a little more time." If he is
rude, I tell him to shove it up his you know what.
People are quick to criticize, but do nothing to
help!

Mother Teresa of Calcutta says, "The trouble is
that rich people, well-to-do people, very often
don't really know who the poor are...if they are not
touched by them, it's because they do not know
them." If my friends could only see the poverty in
the depressed areas around Metro Manila and in
the provinces and personally get to know the poor,
their hearts would melt with compassion and be
moved to help. If only a fraction of these "know it
all" Pinoys came back to help, the country would
be alleviated of its challenges! Could the overseas
Filipinos be the true saviors of these islands?

STAGE A SPECTACULAR COMEBACK

All these bright guys abroad (like Randy and
Nasty) should stage a spectacular comeback and
heal this ailing Lupang Hinirang! With their
education, international awareness and
contemporary expertise, the future of the Filipino
will be bright and secure. Instead of being critical,
frustrated and hopeless, they should come back
and teach the Filipino the way to national
greatness. They can establish non-government
organizations to diagnose and solve the problems
facing our nation today.

There is absolutely no way can they effect changes
in the Philippines via remote control. They should
be physically here to revive these islands with fresh
idealism, positive attitudes and proven effective
disciplines learned from their host countries, here
to impart their technological expertise and
professional savvy to our youth. Or else, they'll just
be little brown Americans (or Italians, Swiss, or
whatever) with nothing but criticism frothing from
their mouths and eternal regret harbored in their
souls, knowing that they could have done
something to heal the land of their fathers but
didn't.

HILARIOUS ENDING

Randy and Nasty's story had a real funny
ending (for me, anyway). On the day of their
departure, I drove Randy from his hotel to the
airport. Nasty, who volunteered to take a cab
from his cousin's place in Novaliches, was to
meet up with him at the departure area. Randy
e-mailed me as soon as he arrived in New York.
Nasty had missed the flight! He was so furious
because he held a restricted ticket and had to
pay for the remaining leg of the trip. The
culprit? The traffic that he so loathed!

THE FILIPINO DREAM?

I felt sorry for what happened to Nasty and
regretted the way I treated him. It was rather unfair
because I had other friends who aired the very
same complaints about Filipinos and the
Philippines, although in a not-so-abrasive manner. I
particularly remember a French friend of mine, in
one of our after-dinner discussions, brusquely
commenting, "The trouble with Filipinos is that your
Filipino dream is the American dream."
I was embarrassed speechless!


ABS-CBN

What is an empowered woman? Advocates weigh in Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News Posted at 03/08/16 6:15 PM 293


Speaking to ANC' "Talkback with Tina Monson Palma," Emmeline Verzosa, executive director of the Philippine Commission on Women; Jean Enriquez, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Asia Pacific; and Pacita Juan, a social entrepreneur and current president of ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle, expressed their views on what makes a woman empowered.

Are Filipino women empowered? For these women's rights advocates, being empowered means being able to control their own lives.

"At the end of the day if a woman is able to decide for herself and determine her destiny, then she's empowered. But there are different levels of empowerment, so we have a measure," Verzosa said.

She also explained that there are different levels to measure a woman's empowerment, including her access to resources, and her awareness of her rights.

"First is, are her basic needs met? Health, nutrition, food, welfare needs. Seconds is, does she have access to credit, training, resources. Again, the government should provide that to her and she should know where to get that. The third level is changing the consciousness, consciousness raising. Is she able to know that she shouldn't be boxed into certain stereotypes. The fourth level is, can she participate in matters that affect her life. The fifth level is having control, having control over her life, over her own decisions," Verzosa explained.

For Juan, being empowered means having control over one's body and decisions.

"Physically and otherwise, are you able to make decisions," she said.

Although there are a lot of women who considered themselves empowered, Enriquez said that some women in rural areas are not even aware of their rights.

"Their right to their own body. The right to not be violated, the right to have equal resources, to be able to divide work inside the home," she said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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