Friday, March 31, 2017

To Martial Law, or Not to Martial Law -- Why is That Even a Question?

A spectre is haunting the Philippines - the spectre of martial law. The history of all recent Philippine history is the history of dictatorship.
Fast forward to 2015 and witness the ascendancy of Rodrigo Duterte.  As mayor of Davao he had already built a reputation as a strongman, a take-no-prisoners kind of guy who would tolerate not the slightest infraction of the law. Davao, they said, was the safest city in the Philippines. This reputation would thrust him into the national spotlight and eventually win him the Presidency. He has not been silent on his opinions of how the country should be run and what it will take to get it back into shape. The spectre of martial law haunts even him.

The President disdains to conceal his views and aims. He openly declares that his ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing political conditions. Yet something is holding him back from going all the way. 

President Duterte is a man at war with himself.  Deep inside of him is a desire to save his beloved Philippines from drugs and terrorists and foreign influence and everything else he sees as a threat to the divine right of Philippines to exist and sovereignly determine it's destiny. Pitted against that desire is the strong temptation to declare martial law as the one surefire way to accomplish these goals and save the nation.

So will he or won't he?

Listen to the voice inside his head striving to break down that barrier. It says:
"Let the drug pushers and terrorists tremble at a declaration of martial law.  The Philippines and Filipinos have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.                                        Filipinos of all provinces, unite!"

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Terrorism Tramples Tourism

Last week the Department of Tourism Chief pleaded with the media to tone down reports on EJKs (extrajudicial killings) because it's bad news for tourism.

Is the DOT chief even remotely aware of how rife with crime and how dangerous the whole country is for tourists in general? The reputation the Philippines has for being unsafe did not start with the advent of the drug war. This website has an extensive list of names of foreigners who have been murdered in the Philippines: 

Needles to say the response to her suggestion was not positive.

An EJK is defined as:
An extrajudicial killing (also known as extrajudicial execution) is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process.

In the midst of the war on drugs the President of the Philippines has been accused of giving the police free reign to kill whomever they suspect is an addict or a pusher.  Many have died since President Duterte took office.  However, the number of people dead from actual EKJs is disputed and none of the statistics on either side of the aisle are particularly reliable.  Here is a rebuttal from journalist Robert Tigalo regarding the inflating of these numbers.

In regards to EJKs and tourism let's ask a completely different question: "What's worse for tourism: a criminal getting killed or tourists actually being kidnapped and beheaded by Muslim terrorists?"

Since the war on drugs began only one foreigner has been a direct casualty.

Wow a British national known for dealing drugs is killed in the drug war.  Big shocker.  The police knew she was a dealer and so did her killers.

Now let's look at how many tourists have been kidnapped and beheaded by Muslims.

The last guy, Bernard Then, was not even a tourist.

After being kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants from a restaurant in neighbouring Sandakan, Sabah on 15 May 2015, he was brought to Parang, Sulu before beheaded in Jolo after ransom demands was not met

Abu Sayyaf is so dangerous that not only are tourists not safe but no country in the region is safe.  

It's clear that the greater threat to tourists and tourism in the Philippines is Abu Sayyaf and other Muslim terrorist groups and not EJKs.

What madness is this that the Philippines is tolerating becoming a training ground for ISIS? It's time to put an end to Islamic terrorism in the Philippines once and for all.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Best of Duterte...So Far!

March 28th is the birthday of President Rodrigo Duterte. Happy Birthday to the wildest President in all of South East Asia and the world.,-we-are-ready-to-leave-38358.html

Happy Birthday, President Duterte. May your birthday wish come true.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Difference between Leni and Duterte

The difference between Vice President Robredo and President Duterte is quite simple.

Get the picture?  

The difference lies in strength of will both politically and morally. 

Duterte sees the Philippines as a sovereign nation of which he is the head. As the head he sees it as his bounden duty and right to direct the nation in a way that is conducive to the good of the people according to the principles of the constitution which was voted on by the people.

Robredo sees the Philippines as a weak nation not capable of handling its own affairs but in need of foreign intervention. She fails to realise that, as the bearer of the second highest office in the land, she is part of the political system and she has both the power and the duty to work within that system for the change she sees fit for the good of the nation.

EJK's or not. Drug war or not. The fact is the Philippines is a sovereign nation that should be able to handle its own affairs without any need for foreign intervention.

Duterte knows this.

The people know this.

Leni Robredo does not.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Apocalypse Now and Forever

Apocalypse Now is one of the greatest films to emerge from the New Hollywood movement which gave the world Spielberg, Scorsese, Lucas, and Coppola. Filmed entirely on location in the Philippines the film charts a journey into madness and concludes with a violently nihilistic spectacle.

And it would not have been possible without the hundreds of Filipino extras Coppola hired to play the Montanagard Indians loyal to Colonel Kurtz.
In the script, Kurtz's band of renegade soldiers has trained a tribe of local Montagnard Indians to be a fighting team. They live in huts by the temple. Rather than dress up Filipino extras everyday, Francis asked Eva, a production assistant, to go to a northern province where the rice terraces are and recruit a real tribe of primitive people to come live on the set and be in the scenes. I hear she is trying to make a contract with a group of 250 Ifugao Indians.
Being on strict budget, and in fact running notoriously way over budget, this cost saving measure to hire an entire tribe of local Indians ended up having an unexpected and astonishing influence on the final scenes and on shaping the ending with which Coppla was having so much trouble.
Coppola and his entire crew were indeed bent on making Apocalypse Now appear as close to "authentic" as possible. Dead bodies strewn on the set were cadavers, purchased from hospitals and medical schools. Much time and effort went into preparing sets, explosions, and even training of the extras. The first week they were in Pagsanjan, the Ifugao were given an orientation. They were shown the costumes and how to wear them, how to handle the guns. They were given an overview of their part in the story. Jerry recalls that they were told, "You are the people of Marlon Brando. He is like your god in the mountains. Sheen is your enemy."
The first month they were there, Benjamin participated in training the people "to play the military." They were taught how to handle M14s and armalites, and some carbine pistols. They used camouflage uniforms. "It was more than full time work because we issue the guns early in the morning, then training all day, then we have to account for all the guns and parts in the night. Because there were NPA in the area before and they were worried that some guns and parts might get stolen."
This simulated village also took on Ifugao ritual life. The 'extras' village' was given sacrificial animals that would have normally cost the Ifugao a lot; this was part of their agreement with the production company. In one instance, they asked for a carabao for ritual slaughter. In Eleanor Coppola's Hearts of Darkness, the documentary film on the making of Apocalypse Now, it is this Ifugao request for a carabao for the ritual slaughter that provides Coppola his creative solution for the final scene.  
Up to this point, Coppola, the genius filmmaker, arrives as it were up the river into his own hour of darkness. Ill and beset by cost overruns on his production budget, he had also run out of creative juice—having no idea what to do for the final scene. As he plotted on how to stage the death of Kurtz, his wife called him to see the Ifugao ritual slaughter and he became inspired. His genius as filmmaker lies in the images he incorporates—images that he actually took straight out of Ifugao ritual. 
So, on screen, the Ifugao hack apart a carabao. All the Ifugao we interviewed insist that this scene wasn't in the script. "That came from us!" Many audiences flinch. Maybe they don't want to think about the origins of meat? Or is it the apparent savagery of the ritual? These are superficial readings and westernized audiences don't see that there is much more to this than meets the eye!
After Coppola first witnessed the carabao ritual slaughter, he tried to shoot every ritual that the Ifugao performed.

The ending of Apocalypse Now incorporated the rituals of the Ifuago people which in turn infused the production with the requisite sense of primitivism, magic, and ritual confluent with two of the primary influences of the film, The Golden Bough and the apocalyptic and mystical poetry of T.S. Eliot.

Many hours of footage were shot but the final product only ran 2.5 hours.  The Redux version runs an hour longer.  But there is a third version of that runs for 5 hours, the workprint.  It is difficult to obtain but rewarding to watch and it contains many of the scenes of Ifuago ritual which ended up on the cutting room floor. 

The video below is a clip from the workprint.  The video is bad, the audio horrible, but its sill very watchable.  Just remember what you see in this clip is not necessarily acting.  It is part of a real ritual incorporated into the film.  This is the Philippines as it was before the arrival of the Spanish and as it is even now deep in the mountains of Luzon.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The ASEAN delegates are coming! Quick, hide the garbage!

ASEAN is hosting one of it's meetings in town.  I had no idea but I should have known something was up what with crews posting flags around town and there being a larger than normal police presence. Closer to the event location I saw a large PNP group with riot shields.  What for?  Do they really think someone is going to disturb the ASEAN meeting? And who would do such a thing?  I think they better stamp out the terrorists and quickly.

I was walking to the mall when I saw all those cops with riot shields and then I saw this:

They put up a new banner on the bridge.  They did this previously when the president visited.  I was dying laughing because it's such an obvious way to simply hide the garbage while the delegates are in town.  

Let's take a look behind the banner:


Just awful.  Look at all that garbage.  And the stink!  That area always smells rotten. How can anyone live there? Why don't the residents stop tossing their trash in the river?  Why don't they try and clean it up?  Why doesn't the city clean it up?  

They also covered up the market across the street from the mall:

Dressing up a squalid area with Globe advertisements is not going to solve a thing.  Perhaps the city should invest in the area and clean it up?

Security at the mall was tighter than usual.  Both inside and out.  Besides the normal frisk and metal detector scan at the entrance they added a second one inside at the hallways that connect each side of the mall:

Wow looks like they are pretty serious about security, right? But at the end of the other hallway across the mall the metal detectors were unmanned!

Now look and see how they beefed up security outside:

Now that's real security!  That's real safety measures!  Instead of using a stick with a mirror to search the undercarriage of cars for bombs they place a camera on the road and now the PNP can watch the monitor as the car passes over it and make sure there really are no bombs. 

But it's all going to go back to normal when the conference is over.  The security guards will go back to the mirror stick and the same tired body frisk at the mall entrance and the whole security charade will continue unabated.  Meanwhile the banner blocking the view of garbage creek will come down bit by bit as the weather wears it away only to become a part of and reveal all that trash once again.

And what's the point of that?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Driving with the hood open

This is one of the most bizarre driving habits I have seen anywhere.  And not just bizarre but plain dumb, if the reasoning behind it is what I suspect it is.

All of these taxis are driving with the hood open. 

Why?  What possible reason could there be to drive with the hood ajar? I can only think of one: to cool the engine!

Seriously can there be any other explanation? They have the hood just slightly ajar. Just popped open so air can breeze through the engine and cool it. 

Are they having that much trouble overheating?  Then there is a radiator problem that needs to be fixed immediately. Do they think it's preventative? Well that's what the radiator is for, to prevent overheating. 

Of course it could be that the hood is just broken. If so that's a problem which needs to be repaired. But it's also highly unlikely because I have seen so many taxis driving like this. The odds that all of them are afflicted with the same hood problem are not very high.

So we have jeepnies driving with Christmas lights rather than using their headlights and taxis driving with the hood open to keep the engine cool.

What's next? Stay tuned!

P.S.  I wrote the above post on March 16th.  Today, March 20th, I was riding in a taxi and I asked the driver if he ever drove with the hood just slightly open.  He said yes he did to prevent the engine from overheating.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Raison D'être

This blog was formed in response to the shutting down of

As far as I can tell PFB shut down three times in it's previous incarnation.

Firstly in November 2014:

Secondly in February 2016:

This may actually have been the result of a cyber attack and not a deliberate shut down 

And thirdly in November 2016:

Writing about the first shut down in 2014 one blogger has this to say:
I am hoping one of it’s active readers will open a new & similar site.  I am hoping that FiloFail can at least open the blog so we can still enjoy the articles (w/c were submitted by the readers as well).  It’s a very sad day today.  I for one was helped a lot since I discovered this blog.  It helped in everyday anger management & road rage (driving around the Philippines).  Sad sad day. 

We see in reaction to the most recent shut down a desire that the blog continue even without the Captain at the helm.
I am thinking of opening a Blogspot or WordPress Page! – God knows we need it! 
I hope someone else takes over, preferably somebody who was a very active member of PFB
It was only two months after the last shut down that Philippinefailblog opened back up for business but this time as a social network with all of its previous content "vaporised."

So two things:

1. People wanted Philippinefailbog to continue even without the Captain at the helm and on a blogspot or wordpress site.

2. All the content of the old site is gone and no one can read it without wading through the internet archive.

I have provided the solutions to both these problems and I did this before the third resurrection of PFB from the dead. To accomplish this I chose the most obvious name for this blog: Philippinefailblog.

This website is not intend as a either a competition or even emulation of PFB but a continuation of an idea which was abandoned. Therefore I see no reason to discontinue this site or to not post archived content from the old site in the name of preserving history and providing a place for others to go if indeed PFB ever shuts down again.

From Get Real Philippines: Why Pinoy Pride will never save the Philippines

This is a well written article that illustrates things people have been saying about Filipinos for a long time but it comes from an insider's perspective rather than an outsider's observation.  Enjoy!

I have always been strongly vocal against Pinoy Pride for a good reason: it will never save the Philippines.

Pinoy Pride seems to be the belief that Filipinos are a special people from the rest of the world, and thus deserve special respect. For example, they insist that no one has the right to make Pinoys the butt of jokes. And if Pinoys are not given this special respect, they were “cheated,” “insulted” or “oppressed.” Pinoys love to imagine that they are “oppressed” people in the world. But when they do things like post pictures of themselves wearing their employer’s clothes without permission(the maid in Singapore), slap a helpless Alzheimer’s patient (Jonathan Aquino case), steal from a US children’s cancer fund (Rene Ballenas pleaded guilty to larceny), make a loan in the U.S. then run home to avoid paying it, murder a famous fashion designer (Andrew Cunanan killing Gianni Versace), complain about someone else’s name (the Filipino complaining about someone being named Kiki in Australia) or be on the defensive after the botched Manila Hostage Crisis, you know they are far from “oppressed” or “deserving pride.” It’s more like they need therapy. If only there was a psychiatric treatment called Ego Therapy.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Leni Robredo hates the Philippines

Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.
John F Kennedy was a politician who embodied the spirit of self-sacrifice for the greater good.  He fought bravely in World War II before serving in the Senate and in 1963 he gave his life while serving his country.

Can the same be said of Leni Robredo? Is she a self-sacrificing politician seeking the greater good of the Philippines?

1. Her constant agitating against the current President shows a disdain for her office and its functions.  
As the second highest public office in the land, the Office of the Vice President shall work for the welfare of the Filipino people and contribute to nation-building, economic development and political stability by fostering fidelity to the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and upholding the highest standard of professionalism in the civil service.
With her constant agitating against Duterte she is subverting the stated mission of the office of Vice President which is to “work for…political stability.”  Filipinos are deeply divided along party lines and her rhetoric does nothing to encourage unity. Her constant haranguing of the President along party lines is neither professional nor conducive to fostering political stability. 

2. Her support of disgraced senator Leila De Lima is in direct contradiction to her executive function as Vice President.
EXECUTIVE FUNCTION:The Vice President is mandated to ensure that laws are faithfully executed.
Leila De Lima has been charged with serious crimes related to drug trafficking. These charges were investigated before the Senate and were broadcast on television before the entire nation. To insist that De Lima is a political prisoner rather than a prisoner duly charged with crimes and to not insist her fellow Yellow Party member keep a low profile and focus on beating these charges is nothing more than an attempt to subvert her duty of seeing that the laws are faithfully executed.

3. Her opposition to the burial of Ferdinand Marcos in the cemetery he is legally entitled to be buried in is also in contradiction to her executive function of seeing that the laws are faithfully executed.  The proper burial of the body of Marcos is also a flashpoint of tension between herself and Duterte.
Robredo, 51, cited the Marcos burial as one issue on which she would be a “stronger voice” now she had quit Duterte’s cabinet.

Think about that. Robredo's stubbornness and defiance over the burial of a dead body is allowing former dictator Marcos to literally continue dictating and dividing the Filipino people from beyond the grave.

Dead dictator dictating from beyond the grave

4. Bringing her opposition to Duterte before the United Nations and airing out the dirty political laundry of the Philippines for all the world to smell is in direct violation of her ceremonial function.
The Vice President performs ceremonial functions through meetings with representatives of foreign governments. He represents the Philippine government in official gatherings and receives foreign dignitaries, ambassadors, foreign investors, and other foreign officials.
I will not attempt to dissect her video taped speech about EJKs and the drug war. I will refer you here:

Needless to say she has disgraced herself and the country before the entire world by stating "facts" that are not true and painting a picture of the Philippines that is so bleak that no foreign investor in his right mind would invest in the Philippines. Her video statement to the UN is an admission that the Philippines is weak and cannot reign in the alleged lawlessness of the President on its own without foreign intervention.

Does the Philippines need foreign intervention to handle internal affairs? What other reason besides foreign intervention can there be for Yellow Party members to repeatedly appeal to international law and the international media in their tirades against Duterte?

 Does the Philippines need UN peacekeeping troops to stop Duterte?
In short Robredo has not been a faithful representative of the Philippines to either foreign governments or foreign investors.

5. Her constant agitation not just against President Duterte's policies but against him personally shows a complete disdain for the Filipino people who elected him to office.

Duterte was blunt and forceful in laying out his vision for the Philippines during the election.  To think the people were stupid or duped is nonsense.  They knew exactly who they were voting for including allegations of death squads. The president has been elected and the job of the Senate, the House, and the Vice President is not to attempt every play in the book to have him impeached or ousted but to work with him for the good of the Philippines.

This does not mean they must be at 100% agreement with all he is doing.  It means at the barest a seeking after unity, something that Leni Robredo has not sought and that the Yellow Party would avoid at all cost except amongst their own ranks.

6. Leni Robredo made many campaign promises to improve the life of the poor. 
a minimum monthly allowance of P2000 for the barangay volunteers who work to maintain the surroundings 
scholarships for the laborers’ children, Philhealth coverage, and access to micro-financing - for those who are willing to start their own business 
monthly pensions to the elderly who have been serving and volunteering in the barangay for a long time 
creating more jobs to give opportunities to poor communities 
address malnutrition and hunger by creating a wider variety of feeding programs for children and providing a sustainable lifestyle for the producers

To date she has done nothing to implement these promises. And how could she? Not only has Robredo been too busy fighting Duterte but these are all pie-in-the-sky promises meant only to garner votes!

So is Leni Robredo a self-sacrificing politician seeking the greater good of the Philippines and the Filipino people?  Is she asking what she can do for her country?  The answer is undoubtedly: NO!

Read the functions of the Office of Vice President here: