(or Free Bulan from the Bondage of Poverty)

by: atty benji

Origins of Poverty:
Historically speaking, when man came on earth he did not live in a society or hierarchy nor was he endowed with poverty. Good health, longevity, natural cheerfulness were his own even as he found himself amidst plenty.

Ending Poverty:
That poverty can be eliminated through higher levels of education, which enables true truths to flow, and greater knowledge of what can be achieved in life for the individual, replacing the falsehoods and evil that rise in the soil of poverty and ignorance.

Abolishing Poverty:
Unless the poor are determined not to be poor, poverty cannot be solved. Poverty is best abolished by the development of consciousness. Next best is to develop infrastructure, create employment opportunities and other forms of livelihood projects, including access to education, etc.

Keys to Moving out of Poverty:
To move out of poverty one needs to — truly want more, make the effort to gain it, seek self-employment over normal employment, gain the necessary skills to accomplish it and establish personal values.

Eliminating Poverty:
Poverty is eliminated by, generating more employment; raising the level of minimum education; making the social elite aware of the possibility of removing it; presenting the LGU concrete programs of prosperity; educating the public opinion that poverty is not inevitable.

Peace, and End to Poverty:
Only in peace, hunger and poverty can be abolished, and full employment realized. Only in peace, the whole world can live in and acquire prosperity. Only in peace, the human resource and potentials can blossom and expand.

x-x-x Question: NATO TABI KAY POBRE KITA NA MGA FILIPINO, if not the poorest in the world? In Bicol region, or in Sorsogon, or even in Bulan, in particular, poverty and hunger is so epidemic, and even widespread. (e.g., Kamote an pamahawon an suda sirum-sirom na inihaw, belanghoy an pangalasdose an suda solamente asin, pinakru na saging an merindalan an suda wara, an panigab-i kamote an suda kinagod na lando na lubi….pag-abot sin katutnga sin gabi maharabahabon an tiyan…..mapung-awon nan makahihibi ine na sobra na pagtios, hehehehe!

In the old testament, poverty is a curse! While, the new testmament says otherwise, poverty is a blessing indeed, as christ proclaimed the words, “Blessed are the poor, because the kingdom of God belongs to you”!

I would recall during my tertiary years in a catholic university, my professor in theology, an SVD priest had categorically said the reason why poverty is so widespread in our midst, because the philippines, being the only catholic country in the whole of Asia, tends to give more importance in celebrating the passion of the christ during “semana santa”, which according to him, the passion of christ symbolizes suffering and death, rather than commemorating the resurrection of christ, or the risen christ, which symbolizes new life and success. Maybe, that is the point of view of the SVD, a religious congregation founded by a German priest, while the opinion of the other religious congregations founded mostly by Spaniard & Italian priests, such as, OP, SJ, OPM, AOR etc, may contradict the opinion of the SVD…

… an article entitled “The Poverty in the Bicol Region” posted in Bik-Lish blog (Bikol-English) by Jacarizo, in his thesis he deposed in part:
“A colleague asked him: The Bicol Region is rich in natural as well as human resources. How come it still remains poor?”
“I immediately remember the stories about Japan after World War II. It was so poor and so war torn, how come the Land of the Rising Sun still became rich?”
x-x-x-x x-x-x-x
“Base sa factsheets kan National Statistics Coordination Board, almost half of the Bicolanos are poor. In 2003, the figure was 41%. The highest poverty incidence is in Masbate followed by Camarines Norte. Interestingly, these are the areas where gold mines are located. Kaya an hapot: Nata?”

“One explanation is, wealth is not fairly distributed in these areas.” blah, blah, blah!!!

And there he continued that “Politics is another reason why Bicol region is poor!

“or maybe because of the existence of political dynasty in bicol,” – an sayo pa na dahilan kun nano kay nagtitirios kita! San-o kaya kita marayaman? Baka, until thy kingdom come…..

Perhaps, I would also agree that Bicol region is poor because wealth is not properly distributed to the needy in the areas, (excluding corruption ha) this incident can be fully attributed to the failure of the government, (both the House of Representatives & Senate) to properly address and prioritize the enactment of laws or measures by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the general welfare of the people as mandated in the Constitution, re, social justice provision.

Article 13:
Social Justice and Human Rights

SEC. 1.
”The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good. To this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, and disposition of property and its increments.”

SEC. 2.
”The promotion of social justice shall include the commitment to create economic opportunities based on freedom of initiative and self-reliance.”

Usually, that’s the problem with us Filipinos, kapag nailuklok na sa pwesto ang mga tinatawag nating public servant or servant of the people, they tend to forget everything at biglang sinasapian ng “Amnesia” at hindi nila alam kung bakit sila ay nariyan sa kongreso, senado, o sa gobierno.

The challenge to all tagaBulans that – “Unless the poor are determined not to be poor, poverty cannot be solved.” Nato tabi an hihimuon ta sine? Deri man pwede na makurunol nalang kita, ala juan tamad syndrome… Siempre kinakaipuhan tabi na an mga nasa kapangyarihan o nasa pwesto maghimo sin mga remedyo o estratihiya para makalampas kita san sobra na pagtios, deri pagparalabutan an pundo san gobierno, dapat an mga tawo an makinabang san gracia san gobierno, an kadaghanan liwat san nasa pwesto nato puro kickback o komisyun lang san project an iniirisip….. ayaw man tabi sun! In the same token, all tagaBulans must also think for an alternative solution to alleviate poverty in our midst, deri nato pagparaasahan an gobierno, sabi nga ni Presidente ML Quezon sa mga kabungtos, “don’t think what the country can do for you, but think what you can do for your country”…

We have to liberate our people in Bulan from the bondage of extreme poverty and hunger, maybe the LGU-Bulan in particular shall promote social justice and distribute the wealth proportionately to the needy, if any. Besides giving them access to quality education, create employment opportunties, establish livelihood centers, and the last to give them land, a land to own – and in that way the tagaBulans or Kabungtos will become more self reliant component of the society, as partner for progress and development.

Worth remembering in relation to the social justice provision of the constitution as a way of alleviating poverty in our midst, the famous oratorical piece of Raul Manglapuz served us an inspiration and motivation to enable us to fight out poverty and hunger. At the prime of his life, Manglapuz ran for President in 1965, but lost to Ferdinand Marcos. Manglapus is a statesman of towering stature, he is best summed up by a Philippine newspaper columnist as “…the best President we never had.”

by Raul Manglapus

x-x-x-x x-x-x-x x-x-x-x
“I indict the Spanish encomendero for inventing taxes impossible to bear.

I indict the usurer for saddling me with debts impossible to pay.

I indict the irresponsible radical leaders who undermine, with insidious eloquence, the confidence of my kind in our government.

You accuse me of not supporting my family. Free me from bondage, and I shall prove you false.

You accuse me of ignorance. But I am ignorant because my master finds it profitable to keep me ignorant. Free me from bondage, and I shall prove you false.

You accuse me of indolence. But I am indolent not because I have no will, but because I have no hope. Why should I labor, if all the fruits of my labor go to pay an unpayable debt. Free me from bondage, and I shall prove you false.

Give me land. Land to own. Land unbeholden to any tyrant. Land that will be free. Give me land for I am starving. Give me land that my children may not die. Sell it to me, sell it to me at a fair price, as one freeman sells to another and not as a usurer sells to a slave. I am poor, but I will pay it! I will work, work until I fall from weariness for my privilege, for my inalienable right to be free!”

…… to borrow the favorite phrase of mr. Jun A., “Bulan deserves a better future!

Indeed, we all deserve a bright future in Bulan, and to live in a progressive community, where peace and order reigns!

…….. as the saying goes, HABANG MAY BUHAY, MAY PAG-ASA!

Mabuhay an mga tagaBulans, may the force be with us always!


  1. I agree that “Poverty is best abolished by the development of consciousness.” In a way we are poor because that is how and what we think. But if we think otherwise, sabi ni Norman Vincent Peale, “you can get what you think and you can have what you want”. Yan ang sinasabi niya na “power of positive thinking” — a power which also has a Biblical basis dahil sabi ni Jesus Christ: Ask and it shall be given unto you.

    An good news, sa Bicol Region, an Sorosogon an ikaduwa sa may pinakahababang poverty incidence. Asin kan 2003, an Sorsogon an saro sa sampulo na may pinakahalangkaw na human development index (HDI) o indicator ki kundisyon kan pamuhay-buhay. An bako lang good news, dai ta aram kun an mga numerong ini talagang namamatean kan mga tawo sa ibaba lalo na sa mga barangay. Kadalasan kaya, dakula an pagkakaiba kan official poverty statistics sa tunay na pagmate kan mga tawo — dahilan kun nata apuwera sa iniluluwas na mga numero kan National Statistics Office (NSO), dakul-dakul pa man giraray an nag-kokonducir ki survey manongod sa self-rated poverty. And this, eventually strengthens the implied thesis of Atty. Benji that poverty is, in a way, a product of consciousness.

  2. This is a good read, atty. benji and is now on top post, as you can see. Our Fight For Progress is based on the ” power of positive thinking”, a phrase mentioned by jacarizo and as I also tried to describe in my ealier writings here. And take note that Bulan Observer is slowly reaching out other Bicolanos, not only tagaBulans. This will be our next step: to connect with other Bicolanos who have the same objectives as we do and share with them our concept of change. Ther are still things to be described and they will come as soon as we get more time.

    That SVD german priest was right, in my view. The Germans are people of high-fighting spirit and they base their behaviour and thinking on their strength, not on weakness or sorrows. Hitler ruined Germany and the survivors joined hands together to rebuild their nation.They have fought for progress and won. Right after that, in a short period of time, they conquered the world with mercedes, bmw, volkswagen, opel, audi, produced the most modern war tanks, etc. This is surely not a result of negative , sorrowful thinking.

    We motivate our Kabungtos to stand up and help build Bulan. This is what you mean by developing the right”consciousness” in order to put an end to poverty, self-pity and resignation. Progress begins in the mind- so as failure.

    Corruption is just the tip of an iceberg. The biggest part of our failure is unseen and this resides within each of us tagaBulans, Bicolanos and Filipinos. We will try to elaborate more on this in our upcoming posts.

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas and in helping build up Bulan Observer and in making our objetives be known slowly but surely to entire Bicol region.

    jun asuncion

  3. I truly agree with consciousness awakening part of the post.!
    People rating poverty as poor from their hearts is the first step towards any revolution to be taking place..

    The Millennium Development goals of the UN..works this principle..!
    They wants people to think..question themselves and then come forward to their bit in the cause..!
    It has being doing enormous efforts on these lines….
    This year UN will be shifting its focus on India, with Stand Up and Take action event and getting many hands together to fulfill the 8 goals…
    Be updated….with the latest happeningss..

  4. thank you, jun for visiting my page. i left a reply on my site. i am looking forward for a more fruitful and socially engaging discussions with you. i have this strong feeling that we have the same hopes for this country. kumusta sa gabos na mga taga Bulan.

  5. In the last elections, senatorial candidate Aquilino “KOKO” Pimentel, Jr. drafted a plan to defeat poverty, dubbed as the “Square Root Development”. If elected, his plan addresses the “Root Causes of Poverty” and brings Development to the entire country, to wit:

    The following four elements address the root causes of poverty which has plagued our beloved country for generations:

    First Element: Observe the Rule of Law
    •Equality before the law
    •Accessible justice system
    •Competent, efficient, objective administration of justice
    •Non-corrupt justice system
    •Stability of policies and judicial decisions
    •The Government itself follows the law
    •Establishes the Culture of Respect for the Law

    >Fights poverty by addressing the problem of injustice (including “slow justice”) and unsolved crimes
    >Fights poverty by promoting the stability of policies, legal decisions, and processes
    >Fights poverty by putting an end to conflicts

    Second Element: Empower the Youth (specifically through Science Education)
    •Education is human capital
    •Everyone must have access to Quality Education
    •In the 21st century, quality education means Science Education
    •The long-term goal is to establish a CULTURE OF SCIENCE led by the youth

    >Fights poverty by addressing the problem of ignorance
    >Fights poverty by producing scientists, inventors, engineers, creators, producers, etc.
    >Fights poverty by promoting productivity, creativity, innovativeness
    >Fights poverty by making the Philippines a Producer and Innovator Society (versus a Consumer Society)

    Third Element: Enhance Local Autonomy
    •More power, resources, and expertise to LGUs
    •More resources to the countryside
    •Problems are solved at the level of the people affected by the problem
    •Affirmative Action for Mindanao (and other long neglected areas like the Cordilleras, Samar-Leyte, and Bicol)
    •Change is faster
    •Establishes the CULTURE OF SELF-RELIANCE

    >Fights poverty by developing the countryside
    >Fights poverty by giving communities the power and resources to solve their own problems

    Fourth Element: Support and Follow Gawad Kalinga (GK)
    •Provide man’s basic needs
    •Restore man’s dignity and belief in himself
    •Focus on Values (Love of God, Love of Country, Love of Family, Love of Neighbor, Love of Fellowman, Love of the Environment, and Equality between Man and Woman)
    •Propagate the Filipino BAYANIHAN Spirit
    •Establishes the CULTURE OF SHARING

    >Fights poverty by empowering individuals and communities
    >Fights poverty by promoting unity and cooperation
    >Fights poverty at the level of values
    >Fights poverty by making man realize that he has value and purpose in the eyes of God

    UNFORTUNATELY, KOKO PIMENTEL failed to make it to the Magic 12 in the last senatorial elections…

    PS: Nandyan naman si Senator NENE sa Senado pwede rin niya ipagpatuloy ang naunsyaming advocacy ni Koko…. Para hindi naman maging Lip Service ang mga sinasabi ng ating mga pulitiko.

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