Category Archives: Rudy Bellen’s Column

Lessons That We Should Have Learned Long Time Ago…

from rudybellen

 

On Technology Development :

The research agency that virtually turned Taiwan around from an agrarian to an industrialized economy suggests that the Philippines should put up a similar agency that can get technologies take off from the shelves. The Philippines may derive a model from Taiwan in having established in 1973 the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), which widely bridged the gap needed in technology commercialization.

ITRI told a Congressional Commission on Science, Technology, and Engineering (Comste) forum that the US technology model (of the academe collaborating with industries) may not work in Asian countries like Taiwan and the Philippines. But the ITRI model may work too for the country as much as it did in Taiwan. US companies are very big and have the capability to do research through links with the university. ITRI is like something in between to get the universities to work with industries. Such institution, should be run like a private enterprise, although it may receive seed money from government.

Comste said that government has been studying the setting up of an institution that will enable the country to develop niche products that have high commercial potential. And ITRI may just lead the way. We may set up an R&D institute that’s partly government and partly private. This may need legislation. The role of government is basically to set incentives, maybe give some grants, some tax breaks. Essential to making research institutions meet private enterprises’ needs for technology is a law that allows government-funded R&D works to be owned and patented by researchers themselves. Comste said that to start off with a similar ITRI agency, government may pass a law converting the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) into a profit-earning corporation. ASTI at present is one of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DoST) seven-research institutes. While earning a small profit, ASTI remits much of its earnings to government. In my own personal view, I would probably start small and consider ASTI which is now focused on ICT (Information Communication Technology) and electronics to “corporatize”. Their mandate can cover many areas, not only ICT. Because it is advanced science and technology, it can also be on biotechnology and nano technology.

As Taiwan has been beefing up its R&D budget, which is now approaching three percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the country should devote more budgets for this from its present minuscule 0.12 percent of GDP, many times less than that of Taiwan, a lot smaller country of 23 million people, in the 1950s-1960s, the Philippines had a higher per capita income. Taiwan with its investments in R&D, ninth biggest in the world, has experienced an economic miracle that has made it sixteenth in rank in global trade and foreign exchange reserve fifth in the world. The Philippines still has an edge in being an English speaking-country and in having many natural resources, unlike Taiwan that only has its people as resource. However, its sole wealth in people, enabled Taiwan to tap its greatest potential in developing high-technology industries. ITRI, an agency with more than 5,000 researchers and more than 1,000 Ph.Ds, has enabled the spin-off of many technology companies.

The emergence of world’s biggest wafer foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.,
is partly attributed to it. ITRI has invested more and has helped growth and birth of 255 companies under its Open Lab. These are Taiwan’s world market share in technology products: soho router, 93 percent; WLAN, 90 percent; Ethernet LAN switch, 84 percent; and cable CPE, 80 percent.

On Melamine Scare : Gov’t should strengthen dairy industry

The global impact of the melamine scare should push the government to reexamine its dairy program and accelerate its milk self-sufficiency target, which is originally set for 2018. The National Dairy Authority (NDA) set 2018 as the target for 100 percent milk sufficiency even as the discovery that large inventories of milk produced in China were laced with melamine, a chemical ingredient in the manufacture of plastics, has cast doubts on the integrity of imported milk. NDA is targeting to secure 11,000 dairy cattle in the next five years in its bid to raise production to 63 million kilos of milk yearly.Total national production is only five percent of demand, and the country’s entire population of milking cows is a pittance at 15,000 head. The annual production, mostly from cooperatives, is only 13 million kilos, while a big Thai dairy cooperative produces one million kilos a day.

A foremost backer of a strong dairy industry was former Senator Leticia Ramos Shahani, who launched her White Revolution years ago to bring in Indian cows and bulls to propagate higher yields of milk and meat in the country. The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) also developed in vitro fertilization (IVF) to propagate better breeds, including some from Hungary, to increase the number of livestock for milk production. Dairy farmers have complained that there is little incentive for milk production even though there are large pasture areas in the country that have not been adequately exploited.

Industry players have said milking cows could increase milk production by consuming moringa or malunggay leaves, as proven by the experience of Nicaraguan farmers who secured an increase in milk by 45 percent. Malunggay could be intercropped with fruit-bearing trees to ensure that farmers would earn more. Experts said that with enough malunggay in pasture areas and with abundant grass sufficient for 10 cows per hectare, milk production could increase significantly.Some enterprising dairy farmers have proven that with enough pasture land; a cow can produce 15 liters of milk a day. More pregnant cows mean more milk, and cows can produce milk from seven to 10 years. They give birth on the eighth month and can get pregnant again after three months. Experts said small farmers all over the country could participate in the dairy improvement program through proper training and education on the long-term benefits of milk production.

The government needs to invest at least P500 million annually to enhance the local dairy industry’s capacity to produce milk and help lessen the country’s dependence on milk imports. The country imports between US$ 500 million to US$ 600 million or P25 billion worth of milk and other milk products annually. About 99 percent of milk and dairy products available in the Philippine market is imported, while only one percent is produced locally.The country’s dependence on imported milk and milk products makes the country vulnerable to the entry of toxic food products. Should the government “diversify” its focus and invest in the local dairy industry’s capacity to produce milk, the country could ensure the safety of dairy products in the market. The annual investment, will cover the importation of milk producing animals such as cows, which is estimated to cost P70,000 per head. The P500 million per year investment can easily be recovered by lessening the country’s spending on imported milk. Only a small portion of the Department of Agriculture’s budget is allotted to the local dairy industry, with the bulk of expenditures focused on rice sufficiency and operating expenses. Food security advocates, on the other hand, said the influx of contaminated food into the country could be traced to the Philippines’ trade policies. According to the Task Force Food Sovereignty, the trade liberalization strategy adopted in the early 1980s has caused the “inevitable toxic food dumping” at present.

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CNH (Central Nautical Highway) – An Opportunity (And A Challenge…)

 

by rudy bellen

 

Attached is an excerpt from a news article of Manila Bulletin last April 29, 2008 during the launching of the Central Nautical Highway by no less than Pres. Gloria Arroyo seeing off roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) three day sea caravan plying the maiden route taking off from Bulan port. This is the last leg that completes a sea route connecting Bicol and Mindanao, the final component of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) via the central seaboard. The other two are : 1.) Western Nautical Highway (western seaboard) via Batangas port linking Manila and Dipolog, and  2.) Eastern Nautical Highway (eastern seaboard) via Matnog connecting Samar/Leyte to Surigao City. The CNH is an intermodal transport system offering a safe, affordable transport alternative to travel across the central Philippines or the Visayas. It links Sorsogon, Masbate, Cebu, Bohol, Camiguin, and Misamis Oriental in Mindanao, it also seeks to reduce travel and trade costs and consequently boost economic development in the countryside.

 

–> see Manila Bulletin Online for the original of the following report:

 by Genalyn D. Kabiling

“Filipinos can now enjoy a safe, affordable transport alternative to travel across the central Philippines or the Visayas. President Arroyo yesterday launched the Central Nautical Highway (CNH) that seeks to reduce travel and trade costs and consequently boost economic development in the countryside.

 

The Central Nautical Highway is an intermodal transport system linking Sorsogon, Masbate, Cebu, Bohol, Camiguin, and Misamis Oriental. It completes the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) composed of 17 ports across the country, inaugurated by the President in 2003.

Accompanied by Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro R. Mendoza, transport officials, and local executives, Mrs. Arroyo kicked off a three-day sea caravan in Bulan, Sorsogon, where she switched on the lights showing the ports in the central seaboard.

Under the Central Nautical Highway, the ports are located in Bulan, Sorsogon, Masbate City, and Cawayan in Masbate; Bogo and Cebu City in Cebu, Tubigon and Jagna in Bohol, Mambajao and Benoni in Camiguin, and Balingoan, Misamis Oriental.

The President later sent off the RORO (roll on, roll off) caravan, boarded by passengers mostly members of the media, in Bulan.  From Sorsogon, Mrs. Arroyo boarded a helicopter and travelled to the two ports of Masbate for similar send-off ceremonies.

The President first inaugurated the port of Masbate City, the first national port in the island province. The port exclusively handles containerized cargo among the Bicol terminals, aside from bulk commodities. Its fastcraft operations connect Bicol main with the port of Pilar, Sorsogon.

 

 

So what does it means for us? For me, I can see a great opportunity and benefits that Bulan would gain as the main gateway to one of the most dynamic regions in the Visayas and northern Mindanao. This nautical highway has put Bulan as the most strategic location linking directly to the tourist famous destinations of Cebu, Bohol and Camiguin. It also links us directly to Misamis Oriental in northern Mindanao – site of the biggest Hanjin Heavy Industries’ (HHI) investments (a staggering US$2B), together with the other HHI facility at Subic, these investments when completed would propel the Philippines as the 3rd biggest

shipbuilder in the world just behind South Korea and Japan even surpassing Spain.

 Just imagine, if the enterprising Cebuanos – comparable to Japanese, with no mango plantations yet they are best known for their dried mangoes, guitars, and other famous Cebuano products, would be directly passing Bulan, they might as well discover our native products and services which they can probably help us market through out the world. Or, help us develop our beautiful natural sites not only in Bulan but at the other places in Bicol as well, by putting up and developing tourism oriented facilities. Germans in Bohol are only confined today in their sanctuary in Panglao and other Bohol beaches but once they started to discover the beauty of Bicol they might change their mind. I was once surprised to find in the internet spectacular photos of the Butag bay and sunset at Sabang beach taken by no less than German adventurers!

  This direct “contact” is not feasible before as there’s no alternative land/Ro-Ro transport to offer, Cebuanos, Boholanos and other Visayans prefer to fly or take ferries direct from Manila to their final destinations thereby bypassing Bicol. But now they have the choice and option increasing the chances of more regional trades and tourism activities subsequently capital movements that would boost economic developments. This will also open up intra regional migrations, both for Bulan and the greater Bicol area vis a vis Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao.

  Let us not forget foreign tourists as well, with the big Hanjin investment at PHIVIDEC, Misamis Oriental, expect a throng of Koreans and other nationalities excitingly discovering this part of the country – and what does it means for us? Well, this is another opportunity to take advantage of, for us to globalize our products and services catering to international customers and so on. There is a never ending prospect for us!

 This is exactly what I told Letty in my response to her Kabatas’ blog on her gripes about the status of Bulan today, that there are now lots of strangers and “invaders”. I informed her that this is the strength of our town – a local melting pot, naturally and strategically situated at the crossroads of an important, very dynamic region, they know there is an opportunity. That this is a challenge for the local leadership to hasten, tap and reap the benefits of the blended talents of the local and “migrants” and transform our town to be one of the most vibrant, prosperous and flourishing trading post in our region.

 What should be done? There are lots of things to do if we don’t want to miss this once a in a lifetime opportunity. First we must get our acts together. We need to apply the three C’s of progress – Collaborate, Complement and Cooperate.

· Collaborate – Team up, this call for the public and private sector to work together in partnership. Be proactive. Put first things first and begin with the end mind – no place for lapses, blunder and oversight.

· Complement – Harmonize and supplement, make up for the weakness of the other. Seek first to understand then to be understood. Instead of opposing and rivalry that would create hostile environment, identify strength and niche products or services specific to a place that would give rise to specialization and originality.

· Cooperate – Assist, pool resources, do your part, synergize.

 Another C to watch out is competition, be prepared and organize ourselves for a tough and challenging competition from other contenders. Though Bulan is the official designated CNH Ro-Ro port, Pilar town is aggressively gearing up themselves as an alternative route of the CNH, its fastcraft operations connect Bicol main with the ports of Masbate city or Aroroy town. While they have fastcrafts Bulan has nothing to speak of.

 Second, we must educate our people and make liquid clear the importance of being a tourist or stranger friendly citizens. This negative trait of some of our folks has been with us ever since. I remember one time on one of my occasional break when I went home together with my wife and daughter; we took a bus and upon arrival at the Bulan bus terminal the usual boorish “baggage” boys were banging each other to get first and grabbed our luggage. My wife and daughter were so shocked and afraid so I have to step up and threatened them; coincidentally I was sporting a short cut hair then, they thought I was a military man and they backed off. But the experience doesn’t stop there, after several days of our stay; there was news of a man from Masbate who ran amock at the market. The poor man was “pushed to the wall” by successive depressing events that happened to him – he is traveling back home because his wife passed away, he and his daughters did not catch the last trip to the island and was forced to sleep and wait for the next day trip at the bus terminal, when they woke up, their belongings were nowhere to be found. He reported the incident to the police but instead of helping him, he was passed around and worst of all his young daughters were harassed and molested by the ill mannered “baggage” boys. So there he goes, he went wild and stab every person in his way.

If you have spent some vacation trip at Bohol, there you’ll discover the true meaning of tourist friendly phrase. Hotel staff would politely refuse any form of tips; folks are so friendly and always ready to assist any stranger in their community.

 What do we have to offer? I think we have ample natural and human resources readily available for development and advancement. Butandings (whale sharks) is not exclusive to Donsol alone; we have plenty of it in our waters too. These gentle giants are not confined at Sorsogon bay for their food requirement, in fact they are grazing outside of the bay and most are in Ticao Pass because their food (planktons and small shrimps) are carried upstream by the converging Pacific Ocean and China sea in San Bernardino Strait. Many of our fishermen can attest to this phenomenon. We also have the giant Pasa-pasa (Manta Rays) and plenty of it is right in our waters.

 We have beautiful and unique (margaja sand) beaches from Danao all the way to Marinab, there are exciting diving sites, too, especially in the Butag bay. Possibly under our waters were old age shipwrecks – from Spanish to WWII eras which are a main draw for the diving enthusiasts. Maybe we can convince tours and travel agencies to put Bulan (and Sorsogon province) in their radar maps for their tourist promos as an alternative to other known and crowded beaches of the country.

 We have an airstrip that should have been fully maximized instead of being a grazing place for the carabaos (some portions were already converted to rice paddies). This is one asset that other towns doesn’t have aside from Bacon, and should be an enticing factor for those who don’t want to travel overland from Manila all the way down to Bulan. Small aircrafts and STOL (short take off/landing) crafts can easily be accommodated by this facility. I can still remember when Air Force can even land their cargo planes on it. Maybe some enterprising entrepreneurs can start a chartering business for this purpose.

 Other things to remember. We should also learn from the experience of other towns, like Matnog – it is one of the first municipalities to have the Ro-Ro facility and has been there for some time now, but no significant progress has been achieved by the town. Why? We should gain knowledge and be taught from their failures, acquire and leverage from the know how and technology of the progressive ones.

 As a logistics person, I recognize and see a need for support facilities for the Ro-Ro port to operate efficiently. I think the controversial Bulan Central Terminal (BCT) has its function and purpose after all. But from my point of view, I cannot see the relevance – in any way I look at it, how it would best support the Ro-Ro port from its current site. It is too far! The ideal site should be right beside the port so the arriving and departing passengers would not be inconveniently shuttling or going back and forth. This will irritate the exhausted travelers, besides being time consuming additional expenses would be incurred by the passengers just to catch up with connecting rides. It can be also a temporary holding area for the cars and buses that are waiting for their turn to board Ro-Ro ships, eliminating long queues and crowding of vehicle thereby resulting to a smooth and efficient port operation.

 Lastly, I see a need to relocate the port in five years time or less with an assumption that there would be an unprecedented growth in the number of travelers. The port should be relocated outside of the town proper with enough provisions and support facilities to encourage and promote continued usage. The current road leading to the facility is too narrow and not adequate enough to sustain the volume of vehicles that would be traveling to and from the docks. This would create congestions and gridlock

I know this is only a fraction of a long list of what to do and what do we have and may have forgotten other things that should be done to make our town an organized, equipped and a prepared community for the forthcoming progress. You may add other relevant infos and suggestions that would be of help.

I firmly believe that our town has a bright future and it is starting to manifest now.

 

Bless us all.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bulan And The Korean War – by rudybelen

( actually  posted as a comment to A Message To Us Filipinos…but it is important to remember the past and our forgotten heroes of Bulan. So let’s put them here to the front as our tribute. jun asuncion )

sorry guys, i can’t really help myself but respond to this commentary. a whooping excitement and enthusiasm hit me while reading this write up! again, i became very nostalgic because my memory of my late father immediately flashed back while pouring at the article. my father was a veteran of the Korean War of the mid 50’s, he was a member of the legendary 14th BCT (Battalion Combat Team, no connection, relation/affiliation whatsoever to the controversial BCT!!!) or Avenger Team of the famed PEFTOK (Philippine Expeditionary Forces To Korea). my father was a staff sergeant then, well known personalities are also members of this team, famous of them all is Pres. FV Ramos, the late Col. Nicanor Jimenez who later became PNR manager and others who became prominent personalities. there were handful of soldiers from Bulan too who were also members of this team amongst them is Mr. Chavenia and others i can’t recall their names. they were posted to defend the positions of the Allied Forces along the notorious 38th parallel dividing the North and South Koreas. this team was so famous because they were the one who stood out, hold out and valiantly and fearlessly put up a resistance fight against the numerically superior advancing communist Chinese enemy beyond the 38th Parallel during the height of the Korean War. it was Christmas time on that fateful day, when they were assaulted and were almost annihilated by their opponent. without that heroic resistance, the tide has almost turned in favor of the communists and possibly we have only a single Korea today. it also prompted Gen. D. McArthur to decide and almost dropped the big A at China that would have almost made history about the only second nation to suffer from a nuclear attack.

my father used to narrate me the story of the Korean children who were fleeing the war – they wear nothing, as in bare skin only – totally nude in the middle of the winter season, running away from the war zone. these children, adults and old alike were so starved and were scavenging for anything and whatever things they can find to digest including eating grass – so pitiful! there were so many orphans who were left behind and no one cared or helping them because everyone were so frightened of the advancing Chinese communist forces! every time he told me this story he was almost teary eyed and he has nothing to say but express and articulate how lucky we are compared with the Koreans. it always inspires me every time i read his book of memoir – the chronicles and account of their heroism, sacrifices and daring exploits. i almost lost my father and may not have seen him before i was born. there was a part in that book that described how he was almost killed while he was lolling time reading books or comics inside their bunker when suddenly a mortar shell landed right beside him. he was so damned lucky – the bomb did not explode!!! i’m very proud of my father he had the chance to serve the country unselfishly.

during my college days or late high school days i would say, i started to became more aware of the national issues, more on economic issues mostly. my sister used to subscribe to Reader’s Digest, i started reading it and found it to be very informative. i find it very enlightening and educational reading about travelogue, cold war information about the two superpowers’ invincibility and capabilities (air force, navies, MIRV’s, battle tanks, etc.) and mini novels but i was particularly interested on the economic performances of Asian countries. Digest used to give comparative information on the weaknesses, strengths and forecasts of a broad Asian economies including the Philippines. there was interesting comparison then between ROK and RP, both were under martial law, both were ruled by former military strongmen and were economically strong (Philippines posted its highest -10% GDP growth during the ML days under Marcos.), rest of SE Asia except for Singapore are forgetful. Time and NewsWeek usually writes articles about the economic activities of the two countries, investments policies, etc. side by side they were performing well until the Philippines during the mid 70’s started to falter and ultimately ended up at the bottom and became the laggard performer. the Philippines has started to earn the moniker “the sickman of Asia”. but it was not an overnight process, we were only second to Japan after the WWII, what happened? i will always remember the weary and disparaging comment of the Digest – a very disappointing Philippine economic performance, it was expected that the country should be doing well, given the abundant natural resources, educated and skilled workers. most probably it’s upon the leadership, but both leaders are visionary, strong, disciplinarians, pragmatic and idealistic. but Park Chung Hee was not probably affected and influenced by his colleagues and his wife. Park’s wife is seldom seen in the limelight but it’s the other way around compared to Marcos, Imelda has been very active politically. so it could have been the “woman behind every man’s success” (in our case – failure). another thing is our culture, we are too much concerned about what the church will say. have you seen monks milling around Korea’s political affairs – none! in this country we have a lot – there’s the running priest, there’s the “jueteng” crusader, there’s the protector(s) of whistle blowers and coup plotters (lozada, ong, the magdalos, etc.), there’s a bishop turned governor, you name whatever it is we have it. the young Korean in his essay is absolutely right, the church only told us to love our neighbor but never or seldom hear them preach love your country. it’s a pity – a foreigner and a student at that can accurately pinpoint the woes of our nation.

when i was handling project management for a big budgeted investment in our company (several countries were competing) i came across and meet several government agencies and people. there i learned Marcos was really a visionary man while inquiring on the capabilities of the country’s infrastructure and future plans of the government. we were given presentations about the plans and future of the Philippine aviation and its history, Marcos during his time has already foreseen the need and has working plans to relocate the airport outside Manila. he envisioned it to be located at the Manila Bay – way, way ahead of the Hongkong airport and Japan’s Kansai at Osaka. myself and the Malaysians, Americans and Japanese who are with me were astounded and can’t hardly believe because at that time Kansai has already been operating and Hongkong’s is under construction. so when the first time i passed by Kansai airport on my way to the US, i was awed and amazed by the structure itself, the runway and terminal were constructed in a “floating” man made island outside Osaka. but i said to myself, we could have been the first not you guys (they are also employing senior citizens as airport employees by the way). Toyota Phils. first Japanese president was also surprised that here in Asia only in the Philippines he had seen an expressway outside Japan when he first came. he said to himself this country has a future and will go far. but he was surprised to see the same expressway deteriorating when he came back after twenty years. our military could not have been the weakest in the region if Marcos’ projects succeeded. my cousin has a first hand account of the Sta.Barbara project (which is off limit even to military men like him had it not been if he’s not a close in security of Marcos) with an objective to strengthen the capability of our military.

so what does it tell us… we can, for the reason that our people has the ability, the capacity, the talent to do it – to become a progressive community and as nation. our people has natural talent, we are gifted compared to other countries, with abundant natural resources, skilled, competent and capable people. we are agile, proficient, resilient and even wily said Marlon Brando. its true that Koreans are corrupt as the Filipinos do – they are the first to send an ex president to jail for corruption, founders and leaders of their biggest corporations (Hyundai, Samsung to name a few) were prosecuted due to same scenario. the Koreans may have envied us before but now no more.

unless we can emulate what the Koreans did, has the right leader who can guide us through, to challenge, to encourage and the most fundamental of all to ignite passion and the love for the country – we will envy the Koreans forever.

regards and God Bess…

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They Need Someone, A Leader – by rudyb

to : jun a./atty. benji

before i proceed to compose and write this reply i have some lingering thoughts in my mind if i had to necessarily respond to your write ups as a rejoinder to my observation on the Future of Bulan. but i had to continue anyway as i felt you might have misinterpreted me or did not get my point on my opinion of today’s youth. i have no doubt that the future indeed lies upon the youth of today. you’re right in saying that they are the tangible present entity that connects us in the future. that’s why, every time i open this site i can’t help myself pause for a while and focus on the picture, scrutinize and analyze the faces of the children. first, i am very eager that i might be able to recognize thru their faces, looking for the smallest semblance that i would be able to recognize and guess who their respective parents are – hoping they are the siblings of one my friends or a relative. second, looking at their faces i do recall my early childhood years in our town. flashbacks rushes in my brain – my grade school era, remembering my teachers’ (mrs. del monte, mrs. golpeo, ms. gloriane, mrs. francisco, mr. gojar, mr. zuniga, mr. otilano, etc.) supreme sacrifice in molding our personality. my parents greatest love and guidance (i love you and terribly misses you so much wherever you are…) third, would contemplate what is the future of these children? do we have an emerging leader amongst them? would they succeed given their current environment? what values do they learn? from whom? carefully studying their faces i’m particularly engrossed by the girl in between the one with notebook and with the handkerchief. her face, in my opinion, is so strong, determined and focused. it seems she is challenged by the event (photo session) that someday she’ll be successful and triumphant beating all odds against her. and i agree with her if she will just be guided accordingly and appropriately. but do we have the right leaders today to make it happen?

going back to the PMA training camp, i will completely disagree with you that this is comparable with the Gulag type youth training camp. first, the institution is not totally isolated from the outside world, they are in constant contact with the corrupt military higher ups. second, their instructors are somewhat corrupt already and they’ll just pass on the legacy. third, the trainee/cadets themselves are the very example that i have mentioned – the aspiring police applicant (though some of them may be idealist). so what would you expect? let’s forget this thing, this is not an appropriate proposition.

youth of yesteryears, of the past, of the colonial era is totally very different from today’s youth – because they  have the passion, a cause that they are fighting worthy of dying for, so in their veins runs the blood of heroism, the valor, bravery, intrepidness and fearlessness – all the adjectives that would fit and describe their love for our country. Dr. JP Rizal if he is still alive today surely would be very disappointed and a very frustrated person as he expected too much from the youth to be the hope of the fatherland and the movers of the nation – but he is partly to be blamed (pardon me for the word) for the result of his failed idealist aspiration. no matter how genius he is, he lacks the foresight and planning, he fell short of anticipating and preparing for the third, fourth till the execution of the mating move. but we can not blame him totally, he’s no Nostradamus. however, if he had not concentrated on his bla-bla alone and had he just laid down the groundwork and the solid foundation for a well trained, informed, attentive, concerned and responsive youth – presumably there will be less youths that are delinquent, addicted to drugs, joining violent and criminal gangs, suffering from unwanted pregnancies and abortion, or giving up to smoking, drinking, gambling and other vices and in conflict with the law, uncared for, school dropouts, etc…. today.

the consequences of his failure continued to reverberate up to Pres. M. Quezon with his “I would rather see my county run like hell by the Filipinos”, so the hell is with us today – we are the one suffering, again for lack of foresight and planning. i would say that there was a revival of patriotism during our generation – the Martial Law era, i can still recall, this is my third and fourth high school years before the ML was declared, the happy go lucky and who cares attitude of the youth during that time. we’re not fully aware that the left is already slowly creeping up and preparing for a mass recruitment and resistance right in the heart of our very own town. i can still remember when our barkadas were invited by classmates Ka Pepe and the other guy i already forgot his name, for a mountain hiking/trekking in San Ramon (they’re from that place). they showed us the highest and a very strategic point where you can see the dam and all the vehicles going in and out of Bulan leading to the divided hill with a curved road. with a binocular you can identify a civilian from military vehicle. not knowing that these places would be the site of the most bloodiest encounters and ambushcades during the ML days. after the trekking, drinking spree followed and introduction to the leftist propaganda. so many of my 4th year classmates (almost half) joined and almost all of them perished. with today’s rice crisis, again it reminds me of the same crisis during those years, while we are waiting for the rice delivery trucks someone has shouted “yaadi na” and off we ran to the old municipal building to queue up only to find out it was not rice but truckloads of stacked lifeless NPA bodies and there lies one of my classmates – Norma Fruto with a gaping wound in her back. there are lucky “returnees” like Jun del Monte (my childhood playmate), Francis Burgos (a friend) who later became a doctor and others and those who continued, the most prominent of which is the lady from Iraya (forgot her name) who rose from the ranks to became the 3rd most powerful and only woman Politburo member of the CPP. she was later captured somewhere in CAMANAVA area (i think in Malabon). these youths has something in common with the revolutionary youths which is the belief that there’s something worthy fighting and dying for – maybe the love for the country. but today’s youth there’s none, and are only exposed to anomalies, corruption, bribery, dishonesty and so forth.

to go on, the blunder was later on solidified by the Aquino administration, she totally missed all the opportunities to start up with a clean slate governance. maybe not her but again her relatives did it all just like what Marcos did. with Baby Lopa and Mokong or Komong Rodriguez i should say and “baba” Cojuangco around, they plundered the wealth of the country. to top it all they messed up the economy and mismanaged the energy sector that plunged the country into one of our darkest times. so we can not blame Greg and his cohorts (most of whom are bicolanos) if they have launched several coup attempts. but what about if Greg has succeeded in his cause to overthrow her? i would like to believe that probably we would be more stable and progressive as i believe he would implement reforms as a namesake of his group – RAM. correspondingly Estrada did it and Arroyo did it also. that’s why we are all here in this pit right now.

so where do the youth’s role fits in – again same as you guys, i also believe they are our future but they need someone, a leader or a group of leaders who can and will guide them through, help them out and reinforce them with the good moral values, the right attitudes etc., challenge and motivate them to be the good leaders that we idealized them to become someday. the leaders must have the foresight, good planning skills and has to be worthy and respectable role model.

but we are different, so we will fly like the king eagle do.

so i’m through with this and will be just happy to read your respective responses if there will be and i’m sure there will be. habo na ako masurat pa, mapagalon mag-isip saka magsurat baga lalo na kun makurolog na an daliri (sorry forgot the bicol word). no more response from me.

so until then God bless and regards.

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Filed under Over a Cup of Coffee, Politics, Rudy Bellen's Column, Views and Concern