Hello world!

doy1

I shall be writing topics as it comes to mind. It could be topics, past or present, but relative to the times. I shall also be reacting to articles published, whether domestic or foreign, and voicing my opinion. My views shall always be objective.

Every now and then I shall also be sharing with you videos, photos, sayings and graphics of people, animals, places, etc., that I find interesting, which I hope you will appreciate.

Also, there are times when I will be posting articles about facts – why it happened that way or what could have been if something else happened.

I welcome you to my blog site and I look forward to inter-acting with you. Your participation, your thoughts and commentaries, either for or against, will be very much appreciated. We may have differences in opinion but that is the essence of being rational, to be able to agree to disagree. It is my aim that as we go along we enlighten not only ourselves but also those that finds the opportunity/chance to visit this site. Let us enrich each other in knowledge and build each other up in friendship. Thank you. Jesus Sievert a.k.a  Quierosaber

================================

¡Hola mundo!

Escribiré temas como estos vienen a la mente. Esto podría ser temas, pasadas o presentes, pero con relación a los tiempos. También reaccionaré a artículos publicados, doméstico o extranjero, y expresaré mi opinión. Mis vistas siempre serán objetivo.

De vez en cuando también compartiré con ustedes vídeos, fotos, refranes y gráficos de la gente, animales, lugares, etc., que encuentro interesante y espero que lo aprecian.

También, hay tiempos cuando fijaré artículos sobre hechos – por qué pasó así o lo que podría haber sido si algo más pasara.

Bienvenidos a mi sitio de blog y espero colaborar con Vd. en el futuro.

Su participación, sus pensamientos y comentarios, para o contra, serán muy apreciados. Podemos tener diferencias en la opinión pero eso es la esencia de ser racional, ser capaz de consentir en discrepar. Esto es mi objetivo que como continuamos, aclaramos no sólo nosotros mismos sino también aquellos  que encuentran  la oportunidad/posibilidad de visitar este sitio. Déjenos enriquecer el uno al otro en el conocimiento y en la amistad. Gracias. Jesus Sievert alias Quierosaber

Advertisements

Master campaigner

 

President Duterte and daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Actively and intensely criss-crossing the country and enthusiastically raising the hands of senatorial hopefuls from President Duterte’s PDP-Laban and her own pro-administration coalition of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), I could only describe presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as a master campaigner leading to the May 2019 elections.

During her campaign caravan sorties she has also been lifting the hands of local candidates whom she sees being allies of the president, but whose explicit message she wants understood is that they should also campaign for and endorse her senatorial bets in a quid pro quo manner of speaking.

Sara’s ubiquitous presence in rallies leading to the May elections only shows the overwhelming trust and confidence the president has on his daughter’s ability in being able to convey to the public the importance of winning the election for her father who has still three remaining years in his presidency.

True enough, the fanatical crowd that Sara is able to gather in front of the stage that she and her favored candidates are standing on can be compared to the same number had it been the president himself campaigning.

This could only mean, therefore, that whatever vast support and/or adulation President Duterte has been getting from the people that ultimately catapulted him to the presidency, presidential daughter Sara is now enjoying it.

What is intriguing here is that the president has been announcing already to all and sundry that Sara is now calling the shots on the political decisions of the first family. So what does this mean?

It could only be surmised now, without any doubt, that the president is anointing Sara, and nobody else, to succeed him as president when his term of office expires. Not only will he be free of lawsuits then, but he can rest assured that Sara will pursue and accomplish whatever programs and plans he has started for the country. This is what matters most to him.

In effect what this means to Sara as a master campaigner of the PDP-Laban, HNP and other pro-administration coalition party candidates for national and local positions all over the country is that each rally is also an opportune time for her to introduce herself as a presidential candidate in 2022.

Surely, there is nothing wrong with that, but like many Filipinos who have supported President Duterte, I just hope that Sara will exercise better prudence in understanding what Filipinos truly wants as public servants.

The way people have considered the unconventional Dutertes as model for change in the country’s long traditional manner of governance, Sara should also make sure that the candidates she is supporting has the political will, intelligence, toughness, scrupulousness, and, most of all,   the integrity of a name to uphold.

 

Happiest countries

Happiness to any person is relative or conditional because it is limited to a single individual only. It comes in many ways affecting people differently. It varies from one person to another.

When happiness, however, affects the citizenry the same way for whatever they reasons are, then the blissfulness becomes absolute and it reflects on the country they are residents of.

This is how impressive Finland has become when, for a second year in a row, it has been named the happiest country in the world by the 2019 World Happiness Report. What is amazing is that joining Finland in the top four are three other Nordic countries, namely, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. The Netherlands joined them in the top five. Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Austria completed the top 10.

So what got these phenomenal places to occupy the exulted rankings in the happiest countries in the world?

Well, not only are the countries mentioned above affluent and developed but the reality is that the countries’ affluence and progressiveness are being used to its greatest advantage in making its people satisfied and happy living where they are.

Again happiness to every person is relative, but when the government truly serves the people well, fights corruption and all the evils that plague society, provides excellent health care and high-quality education system, protect their rights and encourages them to participate in civil society, then these also make everyone generous and happy, and cooperation with government is always open.

What stands out most about these countries, however, is that they are not populous and therefore not as difficult and stressful to govern. Even their immigrants are said to be the happiest immigrants in the world!

Certainly, this cannot be said of the USA which came in 19th place, dropping one spot since last year and a total of five spots since 2017. With Pres. Donald Trump at the helm causing divisiveness among his people, expect America to slide further down in the list of happiest nation in the years to come.

Woe to the third world nations like the Philippines, where to be happy individually continue to be a dream for each one. With a population over 100 million people living in over 7,000 islands scattered all over the archipelago, and with a government that has always been fighting poverty, illegal drugs, corruption, and all sorts of criminality, not to mention that China is now occupying our backyard, armed and dangerous, while seemingly helping finance the Build, Build, Build program of government, it is unimaginable that there will ever be a time when the Philippines will be included in this exceptional list of happy nations.

That is what is simply called our destiny as a nation and people.

 

Water security

 

While Manila is suffering from acute water supply problem, we in Metro Cebu seem to be thanking God that the same is not happening to us here. At least not yet, comparably.

But thanking God is not enough, and not even prayers can readily remedy a distressing problem such as water shortage if and when such forbidding dilemma befalls us.

It behooves on us all, therefore, not to take things for granted about our seemingly ample supply of water because the adverse effect of climate change, low rainfall, high population density and over allocation of water supply are becoming footprints of how miserable life would be if there will be no government intervention.

Water security should be the concern of government, both national and local, to include all citizens and every existing public and private organizations. We have common interest to have the ability to access sufficient quantities of water to maintain adequate standards of food and goods production, proper sanitation, sustainable health care and all other benefits it could contribute to humans and animals.

People should understand that the most common threat to water security is water scarcity. There are few resources, if any, more vital to life than water. Whether it be drinking water, or water in our homes for bathing, flushing, brushing out teeth and cleaning dishes, not one day goes by that we don’t need and use water.

Needless to say that unlike before when climate was predictable and where there was an abundance of water supply that would sustain us through the summer months, now potable water is getting to be a necessity and no longer a luxury to be just wasted and washed down the drain.

It is along this looming bleak scenario that I am writing this article and complimenting the National Water Resource Board (NWRB), a government agency that is responsible for all the water resources in the Philippines, for approving the Policy Guidelines for Metro Cebu, under Board Resolution No. 004-0507, where, among other things, there will be a moratorium on the acceptance and processing of water permit applications in portions of the areas of Consolacion, Liloan, Cebu City, Mandaue City and the whole area of Mactan Island, where the condition of the groundwater has reached critical level.

Another threat to our water security, which gratefully NWRB is addressing also by regulating all water-related activities, is the rising salinity level in said areas due to salt water intrusion. Not only is salt water intrusion exacerbated by sea-level rise but its most common causes, it is said, is the unregulated and/or excessive groundwater extraction by unscrupulous people for different money-making purposes.

Being a resident of Mandaue City, I could not be more appreciative to NWRB‘s effort in upholding its agency’s vision and mission for the good of the country and its people.

Bryde’s whale spat man out

Bryde’s whale massive head

This is a story that reminds us of practically a similar one in the Old Testament about Jonah and the whale. Jonah was an Israelite whom God had called to be a prophet but who refused to accept his divine mission and left on a sea voyage instead. God then raised a great storm as a sign of his anger with Jonah.

But Jonah was miraculously saved by being swallowed by a large fish, in whose belly he spends three days and three nights. While in the great fish, Jonah prays to God in his affliction and commits to thanksgiving and to paying what he has vowed. God then commands the fish to vomit Jonah out.

Unlike Jonah, however, Rainer Schimpf, a 51-year old South African dive tour operator, did not end up in the Bryde’s whale belly but was able to swim away after being spat out.

Schimpf had been filming a sardine run – where gannets, penguins, seals, dolphins, whales and sharks gather fish into bait balls. As he was snorkelling on the surface of the water off South Africa’s Port Elizabeth Harbour with two others the whale suddenly emerged and with its open jaws engulfed him headfirst.

He said: “I was busy concentrating on the sharks because you want to know if the shark is in front of you or behind you, left or right, so we were very focused on the sharks and their behaviour – then suddenly it got dark.”

Schimpf realized instantly that it was a whale that grabbed him as he felt pressure around his body. Not losing his survival instinct, he reasoned out that the whale could not possibly swallow him as he was too big.

Noticing also that the pressure around his body stayed the same, he surmised that he was not the food that the whale wanted so he was just waiting to be taken down into the ocean to be spat out.

Indeed, this is what happened and Schimpf was freed to tell his eerie tale!

“Once you’re grabbed by something that’s 15 tonnes heavy and very fast in the water, you realise you’re actually only that small in the middle of the ocean,” he said, using his hands to signal something small.

(Bryde’s whale is known to eat a variety of different crustaceans, cephalopods, and fish. Some of the most popular prey bryde’s whale is known to hunt include krill , copepods, shrimp, crabs, herring, mackerel, sardines and anchovies. In terms of size bryde’s whale can reach lengths of up to 55 ft and weigh up to 30 tons when it is fully matured, however depending on where they live these whales may only grow to be 40 – 50 ft long.)

Honesty in politics

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio

There is no doubt that Filipinos have unabashedly shown their appreciation and admiration for President Rodrigo Duterte and presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, for their political will, political toughness and their predilection that a politician who runs for public office must truly be a sincere servant leader.

Both exemplified this out-of-the box leadership style in making and sustaining what Davao City is today – a safe, peaceful, stable and highly livable place, which has become the envy of other cities in the country.

The Filipino people, hungry for a change in governance by traditional politicians, opted to throw in their lot with Duterte hoping that what the latter has done in Davao could be duplicated in the whole Philippine archipelago.

On the promise that that he will be waging war against illegal drugs, corruption and criminality like it has never been done before, the voters overwhelmingly gave Duterte the mandate to lead the country. Alas, in totality, the complexity and enormity of the drug problem plaguing the whole country has been so overwhelming that three years into his presidency the war is far from over.

 It is on this context that presidential daughter, Sara, is spearheading the campaign to have her Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) senatorial bets elected in the coming May 2019 elections if only to ensure that President Duterte will be able to have control of the Senate to help him implement whatever remaining programs and reforms he has for the country in the last remaining three years of his presidency.

What is perturbing, however, about the coming election is that both the administration and opposition party leaders and their respective candidates are more obsessed about honesty more than what they can do to help move the country forward and improve the lives of the Filipinos.

I mean, c’mon, honesty has never been the strongest attribute of any politician and never has it been a requirement to qualify them to run for public office.

Even Socrates, during his time said, “I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live.”

It is said that one of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politicians’ objective. Election and power are.

In effect Sara Duterte is right when she said that honesty should not be an election issue. But it does not mean, however, that she has the best senatorial bets. On the contrary she has quite an array of notoriously popular but inept candidates whose only advantage over the opposition bets is their closeness to the powers that be and, who, in reality, does not belong in the Senate.

Disagreement over the PH-US MDT

 

Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana

I am writing about the disagreement between Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana and Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr over the existing Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty because I find it interesting, if not intriguing.

Interesting and intriguing in the sense that it is seemingly putting Pres. Duterte in a predicament where he has to choose who between the two trusted Cabinet members has a better understanding of the country’s present situation vis-à-vis China’s militarization in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

What is important to remember here is that when the PH-US MDT was signed on August 30, 1951, in Washington, D.C. between representatives of both countries, the overall accord stated that the Philippines and the United States will come to each other’s aid if attack by an external party.

But, while Lorenzana has been seeking for a review of the treaty since last year, questioning the validity or effectiveness of the treaty, as it applies now to the disputed areas in the WPS, Locsin, however, does not find the necessity or the urgency to have it done.

“My own view is no. I believe in the old theory of deterrence. I have been an old man, I’ve engaged in the Cold War for longer than you. In vagueness lies the best deterrence,” Locsin said when asked whether he was seeking a review of the MDT.

This statement was made by Locsin in a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during the latter’s brief visit to the country on March 1, after the second historic meeting between Pres. Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Vietnam. It was on this occasion that Pompeo assured the country that the US considers the South China Sea (SCS) as covered by the MDT. If it is of any consolation to anybody, we just have to remember that the WPS is part of the SCS.

Also that Pompeo affirmed the assurance of the Trump administration’s “true commitment to making sure these seas (South China Sea) remain open.”

Locsin’s statement apparently did not sit well with Lorenzana. It got even more vexing for Lorenzana upon hearing Locsin’s argument that the “vagueness” of the MDT is what makes it more effective as a “deterrent” to attacks against the Philippines.

Whatever the outcome of the disagreement between Lorenzana and Locsin over the PH-US MDT and whomever Duterte chooses which side to favor, the fact remains that it will not change the way the US looks at the strategic location of the Philippines in protecting the vital US and homeland security interests.  This alone is a preemptive view for China to act accordingly in the disputed SCS.

War on drugs as election issue

 

The leading opposition Liberal Party (LP), better known as the ‘yellows’, has entered into an alliance with other political parties, like the Akbayan, MagdaloParty-list and Aksyon Demokratiko, to breathe life to their senatorial team called Otso Diretso (Straight Eight).

In trying to discredit and hopefully deliver a coup de grâce on the leadership of President Duterte in the coming May 2019 senatorial elections, this political multi-party electoral alliance will certainly use and capitalize on what it perceives as the president’s failed war on drugs.

From their perspective the May elections will be, in fact, a referendum of Duterte’s continued ascendancy to the presidency.

But is it really or are the yellows simply trying to hasten their irrelevancy in Philippine politics?

I am asking this question because if the Otso Diretso team will indeed use the war on drugs issue to destroy Duterte, thereby shutting out the PDP-Laban and Hugpong ng Pagbabago coalition senatorial candidates, then it is all wishful thinking.

The truth is that majority of the Filipinos continue to support Duterte, even as he reaffirmed his pledge to carry on his administration’s war on drugs until his term ends in 2022. In fact the president has up the ante, saying, “Consider my term, the last three years as the most dangerous years for people who are into drugs, either pusher, trafficker, or drug lord.”

This statement could only come from a determined leader whose political will does not waver even when the Catholic Church and some local and international human rights advocates are strongly questioning and condemning Duterte’s method of solving the drug menace in the country, which according to some pundits have claimed the lives of more than 5,000 drug suspects since he took office in 2016.

The question, however, is whether or not the newly minted alliance has a capable leader who can offer a better alternative in eradicating the illegal drug problem that is practically engulfing the whole country so that they can be able to sway more of the voters to their side and disgrace Duterte?

The answer is none. Not even Vice President Leni Robredo who does not have a solution to the bloody drug problem, but who simply recommends that people should ‘learn from the results of the war on drugs in the past two and half years’ of the Duterte rule. In other words what Robredo is advocating is leniency – that is the exercise of tolerance and mercy. What does that mean really and what would one expect from this kind of resolution when the reality is that illegal drugs are now overwhelming the country of supply?

What I am just saying is that if the LP-led alliance does not have a credible remedy to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs then they should not use Duterte’s war on drugs as election issue because it will get them nowhere.

Perhaps what will get them somewhere is if the alliance will make an unequivocal election issue of the ridiculous inclusion of the undesirables in the administration senatorial bets the likes of Imee Marcos, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla and Freddie Aguilar.