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Bert M Drona
Attended Assumption Convent High School
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FILIPINO POLITICS, RELIGION AND SEX


Deja Vu!!

Firstly, I believe, feel and think that any priest/pastor, etc. has the right to speak out against politicians. My understanding and interpretation of the Constitutional Article II Section 6 and Article III Section 5 on the "separation of church and state," which we native Filipinos essentially copied from the American Constitution, do not prohibit such. They specifically prohibit the State, i.e. government, from declaring/establishing one as official religion.

Having said that and given our homeland realities where the Roman Catholic Church/Christian religion (RCC) is dominant. I find that, for the most period of our Filipino history then and now, this religious institution was/is a major obstacle in the struggle for the "common good."
This election time as in the past, the RCC hierarchy has "discerned" (its favorite term), spoken for, preached its meek faithful followers towards and supported candidates whom it perceives as religious, pious, close to the RCC hierarchy, etc.

Conversely, the RCC spoke against those candidates who it considers "disrespectful" of the Pope, speaking "bad words," making "dirty" jokes; for planned parenthood, sexually immoral, etc. The RCC, it seems to me, is "too sex-oriented." Get my drift? I will not expound here as I have already written some blog postings re RCC or Christian religion as practiced in our homeland.

And look at what kind of governance/results we native Filipinos, who like sheeps, had after voting per RCC recommendations. The two RCC-supported presidential candidates in recent decades (Cora Aquino and Gloria Arroyo). These two supposedly religious, prayerful, church-going, nun-nurtured/educated women from the expensive, elitist Catholic schools did not really improve the socioeconomic lot of our native majority (except themselves, their family clan and ilks). Instead their rule as presidents, 6 and 9 years respectively, further paved the "road to perdition" for our fellow native Filipinos. I am not saying that our other presidents then and now are much better (that's another topic). Ad nauseam.

The RCC (with few exceptions) and its competitor spin-offs of disillusioned Catholic faithful, who in turn joined the colonist US-export: mainline Protestantism and belatedly the latter's more fundamentalist wing which mimics the American Holiness Pentecostal Movement, both actively withdrew from social concerns (the "common good") that matter; and in lieu promoted their spirituality to be concentrated back to the inward, meditative-self; whereby unknowingly imitating the monks and convent nuns; and outwardly displaying "holier-than-thou" show of piety, religiosity, etc. Attend to and save oneself, forget the social justice issues; that latter is not the ticket to heavenly paradise.

Knowing the Protestants history and their movement's foundational doctrines, I do not expect the mainline Protestants and their Pentecostal faithful to pursue anything beyond "personal salvation," as their fundamental beliefs system dictates that "good works" are not necessary for salvation; just be "born again," password Jesus.
Makes me think why even pray when being "born again" saves one for eternal bliss per their interpretation of the Jesus narrative (New Testament) and some picked story lines from the Hebrew Testament of an apparently insecure, praise-hungry, angry, and vengeful God.

Tough luck for those who never heard of JC, that is, pagans and their descendants; or those who do not accept the story. For these infidels, Dante's Eternal Hell fire and the Devil/Satan/Lucifer and those thinkers who preceded these non-followers regardless of reasons await them. Contrast to RCC belief that "good works" can help the believers' salvation.

A cafeteria Christianity combo narrative produces a Religion of Fear. Be like children to the authoritarian God of the Old/Hebrew Testament and the Good News of JC's loving sacrifice from the New Testament. Amid this confusing combo, Choose one.

Essentially paramount to them all and the RCC charismatic variety is the pursuit of "personal salvation" for the supposed afterlife heavenly gates, and not actively attending to and participating in the present here-and-now struggles for "social justice." For today's RCC, the "old" social justice-directed, such as village self-help movement, Basic Christian Communities/BCC organization were muzzled as they were characterized by ruling elites as “communist” or “leftist” because they, like Marxist movements, seek to ameliorate the suffering of the poor. The RCC concurred, saw it as too radical and changed it to a more hierarchy-controllable Basic Ecumenical Communities/BEC.

By the way, what was that love-talk from Jesus (love of neighbor, and God, right ? per JC) I guess we'll just knell and pray, and let the heavenly angels do the needed work for attaining the "common good." Lip service is good enough. Praying is easy, it can be done anywhere; even while having a party; but not struggle or stand with the poor, rowdy, smelly native majority for their tiny place under the sun.
Without going any further, I would say that if the RCC in our homeland speaks out, it should be ready to hear those who speak against them. It's supposedly a democracy now, not the friars' time to lord over as in the 16th to early 20th century. But of course, our RCC believes, pontificates and acts as if it is still in that era, anachronistic frame of mind.
- Bert M Drona


Some of my postings in my blog:THE FILIPINO MIND
- OUR RELIGION IN SOCIETY: (Belief Systems)
- Our Filipino Kind of Religion & Use at Desperate Times
- Our Filipino Christianity and Our God-concept
- When Our Religion Becomes Evil
- Split-level Christianity, "Theory versus Practice," Part 1 of 2
- Split-level Christianity, "Theory versus Practice,"Part 2 of 2
- Our Filipino Norm of Morality

Below photo of book cover:
ALTAR OF SECRETS by Aries Rufo. First kind of book by fellow Filipino that critiqued the RCC. Pretty informative.
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ELECTION TIME IN OUR HOMELAND

It's election time in our homeland and the common man feels empowered as he can vote, which makes him believe he lives in a democracy, that is, election=democracy. It makes us -with access to social media- post/share our opinions;some introspective, but oftentimes narrow and shallow, if not trivial as we natives typically do, And the period provides a fiesta atmosphere of freebies: cash, free rides, food, shirts, etc. It happens only every 6 years and so many make the most of the opportunity given the general poverty.It is the only time the ordinary citizen is given token attention by cabdidates and their ilks, to make him feel "king,"

While those of us, the arrogant, so-called educated native minority, blame these "mobs," (remember Greek word "demos" means recisely that, the common people;or mob to some Founding Fathers or elite in general.) our fellow native, impoverished majority for briefly enjoying the show and accepting the freebies in exchange for votes.

Anyway, there is an implicit acceptance that the winner-candidates will more than recoup their "investment" from the "money tree/"cash cow:" (the government coffers). And we all thereafter either moan, groan or just laugh about it. As to those who gave opinions, they mostly forget all about them, do no follow-ups; as they are all "ningas-kugons." As always, Pray and Praise the Lord to fix our problems And all continue their blessed, "holier than thou" merry ways.

***
"As to the source of leadership, we native (Malay/indio) Filipinos still look up and limit ourselves to the same socioeconomic-political elite, the same prominent dynasties, many of whom were of the collaborationist and mendicant variety. There is potentially good leadership, maybe still unknown, OUTSIDE the selfish, morally bankrupt and oftentimes subservient elite. When we have done away with our massive ignorance, we native Filipinos can surely find and actively ensure that only individuals with courage and strong nationalism earn respect; thus who will successfully propel the people to fight, and finally win for the common good”
– Bert M Drona
http://www.thefilipinomind.com/…/primary-postsreadings-for-
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THE GUNS versus BUTTER ISSUE (NATIONAL PRIORITIES)
WHERE DO OUR TAXES GO?


Here on FB and other social media/press I see a lot of exchanges and usually complaints that our taxes are being wasted on "social welfare" of bums and "welfare queens," as Reagan used to describe them --same tunes we always hear from Republicans, political conservatives, neoconservatives, military servicemen,etc. I think most of them are either naive, ignorant or misinformed about our country's budget (federal). I wish they would put some honest effort on researching the easily available facts; and critical thinking would show them how our federal budget is sliced. These can be done even while drinking beer.

Take note that our/U.S. military expenditures are roughly the size of the next nine largest military budgets around the world, combined.
In 2015, the US' estimated military budget was expected to be $601 billion, down from $610 billion spent in 2014. However, even with the budgetary drawdown, the US still far outspends the next six highest spending nations.

All the while, our infrastructures (bridges, roads, rails), healthcare, public schools and other essential public/social services have gone to the dogs.

All in the name of the nebulous "national security" aka "national defense" and our PERMANENT WAR MENTALITY since WW2: from "fighting communism," then to "war on drugs", and implementing "regime changes" in the name of "fighting terrorism" now. As much decorated, including highly decorated and Medal of Honor recipient US Marines/General Smedley Butler wrote [alluding to the fact that our country has been seeking fights beyond its borders ever since i-I would add- its founding: trying to annex Canada but was defeated] :
"The Philippines makes a decent representative example of the US' first official exercise in colonial imperialism and formal empire [*], also referred to as "civilizational imperialism" - a project we're presently repeating.

"Lest this seem to be the bellicose pipe-dream of some dyspeptic desk soldier, let us remember that the military deal of our country has never been defensive warfare. Since the Revolution, only the United Kingdom has beaten our record for square miles of territory acquired by military conquest. Our exploits against the American Indian, against the Filipinos, the Mexicans, and against Spain are on a par with the campaigns of Genghis Khan, the Japanese in Manchuria and the African attack of Mussolini.

NO COUNTRY has ever declared war on us before we first obliged them with that gesture. Our whole history shows we have NEVER fought a defensive war. And at the rate our armed forces are being implemented at present, the odds are against our fighting one in the near future." - -- Major General Smedley D. Butler, America's Armed Forces: 'In Time of Peace', 1935. 1898-1914: The Phillipines.

The late Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces (WW2) and as two-terms U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower in his valedictory address warned about the nascent military-industrial complex, which today has become a major beneficiary of our annual budgeting outlays.

Let us also note that given our huge war machines, our manufacturing industries and national employment have become dependent on having (promotingt!!) constant or permanent war, as foreseen/mentioned above.

**********
UPDATE:(for 2016)
The horses are out of the gate on a great debate of the FY 2016 U.S. budget: in a world with the Afghanistan war winding down, but with renewed concerns about terrorism and the threat of ISIS, how much does America need to spend to stay safe?

So far, President Obama, the House and Senate have all lined up with a whopping request for Pentagon and related spending of $612 to $613 billion. The original Senate Budget Committee plan would have spent less at $574 billion on the Pentagon and related spending in 2016, but the bill finally passed by Senators nearly matched the $613 billion proposed by the House.

To put that in context, $613 billion would put Pentagon and related spending at about the level it was in 2004, when the U.S. spent $90 billion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would also mean higher spending than at any point during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. And while these budgets are sometimes light on details, in the president’s version only about $5 billion of the total would be devoted to fighting ISIS.

So if it’s not for fighting ISIS, where would that funding go?
Some items that the Pentagon has priced higher than the battle against ISIS include: the $11 billion the Pentagon has requested for development of its over-budget, never-used F-35 jet fighter; the $8.8 billion requested for ballistic missile defense; or the $5.7 billion requested for its “Virginia” attack submarine – none of which are particularly relevant to the fight against ISIS, the threat that Americans are most concerned about.

So while Americans are concerned about ISIS, the current spending proposals are cynically taking advantage of those concerns to throw more money at the Pentagon in ways that don’t address the threat, all while leaving programs at home in the lurch.
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OUR THREE LEADING PRESIDENTIAL WANNA-BEs are LIARS.

Republicans Ted Cruz & Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. We expect false claims/lies,disinformation,misinformation, etc. during our recent elections that have greatly deteriorated since Republican Rchard Nixon. They use corporate media: talk shows, etc all for showing how nice they are (if they like the candidate) and conversely, how asinine one is (as most of both parties gang up on one guy, i.e. Trump).

That is why one has to use one's brain, i.e. located between the ears, to see the forest from the trees, But best to read so the brain can have time to properly process printed information and latter preferably from so-called alternative sources (versus corporate media) and usually more independent plus books re candidates (biographic, authorized and unauthorized).

And for many women and ethnic minorities, they like Clinton, just because she is a woman and/or politically correct (PC) --this latter attitude/behavior practically intitiated by the Clinton Whitehouse. And we know what much PC leads to. Not for me,.. if just a woman, I would have chosen Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren, who unfortunately chose to defer to the Democratic establishment.

So among the three liars, I would choose Donald Trump. He is not likeable, I do not even like him that I never watched his TV shows.
But at least I know the Donald openly show he is an iconoclast, usually tuned to play the market, but admits he plays politics when he declared his run. Not beholden to anyone, groups or even his Republican Party which -like the Domocrats- are trying hard to do all the muckraking, etc. against him. He has published books that includes one ("The America We Deserve,"2000) that outlines his political positions and thoughts about America.

Despite such, he still goes on CONSISTENTLY as he is...GO..GO..TRUMP!!!

HILLARY KEEPS HER SERVER, AND KEEPS DENYING SHE NEVER LEAKED OR SHARED INFORMATION. I HOPE INVESTIGATIONS LEAD HER TO JAIL TERM.

Hillary refuses to take "truth serum" test:

https://www.facebook.com/retainyourfreedom/videos/vb.183356311699411/972998156068552/?type=3&theater

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/google-syria-rebels-defection-hillary-clinton-emails-wikileaks-a6946121.html
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The attached documentary video shows our OFWs in Hong Kong with their predicaments in their work environment. Unfortunately too, our weak state/government for aforementioned reasons either can not or will not stop the abuses and/or dehumanization our OFWs encounter abroad (including murder by employers or by the foreign country, Singapore and Saudi Arabia,)
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OUR FILIPINO POLITICS, NOTHING NEW, BUT A CONTINUING PAST (to borrow a phrase from the late nationalist Prof. Renato Constantino).
LET US EDUCATE/INFORM OURSELVES AND OTHERS. FOR THE COMMON GOOD OF OUR DESCENDANTS. WE NATIVES NEED TO BE RIGHTFULLY ANGRY AND PERSEVERE (NOT JUST DURING ELECTION TIME – “NINGAS KUGON”)

Frankly, this is nothing new, as such is an established pattern of so-called leadership in our homeland. Mere talk of such in each presidential regime or generation has not amounted to anything that resulted in desired change for the public/common good.

Our ruling elite, then and now mainly from our oligarchs and recognized names of politicians (from the LGUs to provincial to regional to national), the nouveau riche of dubious sources of wealth, and in cahoots with the Chuinese taipans and foreign businesses (Amercan Chamber of Commerce,as usual in lead), do not care about the native Filipino majority, including its dwindling middle class (replaced by resident aliens, mainly Chinese who never want to assimilate and arrogant towards us natives IN OUR OWN HOMELAND!!).

See also:http://www.thefilipinomind.com/2014/03/the-politics-of-filipinos.html

We need to do more research to expose such shenanigans to the public, hopefully not only in English, but more so in our native languages/dialects for greater mass knowledge of “what’s really going on.” Mass-directed education is an important prerequisite for our desired national changes and goals, for the “common good.”

We do not have to wait for one shining armor to start it. We all need to inform ourselves more, to become one who will have political and social awareness to act and pass the information along to others.

As the cliche says, “Knowledge is power,” to critically think about leadership, in government, military and business, so we would not be fooled as we have often been up to the present and highly probabe till the next generation or two, of our descendants. That is the first major step towards real change.

And lastly, we need perseverance, beyond election times. Let us stop our Filipino MInd characteristic thinking and acting of “ningas-kugon.”
The Aquino administration knows no other way to manage and do things than by patronage and cronyism. Every time there is an appointment to be made, Aquino turns to a crony. Every time there is a government contract to be awarded, he picks a crony. And when there is a dangerous operation to be ...
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Hi All, here is my latest blog post. Kindly pass to interested firends and relatives. Thank you.
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Bert M Drona

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Filipinos in California. Early and forgottten history.  Please share with family, relatives and friends. Thanks!
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BEING POLITICALLY CONSCIOUS OR A THINKER IS NOT COMFORTABLE OR POPULAR [That is why "ignorance is bliss!!" ]

Below essay is a very introspective piece!

*******
"......the concept of being “woke,” that thorny state of higher consciousness,...is a state of being that never allows you to get fully comfortable or complacent. ... once you are woke, you can never unlearn this knowledge. It may be harder to find moments of joy, but these moments are not permanently unattainable....There is a sense of incomparable freedom in the decision to put faith in your autonomy. To say: I will not lie down in the darkness of defeat.
To be woke means that the pursuit of knowledge takes precedent over accepting popular opinion. To be woke also means that ego should never sway your awareness. To be woke is a journey without a final resting place. To be woke means that not everyone will understand you...."
To be woke means short victories offset by unstoppable growing pains.
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FOR THINKING MINDS, NOT CLOSED MINDS (especially by religion in all its flavors)

..." In an election year where we are finally beginning to discuss the havoc wreaked by deregulation, wage inequality, job insecurity, and growing income volatility, it is inexcusable for politicians to claim that we would not need to invest in living-wage jobs, affordable education, and a stronger social safety net if only everyone would marry. Fewer than 6 percent of children in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden and just 7 to 9 percent of children in Austria and the Netherlands are poor. Yet all these countries have higher birthrates to unmarried women than the United States, where child poverty is over 20 percent."


The Christian churches (Catholic, Mainline Protestants, Fundamentalists or Pentecostals) since the 1980s rise of Ronald Reagan with the latter's main ally, i.e. the so-called "MORAL MAJORITY;" withdrew from their earlier concern for "the other" issue of social justice and almost completely turned themselves inwards to simplistic, individualistic pursuit of "holiness or religiosity" for "personal salvation." Throw out a token bit of charity, here and there if you feel like it.


So all these essentially churchy social sects, cults and clubs or "community" of the "saved" -password Jesus - whatever, looked/look down and/or judgmentally on the less fortunate and poor; and blame the latter for their predicaments. To not appreciate or recognize the real roots of such dire conditions inherent in the dominant, individually self-centered, insatiably consumerist, greed-driven economic and political systems and consequently they -faithful believers- refuse to address. 

Individual piety/religiosity and self-centered greed seem to pair together, when I look at these people.

Just Praise the Lord/Jesus. That's their main interpretation of Christianity. As far as I know or learned in my youth, that's only half of the two most important love messages of JC.
Selective memory leads grown-ups to try to re-create a past that never existed at all.
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I agree entirely Doug
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ANOTHER ON SCHEMING HILLARY CLINTON - 
MY #1 HYPOCRITE

Hillary, the astutely pandering "Democratic" politician, accuses her rivals Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump of anti-Semitism and/or supporting "terrorists." [Nowadays she and her ilk/kind lump anyone just speaking out/dissenting to official U.S. foreign policy as "supporting the enemy."].

Let us use our lazy brains and look at her own recorded acts and expressions in public and see her true color.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines Clinton’s record on Israel and U.S. foreign relations.
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AM A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT, BUT NOT FOR HILLARY CLINTON
BERNIE SANDERS DEMOCRAT AND SOCLALIST, IS VERY GOOD, BUT ANTI-GUN
DONALD TRUMP SOUNDS NUTTY, BUT NOT A LAPDOG OF EITHER REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT AND WALL STREET; HE SPEAKS HIS MIND, RAISES ESSENTIAL ISSUES NO ONE DARES TO ADDRESS <-- He gets my vote
HILLARY IS #1 HYPOCRITE, OPPORTUNISTIC LIAR, DESPITE HER "PROGRESSIVE" SOUND BITES, REPUBLICAN AT HEART AS HER PARENTS WERE... THUS MONEY!! MONEY!! COME!!
See also more documented evidences in nonpartisan books about the Clinton partnership:
1. "NO ONE TO LIE TO" - Christopher Hitchens, Verso 1999, London
2. "THE PRESIDENT WE DESERVE" - Martin Walker, Crown Publishers 1996, NY
3. "HER WAY" - Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta,Jr, Little, Brown & Co 2007, NY:
4. "DO AS I SAY (NOT AS I DO):PROFILES IN LIBERAL HYPOCRISY" - Peter Schweizer, Double Day, 2005 [This book is from the conservative Hoover Institution,but presents factual charges claims]
Bill Clinton’s foundation set up a fundraising arm in Sweden that collected $26 million in donations at the same time that country was lobbying Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department to forgo sanctions that threatened its thriving business with Iran, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Washington Times.
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Impressive. Overwhelming. The Roman empire has left so many aqueducts throughout Europe and this one has been pretty well preserved and said to be serviceable if needed.. To stand near this humongous civil engineering marvel gives one a feeling of great awe. Imagine how each massive granite cut and built to make arches is amazing, Two reasons I visited Segovia for the first time in 2005 was it being a UNESCO World Heritage Site and reminded me of the Latin Language Courses I had, during my high school seminary years,.where we read about Julius Caesar, Hannibal, etc.
• • •
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Just 1.5 hrs North by bus from Madrid, I always head for a rare splurge of "conchinillo asado" (with Rioja red wine) best roasted piglet -less than 3 weeks- I ever tasted. Been here at least 6 times since 2005. Just a stone throw from the Old Town's plaza, I go to Jose Maria's restaurant, which is one of the most famous in this UNESCO World Heritage city.
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Visited Copenhagen for 3 weeks in Spet-October 2015.....beautiful city and people. Well maintained medieval church, nice, friendly attendants and with good, free concerts. Recommended!
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