Andreas De la Cruz is a forty year old fisherman from Masinloc, Zambales and he has a story of triumph and loss to tell and all of it is due to the obsession of powerful nations to control and dominate and occupy the lands and seas of other smaller nations.
Just when we think the Philippines has redeemed itself in the eyes of the world with its efforts to stamp out corruption, comes news of the kidnapping of three foreigners and a Filipino woman on Samal Island. The case threatens to push the country back into the category of lawless wilderness ruled by bandits.
Beyond the horrendous traffic, the cancellation or delay of flights and the sudden trending of the hashtag #ApecHotties, we asked young people about their views on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, how much they know about it. It is, after all, about their future.
One of the lovely things about Filipinos is their strong emotional sense. It binds people and cements friendships. But sometimes, it clouds a more thoughtful response.
We all agree that Philippine agriculture is in poor shape. I trace this to lack of irrigation, lack of roads, insufficient research and development (R&D) spending, lack of productive seeds, excessive intrusion by middle men, antiquated machinery, (you don’t dry palay on a national highway) - the list is endless.
Lady Justice is pictured blindfolded holding a scales and a sword. That needs to be changed. She needs to be seen as a clear eyed loving mother protecting children.
For generations, the rape and sexual abuse of children has been a regular practice of the human species mostly by men but frequently assisted and enabled by women, too. Philippine laws to justify it have been passed, mostly by men, by setting the age of consent for sexual acts as low as 12 years of age in the Philippines.
Who wouldn’t be moved at the sight of women, children and the elderly in the stream of refugees taking the ultimate risk, defying death itself in rickety boats or in enclosed, steaming chicken lorries, making a desperate dash for survival with a blank future in sight and the faintest hope to cling to?
When I first came to the Philippines in 1969 as a Columban missionary from Ireland I felt welcomed and accepted by the Filipino people. They are an intelligent, friendly and a proud people that suffer poverty today as a consequence of conquest by colonial powers that subjugated them politically and economically.
The large numbers of war refugees and poverty stricken migrants pouring into Europe is a matter for immediate concern and action. But it should be concern and action primarily for the displaced and suffering refugees and those fleeing sub-human conditions and political systems where human rights violations, religious persecution and injustice are so cruel and common.