Tagged: philippines

Lord of the (Filipino) Flies

Faced with that minor distraction we call the Presidential Election, focused on a brash-talking demagogue of our own, many of us Americans may have only noticed in passing that the Philippines, long our ally in the Pacific, has devolved into deadly violent chaos. Since May, more than 3,000 people have been killed. Based on the...

Harana Kings

In the old Philippines, before text messaging and Facebook, a gentleman courted a lady by serenading her at night beneath her window, a tradition called harana. Like Cuba’s “Buena Vista Social Club,” the new Harana Kings album joins seasoned veterans with young interpreters, creating music that’s simultaneously a cultrural remembrance and a fresh discovery. Guitars, light...

Standing Together, Singing

This week twenty-five years ago, in 1986, Filipinos ousted the dictator Ferdinand Marcos with a non-violent massive protest on Manila’s main highway, EDSA. The movement was known as “People Power,” an apt description of the force that overthrew a tyrant. It wasn’t bombs or kidnappings or guerilla warfare that toppled the criminals in charge. The...

Recommended Reading

What do writers read when they’re not writing?  Good writing. Great writing. Stuff that earns professional admiration and profound consideration. Thoughtful poetry. Arguments constructed elegantly. Wit. Lately I’ve found myself increasingly turning to the work of three writers, all different, all ingenious in their own way. If you’re a regular reader of this space, you’ll...

The Immorality of Discouraging Contraception

You may have noticed that people like to have sex, including countless youngsters whose testosterone levels dramatically exceed their intelligence. Everybody’s conception of permissible activity varies somewhat, based on controlling factors that most of us don’t bother to examine. But whether or not you approve of pre-marital sex, or marital sex, or post-marital sex, whether...

Labis: “Too Much”

If there were an easy answer to endemic poverty, the kindest among us would surely have already implented it. There’s no simple solution. But one thing is obvious — at least to an outsider: desperately poor people must stop having desperately poor children, most of whom cannot be fed, educated, and cared for properly.  The...

Thinking Like an Anarchist

Unrepentant Lefties claim that the law — and the church, and everything else society uses to maintain order — is really just a mechanism to keep those in power empowered and those with money wealthy.  Free Marketers say that fair laws properly enforced allow anyone, no matter his disadvantages, to succeed. Nihilists, as we know...

Philippines Notes, Part 3: Free Markets

Those of us with a libertarian bent are at times susceptible to the theoretical ideal of “free markets,” the utopian concept of economics unburdened by interfering governments or regulations. Expressed purely (and absurdly) as the perfect crossroads of Supply and Demand, free markets are supposed to produce the best product at the best price, letting...

Philippines Notes, Part Two: Using Dogs

Some people in the Philippines eat dogs. (A recent documentary about the country, made by a native, was entitled “Dog Eaters.” Some expatriate Pinoys didn’t appreciate the label, but the verity of canine consumption wasn’t ever in question.) Occasionally, pet-owners here suffer the heartbreak of having their furry friend kidnapped — dognapped? — and transformed...

Philippines Notes, Part One: Litter in Paradise

The easy default reactions of an American who encounters unspeakable poverty and squalor when visiting a country like the Philippines are pity, scorn, and outrage. How monstrous, it seems, to call places like these “developing countries” when the extent of their development is obvious: great bastions of wealth and property concentrated in the hands of...