Friday, April 27, 2012

MARIAN RIVERA's Subic Scandal

Ang reaction ni Marian Rivera sa mga naglalabasang youtube video ng "Marian Scandal" kung saan ipinakitang galit ang aktres at mukhang may kaaway.

"Ganito yun," simula niya. "Nasa set kami sa Subic. Alam ng lahat na bawal ang mag-video lalo na kung hindi pa umeere ang episode. Nakita ko siyang [yung lalake sa YouTube] kumukuha ng video at biniro ko ng ‘Kuya, nagbi-video kayo, bawal ‘yan.' Ang sagot ba naman, ‘Bakit, ikaw ba ang bini-video ko?' Pakialam ko raw. Pabalang ang sagot at nagulat ako, nagkasagutan kaming dalawa.

"Tinanong ko kung staff siya. Taga-processing daw siya. Nagulat ako, bakit ganun ang reaction niya sa akin. Kahit payat at maliit ako, hindi ako papayag apihin. Caviteña ako, lalaban ako! Walang nang-aapi sa akin!" lahad ni Marian.

Sinagot din nya ang paratang na sya ang paulit ulit na sumasampal sa lalake sa youtube video kahit hindi naman ipinakita ang totoong mukha ng may-ari ng kamay.

"Wala akong sinampal, wala akong sinaktan," mariing sabi ni Marian. "Ni hindi ko nga siya hinawakan, nagkasagutan lang kami. Inawat na kami ng staff. Dapat hinamon ko na lang siya ng suntukan!"

Feeling ba niya frame-up ang nangyari? Bakit may nag-video ng nangyari at bakit edited?

"Bahala na sila," sabi niya. "Ang importante sa akin, hindi ako nag-power trip. Okey lang siraan at pintasan nila ako, tanggap ko lahat na kaparte ng trabaho ko ito. Dapat masanay na ako, dahil lahat na lang ng kilos ko... Tinatanong ko lang ang manager ko [Popoy Caritativo], kung bakit ayaw akong tantanan. Ganun din ang sinasabi niya, na bahagi ito ng showbiz at kailangan kong masanay."

Ang hindi raw ipinakita sa video ay ang nangyari kinabukasan—ang pagbabalik ng lalake sa set at kinausap si Marian.

"The next day, bumalik siya, nagkaayos kami at nagkapaliwanagan kami. Alam ko sa sarili ko na ipinagtanggol ko lang ang sarili ko, dahil binastos ako. Mali ba ang ginawa ko?" balik tanong ni Marian.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Scarborough Shoal

Jurisdiction over waters is necessarily dependent on jurisdiction over land to which the waters adjoin. This is governed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (Unclos). Although the Scarborough Shoal is outside the limits set by the Treaty of Paris for Philippine territory, the Philippines has had a long history of activities related to the area. The area’s official Philippine name is Bajo de Masinloc, which in English means “below Masinloc,” Masinloc being a town in Zambales.  The waters have been treated as a fishing area of Filipino fishermen. The Philippine Air Force, together with United States planes when the United States still had bases in the Philippines, used the area for target practice. It has been the practice of the Philippine Navy to chase away foreign fishing vessels intruding into the area.

Our Constitution declares that Philippine territory consists of the archipelago and “and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas,” that is, other territories which, depending on available evidence, might belong to the Philippines. The 1973 Constitution referred to these as “other territories belonging to the Philippines by historic right or legal title.”
The extent of the archipelago can be verified by reference to the lines drawn by the Treaty of Paris. But the Constitution does not specify where the “other territories” over which the Philippines has jurisdiction are. Scarborough Shoal lies outside the limits of the Treaty of Paris.

The latest move of the Philippines to assert its claim over Scarborough Shoal, among other areas, was the enactment of Republic Act 9522, the new baseline law. Baselines are lines drawn along the low water mark of an island or group of islands which mark the end of the internal waters and the beginning of the territorial sea. Each country must draw its own baselines following the provisions of the Law of the Sea.

The People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan) claim that the shoal was first discovered and drawn in a map in the Yuan Dynasty as early as 1279 and was historically used by Chinese fishermen. In 1279, Guo Shoujing, a Chinese astronomer, performed surveying of the South China Sea, and the surveying point was reported to be the Scarborough Shoal. In 1935, China regarded the shoal as part of the Zhongsha Islands. In 1947, the shoal was given the name Minzhu Jiao. In 1983, it was renamed Huangyan Island with Minzhu Jiao reserved as a second name. In 1956, China protested Philippine remarks that South china Sea islands in close proximity to Philippine territory should belong to the Philippines. China's Declaration on the territorial Sea, promulgated in 1958, says in part,

The breadth of the Territorial Sea of the People's Republic of China shall be twelve nautical miles. This applies to all territories of the People's Republic of China, including the Chinese mainland and its coastal islands, as well as Taiwan and its surrounding islands, the Penghu Islands, the Dongsha Islands, the Xisha Islands, the Zhongsha Islands, the Nansha Islands and all other islands belonging to China which are separated from the mainland and its coastal islands by the high seas.

The Philippines has invited China to submit the case to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Itlos). The tribunal is an independent judicial body established by the Unclos. It can adjudicate disputes arising from the Law of the Sea. So far it seems that China has rejected the submission to the Itlos.

All is not lost, however. Part XV of the Unclos provides for a comprehensive system for the settlement of disputes. It requires parties to settle their disputes by peaceful means. They have a choice of four alternatives. The submission to the Itlos, which seemingly has been rejected by China, is just one of them. The remaining three are: the International Court of Justice, an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII to the convention, and a special arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII to the convention. But the parties must agree on the choice of the method of settlement to be used.  This is a major challenge to the legal and diplomatic skills of the Aquino administration.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Plight of the Filipina Hostess

In 1976, Ferdinand Marcos was the ruling dictator of the Philippines. Marcos had declared martial law and no one was allowed on the street after midnight. I was twenty years old and handing out Bibles on the streets of Olongapo. At midnight the dash back to the base by U.S. soldiers was accomplished by pushing past literally thousands of girls. The bars closed at 11:30 and the masses of people filled the street and the sidewalks. At 4:00 in the morning the curfew was lifted and young soldiers ran down the street and across the bridge to catch an early morning bus and make ‘muster’. These soldiers often wore no shirt and had no shoes because they had left them as payment for their night with a young Filipina.

The girls of Olongapo and Barrio Barreto came from poor families and from all over the Philippines. Some had come with the dream of marrying an American and never intended to live the life that captured them in Olongapo or Barreto or Angeles City. Some had gone to government agencies to seek employment and were sent to Olongapo to be held there in fear. They were threatened with both debt and imprisonment. Some were raped and pacified into cooperating with the sex industry that serviced the American Military. Most of these girls had not gone beyond the sixth grade in an educational system that had inadequate resources.

The first bars to line the streets of Philippine cities were placed near the U.S. military bases. This practice dates back to the Philippine American war as early as 1900. The practice was governed by military officials that sought to keep subservient and disease free women through a process of elimination. The complicity of the U.S. military involved the practice of R & R. The military needed a way to maintain moral and the Filipina was the agent of choice. In 1976 I was told by a military chaplain that no one could live a Christian life in Olongapo. His advice to us was “Do not get any girls pregnant or get too drunk.”

There are entire villages where some of the women once abused by the American Military all live together in poverty. One such place where the former ‘Magsaysay Girls’ live is at the end of Water Dam Road block 27 of Gordon Heights. Magsaysay Dr. is the name of the street in Olongapo that was lined with bars and girls.

I remember when the bases in Subic Bay and Clark Air Force base shut down. My personal feelings were that the Philippines might become free of the abuse and oppression of their youth by the presence of empire. Unfortunately I was somewhat naïve to the blossoming sex industry brought about by the ease of travel via the airline industry. I was surprised to find that sex tourism is an entrepreneurial effort by retired American males seeking to make money. The Internet has provided the ability for these types of people to gather locked, members-only, sites and plan their abuse of young uneducated poverty-ridden girls. Retired U.S. military men living on their pensions are still fathering children with Filipinas in Olongapo and Angeles City and Barrio Barreto.

Most of the men that go on sex tours to the Philippines are old and fat and exhibit their youthful memories with old tattoos. Some are younger and are part of the new sex tourist phenomenon born of global travel and excessive wealth.

For the past three years I have spent the summer in the Philippines. Each year I have witnessed the resurgence of the sex industry. The participants are now older and the girls are still young. The men are American, Irish, German, Australian, Japanese, and Korean. Some of the girls I witnessed to be working in the bars looked to be as young as fifteen. We entered the bars and bought the girls’ time in order to talk with them and share with them our faith in Christ. This type of activity is fine as a starting point, but we must do more. It is my plan to combat the sex industry in the Philippines and to establish recovery programs and educational facilities for the girls captured in this industry. For over a century American complicity has contributed to this evil of bars and sex slavery. It is an industry that is a result of American military practices and the continuing realities of injustice due to global economics.

The American Legacy

When the U.S. Military withdrew from the Philippines in 1992 there were 55,000 registered and unregistered ‘hostesses’. There were more than 2,182 entertainment businesses servicing the areas of Olongapo and Angeles City where Subic Bay and Clark Air Force Base were located. The U.S. military left and so did the 40,000 jobs they provided and the 83,000,000 dollars a year in salaries for Filipino workers. Also upon the departure of the U.S. military from the Philippines, over 50,000 American/Filipino children were left behind. Over 10,000 of these children lived on the street. It is estimated that for some period of time there were as many as 30,000 children a year born to American military troops and Filipino women.

I have met these forgotten children all over the Philippines. I have been meeting them for years. In 1976 I met a young man named Steven. He was twenty one years old, his mother had died of cancer and he had lived on the street by his wits since he was twelve.

In 1985 I was on the Island of Biliran and saw a young mother that had just returned from Olongapo holding her newborn Filipino American baby. The same day I was showering outside in my shorts, like everyone else, when I felt someone staring at me. I turned to see a fifteen year old boy with curly hair and blue eyes. I knew he was wondering if I might be his father.

In 1986 I was in So. Leyte walking through the jungle and I spotted an African man. I assumed him to be an American and spoke with him. He told me he was a souvenir of World War II and that he was 40 years old. He had never known or heard from the man who fathered him.

I also brought home to play with my children a little girl named Jean from Siren in Tacloban City. She looked like one of my kids with her curly brown hair and lighter skin. Jean lived with her grandmother in a small shanty over some black water on the edge of a mountain. She was lucky her mother married an African American who adopted her. At around 12 Jean left to live with her mom and adopted father in California.

In 2007 there are still children being born to American sex tourists. I have seen them also. The American military presence made way for the new phenomenon of international sex tourism.

The American Complicity for the sex industry in the Philippines

The Philippine Islands will ever be a land of beautiful beaches, sunsets, and people. The Filipino culture is admirably accepting of others and filled with smiles and laughter. At one time, they were an Island peoples living in communal settings and experiencing the paradise of a fruitful land. This tranquil life was disrupted by the gradual effects of empire and globalization.

The first expansionist power to grasp at controlling the resources of the Philippines was the Spanish. From 1565 – 1898 the Philippines was a Spanish Colony. When the USS Maine was sunk and 260 men died, America’s war with Spain began. Initially, their war effort against the Spanish was to remove them from Cuba, but On August 13th 1898, 12,000 American troops had arrived in Manila and the Spanish governor, Fermin Jaudenes surrendered the Philippines. The first attack on the Spanish fleet in the Philippines had brought an end to the Spanish rule in the Philippines. However, America’s ultimate interest was obatainin the Spanish empire’s holding of the Philippines. The defeat of the Spanish left the Philippines open to other nations like Britain, France, Japan and Germany. The U.S. feared the loss of trade in the Asian region to these other contending powers. Each of these countries had acquired naval base concessions and business interests with China.

The United States and Spain negotiated a peace treaty in Paris on December 10th, 1898. The U.S. purchased the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico from the Spanish government for $20,000,000. A segment of Philippine society sought independence from foreign power and the ensuing conflict with the U.S. military was the beginning of the Philippine American war. This war effort marked America’s movement towards becoming an empire. The Philippine American war began around the 23rd of January 1899 when Philippine leader Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence. The U.S. military rule of the Philippines was declared ‘over’ on July 4th 1901.

Whenever the military of any nation has stationed troops in a developing nation or conquered peoples, the systemic abuse of women has quickly followed. The unnatural world of males and violence lends to the acceptance of systemic prostitution as a right of ownership over a people. After all we had ‘bought’ the Philippines from Spain. We were supposed to be civilized and Christian, whereas they were poor natives and uncivilized. If warring constitutes civilization then I am sure being civilized is simply a way of justifying violence on a massive scale.

In 1900, U.S. President McKinley condoned the practice of sending troops to the Philippines for ‘R & R’ (rest and relaxation) under regulatory guidelines. This practice led to the development of the sex industry in the Philippines. The Philippines as an R & R destination was considered to be the cheapest place for a soldier to go and spend his money. The decimation of much of the Philippines accomplished during the Philippine American War (1899 – 1902) contributed to the oppressive conditions that facilitated the phenomenon of mass prostitution in the Philippines. Instead of bringing ‘Christianity’ and ‘Civilization’ as President McKinley had claimed, we brought oppression and injustice on a massive scale.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Olongapo Barrio Barretto Baloy Beach

This is the skinny on travel to beach. Get off plane at Clark, pay a taxi 150-200 Pesos to go to Bus Stop in Angeles City. Take a bus for 108 or more Pesos to the city of Olangapoe. Pay a trike motorcycle Taxi 150 pesos and go to Baloy Beach,

The Lagoon Hotel across from Johans Hotel has 24 hour FREE WIFI, that seem to work in room 1 or 2, after that I doubt it. The concrete walls will stop the Internet. I am in room 1, therefore somehow it is going through the wall.

The cost of the room is 1000 Pesos, my change seasonally. I pay between 500 and 700 for a room in Manila, so this is about 10 Dollars per night to have 24 hour Internet access. The cost is 50 pesos, so if want to use for 6 hours it would be 300 pesos.

I need the speed of convenience. What to do here, the beach is empty. I think if I had a girlfriend that would lay in the sun, life could be excellent.

Note, a Philippine girl will not lie in the sun, Sort of like living in a Sports Bar here, with a beach to make the view better. Clark Airport - Say Bus Stop 150 Pesos Bus Stop - Say - Bus to Olaogapo - 108 and up. Olongapo- Say to trike 150 Baloy Beach - Lagoon or Johans. NOTE: Barrio Barretto is a Little town next to Baloy Beach. I am putting these directions up, I would love to have this with landmarks. To ask a taxi to go to some unknown beach is difficult, they need a landmark.

When I go to Olangapo, I say - Olongapoe Bus Stop 150 - and they will take me from the Lagoon Hotel to the Olangapo bus stop easy, then I can walk.

Barrio Barretto Beach

This is the closest and easiest side trip from Angeles (or Manila) that has something special to offer. Olongapo is where the Subic base is (base now has deluxe hotels, casinos and upscale bars) and is a pass through to the Barrio Barretto/Subic City area that contains the beaches and night life for us travelers. The whole trip from Angeles can be made under two hours and I paid Percy 1700 pesos for the transportation (2400 pesos from Manila airport). There is also a daily express hotel pick/up bus for 250 pesos. Ask your hotel about the " Subic Express bus" and if it stops at your hotel in Angeles -- this bus will drop you off in front of your hotel choice in Barrio Barretto or reverse routing back to Angeles!

There is also Eagle Ferry cruises, Inc. which now runs a shuttle between Manila and Subic twice a day. The entire trip takes just 2 hours 20 minutes and costs P130 for the air con deck or P110 for the sea deck. Subic to Manila is 7.00am and 1.00pm and return is 10.00 am and 3.30pm In Subic it leaves from Eagle Fleet Landing (in front of SBMA Bldg. 229) and from Manila PTA Bay Cruise Terminal, beside CCP.

The Barrio Barreto area is a small beach city area about 10 minutes from Olongapo and is where I suggest you stay. Not only are there a dozen of hotels to choose from (cheap bungalows to the super deluxe White Rock Hotel) but there is even some interesting inexpensive night life. I stayed at a new hotel called "Zanzibar" which was in the middle of things -- the best beach in front (called "Long Beach") and a ten minute walk to Barrios Barretto night life and a short trike ride to the Subic City dance clubs (Subic City is not Subic Base and really is just an extension of Barrio Barretto).

How to Get Around in Barretto and Olongapo City

Tricycles (a kind of 3-wheeled taxi) and public utility jeepneys (a kind of 10-seater bus) provide public transportation within Olongapo. Jeepeneys are colour-coded, based on the routes they ply. There are three that are useful: blue, yellow and red. When you want to get off the jeep, say “para” or knock on the roof.

The blue jeepney (Subic to Olongapo City) goes to and from Olongapo City to Barretto. Some blue jeepneys go as far as Castillejos, another village after Subic. The terminal of the blue jeepney that takes you to Barretto is conveniently located on a side street (behind ChowKing), next to the Victory Liner bus station.

The yellow jeepney (Sta Rita to Main Gate of SBMA) can take you to two of the gates of the Subic Freeport Naval Base from Olongapo City. (By the way, you cannot enter the Base in slippers or very casual attire).

The red jeepney (Gordon Heights to Main Gate of SBMA) goes to another public market called Pag-Asa from Olongapo City. 

The Victory Liner air-conditioned bus travels to and from Manila and Olongapo City. It makes a stop at a rest area called “Double Happiness” and another very short stop before the highway (to log-in at the dispatcher’s office).

Barrio Barretto Map

These are the main streets in Barrio Barretto. The main avenue which leads to and from Olongapo City and on to northern Zambales is called the National Highway. This avenue is where the restaurants, small hotels and businesses are mainly located. Casa Barretto is a one minute walk from the National Highway.