Sunday, 23 February 2014

When will the cycle stop?

"When will the cycle stop?"

(Or all after seeing the same old issue
 at the University of the East)

Seems that the recent events involving both state and private colleges and universities is all but the same like last year. Especially with the month of February as the month where consultations regarding attempts to increase Tuition and other fees been officiated.

Basing much on section 6.2 of CHED memorandum no.3, the so-called guarantor of people's rights and welfare had "lessened" intervening in regards to education-related issues, while technocrats within State colleges and universities, and private school comprador-educators had afford to increase tuition and other fees, requiring them at first to set consultations with the Faculty, Staff, and Student body in general.

However, with the said memorandum order having a state unoffically "hands off" in regards to education issues both from private and state colleges and universities, it rather provoked most of the concerned studentry and staff anger, knowing that the former had emphasised profit regardless of its alibis to justify increases.
With 539 universities repeatedly increasing Tuition and other fees since last year (as according to the National Union of Students of the Philippines), most had treated consultations as "for show", proceeding the increase in midst of opposition, and even depriving the studentry to voice out grievances concerning the issue with the majority coming from working-class backgrounds. 

That somehow for this writer and others concerned that yearly profiteering, regardless of their so-called alibis will always be the main priority of the compradore-educators and technocrats whom negating education as service to the youth and instead using it as part of the market.

"Rage over the East"

In the Compradore-Educator owned University of the East, Tuition and Other Fee Increases are yearly with the administrators having it imposed 5 or 4% . Lately, they had attempted to impose, this time 3.5%, lower than those of last year's increase for the coming semester. The proceedings coming from the yearly increase had been much allocated into its return of investment, while the rest goes to its priorities such as those of school improvements and salaries for faculty members and staff.

However, as for the students of working-class backgrounds, the yearly tuition hikes had been a burden, particularly those of sophomore, junior and senior levels experiencing increase in payment as old students. And regardless of having an increase lower than its last year's imposition they had understood, as well as oppose having yearly tuition increases that adds burden to themselves as well as their families, regardless of its alibi such as promises and picemeal improvements in the campus particularly in Manila.

In fact, this writer had sought piecemeal improvements around the campus such as fresh coat of paint and improved exteriors, as well as a council afford to brag about their projects coming from funds also brought by the hikes. Piecemeal knowing that it had served primarily to appease the studenty and its demands such as wireless fidelity internet services, whiteboards, even fresh coat of paint, anything cosmetic but not enough to improve the well being of the community itself; worse, having the administrators afford to curtail the right of opposing tuition hikes and threatening those who oppose with sanctions such as suspensions or even expulsion.

Lately, a student of the University was been observed and even harassed by the guards for being outspoken against policies including those of proposed Tuition hikes, while campus newspaper DAWN also experienced harassment ranging from budget constraint (so as not to release issues) to guards roaming at the second floor of Engineering bldg. (where the newspaper office been situated). These are made in response to such opposition taken by the studentry with protests during the constultation period, that also somehow put a semblance of freeze in the proposed increase. 

But does that semblance of freeze over the proposed increase had also stopped the protests? The authorities had tried to block students from supporting protests and curbing potential opposition to existing and even upcoming "repressive" and "unpopular" student policies such as the failed attempt to impose short hair for males last 2009. 
That somehow made those from the LGBT and adventure-loving students also took protest that same year. The administrators had both denied (yet being posted without any mark from the Office of Student Affairs) and justified (citing the idea of "rules to be observed in the private school".)

Well, like during his student days, this writer may had observed repression in the campus other than continuous increase of tuition and other fees. Citing "development" as its primary reason for their profiteering in case of the latter, it had to create piecemeal examples such as what this writeup stated earlier. And in citing much of the university as rather a private school than an institution that caters to academic freedom and progressive instruction, it seems no different from a convent with rules both official and unofficial to be observed, all in pursuit of order so to speak with the administrators, again comprador educators per se, trying to milk the students with the sugar coated promises of student care and development. 

When will the cycle stop?

Strange isn't it? But inconviently true for those who are affected, that despite denials, such issues this writer had stated would say that it adds burden no matter how many percent the increase being given such as 5, 4, or 3.5, or 3%. It is still an increase in which sophomores, juniors, or even senior-leven students had to stop schooling and have temporary job for the sake of matriculation. 

But is that enough to get content in enduring the yearly increase and repression through some of its policies? Not even the council, who is acting a yes man of the administration can able to defend on behalf of the students its right and welfare other than organizing events during foundation week. The piecemeal improvements can't resolve fully the issue the students regularly speak of, while promises of academic freedom and progressive instruction in a private school aren't been fulfilled as long as convent-like conditions (through its policies) continue to thrive in the campus. 

Thus, instead of contenting in enduring the yearly pain, of bleeding everyone dry, it is necessary for the students to oppose no matter the administrators afford to justify, or sugarcoat their intentions of milking students with yearly increases. They may had afford a semblance of improvement over everything but not enough, a mere crumb compared to increasing return of investments enjoyed by these profiteers using education as a just, lucrative form of business.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Approved as expected, yet still opposed!

Approved as expected, yet still opposed!

"For sure everyone is still rejoicing after a temporary victory for civil rights, but if the system remains stubborn by playing deaf, may as well man the online barricade with full defiance."

These are the words this writer made last October 29, 2012 regarding the Temporary Restraining Order being set upon by the Supreme Court over a controversial law that was passed amidst criticism. And  nowadays, had been lifted and again debated by lawmakers concerning the law itself and its controversial provisions possibly use to target critics against the system with the current administration.

As 2 days ago, the Supreme Court had justified the controversial RA 10175, known as the anti-Cybercrime law with its controversial provisions with the lifting its Temporary Restraining Order made last 2012 despite opposition from netizens both in Philippines and in abroad. 

As according to the Philippine Star, it stated:

"Justices of the high court voted in session to declare constitutional Section 4 (c) (4) of the law, which penalizes acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) committed through a computer system.
The SC ruled that imposition of cyber libel on the “original author of the post” is constitutional, but clarified the same is unconstitutional insofar as it penalizes those who simply receive the post and react to it.
This means only the source of a malicious e-mail, post on social media like Facebook or any website, tweet on Twitter can be held liable under RA 10175."

The said law originally had no online libel provisions until Senator Tito Sotto had put the "Online Libel" clause into it, allegedly made in response to the criticism regarding the "plagarised" speech regarding the controversial RH bill last year, in which Sotto had also opposed in it. People had described his speech as "Sottocopy", and even called him "Onion Skinned" for insisting the passage of RA 10175 and its controversial clause featured.

However, despite approval, the courts had declared unconstitutional some provisions written. As again according to the same article:

"The SC, however, struck down as unconstitutional three other assailed provisions of the law: Section 4 (c) (3), which penalizes unsolicited commercial communication; Section 12, which authorizes the collection or recording of traffic data in real-time; and Section 19, which authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) to restrict or block access to suspected computer data.
The magistrates voted on each of the assailed provisions, but (SC Spokesperson) Theodore Te said he was not informed as to how the voting per provision went.
RA 10175 was supposed to take effect in October 2012 but its implementation was stopped by the SC through a 120-day temporary restraining order that was extended for an indefinite period in February last year
With the SC ruling, Te explained the TRO has been automatically lifted.
“That is functus officio (of no further legal efficacy) since the case is already done. As far as the provisions that were not declared unconstitutional, the presumption of course is that they will now be enforceable because they were not affected by the declaration of the Court,” Te said."

In short, regardless of having some laws strucked down by the court, Online Libel remains at large so are the others. Much more if there are extralegal actions the system would possibly do so online, as according to Neri Colmenares (via Inquirer):

“No one should go to prison just for expressing oneself, especially on the Internet, where people express their frustration with government."

So is Vencer Crisostomo, in his twitter post:

“Under cybercrime law, tweets, likes, shares, comments crimes. Everyone under surveillance...”

This writer would call it "doublespeak" knowing that they had enacted a controversial law despite having certain provisions deemed unconstitutional. "It was not, however, clarified whether forwarding, commenting, sharing or retweeting the item could be considered a crime under the law." as what the PhilStar article stated; but despite statements justifying or insisting, still, the law will always be synonymous to the controversial clause, if not a psywar crap to be used by the so-called state.
And if to put into practice, the law may had tried to mimic those of the United States trying to intrude in everyone else's privacy, from Electronic mails, accounts in Social Media sites, even articles in online newspapers, including this writeup knowing that this writer had been dealing much with politics so as in cultural affairs this site supposedly known for.

 After all, been writing for years, and still seeing the same old shit ever made by the system and its subjects, even those of its apologetics, RA 10175 was made as one of their efforts in restraining everyone criticizing the repressive policies of the state. Be it may in form of disregarding social services and education as national priorities, consistent repression in the guise of law and order, or even economic policies that blocks the way to self sufficiency and tolerates dependency on so-called foreign aid and investment; and knowing that it is like any other repressive law that is trying to put in force all for the sake of keeping the status quo, much more that it had tried to regulate the flow in cyberspace in pursuit of curbing down dissent.

Well, and if that's the case, then it is indeed right to say to these people on high "to hell with them" and "Fuck You!" since everyone, despite rejoicing last year having that kind of law restrained, had also expected that same issue resurface with the system insisting to revive and use those controversial provisions given such as that so-called online libel insisted by Sotto et al. And with that damn Cybercrime law been insisted by the order to enforce against child pornography, phishing and credit card theft, quite nice though to have an effort to create the said law, but for reality's sake, there's the law against violence against women and children, on bank secrecy, and other laws that may find redundant with the passage of a law that encompass the same intentions. For sure one remembered that they are toying with the idea of having a "Freedom" of "gaining access to government information" as well as "decriminalizing libel", so how come these aren't been fulfilled and instead having everyone restrained from exposing and opposing?
And using libel as its alibi, it may possibly include those against possible "online subversion", knowing that most people who had opposed the said law are also against the status quo whom tolerated corruption, disenfranchisement and countless repression.  Whether it is from Pixel offensive with its facts and figures given, or those from Showbiz Government with its politically-incorrect statements.

That somehow for a rotten system, onion skinned indeed, does constitute what they think of as libelous and subversive. 
Yes, libelous and subversive for it is the people had been sickening tired of the status quo. 
Yes, libelous and subversivefor it is the people had wanted a real change that requires a major overhaul and not a series of so-called "repairs".
Yes, libelous and subversive for it is the people, sovereign as according to the so-called law of the land acknowledges that right, and that is the right to rebel. Rebel against the system in various forms, including those online that speaks much of truth, truth that is contrary to various personal bullshit insisted, denied, or justified by the system against its so-called subjects.

And therefore, it is necessary for the people to vent rage against the order who is trying to gag everyone who has the right, as a sovereign to criticize against their policies up to their bullshitty, corrupt persona as maintainers of status quo.

Thus, despite being approved as expected, the people rather man the barricades and oppose no matter what the outcome is. Freedom of speech may had limitations, but still there is a right for everyone to oppose in it.

Again, may as well man the online barricades, this time stronger. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Play for a pay? Or Play to convey?: All after seeing the present day February fair

Play for a pay? Or Play to convey?
All after seeing the present day February fair

It was years ago when this writer had went to UP for its February fair aside from its Lantern Parade.

Featuring various university-based bands and sponsored by various organizations depending on the day of the week-long celebration, the fair had drawn people from all walks of life, in and out of the Philippines' own "National University" just to see famous personages and newbies playing with their own brand of music and making themselves popular afterwards in a series of offers coming.

However, as time goes by, it all seemed changed especially with sponsors started to support over the said event, not just performers but booths trying to compete with those whom not quite recognized but well known during the fair. Once, this writer had looked for UP-themed tshirts that first came from his former work (Graffiti Art Development Cooperative), then the well-known Maroons (with its main branch at the UP Shopping centre), and eventually seeing a variety of dresses including those from Henry Sy's SM, one of the major sponsors.
Speaking of the latter, seems that SM, with its so-called "SM Youth" had afford to use the fair to promote their commercialism using the youth and its passion, that they even afford to use some progressive rhetoric yet obviously can't be. Change? Whose change? Freedom? Whose freedom?

Well, here's an excerpt form the article “The Feb Fair: Then and Now” published in the UPLB site last September 9, 2013, reflecting the Fair's original intention to today's series of consumerist brouhaha courtesy of various sponsors:

“More and more people from all walks of life are drawn to the fiesta-like atmosphere that pervades the campus during Feb Fair. And, possibly lost in the din and the noise is the profoundness of the occasion, or at least its beginnings during a dark era in our history – the declaration of Martial Law in 1972. Feb Fair was the medium by which students expressed dissent against the dictatorial and oppressive regime during Martial Law.”

In other words, the fair is used to invoke what the system called as "subversion" using cultural means such as music and a series of festivities trying to reflect the University's autonomy in midst of repression from the state. That a cultural worker has to play songs with words good enough to evade the censors and military agents then swarming around the campus. To others, it's like any other fair happened in every school but inside lies a message that ought to convey no matter how "subversive" it was, or is in the eyes and ears of the so-called "state."

But nowadays, the event situated in the former General Antonio Luna parade grounds had become a mere commercialized event that is different from its militant origins. It's like any other event with so-called famous personages not quite related to the institution as well as various sponsors like SM or back on the days, Globe Telecom, or even Frenzy Condom promoting their consumerist brouhaha and gaining profit in it. This writer had find it less communitarian knowing that better the days when it had carries least its militancy to convey a message of change and struggle; while people who may favor having an event commercialized would say it generates the University income, of adding prestige to the institution, and even courting potential donors and various individuals, groups trying to evade taxes by throwing away crumbs and calling as grants and donations.

Or let's just say as strange that there are outsiders who came to perform, play for a pay than those who can play to convey; of seeing sponsors than willing performers, and any other crap that negates the said event. Come to think of this: how come there is a need for a commercialized entity as a sponsor yet there are fraternities or any other groups within the university willing to contribute? And since these commercialized entities succeeded in doing so, then what's next for commercializing events in the campus, December's Lantern Parade? If so, then expect tickets as well, for the university ran by technocrats, including those of the current student council, who brags to everyone that they had to gear for a global university status had rather emphasise profit over public service as a "National University". Making everyone enlightened enough think that the event itself a "fair that happened inside the UP campus by mere consumerists" than a "fair run by UP students as means to convey social emancipation."

And perhaps, if these continue to persist having an event commercialized then it is justifiable from the so-called punk and emo societies of Lagro, the so called jumping jologs from Fairview to Rizal to destroy the walls for being penniless and throw bottles of urine to the feeling pogi singers singing pogi rock for sake.

Friday, 7 February 2014



By Katleah Ulrike

"The Univeristy of the Philippines is hereby declared as the National University..."
-UP charter of 2008

"In service of youth, country, and god..."
- based on the University of the East vision and mission statement

It was months ago when the issue on moving the school calendar from June to August hath been revived and discussed in social media sites as well as campus papers, particularly those of the big 4 schools situated around the metro.

However, two of the big 4 schools, namely: the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) had approved changing its school calendar as what this writer had stated. However, as for the University of the Philippines, most of its campuses, minus the main campus at Diliman had agreed with the latter chose to dissent because of certain disagreements.

And with most of the comments coming from social media sites and online newspapers all but favorable to the idea of just changing the calendar had simply come from a variety of reasons such as typhoon seasons that comes on June or July, international standards especially using ASEAN integration as its starting pojnt, or even plain and simple want of having foreigners studying in a school calendar based on what being stated, treating the latter merely as an investor than as a scholar. They even cited ASEAN integration not knowing that last 2010 the Philippines has 1/4 or 25% of children studying college compared to Singapore with its 71% or Malaysia with its 40.2%. Yes, those countries are part of ASEAN that is, "NeoKlim" (Neocolonial and imperialist dominated, particularly those of the west), and with that kind of tendency may say that the "just" moving of school year, be it may in August or September shows the idea of having foreigners further gain access to education in the Philippines, expecting bigger profits and alibis such as "development" of existing colleges, buildings, and the like.

But, as for this writer rather say that she, like those who had opposed Tuition and Other Fee Increases, and Student repressions, is also against the sudden changing of the  the school calendar whether it is for UP, ADMU, DLSU or even UE, FEU and SSC-R. For the University of the Philippines, on the first place, is a National University that caters first and foremost to the Filipino people. Foreigners may afford to study and enjoy under the present school calendar, but again It should had prioritize first the Filipino people in equipping knowledge in pursuit of genuine national development.
So are the not quite affected schools that must do the same in opposing, knowing that there are possible consequences affecting the vast majority of students, particularly those of working class and lower petitbourgeois backgrounds paying skyrocketing tuition and other fees, and sudden climate changes that affect not just health and well being of students but also those of maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE); else, no wonder that one after another administrator and a bunch of apologetics will certainly agree in a sudden join into the neoliberal flow, of commercialism guised as development, of globalization guised as internationalism, anything that benefits the ruling class aggravates the problems of the vast majority whose children wanted to study in pursuit of a better, excellent life. That changing the calendar can "pave way" to development in the education sector "simply because had to cope with international standards!"

But come to think of this, in a climate that just consist of wet and dry, and with sudden changing seasons particularly those of rain and storm in a possible given month, the just idea of changing the calendar seemed likely concluding to be a mixed reaction:

That one may consider it ideally to have the calendar and even some policies change in accordance to international standards all because of having Philippine education getting coped with the modern times, with education-based tourism and a just influx of dollar-carrying foreigners willing to study in the Philippines; yes, it seemed to be quite nice that education at first as fast becoming an investment for educational institutions turned corporations with all of its amenities trying hard to be improved for goddamn sake! With state universities controlled by technocrats "care less" about having budget cuts due to education-based tourism made by dollar-carrying investors, ehem, students. 

But, on the other hand, which is based on facts, it may deem disagreeable simply because of today's changing climates, that torrential rains also encompass those of "ber" months and tremendous heat  during summer; as well as not prioritizing important ones particularly those of contested tuition increases and rehabilitation and improvement of affected schools, particularly those battered by supertyphoon Yolanda last 2013.
Speaking of  the supertyphoons, most were happened on the first four months of the proposed school calendar. Tropical storm Ondoy and Pepeng brought devastation last September 23, 2010 while Typhoon Sendong had devastated parts of Visayas and Mindanao last December 2011 so was Pablo  last November 2012. The effects of climate change had made typhoons happen in months, ironically speaking as the first few quarters of the "new" school year.

Furthermore as what Kabataan Party's Terry Ridon saidth:

“The August-May calendar is so incongruent with the climate, culture, and orientation of our education system that it poses dire ramifications to our students and faculty..." 

So is Fromer UP Student Regent Cleve Arguelles stated in Pinoy Weekly (partly translated from Filipino), in regards to opposing the said attempt:

First, having low access of poor people in college, that the majority had come from those of farmers, existing policies tormented them in allocating money for paying tuition and other expenses. The current start of the school calendar fells on the season where farmers had to harvest their crops. If the government had no plans to make education affordable, then where do they want to fetch these children from their families?

Second, the current school calendar is ideal in the country’s weather cycle. It should not be opposed because it is difficult for students to study during summer (march-may). And although the university who had advocated the said change has air-conditioned classrooms, isn't it that it also increases tuition due to gigantic growth in energy consumption? In a country that has highest amount of energy consumption in the world, and a government that has no plan to deal about the issue, then there is no room for such impractical proposals.

Third, it rather strengthens the present description of education system in the country, that is based on the needs of the world market, of creating more cheap labor, serving the interest and needs of the foreigners and the few who had both access and benefit.

Quite awkward to think that in a country that has less priorities on Education and more into Debt Servicing, had afford to speak about "international standards" and other "neoliberal" stuff in regards to Education. If one has to push the idea of having a global university, then how come the Philippines public spending per GDP ratio those of 2.5% while Thailand has 4.5 and Vietnam has 5.3%? Those countries had valued education in pursuit of National Development prior to the idea of ASEAN integration. The Philippines, with its neoliberal nature rather do a laissez faire in most of its policies, leaving anything to the profit-oriented private sector while seeking from IMF-WB loans.

And come to think of this, since UP had approved changing the calendar in most of its campuses, and at the same time time rehabilitating the Yolanda-wrecked buildings at Tacloban for let's just say two to three years, with possibly increasing fees with existing controversial rules that made Kristel Tejada committed suicide, then what the heck are those technocrats guised as educators doing? Wrecking, diluting certain existing policies and at the same time profiteering from the mess being occurred?
How about other State and Private Colleges and Universities, will they just simply join the neoliberal flow knowing that education-tourism has become the possible fast-growing trend in the Philippines? In UE for example, Iranian students, particularly those of Dentistry has to pay dollars just like its Filipino counterparts paying fees that are gone increasing yearly. This writer, like any other critic may like to think that the trend is all but a two-way road that consists of increasing profits and neglecting its priorities.

No wonder that right is what the progressive and patriotic organizations in UP, as well as other colleges and universities, that “in desiring to internationalize and be a global university, we are becoming less and less nationally and locally relevant” that made them turn their backs on its main priorities in the University- of serving the Filipino people and prioritizing National Development. 

That's all for now.  Expect protests to come because of possible exorbitant fees because of this hell of a kind trend!

Rest in Power, TADO

Rest in Power, TADO

 photo n503923bccdd7e_zps18f75a26.jpg

TADO had died? Tsk, unbelievable but true.

As news reports confirmed that Comedian Arvin "Tado" Jimenez is 1 of the 14 dead in the bus crash in Bontoc, Mt. Province.

According to the police, the bus Mr. Jimenez was riding fell into a 120-meter ravine along the Banaue-Bontoc Road in sitio Paggang, Barangay Talubin in Bontoc town on Friday morning. Other than him, there were two foreign tourists who are also killed in the said accident.

Quite saddening that he, despite being in a different spectrum of the left he had afford to popularise the scene, especially alongside Angel Rivero and Ramon Bautista in then-Atom Henares' UNTV's Strangebrew, followed by the radio show BREWRATS at 99.5 HiT FM. The former had even became informative for children despite its raggedy appearance as it feat. buko pies being made in Laguna, Water Closets manufactured in Cavite, as well as now non-existent places such as San Lazaro Hippodrome in Manila and meeting late personages like Reynaldo Punongbayan.

An episode from Strangebrew 

Personally, this writer had met him and his family during an event with Romeo Lee as host and sponsored by UP Mountaineers. Quite friendly indeed, so was his wife whom this writer had met years ago as part of StrangeBrew Yahoo group, and her kids that he's like any other person regardless of popularity he had attained. 

And like any other "fan" or a just "acquaintance" within the cultural scene would say that at first it's quite unbelievable to hear his demise until latest updates confirmed about this.

Anyways, Condolences to his wife, Leonora Jimenez and the family of the late comedian, as well as friends from the scene. Tado may had left his work unfinished and instead takes a long journey of guiding everyone in his advocacies such as those from Dakila. yes, he's not dead, but instead living in everybody's hearts, especially those who has the gut to continue his unfinished work.

From yours truly.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Towards a new co-prosperity in a forsaken region

Towards a new co-prosperity in a forsaken region

(Or seeing ASEAN as a satellite region of the US
than an independent entity)

"The future of Asia is powerless," says the critics of today in seeing a region that once envisioned as a growing progressive society into an interest seeking bullshit invented by western interests. It is much obvious to see how it had become, especially in the underdeveloped and developing parts of the region. May it be the Philippines, Timor Leste, or some regions in Indonesia to Burma and Cambodia.

And knowing that most Asiatic peoples, specifically in the South East are rather becoming slaves of those who make false promises in which end incomplete or failed to realise, western interests had afford to throw unjustly their surpluses and its trash culture, reducing, if not wiping away heritage all for the sake of illusory progress made out of wholesale "westernization" with standards much likely based on the Atlanticists like the United States. Strange indeed that despite bragging to the world the modern edifices yet obviously having shantytowns, faux-prosperity made by cheap labor and to some extent in other countries, feudalism in the far-flung provinces, the Asiatic peoples had no other choice but to insurrect knowing that their respective systems, being stooges of a repressive international order had chose to tolerate repression whilst speaking words like "progress", "stability", "greatness", and "security".
Or in other words, treating people as if stupid in justifying their failed intentions and a mish-mash of delusions.

ASEAN: a failure?

Like a powerless medusa, organizations within South East Asia such as the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had failed to inculcate South East Asian unity and instead acting as a mere organization served for occidental interests such as what this writer stated earlier; it had failed to create a South East Asia that is based on the aspirations of collective justice, security, prosperity, freedom and peace, regardless of its attempt yet still left in pieces of paper if not in the statements of every head of state treating an issue as if to be resolved by a  mere rhetoric.

As according to Eduardo Tadem of the University of the Philippines, ASEAN had failed in its integration for decades compared to the status of its European counterpart. Countries like Thailand and Singapore had treated the region merely as a conduit for exports that hence, intensify competition rather than inculcate cooperation and development within the region. In an article at Thailand's "The Nation" last 2013, he had cited 2010 statistics showing intra-Asean trade at just 25 per cent of the entire trade in the 10 member states, compared with 67.3 per cent of intra-trading among European Union members.

And since that Tadem argued that competition among Asean manufacturers was fierce and thus undermined the goal of regional integration, much more that as Raymond Palatino who had stated the failure in resolving transboundary issues that somehow justifies the creation of the said organization. Unfortunately, the current haze disaster reflects the utter failure of ASEAN as a regional grouping. Plus, three countries - Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand - dominate intra-Asean trade, accounting for about 70 per cent.
So to use the term used by the Japanese during the second world war, where's the co-prosperity being envisioned? Of bringing genuine development in developing countries by means of cooperation? What this writer sees is all but intense competition based on interest, that unveils weakness in the eyes of other regions such as China or the Occident.

And since ASEAN also speaks much of collective security and progress, then how come there is a need for outside intervention such as those of the interest-seeking United States? Quite obvious that the organization is all but a weak counterweight out of internal infights and intense competition within nations. A strong counterweight, ideally speaking does not need much of an outside intervenor in a way EU had tried during the cold war. France's Charles De Gaulle, in justifying France's independence includes European Unity to counter both US and USSR, so should be the ASEAN in countering China and the US.
But, knowing that alongside intense competition and putting down developing countries within the region, most are rather as similar to the "East India Companies" of the past, substituting multinational companies for old megacorporations in former colonizers, in countries treated as mere farms for raw materials and factories producing semi-processed and assembled goods; while sovereignty's insistence in domestic-based development being disregarded in favor of a particular interest in making a country weak and dependent in imports coming from what this writer had stated.

Much more that systems whom accommodate largely to the wishes of the west had to circumvent the original aspirations made by its founders, of collective development and unity within brother countries, paving way to much intervention from the west that cares much about their interest in the region.  Perhaps one should know that other than the newly emerging China craving for interest (and contrary to their ideology of course), the picture is also that the US, rather than the organization is the master of the region, telling and dictating to all the parties how to behave, what they should do and what it would want them to do. ASEAN is turning out to be a vehicle of the American Empire, existing only in names with the Americans calling the shot and setting the agenda and tone of discussion the way they had done in their former possession. In Indonesia, the idea of Pancasila had been diluted with its economy being geared to Neoliberal, rather than Pancasila itself; knowing that Soekarno, the founder of the modern Indonesian state had abhorred Neoliberalism as same those of Neocolonialism.
Again, like a powerless medusa, the region that tries to emulate its European counterpart had failed to realize its goal, that somehow made outside intervenors, interest-seeking so to speak afford to distort the idea of having a united region with the help of its domestic accomplices. Furthermore, since ASEAN had failed, so is the Non-Aligned Movement that also acts as a counterweight!

Towards a new co-prosperity in a forsaken region

As this writer had assessed ASEAN as a possible failed organization with its infights and irreconcilable differences,  then people seeks for an alternative knowing that the organization that supposed to bind the entire region didn't realize aspirations nor having its people having less benefit from it. Being a powerless medusa and a dummy that had been carried by a clique of someone else's stooges, people within the region has to insist a region firm in unity and brotherhood with cooperation and co-prosperity given. Sorry to use the term used by the Japanese during WW2, but the>real essence of co-prosperity is making every country within the ASEAN region and perhaps others a folk-oriented community and at the same time geared to the aspirations of the laboring people. An Internationalism that counters what is system-sponsored globalization. 

Contrary to the wants of modern day "east India" companies in the form of multinational exploiters, having a strong folk-oriented community of nations inculcates genuine cooperation and respect amongst countries, regional development different from the present orientation insisted by so-called international banking and finance organizations, and a counterweight, a genuine counterweight against interest seeking entities like the Imperialist United States and Social-Imperialist China. One may look at the orginal agreements such as those of the Bandung, Belgrade, and others whose primary objective is a union that speaks of co-prosperity and genuine mutual respect amongst newly emerging nations, in which time and again insisted by peoples and distored by systems.

It is obvious that exploiters and its apologists may attempt to undermine the idea of building a sphere of co-prosperity over the South East Asian region and others. Soekarno and  had once envisioned a Newly Emerging Force that was to counter the predominance of Neocolonialism not just in Asia but around the world. Gaddafi had somewhat shared the view of Soekarno in trying to create a united Africa alongside those of Julius Nyere and Kwame Nkrumah, so was Gamal Nasser in his dream of a united Arab federation with socialism as its foundation.
But sadly, those aspirations were partially built, and eventually destroyed by the accomplices of the dominant order and its domestic apologists. Qaddafi was killed and his Libya done destroyed, Soekarno being ousted by Soeharto with the latter distorting Pancasila and justly accepting Neoliberalism; seeing rampant poverty, repression and policies centered on dependency rather than independence and respect, perhaps the laboring people within the region had still insisted a community far from the descriptions insisted by their respective systems, with their near long-lost aspirations be realized in a way Fichte speaks of uniting material and spiritual wealth to create a healthy living being.

Come to think of this, since Pancasila and the aspirations of Andres Bonifacio speaks of social justice, then why neoliberalism made people march to the streets against institutionalized poverty? Farmers had even insisted land to the tiller to feed their communities  than those of corporations making cash crops merely for export. Workers had worked overnight just to earn a wage far from the perscribed, 9.50 pesos from Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac for an average farmworker's daily needs? 52 or 58 pesos to consider an a average Filipino unpoor in midst of rising costs of commodities? In Indonesia, where 70 per cent of the population lives in rural areas, poverty is increasingly concentrated in these areas with 16.6 per cent of rural people are poor compared with 9.9 per cent of urban populations. What a mockery of greatness, justice, stability for respective systems towards the average Juan and Marhaen! 
Anyways, still unable to control its borders, of intense competitions and quarrels, and failure to heed the genuine call of the people in countries within the region rather justifies being dominated by the mania of free-trade under multinational megacorporations, and subject to both Imperialist American and Social-Imperialist Chinese domination. 


Anyways, this writeup speaks far from those who think madly and based on computer games and obsession with science fiction and calling it as idealism. People had rather demand looking at the reality and have it respve realistically instead of a mish mash of pseudo-thought based on fiction. Tolerable indeed that there are some who had afford to use their creativity in pursuit of realizing the goals of the people such as those of Futurism and of skyscrapers, but these on the other hand aren't merely made to justify progress alone but of dealing with a population that is growing, hence making edifices higher rather than wider to accomodate a growing urban populace, so were the cars had been made in pursuit of replacing horses and inspired by trains that can be rode on roads than on tracks; the steam engine did not create out of mere books but of a desire for an efficient alternative to both man and horsepower; and so are the succeeding machineries that drives humanity into progress, that sadly still kept in the hands of the few who cares about profit than the people who took time making those "work."

Personally, in reading such writeups and looking at their graphics trying to illustrate their so-called aspirations and of the future, had find it if not a mockery, a free flow of imagination that again, based largely on science fiction and computer games rather than realities. They may quote Marx and Lenin, or even those of Mussolini and Hitler, but they failed to understand but instead creating a distortion in a way Holywood had depicted Soviets, Nazis largely in its movies. 
In the Philippines for instance, youngsters whom afford to praise the late Ferdinand Marcos had relied largely on those who, born in the generation of the "new society" failed to see the obvious reality such as slums and garbage at Tondo's Smokey Mountain, new wave of Oligarchs with its crony capitalism,  and of the debt being left by the regime they had admire most; some had even distort by insisting that Marcos made Philippines "second to Japan" that in fact it was under his predecessors like Garcia or Macapagal, for sure people also know that Marcos had failed to keep the peso strong and instead keeping it floated just like his predecessor. 
So were the others like Soeharto whose idea of a new order was nothing but submission to the wishes of the west.