Spoon or Chopsticks?

Time to Learn a New Language?

While reading some of the personal details about the new Philippines president, Duterte, I’ve learned about some of the reasons Duterte holds such a deep dislike for America. And the more I read, the more I learn. The way I understand it, Duterte holds grudges longer than most people live; for example, he is apparently still upset about a century-old conflict way back during the American occupation in the Philippines when 600 Moros, mostly women and children, were killed in Mindanao, after a two-day battle in 1906. Even before he entered politics, he consistently echoed anti-American sentiments.  He was once a student of the Lyceum of the Philippines and a member of the Kabataang Makabayan, a leftist movement formed in 1964 whose leaders would later form the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Duterte also went head-to-head with the US government after a hotel explosion in 2002 when he claimed that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation spirited suspected and injured bomber Michael Terrence Meiring out of the country and without any approval from the Philippine government. He then further eyed the U.S. when a bomb exploded at the Davao International Airport in 2003 and followed by another explosion at the Sasa wharf several more months after the hotel explosion that injured Meiring, and is when he began suspecting that the U.S. could have had a hand in the said explosions.

Duterte has also criticized the U.S. for their interventions in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, stating that “it is not that the Middle East […] exporting terrorism in America. America imported terrorism.” He added that jihadists were people “pushed to the wall” by US actions. Nonetheless, Duterte’s distrust for America is probably more well rooted than it is substantiated.

And even though Finance Minister Carlos Dominguez III described Duterte’s recent comments telling US President Barack Obama to “go to hell” as a “bump in the road” in a century-long relationship with the United States that maintains deep business and family ties, they do not overshadow Duterte’s most recent public statement to the Chinese where he declared that the Philippines relationship with the United States is “Officially” over.

New Skills Needed

This morning, my brother-in-law, who is working at our house on our ongoing construction project, was talking about how the Chinese are putting Duterte through his paces in that country, to determine his current and future allegiance to all Asian nations. He [DU30] was apparently asked if he used chopsticks or a teaspoon to eat with, and when he replied teaspoon (actually, they use tablespoons), the Chinese laughingly questioned his motives. It was supposedly suggested (jokingly) that if the Philippines wanted to become aligned with the Chinese, they must learn to adapt to more traditional Asian cultures and customs, like eating with chopsticks.

Mango Moment

It’s Just Another Mango Moment!

So, just before lunch break, I went back into the house and grabbed a pair of chopsticks which I proceeded to give to my brother-in-law. As I handed them to him, I suggested he go eat lunch and get some practice. “You’re gonna need to learn” I told him. “The Chinese are coming!”

I will remain optimistic however and look at this situation as a potential benefit to the filipino people going forward. If Duterte’s policy moves backfires on him and the country, there will be nothing lost as I see it. The real benefit to me is now I know what to buy for family members here for Christmas… their very own chopsticks!  I’m thinking I will save a lot of pesos this Christmas season.

Next week I might suggest to a few pedi-cab (padjak padjak) drivers I know that they might consider trading-in their bicycles for the more traditional rickshaw.

6 thoughts on “Spoon or Chopsticks?

  1. Duterte LOL – I truly fear for the average Filipino citizen. Duterte’s pre election talk was oh so bold – Something I believe both you and I heard in the late 80’s. 90’s – He “we will show how big, independent and strong the Philippine Nation is” (remember he was going to swim out if necessary and hold to the SCS land disputed territory, plant the flag and defend the territory, himself) When Marcos was thown out of power (understandable) and C. Aquino took office the cry was “America was at fault”, so America go away ( the PI’s second largest employer after San Miguel Corporation)… we did. It has taken nearly 20 years then to repair that grand move in relations between the RP and the US. Now he steps in and 90 days destroys all progress made in the previous twenty years, burns the bridges again. He best be very successful and he and the Filipino people best understand that PRC is not doing this out of the benevolent kindness of their hearts…. the are gonna get, expect something in return and the citizens best be happy to give it to them. Hey Randy – in a few years let me know what the Chinese or Russian Naval Station in Subic Bay is like. Oh I wonder if they will give ya exchange privileges. 🙂

  2. My thoughts are.
    Roddy is thinking ahead. Maybe his thoughts are if Clinton becomes President, then there will be something started with Russia and China. So huddle your enemy close, to keep under the fire.
    I would like to see any changes with China and Roddy if Trump wins.
    I think Trump likes China.
    The world at the moment is looking like one big F Up.

    No one appears to be able to look after their OWN Country. Presidents, Prime Ministers, Kings, Rulers, appear to look after their selves before their people.

  3. Just make sure when you come to visit, bring your chopsticks if you want to eat! I have this feeling that DU30 will do away with silverware soon. lol

  4. Du30 is just out of his element. First one dramatic statement then another, sometimes contradictory. The question is not if he can announce a new policy, it is if he can generate a coalition to put that policy into place. The more divisive the personality the less likely powerful people will hitch their destiny with him.
    My thinking of the most likely outcome of this wild seeming policy shift will be going for the money of foreigners. Increased visa fees, more documentation to overstay/extend, US visitors will need to have a visa in hand to board a plane, perhaps asking residents to pay taxes on outside income like Social Security brought into the country.

  5. What many do not realize is that he still has a congress to pass new policy through. Not as easy as it sounds when that very congress will tend to be dissident.

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