Archive for December 9, 2010

PHILIPPINES & ASIA CHEER UP GLOBAL ECONOMY FOR 2011

December 9, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

The yearend Holidays are now nearing, and so we all better cheer up for the forthcoming holiday season. As early as November, Christmas trees and gigantic lanterns were already set up in malls and public places in the Philippines, a very thoughtful way of demonstrating love and generosity.

 

There is much reason for the global economy to cheer up for 2011 as indicated by our own very optimistic business environment and national economy here in the Philippines. Our region ASEAN is mightily growing at robust rates, India and Korea are doing good, and China is very heatedly growing.

 

As already discussed by various analysts and writers, ASEAN + China + India + South Korea—dubbed as ‘Asian economy’—have been the growth drivers of the global economy as a whole. High growth rates, well managed liquidities, healthy macro-economic fundamentals, and high foreign exchange reserves all converge as multi-factor drivers of growth in Asia. As a result, consumption is still moving up here, thus compounding the growth toward sustained heights all the more.

 

The Philippines has its own good news to share to the globe. A ‘Santa Claus’ list of glad tidings shows the following:

 

  • Philippine currency is the 2nd best in Asia. Strong and trustable, even treasuries and bonds denominated in Peso are selling like hot potatoes.

 

  • Foreign Exchange Reserves are at an all-time high of $56+ Billion (end of October), enough to buy almost a year of merchandise imports.

 

  • Growth rate as of the 1st two (2) quarters was at a whopping 7.9%, showing mightily good production levels. Yearend growth rate would be no less than 6.5% at the minimum, a figure that will be sustained well through 2011 and beyond.

 

  • Local bourse has hit a high-time figure of 4,200+ points recently. This is way above the psychological breakpoint of 2,000 points (that now looks very Jurassic), and will optimistically breach 5,000 points by 2011.

 

  • Overall GDP per capita (nominal) will breach $2,000 and will move up rapidly to the next levels over the next few years. Purchasing power parity or PPP per capita will exceed $10,000 around 2013-‘14.

 

  • State wages have been moving up by 15% per annum consistently for couples of years now. This move drives up private sector wages as well. Wages will again move up in strides from 2011 to 2016.

 

  • Inflation has been reduced down further, and will stay comfortably at the 2.5%-3.5% range by 2011. This is welcome news for a nation that is so fed up with hyper-inflations in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

 

  • Unemployment has been going down steadily, and will be at a manageable level of 8% or lower by 2011. Rising growth rate can then be sufficient to address the other problem of underemployment.

 

  • Exports and imports, or foreign trade, have returned to pre-global recession levels, thus contributing to more employment and higher wages.

 

  • Filipino businessmen’s investments overseas have moved up, and will continue to expand in 2011 and beyond. These contribute to overseas remittances and employment of Filipino labor and experts abroad.

 

The list is longer than the above-stated, though suffice us to take note of that short list. Those items are fundamental to sustaining the economic machine year by year, reduce poverty till the middle class dominates the population, and shoot up human development to notches higher than today’s indices.

 

Japan, USA and EU are on economic fires but the dampening situations there won’t totally hurt the global economy. Emerging markets have done their best to insulate themselves against the fiascos and fires of the northern economies, thus enabling them to serve as the hope of the world.

 

The cheery environment of Asia should better be the one focused upon by our global citizens, a cheer that serves as the ‘Santa Claus grin’ of the global economy as a whole for this year and the ones forthcoming.

 

[Philippines, 06 December 2010]

 

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

 

GLOBALIZING CHRISTMAS

December 9, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Christmas is now nearing as of this writing. Christmas bell tolls, kids’ carols, merry songs & dances are now up in the air, inviting everyone else to share the spirit of fun and camaraderie.

 

A Christian and sectarian holiday Christmas is, no one doubts this. Granted that Christmas is a sectarian affair, is it possible to transform it into a global/universal, multi-cultural event? There are apparently two (2) perspectives that clash concerning the matter.

 

From the point of view of fundamentalist, ultra-conservative church practitioners, whether Christian or non-Christian, Christmas is a sectarian affair and should not veer into cultural spaces not meant for its observation. A Muslim fundamentalist would throw monkey wrench at any attempt to globalize Christmas, and the same may be true for those fundamentalists of other denominations.

 

From the vantage point of a non-fundamentalist, cosmopolitan person, Christmas is one occasion that Christians can share to others. It is a multi-cultural affair, and it belongs to the whole of humanity for that matter. Ergo, everyone on Earth better attunes to the Christmas spirit and feel the ‘family of mankind’ fraternal bonds that the affair espouses.

 

As to where I stand in that polarity of perspectives, I am among those who wish to share the Christmas spirit as a multi-cultural blessing. Born a Catholic, but now a freethinker who espouses post-church spirituality, I remain attuned to the Christmas holidays just the same for the reasons stated above.

 

Christianity is a cult of Jesus, and I will have nothing to do with following or propagating such a cult. Esoteric Christianity, however, isn’t the same as the folk Christianity of the flocks who regard Jesus as a cult figure, and I squarely stand on the grounds of this mystical version of Christianity.

 

Esoteric Christianity teaches universal brotherhood among its core lessons. Universal brotherhood, a battle cry of cosmopolitan esotericists, is still a very valid principle to stand up for. It is the ethos that permits a soul to go beyond the bounds of sectarian precepts, embrace fellow humans as co-family members, and build a culture of dialogue across the planet.

 

I do hope that the more cosmopolitan Christians would consciously invite non-Christians to be part of the holidays, truly embrace their non-Christian brothers and sisters, and allow the latter to participate in such year-end party rituals as gift-giving. And, invite the non-Christians to 24th of December midnight gathering, where they can sit by the Christmas tree and partake of the food blessings for the occasion.

 

Non-Christians who may not be invited by Christians in their homes on the 24th & 25th of December can also go ahead and celebrate the affair with their families and friends on the said dates. Nothing is wrong for them to put up a Christmas tree at home and party on the 24th midnight and on the 25th of December. And, at the end of the month, celebrate New Year’s Eve too.

 

In the Philippines, the transformation of Christmas into a multi-cultural event has already been going on in the 60s till 1972. Unfortunately, the Mindanao War came, a Christian-Muslim schism was propagated, and Muslims became reluctant to celebrate Christmas with their brethrens among Christians.

 

I just hope that the tide of cleavages is now ebbing and ceasing. We formally recognize Muslim and Chinese occasions in this country, and so it would be fitting for all Filipinos including Chinese and Muslims to celebrate Christmas as well. By Chinese I refer to those Chinese who are Buddhist, Daoist, atheist, or non-Christian.

 

The occasions for Christmas parties are now going on, from one organization to another, and so it is best for us all to participate in these events. And, comes the 24th-25th of the month, celebrate Christmas at home as a ritual occasion to solidify family bonds. Then, comes the New Year’s Eve, celebrate with a Big Bang accompanying a party or gathering.

 

Peace be with you! Advanced Happy Holidays!

 

[Philippines, 08 December 2010]

 

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]