Archive for August 2015

ONE ASEAN: GET READY!

August 27, 2015

ONE ASEAN: GET READY!

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Good evening! Magandang gabi!

The dark clouds of the electoral contests are now getting clearer in the Philippines. With our polls settled and our elected leaders about to begin their mandates, I’d now depart from election-related advocacies and move back to the international-global arenas.

I have written quite enormously about international political economy and subsidiary themes for over two (2) decades. Even my blogging has been consumed with peregrinations on the international arena. So let me go back to this arena, even as I now clarify that I am a strong advocate of One ASEAN.

As I’ve elucidated in my past writings (see 2007-08 articles), I perceive the ASEAN as the larger polity to which my own country will return in the future.

The Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, the whole of island Southeast particularly, were largely creations of Western powers. They used to be part of the Majapahit Empire, the world’s wealthiest region before Western colonization fragmented it.

Being a strong believer in ASEAN unity, I am willing to shed off my hard-line Filipino nationalism and don the cloak of pan-ASEAN patriotism. Majapahit was the original nation to me and to those who resonate with the same worldview, and eager am I to see my country return to the Empire.

The Empire no longer bears that name today. Rather, it goes by the name of ASEAN, short for Association of Southeast Asian Nations. But it bears the same geo-political and geo-economic contours of the Empire before it fragmented.

A benevolent Empire it was, as it used the fiat of trade cooperation to get membership into the polity. That is, to be able to become a part of the Empire, concur trade with its nexus and prinzeps. This was a much different track from the typical military occupation used by other regional and world powers to expand their territorial confines.

If we reflect back on what our state players are doing here today, where they’re concurring agreements and treaties using the most civil means conceivable to get to a higher level of unity, the same means actually revives the consensus methods used by our peoples in antiquity. Today, no matter how diverse our political, economic, and cultural systems are, we are talking to each other here, which is reflective of a ‘dialogues of civilizations’ approach.

From state-to-state and civil society-to-civil society talks, let us move on to direct people-to-people talks in the region. People-to-people interactions precede people-to-people cooperations. I strongly contend that people-to-people cooperation should eventually be the base for state-to-state and civil society-to-civil society cooperation and no less.

State-to-state talks are quite slow in results, even if market players joined state actors to buttress the former stakeholders’ positions. In some areas of talks, such as those involving territories, snags are observed.

People-to-people interactions and cooperation will do much to accelerate state-to-state talks that get snagged for one reason or another. The same cooperation can also accelerate the building of a pan-ASEAN identity which should precede any writing of a general treaty that will unify the region at least economically.

People-to-people interactions have already been taking place in the region for almost 2000 years in fact. Western colonization may have diminished the scales of interactions for a long while, but that era of imperialism is much behind us now.

As states, market players, and civil society players are preparing for larger talks ahead, let us noble peoples of the region go ahead and expand the levels of talks to build greater mutual confidence, appreciation of each other’s cultures, and trust. Along the way, we have fellow Asians and global citizens who will support our efforts as true friends.

In any way we can, let us get to know each other better. Let’s set aside utilitarian gains (e.g. get to know Asean pals who can become network marketing partners) and interact based on a true call of our hearts, of our souls.

That way, we contribute to building our preparedness for the grand future coming. We just can’t be caught flat-footed, not knowing what’s going on in our larger backyard because we allowed state players to monopolize the talks.

Fellow ASEANians, let’s get ready!

[Writ – Philippines, 11 May 2010. E. Argonza is adept at international political economy. He was a graduate student of former ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Wilfrido Villacorta, PhD. He has published various articles on the subject, as well as a book on global trade regime.]

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WILL PHILIPPINE INSURGENCIES END SOON?

August 16, 2015

WILL PHILIPPINE INSURGENCIES END SOON?

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang hapon! Good afternoon!

It is still poll day as of this writing, as the day’s polling time has been extended till 7 p.m. Poll-related incidence had accordingly dropped by 200% since 2004, an encouraging development amidst a backdrop of systemic violence.

What I’d reflect about this time is the insurgency question: whether the country’s decades-old insurgencies will cease after the installation of a new national leadership. The communist and Bangsamoro insurgents have been conducting peace talks with the Philippine state for a long time now, and there’s no question that insurgencies’ end is in the wish list of diverse stakeholders.

In a society where trust has been torn asunder by the prevalence of polarized mind frames for centuries now, it is understandable that insurgencies will persist for some time. Building mutual trust and confidence is therefore a sine qua non to the end of insurgencies.

Economistic apperceptions of insurgencies, such as to account them solely to high poverty incidence, would hardly hold water. Canada, for instance, is a prosperous country with good governance in place, yet a part of it (Quebec) almost bolted away from the Canadian state.

Addressing poverty, which is now at 33-35% incidence rate, is surely a must, added to food security. There is no denying that this has been on the agenda of peace talks, aside from the options for the livelihood of combatant insurgents when they go back to the mainstream in the case of a political settlement.

What we can see from the economistic discourse is that addressing poverty and social injustices would be good approaches to re-building trust and confidence. During the first two (2) years of the new political dispensation, there has to be a trickling down of incomes to enable poverty reduction, which should convince the insurgents of the sincerity and competence of the leadership in handling the socio-economic malaise of our society.

Furthermore, there has to be relentless efforts made by civil society, church, state, and philanthropic groups to build a culture of tolerance and peace. Peace talks shouldn’t be left to government and insurgents alone, in other words, but should involve the broadest sector of society.

The building of mutual trust, confidence, and contextual building of peace and tolerance, will redound to constructing greater civility and cooperation. A ‘dialogue of civilizations’ is a broad manifestation of a culture of peace and tolerance permeating the private sphere, which is a cherished human condition by the peoples of the world.

Insurgents are incidentally growing old, and are getting weary of the war itself. They want peace, and this is a boon to the peace talks. In our day-to-day conduct of affairs as a people, we should continue to build trust in the private spaces of our lives. This, we hope, would encourage insurgents to forge new social arrangements with us on a people-to-people basis, a step that would bring us closer to a high-trust environment.

We must also continue to exert pressure on the Phiippine state and insurgents to continue to dialogue and put a time limit to the peace talks. Peace talks have already dragged on for decades, so maybe it would prove fruitful to put a time cap on the talks. We can use organizational instruments that we have, such as professional, crafts, and civil society groups.

Let us hope that we don’t have a hawkish regime forthcoming. A regime of hawks would be anachronistic to the overall trend today of higher expectations for peace and a sustained dialogue between state and insurgents.

We are all running against time today, even as we citizens of an war-torn country are tired and weary of the wars. New weapons of mass destruction, such as the Tesla Earthquake Machine or TEM, are moving out of assembly lines, and sooner or later they would be traded via organized crime groups to hot-headed insurgent and jihadist groups locally.

A wish indeed, let us hope that the two (2) insurgencies will be settled finally, with the former rebels integrated into the mainstream to participate in parliamentary politics and civil society engagements. This will give us breathing spaces we need to concur more social cooperation and economic amelioration in the short run.

With the large insurgencies gone, the police & military forces can then focus their efforts on clamping down jihadist movements that we perceive as illegitimate or criminal groups. In no way should government negotiate with groups that possess warped sense of community and are unwilling to recognize the full import of dialogue and tolerance.

[Philippines, 10 May 2010.]

MY MOTHER’S NOBILITY BLOODLINE: MARCOS, BRUNEI KINGSHIP, MAJAPAHIT EMPEROR

August 4, 2015

MY MOTHER’S NOBILITY BLOODLINE: MARCOS, BRUNEI KINGSHIP, MAJAPAHIT EMPEROR

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

My Noble Pedigrees: Maternal & Paternal

 

This note concerns my bloodlines, which, to my own amusement, traces to ancient noble pedigrees, both on my maternal and paternal lineages. That I was birthed by parents who are both of noble roots is surely privilege enough, as the DNA (genetic) of ancient nobles –notably (a) Kingship and (b) Priestly classes—is of such profound construct, rendering it as one deep enigmatic mystery of antiquity that is being unlocked only in recent times.

 

My parents—Steve Narag Argonza and Felisha Nonesa Delago—were sired by mothers who are of noble pedigrees: my father Steve, from his maternal Narag lineage; and, my mother Felisha, from her maternal mother’s Nalundasan y Marcos lineage. I will focus this article on my maternal line [my father’s lineage will be treated in a separate article].

Oral tradition plus historical studies were the basis for me to infer conclusions about such bloodlines. That is, I based my conclusions on secondary information + anecdotal accounts, given the lack of financial resources on my family’s part to launch a thorough biographical research on the subject. It takes at least P2 Million to conduct a genealogical research with 6 months time frame today, or P4 Millions for both lineages, with the results published as quality books, an amount for an agenda that no one in my family could think about (Filipinos aren’t accustomed to spending for genealogy research).

Nalundasan y Marcos: Root of my Mother’s Grandmother Angela

 

My mother Felisha (she used Felisa in the 20th century) is among children of Soledad Nalundasan Nonesa and Leopoldo Delago. The Nalundasans and Nonesas are from Ilocandia, while the Delagos are from the Central Visayas.

As per anecdote of my maternal kins (notably the Ilocos-based), my maternal grandmother Soledad was mothered by Angela Nalundasan y Marcos. She is a sibling of the late Julio Nalundasan y Marcos, gentry and politician, who was for some time a legislator in the Commonwealth Era Congress. As to how many siblings were the total, no data came my way. The knowledge bucket ends with the sibs—Angela and Julio—with no oral legacy about who were their parents, sibs, and related roots.

Tragedy marked the situation for the Nalundasan family, as Don Julio chose to slug it out with his 1st cousin, Don Mariano Marcos, for the bailiwick of Ilocos Norte. Based in Batac town, the two gentry (i.e. Big Landowners) competed for the congressional seat at one juncture, whereby Don Mariano lost to Don Julio. That Nalundasan poll victory ignited a chain of events that saw Don Mariano’s brilliant son Ferdinand land in jail, blamed as he was for the assassination of Don Julio.

It was a double tragedy for my great grandmother Angela, as she chose to marry a commoner on top of the trauma of her brother Julio’s gory death due to political violence. The members of the Gentry class, to recall our history, comprised the nucleus of power that came from the Encomienda (Spanish era) who, prior to American occupation, comprised the exclusive Principalia town leaders of old. From ancient nobility were they rooted, and the Nobility held the protocol for marrying a member only to a member of another Noble family, or later of Gentry family. Strict adherence to such protocol was observed, which led any wayward member, more so a young woman, to lose her (a) inheritance of property, (b) expansive good breeding & High Culture, and (c) access to corridors of power and circles of esteemed friends and fellows.

Being a male-centered society, the mainstream Ilocandia gentry ensured that family authority, possessions and their dispositions were passed on to a male scion, notably the eldest male. Incidentally, no anecdotal data came my way as to whether Don Julio is the eldest scion, but one thing is sure: Angela is female, under-privileged as gender, and married to a commoner, or behaved contrary to the protocols of the class to which she belonged to. Not only did she lose a conferred title as Doña, all privileges to possessions, accessions, and esteem she likewise lost.

Royal/Priestly and Commoner DNA’s Differences, Curse of Breaking Protocol

 

As per my own deep studies into the ancient mysteries, the Benign Creators of ancient humanity ensured that the general population possess only a 2-strand DNA to delimit access to higher Divine connections and endowments. Such was truism for the folks or commoners, who were largely evolutionary Laggards, unfit to rule and make wise judgement for the common welfare. Save only for two classes, the Kingly and Priestly classes, whose DNAs went beyond 2 strands, the extra (out of a total of 12 human DNA strands) enabling them to connect to higher reality dimensions for greater knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration needed to perform their duties, for indeed great responsibility went along with rulership and administration of a realm.  

That was the reason behind the Caste System of antiquity: avoid the dilution of genetic structures, by dis-allowing any member of the noble Kingly and Priestly families to marry with the commoners. With the conditions set for good breeding and culture, the souls of persons with gifts for leadership, wisdom, intellect, and philanthropy embodied accordingly among the nobles. Neither should those from Kingly (Royal) family marry those from a Priestly family, as each class has certain special roles to perform and are of distinct temper meant only for their class. Yet in the conduct of affairs for the commoners, both King and Priest collaborated, for the good of all.

Breakage of the protocols of conduct by any young member of the nobility does not only mean a lost of access to properties, power, and esteem. Often than not, the aggrieved family plants curses on the betraying youngling, with the negative energy (‘jinx’) sufficient to bind the wayward and offsprings to existential misery till up through the seventh (7th) generation thereafter. One cost of the betrayal is marring of offsprings’ genetic stream, rendering the Nobility traits recessive thus, and the birthing of simpletons, morons, abnormals, or persons whose later mediocrity would invite defamation more than esteem from the community and locality.

The offsprings who bear the Nobility DNA will hardly feel the special impact of such a treasure, as the special genes remain dormant. Not until a later descendant would, upon maturation, unintentionally marry a person who bears a similar Nobility DNA pool within. The long dormant recessive traits would then waken up, and serve as beacons to Higher Dimension Beings to birth children with artistic and luminary talents accorded a person who will be a future Civilization-Builder, or at the minimum, an Achiever worth the esteem of peers and community.

Marcoses Trace to Brunei Kingship and Majapahit Emperor, Gold Treasures Top!

It was during my studies about the Majapahit Empire and the vast treasures of the region that I stumbled upon knowledge of the gold of the Marcos family. Along the way did I discover that the Marcoses of Ilocos do trace descent from the ancient Brunei kingship. In turn, the Brunei kingship (+ princes & princesses) carried the bloodline of the founder Majapahit Emperor whose scions spread their seeds by cross-marrying with the noble bloodline members of Malayan kings and princes in the vast expanse of southeast Asia.

So vast is the treasure hoard—of the Malayan royal families—that enabled them to build High Culture for all Malays. Southeast Asia was avowed as the richest region of the world during the heydays of the Majapahit, with gold treasures so gargantuan that their quantities and prices today are overwhelming and mind-boggling. Upon the arrival of the conquering Western powers, the Emperor ensured that the treasures are well kept and safe, by distributing them among the diverse kingships and principalities of the Malayan realm. [Note: Ferdinand Marcos’ gold hoard was estimated by 1.33 million tons by the Limcaoco Committee tasked to do studies and treasure hunts so concerned.]

As to how the Brunei kingship connect to the Marcoses, I could at best hypothesize that a prince or princess of Brunei was married to an Ilocandia spouse who, in turn, belonged to the Ilocos nobility. That auspicious marriage amplified the process of depositing huge hoards of gold bars/treasures from Indonesia and Brunei through the Ilocos corridor [note: the local Nobility already had treasures prior to the marriage]. Such treasures were sufficient to propel food production boom and international trade in Ilocos, a fact that could have spilled over to the Ibanags of Cagayan who were also ruled by Nobles.

Today, the same Noble/Royal families are silently working out to envision grand projects that will end global poverty and see economic progress for all nations. Needless to say, the Nobles will bankroll the projects, with a global institution entrusted to solve global poverty and meet the needs of all. At one juncture, the late Ferdinand Marcos envisioned an Asian Monetary Fund and Asian currency, which will be bankrolled by his gold.

Looking at the composition of the Marcos family itself, being wise and conforming to the protocols of the ancient nobility, it’s no wonder at all to see luminary figures and professional champions among them. Ferdinand married a Romualdez (Imelda) who comes from the gentry likewise and, without doubt, is of ancient noble pedigree.

The Nobility DNA IS THE TREASURE!

 

For any person of excellent Breeding and High Culture, virtuous at the minimum, it would appear impeccable that possession of a NOBILITY BLOODLINE IS THE TREASURE foremost of all. For a person with little virtue, worldly, greedy and materialistic, the sight is upon the possessions as the foremost treasures of the family.

Possessing a Nobility DNA can have two consequences: (a) a well-bred & cultured person, grounded in solid virtues, will propel forces and attract person who will ensure success worthy of a High Achiever, if not a great Civilization-Builder of sorts; (b) a mediocre person, of low breeding and without culture, materialistic and greedy, will propel forces and attract persons of negativity, leading to the possible self-destruction of the person concerned.

As for my own kins in the Nalundasan y Marcos lineage, both of the Delago and Robles families that spinned off from Grandmother Soledad, it is up to them to choose their own paths to follow based on their perceptions about this Inner Treasure. The Nobility DNA will always remain intact, however it may be recessive now for us all, shall never be stolen, and waiting for that moment, by which shall come forth scions who will ennoble the family line and attract Graces from the heavens. This is not a promise, but a vast possibility brought forth precisely by that Treasure borne by all descendants of Angela Marcos-Nalundasan Nonesa.

[Manila, 03 August 2015]