After being disgruntled and confused as to what topic I would choose for my last blog entry in GLOBDEV, I sat down for a while and had a glass of iced tea. Then suddenly, I have thought about the Small Town Lottery thing run by PCSO, a legal form of Jueteng. And now, I would be blogging about Jueteng, as I could speak a lot about it based from my own knowledge and experience.
For one’s information, Jueteng is one of the most popular forms of gambling in the country. Searching it on google, one would see the Wikipedia result (as this is the fastest but quite unreliable source to read on) about Jueteng. It is an illegal numbers game which originated from China, and it means “flower” (jue) and “bet” (teng). In order to play it, one should bet on two numbers from a kubrador (the initial bet collector) with any amount they would like to bet with. The bet is then split into two, depending on the preference of the bettor (for instance, I bet P20 for the numbers 2-4, and decided to divide it as P15 for the number 2 and P5 for the number 4). And when the number you bet on wins, the prize will be based on the sequence of the winning numbers. In addition, the amount of the prize won will be based on the amount of the bet multiplied to a fixed rate per peso (for instance, it appeared in the sequence 4-2, then the P5 peso bet will be considered and will be multiplied to P700, the rate in our province, giving me P3,500 prize. But if it appears in the sequence of 2-4, then the P15 will be considered, giving me P10, 500). The rate differs from province to province, as there are provinces having a lower rate per peso of bet and there are provinces having a higher rate per peso of bet. Betting for a single number is also allowed, but the prize is lower per peso of bet (it is P10 per 1 peso of bet in our province). The kubradors are then given cash incentive depending on the amount that they have collected (computed via percentage, but I am not sure as to how much). With this kind of mechanics and such an incentive for bet collectors on a numbers game, there’s no wonder that a lot of people are very fond of playing it. I, myself, was very fond of playing it as I have experienced winning a total of P16, 100 on the span of 5 months playing it. But then, it is illegal; jueteng operators are being seized and put into prison. With this, PCSO had a brilliant idea to create a legalized version of it, giving birth to the Small Town Lottery (STL). But even though there is the STL, there are still a lot of illegal operators who makes use of PCSO betting charts as a front to their illegal acts. And as I recall to one of our previous discussions, money coming from such an activity is considered to be a form of “dirty money,” as there’s no tax imposed to it. And the only way to clean it is through “money laundering”, to which I think the illegal operators do in order to keep their money safe. Indeed, it is very amusing to think of the ways on how these operators are able to clean their illegal money.
Jueteng is very fun to play with. If you’re lucky, you can win a huge amount of money. But then, having said of my experience with it, instead of promoting it, I am discouraging one should you ever experience having the guts to try it. First is that there’s a pretty low chance of winning; if you try to sum up your expenses on betting, you’ll find out that it is higher compared to the amount that you can win. In short, it is not practical! Moreover, it is illegal. One should not patronize something that is illegal in order for that thing to stop. Lastly, one should only make the operator rich in an illegal manner, and the government does not benefit from it as there are no revenues collected.
ANAK NG JUETENG YAN!
The Philippines is considered to be one of the most promising countries in Asia. Moreover, it is considered to be as one of the emerging countries by the 21st century, as identified by Goldman Sachs to be one of the so-called “N-11” or Next-Eleven countries. Even though there is somewhat a high poverty rate in the country plus the fact that the country ranks low on freedom from corruption, the Philippines is still regarded as one of the emerging countries as it has been recognized as a tiger country in Asia and that it has recently shifted from a debtor country to a creditor country.
As one may ask, how did Goldman-Sachs identify the Philippines to become a part of the N-11 countries? According to their site, the N-11 countries must reflect the characteristics of rapidly growing populations plus a significant industrial capacity or potential, indicating a growing consumer market with increased earning potential for creating business opportunities for both local and international firms. Moreover, according to the Euromonitor International, the N-11 countries demonstrate population growth that is greatly above compared to those of the Western developed countries, signifying a potential greater consumer market over the medium term. Their high population growth rate indicates a potential large market for a high number of consumers, and this trend would further indicate a faster expansion of the market, providing more potential customers. With regards to all of the aforementioned criteria, the Philippines was selected to be one, having a GDP $442b, ranking 31st globally, and a population of 103.8m, ranking 12th globally. The IMF has even categorized the Philippines as an emerging/developing country, reflecting a potential drastic change on the status of the country in the future.
Even though corruption, poverty and inequality plague the Philippines, we can easily see that it has the potential, and will be one of the top countries in the future. Such distinction could be attained if the government, the NGO’s and even the ordinary Filipinos would all do their part in maintaining the consistency of such efforts in attaining the status of being a “developed” country. There’s no doubt about it that several year for now, other countries would regard my beloved country as the “Mighty Philippines.” (I hope I’m not yet dead by that time, though)
As I was eating my meal in one of the canteens in our university, I suddenly noticed one of the sanitation engineers cleaning up one of the tables with a lot of plates, as there was a group of people who sat on that place and ate. After eating, I stood up and got my plate and approached the sanitation engineer to return my plate as the university practices a clean as you go policy. With that, I had a glance of the bin wherein he places all of the plates, leftovers and all of the other stuff from the canteen. To my surprise, I saw a lot of leftovers in which it could still be eaten if only it has not yet been thrown away. Seeing the horrible sight, I left and headed straight to Taft Avenue going on my way home. As I walked along, numerous children approached me, begging for some money or food as they say that they were already hungry and they have nothing to eat. Driven with pity, I gave them some money and asked one of them to buy their food, which they did. As I reached our home, I sat down and pondered as to why do people, especially those who are capable of buying food, do not care about a single thing or two about wasting their food?
A lot of reasons can be accounted when someone wastes their food. One is that the efforts of your parents in earning the money to buy your food will go to waste. Imagine how hard they struggle in working, stressing themselves in order to earn and provide you with food. Next is that these food are being produced by farmers, etc. who works extra hard just for the sake of being able to earn and produce food that they can sell. Speaking of my experience with it, there was a time that I was brought by my parents to one of my uncle’s rice fields in order to help. We got up early in the morning (about 4am as an estimate), walked for around 30 minutes going to the field, and started working until 10 a.m. It was a deadly experience as I have to struggle walking into the muddy field, guiding the carabao in ploughing and continuously bending under in order to plant the rice crops. In addition, I also have experienced feeding chickens, carabao, cow, and pigs. Though one may think that it is as simple as giving them their food, well I can knock it in your head that it’s not, as you still have to make sure that each livestock would get a chance to feed with their daily amount of food needs. Just imagine the struggles of those people in charge of doing these things; it’s like their shedding out their own blood for all of it. Lastly, many people do experience poverty, which also means that they do experience hunger. According to one of our lectures in our class, almost half of the world population do experience hunger because of poverty. Sum all of these things up, and imagine how can one still ever have the gut to waste their food? Indeed, it is very disappointing.
Resources are very limited. Food production is not as easy as one can think. Even though we are globalizing and our technology for food production is improving, it is not enough. Poverty is still rampant – people who experience poverty also experience hunger. Just think of how satisfied they would be if only they get to savor the taste of the food that you waste? Possibly, no one would ever get to experience hunger. As a request to the audience of my blog, please do think of the situation of these people should you ever got the urge to do so. Simply put, “Don’t waste your food.”
Whenever I go to one of the hospitals in Alabang, I always see kids having possession of ipads, smartphones, and other gadgets in which they tend to play with. There are even several occasions wherein I overhear one of my co-patient whose age is very young, grumbling and cursing as he always expects that he gets to connect to a free wi-fi network in the hospital and to wherever he goes. Then I had some flashbacks of my childhood, as I pondered on the days when we do enjoy playing outdoor games together with other kids around the neighbourhood. And now, hearing those words from a child of this generation made me realize that kids right now are overly spoiled; it’s as if they would not be able to live without these technologies around us. It made me feel a little bit irritated, but then I’ve immediately realized that during these days, technology is improving the efficiency and the quality of life that we can have as long as we are capable to afford having such. And since that little kid have been born into this world in a generation that is heavily dependent on technology, there’s no wonder that he tends to be frustrated whenever these things are not within his reach.
Globalization has played a huge role in the improvement of technology for the past decades. During the 1990’s, a simple computer tends to function for the sole purpose of doing things related to work; computer programs at that time were not as convenient to use with and is not readily available in the market. But comparing it to the present, these computers have evolved in several forms to which it is made more convenient for the consumers. Programs and applications were simplified to the extent that a young child could even have the capability to utilize it. Even cell phones whose function in the early times was simply for the sole purpose of communication has now been integrated with exceptional features similar to that of how a computer functions – processor speed, memory space, wireless internet access, high definition picture and video camera recorders, document and powerpoint editors, e-book readers, to name a few. But all of these improvements in technology come with a hefty price. Surprisingly, even if these readily available technologies are expensive, people would always tend to find a way on how they would be able to have access to it. In my opinion, people tend to have a grasp of these things as these have already became part of the society: it is as if they were seeking to be part of an “in-group,” to which this group is being branded as the ones who are capable to be technologically-advanced. Moreover, it is as if that these technological improvements had really turned into one of our living standards.
Technology in the lime of globalization is not a bad thing. Indeed, it is a positive thing for each and every one of us as it has improved the standards of our living. But then, the problem is that people tends to get lazier as a direct result of improving technology. But regardless of it, we are still lucky that our country do have an access to the emerging impacts of globalization in terms of technology.
All of the biggest technological inventions created by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness. ~Mark Kennedy
Looking at the current situation of the Philippines, one can say that poverty is very rampant. In any part of the country, one would see someone experiencing it, as there are millions of Filipinos who live by less than P100 a day according to the National Statistical Coordination Board. With regards to my previous blog about the Post-colonial Philippines, the poverty that we are experiencing right now can be dated back to the start of our colonial period. But then, hundreds of years have already passed; our country had experienced a lot of ups and downs and yet poverty is still present. And no matter what kind of effort is being brought up by the government and NGO’s, the rate of poverty seems to lessen only a little bit. Majority of the people keeps on pointing out several reasons with regards to the existence of poverty in our country – corrupt officials, lack of stable and well-paid jobs, misallocation of land and resources, lack of government intervention, etc. But then, what they don’t realize that it is not as easy as counting 1, 2, 3, by simply granting their requests, as there are always a possible consequence for everything.
As discussed in our class regarding the film “The End of Poverty” by Philippe Diaz, poverty was brought up by colonialism. And when independence was given to us by our colonizers, there was a struggle with regards as to how the government would carry out their role in maintaining the economic stability of the country, which reflects neo-liberalism in the sense that the Philippines is struggling because of its high dependence to its former colonizers. Furthermore, there has been misallocation of land, as the former landowners prior to the colonization were stripped of their land; and after the period of colonization, instead of returning them their lands, it was instead sold to wealthy families. And recalling from one of our previous classes, the land is the most basic necessity a man should have; one can earn a living by possessing a piece of land. Looking at the status of the poor Filipino families, almost all of them are illegal settlers, if not, they do work for landowners in order to have a means of attaining other basic needs in exchange of their income. And now we can simply ask, “What can we do to stop poverty?”
With regards to the many facts about poverty when one searches for it in the internet, I can say that poverty can be eradicated; but with regards to economic status, there would still be inequality. There may come a time that no single Filipino would be experiencing poverty; but then, he may still be inferior or superior as compared to other Filipinos in terms of his status. One good solution for attaining such is through the Agrarian reforms; as simply attaining a piece of land would let a man live depending on how he will utilize it. Additionally, the government should encourage people to make use of the land, as laziness will never let them get anywhere. The problem for most poor Filipinos is that they do have the capacity and the land to utilize with, but laziness strikes them for good. Lastly, the government should help them with their livelihood projects, as this would further encourage them to work hard in order to divert themselves away from poverty.
“Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him” – Benjamin Franklin
Tracing back the history of the Philippines, we all know that we were once a colony of other countries, namely Spain, the U.S and Japan. As a colony, they shared and influenced us with so many things that it even reached to the point that we got so used to them. But the question is: as a former colony of these countries, where are we exactly right now? How “HIGH” can we raise our flag as a sign that our country has the capacity to maintain a solid grasp on the ground, and state to the other countries that we are really independent right now?
Looking at the things that our former colonizers have influenced us into, we can see that there are positive and negative implications to it. In my opinion, one of these positive implications is that our colonizers paved a way for us to have a grasp into globalization. These have improved the quality and efficiency of our methods and practices with regards to our standards of living – in short, they have helped us to cope with the rule of “the survival of the fittest.” Another good point is that we had developed our own means of improving these influences of our former colonizers, implying that we do have the capacity to further utilize what they have taught us. If not for them, then maybe we do not have improved in our technology, which in turn would not have improved the quality and efficiency of the way how we live right now.
But then, there are negative implications with regards to the aforementioned positive implications, of which being the exact opposite of it. Although we do have been influenced by so many things that led to our improvement of our standard of living, it had reached to the point that we’ve got carried so much by these things that we cannot afford to lose access to it. It is as if that it really had been a “standard” of our way of living that we would cease to exist if we lose access to it. Furthermore, even though we do found a way to further improve their influences, we are only limited to a short improvement because of our lack of financial support. As one can see, we are still dominated by foreign industries: they are the giants within our market as compared to our local counterparts. And somehow, given such capabilities, there are still industries that we depend on foreign companies to run it, such as mining, call center industry, world-class constructions, etc. Lastly, our country still shows some form of dependence to our former colonizers, an example of which is with regards to national defense and security. We are very prone to losing to other countries in terms of military power given the fact that we are less armed and we are less technologically capable in terms of developing weapons as compared to other countries, which is why we always tend to seek assistance from the U.S.
The Philippines, although we had declared independence from our colonizers a long time ago, still shows some signs of vulnerability and dependence to its former colonizers. Yes, we are now recognized as an independent country; but then, there are still things in which we cannot do it independently. In my opinion, we are independent in terms of that there are no longer interventions from our former colonizers with regards to our own internal affairs; but the way we keep on seeking their help contradicts the notion of independence. And now we can ask ourselves: are we truly independent? We can all hope for a change to happen, as I know that being citizens of our country, we all long for a strong and distinct recognition from other countries.
Well, obviously ito ang aking pinaka-unang blog after n number of years nang simulan kong gawin ang account na ito. Supposedly, ang blog na ito ay para lang sa aking mga opinyon tuwing may ninanais akong sabihin. Pero sa kadahilanan na rin na kinakailangan ko ito para sa isa kong subject para sa kinukuha kong kurso sa aking pinakamamahal na pamantasan ay napilitan akong buhaying muli ang blog kong walang kalaman-laman. Pansamantalang maglalaman ang aking blog ng mga bagay na nais kong sabihin na may kinalaman tungkol sa mga diskusyon at mga babasahin na tinatalakay namin sa globalisasyon. At dito pa lang, nais ko na rin sabihin na wala akong nais patamaan or siraan na kahit sino or ano - bawat bagay na aking mababanggit ay puro opinyon lamang. Ika nga ni Fernando Poe Jr., “WALANG PERSONALAN”