by: Erick San Juan
WHEN former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the East-West center in Hawaii in October 2010, she emphasized three key elements of the US engagement in Asia. The US’s relationship with its allies, their relations with partners across the Asia pacific region and US participation in the region’s multilateral institutions such as the ASEAN, APEC and EAS. (Source: China vs US: Military Conflict in the South China Sea, The World Outline)
Since then, there has been much talk of the mighty Uncle Sam’s return to Asia-Pacific region and even referred to himself (President Barack Obama) as ‘America’s first Pacific President’ without even consulting first his history books of America’s past leaders who deserves the title better.
With so much rhetoric and doublespeak of the real intentions of this pivot to the region, the truth of the matter is, they never left.
“They have maintained a forward military, political and economic presence in Asia as well as Europe since the Second World War. In short, they have pursued a political and economic open door policy underpinned by the ability to project force outside their own western hemisphere.” (Ibid) And in this case, the classic example of what I am trying to emphasize here is the US military presence in the Philippines. #OpinYon #opinion
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- US and China tussle for trade dominance at APEC (channelnewsasia.com)
- APEC should lead a more open world economy, play a bigger role: President Xi said (rightways.wordpress.com)
- Disputes Cloud Asia-Pacific Summit Focus On Trade (theepochtimes.com)
- China, Russia to join forces in Asia Pacific (thebricspost.com)
- Southeast Asia in global spotlight with APEC, ASEAN & East Asia summits (indrus.in)
- Disputes cloud Asia-Pacific summit focus on trade (sfgate.com)
- John Kerry: U.S. commitment to Asia strong despite Obama’s absence (upi.com)
- Russia’s economics minister: Global economy shifts focus to Asia-Pacific region (rbth.asia)
- Russia sees a peaceful, stable and developed Asia-Pacific region (indrus.in)
- Rise in Investment to Continue in Asia Pacific (virtual-strategy.com)
WITH over 300 years worth of shared history, it is fitting that Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domeq’s first Asian posting be here in the Philippines.
Born November 28, 1960, Domeq entered the Diplomatic Corps in 1985 serving in the Spanish Embassy in the NATO Council and Brazil. In 2004 he was appointed second in command at the Embassy of Spain in Morocco and in 2005 he held the post of deputy director general of the Bureau of Gibraltar. He began his official tour of duty here in the Philippines in March 2011 and—like a duck to water—easily felt at home with the Filipino culture and way of life.
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- Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Ivo Sieber: IN LOVE WITH THE PHILIPPINES (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Spain and Britain Renew Dispute over Gibraltar (globalriskinsights.com)
- Solis returns reward to Chilean Embassy (rappler.com)
- Spain-Britain ties rocked by flap over Gibraltar (kansascity.com)
- Pinoys and world domination (opinion.inquirer.net)
- The Gibraltar Crisis And Measures, Options And Strategies Open To Spain – Analysis (eurasiareview.com)
- Precious Philippines (shymay1996.wordpress.com)
- EU team investigate Gibraltar row (bbc.co.uk)
- Filipino Culture and Identity (nstp1upse.wordpress.com)
THE Australian Government today announced it will provide up to Php10 million (A$252,000) in emergency aid for families left homeless by the humanitarian crisis in Basilan and Zamboanga City.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said the conflict in Zamboanga and Basilan has created a humanitarian crisis deserving an Australian response.
“We are deeply concerned by the recent violence in Mindanao and the effect this has had on local people,” Ambassador Tweddell said.
More than 120,000 people have been displaced and 10,000 homes destroyed by fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and a splinter group of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City and the province of Basilan in Mindanao.
At the request of the Philippine Government and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Australia’s assistance will provide emergency aid including food, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, blankets, water containers, kitchen and hygiene kits for people left homeless by the conflict.
“Many people have lost their homes and livelihoods and are now staying in evacuation centres with very limited access to food, health, hygiene, water, and other basic services,” Ambassador Tweddell said.
“The Australian Government is making these items available through our partnerships with the Philippine Red Cross, the World Food Programme, and the United Nations Population Fund to assist the Philippine Government to respond quickly and effectively to the ongoing crisis in Zamboanga City and Basilan.”
Fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the MNLF broke out in Zamboanga City on September 9, and by September 13 had spilled over to the nearby island of Basilan.
In partnership with the Philippine Government, Australia’s aid program is working to improve the conditions for peace and security in Mindanao. #OpinYon #Foreign #Australia #Mindanao
- Victory over MNLF in Zambo too costly, says peace advocate (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Army ready to contain, quash MNLF attacks in Zamboanga City – Army general (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- UPDATE: 200 civilians held hostage in Zamboanga City standoff; 6 killed, 24 wounded (mindanews.com)
- Basilan on alert; MNLF sets demands (rappler.com)
- Bloody Philippine Siege Brought to an End (thaiphong.wordpress.com)
- No end in sight for Zamboanga conflict (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- 158 dead in Philippines standoff (edition.cnn.com)
- Mindanao Conflagration (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- More clashes in Philippine south (bbc.co.uk)
- Hostages, The Homeless, and Gunmen at Large: The Zamboanga Crisis Is Far From Over (world.time.com)
ABOUT 10,530 kilometers of land and ocean separate the Philippines from Switzerland. But in an instant, Filipinos can easily answer what comes to mind when they hear “Swiss”—the Swiss knife, chocolate, cheese, watch, and the Swiss Alps.
Many generations of Pinoys have been raised on products made by the Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle and treated for various ailments using Swiss-manufactured medicines.
Fact is, Switzerland has had official relations with the Philippines since 1862, when the Philippines was still a Spanish colony and most of our revolutionary heroes were still toddlers. The Swiss Consulate in the Philippines was the very first consulate in Asia and have maintained consular offices here until today.
Their man in Manila today is Ambassador Ivo Sieber. And, the Philippines is close to Sieber’s heart because he has been married for some 20 years now to Gracita—a beautiful Filipina with whom he has two teenaged girls. #OpinYon #Foreign #Swiss
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- Philippine revolts against Spain (en.wikipedia.org)
- PH picked to head UN bodyâs meeting on womenâs rights (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- Philippine Church ‘right’ despite Pope Francis comments (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Mug # 10 | Starbucks Icon Mug | Manila Starbucks Icon Mug (starbucksmugs.wordpress.com)
- Wake up. Love Philippines. (viejayordillo.wordpress.com)
- The Philippines, Pinoys in coming Oscars race (entertainment.inquirer.net)
- First in Asia: Philippine bananas to be sold in US (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- 3 Philippine-themed films submitted to Oscars (rappler.com)
- Orcollo, Corteza bring back World Cup of Pool title to Philippines (sports.inquirer.net)
- Philippines Is Ready for Fed Taper With Tools to Curb Outflows (bloomberg.com)
DIPLOMATS are—usually—strict about time. When they don’t arrive in time for their appointments, they come early.
This is literally the case of Yohanes Kristiarto Soeryo Legowo, Indonesia’s Ambassador to the Philippines. Born on the 27th of December in 1962, about a week earlier than his mother’s due date, you could say that it is in his providence to become an ambassador.
Known as Kris to fellow diplomats, friends and associates—his arrival to the family came as a big relief (hence the name Legowo—meaning “big relief” in Javanese). His mother fainted and fell while in church two days before he was born and the accident required stitches on her neck and triggered the contractions.
The youngest in a brood of 10, Legowo became the hands-down favorite in the family.
“I could not deny that everybody was always trying to spoil me.… But doesn’t make me a spoiled child,” Legowo said in a magazine interview last year. But while he has had his share of being pinched in the ear for being naughty, he admitted that he did not really enjoy the overprotectiveness of his parents, brothers and sisters. “But in the end, I put it in a very positive perspective. They did it because they love me,” he said.
His father, Soeryo, was a teacher who imparted to them the value of education. So despite the bouts of teenage rebellion and other misbehaviors—Legowo grew up a decent young man.
“All the values of life I learned it from the family. My father taught us how to pursue dream,” Kris said. “But he always emphasized also that the way we pursue our dream is also important…being Christian, process is very important.” #OpinYon#Indonesia #Foreign
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- MNLF seeks int’l mediation on 3rd day of standoff (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- PH seeks Indonesia’s help in Zamboanga conflict (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- Land for rice plan (fijitimes.com)
- Knowledge Indonesia Excursions (travelingtwoindonesia.wordpress.com)
- Indonesia, South Korea Celebrate 40 Years (thejakartaglobe.com)
- A language that built a nation (thehindu.com)
- Peace talks to go on as Indonesia, US air support (manilastandardtoday.com)
- First in Asia: Philippine bananas to be sold in US (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- Indonesia from two perspectives (matadornetwork.com)