Saturday, July 30, 2016
Friday, July 29, 2016
What The Hague?! Philippines helped China build structures on disputed islands in the South China Sea
I first read it on some obscure website months ago. Knowing that one has to be careful about what one reads online nowadays, I waited for mainstream media to pick it up before taking it seriously. Unfortunately, it has taken years before they did. Just this week, Philippine mainstream media finally publicised reports about how China smuggled Philippine soil to reclaim parts of the disputed islands in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea as some prefer to call it nowadays.
Another awful discovery, inside sources from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) has found out that some Chinese mining firms are smuggling soil and rocks to help build a chain of Chinese islands in the West Philippine Sea. NICA agents were baffled to found out that besides from the Ore and Nickel that these mining firms are exporting towards China, a large amount of soil and rocks are secretly smuggled then ends up directly in one of the Chinese reclamation islands. The smuggling operation usually happens during the heat of the day as to hide the operation as an ordinary day in the mining area.
According to the new Governor of Zambales, two mountains and half of Zambales were sold to China in recent years and some rocks and soil were shipped to the disputed islands to reclaim 3,500 hectares. Watch the video here:
Seriously, what was the media doing all these years? Do they need more staff to pick up important issues especially about the real state of the Philippines? It seems they focus too much on trivial stuff like celebrity news instead of issues that are detrimental to the very existence of the nation.
And what the hell was the BS Aquino government doing all these years? One can be forgiven for saying that the previous government was sleeping on the job. How in the world did BS Aquino allow China to use Philippine soil to reclaim the disputed territory – the same one the Philippines put forward at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in 2013? This is something that needs further investigation, definitely. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez was right when she said “heads should roll”. She should start with the former DENR Secretary who seems to have turned a blind eye to this shameful act. Let’s just hope she’s not just grandstanding.
DENR Secretary Gina Lopez said ”heads should roll” if the claim of Zambales Governor Amor Deloso that Philippine soil were used in building artificial islands in the South China Sea is true.”That’s horrible. I will find out whoever gave the permit. China can never be allowed to use our soil as their landfill. We’re gonna look into this and make sure it never ever happens,” Lopez told reporters.”If there are DENR officials, they will be made accountable…Heads should roll. If the truckloads came from us, we should be aware. If they were getting truckloads of our soil, there were probably some trail.”China for years has been building artificial islands in the disputed Spratlys islands, stoking tension in the region.
The patriotism of Filipinos running the local government and the people in the areas where China supposedly smuggled soil from sites in Palawan, Zambales and Ilocos Sur is in question. This is tantamount to treason. They helped an enemy of the state build what some are reportedly saying is a potentially hostile military facility. Did the local government get compensation from China for the soil and rocks they were shipping out of the country? Were the Chinese mining firms given “permits” to take extra soil with them?
The news that China has been smuggling soil for years during BS Aquino’s term is incredible. You just can’t make this stuff up. Filipinos should be outraged. If only the mainstream media informed the public, they would. Unfortunately, mainstream media beholden to BS Aquino did not even bother to investigate this in the past. This kind of news should have been on the front pages of the Inquirer. The publication was so busy featuring the latestexposé about the Liberal Party’s witch-hunt victim like former Vice President Jejomar Binay in the last six years. Now they are busy trying to sensationalise the extra-judicial killings, which they all blame on the new government under President Rodrigo Duterte.
This news should be enough to convince people that BS Aquino does not deserve praise or awards for the The Hague ruling. The ruling does not even say that the Philippines has sovereignty over the disputed islands to begin with. China does not even recognise the international court. Furthermore, the international court does not have a mechanism to enforce its own ruling. It’s still up to the nations to deal with the problem. In other words, it is back to Square One. As a matter of fact, the situation is worse now than when the case was filed because China has now built structures where there was none at the beginning of the stand-off in 2012. Again, no thanks to the incompetence of the BS Aquino government and greed of the local Filipinos in the region where Chinese mining companies were operating.
In the end, Filipinos are to blame for their loss in their claim over the disputed islands. They were not vigilant enough. They trusted BS Aquino too much to do the right thing. They thought just filing a case with The Hague was enough to stop China.
This could be a sign of things to come. Who knows what else some Filipinos are willing to sell for profit? It seems some Filipinos are willing to sell their soul too. It’s not too far-fetched to say that more islands in mainland Philippines could be sold in the future with or without the knowledge of the government. This almost happened to Mindanao when BS Aquino was pushing for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law proposing to give parts of Mindanao to Malaysia-backed terrorist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. It’s also worth mentioning again that BS Aquino government gave up on the country’s claim over Sabah. BS Aquino’s patriotism is highly questionable, indeed.
One day, the Philippines will no longer exist as it is known today if Filipinos allow their so-called government to run the country to the ground. It is becoming apparent that patriotism is not strong in a lot of Filipinos. No wonder the country is a mess.
The Inquirer is under fire from Netizens after their seemingly orchestrated sensationalisation of the alleged “extrajudicial killings” that have supposedly been sweeping the country. The Inquirer editors seem to be hinting at some kind of causal link between the month-old administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and the spate of “drug-related” homicides making headline news recently.
Get Real Post writer Hector Gamboa wrote earlier about the deceptive nature of the way photojournalism is used to influence public opinion by mass media. Referring to the now-famous photo of the body of suspected drug-pusher Michael Siaron being clutched by his grieving partner Jennelyn Olaires under what seems to be a spotlight, Gamboa writes…
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. The problem is, things are not always what they seem. While photojournalism is a useful tool to capture and record events, it can also be a powerful weapon to advance an agenda or an ideology. As people continue to get better access to information, I am hoping that more people will begin to exercise more critical thinking instead of easily succumbing to intellectual malleability from deceptive media and photojournalism.
This photo was splashed across the full width of the banner head of the Sunday edition of the Inquirer front page — the day before Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered Monday, the 25th of July.
According to the headline report placed underneath the photo in big block letters, Church: Thou shall not kill, Siaron was “shot and killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen near Pasay Rotonda on Edsa.”
Since then, many have speculated on the questionable authenticity of the photo citing, among others, its exceptional quality and vividness and the spotlight that seemed to have conveniently bathed the subjects in a photogenic glow. But what is more interesting is how the timeframes don’t add up. If, indeed, Siaron was killed by motorcycle gunmen, why was his body seemingly allowed to remain sprawled on the pavement where he fell long enough for a police perimeter tape to be strung around him, for not a few photographers and what looks like a TV camera crew to show up, and for dozens of photos to be taken at the scene from various angles?
The fact that police had evidently already long been at the scene raises the question of why Siaron’s remains had lain there that long and why the cops seemingly stood back while “photojournalists” feasted on the scene. The composite image below summarises the many photos of the same scene taken from different angles with the cast of characters at different stages of coming to terms with Siaron’s untimely demise (photos courtesy The Daily Mail and ABS-CBN News).
More to the point, what’s up with the Inquirer posting such a ghastly scene on its Sunday edition and going all biblical with its top headline? Was it to purposely cast a pall over the much-anticipated first SONA of the president? Perhaps. One can only speculate on the agenda of the Inquirer editor.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
The natural remedy we’re about to share with you has been used by the Amish people for centuries as a treatment for numerous diseases as well as for strengthening their immunity and promoting overall health. It’s proven to be very effective against high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure and if you suffer from any of these conditions we advise you to give it a chance. Here’s how you can prepare it yourself:
Now, before you go thinking that I’m an anti-Duterte and pro-drug lord activist, let me clarify to you that no, I am not against the progress brought forth by the new administration. Indeed, I believe it is high time that something be done about our many social issues, especially that of the illegal drug trade that has been destroying our youths for decades now. I also utterly despise the current Commission on Human Rights who seem to be more about protecting criminals and terrorists rather than defending the rights of the common people. Unfortunately, again, given the juvenile mindset of typical Pinoys, I cannot help but wonder what the country is coming to with the latest wave of news and gossip about “extra-judicial killings”.
Again, prior to continuing, let me share with you another moment with my grandfather. Yes, I know that some of you are probably tired of Grimwald talking about his grandpa but bear with me here. I wouldn’t be telling you some personal stories if they weren’t related to the subject I’m discussing.
I was a teenager when the 9/11 took the world by surprise and plunged a whole country into grief. My grandfather, an American soldier (actually, he’s part of the navy so that would make him a “sailor” not a “soldier” but I’ll call him the latter for simplicity’s sake) who had fought in many wars, was one of the many who wept for the death of so many of his countrymen. However, when he learned that the act or terrorism was perpetrated by an Islamic faction in Afghanistan, I saw in him a look of disappointment and disgust. He would continue watching news about the War on Terror, especially in the effort to destroy Osama Bin Laden and dismantle the Taliban in Afghanistan, but I could see in him a sense of sadness.
When I asked him about his odd behavior of late, he explained to that it was because he was disappointed in what had happened to the world at large. He told me that during the Cold War, the time when the U.S.A. and its allies were engaged in a proxy war with the U.S.S.R. and its allies for those not in the know, they actually supported the Taliban or at least its predecessors. In a sad sigh, my grandfather told me that in politics, especially on a global level, there are no permanent friends or enemies.
Being a young teen at the time, I began to become more and more aware of the “grayness” of human morality. However, at the time, I still wasn’t fully aware of it at the time and I asked my grandfather if the American government and military weren’t aware of the insidious nature of the Taliban, its predecessors and its allies. Again my grandfather explained that the issue was not that simple. Just because a given faction fights against corruption and oppression doesn’t mean said people are not corrupt or oppressive either. Indeed, according to him, even the worst of the world’s scum can hide behind an otherwise noble or righteous banner.
The Taliban, at the height of the Cold War, hid behind the cause of freedom against the U.S.S.R. who projected an image of oppressive communism. While there was a lot of issues in their culture, such as their poor treatment of their women and their backwards ways, the Taliban nonetheless saw NATO as a useful ally and pretended to support them. When the Cold War ended, the U.S.S.R. having collapsed and they saw that they could do as they please, the Taliban quickly turned on their former allies and vilified them in their own society.
My grandfather went to point out that throughout the course of human history, there is never a shortage of scum who hide behind a mask of righteousness and commit atrocities beneath the banner of a noble cause. During the American Revolutionary War, my grandfather pointed out that there were British soldiers who raped and slaughtered colonials and there were also colonials who raped and slaughtered many a Native American tribe. At the height of the American Civil War, there were minor factions who stole uniforms from both the Union and Confederate factions and wore them when torching civilian villages and brutalizing locals which would be attributed to the factions whose uniforms they were wearing.
Going back to our own country and its problems, I often worry that the current “War on Drugs” might have some unforeseen consequences that will bite our country in the butt later on. Truth be told, if one looks back on our own history, unforeseen consequences are a given and are what continue to plague our country to this very day. The “War on Drugs” is indeed a war, ladies and gentlemen, given how many have already died so far. Unfortunately, considering the rather immature and selfish mindset of typical Pinoys, I can only pray that there will be less collateral damage in the times to come and that we will be able to quickly identify criminals and murderers who are simply masquerading as righteous vigilantes.
I mean who’s to say that a bunch of corrupt cops can simply kill an innocent or otherwise harmless citizen and make it appear that the victim is involved in the drug trade. Alternatively, a drug dealer can have his own runners killed in order to cut off loose ends that will lead to his ties with criminality. Worst of all possibilities though is that there could be murderous sociopaths in society who could conduct atrocities under the guise of vigilante action.
Like I said, I don’t like the current justice system in the Philippines and yes, I think it needs a complete and total overhaul and a purging of its ranks. However, for the good of all, we should at least preserve and respect the idea of law and order and not simply give in to our vengeful desires. Yes, we should cleanse our society of its many dregs including and especially that of illegal drugs and while I am aware that this war can’t not be violent, I still think we should still make an effort to prevent needless bloodshed and be on the lookout for sociopathic charlatans who may take advantage of the situation to give in to their baser, animalistic desires.
Whose side are Filipino “activists” on nowadays? From all the chest-thumping and fist-waving we are seeing all over social media and mainstream media nowadays, it would seem that the Philippines’ chattering classes are on the side of the crooks!
That is exactly how both President Rodrigo Duterte’s massive base of voters and the broader swathe of the Philippines’ crime-weary populace see it. The notion of “human rights” is, quite simply, just too sosyal for the average Filipino. It is the stuff spewed by iPad wielding hipsters sipping lattes and high-fivin’ each other at the local Starbucks.
Human rights? Lol! That’s an Imperial Manila thing.
You can almost hear the majority of Filipinos tap that out onto their social media apps whenever some high-brow “advocate” screams “Human Rights!” at the sight of the latest blood porn exhibited on the front page of the morning paper. Fact is, human rights have never been relevant to most people outside of Imperial Manila. It’s an abstract Western concept that doesn’t quite fit into the cultural narrative of Filipinos being “ingenious” at working around an untenable situation by cobbling together quick fixes.
Indeed, the most cherished cultural artefacts of Filipinos symbolise the celebrated ingenuity of our quick fixes. The jeepney, for example, has long been cited as a symbol of that “Filipino ingenuity” — a mechanical beast cobbled together from derelict US Army jeeps as a stopgap solution to a lack of modern public transport in the aftermath of the devastation of World War II. For several decades, Filipino triumphalists thumbed their noses at the more broadly-systematic public transport systems consisting of state-owned buses and trains that follow well-laid out routes on a clockwork-like timetable that the rest of the world built.
“Filipinos are great at ‘improvising’ on a shoestring budget!” these Pinoy Pride cheerleaders would say.
The thing with “human rights” is that it requires the same kind of legal engineering and clockwork-like justice system to work. The foundation of a society built on the notion of “human rights” consists of foresight, consistency, and scientific reasoning — all anathema to the Filipino cultural archetype. For the Filipino, human rights is, quite simply, too hard. Because a focus on “human rights” puts additional demand and a thick layer of complexity on a justice system, you need to have an efficient system in place to make “human rights” work. Unfortunately for the Philippines, its justice system is inefficient, snail-paced, opaque, selective, and, as a result, severely backlogged. Upholding “human rights” within such a system slows it down even more. And this is why shortcuts are appealing to ordinary Filipinos, because the majority of Filipinos lack the personal resources to navigate the mess that is the Philippines’ justice system in the spirit of “due process”.
And so the tragedy that is the Philippine “Human Rights” cause is that it was pitched the wrong way. It was not made relevant to the ordinary Filipino. The latte-sipping advocates of “human rights” in the Philippines are selling a Mercedes-Benz to a people who cannot even afford to keep a Toyota on the road.
Rightly or wrongly, Duterte’s “war on drugs” comes across like that fleet of jeepneys fielded to the Filipino commuting public in 1946. It addresses an urgent and immediate need. Ordinary Filipinos see it as a decisive move forward and a fresh approach following decades of imprisonment in a system that did not serve them well.
Much the same way that jeepneys, back in 1946, served a need but, at the same time, flouted modern notions of what a public transport system ought to be, the methods that Duterte allegedly applies to his “war on drugs” serves an immediate need even as it comes across as an affront to certain hipsters’ notions of what justice and law enforcement ought to be. Like it or not, that’s the Filipino Way in its truest essence. And this is why Duterte enjoys the trust and confidence of the majority of Filipinos as he sets out to get things done.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
(Aquino at Times Street)
Last Monday, July 25, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte, during his first SONA, said he had no time to waste on blaming his predecessor. But Noynoy BS Aquino stayed away from the Batasang Pambansa, just to be on the safe side.
I've always maintained that Aquino was a fake tough guy, anyway. The tough-talking, kanto boy-sounding Noynoy, after all, was just a figment of his speechwriters' imagination; the guy lived a rich kid's sheltered life until his mother died, an event that propelled him almost immediately afterwards to the presidency—a job that put even more distance between him and the people and the daily realities that they face.
And so I wasn't surprised that Aquino, when the very first opportunity presented itself to him to face people who did not belong to his household now that he is no longer the all-powerful president, refused to leave 25 Times Street. Aquino said he wanted to watch Duterte's first State of the Nation Address at home on television, so he would not be distracted.
But Aquino was lying again, just like he lied so many times during the six years that he was president. The truth is, he was scared.
He was scared of being blamed for the wrong things he did and didn't do while he was still in office by someone like Duterte, who by now has a fairly accurate idea of what went down in the last six years. And he was deathly afraid of being anywhere near his own predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, just recently freed by the Supreme Court after six years of judicial persecution on Noynoy's orders.
He was scared to see all the congressmen and senators whom he bribed and bullied in order to have his way with them. He was probably ashamed to see what they did right after he left the presidency, which is to leave his party en masse, after they had professed their loyalty to him for six long years.
Perhaps he was even scared of facing the media, who would still point their microphones at him but who would be treating him with markedly less respect, now that he's just another ex-president. Or perhaps he is frightened of being with so many important people and having none of his sisters (who have played the tag-team role of his mother's replacement) around.
And so, Aquino was the only living ex-president who didn't go to Duterte's SONA. And you know what else?
I think nobody really cared.
- Two ex-presidents, Lowdown by Jojo Robles, July 27, 2016, (http://goo.gl/sh5dni)
(Most of this article is adapted from the source listed above. We are unable to grant permission for any kind of reproduction of this article other than social media shares.)
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
When you are in the heat of a standoff with an intruder in your own house and you have a weapon within reach, which of your options would you err towards: (1) recognising the intruder’s “human rights”, or (2) recognising your own right to security within your own home?
Hold that thought for a minute while we step out and up into the bigger scheme of things playing out before us.
The trouble with the chatter all over the Net surrounding the dead bodies being exhibited and labelled as “extrajudicial killings” (EJKs) by news media today is that it is all skewed towards the rights of the ones intruding into our peace. For one thing, there is no evidence that the dead bodies being distastefully plastered all over media outlets’ pages (both digital and paper) are of victims of EJKs. EJKs are just notional assumptions applied to these observations that are figments of sloganeering created within the pointed heads of a cadre of “activists” preaching the abstract concept of “human rights” from their ivory towers.
Now step back down and into that home invasion scenario described earlier and, say, you opted to reach for the weapon and blow that intruder’s lousy head off. That’s homicide. But is it murder? There are several steps law enforcement agencies working with the justice system need to take to establish the nature of this killing. The police investigates the alleged crime, prosecution and defense debate the nuances of the facts unearthed by said investigation, then a judge rules whether or not you are, indeed, a murderer.
Those steps constitute due process. Yes, it’s that very same due process that these so-called “human rights” activists keep shrieking about as they issue their ironic cries of bloody murder whenever they see the next extravaganza of violence porn splashed all over their morning paper. By labelling the police — and, by virtue of their perverse imagination, the President himself — as murderers, aren’t these “human rights activists” also violating the human rights of the police and President Rodrigo Duterte?
The problem with Filipinos is that they have a weak grasp of the scientific method. Police investigation methods and the way a modern judiciary functions are all rooted on the scientific method — which dictates that a sound theory be systematically built upon a foundation of facts weaved together by rigorous logical constructs and then said theory tested against an established body of principles (such as a body of laws) out of which a conclusion is derived. This is the underpinning of the end-to-end due process that encompasses police work and justice delivery.
Looking at the way every “activist” and her dog are making ill-thought-out pronouncements about pictures the individual and unique stories behind which they do not bother to fully wrap their heads around, one would be hard-pressed to feel even an ounce of respect for the Philippines’ community of bleeding-heart liberals today. These “activists” have so far distinguished themselves not for the intellectual rigour of their advocacies but by the screaming noisiness of their movements.
The most hilarious aspect of this “activism” we see today is the time they waste barking up the wrong tree.
President Duterte, might we remind these “liberals”, is the chief of the Executive branch of the Philippine government. He does not make the laws. He enforces them. What these “activists” need to do is examine the law itself and understand what about it enables the police (and possibly Duterte) do what they are doing with the “impunity” they claim they apply to their work. Indeed, there is much legislators can learn from what we are witnessing today — learning that could be applied in aid of legislation.
What activists need to do is write their represantatives and senators. Be clear about what it is about the legal framework that makes the Philippines’ drug problem not just such a difficult thing to solve but one that seems to be flourishing and demanding of drastic measures to contain. Duterte and the police are doing their part — the drastic measures part. Legislators need to do their part — craft laws to pave the way for a just means to deal with the drug menace.
As for the “activists” and their “human rights” slogans, well, they need to grow a modern brain first — one equipped to comprehend the scientific method.
Many would have understood if President Rodrigo Duterte had devoted a big portion of his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) to blaming his predecessor. After all Duterte did acknowledge, just the same, that the Philippines is still in a “mess” and that Filipinos are suffering. But Duterte’s first SONA came across like a breath of fresh air to an audience who, at last, did not have to listen to blaming and finger-pointing in a presidential speech.
Duterte, for his part, assured the people that vindictiveness is “not in [his] system” and stressed the importance of mustering the courage to face challenges “undeterred by the fear of failing or losing”. This is a leader who faces the future equipped with a clear vision he aims to fulfil. When a leader has that vision, courage comes naturally. In Duterte’s SONA, the courage behind every word he utters is palpable. Filipinos will likely follow Duterte into battle if asked to fight. This is as much as any people can ask of a leader — that he be made of the right stuff.
Amidst all that, the president still emphasised: “Finger-pointing is not the way of honourable men,” an obvious dig at his predecessor, former President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III. Unlike Duterte who made a name for himself with his tough stance against crime and injustice, Aquino had made his mark as a blame gamer, taking every opportunity to attribute all the ills of his administration to the handiwork of his predecessors. In this commitment to run with what’s been handed to him without looking back, Duterte also shows he intends to play the hand that was dealt him astutely.
The first SONA is, of course, always an easy one — because a new president just starting to warm his seat is still in a honeymoon with his office and his constituents. The excellent statesmanship Duterte has thus far exhibited is yet to be tested against the hard standards that reality subjects those who face it armed with bold plans. That fact, however, is not enough justification for the scornful dismissals Duterte’s detractors’ heaped upon social media timelines during the speech. Then again this, after all, is stuff coming from quarters in Philippine society that remain beholden to the cast of characters of that vindictive administration that Duterte uses as a model of what his government should not become.
Observers and commentators, as a result, seem to be having a field day trying to reduce the Duterte presidency to a simple punchline. This is, suffice to say, a difficult task considering that the scope of Duterte’s vision as laid out before today’s audience is broad and potentially packs substance. The easy target, evidently, is the “human rights” angle the usual suspects latch onto because of the easy play it presents to deep-seated fears that (they think) continue to linger in the Filipino psyche.
The alleged “extrajudicial killings” (EJKs) that have come to mark the first month of the Duterte presidency may resonate amongst a small inbred clique of traditional bleeding-heart “activists”. Unfortunately for these “activists”, the tired appeals to emotion backdropped by victim and violence porn no longer move the broader sentiment of a public sick and tired of the endemic criminality of Philippine society. That style harks back to the 1980s when the bruised and bloated remains of Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr were put on exhibit to highlight the violence of his “sacrifice”. It seems, Filipinos no longer buy the idea that there is something saintly about being a victim. Rather, they now likely see in the latest image of a bloodied stiff sprawled on a Manila street one less menaceand not “the most recent EJK”. Perhaps it becoming more evident that “human rights” activists are now seriously miscalculating the effectiveness of what has become an obsolete approach to mounting these so-called “awareness” campaigns.
Former President Aquino, after all, is an easy act to follow, and the Filipino people, today, an easy people to please. Duterte has, as it turns out, his predecessor and the “mess” he left to thank for the strong mandate he enjoys today to do what needs to be done to clean that mess and that sorry legacy he inherits.
[Photo courtesy Yahoo! News.]
Monday, July 25, 2016
While many of us regard it as a common useless weed, purslane is actually more useful than you can ever imagine.
This weed is loaded with essential vitamins and antioxidants, vital for your overall well-being.
Likewise, it contains iron and calcium, which are extremely important for the bones.
It is also very effective when it comes to boosting the immune system.
Additionally, purslane is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, GMO-free, and contains the highest amount of vitamin A compared to other green leafy vegetables, and it can safeguard you from cancer.
While the primary focus used to be how to get rid of this weed, that is about to change.
Its crunchy leaves, with pleasant lemony taste, can be excellent to include in your recipes.
In fact, you can use it as a spinach substitute. It also works well with sandwiches and salads.
It will also give you strength, thanks to its high protein content.
This weed can effectively safeguard you from heart diseases and stroke.
Moreover, it minimizes the chance of ADHD in children, autism, among other developmental disorders.
A Nutrient-Rich Weed
Purslane may be a common plant, but it is uncommonly good for you. It tops the list of plants high in vitamin E and an essential omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Purslane provides six times more vitamin E than spinach and seven times more beta carotene than carrots. It’s also rich in vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium and phosphorus.
Omega-3s are a class of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids. Your body cannot manufacture essential fatty acids, so you must get them from food. Unfortunately, the typical American diet contains too few omega-3s, a shortage that is linked to a barrage of illnesses including heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
ALA is most commonly found in plants and grass-fed meat and eggs. Artemis Simopoulos, co-author of The Omega Diet, says purslane is one of the richest known plant sources of ALA: It contains 15 times the amount found in most iceberg lettuce.
In addition to ALA, other omega-3s include eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids mostly found in aquatic plants and animals, especially oily fish. Nutritionists now think all forms of omega-3s need to be plentiful in our diets p lants such as purslane may be part of the missing link to better nutrition. Ethnobiologists — scientists who study the relation between primitive human societies and the plants in their environment — believe that the plants humans ate long ago provided a greater proportion of nutrients than the plants we consume today. They estimate, for instance, that humans 40,000 to 10,000 years ago consumed an average of 390 milligrams per day of vitamin C from wild plants and fruits. In contrast, the average American today consumes just 88 milligrams of vitamin C per day. One cup of cooked purslane has 25 milligrams (20 percent of the recommended daily intake) of vitamin C.
Purslane is an annual that thrives in rich soil and prefers recently turned soils. Its leaves are smooth, thick and paddle-shaped. Depending on the variety, the leaves may grow from one-half to 2 inches long. Wild purslane grows horizontally and forms flat, circular mats up to 16 inches across. Its round, thick stems radiate from the plant’s center and are often reddish at the base. About mid-July, purslane develops tiny, yellow flowers about a quarter of an inch across that usually open only in full sunlight.
After a week or so, the yellow flowers give way to small, dark, pointed seed capsules that, when mature, break open and release an abundance of tiny, black seeds, each about the size of a grain of sand. Under ideal conditions, a single purslane plant can produce up to 200,000 seeds!
If you do not find purslane growing wild, many companies listed at right sell seeds for golden purslane (Portulaca sativa) or garden purslane (Portulaca oleracea). These varieties grow upright rather than horizontal and have larger leaves than wild purslane. They also are more tender and easier to harvest and clean.
Because it is susceptible to frost, purslane does not emerge until the soil is quite warm. In most U.S. climates, it can be sown starting in May. Plant the seeds in shallow trenches 4 to 6 inches apart, then cover them lightly with about a quarter inch of soil. Keep the planted seeds moist until all the plants have sprouted. After the plants are about 1 inch tall, they won’t need much attention. Plants will be ready for harvesting in four to six weeks.
No one, as far as I recall, died from tanim-bala in NAIA, and yet it infuriated many of us,and we were angered by an apparent scam condoned or perhaps even operated by airport officials. Many were mad at President Aquino, too, for gaffes made by some government officials and by government inaction that was affecting Filipino travellers and migrant workers. But since July, hundreds have already been killed due to the so-called war on drugs and crime, with most deaths appearing on TV or our FB timelines in the same sickening narrative: killed by hitmen, their bodies wrapped in garbage bags or paper with a cardboard that says the victim is a drug offender, or killed by policemen in a buy-bust operation or inside police stations, where the police had to fire and kill them because they were fighting back or because they tried to grab arms from the police while in custody.And yet the same public outraged by tanim-bala is silent this time, despite the deaths. Hindi lang sa hindi galit, we are actually happy to repeat and mimic the stories given by government officials – Pusher kasi. Adik. Nang-agaw ng baril sa pulis sa presinto. Nanlaban. Kung hindi sya adik, bakit sya kasama ng pusher?
And we’re happy to exempt the government of any responsibility of this incident. When Abaya said that tanim-bala was being blown out of proportion, many called for his resignation, many blamed PNoy. But with what’s happening, Duterte or PNP Chief Bato can’t be faulted – even though Duterte promised this bloodshed during the campaign period, or that, after the inauguration, he said shabu addicts should be killed, and that local governments and local police should deliver dead bodies in his war on drugs. Bato said he’s against extrajudicial killings, and yet he’s not doing anything to stop it – but it doesn’t matter, not his fault. Tanim-bala is PNoy’s fault, but we have wired our minds to believe that Duterte can’t be blamed for the killings terrorising the Philippines these days. Never mind that, regardless of who you voted for last May, the government should always be held accountable for omission if it fails to address human rights violations.
I actually don’t care who you voted for last May. What I wish to understand at this point is if your silence demonstrates the limits of our common sense, of our respect for life, or of our world-renown sense of compassion. Are we not outraged, and are we willing to exempt the government of any responsibility, because those who were killed are impoverished – not exactly the type who’d have credit cards to purchase piso-fare trips and therefore unlikely to be inconvenienced by tanim-bala? Is it because we also blame the poor for the ugliness in our daily lives, for the systemic poverty and crime that fester in our streets, and therefore killing these vagrants is better? Is it because we think that some lives do not really matter, and that we’re happy to give those with guns a blank check just to make us perceive that we are safe and secure?
I hear no one saying that they feel more secure and safe these days, these days when tanim-bala is no longer happening. For me, my sense of insecurity isn’t just about safety in our streets: mas nababahala ako dun sa naiisip ko na may aspeto ng pagiging Pilipino na hindi ko kilala, yung aspeto na kayang lunukin at tanggapin ang nangyayari ngayon. That we can even throw out our sense of justice and respect for life and be wilfully blind. I try to recall some words that have helped define my own understanding of what being Filipino means. That the Filipino is worth dying for. Ang mamatay ng dahil sa’yo. Maybe by reminding myself of these words, I’d feel less insecure and disturbed by this realisation: na kaya pala natin itong gawin sa isa’t-isa.
(Photo from Mark Z. Saludes: Jennelyn Olaires refuses to let go of her husband, Michael Siaron, a 30-year-old pedicab driver and an alleged drug offender who was gunned down by unidentified assailants along EDSA – Pasay Rotonda area in Pasay City, July 23.)