• The fault in our stars


    The title is inspired by the line in Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in which the nobleman Cassius says to Brutus: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fault_in_Our_Stars)

    When I first heard about the movie “Fault in Our Stars,” I thought it had something to do with astrology, but far from it, it is a story based on the novel of author John Greene as narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel, who is forced by her parents to attend a support group, where she subsequently meets and falls in love with the seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee. There are many interpretations to this but the most common is that you are who you are not because of what you are fated to be but because of the sum of what you have done throughout.

    Could it be the same with regards to the present state of our country?

    I watch the news and hear mostly stories about killings and shootings. I read the papers and I see headlines of rising prices of rice, garlic and other basic commodities. The National Price Coordinating Council proffered three recommendations to arrest the rising prices of rice: flood the market with NFA rice; make sure it reaches the consumers; and deal directly with the corporations and government agencies that require rice for their employees. The situation should normalize after a month, said Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo. At present, the NFA only releases four thousand tons a day nationwide or about 80,000 kilos of rice. The National Price Coordinating Council has recommended doubling, or even tripling this amount. But if they do, then stricter monitoring must take place to make sure it does not end up with the unscrupulous traders or hoarders. Otherwise, expect things to remain the same.

    It is a tough balancing act by the NFA: making sure the farmers make some profit while ensuring consumers are not shortchanged. But really, it is what happens between the farmer and the consumer that makes all the difference. So why are we in this situation? Weren’t we on the road to rice self-sufficiency? Our second highest export product coconuts is also in danger because of the massive infestation by the so-called cocolisap. Why is this happening, I keep asking. In fact, many colleagues talk about plans to migrate, tired from the same old shit. Something’s gotta give. As for garlic, we do import 70% of local consumption and only 30% is supplied by our farms. Why isn’t anything being done to increase the planting of garlic in our provinces? Should we fault our stars for what is happening today or is our country ill-fated?

    God is Great!



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    1. richard abadilla on

      I have a relative who is a DTI employee and when I showed him this article and Ms. Salacup’s comments, he could not hide his chagrin at what is happening to this organization which used to be, under past administrations, one of the best amongst cabinet ministries. It has now deteriorated, no longer respected, and to blame is the head – Domingo – who is concerned only about earning brownie points with PNoy, while stoking his goatee – and who has effectively surrendered control over DTI’s operations to Mr. Manalo who according to sources, used to peddle “sabong panlaba” kaya daw mahilig magsabon ng DTI employees. Wake up Malacanang!

    2. donna salacup on

      When you have complacent officials like Domingo who does not do anything but enjoy travels to various countries with his sidekick, Usec C. Manalo, and who is surrounded by sycophants as Usec Cristobal, then the rising prices of all these basic commodities cannot be arrested. Isn’t this the first time in DTI’s history that the Secretary and Undersecretary travel together, giving the same old shit in lectures/seminars to foreign businessmen and to their people abroad. In pasty administrations, the Secretary and Usec rarely travel together. One is left to man the house so what comes to mind is the extent of their relationship that they would be willing to sacrifice the good of the country for their own pleasures! Me too, I am thinking of migrating.