Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said his Chinese counterpart had threatened him that Beijing would “go to war” if Manila begins drilling for oil in the South China Sea.
.. “We do not want to quarrel with you. We want to maintain a warm relationship but if you force the issue we will go to war.”
.. Mr. Duterte has a record of inaccuracies and exaggeration.
She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.
She was 18 years old when my grandfather gave her to my mother as a gift, and when my family moved to the United States, we brought her with us. No other word but slave encompassed the life she lived. Her days began before everyone else woke and ended after we went to bed. She prepared three meals a day, cleaned the house, waited on my parents, and took care of my four siblings and me. My parents never paid her, and they scolded her constantly. She wasn’t kept in leg irons, but she might as well have been.
.. Lola’s story began, up north in the central plains: Tarlac province. Rice country. The home of a cigar-chomping army lieutenant named Tomas Asuncion, my grandfather. The family stories paint Lieutenant Tom as a formidable man given to eccentricity and dark moods, who had lots of land but little money and kept mistresses in separate houses on his property.
.. She was raised by a series of utusans, or “people who take commands.”
.. Before the Spanish came, islanders enslaved other islanders, usually war captives, criminals, or debtors. Slaves came in different varieties, from warriors who could earn their freedom through valor to household servants who were regarded as property and could be bought and sold or traded. High-status slaves could own low-status slaves, and the low could own the lowliest.
.. Lola agreed, not grasping that the deal was for life.
.. Then, in a quivering voice, she told her father that Lola would take her punishment. Lola looked at Mom pleadingly, then without a word walked to the dining table and held on to the edge. Tom raised the belt and delivered 12 lashes
.. My mother, in recounting this story late in her life, delighted in the outrageousness of it, her tone seeming to say, Can you believe I did that?
.. the proper way to be a provincial matrona: You must embrace your role as the giver of commands. You must keep those beneath you in their place at all times, for their own good and the good of the household. They might cry and complain, but their souls will thank you. They will love you for helping them be what God intended.
.. While she looked after us, my parents went to school and earned advanced degrees, joining the ranks of so many others with fancy diplomas but no jobs.
.. Figuring they would both have to work, my parents needed Lola to care for the kids and the house. My mother informed Lola, and to her great irritation, Lola didn’t immediately acquiesce. Years later Lola told me she was terrified. “It was too far,”
.. what convinced Lola was my father’s promise that things would be different in America. He told her that as soon as he and Mom got on their feet, they’d give her an “allowance.” Lola could send money to her parents, to all her relations in the village. Her parents lived in a hut with a dirt floor. Lola could build them a concrete house, could change their lives forever. Imagine.
.. But they’d be affectionate to us kids one moment and vile to Lola the next. I was 11 or 12 when I began to see Lola’s situation clearly.
.. In Mom’s eyes was a shadow of something I hadn’t seen before. Jealousy?
“Are you defending your Lola?,” Dad said. “Is that what you’re doing?”
“Ling said she wasn’t hungry,” I said again, almost in a whisper.
.. Having a slave gave me grave doubts about what kind of people we were, what kind of place we came from. Whether we deserved to be accepted. I was ashamed of it all, including my complicity. Didn’t I eat the food she cooked, and wear the clothes she washed and ironed and hung in the closet? But losing her would have been devastating... After each of her parents died, Lola was sullen and silent for months. She barely responded when my parents badgered her. But the badgering never let up. Lola kept her head down and did her work...For days in a row Lola would be the only adult in the house. She got to know the details of our lives in a way that my parents never had the mental space for. We brought friends home, and she’d listen to us..at night she’d crumble in self-pity and despair. Her main source of comfort during this time: Lola. As Mom snapped at her over small things, Lola attended to her even more—cooking Mom’s favorite meals, cleaning her bedroom with extra care...couple of years after my parents split, my mother remarried and demanded Lola’s fealty to her new husband, a Croatian immigrant named Ivan.. She’d heard that relatives back home who hadn’t received the promised support were wondering what had happened to her. She was ashamed to return... “This is your house now,” I said. “You’re not here to serve us. You can relax, okay?”“Okay,” she said. And went back to cleaning.
She didn’t know any other way to be
.. Dad used to say she was simple. I wondered what she could have been if, instead of working the rice fields at age 8, she had learned to read and write.
.. living with Mom’s husbands made her think being alone wasn’t so bad.
.. he’d had none of the self-serving ambition that drives most of us, and her willingness to give up everything for the people around her won her our love and utter loyalty. She’s become a hallowed figure in my extended family.
In 1898, as you point out, the United States burst from being a continental empire, if you want to call it that, within North America to taking territory overseas for the first time in those countries that you mentioned. This was a huge turning point for the United States, and everybody that studies American history is aware of this episode.
.. As for Andrew Carnegie, he was a great believer in the principles of America. And in his famous article denouncing American expansion, he wrote, with what face shall we hang in the school houses of the Philippines our own Declaration of Independence and yet deny independence to them? The United States paid $20 million to Spain to buy the Philippines.
Andrew Carnegie offered to pay the U.S. Treasury $20 million to buy the Philippines so he could set the Philippines free and give them independence.
.. Teddy Roosevelt definitely believed that war was the only condition of life that was worth living, that peace was only for (unintelligible) jellyfish who had no place in the great American nation.
He wanted to go out and fight. Even when he sent his sons to fight in World War I, he wrote that he hoped they’d come back missing a few limbs. The business factor was also huge back in 1898 and has continued to be.
.. We’ve twisted ourselves into pretzel-like shapes over many years trying to explain what is Puerto Rico and what is Guam compared to the United States? And we do this because we can’t use the word colony. We can’t call them colonies, so they have to be dependencies, territories, commonwealth, free-associated state. We’ve gone through a whole vocabulary – a whole lexicon of vocabulary in order to get through this difficult minefield.
Virgilio Mabag figures there is a good chance that his meth addict brother will become a casualty of President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly campaign against drugs in the Philippines.
“I told him to prepare himself to die,” Mr. Mabag said.
But Mr. Mabag, 54, who runs a neighborhood volunteer association in a sprawling Manila slum, still enthusiastically supports Mr. Duterte, saying that his policies will make the country safer and more orderly.
“I’m delighted,” said Mr. Mabag, who was wearing a Duterte T-shirt. “This is the only time I’ve seen a president like this, who says exactly what he wants to say.”
.. He has compared himself to Hitler (and later apologized), called President Obama a “son of a whore,” and joked after an Australian missionary was raped and killed that “she was so beautiful” he should have been first to rape her. He has lashed out at the pope, despite leading a nation that is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, and cursed the United Nations and the European Union.
No matter. For many Filipinos, Mr. Duterte’s passionate outbursts, however crude and impolitic, are signs of his fearlessness and willingness to act.
.. Lorraine Badoy, a dermatologist and a volunteer at a nongovernmental organization who lives in one of Manila’s gated communities, acknowledges that the president’s outbursts make her cringe. “I just wish he’d shut up sometimes,” she said.
But she says she is more enamored of his social policies than she is concerned about the casualties of the antidrug campaign. In Mr. Duterte, she said: “I see something that I have not seen in a long time in the Philippines, which is that he cares. He cares for the small guy, which is very important to me.”
.. When Mr. Duterte likened himself to Hitler, his supporters rushed to defend him on social media, arguing that the comment was precipitated by a remark by former President Benigno S. Aquino III, who compared Mr. Duterte to Hitler five months earlier.
.. Suddenly, there’s someone who is willing to do something about their problems, and the media is trying to take him down,”
Migo Paladio, 24, stood in a narrow alley and watched the crowds from two wakes spill out. They were for men killed by vigilantes on the presumption that they were drug dealers.
Mr. Paladio, a technician, said they were not dealers.