Sunday, November 23, 2008



Many countries in the world like Japan, Germany, Turkey, etc. have already declared that they are in economic recession. The question is, will the global economic situation bring crisis or opportunity into your life?

In the Chinese language, the symbol for crisis and opportunity is the same. Since ancient times the Chinese have already recognized that economic difficulties will always bring crisis or opportunity into a person’s life. What is important is how an individual will think and react.

Stock Exchange

The event or events that started today’s economic difficulties was the turmoil that begun at the New York Stock Exchange at Wall Street.

The concept of a stock exchange started in New York in 1791. A stock exchange is a market where stocks and bonds may be bought and sold, that is, after their original sale by the investment dealer to the customer. It is a market for secondhand securities. Investment dealers and stock exchanges appeared simultaneously in the United States. The existence of stock exchanges assured the customer that at any time he wanted to obtain cash for his securities, he would have a market at hand in which he could find buyers. This made it easier for corporations and governmental agencies to obtain funds to expand their operations. It also stimulated the growth of capital.

Trouble will begin when dealers, stockbrokers and others become unscrupulous. For
example, based on the actual asset of a corporation its stock is only P1. However, at the stock exchange the investment dealer can convince the stockbroker to buy the stock at P2. The dealer then could earn a large commission. The stockbroker in turn will try to sell the same stock at a higher price to earn a commission. After many sequence of reselling, the stock which is really worth only P1 will be sold at a much higher prize, say P10. Eventually someone would recognize the actual worth of the corporation and the last buyer could no longer sell it at the same or higher price. If that person needs cash he must have to sell the stock at a lower price therefore incurring a loss. To prevent this situation from occurring, government regulations are imposed.

Actually the situation is very complex because of so many corporations that are
involved. Some stocks are overvalued and others are undervalued. The greatest problem in stock exchanges is the fear of losing. If in the actual situation, majority of the stocks are overvalued and stockholders recognizes it, they will immediately sell. This will create a panic and the stock exchange organization will collapse. This in turn will create problems to the corporation owning the stock and the whole economy will be in depression. The situation will be so complex that solutions are difficult to implement. The greatest worldwide depression occurred in 1929.

The Trigger

During the Reagan Administration in the United States, most of the governmental controls were abolished. The economic situation called “Reaganomics” ensued and immediately economic prosperity occurred. As the years passed, the tendency of human greed reared its ugly head. The stocks traded at stock exchanges begun to be overvalued.

The housing industry in the United States triggered today’s economic recession. For
example, a person bought a house at P10,000 through a bank loan because it is the price that he can afford to pay. Some years later, because of the economic prosperity, the price of the same house became P20,000. The bank agent told the house owner that he can make a loan for P20,000 with the house as a collateral. When the house still increased in value the house owner made a bigger loan. However, some house owners realized that he would make a profit if he can make a loan of P50,000 for the house he bought for P100,000. He then does it with the intention of not paying the loan. The house owner gains but the bank losses. Since the bank has invested a big amount it would appear that its stock is worth much but actually the real asset is worth very little. This problem of the bank was then spread to the insurance company, etc. when the buyer of the bank’s stock realized the situation he immediately sells his stock. Soon a panic ensued. At first the reaction of the government was to let the bank collapse, but still the panic continued. The government tried to intervene by investing on the endangered corporations. This action of the United States government created fear in other countries and their stock exchanges also panicked. The problem became worldwide. The situation has become complex and some corporations actually collapsed.

What Will Be Your Reaction?

In the confusion of the economic problem some prices of commodities like gasoline decreased but some commodities also increased in price. There is now some talk that very soon the exchange rate of the peso will be p56 to $1. If this situation occurs, the OFW supported Boholanos will be happy but the locally earning Boholanos will become hard up because the Philippines government will be forced to overprint money and produce an inflation.

However, since you know that the situation is actually caused by fear, opportunities
will appear for those who are brave and a crisis will appear to the faint hearted.

This statement of course is simplistic because so many factors will intervene.

Nonetheless, Chinese wisdom say that in times of difficulties both crisis and opportunity will appear that is why they have only one word or symbol for it.

Today, Public Primary schools are found in almost every barrio in the Province of Bohol.

In year 1888 the public schools were only found in the town center and some large barrios. The schools were divided into school for boys and school for girls.

In 1888 the four years primary education was the end of basic education. At the end of the school year the pupils are given a final examination and those who pass will be graduated. Those who learn how to read and write Spanish was already qualified to take the Segunda Enseñanza of five (5) years and after that earn a Bachelor's Degree.

If we say that today's 10 years from elementary to high school graduation is not enough, the Spanish era education was still shorter. Today's high school graduate is higher in learning than the Spanish era Bachelor's Degree.

1888 Enrolment Data

Herewith is the report for the public schools in Bohol dated June 16, 1888. During that time, the Island of Siquijor was still part of Bohol.


Of the 8,129 boys who took the finishing examination in the public schools 2,741 were found to know how to read and write in Spanish. There were 1,692 who knew how to read only and 2,694 were recommended to be delayed for correction. The others failed.

Of the 10,674 girls who took the examination, 3,774 knew how to read and write Spanish and 2,460 knew how to read only and 3,450 to be delayed for correction. The others failed.


Just like today, there were good and bad teachers. For example in the town of Loon, Bohol, of the 600 girls, all of them took the finishing examination. The teacher for girls must have been good to have all her girl-pupils qualify to take the examination. Just imagine how to teach a multiple level class of 600 pupils. In general, we can see that the level of learning was very low. Only about 30% knew how to read and write.

It is interesting to note that the towns in the Island of Siquijor have bigger enrolment than in Bohol. In fact the town of Siquijor had the biggest enrolment. There must have been a reason for this which we could not determine from the records.

For most of the children, their primary education was the end of their schooling. Only very few could go to Cebu for the Segunda Enseñanza.
(Reference: Varias Papeles de Bohol)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Tale of Two Cemetetira in Tagbilaran City: Taloto and Masonic Cemetery


November 2 is All Saints’ Day. On this day many Filipinos visit the cemetery to pay respect to their departed loved ones.

When Tagbilaran became a town in 1742, the cemetery was located around the Catholic Church. At the start of the 20th century it was transferred to the present site of Lourdes Church or K of C. During the 1930s it was transferred to Maria Clara St. Since the place was always flooded, another cemetery was constructed at Camboktot, Dampas District. During the 1950s the cemetery at Maria Clara St. was abandoned.

In 1912 the Protestants had already their cemetery at Dampas District, the same site as it is today. The Municipal cemetery was at the present site of Bo-oy South Elem. School until 1953 when it was transferred at Tiptip District. The Victoria Memorial Park was started in 1975.

The Taloto Catholic Cemetery and the Masonic Cemetery were established for special reasons.

Taloto Catholic Cemetery

According to Fr. Escolastico Enciso in his Cosas Notables de Tagbilaran (Notable Events of Tagbilaran) written on 6 August 1890, the barrio of Talotò, Tagbilaran had more population than the Poblacion or town center.

Many rich people lived in Taloto because sea trading was easier to conduct and
potable water was more available than the town center. Since the residents had difficulty going to the poblacion for church services, they petitioned the Bishop of Cebu to allow them to have their own chapel. The people were permitted to construct their chapel.

On 4 August 1889, the Parish Priest of Tagbilaran, Fr. Enciso, blessed the chapel advocated to the Holy Cross (Santa Cruz). For twelve (12) consecutive nights, until vesper, a chant was held. The following day the solemn Mass with sermon was held.
There followed a procession by devout inhabitants of Taloto, which they do annually to the Holy Cross.

After the establishment of the chapel in 1889, the people of Talotò requested and were granted permission to construct their own cemetery. The same reason was invoked – that it was inconvenient for the people to go to the poblacion four (4) kilometers away. Until the present, Talotò requested and were granted permission to construct its own cemetery. The same reason was invoked – that it was inconvenient for the people to go to the poblacion four (4) kilometers away. Until the present, Talotò is the only chapel in Tagbilaran City that has its own cemetery.

Masonic Cemetery

On January 1931, the American Superintendent of Schools in Bohol, Arnold Bartlett, died. He was a Roman Catholic but he was refused burial in the Catholic Cemetery because he was a Freemason.

On January 11, 1931 his brother Masons performed a funeral service for Mr. Bartlett. He was temporarily buried at the Protestant Cemetery before his body could be brought back to the United States.

That event prompted the brethren of Dagohoy Lodge No. 84 to establish their own
Masonic Cemetery. The non-Protestant brothers were afraid that they would have nowhere to be buried when their time comes.

During the April 31 Stated Meeting of the Lodge it was decided to appoint a committee to select a suitable site for a cemetery. The committee members were Bros. Anacleto M. Sevilla and Felix N. Maceda with Bro. Emilio Buenaventura Jr. as Technical Adviser.

During the November 14, 1931 Stated Meeting, the committee reported that a lot was purchased for use as a Masonic Cemetery. It was a 2,750 sq.m. lot, located one and one-fourth kilometers from the Provincial Capitol Building along the now J.A. Clarin St. (formerly Washington St.). The purchase price was eighty pesos (P80). It was further reported that efforts where made to purchase the adjoining lots.

During the June 11, 1932 Stated Meeting of the Lodge the committee again reported that the Lodge had successfully purchased the two adjoining lots in barrio Dampas, Tagbilaran for the Masonic Cemetery.

Even though it was already used in 1932, the Masonic Cemetery was not yet properly fenced and delineated. It was during the incumbency of Brother Catalino Castillo as Worshipful Master (He was twice a Vice Mayor of Tagbilaran and many times a Councilor – JBT) when the cemetery was properly laid out. On November 6, 1937 a Special Meeting was held for the dedication of the Masonic Cemetery. It was also made to coincide with the official visitation of the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Philippines Joseph H. Alley, who took the honor of dedicating the Masonic Cemetery.

Until the present, the existing Masonic Cemetery of the Dagohoy Lodge No. 84 is among the very few Masonic Cemeteries in the Philippines. Buried at this cemetery are deceased members of the fraternity, their wives, children and relatives.