The fam is fresh from a 3 wk vacation from Biliran. ‘Much needed’ is an understatement because the stress from the recent elections was affecting my health. What I thought was a toothache of massive proportions turned out to be teeth grinding, which I googled to be a subconscious stress related ‘coping strategy’. The pain was severe but waned two days in after I completely disconnected from social media and literally just hung around and did nothing.
I had been neglecting my business previous to that and was on auto – mode and had been putting projects in the back burner. I couldn’t concentrate on anything anyway so it wouldn’t have worked had I tried.
In the past few months leading to the elections we saw friendships dissolve, relations stop, and arguments between teachers and students. It wasn’t just about politics. The recent months revealed people’s beliefs re sexuality ‘hindi pwede maging Presidente ang babae’, ability to twist morality ‘matagal na ang bayaran ganyan talaga ang pamamalakad sa Pilipinas!’, and perspectives that make your head spin, ‘bawal ang magnakaw, pero walang nagsabing bawal iboto ang magnanakaw!’
For many years the most important thing that was on people’s minds were celebrities hooking up, Ms Universe, K-Dramas and the NBA Playoffs. Now, finally, people are forced to talk about truly important things.
This is a picture of the enormous Guevara plant in Libertad St. Mandaluyong back in the 70s.
Here, they used to make Radiowealth products, such as steroes, television sets, phonographs, etc.
Here is a picture of a Volkswagen Sakbayan.
The Sakbayan was a local derivative of a Volkswagen Beetle, sharing the engine and chassis but with a different body. It was very popular in the 70s and people my age remember it being used by PLDT as their regular vehicle.
Both products were world class. Dominguez Group of Companies (DMG) was the exclusive importer – distributor and assembler of Volkswagen, selling the popular Beetle and Kombi among others. Starting 1957, they EXPORTED locally assembled Beetles, Kharman Ghias, Micro Buses and Campers VWs. Radiowealth was a nationally popular brand and offered quality products.
Both were founded by Domingo M. Guevara Sr.. Guevent Group started as a small radio store and became a large, world class organization engaged in manufacturing, electronics, communications, agriculture and industrial development, etc.
Guevara was one of 7 Constitutional Convention delegates who voted against Martial laws declaration in September 1972. As a result, the Marcos pressured Guevara to give up these businesses, eventually he then fled to the US.
Radiowealth and the VW manufacturing plant closed, and with it the hopes of an industrial economy that would have flourished in a world where Japan and Korea were just starting to get their acts together.
National artist Nick Joaquin wrote about the peak of Guevara’s career in the early ’70s: The first full-fledged auto manufacturer of the Philippines was selling up to 5,000 vehicles a year, was creating the first Philippine-made car, and was manufacturing picture tubes and other electronic components.
He had brought his country’s economy to a crucial threshold: the point of take-off for a NIC, a Newly Industrialized Country.
Then Martial Law was declared and all of Guevara’s plans were thwarted. Before the Marcos takeover backed up by military rule, Guevara had been elected a delegate of the 1971 Constitutional Convention who sought to promulgate programs that would jumpstart the industrialization of the Philippines. Being the man of principle that he was, Guevara was one of seven delegates that voted against the martial law constitution.
Soon after, Marcos representatives were asking the businessman if they could buy into his companies. Domingo Jr., Guevara’s third son, recalls in his father’s biography: I quoted a price to the emissary and asked if his principle could pay it. And the emissary said no, and that no price would be paid. I said: ‘What do you mean?’ And he reported that I should feel flattered that President (Marcos) wanted to ‘invest’ in our company.
When the senior Guevara made it plain that he was not interested in a one-sided partnership with Marcos and his cronies, his firms began experiencing problems with his bankers, and from the Bureaus of Internal Revenue and Customs. What could a businessman do? There was no way of fighting back (under martial law conditions), Guevara recalled in his biography.
My Dad, Geminiano M. Mercado was a VP of DMG. I grew up with memories of many Radiowealth TVs and Stereos (which I thought for years was a foreign brand), and Volkswagens namely the Passat, a couple of Brasilias, a very rare 411 and the one I remember most, a shiny white Type 3 Sedan Beetle variant.
I’ll be honest, I was too young to remember my Dad before his death from cancer in 1986 so I didn’t here any stories firsthand. What I do remember is that one of Guevara’s sons rented an apartment in our old Manaluyong house. And that there was always talk about how much of a powerhouse DMG was considering it was actually manufacturing VWs (VWs!!) for local and foreign consumption. Radiowealth was a household brand. Sony only launched the ‘Trinitron’ tv in 1968. Radiowealth was already making TVs while its tech wasn’t up to par yet it was at least making a popular brand nationwide and an adoption of other tech was foreseeable.
Yes that might sound incredible but it was the 70s and technologies introduced in other countries was just as available here and elsewhere. We were an English speaking educated nation with strong ties to America and Europe so there was no reason why tech abroad would not have been adopted and improved on quickly here.
Being a motorhead I would grow up learning that most famous automakers started with very humble beginnings. Sakichi Toyoda was make spinning machines and looms, Soichiro Honda was making bicycles. After the 2nd World War everyone had to start with a clean slate and the Philippines had just as many reasons as any to get ahead industrially as any other country.
I have no doubt that jeepney manufacturers would have flourished given half a chance as well. Owner type jeeps were a staple vehicle then, being cheap and made of readily available parts. They had just as much tech as the cars at the time. If allowed to grow they would eventually meet better manufacturing standards such as improved ride, better emissions. better economy, better ride and safety. Why not? Because manufacturers in other countries had just as much opportunities as we had, no more no less.
We were not lacking in leaders and big ideas. We unfortunately though had Marcos.
In June ’75 he issued a secret Pres’l Decree#731 found after EDSA that establish a commission w/ Imelda as Chairman w/c will “exercise of powers & duties as President in the event of my death or permanent incapacity”
In 2014 the PNoy Administration launched Balik Manggawa Online to help OFWs easily get Overseas Employment Certicifate (OEC) w/o lining up at the POEA or Embassies abroad? By 2015 they have served 708,598OFWs w/ OEC at the convenience of their home or internet shops
Alam niyo po siya ang bukod tanging national official na naka pasyal na ng tatlong beses dito sa romblon sa loob ng limang taon.
Yan ang presensya. Yan ang pagmamahal. We are not too far or too small for her. Yan ang pinuno na karapat dapat sa ating suporta. Si vp leni hindi nag aatubili tumutlong sa ating mga pasyente, sa Manila, sa lahat.
Meron siyang tulong sa ating mga magsasaka P3.5M pesos, para po sa mga kagamitan at pang alagang hayop, at alam niyo po (addressing Leni)
“VP yung iba sa kanila may mga anak na yung kanilang mga alagang kambing at manok. Ibig sabihin dagdag kita para sa ating mga magsasaka.”
Sa Sta Maria, may mga proyekto po sila may mga naayos din sa ibang lugar. Yan ang nararamdaman na pinuno.
KATAWA-TAWANG PAGPIPILIT NA KUNG WALANG NAKULONG NI ISANG MARCOS, IBIG SABIHIN WALA SILANG NINAKAW
Nakupo, napaka-trying hard ang ganiyang argumento. Ang number of prisoners na may final judgment of conviction sa buong Pilipinas ay less than 39,000 lang— sa NBPP, sa Iwahig, sa Davao Penal Colony, at sa Women’s Correctional Institute. The rest of the prison population ay pending pa ang mga kaso at walang pang-piyansa o hindi pinayagang makapag-piyansa.
Kung ang nakakulong lang with final conviction ang basehan ng pagkilala ng kriminalidad, 39,000 lang ba ang kriminal sa Pilipinas? Kahalangan po to think na lahat ng mga kriminal ay naipakulong natin gayong we have one of the highest incidents of violence and corruption in the world.
At kung magfocus tayo sa corruption, iilan lang ba ang public officials na napakulong ng korte? At least 20% ng national budget (PhP 1 trillion) ang napupunta sa corruption. Wala pa sa bilang na ito ang ibang puedeng pagnakawan na pondo, kontrata, franchises, fees, taxes, etc.
Hindi lang kakaunti ang nacha-charge with and convicted for corruption sa Pilipinas, napakatagal ng procedures sa Pilipinas, at mapapansing ang maliliit na officials lang ang nako-convict. Ang number of pending criminal cases natin is in the hundreds of thousands, karamihan ay laban sa mahihirap, at matagal bago matapos. IBIG SABIHIN PO NIYAN AY HIGHLY-EXPLOITED ANG JUSTICE SYSTEM NATIN NG CORRUPT AT POWERFUL.
Bukod dito, unanimous ang lahat ng studies na napakahirap magpakulong for specific crimes of corruption ang dictators na inilabas ang nakaw na yaman sa bansa, lalo na kung naka-exile pa gaya ni Marcos Sr. Bakit po?
Today Dec. 10, 2021 is the International Human Rights Day, and to commemorate this occasion I am republishing the reason why Republic Act No. 10368 exists. This RA was published on the OfficialGazette.gov.ph website on Feb. 25, 2013 and is also known as ‘AN ACT PROVIDING FOR REPARATION AND RECOGNITION OF VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS DURING THE MARCOS REGIME, DOCUMENTATION OF SAID VIOLATIONS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES‘
The reason why this act exists is thus described:
To recognize the heroism and sacrifices of all Filipinos who were victims of SUMMARY EXECUTION, TORTURE, ENFORCED OR INVOLUNTARY DISAPPEARANCE and OTHER GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS committed during the regime of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos covering the period from September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986 and restore the victim’s honor and dignity.