December 16, 2017, 9:38 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07288 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.24593 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03533 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34712 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02593 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03533 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0397 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63815 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03288 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00748 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.75546 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01985 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02675 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13617 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06539 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01985 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2763 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20411 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 397.3799 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03965 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02552 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01965 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.62406 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13118 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.40849 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.184 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01985 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.86245 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43364 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.50992 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12575 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94204 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28011 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26427 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35252 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5391 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01689 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04119 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01488 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0149 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08949 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93628 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.61016 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14561 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.01171 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15502 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46602 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12717 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24851 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.30468 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.45216 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0697 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27173 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.50139 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 706.60975 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.09111 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47122 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01404 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.23456 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04347 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38392 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.89281 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.1582 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.86423 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.58495 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00599 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01628 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.65919 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.78761 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.88289 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.0389 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.48432 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26141 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06051 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01232 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02704 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1878 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33869 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.03414 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.03454 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.15403 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15967 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.9869 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.67209 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30905 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.16276 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37963 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08094 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2608 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.10599 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60838 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16635 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03573 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02839 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00762 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01985 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06535 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06434 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.17745 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07099 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.57205 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07225 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07797 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.1679 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.58892 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07443 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15358 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26852 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13219 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16899 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02675 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01489 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44077 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 151.44898 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.09567 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 413.80507 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17368 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.22191 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26054 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6449 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04961 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04557 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07666 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13159 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5944 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.30329 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54875 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.55617 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01985 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57046 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.57959 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.198 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 450.55577 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.09845 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05144 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.07165 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05359 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.49782 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00337 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.96129 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26079 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 103.00714 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.18341 Zimbabwe dollar

Iceland’s resilient independence

REYKJAVIK, Iceland - Iceland is a fantastically resilient nation literally forged in fire and ice, and hardened into jagged rock and burned black lava. The landscape is unearthly. Within an hour it can be windblown and gusty, scorched by the sun and drenched by freezing rain all in one place. Its mountains are capped by pristine glaciers slowly cascading down magnificent crisscrossing waterfalls that cut through the great continental crack separating the Eurasian tectonic plates from the North American. Here, trees are sparse, replaced by gigantic boulders of hardened lava with thin coats of green and white moss. The rock-scape is interrupted only where powerful geysers break through spewing skyscraper-high fountains of steam from bedrock pockmarked by huge craters of bubbling and boiling earth and mud.

Iceland is perhaps the most beautiful island nation created when time began by nature’s most violent forces.

Its people, descended from the Vikings, are likewise, but they are today blessed with extraordinary warmth and pleasantness. While fundamentally resilient as are Filipinos, in some ways Icelanders did not descend into apathetic callousness. They have found a way to resurrect, learn, and, avoid undisciplined, incessant and repetitive self-inflicted folly.

They are survivors albeit victims of greed and politics as are we. If Filipinos can be described as resilient bamboo reeds, today’s Icelanders are metaphorically magnificent Viking Ulfberht swords -- sharp and hardened -- hammered from the 2008 global financial crisis that saw Iceland fall from the weight of its national debt, and then desperately seeking bankruptcy relief.

The Icelanders are, however, not the only phoenixes resurrected from modern day folly. Had partisan politics not brazenly interfered and then quickly supplanted by military adventurism and martial law where parliaments and judiciaries might characteristically be rubber stamps, Thailand’s economic recovery might have been more productive. 

It’s been a decade since Bangkok in July, 1997. The then Thai economy succumbed to attacks from marauding currency speculators as well as imploded from humongous debt hinged on artificially propped baht values consistent with the Asian miracle at the time. 

After a devastating crash that quickly travelled to as far away as Argentina Thailand’s creditors went to work. Their default palliative was a cocktail of fiscal impositions mixed with additional credit -- a prescription that has yet to work on its own through repeated applications in other economies from Iceland to Greece.

The Thais were forced to contract even more debt made exponentially expensive after 1997 by a hollowed out baht. Given the Thai economy is a Philippine doppelgänger, curiously the baht has not only recovered but is now stronger than the peso. Simply track its steep rise relative to the peso in the last 180 days. Mysteriously, as the US dollar rationalized, all other currencies strengthened save for the Philippine peso.

Encounters with Thai businessmen, whether a tuk-tuk operator or an investment banker, reveal their secret. Thais washed their bitter medicine down with mega-doses of hard work. Imagine how much more they might have achieved had they not fallen into the toxic pit of martial law.

Iceland’s experience is even more awe-inspiring. Declaring bankruptcy after investing heavily in collateralized debt obligations (CDO) largely comprised of the US midwestern debts pooled by American investment bankers from toxic assets and marketed to economies as Iceland’s, the eventual crash in CDO values left Iceland in tatters.

Investment banking spawned from private banking that financed Iceland’s fishing fleets exposed Iceland to globalization. Succumbing to imported asset-backed securities was a one-off mistake. The country is fiercely independent and since 2008 Icelanders rediscovered they should never be beholden to anyone.

Determined to get out of a rut, Icelanders worked hard, raised taxes and prices on everything, assured these had real value to consumers and, to the extent possible, ensured products and services were all local. 

Independence is at the core of Iceland’s resilience, especially critical because of their harsh but majestic environment. Vegetables and fruits are grown in greenhouses due to the thin layer of soil and sparseness of trees. Underneath are molten rock so water comes from mountaintop glaciers. Thus Icelanders are fiercely protective against pollution and global warming. So there are no fossil-fired power plants.

Fishing is their principal industry so the Icelanders recognize the criticality of keeping surrounding waters clean.

Iceland’s youth continues to pay for previous mistakes but they accept the necessity of the highest taxes on the planet. VAT is 24 percent. Personal ITR, up to 46.30 percent. Rather than whine they aggressively boost the economy by secretly working as early as 15  to propel consumerism and ensure jobs remain local. Iceland’s 15 to 24-year old unemployment rate is 7.1 percent. Its total unemployed is amazingly 2.4 percent. 

On trade and industry, Icelanders take it seriously that both labor and goods are totally Icelandic thus avoiding forex exposures and the predatory kindness of strangers.

Exemplified through Halldor Laxness’s 1955 Nobel prize-winning book “Independent People” on the story of Bjartur, an Icelandic shepherd and his daughter, each struggling to be un-beholden, Iceland’s is not resilience based on a lazy happiness index, surrender or undisciplined albeit contented complacency. There is neither learning nor growth from those. Laxness wrote, “The history of the centuries is the history of an independent man who grapples with a spectre which bears a new and ever newer name.” Iceland’s amazing resilience is based on independence, discipline, true-grit and hard work.
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