July 21, 2018, 3:15 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0687 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01833 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03442 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51646 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02528 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0333 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03741 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.57108 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03151 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00707 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 32.75309 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02527 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12832 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07203 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27899 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19255 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 374.4856 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03737 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02464 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01868 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.20576 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12563 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 53.5578 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.55649 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.77142 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41506 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.32024 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11972 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93303 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19981 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25129 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33389 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51106 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01606 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03917 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01429 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01431 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08962 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.88982 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 168.66816 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14005 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.88103 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1468 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44747 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1187 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26057 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.20183 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.36027 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06796 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28159 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.25963 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 813.69248 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99588 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.43547 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01325 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11107 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.8771 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27484 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 75.70146 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.90311 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 16.83502 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.15413 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00566 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01534 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.4508 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 157.22035 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.15189 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.98915 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 3.00412 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24822 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05703 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01161 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02573 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17723 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31076 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.98373 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.78638 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.80995 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15122 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.64048 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64347 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29125 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.40105 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35353 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07589 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24819 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.7153 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58586 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15284 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04293 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02753 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00719 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06114 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06073 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.39618 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0692 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.97905 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06809 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07472 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.18 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 15.95267 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07015 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14747 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25122 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33483 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16573 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02554 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0143 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41538 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 153.38571 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.68088 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 393.68313 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16367 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.633 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24845 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.62252 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04952 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04351 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08966 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12587 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57159 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 42.49906 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49158 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 69.56977 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58277 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 145.09914 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 2239.05724 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 431.12608 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04265 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04883 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.52881 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05051 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.52881 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.90591 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.67265 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24818 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 97.07258 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.76955 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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