September 25, 2017, 9:43 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07264 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21717 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03501 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34187 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02482 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03536 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03956 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.5979 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03249 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00745 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.31665 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02662 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13627 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0618 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27967 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20131 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 395.96518 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03951 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02438 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01919 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.36155 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13059 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 57.37935 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.30439 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.82753 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43125 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.51325 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1233 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94106 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21553 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25924 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3485 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46183 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01657 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03986 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01461 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0146 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08739 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.88588 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 176.45964 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14445 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.08406 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15453 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46127 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12375 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23398 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.13074 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 263.05379 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06919 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28145 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.08149 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 663.96359 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1252 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.5623 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01399 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21833 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03738 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.35362 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 80.07516 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.12164 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.80063 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.34177 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00596 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01622 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.74387 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.94383 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.77848 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.02017 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.31408 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26167 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0603 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01227 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02675 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18458 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34721 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.01345 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.91851 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.53639 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15916 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.1521 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.66021 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30696 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.16792 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35121 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08291 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26183 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.9818 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59118 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15441 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05301 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02722 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00761 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06415 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06309 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08386 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07081 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.78797 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07201 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07606 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.14001 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.39142 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07417 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15268 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26236 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13172 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15792 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02662 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01462 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4392 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 148.3386 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.05617 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 406.07593 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17306 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.18552 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26179 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65427 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04862 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04355 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06922 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13382 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5966 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.24446 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51938 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.10364 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57041 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 159.61234 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19728 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 449.66376 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04153 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04947 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.86234 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0534 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.74723 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96618 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.94363 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26193 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.64043 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.15783 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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Column of the Day

The sweet in the bittersweet

By JOSE BAYANI BAYLON | September 25,2017
‘Never in our wildest dreams did it ever occur to me - and I am sure to him - that his final months will be spent with the black sheep of the family.’

Opinion of the Day

Barbaric fraternities (3)

By DAHLI ASPILLERA | September 25, 2017
‘Identified by his father in a deep ravine, where a dead EJ Karl Intia, 19, U-Makati, was thrown after initiation. Where are those 15 participants at that APO hazing?’