January 18, 2018, 11:41 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07263 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.14992 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03521 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37318 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02474 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03521 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03956 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63687 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03163 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00745 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.63172 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02627 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13568 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06382 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.25445 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19324 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 395.96518 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03951 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02456 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01896 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.96895 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12736 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 56.62579 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.15506 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.77275 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.40883 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.49743 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1197 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95886 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.24462 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25141 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34978 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53817 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01607 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03956 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01433 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01431 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08957 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.9371 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.94699 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14509 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.07219 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15475 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46509 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11922 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.25771 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.9644 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 263.35047 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06775 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.266 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.41772 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 723.08147 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02255 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.43928 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01399 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18216 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03224 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.37189 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.26622 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.12896 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.80063 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.02452 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00594 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01622 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.47765 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.7856 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.88528 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.04292 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.5093 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24248 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0603 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01227 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02646 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18183 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33356 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.98418 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.46361 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 47.8837 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1593 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.96203 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64676 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30795 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.11195 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37086 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07803 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24161 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.0807 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6072 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15518 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0265 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02715 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0076 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06341 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0624 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18473 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06706 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 110.52215 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07202 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07488 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.11739 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.52987 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07417 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15387 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26503 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13841 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15847 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02609 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01433 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4392 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 150.90981 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.85839 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 393.89636 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17306 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.18552 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24175 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.63054 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04769 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04409 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07507 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13281 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5839 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.34335 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56547 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.79588 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56468 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.81883 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19729 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 449.14952 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0449 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04966 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.5352 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0534 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.5352 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.90645 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.94363 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24183 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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