Thursday, March 6, 2014
Negros Daily Bulletin writer James U. Sy Jr. with PBA legend Benjie "Papa Bear Chito" Paras during the Unveiling of the Alaxan FR "Court of Inspiration" last August 26, 2012 at Prk. Langka, Brgy. Taloc, Bago City (James U. Sy Jr./NDB photo). The first time I heard the song “Got to Believe in Magic” was way back when I was just a grade 1 pupil at Tay Tung High School. The song came from the same era when songs such as “Words” and “King and Queen of Hearts” were in vogue, a time when love songs were really love songs. I was watching Juan de la Cruz when I first saw the promo for Got to Believe (G2B), which aired starting August 26, 2013. I wasn’t impressed. What does a teen hanging another teen by her ankle upside down got to do with love? Well, the teleserye just proved that “first impressions last” to be not always the case. I accidentally watched one episode and I was hooked. I’m a teenager no more and I don’t get kilig because of the beautiful or handsome lead stars. What caught my fancy was the plot first and foremost. The idea of Joaquin being accidentally shot in the head gave a refreshing twist to an otherwise love story retold hundreds of thousands of times around the world. That single event unraveled, layer by layer, the path to which their undying love story will come to full fruition. In general, the storyline was based on reality. Well, at least with the exception of say, Lolo Isko showing up to Joaquin and then making him remember everything at just a snap of a finger when Chichay had to work a number of days to unsuccessfully rehabilitate Joaquin’s memory. I say based on reality in the sense that it shows the wide gap between the rich and the poor in the Philippine setting. Juliana and her father are typical of rich people who are eye poor (mata pobre, gets? ) while the Zaragosa couple exemplified the rich but kind individuals. Jaime symbolized the poor guy who worked hard and earned his place in society. The Tampipis were the epitome of the poor family that is full of love and aspirations in life. I can deduce that G2B was a hit to the masses because of this characterization. The average Filipino can easily relate to the circumstances shown in the teleserye. They get to feel more emotional as the setting of the plot is closer to their hearts, closer to home as you might say. I’m not saying that the characterization is the centerpiece of this particular masterpiece. On the contrary, it is the fairy tale romance between Chichay and Joaquin. The characterization gave their romance more life, more meaning. I could just imagine a young poor girl watching G2B, aspiring that someday her own prince charming, a knight in shining armor, will come to her aid and cover her body or to carry her in his arms after she falls down to the floor. What the story essentially wants to show is the purity of the love of Chichay and Joaquin. Love is not just about dating, dining out, and watching the moon. It’s much more than that. In fact, G2B subtly taught that love goes beyond the usual teenage stereotype of what love is. Chichay showed that love also means sacrifice as she was willing to let go of Joaquin and be hurt in the process so he might just live. Even Bechay showed sacrifice when she did not go between the relationship of Juliana and Jaime. I especially like the concept of Joaquin losing his memory but his heart still beating for Chichay. It’s kinda sweet and doesn’t fail to make hordes of girls and ladies kilig to the bones. Their love is also pure because it was not based on lust. Chichay and Joaquin slept in one room but nothing happened. The most that Joaquin did was kiss her in the forehead, which showed his respect for her, as one would kiss a grandmother or a mother in the forehead. The producer and director of G2B wanted to present love at its purest form and in the process presenting a more wholesome TV viewing for the whole family. Just like what ABS-CBN did with Juan de la Cruz, G2B was subtly teaching its viewers values that one can use in real life. Respect for parents and superiors, the caring of the elders, the value of education, the value of friendship, honesty, fighting for one’s right and principles, being righteous, and a lot more. In this sense, G2B did more than entertain, it taught as well, though indirectly and subtly. Over all, it’s two thumbs up for me (that would be two toes up for a friend of mine ). The cast and crew did a good job. As they say, all good things must come to an end. But the lessons and values that G2B gave to the consciousness of the Filipino nation will continue to inspire and give hope, especially when Filipinos will need “magic” in their own lives.
The legal definition of a bank in the Philippines, as established in the General Banking Act, requires four elements for an entity to be considered as a bank under Philippine law. The institution must be 1) authorized by the Monetary Board (MB), the policy making body of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), 2) to engage in the lending of funds 3) obtained from the public through the receipts of deposits of any kind, and 4) all entities regularly conducting such operations. Thus, non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs), such as financing and lending firms, differ from banks because they lack at least one of these elements. The word bank was derived from the Latin word for “bench” since money lenders sat on benches in any Roman forum in the past. Thus, being bankrupt meant that the money lender’s bench was literally broken so he could no longer sit there anymore. Cognates for the Latin bank are the Spanish banco and the French banc, both of which also mean “bench” (Latin, Spanish, and French all came from the Romance family of languages). The concept of banking was already in existence for thousands of years. However, it was not exactly in the form that we know of today. As early as 2000 B.C. loans were recorded in the temples of Babylon. In Egypt and Mesopotamia, people kept their valuables in temples. Temples were sacred places under the protection of the Gods and were not likely to be robbed. Thus, they were safe depositories. However, since these valuables were not circulated within the community they served little value in improving the local economy. Furthermore, those who read the Bible will remember that Jesus Christ got angry because people were conducting business inside the temple. By the 12th Century, banking activities were recorded in Genoa and other Italian cities. In 1587, Banco della Piazza de Rialto, the first real public bank, was established in Venice. King Charles I of England was in great need of money in 1640 so he seized the deposits of city merchants worth 200,000 pounds of bullions which had been deposited with the mint for safekeeping. The merchants panicked and took measures by entrusting their valuables to the goldsmiths. Goldsmiths were individuals who made and/or sold jewelries such as gold. The goldsmiths of that era also lent money using their own funds. Due to the nature of their business, goldsmiths were usually the only ones who had a vault in their premises, making them the ideal keeper for the city merchants’ valuables. Goldsmiths issued receipts for the valuables entrusted to them and these receipts later became the medium of exchange, the first banknotes if you will, at least in Europe (The Chinese invented paper and unsurprising, were the first to use paper money). Then the goldsmiths started using the funds given to them for safekeeping to expand their lending businesses. As banking continued to evolve, elite banking families, such as the Fuggers, rose to prominence. They lent to noblemen like kings, queens, dukes, etc. It reached a time when these banking families in Europe became more powerful than the monarchs or kingdoms they lent money to. Utilizing their money, they started manipulating the political, economic, and financial environments. They subtly bought influence within the governments for control. These elite banking families destabilized existing monarchies if the king didn’t serve their purpose best. They paid people to cause trouble in the royal court or to cause a revolution, ultimately leading to the ouster of the king and the ascension of a new ruler whom they have control over. These elite banking families also stirred up unrest between nations, lending vast sums of money, usually to both sides, so that war could be waged. The weapons purchased by both sides were manufactured by the industrial wing of the banking-industrial cartel. Usually the outcome of a conflict was controlled by regulating the loan of money and the timing of the delivery of weapons. Sometimes artificial economic crisis was created by contracting/hoarding the money supply, leading for the population to clamor and lose faith in the government in power. The artificial economic crisis also served to increase interest from at least 12% to as high as 45%. These unscrupulous and unregulated banking practices that caused havoc to the ruling governments caused the creation of central banks in different nations to control the activity of a country’s financial system. The Riksbank of Sweden, the oldest central bank, for instance, was founded in 1656. In 1694, the Bank of England, considered as the first real central bank, was established as a joint stock company by an act of Parliament. It served as the model for most modern central banks. In the Philippines, the Philippine National Bank (PNB) (founded Jul. 22, 1916), a government-owned banking institution with headquarters in the old Masonic Temple along Escolta, Manila, served as a de facto central bank prior to the creation of the Central Bank of the Philippines (CBP), as mandated by Republic Act No. 265 (The Central Bank Act), and its formal inauguration and opening on January 3, 1949. The CBP was officially replaced by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) with the signing of Republic Act No. 7653 (The New Central Bank Act) by President Fidel V. Ramos into law on June 14, 1993. The explicitly stated primary objective of the BSP is the maintenance of price stability in the country.