Friday, February 08, 2008

The Filipino... I had in Manila a week or so back included the 'Ensaymada', or Philippine sweet bread.

It's bread with layers of bread, butter, sugar frosting, and topped with cheese, and often including layers of filling.

The one I had, during some workshops had layers of cheese and ham. No, not great for anyone's cholesterol, but awesome, otherwise.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Thrilla in...

...Manila. I had a week in the Philippines, and I heard/read an exciting story about the hotel I was in.

So, there I was, doing my thing for the 'ol employers, as part of a workshop. We were at the Peninsula, Manila, which was where we were working too. The previous sentence has a 6-word alliteration.

But anyway.

I found out, after looking curiously at the lopsided entrance to supposedly one of the swankiest hotels in town, that the Peninsula was the venue for a recently failed coup.

(The pics above show the half of the entrance to the hotel which was done in by an armoured personnel carrier)

In short.

A bunch of soldiers, on trial for, wait for it, a previous failed coup!, walked out of court. I tried to find out how they managed to walk out of court, but failed to do so. They holed up at the Peninsula, on the second floor, in the Jose Rizal meeting room I was there!). They demanded the ouster of President Arroyo, who set the troops on them, instead. SWAT teams, marines, special units, police, riot police, the lot. They played nice for a while, shooting in the air, and chucking a couple of tear gas shells about. Then, someone smashed an Armoured Fighting Vehicle into the lobby, and kicked some rebel ass. The mutiny was done with.

That's it. Coup Khallas. All is well. Though a couple of rebels(!) escaped from the hotel, and some of the rebels later apologised, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Gotta love the Filipinos. From my experience, they are so friendly and chilled out, I can't imagine them shedding much blood. However, this is the 10th attempt at regime change there, since 1970.

One of the masterminds behind the 'Peninsula Rebellion' was Sen. Antonio Fuentes Trillanes IV, the only first Philippine Senator to be elected while in jail (where he was serving time for a previous failed putsch). I'd have to read more about what it is, that's troubling some of their citizens.

From an article in the Inquirer.

The terms used to refer to political action against an authority or a government by the military include the following:

• Coup d’├ętat or simply coup: A sudden and decisive action in politics, especially one resulting in a change of government illegally or by force. The term is French and literally means “stroke concerning the state” (coup, hit, and ├ętat, state).

• Putsch: A plotted revolt or attempt to overthrow a government especially one that depends upon suddenness and speed. The Swiss German word literally means violent blow, clash or shock. It was introduced in the sense of a “coup” to refer to Swiss popular uprisings in the 1830s, especially the Zurich revolt of September 1839.

• Mutiny: Concerted disobedience or seditious action by persons in military or naval service, or by sailors on commercial vessels. Mutiny may range from a combined refusal to obey orders to active revolt or going over to the enemy on the part of two or more persons. In the Armed Forces it is considered one of the gravest crimes against military law.

• Rebellion: Open, organized, and armed resistance to one’s government or ruler. In the most general sense, a refusal to accept authority and may include a range of action and behaviors from civil disobedience to a violent organized attempt to destroy established authority. Those who participate in rebellions are known as “rebels.”

There you go. Words for the week.