Blackouts Abound November 2000

For the second time in five months, I’m back in the Philippines. Twenty years ago, I lived and worked here as a mathmatics teacher. At that time, there was an air of optimism and confidence that the economy would soon follow the trend set by Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. But thanks to a president who stuffed the national treasury into his hip pocket, it didn’t happen. Instead, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and China jump-started their economies and left the Philippines far behind.

As recently as four months ago, eight hour electrical blackouts were a daily fact of life in most of the country. Now the power outages have been reduced drastically and by early next year it is expected that this problem will be solved. (Note: as I am writing this report the light’s went out… oh well!) It now seems that maybe, just maybe, the Philippines will be “the next place” and so we are here. Understand of course that those bogus Giibson guitars and mandolins which have been featured in previous issues of our Retail Music News will not be a part of our offerings and that I’m trying hard to resist adding the nose flutes favored by the Ifugao tribesman here in the mountain provinces. Now, if Mount Pinatubo doesn’t blow its top again – and if the typhoons don’t wash out Central Luzon – maybe we’ll have some new products from here soon.

Richard Keldsen
Baguio City, Philippines
November 1993