Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Battle Lines are Drawn

Let me make as clear a statement as I can. For any Corrupt official heed this advise well. I am a very Peaceful person, a pacifist at heart, my time in the military was spent saving lives in the United States Coast Guard. I daily put my life at risk to save the life of another of my countrymen. Think of the movie "Guardian". I am a generous, caring man and the most important thing in this world, here on this earth is my family, especially my children. Within my family there is no excuse for intrusions from others, nor is there any excuse for preventing me from taking care of my family in the way I see fit. The protection of children is a survival instinct in each of us, or at least it should be. If you put me in the position where I can not provide for my children in what I believe is the proper way, or pamper them in the way that I believe is appropriate for the ones that will carry my name when I'm gone. You have intruded where you don't belong and you will be removed. This is no threat, it's a clear warning to anyone that wants to continue standing in our way. This is it, the battle lines are drawn, decide right now whether you want to come down on the winning side.

Putting me in survival instinct is not the place anyone wants me. In survival mode, my hammer is cocked, my hair trigger is oiled, and I'm ready in an instant to attack with a vengeance beyond any imagination. The absolute last thing anyone wants to do right now, is to make the mistake of pushing any of my buttons. I have told everyone I've met here, I believe in the truth, I'm dedicated to always telling the truth whether it is for my own good or not. I do not like to be lied to, but God help you if you ever accuse me of lying. Today I received a phone call from the CENR that I accused of corruption. The first few seconds of the call were reserved while he spoke of my information on the internet, but then he made the horrible mistake of lying to me while at the same time accusing me of lying. He said he never asked me for money. Buttons Pushed needless to say the conversation was pretty one-sided after that. I proceeded to hold up to his face his deception, mentioning the other 3 people who witnessed his request. Still he refused to become an adult and take responsibility for his actions. Only continuing to try to make one excuse after another. So I asked him, "I guess you also want to tell me that the DENR office does not ask for SOP's for every transportation request we've submitted for our sawmill." Rather than waste my time in any further non-productive conversations with an illiterate, childish idiot, I ended the call. That man better thank his Father in Heaven that he did not present himself to me face to face.

Trying to excuse your way out of any of the Childish, Terroristic Acts of Corruption you've committed is useless now.  You choose your side, you choose to cheat the citizens around you, you stole money from many who were much less fortunate than you, you blocked someone who's major desire was to help his neighbors and friends with a little economic boost to the community. You despicable excuse for a human being. How dare you, you stand no chance to ever reach a level of wisdom that comes after proper actions. I'm sure you think your call to me would put fear into me to get me to back off. YOU DO NOT KNOW ME!!! Maybe you think because of your position that you are greater than I, let me tell you something mister, you put your pants on the same way I do. With the corrupt practices you've committed you've lowered your status in this world. To me you are dog shit that I need to brush off my shoes! You are a nothing! You are not worthy of my time and effort to respond to a miserable excuse for human flesh. Do not make the mistake of approaching me, the battle lines are drawn, and this man you've choose to fight has the resolve and fortitude to stand toe to toe with you.

Take my advise!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What are the intentions of these government officials?

In a long forgotten comment to a blog post of a friend here in Lianga (, on Friday, December 14, 2007 3:41:03 PM I wrote:
“As the Philippines races headlong into the future, I believe the attitude that you have against bloodlust will be taken up by most of your fellow countrymen. I am continually reminded of how closely linked in attitudes the Philippines is to America, although slightly out of sync in time. Years ago, cockfights and other bloodlust sports were big in America, even bigger than here in the Philippines, but over time Americans grew tired of the adrenaline rush that these blood sports produced. It has come to my mind recently how even my own attitudes have changed over time. When I was a child and teenager, farming in a rural community, I thought nothing of going to the barnyard to fetch some chickens to kill for supper. I would watch with fascination as my grandfather would sharpen his cleaver to sever the heads of our next meal, but age and time has changed my acceptance of that. I remember last year when my father in law was killing a hog for a party we were to have, I got physically sick from knowing that the life of the hog was ebbing as the blood was drained from its body.

As I think of my change of attitudes in regard to animal slaughter, I have to wonder what other changes I’ve not noticed, or are there some things that have remained constant in my belief system. You know, the discussion about the evacuees has been on my mind, even before you first wrote so eloquently about them and their plight. I am basically a pacifist and always have been, although some find that strange with my military background. Most people here don’t seem to understand when I tell them I was in the United States Coast Guard; it means that it was my job to save lives. In the 8 years I was in the military, 99.9% of the time I was unarmed. Only during basic training was I required to show that I was capable of handling a weapon.

I have never believed that violence was a means to any end, nor is it capable of solving any of the deep seated problems in our world today. Violence produces an effect, it is self promoting. Violence is a never-ending entity that takes strong people, with spirit and determination to end. It takes much more courage to end violence than to begin it, and more moral fortitude to object when witnessing violence of any kind. Humans even for their enjoyment of blood sports are basically a peace loving species. We have climbed the ladder of the animal kingdom to a point where we can and do show compassion. I’m calling on everyone in this area to show our compassion in the latest outbreak of violence here in our community. I want to see the evacuees home, well before Christmas and a permanent end to the fighting and violence.

I admit that I know little about the NPA or their dispute with the government here in the Philippines, but I do know that they are doomed to lose with the world against them. They are being portrayed as terrorists, and that’s enough to condemn them in the eyes of every right thinking person in the world. It doesn’t matter if their message is important, nor if it’s correct, they are terrorists and the world is against them. There are many ways to fight against injustice. “Before the throne of the Almighty, man will be judged not by his acts but by his intentions. For God alone reads our hearts.” Mohandas Gandhi

We pray for peace during this sacred holiday season, and wish all our friends and neighbors peace and happiness in their lives. Advance Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.”

Many of my thoughts back then, were without the knowledge of the evil terroristic act of corruption I’ve since experienced. But the one quote of Mohandas Gandhi rings even more true for acts of corruption. What are the intentions of these government officials? To gain wealth they did not work for, earn, or deserve? Perhaps I was naive to think that most people here would choose the right path or stand up for the good of their fellow citizens.

My Life

While I hope and pray that our community is the worst case scenario for corruption within the DENR,  and other government agencies, I truly fear that this might not be so.

Many people who have heard about our situation might be wondering what all the fuss is about. In an email to a friend here in Lianga I said: "I guess by becoming a new father again with our daughter Mikaela now 4 months old, it strikes me that in some of my dealings with individuals here I am forced to play the parental role. As I said today, many times I've had to explain to government officials that I can not give SOP's because they are illegal, and if I do anything illegal here I stand the chance of deportation, being taken away from my family. So far with all those I've explained this to, not one has relented in their request for money they did not earn, nor deserve. When more people learn of my campaign, I'm sure they will wonder when I will relent, my answer, the same amount of time it took these government officials to relent, keeping in mind that none has yet.

I truly sometimes feel that many people I interact with must think I'm stupid, less intelligent, or just so naive that I would believe some of the excuses and stories I've heard here. News Flash! I'm not stupid; I'm an honor student with 4 college degrees, 17 years Federal Service with 8 of those years as a Search and Rescue crewman on helicopters for the United States Coast Guard. The following 9 years I worked for the United States Army, as a Civil Servant; Electronic Technician, Electronic Equipment Inspector, and Contracting Officers Representative for Security Systems. I have a host of talents that I don't even discuss out of modesty."

I am a man of the 21st Century and I stand for what is right and fair. I am honest sometimes to a fault and honestly my truthfulness has sometimes worked against me. I spent my early years mostly with my Great-Grandparents, for my father, God rest his kind soul, was committed presumably with Tuberculosis to a hospital for all but a few months of my first 5 years of life. My mother, bless her dear heart, did the best she could by providing an income that would support us while also providing support for my father who was feeling healthy as a horse but was not allowed out into society. It was after the death of my mother that I made the decision to come to the Philippines

Those early years I was taught by my devoted Christian Great-Grandparents, the values and morals of hard working country folk. Values and morals that live with me to this very day. I was raised with the belief that God is a caring Parent to each of His children, that God never wants bad things to befall His people, but freewill prevents Him from coming directly to our aid. I was taught to let your actions speak louder than your words, that presenting a Christen nature to those around you was your obligation as one of God's devoted children. That Jesus Christ was the only son of God, and that His life, teachings, and actions should always guide us in our daily lives. I was taught to sing harmony by my Great-Grandmother who would sit with me in her lap for hours singing to me, sometimes trying to get me to sleep. At 15, I would use that knowledge of singing to fill the role of Music Minister for our church, White Mills Baptist Church. I was taught caring compassion by my Great-Grandfather who would put me in his 1958 Chevy and ride me around the neighborhood to get me to sleep after the songs of Grandma failed to accomplish the task. Later after my father was finally released his teachings continued to forge me into the person I am today. One life lesson I vividly remember was his instructions to both my brother and I: He stated: “Son, don't you ever let me catch you starting a fight, but also never let me catch you running from a fight that someone else starts. Turn the other check when you can, but when someone gives you no choice, make sure you are the one who ends the fight. You might get knocked around a little, but in the end; your life will have much greater meaning when you have endured the struggles that this life has to offer.” I live by the teachings of my elders, for I have always known that it is the elders who are so much wiser than I.

This fight against corruption was not started by me; it was started by those who wish to take from me that which I have worked my whole life to achieve. They wish to take away the comfortable living I could right now be providing to my family. They want to steal, in a terroristic act of corruption, that which I wish to offer to the community I've chosen to call home. An offer from my heart in loving kindness for the good things I've achieved in my life. My Great-Grandmother would say the devil lives within them. They wish to take away the kind-hearted, generous spirit that leads me to share enthusiastically with others. With my background in the church, and the many values and morals I stand for, I can not possibly permit these things to happen.

This country has decisions to make, the leaders here have decisions to make; will you make the right choices and let this country become the prosperous paradise it could be? Now is the time to choose carefully which side you want to endorse. Do you wish to allow corruption to continue to erode the lives of the citizens here, or are you prepared to take a stand against this evil that exists here. Each citizen must join in the fight against corruption for the sake of their pride and in support of their family who is depending on them for their future. While the new President seems intent on putting an end to corruption, he cannot achieve this goal without the help of all the citizens of this nation. The task is too monumental for him to fight alone. Join in this fight now, let's all join together to fix the problems here for all of us and our children.

Join us and others at,, and, look for even more chances to make your voices heard.

God Bless and protect each of my neighbors and friends, my new countrymen.

Another Personal Note

The newest member of the Borders family arrived on May 28, 2010. Mikaela Jaidyn arrived at 2:25 PM weighing 3.3 kgs. / 7.28 lbs / 7 pounds 4 ounces. After 4 months now, things are going fine and Mikaela is progressing nicely. Things continue to go slowly for our projects. It is disheartening to deal with all the problems we’ve had; while what I want to do is be a good and caring father for my two children, and devote most of my attention to raising and caring for them.
Sometimes, however we are asked to make sacrifices early in the lives of our children, so that when they become older they will have the better life they deserve. We want our children to be proud of the country that both of their parents love. We want them to have ample opportunities to succeed in life, to reach out and accomplish their goals successfully. We want them to not face the rampant corruption that we are now facing. This is our wish and our prayer for our children. May the Lord Bless and nurture our children all through their lives. Amen

Monday, September 27, 2010

Your neighbor, your friend!

An Article entitled "Missing the Point" ( caught my attention and reading one paragraph of the article forced me to write a comment of my own. (Read the article and the comments) Many thoughts are beginning to surface that at first glance might seem appealing. But there are many attitudes starting to emerge that seem counterproductive. So many people seem to be preparing themselves for the coming failure of the just elected President, or at least a lengthy battle to solve the many problems here. So many people are resigned in their own knowledge, or belief that things here will never change.

While the President does seem to be up against a formidable battle against corruption and poverty, I for one know he can succeed. The recipe for improvement is much easier in this electronic age, when our voices can be heard by thousands of people a day. The "People Power" movement featured heavily in the life of this inspiring individual Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino lll. Remembering the power, the President should use all means at his disposal to get the job done.

A sector of the society here in the Philippines has for many years faced uphill battles. Many foreigners come here to live with their lovely wife, and invest in the community. Many have businesses and have struggled, sometimes for years, against the "Terrorist Act of Corruption". A British friend of mine relayed a story to me of a friend of his, another British Gentleman, who came to the Philippines to live with his wife and help the economy of their chosen community by opening a business that would employ several people. SOP’s, Graft, and Corruption, as well as “Crab Mentality” and “I got to get mine first attitude.” presented him with one delay after another. (It seems that no one in the Philippines understands the expression: “Time is Money”). Eventually all those struggles took its toll on this man’s good natured and caring personality. A man, who came here to be happy while also helping his adopted home, took his own life in desperation. How despicable a community that must have been, to allow a generous honorable man to reach the point that it seemed better to end his life since he had nothing left.

A terrible ending, even so there are many foreigners here right now that can help improve the economy quickly if they are given the chance, given a fair no-corruption chance to get their business started providing jobs for the citizens of their chosen community. Those jobs provide income which will be used mostly in that community for the purchase of taxable items. Not only will the economy of the community improve, but the taxable income of the employees as well as the business will provide a much needed influx of taxes to the Municipal Governments as well as the BIR.

The foreigners who live here are your friends; many of them are standing ready to help if given the opportunity. Some might be in struggles all their own and need immediate intervention to fulfill their hope of helping their neighbors. If you are a local official, an honest one interested in your community, seek these people out. If their path has been rough try to smooth the way for them. If you are a Corrupt Official, don’t underestimate someone you may have cheated, their character could overpower you and your despicable actions. Unlike the British Gentleman, there are some foreigners who fight when cornered or placed against a wall. Don’t be surprised if one day you are under scrutiny the likes you cannot even imagine.

Added note: These foreigners are usually the best kind of people. They are usually men in their middle to late middle years in age, usually younger than retirement age. That alone should tell you something. It's not cheap to pick yourself up move 8000 miles to a country where most things are unfamiliar to you, many of the people you meet you are not able to communicate properly with, and you are in a place completely foreign to your life experiences. These foreigners who usually become Permanent Residents have many skills and talents they achieved in their home country that they are more than willing to share with the people they have adopted as friends and neighbors. These men are usually very successful in their careers and lives, again "Its not cheap" to come here. And while these men usually have some funds to keep them comfortable, they are usually not millionaires. When they come here with plans to help a community while also providing themselves a comfortable living, corruption has no business putting a stop to their ambitions of being kind-hearted, helpful, and a good neighbor. Just take a look at one of them Randy Bradbury at     

As I peruse the varied and mostly constructive articles a thought comes screaming out at me. When will we hear from the Religious Leaders? They have known all along that these practices of corruption are not only wrong, but even more importantly strictly against the teachings of the Holy Bible. (Exodus 20:17 "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour's.") Are not these officials coveting something (money) which belongs to someone else?

Comment on Kuro-Kuro

My Comment to a Post on entitled: "The Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino lll Government"

This country is now the home to many Americans, I being one of them. Most of these Americans have done well in life, which allowed them the opportunity to come live in this country as Permanent Residents. Most of these Americans were business owners, or top level employees in their field. They have lived through economic hardships while living in the US, and they survived and many times flourished. Some of those Americans come here to establish businesses that can improve the economy of their chosen community. These Americans sometime bring millions of pesos to invest in business, and all they ask in return is a comfortable living in what they believe is a Paradise.

 Graft, Corruption, and “Crab Mentality” stand in the way of some of these hopeful Americans. That is the case with myself. For 2 1/2 years I’ve tried to open businesses here in the Philippines, and have fought an uphill struggle just to get a Land Title for my wife, where we would build these businesses.

For 2 1/2 years I’ve explained to government officials that I could not give SOP’s because they are illegal, and because of my status here I would do nothing illegal in fear of being deported.

For 2 1/2 years I’ve carried the cross that President Aquino must now bear. Mr. Aquino I welcome you to this battle, I encourage you to attend to this matter first and foremost, because it is this problem that is preventing Economic Recovery here in the Philippines. All my hopes are with each citizen of this country as well as your leader.

This avenue, Kuro-Kuro, provides a great opportunity for the President to troubleshoot the problems. I hope and pray that this tool will be used to make sweeping changes for the improvement that I know can come. We Americans will gladly join with you for the betterment of your beautiful country.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Letter to the President

My Search for a Silver Lining

Mr. President,

In your visit to the US, you were quoted saying “I was elected to office on the promise to fight corruption and do better for the poor. I recognize that in order to do that the engines of commerce must be running at full throttle. Robust economic growth, fueled by the private sector, combined with thoughtful government spending on social services, is the solution over the long term,” Mr. Aquino said. ( - Saturday, September 25).

I have made many attempts to contact you regarding our situation in Lianga, Surigao del Sur. You can see my story easily at stchristine dot blogspot dot com, Dealing with Problems article, you may also be interested to check my past articles to see how long I've been trying to help the economy of this community. My goals are in line with if not exactly as yours.

I will add now to my information for you. I have been witness to a local CENR official who asked for 50,000 pesos to get our permits completed, in front of 3 other witnesses. I'm not certain if the one gentleman will be willing to testify, but the other two was my wife and her father a Barangay Captain. And all of us are willing to testify to this act, as well as other acts where I was not present. I also have 3 representatives who repeatedly are asked for SOP's for our Transportation Permits in our Mini-Sawmill. A Mini-Sawmill which only cuts planted trees, and is using these woods for making pallets for the Banana Shipping Companies.

For two and a half years the DENR has repeatedly asked my representatives for SOP’s, and yet failed to do their jobs. When we first started with this, I refused, and refused to allow my representatives, to give SOP's. So as a result, we were bounced back and forth between the CENR office, and the PENR office, claiming we didn't do something at the other office. All of this, because we refuse to give SOP's. Finally after almost running out of funds I gave in to the point that I would allow my representatives to give SOP's, in the hopes that we could finally have an ROI. I still personally would not give an SOP; it goes against everything in my being to even give a few pesos to the kids on the streets. I believe by doing so, I am helping to teach them to be subservient and that is something I detest.

There is much more I have to say and I'd give anything to be able to get this off my chest. But I want to be brief. The economy here and the reasons for it bothers me, that's why I made the decision to live here as a Permanent Resident and try to do my part in helping to rebuild this economy. Perhaps my timing was not the best in the world. Please I ask you to put an end to this mess.

Mark Borders
US Investor