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Archive for May 11th, 2012

Fall not into temptation, below. But if tempted, watch what you put into your mouth. Careful now…

Because of heightened tensions between China and the Philippines, Chinese authorities stepped up their inspections of Pinoy imports, fruits in particular, and found this…

That is the Annona mealybug, scientific name Dysmicoccus neobrevipes. Other types of bug poison found in Filipino bananas and papayas are the Aonidiella comperei (common name,  yellow scale) and especially this, the Fusarium oxysporum:

Chiquita, Del Monte and Dole are the three principal companies operating on a large commercial scale in the Philippines. All are American and they pretty own much of the land in, aside the Philippines, the Caribbean and Central America states.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote (in One Hundred Years of Solitude) much about these companies and their methods. Under its predecessor name United Fruit Co, Chiquita (hq: Cincinnati, Ohio) financed local civil wars and were directly involved in putting down workers involved in any of the rebellions. In a 1928 worker strike, the Columbian army was brought in, leading to what is today known as the Banana Massacre. Marquez documented the event in One Hundred Years. (This explains why the US despise him and until today has placed him on persona non grata status to America.)

The Pinoy’s mealybug was among six species of anids and worms found in a variety of tropical fruits entering China from the Philippines. Because of these finds, lengthy quarantine procedures will follow.

But fruits can’t keep for long , and bananas and papayas ripen not on orders of Del Monte marketing executives. This means that future Filipino shipments are certain to be diverted elsewhere. Where to? The nearest neighbour markets are Asean and Japan where the Pinoy will have to dump their bud infested consignments.

The presence of bugs in Pinoy fruits might be abnormal but not an extraordinary occurence. It is just that China have in the past tended to be lax in enforcing health regulations in order to encourage Filipino imports (There is, for example, little warning online on Pinoy poison in hanzi. Among the rare ones, a warning has appeared on a site for mothers instead of the general population.)

There is also another reason for the widespread contamination.

In his attempt to whip up domestic sentiments as a prelude to war,  Benigno Aquino has expanded the frontiers of his fight on numerous fronts. Newspapers both in print and online have for example been encouraging local participation in a war on the propaganda lines that China is doing the ‘bullying’ (the actual word used), the ‘aggression’, and the ‘threats’.

Outside the Philippines, Aquino’s government has organised its Pinoy maids to demonstrate in front of Chinese embassies, especially across the US, Japan and Europe. It takes place today, May 11 (see below). Newspapers, in the English of course, are filled with anti-Chinese rhetoric and diatribe, appearing on a daily basis. Yes, daily.

Instead of an army-to-army fight on Huangyan, Aquino bringing in the citizenry to the war has to have repercussions. The Chiquita workers in the Philippines would be tempted to poison the fruits for shipment to Chinese anywhere.  This threat is so real that Chinese authorities have placed domestic restrictions on travel there. Chinese shops in Manila now close early.

Brothel Maid Travel Conversations

Hello Mama Pimoy.

Hello my lover boy Shu.

Sleepy? How’s business?

Quiet.

How many Bananas last night? Good money?

Not so much. Very stingy, these people. Three only.

Not to worry. GIs are staying.

Really?

Yes. Can’t go on like this. You should become a Muslim.

They blow up people.

Christians don’t? Why are you not at Manila Bersih?

Berserk? What berserk?

Yes, of course… It’s the rally. Manila. Noon.

What for?

For the Republic!

Ptui…

Heard there’s war coming?

Really?

Yes.

O my Mother Mary, Jesus God! What’re we going to do?

Sell more bananas. Start a new country. Here’s your new flag.

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