imageMANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – If there is one thing that foreign dignitaries and delegates attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Manila this week will learn about the Philippines, it is the fact that in this Catholic nation of 100 Million people, there is no separation of church and state, but there is separation between VIPs and the Filipino masses.

The Catholic Church holds extreme influence over the political, social and personal lives of the Filipinos — enough to oust a dictator, influence who gets voted in elections, and dictate the moral and other values of the population.

But in terms of the rich and the poor, the VIPs and the common people, the haves and the have-nots, there is undeniably a dividing line, and it shows in the streets of Metro Manila, where lanes of major thoroughfares are off limits to non VIPs, and ordinary Filipino citizens have to walk for miles in scorching heat to get to and from work or school while APEC dignitaries breeze through the city streets in their airconditioned BMW and Mercedes Benz limousines.

This truly is an ‘economic’ summit, where world leaders spend days of rhetoric discussing the plight of the haves and the have-nots. Perhaps more of the haves.

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