Monthly Archives: September 2015

Meet Sweet Talker, Over-emphatic Just Tiis Woman

Yes, she is most of the time seen in that state, especially in front of someone she talks to. Never a lady. She sometimes even hisses, growls or laughs boisterously to emphasize her points.  Her tone loud and words usually come with too obvious body quirks, calling attention to bystanders. But, she never mind any over-hearers anyway.  They are simply jealous of me, of what I’ve accomplished, she usually said of her detractors, from unknowns to colleagues.

What’s with her? Why does she merit a space in this page? And why would she not? She is incredible in every way. She is a major source of distractions to the peaceful thoughts of many.  Take note, many.  More than one sane, educated, good-natured individuals whom she sweet-talked and for a time now feel betrayed. If not scammed, as one priest victim call it.  He said, “I feel like I am one of the victims of Aman scam with her.  And, she is a friend. tsk, tsk, How come she is not answering my calls or if she answers, she simply gives various excuses or promises she never fulfills.”  These lines sound so familiar by now, after repeatedly hearing these from different individuals who hitherto look for her for two or three years now.

Two are her own wedding’s godmothers or ninangs.  They are seniors in their fields and their mere presence exudes respect to those around them.  They believed in the sweet-talk of their goddaughter.

photo credit: Walt Disney's Cinderella

photo credit: Walt Disney’s Cinderella

They handed her a fraction of their hard-earned monies from retirement and from a government bonus in exchange for a piece of acknowledgement paper coupled with the promise of a big-time business venture.  They even crossed two cities, in company of their families, and attended the preliminary presentations of the goods – top-rated, well-prepared, classy food tasting at a rented food storage facility.

The clean, well-uniformed workers in all whites from head to foot who served were, later known, borrowed and paid from neighboring processing plants. Their presence definitely conveyed the look of sheer sophistication and credibility to the whole event.  If you have handed 50 thousand, you have the desire to add another 50 or a hundred thousand more.  You just wanted to be a part of this grand venture about to unfold.  This is so natural feeling of people who have work for money all along.  There is this wanting of letting their money work for them, for a change. Since it is difficult to do this on your own, it is easier to just hop in in a ride towards it.  The problem is, the ride’s driver acts like a monarch in an autocratic wall street, er wall sitio (sitio refers to a smaller area than a barangay or a village). Everything is according to her time and availability.  She is a super-busy, important who’s who in other circles of humans and animals.

phone preference (no Android) for easy selective calls

phone preference (no Android) for easy selective calls

Days after the event, her godmothers had difficulty contacting her.  Days turned to months.  The excuses for not being contacted vary in their similarities like a crooked linear regression line on a plot of sample probability of lies and truths. She was in a meeting where cellular phones are put on silent mode.  She was inside a training facility where cellular phones are deposited at the entrance gates.  She was in another province in the northern part of the country meeting humans and animals.  She was at the airport or taxiing she could not hear the incessant phone rings.  She was mobile so she’d call you later.  She was on a ritual in the mountains where there is no signal. She was attending to a funeral of an adaptive parent.  She was back in their province in the farther south to give her donation of still unpaid printed shirts to church workers.  (Oh, the printshop owner said so.) The list could go on and on.  To be able to talk to her, it’s all up to her.  When she is free.  When she is available.   All these and more made her godmothers fidget in utter discomfort and insecurity over their handed monies, which amount are visible only on paper. Very solid. Never liquid, anymore.

Then one day, two years ago, a ticketing agent and spouse dropped by and asked for her.  They needed to collect from her the amount for the tickets she booked from their ticketing office located near the Cathedral. And, “why would you be looking for her here,” my brother asked them. “Because it’s the address she gave us where we could see her for the collection.” “Well, this is not her address,” my brother told them.  Then one day, a year after that (a year ago), another couple from another ticketing outlet came by.  They also needed to collect the 55 thousand pesos balance from a half dozen tickets  of different people booked by her with a promise to pay after the travel check will be released.  They agreed with the 20 thousand deposit given to them.  And why would they not? She has a name and the header positions to boot.  They felt lucky the numerous tickets were booked in their outlet. Now, do you have the talent to do that sweet-talk?  They just wondered how long will it take to process the travel documents since it was January when she took the tickets and it’s already March.  That was in early 2014. Just like the godmothers, they also received the same excuses every time they would contact her.

“It’s not about the money I lost, it’s about the relationship and the trust she broke,” said by a friend who is connected with an international company and frequents the country.  Like the godmothers, he wanted to be a part of something grand to flourish out of a very original concept.  He believed in the virtual and verbal presentations of the concept.  To be considered as one of the  pioneers, he thought it best to join in and support with more of his cash. Multiplying the godmothers’ monies, approximately, from three to six times more!  But like the godmothers, the printshop owner and the ticketing agents, he too became baffled at how difficult this wall-sitio monarch to contact.  Twice, he even spent 12 hours of public transport road trip from his southern hometown just to have an actual meeting with her. But, when she showed up, she was at another table in a meeting with another couple. And when she finally met him afterwards, she has no documents to show about the foundation (who’s who with how much) or progress (what has become) of her golden, priceless concept.

photo credit by Nickelodeon TV

photo credit by Nickelodeon TV

The priceless concept was alleged by her to have been coveted by multinational companies.  But, she wanted it for her own.  And she was able to sweet-talk individuals into supporting her venture.  If she is likened to Dora the Explorer, she also has her good and loyal companion Boots, who is with her and stood by her despite animosities thrown at her from her disgruntled “trusters.” She really is like Dora, she is always on a backpack with other large bags in tow in her numerous trips in the north, south and the mountains.  But, unlike Dora, she seems not to have a reliable map that points to where she should go.  She is indefinitely lost in her multiple defense mechanisms – denial, repression, displacement, projection, regression to name the observable.

“She said she already has started paying you back,” her former batchmate asked via online. He needed to know of someone who is in the “ride” too.  His reaction to the reply was, “so, is there ever a truth from her? She is really trying my patience.”  This batchmate had just gone home two years ago from being an OFW in an Arabian country.  He brought with him his vision to JT haypinas orghelp in the business operations and stopped from being a foreign worker.  He said he has virtually handed her (through remittance) about three to four times of the godmothers’ amount.  He even traveled 12 hours on road to be shown the new plant site, which is to be bought from a religious group that own the property.  He was told, there is still a need for more cash to realize the purchase, but that he need not add more as he had handed much already. He said he was also told, “others have turned their backs on me and I had to gradually hand them back one by one their monies, so if you want to join them I can understand.”  From such remarkable conversation, who would like to back out?  Indeed, talking is an art.  But, months after the showdown, he wishes to be off the ride and demands his katas ng OFW back.

Lately, she gave the excuse, “I’ll call after class.” But she never did. Called her once, twice, thrice… your fingers could get equally numbed to her countenance.  In days, her phone (she did not change her antiquated smart number) just keeps on ringing. She has no more excuse to give? I write this wall-sitio saga in consonance with the thought, “in the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks.” I want to pity myself for the predicament of indebtedness I am in because of her, but why do I feel pity upon her instead?   Like this scene below, may everyone who have ever been in the “ride” finds eventual peace (and due remuneration?) from this wall-sitio debacle.

This supposedly depicts her being photo credit:

This supposedly depicts her being
photo credit:

Love Notes from a Grader Lagud

Lagud is a Visayan term referring to the youngest child. Sam, short for Symonne Mari, is my third and youngest child. She always surprises me through her hand-made, cutesy love notes that she inserts or posts in strategic places that are part of my routine.


Cover page of the latest love card

This is the latest love note she made, which she posted outside of the Big Box drawer where I put undies. She knows that I am going to open this drawer usually twice in a day.

And when she writes the note, she often includes the names of her siblings. I knew it’s her solo effort, but she includes them in the credit.

What she always writes particularly revolve around her gratitude towards me, towards us for whatever that we have done for her.  She alternately addresses her notes to me as lone receiver and to us both her parents.  She also expresses her love for us in her notes.


She usually sketches simple drawings of us as a family. Always five characters in the drawings. In the card above, she places herself in between her older siblings. She puts us her parents in the sides, thereby enclosing the children. This depicts safety that parents provide to their children, and Sam shows in her drawing that she feels secure being bounded by both parents on both sides.

Her gratefulness includes as far back her baby days. She thanks us for taking care of her as a little baby. In this note, she draws five faces in the front part. Again, exemplifying the whole family. Complete.


She inserted this note (third photo) inside my coin purse, first weekend of August. I wondered why there’s a paper inside. I put only coins in this deep, black purse given to me by a friend, Aileen Noval. It’s one of the goods for sale at her then Japanese surplus store. As my fingers dipped inside for jeepney fare, I felt this paper. Amidst the passengers-filled jeepney, I couldn’t help but smile when I read the note.

There are other numerous notes I have collected from Sam’s posts and insertions. I keep them like priceless treasures. There was one I found inside the back pocket of my jeans.  I found it when I arrived at Xavier University for the Social Structure class.

Some notes have been made by her when she’s younger. She is now 8 years old. A grade 3 learner in a school where her father works. My classmates at XU asked me how come my child is like this sweet. I don’t have a categorical answer, but I have a mother’s intuition. I never tire from murmuring through her ears while she breastfed then how I love her, how I thank God for giving her to me, and how she makes me happy. I repeat those endearing words up to this day.  I guess she may be filled with these words of gratitude and love that it is just natural for her to express them back.

But what about my older kids, do they do these love notes thingy (as my kids usually use referring to something). Yes, they also made love notes, though not as surprising and numerous as Sam’s.

Historical Development of Stratification

Observation: Each society is stratified, some more, others less.

  • According to M. Weber, how did social stratification develop? Is it necessary?

Deducing from Max Weber’s works on stratification, it can be gleaned that social stratification is borne out of the changes occurring in the social structure.  As accounted by Ritzer (2011), Weber postulated that society is stratified on the bases of economics, status, and power (or party).  This implies that people can rank high on one or two of these dimensions of stratification and low on the other (or others), a far more sophisticated analysis of social stratification than is possible when stratification is simply reduced (as it was by some Marxists) to variations in one’s economic situation.

Aside from this Class System of stratification (class-status-power), there was the concept of “life chances.” Weber supposed there were more class divisions than Marx suggested, taking different concepts from both functionalist and Marxist theories to create his own system. Weber claimed there are four main classes: the upper class, the white-collar workers, the petite bourgeoisie, and the manual working class (Boundless 2015).

Weber’s theory meant that economic status need not necessarily depend solely on earnings.  Working half a century later than Marx, Weber derived many of his key concepts on social stratification by examining the social structure of Germany. Weber examined how many members of the aristocracy lacked economic wealth, yet had strong political power. He noted that stratification was based on more than ownership of capital. Many wealthy families lacked prestige and power, for example, because they were Jewish. In the Philippines, Aling Dionisia, for instance, may already have much money and properties, but still she lacks the prestige that should have come with it and also the power, because of her previous socioeconomic background.

Weber’s three independent factors that form his theory of stratification hierarchy: class, status, and power were treated as separate but related sources of power, each with different effects on social action.  According to Weber, class is a person’s economic position in a society, based on birth and individual achievement. This is the one component that Aling Dionisia certainly lacked as she was born poor.  Also her present riches come not from her individual achievement, rather, from her son’s.  Although Weber did not see this as the supreme factor in stratification; he noted that managers of corporations or industries control firms they do not own. Status refers to a person’s prestige, social honor, or popularity in a society.  Aling Dionisia is popular that her name, alongside with other local or foreign celebrities, trended as one of most searched names in the social media.

Weber noted that political power was not rooted solely in capital value, but also in one’s individual status. Poets or saints, for example, can possess immense influence on society, often with little economic worth. Power refers to a person’s ability to get their way despite the resistance of others. For example, in the Philippines, individuals in state jobs, such as an employee of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), or a member of the Philippine Congress, may hold little property or status, but they still hold immense power.

Individuals who share a similar status typically form a community of sorts, like an endogamous group. They invite one another to dinner, marry one another, engage in the same kinds of recreation, and generally do the same things in the same places (Brinkerhoff et al 2011). Weber argued that although status and power often follow economic position, they may also stand on their own and have an independent effect on social inequality. In particular, Weber noted that status often stands in opposition to economic power, depressing the pretensions of those who “just” have money. Thus, for example, a member of the Mafia may have a lot of money and may own the means of production (a brothel, a heroin manufacturing plant, or a casino), but he will not have honor in the broader community.

  • How did G. Lenski view the development of social stratification?

With the society’s evolution from simple to complex, so does social stratification. It was the so-called “enlightened self-interests” of humans that lead them to equitably distribute goods and services to “productive” classes in order to ensure their survival and continued productivity (Elwell 2013). So, the opposite happens to the “unproductive” or the “not-so-productive” individuals in a group.  This concept is like what we can observe that takes place in our present society; and we call it “no work, no pay.”  For those who may have work, when they absent from work, will not be paid at all.  This is the case of commensurate pay for the job done. The ones who strive hard get more reward, like Manny Pacquaio.  His sipag at tiyaga has brought him riches over those who lack the industry, patience and determination at what they do.

For Lenski, however, any surplus is likely to be divided in accordance with self-interest, that is, on the basis of social power (Elwell 2013). This leads Lenski to the hypothesis that “The more intensive the subsistence technology, the greater the surplus, the greater the surplus, the greater the inequality.”  And this is so evident in the Philippine society (Turner 1982). There is a great divide between those who have meager, those who have enough, and those who have surplus.

As technology and productivity increases a portion of the new goods and services will go toward necessary population growth and feeding a larger population. However, with technological development and subsequent increases in productivity, a larger surplus of goods and services will be produced.

Another hypothesis of Lenski predicts that with technological advance, an increasing proportion of goods and services available to a society will be distributed on the basis of power. If true, then when examining sociocultural systems we should see that the greater the technological advance, the greater the inequality of goods and services within the society.

In his studies Lenski indeed finds increasing degrees of inequality up to and including early industrial society. At this stage of development, however, he finds the degree of inequality peaking and then beginning to lessen as industrial society matures. In mature industrial societies the lower social classes appear to materially benefit more than in agrarian or early industrial societies both in absolute and relative terms. Elites appear to receive less of a proportion of the nation’s income (Elwell 2013). Lenski thus concludes that mature industrial societies represent a reversal of a long-standing evolutionary trend in which inequality increased with technological development. He linked the lessening inequality to a variety of factors: 1) Necessity of a large administrative and technical structure; 2) Satiation of elites (there are only so much they can consume); 3) The buying of allegiance and commitment of the middle and working classes in order to promote further growth; 4) Changes in population and production dynamics; and 5) The rise of ideologies that advocate more economic equality

  • When some people are rich, and many others are poor, who is to blame? Why?

To me, I go with the idea that it is all about the unequal distribution of resources. It is something structural, born out of the humans’ making, a social construction that is extremely difficult to crumble, I think we all need to exit first in this human world before it can ever be changed.  Hence, from the birth of social scientists to now, it hitherto exists and persists wherever world axis we may face.

While people die of hunger because they do not have anything to fill in their stomachs, a very basic need of human beings, few individuals basks on having too much. If there is just a way to have these resources distributed to every human being on this planet earth, there will be no one to die of nothingness.  Just yesterday, local actor Coco Martin’s house was featured on TV program hosted by the country’s president’s sister Kris Aquino (ABSCBN 2015).  Just by watching it even in one minute, a viewer’s eyes will surely enlarge from sheer disbelief at how lavish a house of a single person is. There are even four garages for his collection of cars. There is even a state-of-the-art coffee maker which Coco does not even know how to operate.  Many areas in the house have not even been used, many seats left unseated.

It looks like a show house to display the wealth the local actor has accumulated from his talent use. He has or still lacks what Weber said, a combination of the class, the status, and the power.  He just recently entered, and not born in it, the rich circle so he lacks the class that Weber described. His power basically lies on his ability to make his adoring fans believe and buy his every endorse products and watch his every show on tube or big screen. Not every poor, handsome laborer can become like Coco Martin, as what Moore and Davis (1953) elaborated in their thesis.

As to how long shall we humans continue to live in this manner, I would say, no one knows yet. Not even Karl Marx’ works that influence world leaders like Mao Tse Tung of China, turn the wheel to the equality’s path. So, parents strive to send their children to good, if not the best schools to ensure the path their children will thread in the future – to belong in the side of those who have the status and power, if class is not inborn with. But, what happens to those who already lack the hope even for their children’s future since they cannot send them to those schools, even with the government’s monthly allotment, they still figuratively crawl in poverty.  In the end, each must just do the best there is available at present for the future may bring something the poor wish for.

  • Sabi ni V Belo, “Sa panahon ngayon, kung pagit ka pa rin, aba eh, kasalanan mo na ‘yon.  Tingnan mo si Mommy Dionisia.” What do you think  of this statement?]

In the realm of stratification intertwined with consumerism in Aesthetics, this statement conveys the possibilities a person can do with money. With money, one can have beauty. Even a simple facial wash requires money for someone to have it. So if the amount one has is bigger, then facelift and other similar procedures are probable. Men who feel like women at heart even dared to have their external reproductive organs changed into the opposite – the transvestites.

Indeed, we can witness how a then fledging actress Kathryn Bernardo transformed from plain-looking morena girl into now fair-skinned gleaming, made-up, fashionable young lady. Money beautifies indeed. The same with Pilipinas Got Talent champion in 2010, singer Jovit Baldivino, who after five years in the entertainment industry has now the face that is fairer and smoother. So to those who can afford it, the chance to enhance beauty is at their disposal.


ABSCBN. 14 August 2015. Coco Martin’s Place. Kris TV. Abs CBN Productions, Inc.

Boundless. 21 July. 2015. Weber’s View of Stratification. Boundless Sociology. Retrieved 07 August 2015 from sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/global-stratification-and-inequality-8/sociological-theories-and-global-inequality-72/weber-s-view-of-stratification-426-8944/

Brinkerhoff, David B., et al. 2011.  Stratification.  Essentials of Sociology, 8th ed. USA: WadsworthCengage Learning.

Davis, Kingsley. August 1953. Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis: Reply. American Sociological Review, 18 (4): 394-397. Retrieved on 17 July 2015 from seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Elwell, Frank W. 2013. Lenski’s Evolutionary Theory. Retrieved 08 August 2015

Gane, Nicholas. 2012. Max Weber and Contemporary Capitalism. Macmillan.

Ritzer, George. 2011. Max Weber. Sociological Theory, 8th ed. New York, USA: McGraw Hill. Pp112-154.

Turner, Mark Macdonald. 1982. Inequality in the Philippines: Old Bottlenecks and New Directions for Analysis.” Philippine Sociological Review, 30: 23-32.

Problems of Social Structure and Differentiation

SECTION II. Problems of Social Structure and Differentiation

Observation: Some entertainers, athletes, even prostitutes are better rewarded by society than teachers doctors, judges, farmers

  • Are entertainers, athletes, and prostitutes more important to society than teachers, doctors, judges, farmers? [Read the questions raised by M Tumin to points raised by Moore-Davis thesis]

      Kingsley Davis’s and Wilbert Moore’s “Some Principles of Stratification” argues that inequality is a functional necessity to societies. That society rewards positions proportionally based on importance, and based on inherent ability or extensive training/sacrifices needed. Hence, for valuable positions to be filled by qualified persons, we distribute rewards unequally resulting to social stratification.

The ideas by Davis and Moore explain the existence of social inequality, but Melvin Tumin counter their arguments point by point through his “Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis.”

First, Tumin refutes Davis’s and Moore’s idea that certain positions are functionally more important than others by raising the question that we have no way of determining which positions are more important.

In relation to the question, in this first point, I agree with Davis’ and Moore’s argument. I concur that certain positions are functionally more important than others. The modifier functionally must be underscored here. It can be the point of reference for the lacking measurement that Tumin mentioned. The importance of any position in society can be gradated through functionality, which can be deduced to either being a need or a want.  Even need and want concepts can be scaled, like from extremely needed to simply needed. “Can society exist without such position?” is, I believe, the most important question to consider when it comes to functionality. With the two groups of sample positions identified in the question, the first group composed of entertainers, athletes, and prostitutes fall under the affirmative answer.  At its most basic existence, society can live and continue to exist without them. They come after the basic needs are met. But, society cannot do without the second group of sample positions composed of the teachers, doctors, judges and most specially, the farmers. The farmers produce food, a basic need that must first be addressed and satisfied.  Doctors take care of health matters, another basic need after food that relates to basic living. Judges uphold peace and order in society, a need for harmonious coexistence. Teachers enlighten and guide people’s reasoning, actions, and how to improve life.

Practically, when it comes to functionality, there is a leveling off of various positions in society, or what we call in Sociology as status. The enumerated positions in the question are all achieved statuses implying that everyone in these positions has exerted considerable efforts (or training according to Davis and Moore) to become what they have become. Society has the so-called social norms, values, and social ideology from which people can determine whether a position is more functional than others.

Second, Davis and Moore claim that “Only a limited number of individuals in any society have the talents that can be trained into the skills appropriate to these positions,” to which Tumin argues that there are structural stratification systems that make it appear that only a limited number of individuals can obtain these skills. Scarcity is not because of “inherent ability,” as proposed by Davis and Moore, but rather because of other factors (i.e. lack of money to go to medical school) or the fact that power elite groups limit opportunities for people who are not in their group (i.e. a young teacher can’t find a job because tenured teachers already fill the vacancies.)

Again, in this point, I agree with Davis and Moore’s claim regarding limited number of individuals with inherent ability. Individuality stems from the fact that no two people are alike. We cannot just be who we want to be simply because we do not have the ability or we lack the necessary faculty to engage at something. And this is not even about lack of money as what Tumin argues. There is the phenomenon called opportunity for the really talented and gifted.  There are scholarships from various entities available for those who really have the calling for and the ability to go through the required training to be so.

Third, the fact that we reward positions based on perceived sacrifices seems faulty to Tumin. He claims that sacrifices are more subjective and that going to medical school, for example, may not be perceived as a sacrifice to everyone.

For the third time, I concur with Davis and Moore’s idea on rewards accorded to positions. Although I agree with Tumin that sacrifice is subjective, still, having to go through a rationalized training to achieve a certain position is a sacrifice that not everyone can or want to undergo.  Hence, individuals who dare to go through the prescribed training (sacrifices) for a desired position either driven by personal or familial ambition, pride, and the like, definitely deserve the appropriate reward for such position. We may think that performing on stage is just like a paid hobby, and not much sacrifice. But entertainer Sarah Geronimo, for instance, admitted to not having eaten ice cream since.  Her parents prohibited her from doing so to protect her singing voice. She also does not eat kinilaw (raw fish) since it is soaked with suka (vinegar), which is not good for the vocal chords.

In a capitalistic society, rewarding a position could also be because the position generates income, and not because of its importance. While the teacher is more important than the entertainer, the latter generates income. There is differential rewarding to these two positions.  The teacher has stable, consistent income while the entertainer with unstable income and by contract has higher earning. But only a few exceptional entertainers earn more (or scarcity of talent).

  • Point out similarities between caste system and the Philippine social stratification

In an academic scene, the Indian Caste System is usually cited as an example during discussions of social stratification within a social science class. It is usually differentiated from the Class systems in other countries, like the United States and the Philippines.  Both systems – class and caste – are different from each other.

However, now that it is asked, there is a realization that the Philippine classes are very similar to that of India’s power pyramid. In the Philippines, people are categorized into social groupings that influence how we function as individuals. There are notable similarities in the Philippine social stratification and the Indian caste system.

Both systems impact politics, albeit the Philippines has no legitimate royalty. However, the Philippines has a small percentage of people holding a disproportionate amount of wealth – also referred to as the 1%.  We have political offices headed by family members of former politicians (like Mar Roxas, Kiko Pangilinan) or officially receding presidential candidates like Bro. Eddie Villanueva whose son Joel Villanueva heads TESDA. Political clans or families reign around the country. Every province is like a family’s mini-republic. In national sphere, we have the Estrada family, the Arroyos, the Aquinos.  In the provinces, we have the Barbers in Surigao, the Amantes in Agusan, the Dimaporos in Lanao del Norte. They each have had numerous family members in a public office.

Royalty is manifested in Indian culture and politics. India’s royalty possess privileges in society that are not enjoyed by other castes. If we were to compare Philippine social stratification directly to Indian castes, we can see that to some degree we have a similar categorization of our society. On the top of the Indian pyramid are the priestly class. The Philippine equivalents are the extremely wealthy Filipinos that are in power. “The upper 1 percent of Filipinos takes in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent.” It’s clear that political reign and wealth influence the class Stratification of Filipinos. In addition, those mentioned on the Forbes list were born into their wealth (ascribed status); similar to how Indian Hindus are born into their caste.

The next level down in Indian society is the warrior caste. The Philippine equivalent of this is our Philippine military. While veterans are treated unfairly, those who are currently serving are put on a pedestal. In addition, after retirement, retiree officials are more likely to become politicians than those of us who haven’t served. This is most likely due to a heightened sense of patriotism.

The Vaishyas – merchants and landowners – are the third most liberated caste. This is the equivalent of the Philippine middle class. Despite the difference in proportion, they hold about the same amount of power. They are both groups of people whose majority own property and have a significant amount of political power in comparison to their lower-class counterparts. Politicians are always trying to appeal to the Philippine’s middle class because they make up a large portion of the population and without their vote; it would be difficult to win an election. In India, the Vaishyas dominate a large part of Indian commerce. These people are entrepreneurs, business people, and help to strengthen the Indian economy – just like the Philippine middle class.

The Sudra caste is easily comparable to the Philippine working class. This is because the Sudra caste is made up of laborers and farmers. They tend to live in extreme areas of population, either in rural, thinly populated farming villages or in densely populated urban areas. Similarly, the Philippine working class tends to live in rural areas as well as inner-city areas. They do jobs that are perceived as “dirty” or undesirable, often with low wages and few benefits. These benefits and social programs are also frequently threatened by politicians. Just as the working class in the Philippines has a difficult time scraping by and constantly have politicians threatening.  Helpful social programs that may allow them to move up in our class system, Sudras in the Indian caste system are frequently denied rights that the upper three castes have access to.”

The most remarkable comparison is that between the Untouchables of India and the homeless population of the Philippines. Though Philippines has more social programs to help the homeless, they are becoming increasingly perceived as inhuman or deserving of their poverty. Philippine politicians are increasingly making it harder for these people to get back on their feet.

For years now, hundreds of thousands of people in dire straits – mentally or physically disabled, homeless and unemployed, ineligible for social welfare, disability, or food subsidies – could generally count on state or local government largesse for modest handouts of cash to help scrape by. Under the rubric of ‘4Ps,’ these down-and-out Filipinos received modest allowances – often no more than a few hundred pesos a month – to help defray the cost of necessities including food, clothing, milk, mobile phone load and public utility vehicle fares.

All in all, the Philippine stratification system is more like India’s caste system. For each Indian caste, there is a demographic of Filipinos suffering the same types of oppression or heightened power. Heredity, division, and even the attitudes of citizens belonging to these divisions are more similar than they are different – the only major difference being that the Philippines has no legitimate royalty.

  • What is feminization of poverty? Is it true in the Philippines? How are they manifested?

Based on my observation, feminization of poverty is a process of situating women in a state of lack and deprivation of the basic needs (of food, shelter and clothing) in order for them to live life decently in society. When it comes to poverty, women are prone to it, the usual vulnerable sector in society. There is differential giving of opportunities and rewards to women compared to men.

According to the Unite Nations,

“the majority of the 1.5 billion people living on 1 dollar a day or less are women. In addition, the gap between women and men caught in the cycle of poverty has continued to widen in the past decade, a phenomenon commonly referred to as “the feminization of poverty”. Worldwide, women earn on average slightly more than 50 per cent of what men earn” (UN 2000).
Considering the UN statement on feminization of poverty above, this phenomenon is definitely present and true in the Philippines as it is worldwide. In fact, many live in less than a dollar a day. In a documentary film entitled Kalam by Sandra Aguinaldo of GMA Channel, though there is a husband, but it is the mother of 10 children who struggled more on a daily basis in looking for means to be able to buy rice for a family meal without viand. Children go to school without eating breakfast and without baon as well.  They end up with stomach ache while in school, so they had to go home, only to find nothing inside the caldron to eat.

This phenomenon of feminization of poverty is supported by the data of the study on Female-Headed Households and Income Differences in a Post-Calamity Condition (Sealza 2015), wherein the women do not have regular employment and have to rely on intermittent work opportunities in the neighborhood.


Aguinaldo, Sandra. 2011. Kalam: Sa Piling ng Wala.  I Witness Documentary.  GMA Channel.

Davis, Kingsley. August 1953. Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis: Reply. American Sociological Review, 18 (4): 394-397. Retrieved on 17 July 2015 from seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Sealza, Isaias. 2015. Female-headed Households and Income Differences in a Post-Calamity Condition. Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2014. Hindu Social Class. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved on 17 July 2015 from

United Nation. DPI/2035/A—May 2000.  Retrieved on 17 July 2015 from the United Nations Department of Public Information Website:

note: this paper was submitted to Dr. Isaias Sealza, Dean of Graduate School, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines for the Subject Socio 400.1 (Social Structure)