December 14, 2017, 8:32 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07286 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.2371 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03532 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34185 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02619 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03532 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03968 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.64127 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0329 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00748 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.73174 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0268 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13611 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06556 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27679 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20509 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 397.22221 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03964 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02545 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01965 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.01091 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13129 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.76786 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.15079 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.85774 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43159 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.50853 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12539 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95833 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.2829 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26354 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35337 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53936 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01684 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04169 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01486 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01487 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08926 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93552 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 178.63095 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14558 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.02202 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1549 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46552 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12694 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24167 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.29563 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.1865 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07009 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27806 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.49306 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 705.13886 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06944 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47282 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01405 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.25091 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04067 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38333 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.98016 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.15476 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.85714 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.5879 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00599 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01627 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.64028 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.68253 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.98016 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.0371 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.48373 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26984 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06049 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01231 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02708 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18758 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34038 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.03175 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.00397 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.25754 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15954 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.97619 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.67083 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30893 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.20853 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37825 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08082 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26978 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.06349 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60937 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16524 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0454 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02854 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00763 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06416 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06375 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.16171 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07086 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.49603 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07223 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07805 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.16704 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.57698 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0744 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15376 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26488 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13228 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16689 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02681 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01487 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4406 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 151.38888 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.05159 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 412.7976 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17361 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.21786 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26978 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64663 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0499 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04555 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07593 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13154 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59567 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.30555 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53914 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.66666 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57401 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.53571 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19792 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 450.57538 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11786 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05142 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.04186 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05357 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.51528 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99881 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.95933 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26986 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.96627 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.18056 Zimbabwe dollar

Iceland’s resilient independence

REYKJAVIK, Iceland - Iceland is a fantastically resilient nation literally forged in fire and ice, and hardened into jagged rock and burned black lava. The landscape is unearthly. Within an hour it can be windblown and gusty, scorched by the sun and drenched by freezing rain all in one place. Its mountains are capped by pristine glaciers slowly cascading down magnificent crisscrossing waterfalls that cut through the great continental crack separating the Eurasian tectonic plates from the North American. Here, trees are sparse, replaced by gigantic boulders of hardened lava with thin coats of green and white moss. The rock-scape is interrupted only where powerful geysers break through spewing skyscraper-high fountains of steam from bedrock pockmarked by huge craters of bubbling and boiling earth and mud.

Iceland is perhaps the most beautiful island nation created when time began by nature’s most violent forces.

Its people, descended from the Vikings, are likewise, but they are today blessed with extraordinary warmth and pleasantness. While fundamentally resilient as are Filipinos, in some ways Icelanders did not descend into apathetic callousness. They have found a way to resurrect, learn, and, avoid undisciplined, incessant and repetitive self-inflicted folly.

They are survivors albeit victims of greed and politics as are we. If Filipinos can be described as resilient bamboo reeds, today’s Icelanders are metaphorically magnificent Viking Ulfberht swords -- sharp and hardened -- hammered from the 2008 global financial crisis that saw Iceland fall from the weight of its national debt, and then desperately seeking bankruptcy relief.

The Icelanders are, however, not the only phoenixes resurrected from modern day folly. Had partisan politics not brazenly interfered and then quickly supplanted by military adventurism and martial law where parliaments and judiciaries might characteristically be rubber stamps, Thailand’s economic recovery might have been more productive. 

It’s been a decade since Bangkok in July, 1997. The then Thai economy succumbed to attacks from marauding currency speculators as well as imploded from humongous debt hinged on artificially propped baht values consistent with the Asian miracle at the time. 

After a devastating crash that quickly travelled to as far away as Argentina Thailand’s creditors went to work. Their default palliative was a cocktail of fiscal impositions mixed with additional credit -- a prescription that has yet to work on its own through repeated applications in other economies from Iceland to Greece.

The Thais were forced to contract even more debt made exponentially expensive after 1997 by a hollowed out baht. Given the Thai economy is a Philippine doppelgänger, curiously the baht has not only recovered but is now stronger than the peso. Simply track its steep rise relative to the peso in the last 180 days. Mysteriously, as the US dollar rationalized, all other currencies strengthened save for the Philippine peso.

Encounters with Thai businessmen, whether a tuk-tuk operator or an investment banker, reveal their secret. Thais washed their bitter medicine down with mega-doses of hard work. Imagine how much more they might have achieved had they not fallen into the toxic pit of martial law.

Iceland’s experience is even more awe-inspiring. Declaring bankruptcy after investing heavily in collateralized debt obligations (CDO) largely comprised of the US midwestern debts pooled by American investment bankers from toxic assets and marketed to economies as Iceland’s, the eventual crash in CDO values left Iceland in tatters.

Investment banking spawned from private banking that financed Iceland’s fishing fleets exposed Iceland to globalization. Succumbing to imported asset-backed securities was a one-off mistake. The country is fiercely independent and since 2008 Icelanders rediscovered they should never be beholden to anyone.

Determined to get out of a rut, Icelanders worked hard, raised taxes and prices on everything, assured these had real value to consumers and, to the extent possible, ensured products and services were all local. 

Independence is at the core of Iceland’s resilience, especially critical because of their harsh but majestic environment. Vegetables and fruits are grown in greenhouses due to the thin layer of soil and sparseness of trees. Underneath are molten rock so water comes from mountaintop glaciers. Thus Icelanders are fiercely protective against pollution and global warming. So there are no fossil-fired power plants.

Fishing is their principal industry so the Icelanders recognize the criticality of keeping surrounding waters clean.

Iceland’s youth continues to pay for previous mistakes but they accept the necessity of the highest taxes on the planet. VAT is 24 percent. Personal ITR, up to 46.30 percent. Rather than whine they aggressively boost the economy by secretly working as early as 15  to propel consumerism and ensure jobs remain local. Iceland’s 15 to 24-year old unemployment rate is 7.1 percent. Its total unemployed is amazingly 2.4 percent. 

On trade and industry, Icelanders take it seriously that both labor and goods are totally Icelandic thus avoiding forex exposures and the predatory kindness of strangers.

Exemplified through Halldor Laxness’s 1955 Nobel prize-winning book “Independent People” on the story of Bjartur, an Icelandic shepherd and his daughter, each struggling to be un-beholden, Iceland’s is not resilience based on a lazy happiness index, surrender or undisciplined albeit contented complacency. There is neither learning nor growth from those. Laxness wrote, “The history of the centuries is the history of an independent man who grapples with a spectre which bears a new and ever newer name.” Iceland’s amazing resilience is based on independence, discipline, true-grit and hard work.
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