Carlo's Think Pieces

Reflections of a Filipino in the Netherlands


I have been making think pieces for some time now, even though I may not have been consciously doing it. In the mid ’90s, I participated in various e-groups (e.g. Palaris) and some of my e-mails could be classified as “think pieces”. One of these is (Proud to be Filipino) which was an e-mail that was forwarded rather widely. In 1999, I wrote the framework for the present Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) law. Even though I may not necessarily have been the first to think of the “winning” formula for OAV – that Overseas Filipinos vote for national candidates only, and that the registration, voting and counting of votes be done by the embassies – I was the first to put it on paper.

In ensuing years, I continued to write “think pieces” for myself. They were a way for me to focus my thoughts (and I have a very active mind). They helped me to think more objectively, and to remain optimistic most of the time. It was a nice exercise to develop an idea, and see how it develops – sometimes it would bloom, sometimes it just blows over. I got into the habit of writing some of these down, just for the heck of it.

When blogs came into style, I decided to try my hand at it. I just called my blog Carlo Butalid’s Blog in the beginning. I wrote about things that I used to talk about with people, and I didn’t really care if anyone would read my posts. I changed the name of the blog to Carlo’s Think Pieces when my blog was nominated to the PEBA (Philippine Expat/OFW Blog Awards) in 2009.  My blog was judged to have gotten the 16th place, but only the first 10 were considered winners.

Even though I haven’t lived in the Philippines since 1983, I keep myself updated on everything Philippine – from barangay developments in Cebu (where I come from), to showbiz news and chismis, to the latest slang terms, and big political issues. Many people who read the blog assume that I am based in the Philippines.

Carlo’s Think Pieces is the product of my mind, which in its turn is the fruit of my various experiences: of being born and having lived in the Philippines; of having lived in the Netherlands since 1983; of being a father to two smart, well-behaved and beautiful daughters (proud father, huh); of having been a member of the CPP/NDF, and then rebelling against Joma Sison (in 1992); of being editor of Tinig, a Filipino community paper; of being director of Pasali Padala, a remittance company; of being an Overseas Filipino activist.

I don’t really write for an audience, although at times I wish that some of my posts are read by more people, in the hope that they could influence change. I don’t think I have a significant following, in terms of people who regularly read my blog. Rather, most people read specific posts after having searched for certain topics.  Some posts have surprisingly become “popular”  (Charter Change Debate); while other posts I have written because I thought the topic was “cute” e.g. (Name Your Child After a Star) or (Freak Snowstorm Hits Manila).  Some posts that I have worked hard on have proved popular (On the Philippines Claim to Sabah). And some other posts are based on my Dutch experiences e.g. (Where are all the Fat Guys) and (The Dutch People and Water).

I have been posting since 2007. I hope to continue doing so for some time.

11 Responses to “About”

  1. Hello Carlo,

    I thought that I would drop in and say hi. I got in touch with you a couple of years ago when I was still in the UAE. Im pretty sure we may be related somehow, (there are only a very few number of Butalid’s Ive gotten in touch with who are living abroad) Hope all is well.



  2. Maru said

    You were an NDF official then and Mabilangan’s friend as well. You could have done something to keep Sison and the CPP from murdering Mabilangan merely to set an example. Chicken and monkey! This is all just a game to you and your comrades, isn’t it? If you have to live your life again, I hope your children and wife do not have to go through the same pain of losing a father and a husband.

  3. edicio said

    Hi Carlo
    I just discovered your blog thru the blogstats on my site. Great that you have decided to blog. I find it useful, and I think esp. overseas Pinoys have a lot to share in the cyberconversations.
    I remember one of our conversations from long time ago, that the Philippines can benefit not jsut form OF remittances, but from ideas they have developed thru their experiences and observations. That is as valuable a remittance as the money. Kumusta kina Maya at mga bata. And happy 50th to both of you!

  4. i wish you can help me together with my family. i’m still 22 years old, i am the eldest of my 4 brothers and 2 sisters. my father is security guard, while my mother has no job. my present occupation is banquet waiter at marco polo hotel, davao city, philippines. we need your help to survive for our being poor. please contact me with this number, +639069757126. thank you so much for reading my message. God bless youy always and your family.

  5. yolynne said

    thanks for the very deeply thought comment.I seldom get them but each one I receive is well said and worth pondering on.

  6. reymos said

    It it nice to know a kababayan in Netherlands that have the passion in writing. More power and keep blogging and inspire more Pinoys to do the same. Mabuhay po kayo!

  7. Yanie said

    Dear Mr Carlo,

    This is Yanie from the PEBA team. I hav a task to update our list of nominees to be submitted for our sponsors’ information. I have most of the information I need from your site alone except for your email address.

    May I request you to please send us an email at to finalize the submission of the list to the coordinators.

    Many thanks!

  8. Thank u for dropping by my page. Being an OFW myself, I share in ur views on being heard. I may not be as literate and intellectual as u are in my writing (my homepage does say I am a bimbo afterall), I still believe each of us having something to say…and even better if someone is out there to listen. 🙂

  9. Earvs said

    HI! I’m Earvs, a graduating MA Student at UP. I’m currently doing my thesis on OFW Bloggers. Upon seeing your blog and with PEBA’s recommendation, I think that you could be one of the blogger participants in the landmark research. Should you be interested, please (please) email me at I will give you the formal invitation and interview questions for the study. Thank you very much!

  10. Aaron Lecciones said

    Honestly I don’t read people’s blogs that much, but I just kept reading your articles one after the other. Or should I say think pieces. If only I had the time I would really really love to also expound my ideas and put them into writing. But also if only I made the time. I thoroughly enjoy reading your think pieces and I think you have given me inspiration, and I hope that it is enough impetus, to maybe start my own blog of my ideas, of a more serious tone, as well.

    Hoping for more think pieces from you!

    Btw, do you have any relatives in San Jacinto, Masbate?

    • butalidnl said

      Thanks for your kind words and support. It’s nice to know that someone likes reading my think pieces. About writing a blog yourself, my suggestion is to just write. Then, after about 5 or 10 blogs, you could think of a name that best describes the blog posts you made, as well as what thme/style you want to concentrate on. And don’t be afraid if some blog posts are about somethings totally different – that’s fine too.
      All Butalids are related. We all originate from an original Butalid about 8 generations ago in Loay, Bohol. I know there is a big branch of the family in Masbate, but I think they would be 5 degrees or even further related to us. My ‘branch’ of the family comes from Tagbilaran, Bohol.

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