Whine Not!

The real Philippines?

Be patient. Let me have my little tantrum, then we can try to put some sense to it at the end.

We westerners tend to see the Philippines as a really whiny place, a place where face is more important than truth, and posture more important than performance.

My positive attitude lasted one day. But its not my fault. Y’all drove me to it.
Ordinarily, I am castigated for my generalizations, for looking about and drawing conclusions from what I see and read without conducting surveys or interviewing experts or compiling data.
So I will just describe two happenings, anecdotal evidence if you will, draw my generalization, explain it a bit, and then let you tell me how it is wrong. They are at opposite ends of the social spectrum, one the palace, the other the rice fields. 
My contention is that the Philippine National Anthem should be changed to the Whine. The march you have now is too confident, too military, too patriotic, too upright for the real mood of the land. 
In the Palace
Here is the headline that ran in the Inquirer on November 12. I think it warrants a Pulitzer Prize for whine.
This piece by  Amando Doronila is so deep with weep that it goes into the pile of “Classic Whines”. These tear-jerkers ran in rapid succession at the beginning of the article:
  1. The itinerary excluded the Philippines, a longtime strategic security ally of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region.
  1. The exclusion ruffled sensitive nationalist feelings in Manila, as officials anxiously waited for signals from the second Obama administration on what is in store for the Philippines in the reordering of US foreign policy priorities following the election.
  1. The question that immediately emerged was: Why Burma, Thailand and Cambodia? These countries in Southeast Asia are the least threatened by the aggressive pursuit by China 
  1. Filipinos were quick to recall that during Obama’s first Southeast Asian tour early in his first term, his itinerary bypassed the Philippines.
  1. As if to rub salt in the wound, White House officials revealed that Obama returned the calls of a long list of global leaders, including those of Israel and Egypt, who contacted him to congratulate him on his reelection.
  1. The US president spoke to the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada, India, Turkey, Brazil, Colombia and Nato’s secretary general
  1. Malacañang said it had not received calls from the Obama White House, but it emphasized that President Aquino did not call President Obama and instead sent a congratulatory message by mail through the Department of Foreign Affairs.
JoeAm’s response to each point is as follows:
  1. The trip is four days, including the ASEAN summit. The Philippines believes it is Number 1 in importance in Asia to a president who has just been re-elected, is facing a domestic economic cliff and simmering hot spots around the globe? Give me a break! No. Give Obama a break. Truly, I think Filipinos as a sub-species are grossly deficient in walking in another man’s shoes and they have a sorely limited view of the world and other nation’s interests, or U.S. engagements globally. “Me first!” is the Philippine global mantra.
  1. It’s the same president as before the election. WHAT reordering? Secretary Clinton has held Philippine hands, the U.S. has pivoted to Asia, the boats are right over there in Subic, and it seems like there is another training exercise every few months. What do you want, contested islands delivered to your doorstep by Unc Sam? Here’s an idea, get your Philippine Senator Santiago to shut her yap about the VFA for a change. THAT would help the alliance get reordered in a positive way.
  1. Are you stupid, or what? The countries are in close proximity, Burma has just broken the hold of years of tight-fisted thuggery in favor of openness, and Thailand is growing in economic power but has internal unrest. President Obama decided that these were reasonable places to visit, for American interests, for global democracy. THE PHILIPPINES does not determine American interests. Got it? President Obama is not all-consumed with Filipino issues. Maybe the PHILIPPINES should deal with them, eh? Good God, the Ego of this place. A two-year old’s sense of center of the earth.
  1. Well, maybe they should slow their recall and think about it. Like, grow up.
  1. So the Philippines thinks it is more important in the alignment of U.S. global affairs than Israel, which has been in a tiff with Obama and is the hotspot of the globe re. Iran? And is more important than Egypt, which is the emerging center of Middle East democracy, or chaos, depending on which way it turns? Maybe the U.S. thinks the Philippines is DOING FINE, eh? Maybe they listen to the President’s SONA. Maybe you could take it as a matter of PRIDE that you are being skipped because you are doing HUNKY DORY! You are the good friend, well off in terms of stability and direction, who does not need to be coddled. You are not pleased with that standing? You NEED something more?
  1. So frickin’ what?
  1. Do you know how long it takes a President to call another head of state? Do you know how many security briefings and public appearances and cabinet meetings the President has on his agenda? Stop being like Arroyo, breathlessly chasing Obama around the world. Attend to your business.
I tell you, I am close to losing it.
Associative pride. Attaching one’s self worth to another.
It signals insecurity with red flags blazing in the needy sinking sun.
An emotionally healthy person lets other people live their lives because others have their own rights and reasons. He, or she, takes care of that for which he, or she, is responsible. To expect validation from others is weak, weak, weak.
Like, man, stop the wallowing and pass an FOI Bill. Make YOUR nation great.
In the Provinces Where the Rice Grows
My wife and I built our home in a rural rice-growing area. We are not special people. Fairly ordinary, actually. Generally good hearted, good humored, fairly intelligent, quiet, respectful of our neighbors. Going about our business of building our home and raising our son.
But we have a huge flaw and it really upsets our neighbors.
We have money.
Now, I’ve never been rich before. But in the Philippines, I am rich. And my wife is married to rich.
When building our home, we paid the workers who reside in our community above market wages. My mistake: a flare of generosity and compassion for people who are poor. We were criticized by neighbors for wrecking pay scales and laughed at by the workers because they figured they “stuck it to us”.
We donated the roofing material for our small church, about P12,000. We were criticized by two neighbors (one being the Captain’s wife) for being foolish; we had shamed them because they cannot give that much. They tell their neighbors what foolish people we are. And the roofing guy tried to get us to buy 40% more material than was actually needed, as if I can’t do the math on number of sheets of galvalum it takes to cover a given sized roof. He was going to rip off a piece of a donation, a gift. To  a Church!
The neighbors regularly ask us for money for this and that, generally small amounts, P1,000 to P3,000. They are generally asked as “loans”.  Priority for giving money is: (1) you have worked for us or in some way helped us, so we can help you, (2) medical care gets high priority, and (3) kids get a high priority. We say “no” about half the time. When we say no, people are highly offended and tell their neighbors what mean people we are.
So we are wrong when we give our money away, and wrong when we don’t. And our reputation in the community is trash. The stories and the backbiting are unending.
This works in a destructive cycle because we do less and less for the community every day. We have pretty much removed ourselves from it, actually. Our circle of friends has moved downtown to the parents and teachers at our son’s private school. It is a different “class”, one that welcomes us.
We sometimes think class structures are defined by the powerful, to suppress and use the powerless. But the masses also define the classes through their ignorance and special needs. Or neediness. When envy is the filter through which all facts are sifted, it makes for an unreal world that people take as real. And it pushes away those who could help.
It is a simple concept, no? To welcome those with the means to help. But the gap between enlightenment and the rice fields is HUGE. So don’t expect Sotto to be tossed from office when he is up for election. It’s not that easy to get wholesome ideas across to a population that is isolated by need from education and introspection.
In the Philippines, need turns on its head to become envy, and it drives good will into the ground.
And it does it with relentless whining, one neighbor to another.
Questions. And What I’m Thankful For
So do my two anecdotes ring true with you? Or am I missing something?

Do you see a similarity in attitude between the Palace and our neighbors?

Is whine a pronounced mood in the Philippines, a theme, a passion? What’s in the middle, between the Palace and rice fields? Is it whine there, too?

If so, any idea how to break it? All I can figure is to keep writing here.

For sure I am thankful for the people who contribute to my blog site because I know there are Filipinos who are mentally healthy, mentally sharp, and who “get it”. It keeps me sane against the backdrop of all the Sottos and Santiagos and jealous neighbors and whiney newspaper writers and, yes, a good but authoritarian President without a clear grasp of how liberty energizes.

The schools don’t seem to be able to help much in developing psychological perspective and good health.

I rather suspect the core of good introspection and healthy thinking that is not based on emotional need is small. But it is growing. I want to believe that. The internet is the classroom, and we are both students and teachers in it.

Comments
54 Responses to “Whine Not!”
  1. Edgar Lores says:

    1. I was looking for another word that applies to both situations, and I think I found it. It’s mendicancy (or mendicity).2. Definition (noun): The state of being a beggar or mendicant.2.1 Interestingly enough, mendicant has two synonyms: beggar and friar.3. We are a nation of beggars with a sense of entitlement yet. We have no pride, no self-respect, and no shame.4. I used to recoil at this when I was a child – and I continue to do so. Two examples:4.1 Decades ago, when we were living in Manila, relatives from the provinces used to visit us. My Dad was not only expected to reimburse their back-and-forth fares; he had to give them something “extra” for their trouble of paying us a visit.4.2 I rarely log in to Facebook. Recently when I went to search for Perlita, the nemesis of the mayor of Gonzaga, a distant relative started a chat and, after the initial Hello, asked outright if I could send some money. This happened within minutes of my logging in.5. I find that it is better not to give money and be secretly held in contempt for being a tightwad. The alternative is to give money and be secretly held in contempt for being a fool.5.1 Doronila is the beggar – with a sense of entitlement – who feels slighted when no money is forthcoming.5.2 Your roofer is the beggar who seeks to cheat you for so easily parting with your money.6. The attitude is endemic in our culture. Look at the politicians who beg for votes, then beg for their pork-barrels.7. It’s a lose-lose situation, a no-win situation, a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.

  2. andrew lim says:

    1. I dont give much credence to Doronila's weeping. That's just him and his nitpicking ways. Many Filipinos dont think that way. Millions of Filipinos will vote like the Puerto Ricans did recently.2. Your second anecdote is more worrisome. Though anecdotal, it demonstrates the level of corruption in this society, and how real poverty results in poverty of the mind and a poverty of values. Rural poverty is traceable to feudalism, and modern day feudalism is a result of the encomienda system imposed by the Spaniards. Those bastards really did a lot of damage to the Philippines.

  3. Edgar Lores says:

    Just have to add: when politicians win office, do you see the contempt with which they look at and treat the electorate?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Grade School education in the Philippines is steeped in learning proverbs. What you have described here is a manifestation of how someFilipinos have taken those proverbs to heart.In your anecdotes, "If first you don't succeed whine and whine again" rings a bell.During elections,"Six of one, half a dozen of the other"…so take the money .In Arroyos case, "Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb" ….include all the thievingFilipinos on this one.Finally, Sotto…"A lie well stuck to is as good as the truth."amor

  5. You are the intellectual surgeon this morning, and it wraps up with number 7. My wife and I were discussing our lending money over breakfast this morning. If we charged interest (our loans are zero-interest), it would get paid back. Because we don't charge interest, many loans do not (easily) get paid back. Generosity has no equity, no respect. They figure we don't really need the money, since there is no interest. It is values that are upside down, or inside out.Thanks for assuring me that I am not totally nuts about this.

  6. Poverty of the mind, poverty of values. That is a very, very keen statement.

  7. AND your dissection explains Sotto, too.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a rant! Filipinos whine, Americans rant! Nice household combination and the child must be a cry baby. Imagine the savings on electricity, no need to have TV or expensive entertainment sound system. No wonder the Internet is the savior in Biliran. Ok thats enough fun get back topic.First, the national anthem to be changed to "whine", but there is no real tune in there. Since we are talking about typical Filipinos, appropriate morning song is by Carly Simon "you're so vain" no less than SC justices represent that theme so well.With Doronila and those shocked nationalists: they always think they are important, typical wants recognition necessary or not. Disagree with you that the Palace was complaining on the bypass. Rumblings come from those thinkinking how important they are. these are the same people criticizing PNoy on his frequent foreign trips, counting the beans on the expenditures but never voiced out during GMA time because at that time they were receiving the slice, not the crumbs of the pizza. These whiners complained how much PNoy was spending on official business abroad but now they are complaining also why Obama bypassed the Philippines. Imagine the expenses spent on hosting a visiting US president, logistics of security and hosting official welcome parties. More tan the expense ofPNoy trip to Indonesia, definitely. Damn if you do, damn if you don't. Typical Filipino crab mentality out of enviness and spiteful character.Looking at your situation in the your hood, your narration is not surprising because it is typical in every corner in the Philippines for those presumed rich OFWs, returning expatriates and foreigners. Again, typical Filipinos out of enviness and spiteful characters. The kind of people are like the characters in that videogame made into a movie this year, Hollow. These are soul creatures devouring both living and deceased humans. And they get extinct in their soul world. Politicians are to be blamed on the emergence of these type of Filipinos. They spoiled them with their constant request for doleouts ranging from trivial financial support to give a party on baptism to an elaborate wedding reception or fencing a property down to jeepney fare. If you can't afford to hold a party why ask a politician to contribute. That propensity to keeping up with the Jones is plain vanity. Words of advice to you Joe: dont bea sucker for emotions, these people are well verse in melodrama. TV soap operas will not flourish if these people are not around. You just heard Sotto said, Imitation is the greatest flattery. He knows his audience who in turn think every rich people in their neighborhood play game shows everyday like Eat Bulaga and Wiltime. There are however legitimate requests, filtering them is the headache.Try pretending all the time to be drunk with your Kickapoo Joy when they come and see what will happen.,.He he heJohnny Lin

  9. Talking to Sotto is like talking to a rock that moves and is slippery with slime.

  10. Wiser advice I have never read. I shall bookmark this page for return, again and again. It shall be my prayer, my mantra, my vision, my mission, my reason for being. Thank you!I shall give President Aquino a pass on the Obama trip, and lay the gripe on Doronila.The child does not whine at all, but he rants. And he begs. Like, for more "m & m's".

  11. andrew lim says:

    Id advise against helping people on an individual basis, Joe. The rural Filipino's Third World Catholic culture cannot handle it properly. What I'd recommend is Robredo's style – he never entertained personal requests for money for weddings, baptisms and funerals as mayor. Instead, he gave back to Naga through his work as a "mahusay at matino" public servant. No mendicancy. In your case, you can help through institutions- Red Cross, NGOs, etc.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The first time I have reserved enough for these Hollows. The following years I told them I just came from Manila and too hard to pick up my shares from the street because of increasing number of squatters since I'm retired under the mercy of Unc Joe. Afterwards, they figured the drift. I'm seldom bothered except on Christmasday. That they say is another story.Johnny Lin

  13. Attila says:

    This was not a renting in my book. You just had a reality check. Thanks!

  14. You know, andrew, that advice fits the direction we have started down, supporting the school instead of loans to neighbors. I did scholarships for a few bright local kids when I was in Mindanao a few years ago. That was very much appreciated by the families; made the mama cry when her son graduated from college. So I may take that route, too.

  15. I am happy that Obama skipped Philippines. Obama is aware that University of the Philipppines, an Ivy-league school, journalism graduates would have asked Obama whose side he is in: MARQUEZ or MANNY PACQUIAO.A head of state asked that question will be in quandary.When newbee Hillary droppeud by Philippines, she was asked the same question by U.P. Journalism graduates: MANNY PACQUIAO or de la HOYA . IT PUTTED HILLARY IN A BAD SITUATION. Goodness, Hillary must have advised Obama not to drop by Manila to elude such ambush question. If U.P. journalism graduate ask this stupid question, I just wonder how stupid those students not schooling in University of the PHilippines.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It hurts because what you say is true Joe. I have witnessed some of these personally. I don't know what but I wish there was a solution though.

  17. Edgar Lores says:

    Andrew,Part of your thesis, I suggest, is to look at the correlation between the Church and poverty. The Church largely justifies its existence on charity, but it it in any way encouraging the existence and proliferation of the poor? A Catholic virtue is almsgiving – does this encourage mendicancy?So many kinds of poor:1. There are the poor who are happy in the simplicity of their lives, who do not think they are poor. They do not need help.2. There are the poor who are unhappy but do nothing to improve their lot, except beg. They do not deserve help.3. There are poor who are simple victims of misfortune, like say the families of the Ampatuan massacre. They deserve help.4. And then there are the poor who have lots of money, like Sotto. They are beyond help.

  18. Hillary Clinton for president. I hope she still has the fire in 2016.That is a fine example of self-involvement, isn't it? That Ms. Clinton would be expected to care about Manny Pacquiao.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I just had a thought as to the solution – jobs. People who have decent jobs to keep them busy and responsible have little/no time to be small-minded and idiotic.

  20. Cha says:

    Ahaha, Mariano, I just love how your mind works! I totally get your point (even if I'm a UP graduate, hehehe)

  21. Several forces could be put to work to overcome it. The OFW and overseas experience and what people bring home. Education, if values would become a stronger part of the cirriculum. The internet and blogging and cross-cultrual engagements available there. A bigger middle class interacting . . . um . . . "normally". A government effort to recast the values of the Philippines ( a long, long, lonnnnnnggggggg shot).It is weird to me to see educated people like Doronila be so weak and needy.

  22. Yep, add that to the list above. Or maybe append it to the "middle class values" item.

  23. Jetlag807 says:

    Have to break this one into THREE parts…Part One:I was born & raised in San Francisco CA and as such can understand what its like to live on an island of sorts. The Bay Area is bordered on the east by immense mountain ranges, deserts to the south and hills/mountains to the north. Its secluded somewhat. It has allowed people who live in the Bay Area and "The City" (always spoken like there's no other city in the world) to adapt, adopt and become a force of innovation in Film and Technology. However, we know of and are fully aware of this place called "The Outside World". We also realize that people from this strange place may choose to visit our island paradise and, in some cases, decide to stay. We welcome them with open arms. That's one of the differences between the Island of San Francisco and the Islands of the Philippines. We know and accept that the world does not revolve around us. As an example; we were happy that President Bill Clinton made so many trips to the Bay Area but are also tempered knowing that his ulterior motive was to visit (romantically) a well known business woman. That's just being realistic. We have people from every race, creed & color living in "The City" and they all prosper for the most part. There's this street which borders Golden Gate Park (at the Pan Handle) that has Restaurants from every country in the world own & operated by people from every country in the world. Its really cool to live in a diverse environment.Here in the Philippines, however, it is decidedly different. Here people think that the entire Universe revolves around the Philippines and outsiders should act accordingly. The Philippine News Media does everything it can to enforce that idea. I recall, a day after the earthquake in Haiti, news reports from all over the world ran the Headline "150,000 people feared dead in Haiti earthquake". Here in the Philippines, the Headline was "No Filipinos killed in Haiti earthquake". No lie! Check the newspaper archives! I honestly do not know how people here have adopted this line of thinking but it makes want to scream and laugh at the same time!

  24. Jetlag807 says:

    Part TWO:So… President Obama is not coming to the Philippines on this South East Asian Trip. So freakin what! He's not going to Guam (a US Territory) either! What's the big freakin deal? How lame can these people and politicians be? The Prime Minister of Israel was unable to meet with Obama on his last trip to the US but look at them now. Israel is too busy kissing the backside of the Whitehouse to be bothered with a "snubbed" meeting. Maybe Aquino should have CALLED the US President to PERSONALLY congratulate him. Maybe things would have been different, maybe not. So freakin what! Get you Ship in order, pass the RH Bill, stop the liable provisions of the Cybercrime Law, do something REAL about encouraging Foreign Direct Investment and, while your at it, tell that arrogant SOB Sotto to have a nice hot cup of SHUT THE HELL UP, then go about your business. President Obama will decide when and IF he will visit you in the Philippines! Hell! Obama (as President) has yet to visit Kenya which is the birthplace of his father! C'mon!

  25. Jetlag807 says:

    Part THREE:On the local homestead issue; Oh man! I can relate! Your neighbors are "friends" so long as you're paying for everything! I could on and on with this issue but you know as well as I that this is something ALL Expats are faced with at some point no matter what the level (or class) of the neighbors. I don't lend money anymore. I don't offer my opinion on things like "how can we make our subdivision better". Nothing! I go about my business. I smile, greet and wave to my neighbors and occasionally engage in small-talk but, for the most part, I keep moving. Sure, if there's a Medical Emergency people know I'll be the first one on scene to provide First-Aid and even get the victim stabilized with Dex or Ringers but… Beyond that, I accept the fact that this is their imaginary Universe and I am an intruder. That's OK. Outside of my gate is the Philippines; inside, it's the United States of Jetlag807!Thank God for the intelligent Filipinos who I have met over the years. If not, I would firmly believe that ALL folks here were completely out of their minds!Nice article my man! Thanks for allowing ME to rant on a bit

  26. Anonymous says:

    Dirty, rotten, scoundrels for neighbors you got there, JoeAm. For people in high places, read Inquirer's Ambeth Ocampo on Dr. Rotor's account of his stint in President Quezon's cabinet. Hope Mariano's wrong about all Pinoys being infected with this virus- the needy, hypocritical, whining virus.DocB

  27. And a fine rant, indeed, Mr. Jet. Are you related to Maude by any chance?"No Filipinos killed in Haiti earthquake" Like, ouch. And the obsession during the election as to which candidate PhilAms should vote for to benefit the Philippines. Duh, the one who would benefit America, and Americans."while your at it, tell that arrogant SOB Sotto to have a nice hot cup of SHUT THE HELL UP . . ." You were goin' good there, cracked me up.A pleasure. Stop by any time. We are an equal ideological rant place.

  28. Cha says:

    I agree that gainful employment can help transform a person's mindset from dependency to self responsibility. Next to having some sort of supportive personal relationship, being a productive member of society greatly affects one's perspective and attitudes in life. I remember an experience I had with a little girl selling sampaguita garlands while stuck in traffic in Manila sometime ago. I didn't really like keeping sampaguitas in the car, but I felt sorry for her being out on a hot day and all that, so I said I'll give her some money but she didn't have to give me the sampaguita. I was surprised when she said to me, "thank you po ma'am pero hindi po ako namamalimos". (for you Joe that's "thank you but I'm not asking for alms). Boy, did I learn an important lesson that day about the dignity of work.

  29. Here's the link. http://opinion.inquirer.net/40726/missing-historyHere's a quote: “My short stint with the Commonwealth government-in-exile cured me of whatever political ambitions I may have had. In all my life I have never seen such intrigues, such lust for power or influence."Dr. Rotor's papers would be interesting read. I hope someone digs them up.

  30. Thank you for the translation, and the nice uplifting touch to the discussion.

  31. And I like your screen name. That's Irish, right? ahahaha

  32. Anonymous says:

    Joe,manuelbuencamino here. I can't post under my own name, don't know why. Anyway…1. That editorial was written by Amanda Doronilla. He is seriously allergic to yellow so his piece is less of a whine than it is an attempt to imply that something is the matter with Aquino that's why Obama did not include Manila in his itinerary. Still, the fact that he can write such crap and get it published means there's a gullible audience out there.2. You live in a beautiful place surrounded by ugly people. I can see why some of your friends upped and left. But since you seem committed to toughing it out I can only offer unsolicited advice and sympathy. The advice: Monitor closely the level of ill-talk against you because if it reaches a level where those people convince themselves that what you have should be theirs, they will make it theirs. So I suggest that in addition to your lovely wife and child a worthy addition to your home would be an armory. For purely defensive purposes only of course. Like John Lennon and the Beatles once sang, "Happiness is a warm gun…"

  33. Hi, MB, I appreciate the advice. We do have a couple of good pipelines into the community. We also used to have a big badass german sheppard dog, but he made the mistake of eating a small cobra snake, and is no longer in this world. Too bad we can't train up a really good bunch of cobra snakes.Thanks for the insight into Doronilla. That puts a whole new shading on it. I agree it was a crap piece. Probably with an audience, too.

  34. Coco says:

    Could tell plenty of similar stories, but you ask to come with solutions. I can only see one: develop a decent middle class. What do you expect as long as helpers are paid 3000 peso a month for working 12 hrs a day and being 7/24 hrs available? The distance between the have’s and the have-not’s is prohibitive for any dream to advance one day. (I’m not even talking about a 12 years old girl working 7/24 for 400 peso a month, or a girl with 2 year college running a resort – her boss too drunk to do anything sensible – at 1,500 peso a month in Leyte) This does not create assertiveness, you know that you are a looser, so you can beg, you can whine and dream the telenovellas.The have’s do feel untouchable, the distance with their surroundings is too big, nobody can even get in their shadow, self centred arrogance as a result. Money can move everything, judges, votes you name it. Steeling a few 1000 pesos from the have-not’s so easy, and there are so many thus making a few billion easy too. No effort to increase the cake, only to increase your share.With an healthy middle class, the low income class can dream again, the wealthy will lose their immunity. The middle class drives progress, increases the cake. An economy based on cheap labour is vulnerable, an economy based on best practices and innovation resilient, Filippinos are resourceful, ask foreign plant managers. INCREASE WAGES!

  35. Yes, the gap between haves and have nots is huge, and I do believe development of a robust middle class would do the most to create opportunity and take the edge off the abundant neediness of the poor.

  36. brianitus says:

    Hi, Uncle Joe.Is egotistic the right word to describe the Palace and your neighbors? Whining doesn't create anything of value. Try whining to win back a girl…same deal.Anyway, I think it's healthier to keep a low profile but be on the ready to kick someone's butt when the need arises.

  37. brianitus says:

    They'll probably ask about Nietes.

  38. brianitus says:

    Um, I'm for increasing the size of the middle class. I think having more entrepreneurs around will be of great help. That's in the absence of increased FDI activity. At least some jobs get created. You reduce the numbers of the poorest of the poor and get them to be productive, engaging in economic activity.If FDIs don't happen, I won't mind having increased activity in the gray economy. Those little stores/businesses that deal primarily in cash also represent another channel where money can go around. As for increasing wages, we all know the routine. The moment labor cries out for that, big business comes back with that "We can't afford it" speech. But hey, in reality, increasing wages add to the reasons to increase prices. It'll also be counter-productive in the end. Just my humble opinion there.

  39. Filipinos believe that charity by the wealthy to fellow poor Filipinos is religious obligation. It is rooted deep in biblical fairy tale stories indoctrinated thru fear of GABA thru God by the church. Google “Holy Bible Sharing Wealth” we’d inundated with biblical verses about sharing. Filipinos demand charity. If you do not give, you are baaad. REAL BAD ! They do not talk to you. They ignore you. They will snipe GABA be with you always and forever. That is one of those traits that the church has inculcated the Filipinos. Baaaad. Real Bad. On the other hand, Filipinos love MALAS and MISFORTUNES because these are beamed incessantly unceasingly 24/7 in TFC Channel. TFC teledrama script, misfortunes and malas are not of the character’s own making but because of inhumane treatment of slave masters. Another favorite of TFC is LOVE TRIANGLE: Petraeous loves Broadwell. Broadwell loves Petraeous. Broadwell accused Kelley of seducing Petraeous. Unbeknownst to Petraeous and Broadwell, Kelley is having a long-distance affair with Petraeous subordinate Allen who is unaware that his Boss has his eye on Kelley, too. The Triangle closed in on them when Broadwell harassed Kelley and Kelley reported it to TFC and TFC made it into a telenovela.That is the reason why Filipinos are serial philandering bed jumpers breeding children like rabbits in every woman they co-habit with. Small Income is spread thin to support everyone. Children start whining. Whining for more food. Whining why them first, what about us? Why spend Christmas at the other woman not the original wife? So, everyday they whine and dine.

  40. Everytime I go home, I am a STAR ! Neighbors know something is brewing in my household. Pigs slaughtered, sliced and prepped. Smell of napalm, plume of lechon smoke envelopes the house in fog. A procession of rented jeepneys carted welcoming parties of relatives and friends from the airport stopped in a swirl of dust at the eco-friendly sustainable nipa hut. Precious balikbayan boxes unloaded with my son in tow. Neighboring children came. Pressed their face and peered thru wooden window sill watching my son unpacks the balikbayan box with whoop, laughter, glee and thank you Papa and more thank you Papa and more thank yous.I looked at the eyes of my neighbor’s children asking myself what they must be thinking at that moment. What do they have in mind? Could they run their hands on the mini-iPAD? Smell it perhaps? Could they have a nibble or just a lick of those chocolates? Please? I told my son to give each and every neighbor children chocolates and multi-colored marshmallows. Let them pick the ones they like that attract them the most. One by one they clambered down from the window and one by one they were gone holding gingerly the melting chocolate and marshmallows stuffed in their mouth. I saw them gather just down the dusty road comparing which ones tastes better. They scampered when their mothers ran after them with stick in hand screaming, “Unsa man mo, mga ignorante? Mura mo ug walay kaon, dah!“Those neighbors was me. I had that chocolate in my mouth for hours and hours until it dribbled on my throat till it was gone.Funny, now that I am in America, I do not eat chocolates because it is BAAAAD !!!! Those children that I played with? Well, never heard of them again. I guess God “took care” of them assuming God is kind as God promised he will be. But from the looks of the Philippines, it seems God is evil. Maybe not. Just a lazy non-performing God that makes plenty of promises like politicians accepting campaign funds. But politicians have better averages in realizing their promises than God.One of the children became a carpenter, not the Jesus kind-of-carpenter. He clandestinely makes copies of keys of doors to the house he helped build. … then sneaked in the middle of the night when the slave masters are away … he is still up and around …

  41. Yes, egotistic I think would be right. And I laugh about whining to win back a girl. Yeah, that's what it is like. Useless and weak.Low profile. Kick butt. Got it. Whining, I suspect, would not help much.

  42. That's something I don't grasp, the teledramas. I'll have to write something caustic about it. Same actors, same stories, same tears running running. But I do admire the talent of those people who can stand in front of a camera and make rivers run from their eyes. They must be imagining some pretty horrid stuff. Strange profession, that acting.

  43. Remind me to change my locks. You should be writing books.

  44. J says:

    Doronilla is considered a doyen of sorts in Philippine journalism. He was probably good and sharp back when Quezon was president, who knows? But he's one hell of a nutcase. Just look at his "analyses" of the Corona impeachment trial. Also, he once plagiarized a fellow college debater who now works as a reporter for Business World. Told the Inquirer about it; no actions.

  45. J says:

    Wow, this comment is so Murakami-ish.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of Murakami, one my favorite quotes in his new novel 1Q84 applies I think to our favorite-to-whip politicians like Sotto–"you cannot understand without explanation, you cannot understand with explanation." Some are as good as fossilized in their thinking. DocB

  47. Yes, for sure. You can find a lot of them on blog threads, defending, arguing, never really listening.

  48. He was sure nutso on this case. A grown adult, too.

  49. Anonymous says:

    They only ever listen when they get a diagnosis of terminal cancer or their daughter get raped or their trusted financial adviser runs away with their billions or their wives send them legal separation papers or their families are threatened with grievous bodily harm by politician-businessman they double-crossed,etc.DocB

  50. J says:

    I follow Doro's parody account on Twitter. Hillarious stuff: https://twitter.com/AmandoDoronila

  51. Thanks for the link. That is one hilarious read, agreed."I dont get why people are so angry abt plagiarism. I copy all the time. I just make sure to lift from a source nobody reads."

  52. J says:

    The source he was talking about was Business World, whom the real Doro plagiarized. LOL."Please read my column in today's Inquirer: 'Aquino to blame for 9/11'" — This tweet is spot on. The real Doro always blames Aquino for anything.

  53. Ha, when we ALL know that SOTTO is responsible.

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