The Speech President Aquino Cannot Give

Good evening my friends. It’s good to be Filipino, eh?

I want to talk to you about our country. About our history and future. And about who we are as a nation.
Lets start with the basics. We are an Asian country. Let’s make that clear. We are not European, although we are a playground for Europeans and we hosted Spanish marauders for several centuries. We are not Middle Eastern, although Filipinos work in homes and offices across the Middle East. We are not Canadian although we speak English better than those Quebec rebels do. We are not Mexican although Mexicans box pretty damn well, too.

We are not American, for sure. And we are not America’s little orphan brother.

We are the Republic of the Philippines. 

And we are an Asian country.

So today I want to speak to three audiences. First, I want to speak to our Asian neighbors, our friends and our rivals in the peaceful competition for markets and goods and travel in this exciting part of the world. Second, I want to speak to Americans and their friends, the Europeans – those we term “Western Nations”.  And, finally, I want to speak to you, my fellow Filipino citizens. 

Long live the Republic! 
Although we are an Asian nation, our racial heritage is mixed. It’s about as mixed as it can get. Native  Filipinos have been here since before some of our volcanoes broke from the earth. They are older than a hundred Enriles stacked end to end. And being at the heart of trade and commerce in Asia, we have had many visitors. Some stayed longer than we wanted, but that happens with some guests, eh?

And the visitors mixed with the native Filipinos. Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Moro, Spanish, American, African and who knows what else. People are surprised to look at us and see brown, eh? That is the bias, really, the discrimination of the Western world, is it not, to think that the mixing of all the races of the world should somehow turn up white?

Well, that is also the error of many cosmetics companies, too, but I don’t begrudge them making a little money on colors they deem stylish.
But we are brown. If you blend all the nationalities of the world, as we have done in the Philippines, we get what we are. Brown. So those of you who are not brown, kindly set aside this notion that your color is the color of the world. It is not. We, the Filipino, are the natural color of this world.
Let me be very candid here. Our history is rich with conquest. Unfortunately, we were on the underside of that conquest much of the time. We of the hills and lands were no match for the military powers of Spain and the US and Japan. But we fought and bled with the best of them, with guns and knives and bare fists.  Our families have known of the tragedies of war.
And we don’t like such tragedies.
We prefer peace. So let it be known, let all our neighbors and friends know, we are a peaceful land.
But we aspire to something we have never had as a nation.
We aspire to walk alone. To stand independent as a nation equal to all. Better than none, worse than none. Equal to all.
And we are passionate about doing that. We have been occupied by foreign lands and we want to be rid of foreign occupancy.
If our good friend China fails to understand why we are adamant about our territory, about our seas, we would encourage them to understand that we are angry about our past, about the abuses brought to our shores by militaristic conquerors of the past. We are determined to stand free, to claim what is ours, and to rule it our way.
If our good friend America fails to understand why we throw off the suffocating presence of foreign warships, or rise up in anger when one sails into a precious reef, we would encourage America to understand that we yearn to stand alone. To be masters of our own destiny. To be rid of foreign influence either real, or imagined.
To business people around the world. If our corporate ownership rules seem defensive to you, limiting foreign ownership to 40 percent, we would encourage you to understand that we are not for sale to anybody. That we are wary of those who would take control of our valued businesses and take the profits and run. We are through with being used for other people’s well-being, and discarded. Perhaps there will be a day when our economy is strong enough to warrant a higher foreign ownership percentage. But this is not that day. We believe the determined among you will find a way to work with Filipinos and with Filipino corporations to make money. And in that way, you will participate in the blossoming of a vibrant economy in Asia.When we are more secure, we can take more risks.

To my fellow citizens, my brown and beautiful and peaceful people, I say this. Corruption and ignorance are as powerful as any foreign occupancy at stopping our growth and our progress. If we look at the history of the Philippines, we can see that our wealth has been controlled by the landed few. The dynasties, the landowners, the big business owners. I am from such a dynastic family myself. We have captured the road leading to power and influence, and become occupiers of our own nation.
This must stop. It is as oppressive as foreign armies and navies. We must open up government and business opportunities to more Filipinos. Those Filipinos from any family, with or without land, with or without name, who aspire to work hard and work smart to get ahead. Ambition is not a bad word. It is a good word, and it ought not be reserved only for those of name and land.
To the churches of this land, you are a part of our heritage and the values we possess. We thank you for standing firm as the conscience of our nation. But, frankly, we hope you will minister to the whole of our peoples and not limit yourselves to one political spectrum or another. Politics is a divisive business, and those churches that engage directly in political battles subject our people to unnecessary choices, to vote for the good of the Philippines, or to vote for their faith. The churches must accept that we are a nation of many people, many ideas, many faiths. The job of the State is to work for all, no matter the faith. So we ask church leaders to respect our State obligation to serve those of every faith, and even non-faiths.
We are a conservative nation, yet we too often live secret lives that are not conservative. We slip under too many radars, abuse too many laws, carry too many guns, exert too much violence as a way to solve problems. Violence does not solve problems. And disobeying rules is a cancer that leads to more and more rule-breaking until soon we forget what it means to live for the good of the community.
That is what laws are for. The good of the community.
And we ignore them too often.
So we, as Filipinos, need both greater freedom and opportunity, to compete for better jobs and more prosperity. And we need greater discipline, to do this honestly. Because discipline is best for the community of Filipinos.
So to the leaders of foreign nations, I say, respect our sovereignty. We are passionate about defending it. We will defend it to the death.

To those who would use and abuse the Philippines, we say, no more. We will govern our own affairs. We will do this in partnership with others when we share the same goals. But we will not bow to the whims and wills of nations that do not respect our right to self-determination.
And to our people, I say, rise! Stand up and stand for certain principles.
Stand for the freedoms we cherish, to speak openly and compete fairly for opportunities and prosperity. And stand up for discipline, for the strength it takes to obey the laws and give a little of ourselves to the community of Filipinos.
It’s a great day to be Filipino. It is indeed. Thank you, and may God bless the Republic of the Philippines!
23 Responses to “The Speech President Aquino Cannot Give”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Damn right! Aquino or any PHL president could not ask any other country to ask forrespect of sovereignty or obey the rule of law if we do not abide by the same principle inour own land.Charity begins at home, everywhere!We chose to disobey simple laws by giving lots of excuses to avoid them, for ourselves for others. Everyday, an example of such transgression is in the news.From the simple case of Celdran of disrespecting other people's rights to sensitive political case of Gwen Garcia not obeying an Executive order of suspension to conspiracy of people tasked to preserve peace by killing innocent people and committing crimes themselves.When foreigners living in our land taunt our laws, whose fault it is? When foreigners come to invest and offer bribes to our officials for favors, whose fault is it?When foreigners ignore our plea to respect our sovereignty, whose fault it is?Until we realize we have to start disciplining our own, obeying, penalizing and accepting punishment provided by laws with courage, devoid of politics or misplaced tolerance, we will never become honest to ourselves.Bad Character that is becoming a showcase to the world ? Next time, you don't feel respect as you land in another nation's airport, pull out a mirror and see with your own eyes if you look like a Filipino.Change start with teaching the children the right ways, be role models to the young.But, how could anyone justify making a hero out of Celdran for the young to read in the news and watch on tv when his transgression was to disrespect people with different intentions going inside the church to practice their religious faith which included silent meditation saying their prayers while communing with the Lord.Very simple way of beginner's lesson in teaching children, develop good conduct and right manners: respect other people's rights. He he heJohnny Lin

  2. Edgar Lores says:

    1. Inspired.2. As fine a declamation of where we came from, where we stand, and where we are – or should be – going.2.1. All the communities, both external and internal, are addressed, and all the major sectors and issues covered, each given proper proportion and emphasis.2.2 Noted the traditional “God bless America!” valedictory. I do not know that officials in other countries end their speeches with a similar uniting and rallying clincher. PNoy could start a tradition with “Mabuhay tayo, mabuhay ang Pilipino, mabuhay ang Pilipinas!”2.3 Is there anything missing? Possibly the MILF problem in the south.3. Do we desire to stand independent and alone? I’m not sure. As a nation we are forced to because of geography. But as persons? We are clannish, not individualistic. We are embellishers, not creators. We are supreme copiers, but not outstanding originals. (The country has not produced a single world-class revolutionary thinker in any field.)4. From my ivory tower, I do not sense anything particularly impolite or impolitic. Any chance PNoy would give the speech in the next SONA…

  3. "But, how could anyone justify making a hero out of Celdran for the young to read in the news . . ."That is it exactly, the standard for determining the adult sense of right and wrong. It is the subject of my next blog on Thursday. What do the young people see when they watch us? All the legalistic or idealistic arguments in the world can't make bad behavior be good behavior.

  4. Ah, what a gross omission. Here is the paragraph I would insert."And to our Muslim citizens throughout the Philippines, thank you for embracing the choice of peace over bloodshed as the way to move toward prosperity and unity with the greater Philippines. Our obligation as a nation is to embrace your deep sense of history and culture, and make sure the Muslim community is no longer abandoned or short-changed by the rest of the nation, but is instead welcomed as a rich part of the fabric Filipino."

  5. Whitney High School in Cerritos, California is a prestigious school. Cerritos, according to Filipinos, is where wealthy Filipinos lives. Well known Philippines families live in Cerritos. There are plenty of Filipinos in Cerritos. But they are run by a Chinese mayor. Artesia, encircled by Cerritos, also see a clump of Filipinos. Of course, they, too, are run by their former colonist, a white. USNews ranks Whitney High Best High School GOLD class all over the U.S. They have over 85% acceptance to UCLA. High School do not consider Filipinos as Asian. Whitney High consider Filipinos as FILIPINOS. Here is their school profile: Angeles County also considered Filipinos as FILIPINOS not Asian back then in late 90s. Their employment application race category check off are: Asians, Asian-Indian, Pacific Islander, Filipinos, Whites, etcetera …. Filipinos are not considered Asians by American standards.Eventually LACounty has had change of heart. They consider Indians and Filipinos as Asian. Maybe they protested. But the prevailing impression of Americans is Filipinos are not Asians. They are Filipinos. Its like Teri Hatcher, claimed by Filipinos to be a Filipina, when she said "… can I check those diplomas, I just wanted to know if they are not from Med Schools in the Philippines". It raised a furor in the Philippines. Teri Hatcher should know better. Because Hollywood performing artists' hospital of choice is Cedars-Sinai adjacent to Beverly Hills. This hospital is crawling with food cart-pushing, squabbling, back-stabbing gossipy Filipinos. In 6th Floor, called the Suite, no Filipinos are allowed. If a Filipino wanders in 6th Floor they'd be written up. Teri Hatcher and Hollywood denizens have these prevailing perception that Filipino nurses are up to no good. FORTUNATELY, these Filipino food-cart-pushing nurses have not sold juicy tidbits of informations to TMZ, yet. Now I am totally lost where I am going with this. I have to hit PUBLISH so I can preview what I have written so far ….

  6. Ah, a worthy discussion, for sure. The US Census records Filipinos under the Asian category that reads something like: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Other. Filipinos are recorded in the "other" category, which I always found strange, given that in many Califonria communities, it is the largest group of people.Perhaps the clarification ought to be made "we are Asian by location, but by damn, we are Filipino, through and through!"

  7. OK. I am right on target. I just came home from Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles. I had an affidavit authenticated. The process is now shorter. I do not need to spend $45.00 for an Affidavit to be notarized then authenticated for $25.00 in the Consulate. The PHilippine Consulate do the notarization and authentication for a flat rate of $25.00. THAT IF WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS RIGHT !!!I am going to send this Affidavit to the Philippines and have this annotate to my land Certificate of Title. I bet, those people at Registry of Deeds will not accept this. Because I have that itchy feeling that they will insist that I have to have it notarized by an American then authenticated by Filipino anarchist in Philippine Consulate.I went there. I went to a window. I picked up the authenticated Affidavit with seal and fancy ribbon signed by the Philippine Consul. The dude handed me the authenticated Affidavit. I ASKED FOR AN ENVELOPE !!!!!He did not even look at me and said rudely, "I (not WE) DO NOT HAVE ENVELOPE !!!". Was I asking too much? Asking for an envelope? I thought that lady decades ago in the same window was rude in giving me a USPS envelope. But this dude, working with the Department of Foreign Affairs, did not even have the courtesy to hand me a USED ENVELOPE. He just dismissed me with "I DO NOT HAVE ENVELOPE!!!" Without looking me in the eye !!!It reminded me of that clueless Ateneo or maybe U.P. Graduate, who he claimed he works at Malacanang, in Rappler that spit out a column that said Department of Foreign Affairs is an Elite Department. Was that dude an Elite force of Foreign Affairs? These Foreign Affiar Elite Force of the Philippines should be given a heavy dose of courtesy training, custormer relation and anger management. WHO THE (bleep) HE THINK HE WAS!!! He is just an employee of pathetic Philippine Government !!!I could be wrong. Maybe I have had too much of courteous and polite Americans. Maybe I have not acculturated to Filipino way of mistreatments. Maybe their mistreatment of Filipinos may not be mistreatment at all but it is the best the Filipinos can offer.Or ….. Or ….. maybe he knew who I was !!! Maybe he reads blogs, too. And thought this name sounds familiar !!!!

  8. Ha. Probably Alan's cousin.

  9. BLOOMBERG – Consumer Boom Fuels Philippines as Asian Exports Falter is a report from a Filipino. An amalgam of snippets from a Vietnamese economic analyst of HSBC in Hong Kong. Of course, Filipinos cannot make analysis. THEY ARE WIRED TO ANALYZE POLITICS. Why politics? Because politics is gossip not supported by facts. POLITICS is to men, ENTERTAINMENT to women. All Gossip-based.I will TRY to make an economic analysis why PHilippines is "BOO–BOOO—BOOMING".American dollars is depreciating. Asian currencies are appreciating. Japanese Prime Minister is ordering his economic minister to arteficially devalue yen to spurt export. Filipinos' enemy, China, is also artificially NOT APPRECIATING their YUAN to make Americans afford iPhone and iPad. Not only that, outsourcing pollutant-heavy industries as well.Whereas, Philippines, to this day cannot even make their own catsup and noodles, their peso is appreciating to the detriment of my remittances to my relatives in the Philipppines. WHY? WHY SO?Because their only EXPORT COMMODITIES are …. drum roll pleeez …. brrrrrrrr ….. ta da …. THE FILIPINOS !!!!!! They are exporting them to the middle-east and around the world including Diego Garcia !!!!! (Check POEA Statistics). A Filipino in Diego Garcia ? Tjhat is TOP SECRET military installation that Google Map cannot even see !!!!!!!!Yes, Virginia, there are 6 Filipinos working in Diego Garcia !!!!! 6 !!!! With Secuyrity Clearance !!!!!Diego Garcia is where B-52s and Steal Bombers armed with nukes are manned 24/7. Pilots sitting in the cockpit read to ram jam at moments notice. I JUST WONDER WHAT THESE FILIPINOS ARE DOING THERE? I hope not cleaning latrines and urinals.I HAVE TO HIT "PUBLISH" so I can know what I have written so far …….

  10. Aha ! Now to continue …Philippine economy is supported by migrant workers called OFWs. Phiipppine exports are expensive because of appreciation of Peso. An appreciation of Peso not because of trade imbalance. BUT BECAUSE OF Human Exports !!!!!Philippine exports has 80% import components. We are just assemblers. We put in "s-killed" labors for imported knock-downs and assemble them for export. What makes our export expensive is the APPRECIATION OF PESO !!!!! I cannot even afford a Magnolia Ube Ice Cream at Seafood City in the U.S. because they are sooooo expensive because of expensive peso. Even coco milk at Trader Joe's do not import it from the Philippines not because of quality and hygeiene issue but because Thai currency is cheaper by a few centimos than Philippine pEso.What appreciates PESO is human resource (OFWs) not because of generally accepted definition of exports.

  11. Anonymous says:

    @EdgarYes, we ought to be tired of the Paquiaos, Lhuilliers and Lea Salongas. Would it be too much to wish for a Pinoy visionary maybe in the field of urban planning at least? Well I guess it's too late for that.We are separated by islands and speak different dialects that it will take a lot more years, generations more of watching tele novelas and overdubbed Hollywood films and anime series to be able to speak in one tongue and understand one another.Cool speak Mr. Prez. >Eric

  12. Anonymous says:

    I meant speech Mr. Prez.

  13. Eric, you make a very good point about the islands, not just physical land masses, but clans and families that separate themselves from their neighbors and form independent micro-states. They are forever bumping into each other and never joining as one integrated whole. Just like Manila is a hodge podge of some 10 cities or more. That is very different than the US, that has individual states and cities and business groups, but all under the primary national umbrella. The president's "speech" tries to reach out and say that "we are whole and we are equal, and kindly recognize us for that". I doubt that China would listen. America would.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Agree with your assessment that OFW remittance fuels local economy, causing serious financial troubles to local.exporters and manufacturers. Philippine economy is in a classic wedge between beautiful corrals in tge deep bluesea, similar to The Guardian in Tubbahata. Central bankhas a big problem to stem peso appreciationi. If peso value continues ascent, real estate bubble from OFW purchase is going to burst. Coupled with that the reduction of jobs abroad brought by depreciating dollar and Euro economy dependent nations like in Europe and Middle East. Plus an irate Chinese nation to stubborn Philippines Scarborugh compaint in the UN. Looks, Our economy is like a souffle, tasty and enticing from the outside, ready to deflate upon touching. Depreciate the peso, real estate bubble will not burst. It's the worst scenario that could happen to PHL economy because many peripheral businesses will be affected. Johnny Lin

  15. @Johnny. Ah, that is great, "The soufflé economy". I've described it as "thin" but your description is absolutely beautiful. Trademark or register that mighty fine quick. You can sell it to all the economists around here.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Joe, making him relative is an insult to poor DFA employee. He was honest telling the truth about their government supplies. He did not beat around the bush making excuses. Clerk did not say that since martial law they run out of envelopes like your friend from your favorite blog proclaiming that Celdran case will make Aquino a dictator like Marcos if Filipinos don't act to save him. It was not only a stupid comparison but beyond comprehension in satire or sardonicism. No wonder ABS CBN is losing to GMA news for employing such kind of writer. He he heJohnny Lin

  17. AMBITION. A-M-B-I-T-I-O-N the word is BAD WORD to Filipinos. Numerous times I have heard this derogatory word "AMBISYOSA" "AMBISYOSO" to my fellow brown brothers and sisters. AMBITION is a cousin to (bleep) !!! As (bleep) is to AMBITION.Why do I get snide remarks of being AMBISYOSO going abroad OFWing? Why the snips and snipes? Being AMBISYOSO in the Philippines is EVIL. AGAIN, it has its roots in religion. At this moment, I cannot put my finger on it. But my gut feeling is because of RELIGION.Religion is a wolf in a sheeps' skin.

  18. It is Johnny's Souffle'. Big on the outside. Air on the inside. Never filling. Thank gootness, the Filipinos has spoken. WE have RHBill. WE will soon have divorce. And this May's election is not an election of politicians but also A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE OF RELIGION.Let us pray ….

  19. SuJunk says:

    Quebec rebels! LOL, basing on your 'manifesto' a la SONA, you are anti-gun, Joe?

  20. Ahahahaha, hi, SuJunk. Thanks for the link. That's the funniest thing I've read in a long time. I'm glad you appreciated the dig.Guns. I think guns are uncivilized and we are not yet civilized, so gun ownership is okay by me. But controls for selling them need to be tightened way tight, and penalties for using them to commit a crime ought to be way, way severe. And there is no need for machine-guns in households. Like, limit the ammo capacity.Good of you to visit.

  21. Anonymous says:

    …..i dont care what you say, President Aquino needs to give this speech.. carry the momentum even further forward.feels good to read your stuff again, joe.Andy(Yb-Anderson)

  22. Say hey Andy! Good to have you stop in again, too. Well, he's a sharp guy, so maybe he'll move in that direction. Most people like him because he has his mother's decency. I like him because he has his father's determination. He has to do things other than jail people, for sure, so it's good to see a stream of bills popping out that are in the right direction, and good to see his agencies working purposefully.

  23. Edgar Lores says:

    Eric,Of all the fields available, I would not have picked urban planning in a hundred years. That is indeed lateral thinking at its best as Joe has amplified. The point has been made in this blog – (perhaps we need indexation?) – that English would serve best as our lingua franca.

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