People of Size, Character-Wise

Four PeopleI admire Mother Teresa. She would get out into the field, out with the flies and mud and disease, and help people. I admire Bill Gates, a zillionaire who is giving his money away to help the neediest people around the world. I admire artists who give of their inner soul  so that others may be deeper and richer of spirit.

There is something noble in helping others. And something deeply fulfilling.

These are big people in my book.

On the other hand, the opposite one, I don’t much care for people who are hard-core into themselves with precious little room to be respectful of others.

They are small people in my book.

I don’t like a young Dutchman who gets in the face of a tired Filipino policeman and demeans him personally for some perverted political ideology the Dutchman has clanking around in his head.

Normally I don’t call people names, but that Dutchman earns one.  I’ll refrain from plastering it here and give you the latitude to choose one if you feel so inclined. Please don’t pick suave.

I don’t much care for the daughter of a woman who inhabits the Philippine social circles, who lives a flagrantly rich lifestyle at the age of 23. She flaunts her wealth as if it made her a person of substance. In my mind, it makes her a nothing. It seems that the money came from a mother who allegedly schmoozes legislators to garner big helpings of cash. The guilt or innocence of the mother has yet to be ascertained, but evidence of the flagrant lifestyle of the daughter and the schmoozing lifestyle of the mother is documented.

The term “bimbo” comes to mind.

These two people, the young Dutchman and the young daughter of a social schmoozer, live by principles I find disconcerting.

They may be rich, people of means, one hopping the globe to communize the world, the other hauling her well-decorated derriere down Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard in a limo, are beggars. Beggars of the soul. Trying to fill something within themselves by taking respect from others.

That’s the opposite of charity. The opposite of being compassionate and giving.

One insults a guy doing his job – a difficult and dangerous job defending a line between evil and good – a cop – and holds him responsible for his government’s policies. One flaunts money that others cannot possibly have, because they live honest and restrained lives.

What little people these seem to be.

Both are young.

They have not had time to develop deep character, I suppose. To live and reflect and put order to act.

I generally admire young people. They are the agents of change. How many revolutions begin and are incubated in the Universities? Their impetuous idealism impels the most jaded of us to rethink our standards. Democratic nations NEED that kind of energy.

But I think the parents of these two small creatures were working from a faulty lesson plan. Their teaching chandelier was a few bulbs short of well lit. The kids developed flawed ideals.

Political ideology and glamour are the separate constructs that come into play here.

Political ideology is a frame of thinking that the holder believes is better than the frameworks others hold, thus making them lesser beings for holding them. It is intellectual racism. Imperialism of the mind.  And their raucous exhibitionism totally misses the principle of what free speech is about. Free speech is about freedom of thought, too. The political idealists use the right of free speech to try to dismantle freedom of thought. Not cool.

A better alternative is to respect opposing views and deploy the intellect, without insult, to find harmony.

Glamour is an artificial construct that sees the cover of the book as its whole meaning. It is the sizzle without the steak, the shine without the bulb.

A better alternative is humility and modesty that also respects where others are coming from.

Ninety degree turn here . . .

I must confess, in terms of cross-cultural character, and speaking in gross generalities that are just one guy’s impression, the U.S. and Philippines are book ends. One is overly concerned with others (the ever-apologetic, insecure person belittling oneself for not matching up)  and one is overly concerned with self (others are objects to be used or disposed of).

Somewhere in the middle there is maturity, and acceptance, and respect.

Of oneself, and others.

Big people thrive on giving. Little people thrive on taking.

49 Responses to “People of Size, Character-Wise”
  1. cha says:

    I do not approve of Mr. Van Beersum’s methods or way of thinking but I don’t really know anything about his background or his parents and their parenting style to be able to say that his is a case of parenting gone wrong. (Napoles is another story though.)

    If indeed there are Philippine laws that prohibit him from participating in a protest action like that which happened at the SONA (which the Dept of Immigration says there is) then the law will just have to be enforced. The Dept of Immigration should show some teeth and take the requisite action instead of simply issuing media releases that the matter is under investigation. (What really is there to investigate further anyway? Is the photo of Van Beersum in front of the policeman’s face not enough evidence that he did participate in the rally?)

    Van Beersum, to me is a distraction from the more important issue, which is the continuing insistence of the FILIPINO leaders of these protesters in pushing the limits and transgressing the law every time they gather together to call attention to their cause/s. 

    Why is it not enough to march and hold their rallies where they are legally allowed to do so? Why is it so important to cross the line of policemen? To storm the insides of a public building or private corporate offices? And why damage public or private property in the process? 

    While Filipinos are right to call out the foreigner, Van Beersum, for violating the laws of the land, we should be just as adamant in demanding that our own fellow Filipinos, too, follow the law and show respect for their countrymen by behaving more responsibly. Those who lead these protest actions that lead to mindless violence and wanton destruction of public and private property should also be called to task for their reckless and irresponsible behavior and the appropriate charges brought against them.

    By all means, let’s send Van Beersum back to his parents but let’s also send some of our own behind bars, if need be. 

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, very good. Yes, indeed. Beersum was not the only adult delinquent in business on that particular protest day. And to this point of endless investigations. I am afraid that is a huge mystery to me. Ampatuan, four years. Taiwanese fisherman, off the radar screen. The “rubout” case looks like it is proceeding. The prosecutors argue that it is taking time because each of the 22 defendants has 8 lawyers. So that sounds like administrative delays, not delays in investigating the crime.

      When people talk about infrastructure, they typically think of roads and airports. But there is also infrastructure for matters of justice, and I am afraid they are very broken down and dilapidated. Speed is not seen here as an important element of justice so there are no rules mandating it. Or else the rules are ignored.

  2. andy says:

    And I admire you Joe for caring so much about my parents’ country of birth.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you, Andy. The Philippines is actually more my country now than the U.S. is, because the problems and the opportunities affect my family. Ha. And the brownouts cut me off from my computer.

      • ella says:

        If most people can do half of what Mother Teresa did, the world would indeed be a more wonderful place. This process will move faster if most of the rich people will do even just half of what Bill Gates is doing.

        For the likes of Van Beersum, I do not know what kind of creature is he.

        Napoles is another one of those creatures that is so indescribable and to think that she graduated as summa com laude???

        • ella says:

          Graduating is summa cum laude, I wonder what she learned … maybe to perfect flaunting the families wealth.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, perhaps her intelligence is wrapped within a sense of entitlement, or the illusion that it hurts no one to flaunt her advantages. Maybe it is just immaturity, but what do we say about her mother? Highly skilled in an arena the rest of us can only stand back and gawk at?

          • manuel buencamino says:

            How about that guy Robbie Antonio who got himself featured in Vanity Fair? If the Napoles daughter was flaunting, I don’t know what word to use for Robbie Antonio. But I guess I can excuse both those kids because they bought the glitzy material values being peddled by mass media. They are just dumb.

            But Beerbum, (is that name real?) is an entirely different case. He came in to my house and took over like it was his. That was his mortal offense. His ideology and all that, well, that’s his cross to bear and I don’t care what he does with it if he does it in his own home. I don’t care if he burns down his parliament because of what his government has done and continues to do to the Inuits of Greenland. But nobody comes into my home, specially not someone who came as a guest, and rearranges my furniture. He is being a rude and offensive guest. What he is saying may be true and the solutions he proposes could be right, but that’s not the point. It would have been different if he expressed his views from the Netherlands that would have shown his solidarity with other like-minded people. Then again thank God for young commies like him. They don’t know how to sell their ideology and so it will die in their hands.

          • manuel buencamino says:

            Ah good question Joe. I guess the answer to that is she claims she is better and she has the pictures to prove it. That’s a universe away from claiming to be better when the pictures tell a different story.

  3. Attila says:

    “we should be just as adamant in demanding that our own fellow Filipinos, too, follow the law and show respect for their countrymen by behaving more responsibly.”

    Thanks Cha. Sometimes I get the feelings that Filipinos believe in double standards only. When they break the law in the USA they are not embarrassed but encouraged.
    When it comes to protesters they don’t openly denounce the communist as they do at the Philippine independence Parade in New York. I was the only one who confronted them this year again but the “tolerant” Filipinos just told me to F*** off and tried to push me away. I explained the Chairman of the Parade that is it ridiculous to allow a loud mouth communist organization participate that has a vicious anti American agenda. He feels embarrassed about it but do not want to limit them. Interesting! One rule for white folks in the Philippines and another for Filipinos in the USA? Why not treat Filipinos who break the law in the USA the same as white foreigners who break the law in the Philippines. America should be just as sensitive as the Filipinos are to protect it’s own interest.

    • cha says:

      Well, I was just reading about this lawmaker, Tinio (Partylist -Teacher Act), this morning who said that Lorna Nicolas Lewis should not have been allowed to join the anti-China rally in the US because she is representing American interests. But when asked about Van Beersum, he said it was ok for the dutchman to join the SONA protest in the Philippines. Double standards it is eh?

      • Joe America says:

        I suppose that is why we have two sides of our mouths. If this continues, soon we will have forked tongues, too. Tinio is probably an advanced species, as humans evolve to become glib snakes.

      • ella says:

        Cha, now you understand how these so called commies think, double standard. I am just wondering why there are still thinking Filipinos that join them. Oh, I guess because they have nothing better to do according to their definition of “better” ha.

        With the way these commies in the Philippines are behaving, I am sure their numbers are becoming less and less.

        • Joe America says:

          Very good point. The numbers are becoming less, at least among NPA gangsters. But their extreme acts hit the news, and their spokespeople speak in such strident condemnations as to gain headline space. Journalists are free to report what they will, but I wish they would give these far-out thinkers the attention that their quality of thinking demands. That is, none whatsoever.

        • cha says:

          If it comes down to a war between their own country and their friend China, whose side are these people going to be on?

  4. edgar lores says:

    1. The two young people represent polar opposites.
    1.1. On one hand, you have an angry young man wanting to change the world and, on the other, a carefree young woman wanting to enjoy the world as it is.

    2. Question: If you could turn back time and had your druthers, what lifestyle would you choose?

    3. Yesterday, we spoke of desire. Today, we are confronted with the overwhelming question of philosophy and religion: Is there justice in the universe?
    3.1. The angry young man is on the side of justice. As a communist he would take “from each according to his ability” and give “to each according to his need”. In his pursuit of social justice, he would commit injustice against law and order and against a crying policeman who has suffered the injustice of not having a regular meal.
    3.2. And the carefree young woman? She probably is unconcerned about the question. If the news reports are correct, she is the beneficiary of a gross injustice visited upon the Filipino people. In her pursuit of the next passing fancy, she is unmindful of the injustice allegedly committed by her mother in cahoots with the honorable members of Congress.

    4. In the moral evolution of man, the angry young man may be seen to be a more evolved specimen. At least, he is absorbed by the plight of others, whereas she is simply self-absorbed.
    4.1. Greed, anger and ignorance. She is greed personified, he is anger, and both are ignorant.

    5. It is said that Mother Teresa, throughout her efforts for others, labored under a continual spiritual crisis. Perhaps this is not surprising. We cannot begin to guess how she managed to retain her faith in the midst of the horrors of injustice she witnessed.
    5.1. Bill (Agnostic? Atheist? Theist?) and Melinda Gates are a class act. Seeing a married couple who have gained the whole world and not to have lost their souls makes one believe – almost, perhaps, yes – that there must be justice after all.

    • Joe America says:

      Both you and Andrew, below, hit some marvelous insights on this group of people. Both of you seek the better, deeper, optimistic meaning rather than the simple “big, small” view put on the discussion table. I find Gates to be about the most uplifting guy on the planet. He does not HAVE to do what he does. He could cruise and snooze. I’d guess he is rich far beyond his billions.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      I was a recovering catholic and lost it completely 13 years ago when my family went into love crises because of tsismis and nasty gossips by catholic eng-gets. How could God allow his flocks to do such a thing to a successful family like mine? My face was teetering into bankruptcy when my professor math came in late and slam a book on his desk, “I’m sorry, I am late. I just cannot let go of this book.” He raised the book up. He waved it like bible in the hands of a priest. It was Dan Brown’s da Vinci Code. OMG! That book rocks. I couldn’t let go of it. I check every character in the book and they checked out. The events is horribly in color and based on facts. Well, majority of it.

  5. andrew lim says:

    I thought about it all day, and wondered what unified all four photos above- and it hit me just now:
    the search for meaning. All four of them are people in search for meaning. The Marxist Beerbum thinks he can find it in the struggle. The Napoles kid is looking for it in her material treasures, regardless of provenance.

    The Gates couple and Mother Teresa are doctrinally apart – Bill is an agnostic, and Melinda is a Catholic, though hardliners would consider her cafeteria, since she distributes contraceptives in Africa. But this couple decided to give away much of their fortune away, to causes which benefit millions. Mother Teresa dedicated her life to the suffering and was a loyal servant to Rome till the end.

    Beerbum and Napoles will most likely become disillusioned when they hit their thirties. Marxism’s greatest trick on mankind was to claim that its analysis and view of history was scientific, and for idealistic youth, finding an excuse to skip school and grow up by joining the cause is irresistible.

    The most meaningless? Napoles, for sure. But I love juxtaposing the Gates couple with Mother Teresa is a wonderful statement that meaning can be found both inside and outside of formal religion. Pope Francis must have been thinking of Bill when he mentioned “good atheists”.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, Andrew, your day of mental labor resulted in a gem of insight, the commonality that I for sure did not see: the search for meaning. And the juxtaposition of religion and agnosticism, Mother Teresa and Bill Gates . . . positively brilliant. Yes, I think “Beerbum” and Napoles have some tough lessons ahead of them.

  6. The Mouse says:

    Ah, the flying dutchman and the ‘social climber'(not really rich people pretending to be rich)

    • The Mouse says:

      Ive seen a youtube of Fernando Zobel de Ayala’s daughter working with Habitat for Humanity, and we see Napoles with…. “Hollywood stars”.

      • Joe America says:

        That’s good to know about Ayala’s daughter. Provides an important balance.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Daughter Ayala is tired of living the highlife. Either she works for their family of corporations, do the social circuit in the evenings, or, emitate BillGates like persona. We will never know. They could doppeldanger: One, to show an aura of humaness while the other is slavedriving the minimum-wage working class workers into insanity.

        They are like leftists gorillas: they fight for human rights and at the same time kidnappings, torture on the other

        Just like the church what has become today, in the beginning they were torturing and killing people by the millions now that they have controlled the minds of the people they sit back and laugh about it.

  7. nasescobar says:

    The noveau riche tends to flaunt their wealth however acquired. The truly rich who built their wealth through longs years of hard work tend to live understated lives aware of their obligation to their fellow human beings. A wonderful example is the Ayala daughter. The pork barrel lady and the congressmen allegedly involved in the scam have no sense of delicadeza really wanted to be envied not admired. Witness the SONA where the congress ladies parade with their finery like a fashion show. Disgusting. Summa cum laude, huh? There’s a Tagalog saying “Hindi kayat nag-aral e may pinag-aralan na”. My grandfather used to say pobre espiritu. Poor in spirit.

    • Joe America says:

      Your grandfather captures the essence of this blog in two words.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Wealth is a bait. To flaunt it is to catch big fish to marry. The old riche do not need to flaunt because they are already known to everybody. They speak goot englischtzes. They have fair skin. Designer nose by Vicky Belo. Just by sidling up to me for a light would instantly snare me into their web of wealth. If I did that on them I never even get as simple as “buzz off, punk”.

      That is why I have to dress up, look cool and wealthy even though my tummy is hungry so I can get a goot catch. Americans are the most charitable people on earth. They give away what they earn per capita than any other countries.

  8. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Philippines is top 20 happiest people on earth. Do not clappity clap your hands, yet. The top 20 happiest people on earth are from …. drum roll pleeez …. 3rd world banana eating countries. They must have made this moto etched into their heart “If life is a lemon, make a lemondade” Or, they are sooo used to miseries that they got soooo used to it that they have an appearnce of happiness. What I cannot understand in this index is Philippines have low life satisfaction. How can Filipinos be happy if their life satisfaction is nil ?

    • Joe America says:

      Perhaps happiness is keyed to hopes fulfilled and unhappiness is keyed to hopes unfulfilled. If your predicament offers up no hope, you can be fulfilled easily. Because they are fulfilled with little.

  9. JosephIvo says:

    Judging people isn’t always a straightforward act for me. First there is the initial sympathy/antipathy reaction, taking 0.3 sec for an average person. Then there is the style of communication: clumsy, slick, plastic, professional… . Lastly you reflect on the content, the message, the achievements. The more sympathy, the more likely you will appreciate the style, the more likely you appreciate the content.

    But eventually it’s all about content or achievements. To judge you need a reference frame. For me it is “Liberté – Fraternité – Egalité“. Freedom – Brotherhood – Equality. The optimum for the nation/group being more important than the optimum for an individual. One can bring the world a fish, a fishnet or a fishnet factory. One can bring a fact, have an idea, develop a law or construct comprehensive model.

    Let’s have a look:
    Sister Teresa: Sympathy low, saw only pictures of an elderly nun. Style, a little arrogant. Thoughts partly poor, e.g. “suffering is a gift of God, no pain killers needed”. Achievements for individuals enormous. Structural achievement limited. Nothing on Freedom or Equality. Stays a the individual and “fish” side of the scale but what she achieved there has no comparison.

    Bill Gates: Sympathy, looks a typical nerd, nerds are fine for me. Communication and style improved with age. I like his discretion, public appearances only with a clear purpose to achieve his goals. I don’t know his thoughts very well, but his achievement on “brotherhood” are more than enormous. He searches structural solutions to suffering more than individual alleviations. Equality for gender, sexual orientation, little on economic equality. Freedom, unknown to me. Thinks fish factories. Great individual, worthy role model.

    Young Dutchman: Antipathy spontaneous, his looks do not really help. Communication with typical Dutch arrogance, style out of place. Thoughts, fighting inequality and lack of freedom are very recommendable. (in the States CEO’s earn 270 times more on average than their workers and the inequality is still increasing, in the Philippines it must be more than 1000 times. So it was very rightful to question Pnoy intend to reduce this. Growth is not inclusive – yet?) Some of Marx reasoning is still valid, bur communist fundamentalist are unacceptable. Don’t know his thinking well enough to judge. I value highly his intentions to improve brotherhood, freedom and equality for the nation. His ideology tells fish factories but he still prefers showing (not bringing) fish, this might add to the frustration of the poor.

    Snobby girl: irrelevant in all aspects. The mother and mentor is extremely far on the negative side of the scale for brotherhood, corruption is not just stealing but stealing on a monumental scale, inequality is her goal. Unfortunately she is at the fish factory side in the wrong directions, setting up automatism to steal from the group for an individual.

    • Joe America says:

      Very good form for assessment (reaction, communication, content) and very perceptive, interesting interpretations. The Wiki profile of Sister Teresa contained a large section on criticisms of her work, but I fluffed over them. I’m glad you removed a bit of the fluff.

      Bill Gates introduced “casual dress” to American businesses. He started casual and felt no need to impose artificial formality. Also, he believed in an informal, collaborative, open-room development style, largely shorn of pretense and hierarchy. He struck many as a “nerd”, but his communication was anything but nerdy. And the content was spectacular.

      He brought the fish, the net and the factory. Napoles seems inclined to bring only the aroma..

    • edgar lores says:


      1. That’s an interesting set of criteria. Let’s apply them to two spiritual leaders.

      2. Liberty
      2.1. Jesus promised freedom from sin – but perhaps only in the afterlife. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
      2.2. Buddha promised freedom from suffering on earth. He advocated taking the Middle Way through which anyone can attain the ultimate freedom of Nibbana (Nirvana) but only after many lifetimes!

      3. Fraternity
      3.1. Jesus promoted brotherhood in the greatest second commandment: “Love your neighbour as yourself”.
      3.2. Ultimately, the brotherhood is exclusive: only those who believe and follow Him will go to heaven.
      3.2. Buddha founded a brotherhood of monks and recognized that not all men can be monks. Lay people can achieve enlightenment if they follow the Middle Way. Today, the sangha, which is the community of people who practice the dharma (teaching), consists of monks, nuns, lay men and lay women.
      3.3. The brotherhood is not exclusive: anyone can take up the Middle Way and do not have to belong to a sangha. Followers of different faiths have taken up the path (in particular, meditation and non-attachment) and have become better persons and better followers of their faith. There is no conflict because Buddhism is non-theistic, and it is more a practice than a religion.

      4. Equality
      4.1. Jesus sees all man as children of God united by faith in Him. He has admonished the rich and it is contentious whether he discriminated against homosexuals. Certainly all Christian sects see homosexuals as sinners. The main discrimination is against non-believers. And this discrimination is mirrored not only against other religions but by each sect against other sects.
      4.2. Buddha was a prince but he held that one becomes noble by one’s actions and conduct, and not through race or color. There is contention that Buddha was sexist in disallowing the ordination of women as nuns. However, he allowed that women can enter Nirvana as well as men. Today, institutional sexism is seen to be a vestige of Asian culture.

      5. Do I use a set of criteria when judging people? Beyond the initial chemistry, I’m not sure. I think there are two kinds of people: closed and open. I have to live with both because to a large extent everyone is closed and open – to learning, to enlightenment, to experience – at the same time.
      5.1. For all we know, the carefree young woman will make a greater contribution than the angry young man.
      5.2. If redemption is taken to be deliverance from ignorance (or sin), then both Jesus and Buddha have something to offer. “I once was lost and now am found.” Amazing grace.

      • JosephIvo says:


        I have difficulties in accepting one absolute theory, but I believe in effective theories, theories that can explain parts of the world around me (for the time being) and give me grounds for predictions of the future. As in engineering where many laws are only valid in a certain range, e.g. laws for turbulent flows at high speeds and for laminar flows at low speeds, I believe the same is true for more philosophical theories, they can explain certain areas of live but not all, e.g. in live there are also turbulent phases and more quite ones. At fringes, where theories overlap, they should not contradict.

        All I expect from a theory is that it should summarize observable facts in an elegant way in a wide enough range without too many preconditions. I accept that for a goldfish in a glass bowl the facts might look different and that for him not all object follow Newton’s linear laws. But I don’t like miracles or exceptions to a law, because that undermines its usefulness. I realize that my main criterion “elegance” is subjective, but in one culture their is often consensus over what defines it, e.g. we might have similar definitions for an elegant woman.

        Today’s science is at the forefront of developing elegant theories in many spheres of live. For me most religions are losing ground fast as the great explainers because their theories are not well aligned with observable facts and often incoherent. Explaining the origins of live, how to interpret time before the big bang, the reasons of suffering and pain, the perceptions of good and evil are elegantly explained by scientists, directly, often mathematically and without the help of ambiguous myths and parables. During the moments of brown outs and when it is raining I spent more time in trying to understand scientific theories than in my nostalgic reading of the bible or other religious works.

        Once I had an inspiring history teacher explaining the enlightenment and the French revolution, so I guess that I’m still stuck in it. Vive la liberté, la fraternité et l’égalité.

        • JosephIvo says:

          Oh oh, that was deep, don’t know if I really understand what I was saying or how it relates to your reply. I think that I had one glass too many of my just discovered Argentinean Pinot Noir wine .

          • Joe America says:

            Your explanation was actually most elegant, not to mention eloquent, with a fine, rather grape-like bouquet. Although drinking Argentine wine whilst quoting French . . . I dunno about that.

          • edgar lores says:


            1. You are fortunate to have had a teacher that understood the significance of the French Revolution. It was the ground upon which America was built. To this day, many people, including myself, do not realize the full significance.
            1.2. Just on Liberty: “We, each man but also each woman, are free by nature, and nothing – government, religion, or another man – should infringe on our freedom without our consent.”

            2. I must have some of your wine.

  10. bebot says:

    Mother Teresa and Bill Gates are fine examples of good breeding who know that ” charity begins” at home”. Van Beersum and Napoles daughter are fine examples of breeding gone awry

    As they say, children are the mirrors of their children. Children who are well mannered and respectful are best inculcated by their parents in terms of etiquette but children who are a nasty piece of work are left by their parents to do their own things without a guidance from them

    Parents have to be well- versed on the best method of up-bringing their children. They have to teach them from early age how to be polite and respectful to others, particularly elders. Teach them humility, charity and the spirit of service. Teach them to be caring and committed to family values

    If these teachings are not started from an early age and they see you do not live them, you the parent may be a victim of a self-centred child who turns out an uncaring adult.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I think that is true. And when you consider the social circles that the elder Napolese circulates within, senators and rich people, one can’t help but be dismayed that this is what the “best of the best” would generate through their teaching. I’m guessing the Dutch kid has the fundamentals of his culture, which can run to opinions held firm and fast and loud, and he just got out of control in the mob scene. Restraint was not in the parents’ lesson plan, perhaps.

  11. patrioticflip says:

    Everyone’s down on the Dutch guy. Okay, great. We can shit on this guy all we want, doesn’t change the fact that this country has a billion different issues that need more attention.

    Why can’t more attention be paid with the terrorists in the South, corrupt organizations like customs and PNP, kidnapping (which according to a friend is on the rise), primitive agricultural industry, unruly driving etiquette, journalists and even random people being murdered in front of their families?

    Have we no bigger battles? Why does this society keep getting sidetracked with these issues which ultimately mean little to the bigger picture?

    That Napoles girl is small fry compared to the hundreds of children of corrupt mayors and crime lords like Chavit Singson.

    I just came from a PDEA seminar, and they say the Philippines is THE top drug capital of the world. We have HUNDREDS of hidden meth labs in our cities and countryside. Ever wonder why we have so many drug mules?

    – patrioticflip

    • Joe America says:

      Well, the big issue dealt with in the blog is character. I don’t think that is trivial, or of sideline interest. The failure to “give” is at the root of many of the problems faced in the Philippines, and, indeed, elsewhere. My blog does not pretend to be a political advocacy blog, or have the ability to solve every problem you believe is important. Indeed it is the lack of a political agenda that keeps the blog honest. It is a multi-faceted look at cultural patterns, perspectives and experiences and tries to understand them. Like, I’ve done articles on cooking and birds and books and the weather – and politics and social issues – and will continue to do so. If you want a political advocacy blog, you can always start one, but this one has a different purpose.

      • patrioticflip says:

        I’m afraid I wrote out of anger after reading further into the Napoles case, her connections with senators, political killings and kidnapping. I understand what you’re trying to do. Thought about your post quite a bit as I headed home.

        Please excuse my rash response. -patrioticflip

  12. patrioticflip says:

    Thought you’d like an update on Napoles:

    “Those who know Janet Napoles’ “baby girl” – said to be a designer who studied at the very private Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, say she is driven around in Porsches, and only buys designer brands like Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel, Hublot, Herve Leger. A math savvy Spy Bits reader calculates that Jeane could easily wear millions on any given day considering that a Hublot watch alone can be worth half a million pesos, so what more if you throw in her shoes, her purse, her clothes, and jewelry?

    According to an account by, the 23-year-old Jeane is the registered owner of a 1,610 sq-ft, two-bedroom residential apartment at the tony Ritz Carlton Los Angeles estimated at P80 million pesos. Located at the Olympic Boulevard, the Ritz’s contemporary guest rooms at the 22nd to 26th floors are already oozing with opulence (as seen in the photo from the Ritz Carlton website), so how much more so the private residences located from the 27th to the 52nd floors of the hotel? Certainly, they are among the most luxurious and prestigious, “offering stunning views, world class amenities and the legendary services of the Ritz Carlton hotel” according to real estate specialist Signature Residence Worldwide.”

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