The Poe Files: A Little Matter of Parentage

grace poe

Grace with her father. Guilty of what, exactly? [Source: Inquirer]

I was perplexed the other day when, in a regular visit to Raissa Robles‘ fine blog, I got caught up in some kind of unspoken intrigue about Senator Grace Poe’s parentage. People there seemed to have some inside information they were trading in the backroom. I was blissfully ignorant about the matter.

Well, the bliss was short-lived because a kind person zipped me an e-mail to explain the situation. Here’s what my source said:

  • The Rumor on Poe basically runs like this: Grace Poe is supposedly the lovechild of Ferdinand E. Marcos and Rosemarie Sonora who is the sister of Susan Roces, the adoptive mother of Grace Poe. Ferdinand Marcos, as dictator, had a reputation of “bedding” women he fancied. Rosemarie Sonora is supposedly one of them. Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. refers to Sen. Grace Poe, in jest, as “sis.”

Ah, well, that perplexed me again because I did not see why a child (baby Grace) should have to bear punishment for the wayward ways of her biological parents. Those parents contributed nothing to her development except an exceptionally good brain.

Yet here Raissa’s ordinarily wise, kind and considerate readers were demanding DNA tests of a lady who has done nothing but demonstrate integrity. Their main fears seem to be that the ghost of Marcos will arise in Grace Poe.

Well, by golly, it creeps me out. Disturbs me immensely. It seems to me that Filipinos don’t trust Filipinos who merit trusting (like their President, for instance, or a lady senator of fine character), but do trust ghosts.

Raissa explained further, the essence of her remarks being:

  • Her parentage should not matter, I agree. Except that she has told everyone she was a foundling and unrelated to Susan Roces. . . . If she cant tell the truth about her parentage, what more is untrue?

You can read Raissa’s more elaborate explanation here, along with the related dialogue.

There are two points, it seems to me.

  • One, rumor-mongering behind the scenes, behind one’s back, is very poor journalism.
  • Two, Grace Poe is best defined by her acts and accomplishments, not by rumors or fears.

Rumor Mongering

I am very wary of the influence group behavior has on individual values. It can be good or bad.

It is good in this blog where the tenor of comments is typically high-road. Because the comments are mature and insightful, flippant people are inclined not to interject. They know they would look the fool if they did. So the group defines the values that individuals adopt, and they are good.

Group influence is bad if a mob gets out of control and riots or a bunch of school kids gangs up and starts to bully another kid. Or the on-line version of ganging up, like minds insulting anyone who disagrees. You know, like hyenas on a kitten.

In both the good and the bad cases, the individual bends his values to those of the group. The problem in a group gone bad is that an individual’s conscience is suppressed, or lost entirely. The group becomes unfeeling.

I adamantly resist the notion of ceding anything to a group, even one well-intended, such as a church. Or a group of blog denizens gone irrational. I’ve held that principle ever since I was 11 years old and was the only boy in the sixth grade class who refused to sign a petition that read: “Jennie Raye is a slut”. That little episode isolated me, as I remain today, and defined one of my core values for life.

I walk my own path. No one walks my path for me.

Well, I do fear people are trying to walk Senator Grace Poe’s path for her. Without having lived a day in her shoes.

Journalists ought not do that. They ought to interview the lady and ask respectful, intelligent questions.

Bloggers can do whatever they want, and be accorded respect or trust based on what they do. Not too many people mistake bloggers for journalists.

Grace Poe is Defined by Her Acts

I have no idea who Grace Poe’s biological parents are, believe it is substantially irrelevant as to who she is today, nor do I care if she puts up walls of fact or fiction to keep people out of her private life. She was raised by Fernando Poe and Susan Roces. They did a marvelous job. This is no spoiled young Napoles chick hip-hopping her leggy way across Hollywood, nor a shallow, showboating drama queen peddling her smile or body for millions. This is a teacher, a business woman, a public servant of superior intellect and character.

Please allow me a brief digression.

I have a dear friend, a Filipina born out of wedlock to parents who were together only a few weeks. She lived with her mother until she was 16, then went to live with her father so she could work for his relatives and continue her schooling there. Shame of shames, her half-siblings did not introduce her to others as their sister. They introduced her as “the new maid.”

Can you imagine how hurtful that was? That her own brothers and sisters denied her legitimacy as an individual. I do fear the Catholic tradition lays shame where it ought not reside. It is horridly cruel to innocents. And it is codified in Philippine Family Law that an illegitimate child is entitled to receive only a half share of a parent’s estate, whereas a “real” child gets a full share.

“GUILTY AT BIRTH!”, the Lord screamed.

Is Grace Poe a liar or a very aware, private person who is not interested in selling her soul to populist, sensationalist, shallow Philippine media? That is, is she a liar or a careful realist?

Her deeds as Chairwoman of the Movie and Television Review Board suggest she is very sensitive to the unfair burdens our society makes children bear. She implemented the rating system used today to advise parents of the content of each show that comes on screen.

Read this extract from Wiki to understand the good ambitions of this woman and why she garnered so many votes:

  • Poe is running in the election on an eleven-point platform focused on poverty alleviation, youth opportunity and electoral reform, promising to continue the legacy of her father. Specific policies she has advocated in the course of her campaign include the reintroduction of the national elementary school lunch program first introduced during the Marcos administration, the installation of closed-circuit television cameras in government offices, and stricter penalties against child pornography, continuing her earlier advocacy during her time at the MTRCB. In addition, she has also advocated against Internet censorship.

Had she not been born in “unwanted” circumstances, it is highly likely she would not be doing these fine deeds, or have the sensitivities it takes to make sure OTHER children get a kind, healthy deal.

What value, really, is dredging up these rumors – these titillating, sensationalist stories – that we overlay with judgments? Trying to live other people’s lives as if we could do it better than they could. Drawing off the wrong lessons. Punishing the innocent. I’d guess that is somehow easier if we were born of “normal” parental circumstance and pretend that somehow that gives us a higher moral ground.

It does not.

A huge share of the Philippine population was birthed out of wedlock, or comes from broken homes. And we want to take the best of them and punish her? Because of fears, of ghosts? Rather than what we can tangibly witness?

As a species, we humans are relentlessly foolish, arrogant and cruel.

My certainty that Poe is presidential material is solidified by the knowledge that she has unusual strength of character, has lived with her private issues, whether painful or pleasant, and feels no need to beg, whine, or play the victim. Indeed, she is willing to strive to do good deeds in a pit of snakes and self-dealers who would cut her down in a heartbeat to make their own platform seem higher.

We don’t deserve her, I think. We have not earned the right to judge her private life and choices.

I for sure won’t go down that path.

And I root for her to have every success in her chosen field of work: developing a healthier, kinder, more intelligent Philippines.

God knows we need it.

69 Responses to “The Poe Files: A Little Matter of Parentage”
  1. Dee says:

    Obama is of mixed race and raised by a single mother. Some people questioned his identity, his race, his nationality and anything they can think of when he was running for presidency. Most “truthers” believe he is an Indonesian Muslim. All of it did not really matter because voters did their homework and arrived at the conclusion that he will be a better president than his opponent.

    Of course, politics is different over there but her adoptive parents are very popular people. They could help her get votes from the starstruck. If they vote for the Marcoses, Estradas and Binays, I do not think they will have a problem with Poe.

    I like the sound of Poe/Aquino for 2016.

    I found this to be an enjoyable read so I will share it here:

    • Joe America says:

      Ahhh, it’s wonderful when the arts do history, rather a little surrealism in the immersion dancing, like that we do every day, real time, in the Philippines. The players, stars and bit part actors, are out amongst us, shakin’ and jivin’ up and down the aisles of surreality TV and bringing a smile to our cynical faces, just before we burst into tears.

      • Dee says:

        Ah. Maybe they should fly a few Filipinos for a touch of realism. As the author said, she did not get the “poverty and hunger” and “unequivocal condemnation” vibes from all the ruckus.

        I did not know that current president’s father dated Imelda before I read this article.

        • Joe America says:

          That was a startling bit of information. I wonder who dumped whom. I am reminded of how the families of the Philippines keep intersecting and intermarrying. How do they meet? Is there a family chat room, or what?

          • Dee says:

            Maybe my “Anarchy of Families” book will shed a light on that. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know what the journos have to say about it.

          • Tomas Gomez III says:

            I found a relevant entry point, Joe, to join the conversation.
            “I wonder who dumped whom,” you posit. Neither. When Imelda Romualdez came to live in Manila, she first stayed with an older first cousin, Daniel Z. Romualdez then serving as Speaker of the House to be some sort of older sister cum companion/glorified nanny to his children. it was also “Danieling” who found Imelda her first job. His wife, in turn, was a relative of the Aquinos of Tarlac. She was Paz Aquino Gueco. Solicitous of younger relatives’ future well-being, Imelda was being introduced to Manila society…..which then included the swashbuckling star journalist, Ninoy Aquino. They did see each other and had some platonic group dates. This was also the period in Imelda’s life when she was swept off her feet by the scion of an old upper class Manila family. He was Ariston Nakpil. But Imelda’s father had very serious objections—-Ariston had apparently been previously married! It was also soon after, Imelda still living with cousin Danieling’s family, when she was swept off her feet anew, this time, by the lothario Ferdinand Marcos, not knowing at the time of courtship and marriage that Ferdie was already a father of three (the son being named Ferdinand, Jr. — not Bongbong) and had the mother of his children …..the sainted and silent Carmen Ortega……living with him and his mother, Dona Josefa.

            Going back to Ninoy and Imelda, I recall Ninoy saying during moments of light banter….saying that he was attempting to match and fix a date with Ilmelda for Cory’s older brother, Pete, who just recently returned from Harvard and getting ready to take the helm of Jose Cojuangco and Sons Co. Inc. Pedro S. Cojuangco (Pete) was however rather shy and that Imelda towered over him. At that time, Ninoy and Cory were already an ‘item’ and foregone to be married.

            And so to return to “I wonder who dumped whom,” the answer is NEITHER.

            But isn’t that an interesting background to your musing “of how the families of the Philippines keep intersecting?…….”

            • Joe America says:

              Beyond fascinating. A picture perfect rendition of how families of a certain stature mix and match and keep the lineage growing in their favor. I’m glad you found this particular jumping in place. Do you have all this material written down, or do you simply pull it from your mental filing cabinet? If the latter, kindly put it on disc so we can take good advantage of the wealth of your engagements. Or perhaps you already have and I haven’t found it yet . . .

              • Tomas Gomez III says:

                *Joe…..Aside from personal recollections….”mental filing cabinet’.. from which I draw every now and then, there are existing resources and references which I have found useful. Among the very many books published, those written by Carmen Navarro Pedrosa, Katie Elyson, Primitivo Mijares, Charles McDougald and Betsy Romualdez Francia have been the source of confirmatory information and insights. A goldmine for me has been For Every Tear a Victory (McGraw-Hill/1964) publicly authored by Hartzell Spence with Marcos as the only source, ghost writer and editor (later reissued as ‘Marcos of the Philippines’).

                If you will send me through : (I only use this as my and I log on to it only when I am expecting a message) an email address to which I can send you a draft (s) which you may check on or use as additional references. These are not ready for public circulation. Hasta niyan….Amo la! (I am sure you have an in-house Waray translator!)

              • Joe America says:

                Thank you for referring me to these new sources of information. I’m in a desert void of information, with an oasis on the horizon. I indeed have an in-house Waray translator . . . if I can drag her off of Facebook and ogling the merchandise catalogs . . . I’ll send you a note, thanks.

    • Geng says:

      Yes, I think that a Poe/Aquino tandem would be unbeatable if we are to look at the possibility that it’d be mostly women who will vote for them.
      I chanced upon this column of Jose Ma. Montelibano last February 21, 2014 titled “Change the charter for us, not them.” It struck a familiar chord within me because it is similar to my idea that I wrote about the problem of landlessness in this country. Hope you’ll find the time to read it.

      • Dee says:

        Thank you. I read it and I agree with her with some reservations. I do not like the lawmakers having control of land issues and dictating who can and can not have it. I think it will be another way for them to get money now that they can’t pocket the pork barrel funds anymore. I think the lawmakers want to open the real estate market to foreign investors. There are pros and cons about that. What the author did not discuss is, in the past, with CARP, some land that was suppose to had been distributed to farmers was transferred to members of elite Filipino families. It sounded to me that the author did not want any of the land to be available to foreign investors but she did not say anything about local investors. The article is emotional but rather short on facts and references.

      • Dee says:

        By Poe/Aquino, I mean Grace and the current president. As raissa elaborated on her article, he can’t run for presidency but he can run as VP. I do not think Kris is ready to be a VP. She needs some government experience to be credible.

    • bendavid says:

      Unfortunately now the issue has once again come up regarding President Obama especially questioning his ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s best to settle these issues before one runs for the presidency otherwise one is hounded by it all throughout.

  2. cha says:

    It’s the kind of issue that can and will probably be used against her if she decides to run for President. It’s the nature of political campaigns these days. Think Obama and the birthers.

    It would be interesting to see how she handles the controversy when the time comes. It should give us another glimpse into the character of the person.

    The more rational voters, I believe, would rather assess her against a set of selection criteria that can indicate how a candidate would perform and conduct himself if elected. Hopefully they will consider character, capability and competence.

    Capability and competence are best judged through her actual performance in her previous posts and her current stint as a legislator.

    As for character, I might point out her handling of the dual endorsement she received from UNA and Team PNoy. That she turned her back on her own godfather and her father’s best friend Joseph Estrada and chose the latter because “she believes in the leadership of President Aquino for restoring trust in the country’s institutions” (abs-cbn, May 2013) says a lot about her character. Of course one can argue it’s more a strategic decision than a principled one, that she saw better chances for herself by attaching her name to Aquino’s. But if I remember right, both UNA and the admin ticket needed her more than she needed any of them at the time. She was riding on the strength of her own name rather than anyone else’s.

    Should her familial connections even matter? Maybe so, but we should probably look at the living rather than the dead, nearer and not farther, the nuclear family before the extended one. In a country that has seen one too many presidential spouses as greedy, if not more so than their elected partners and who had absolutely no compunction helping themselves to the nation’s kitty, we should know better where to start looking.

    • Joe America says:

      I think of life as a river that we ride, and one can acknowledge the influence of rocks long past, but one is better served by dealing with the rocks bearing down right in front of us, and looking past it for new rocks so we know which way to paddle. I suppose you are right, there will always be the extremists who hang logic on the irrelevant and call it truth. Birthers and racists and that ilk. I shall do my best to laugh and aim the sharpest ridicule I can type directly at them.

      I was amused by the pairing of Senators Santiago and Poe yesterday as they challenged the state’s witness for his inconsistencies, both senators being intense, skeptical, direct and to the point, and issuing forth quotables as lessons. Senator Santiago not long ago said she felt “maternal” to the young Poe as she wrestled the FOI Bill into shape. That is a superior endorsement, right there. I’m looking forward to the day when the mild but focused Poe cuts loose and chops some poor fool into mincemeat. Then I’ll know she is ready to chair a cabinet meeting.

      • cha says:

        I was just reading an article yesterday about the ‘backfire effect’ , where the presentation of evidence or reasonable argument to refute a fallacy only serves to further strengthen the believer’s commitment to it. Guess we’re not likely to see white flags of surrender anytime soon. You might be better off aiming your keyboard somewhere else. 🙂

        • Joe America says:

          I’ve recognized for some time that argument generally closes minds hereabouts (it is taken as insult or threat) rather than tantalizes them. So I try different forms of argument, anecdote, humor, ridicule, or even ranting, and hope that when people go back to their private world where they don’t have to show their manhood (or womanhood), then they will reflect a bit and actually think about what I have typed.

          Alternatively, I suppose I could hire a million monkeys and let them type, and then just publish those occasional words they produce that make some sense. While they are busy typing, I can read in a cottage at the beach . . .

        • edgar lores says:

          Ah, the backfire effect is a cognitive bias. Indeed, it’s difficult – nay, impossible – to make people change their minds. Unless the Pope speaks ex cathedra (authority). Or the wife withdraws certain privileges (reverse bribery?). Humor is generally an effective and instantaneous way of making people see differently. Ridicule rarely works for Pinoys; it just makes them dig deeper. Ranting does the job if you are in a power position. Humility does work wonders. When reading, a passing passage that aligns with previously unrealized truth might trigger a eureka moment.

          For Filipinos, an appeal to some emotional event might trigger a revelatory gestalt. In this case, such a triggering appeal might be: “The father was denied the presidency because of questions about his origin. Must the daughter suffer the same fate?”

          • Joe America says:

            I suggest the Poe campaign team sign you up right away. Maybe they can shift some of that rumored Marcos cash to your secret bank account.

          • cha says:

            I agree, ridicule doesn’t work. In this case, it is also undeserved. Most of the CPMers, I believe, are decent and well-meaning people who want the same things we want for the mother country. I might have come across an ego-tripper or two there but Rene never struck me as one. Raissa is an investigative journalist and as such her first instincts when presented with a curious piece of information is to dig deeper and get to the bottom of things. Just thought I needed to point that out too.

            • Joe America says:

              If anything said here reads as ridicule of CPMers, that would for sure be wrongly written or read. I respect that group and Raissa. Now exasperated, that would be a correct readout. Ridicule I would reserve for Bayan Muna and this senator or that. You know, the hopeless cases that deserve a rock thumped off of their concrete blocks. Not that they would notice it, but others might. Mostly I think we generally always are speaking to friends and fence sitters. Not opponents. Not winning cases in battle, but shaping the direction of waves.

  3. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    OH, LA LA !!! Joe’s blog today reads like Parsifal Mosaic. I just cannot put it down but I have to stop to contribute my PDAF worth of comment.

    1. By Blood;
    2. By Association;
    3. By who is in the picture;
    4. By turo-turo by U.P.-run Philippine Media
    5. By Affidavits of Dal-dal and Pang-damay
    6. By Witness Accounts;
    7. Remember San Miguel received a white envelope in Wack-Wack in the ZTE Heydey? Yeah, San Miguel was accused of receiving bribe because he was caughted with his finger in a White Envelope. NOBODY KNOWS WHAT IS INSIDE THE WHITE ENVELOPE but it was ENVELOPE. And in the Philippines ENVELOPE not only contain letters but MONEY. As to how they knew it was a bribe, NOBODY KNOWS. But it sure is GROUND FOR SENATE HEARING AID;

    Wheeeeew !!!! I do not know Grace Poe. I do not care who her father was. As long as she is a brilliant traditional-looking browned-skin punk’d nose Filpina that is all that matters.

    FILIPINOS do not have pride in themselves because the UP-run Philippine Media promotes half-breed American Import beauties to represent 98% of browned-skin punk’d nose pinoys in Miss Universe and a Canadian for Miss International.

    They are also confused patriotically. They love Philippines but wanted to live in America and speak Americanese. Wear American. But watch ‘toopid Filipino Channel and read Free-for-the-Taking Filipino Newspapers in America.

    Me? I read PHilippne newspapers not to be informed but for its entertainment value.

    • Joe America says:

      Hey, man, I was feelin’ it. Grace is perhaps not brown enough for your liking, and her nose is not so punked, and she is seriously normal, well-valued and intelligent. She might not give you much to jaw about. 🙂

  4. andrew lim says:

    I agree with the main arguments of this article, but let me just make this distinction with regards to the proven offspring of Ferdinand and Imelda who are into politics: the disdain and disgust is legitimate because the issues are valid: the use of the alleged ill gotten wealth for their campaigns, and their plan to revise history and erase the atrocities of the Marcos regime.

    I am just pre-empting the neo-Marcos loyalists from appropriating the same argument for Bongbong, Imee, etc.

    While morality and integrity are arguably not genetically passed on, a descendant who tries to resurrect and revise the past as desirable ought not to be given a pass.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, but I believe if we look at Ms. Poe, she has already passed the “good values” test by her deeds. What other “Marcos” would so diligently pursue FOI so that people KNOW where the money is going? For the remaining skeptics, the correct way to deal with it is to ask forthright questions of Ms. Poe or others. My “litmus test” questions would be: “What is your take on Philippine efforts to recover stolen Marcos loot?” And “What do you think of the neo-Marcos movement arising in the Philippines?”

      It simply is not wise to take a woman who appears to be among the best of the best and then disparage her because of our fears. It is too much like racism or sexism to me, that a separate, earnest individual is held to account for the wayward deeds of OTHER people. It just ain’t right.

    • I, too, waded (as Mary) in the rumor mill (as Joe, put it), already ongoing in raissa’s blog . I put myself in the shoes of all those, who as he mentioned, lived in fear of ghosts. I dived in and gave out my own ideas.

      I voted for her as senator, notwithstanding the rumor, as I observed her in various interviews and she came out articulate and intelligent . But as I said, I can understand those fears and reservations tossed around in the discussion and expressed it in the said blog concluding that I’m willing to listen and would like to keep an open mind. Those fears are based not on the fact that Grace was a foundling, that would be cruel if that is simply so, but on real or imagined fears that when pressured by the Marcos family, she will be influenced on those valid issues like the burial of the former president, and yes, the ill gotten wealth, recovery of which is not yet complete to this day… issues which Joe proposed to be asked both from Grace and Bongbong at the same time and to observe their responses.

  5. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Raissa is indulging herself over the weekend with Crabs, I guess. Crab is goot. If it were not for Crabs PDAF would not have been uncovered. We got Ruby Crabs, too! Thick exoskeleton with rich yellow coronary fatty Roe to wade on. And that arrogant smug looking hippie dude that styled himself as BenHur.

    Crabs fails if Queen Crab divvied up her stash equally. Queen Crab Napoles is not graduate from University of the Philippines but she seem to have an idea how to cover up her tracks like Bernie M.

    Do I think Napolels is the brain of this considering the intricate layered sham corporations? NO! Gotta be someone brilliant enough in the Senate that knows the works not some mere mortal that call herself Napoles.

    The mastermind is in the Senate. BUT U.P.-RUN MEDIA WOULD RATHER STOP AT NAPOLES INSTEAD OF DIGGING DEEPER afraid what they might uncover they may be straing at a double-barrelled shotgun.

    Yes, Raissa is only goot in pOLITICAL ANALYSIS like other columnists do. BUT CAN NEVER ANALYZE to answer the question, “WHERE DID NAPOLES GIT THE BRILLIANCE OF COVER-UPS?”


    Grace Poe is a victim of a lady crab. This time crab fails and failed miserably.


  6. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I did not read Raissa’s dredging of Grace Poe’s dreg nor read it but her tirade is normal of eng-get crab Philippine Journalist.

    Filipinos eng-get if anyone is:
    1. prettier than them;
    2. wealthier than them;
    3. brighter than them;
    4. Anything that is greater than them make any Filipino crank up their crab feelings.

  7. edgar lores says:

    1. Were we not we just discussing crab mentality yesterday? And, yes, rumor-mongering is one of the best tools for pulling people down.
    1.1. Used effectively, it may be silent as a whisper, and deadly as a stiletto.
    1.2. Note to self: may be used in anti-Binay campaign.

    2. The Filipino propensity for gossiping is well-known. The rumor mill is as busy, if not busier, as the rice mill and the sugarcane mill. The yield may neither be as nutritious nor as sweet but it gives one the satisfaction of possessing a juicy morsel of “knowledge” – even a kernel of “truth – which others don’t.
    2.1. Nothing titillates like tittle-tattle.

    3. The propensity is nurtured at an early age by the neighborhood gossips, fanned in teen years by movie magazines, and entrenched in adulthood by the columnists of broadsheets.
    3.1. Not only by the chatty columnists of the Entertainment section but more so by the earnest columnists of the Opinion section.

    4. The point of not ceding anything to a group is well made.
    4.1. To relinquish personal sovereignty is to surrender personal integrity.
    4.2. Filipinos, with their group mind and hive culture, do not understand this. Yet.
    4.3. The group mentality offers false psychological security and a tenuous sense of belonging. It is particularly virulent in religion and in blog sites.
    4.4. Self-reliance is the antidote to group mentality, and it is a solution to many of the cultural defects we suffer from.

    5. The matter of Grace’s origins should be of no moment. I agree. But such is the nature of politics that even this early the “issue” has raised its ugly head. People will demand to know the “truth”, but even if it be known, it will not set them free.
    5.1. Obama? Think further back in history. Think immaculate conception. Or immaculate misconception. Whatever. It could be that Grace, like Mary, is the product of an immaculate conception, given into the loving care of Susan and Fernando.
    5.2. Now begin spreading the rumor.

    • Joe America says:

      My, my, the Edgarisms here, the quotables . . .

      “Filipinos, with their group mind and hive culture . . .” Wonderful characterization. I can’t quite get some observations into focus and you come along and positively nail it.

      Well, maybe we CAN take this birthing issue and splash it into the headlines to leverage Ms. Poe into the forefront of tittle-tattle Filipino conversations and directly into the Presidential campaign. . .

      Immaculate conception just . . . might . . . be . . . a . . . bit . . . of . . . a . . . stretch . . .

    • Bert says:

      Well I’m sleepy and dense at this time of night and no idea what you guys are talking about but my crystal ball tells me Senator Grace Poe has a legit birth certificate stating Fernando Poe, Jr. and Susan Roces as the parents. No immaculate conception there or a basket of reed that’s for sure because my crystal ball seldom missed. I would suppose there will be demand for a DNA test but I will have to consult with my crystal ball to know that.

  8. chit navarro says:

    Thank you for this article. Yes, indeed, what good will it give the country if we focus on her past? She says she’s a foundling – who are we to contradict that? It is a given fact that most adopted children are not told their “real” circumstances – there must be a reason why Susan Roces would tell her the story of a foundling, if that is not the truth. And Susan has always been the dignified lady of show business.

    Grace Poe is proving to be an excellent Senator – and she’s doing great in ongoing PDAF controversy.

    With a little nudge, she maybe what the country needs, when the populace is ready to embrace a person for what she can give, not what was given to her at birth.

    • Joe America says:

      Every time I see Senator Poe in action or read about her views on things, I am struck by the focused, earnest, common-sense, right-minded intelligence she displays. It is just astounding to me that people are willing to cast dirt on perhaps the most precious jewel in the congress.

  9. brianitus says:

    Uncle Joe, just a note on your article. I think it’s more out of family pride (hiya) more than just Catholic tradition. Plus, since when did Catholic morals play a part in public office? Didn’t we get a gambler and womanizer to sit in Malacanang before? Just saying.

    As for Grace Poe, a little more seasoning, please. Get that FOI passed. On her other advocacy, I’d like to see her school lunch program see daylight. Then she should push to scrap that CCT. I’d rather spend money on kids.

    For me, let’s not rush things. I know she may look good today, but what are the chances she’ll eventually get eaten by the system if she decides to seek higher office?

    • Joe America says:

      A wise perspective. My bounce-back:

      Catholicism in the Philippines seems to me to blend with the culture of favor and power, mixing piety and forgiveness of sins into an interlacing of substantially amoral behavior. So if you had a good spy, you could watch Gloria Arroyo hanging with bishops in the morning and dipping into the taxpayer till in the afternoon. So the religious condemnation of sex outside the marriage or babies out of wedlock gets twisted to attach “spoiled” to an illegitimate child, nevermind that the child is as innocent as Jesus in the manger . . . and who really knows His parentage . . . it is taken on faith.

      You are right, Grace Poe is light on seasoning. (Typical analysis, I might add, for someone whose mind rambles freely between politics and food.) But 2016 is crucial, and the cards must be played as they lie. If Roxas is chosen by President Aquino to carry his program forward, and Roxas loses because he simply is not popular, then we go to dust under Binay. I’d rather sweep Poe into office on popular appeal and bet on her to rise to the challenge of the job, than cast the dice with Roxas. Or, alternatively, show me the polls that says Roxas will win handily and I’ll back him.

      Everyone else seems to me to be largely mediocre pretenders, although I stand open to being convinced otherwise by good argument.

      • brianitus says:

        Hahaha. Aye! Politics and food are typical Filipino interests.

        Yes, I do get your point. I do not like what I am seeing for 2016. Aside from what I think you’ve seen, I still think someone is grooming a presidential sister for public office. More of like a backup plan at this point.

        As for practice of Catholicism, I do have my misgivings with the institution. I mean, if one is really to practice what the church says, then we won’t have any problems today. Too much go to church for show, do other things (even the nasty ones) for dough.

        • Joe America says:

          Have you considered entering politics? It might take your mind off of girls and food. I’d vote for you . . . If I had a vote . . .

          • brianitus says:

            Hahaha. Nah, I’m happy with my food. Politics and women, now those are for the traditional politicians.

            Maybe we can form a new country in a tropical paradise. We’ll use coconuts as currency. If you get tired of saving them, you can eat them.

  10. Joseph-Ivo says:

    If Rene-Ipil #35 story in Raissa Robles is true, that Poe has a secret Marcos fund, than the story gets a little different. Than it is not nature versus nurture, but nurture knowingly with or without stolen money.

    • Joe America says:

      That is interesting, and within realm of reason if Marcos had a heart for all the kids he sired. On the other hand, if it is just a story, what damage would be wrought by taking it as true? I shall continue to hang my hat on her deeds, here and now, and let the diggers dig, and the Poe deal with life in a public spotlight.

      • Joseph-Ivo says:

        My mind is definitely much too small to understand Philippine politics. A convicted plundering president elected as major, Caetanos as party members of Ferdinant Marcos jr. (shouldn’t they do a “Pimentel” first? Zubiri’s cheating was peanuts compared to Marcos’), Enrile involved in cigarettes smuggling in the ‘60’s – after 50 years of dubious dealings – still in the senate… The list of mysteries is endless.

        All we saw from Poe is quite light, in line with the light stuff of all her colleagues. The real decision are not made in the Senate or House of Representatives it seems.

        Aren’t we only seeing the puppets? And who are the puppeteers? What is their scenario? Whom will serve their interests best? What’s next, what will be their timing to reveal the next killing rumor? Or is it just all “organic” bubbling and fermenting of loose ideas?

        What I miss most are vocal pressure groups around ideas, a civil rights, a tea party, NRA, greens, woman rights… The only thing we hear is who is doing it with whom (it being fathering children and creating political deals and real political deals are only related to rent, the rest is show time) So yes, I agree, let us concentrate on deeds and ideas.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, but you answered the question yesterday, in a different thread. It is not really politics in a democratic sense. It is the playing of power and favor in a family sense. I never quite grasped the concept of the Philippines as a feudal state until you laid out the family dynamics so well yesterday. Now I see that the Mayors and Governors are really earls, and the family of the President and VP are princes and princesses. The senators are dukes and the house is rich with knights ala Pacquiao, there because they tilted at this windmill or that. There is a lot of cross-breeding, not for love, but for power and pragmatics. Thus the wife of a duke might put up with his 83 affairs with other women to remain in her castle and play in the royal sand box.

          Yes, the deeds and ideas, and what sense of character we can draw from them.

        • edgar lores says:


          I would suggest that your mind is not too small but rather too grand, your sensibilities too refined to stoop down to the reptilian level of Philippine politics.

          Your mind is a super-tooled instrument that sees light where seemingly there is just cloud and mist, that sees patterns where seemingly there is disarray, that sees viable rational solutions where seemingly there is no remedy.

          The chaos of Filipino politics is a prehistoric landscape far beneath the corporate milieux to which you are accustomed. Beneath the barong tagalogs and butterfly-sleeve gowns, Filipinos have scaly coverings, forked tongues and fanged teeth.

    • edgar lores says:

      I went and read #35.

      1. The depth of political intrigue continues to astound.
      2. The ghost of the failed Dictator seems to haunt the nation.
      3. The characters, elements and themes would make good fiction – and, unfortunately, makes bad reality.
      4. “In this country, power and family fortunes are locked in an incestuous embrace.” – Ana Marie Pamintuan, Philstar columnist, December 4, 2009.
      5. The Poe rumor seems to be quite widespread as attested to by Google. From what I have read, Grace has reacted with humor and grace.
      6. For some reason, I am peripherally reminded of the intrigue – the plotting, the deception, and treachery – surrounding the death of General Luna.
      7. If I were Grace, would I take a DNA test to satisfy you people? Are you crazy? What? And confirm my worst fears that I am a vampire?

      • Joe America says:

        Careful now Mr. Lores. The next widespread rumor will be that she is a vampire, because, after all, it was written by someone, and can be referenced. (Note to self: research as to whether that remark is ridicule or satire.)

  11. you, sir, is a rare cut among the rest, a gem indeed…..I can feel you from here….thank you for continually inspiring my mind and my zest to see this land rise up again….kudos

    • Joe America says:

      Why, thank you Annalissa, I think I’ll head for the beach now, seeing as how you have just made my day.

      • Geng says:

        There will always be rumors that’s going to be resurrected about Grace Poe’s past but I think the most important thing we must concentrate on is how to stop the imminent presidency of Jejomar Binay if no one as eligible, or as credible, as her can be found.
        Cayetano still lacks a formidable political machinery to back up his plans and Mar Roxas this early is way, way behind in any race, even a relay race, he’s planning to compete on.
        She may lack experience for the position but our current President was also criticized for being the same, But look at how he transformed himself!

        • Joe America says:

          Cayetano is on the agenda for discussion next week. He’s an interesting case, I think, rather slipping quickly past the dip in Roxas’ popularity before the political machines get cranking out their propaganda. Smooth move on his part.

  12. I heard that a long time ago but I refused to categorically believe without hard evidence. Assuming– again just thinking aloud– that the rumored lineage is true and she’ll run for president, there are some things that deserves discussion about it– campaign finance and patronage if ever.

    If she’s indeed a scion of “that man,” there’s a huge chance that a huge bulk of campaign would come from the coffers of “the same man.” ASSUMING she wins, she would have to reward the descendants of “that man” and loyal cronies of her rumored father with prominent government positions.

    Not judging her bloodline. Just stating some possible scenarios with respect to the usual practices in Philippine politics.

    P.S. after typing this comment I read the discussion on robles’ blog. If she was born in ’68, then the rumor can’t be true coz the commenters said the affair happened in the early 70s. Unless her birth certificate was faked…….

    IF NOT TRUE, then I’ll be back to being a cynic spectator of Phil. politics/gov’t telenovela, and a potentially contented voter of Poe.

    • Joe America says:

      As I recall, her large chunks of senate campaign money came from about 20 different people or organizations. It was spread out, not like Angara who got P40 million from his father. If it was Marcos money, it was spirited through some pretty upstanding people and organizations.

  13. J says:

    Amen, Joe.

    The Marcos-Sonora story is nothing but urban legend. I’m surprised it actually stuck. But even Poe isn’t taking it seriously. She jokes about it, calling Bongbong Marcos “bro” in the Senate.

    Still, even if true, so what?!

    Grace grew up a Poe, not a Marcos. She has the values of a Poe, in the same way that Manolo Quezon, who’s also adopted, lives up to the great name he’s been bestowed with.

    It’s a non-issue.

    • randedge says:

      Funny, I was just talking to someone about something like this fairly recently…

      While I totally agree with you, I do wonder whether how the Pinoy Masa will react? The Philippines after all is a country where Filipinos brag about whatever foreign blood they have, regardless of whether it’s real, imaginary, or too far down the line to matter. OR, if it concerns a “foreigner” who’s born and raised elsewhere, they then look for Filipino blood! …as though it’s evidence of Pinoy-ness.

      Citizenship and identity, it seems, is regarded as a simple matter of lineage, rather than having it earned and learned.

      I believe Joe already pointed this out in writing about Jessica Sanchez’s stint in American Idol.

      As the purveyor of pith in these here discussions, allow me to post this old meme up.

      There is almost a telenovela-like fascination with blood ties and genetic lineage.

      • Joe America says:

        That’s it, randedge, exactly. The educated, involved, socially aware individual can sort out that Senator Poe is her own woman, but the masa tend toward ghosts.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, it is so simple. Yet people pursue it with a passion. I’ve tried to reframe the issue in a new blog today.

  14. Bert says:

    If she runs for president and this rumor persisted, legions of Marcos loyalists will gravitate to her campaign and that’s a plus factor for her already. If the polls show her potential of winning is quite good as oppose to Roxas failing popularity, it’s quite possible that the administration of President Noynoy might endorse her candidacy as the standard bearer of the administration party against Binay’s UNA or whatever party Binay will be forming. I agree with Cha that Binay is digging his grave. By announcing his choice of Pacquiao in his senatorial line up and Jinggoy as his vice-president, indeed he is digging his grave already this early.

  15. letlet says:

    It has been reported by some newspapers that more than four decades ago, Grace Poe, as the baby girl,l was found by a woman in the catholic church in Iloilo City to pray when she dipped her fingers in the font for holy water.

    She informed the parish priest, Fr. Jaime Sin, ( who later became a cardinal) She turned the baby girl over to Father Sin, who turned the girl over to a rich family. This rich family, a great fan of FPJ, turned over the baby girl to FPJ and Susan Roces.

    During the election campaign in April and May 2013, aboard a plane on her way to Iloilo City to join a Team Pnoy rally, Grace was seated beside a priest who told her that a woman from Canada, whom he knew, wanted to meet her Grace gave the priest her telephone number and a few days after, she and the woman ( Nanay Chayong who found her in Iloilo City catholic church) met.. Grace confronted Nanay Chayong to settle the issue of her parentage but the woman didn’t really know.

    During the martial law, there were rumors that the baby adopted by the Poe was a child of an actress- sister of Susan Roces and Ferdinand Marcos. It is only these days that the rumors are proven to be just that – rumors.

    Links / Sources;, Grace Poe’s destiny is written in the stars, posted on June 16, 2013
    Philippine Daily inquirer, The Grace and the Burden of her name, Fe Zamora,, January 4, 2014

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, letlet. It is amazing how we sometimes assign more truth to rumors and fiction than to what we know.

      That’s a great Filipino news site, too. Out of Michigan. Chicago, the city that marches to its own beat. Fantastic. I wasn’t aware of the publication and will add it to the Philippine Blog Center roster.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] The difference in perspective actually arose a few months ago when I inadvertently waded into a discussion on Riassa Robles’ fine blog about the parentage of Senator Poe. I wrote a blog about it, which gets a lot of reads still today: “The Poe files: a little matter of parentage“. […]

  2. […] The Poe Files: A Little Matter of Parentage, March 7, 2014. Considers the rumor that Grace Poe is the love child of former President Marcos and makes the statement that a person should be judged on his or her own merits and deeds, not by association, and certainly not by rumor. Strongly endorses Poe. […]

  3. […] is true for Senator Marcos, I might add. However, that’s a different blog. [Refer to: “The Poe files: a little matter of parentage“, and to: “Poe Part II: Do Filipinos grasp […]

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