Mar Roxas and weaknesses in Filipino character

mar-roxasLet’s get ready to RUMBLE!

The recent incident of Mar Roxas being captured in a photograph slipping on a motorcycle while not wearing a helmet is to me representative of bad character. Not for Mar Roxas. But for his critics.

Ridicule is a common feature of Philippine character. It is an element of “amoral interdependence”, or the crablike way Filipinos deride others to raise themselves up. It starts in elementary school, which you can witness when you see kids laughing at their schoolmates who hurt themselves or otherwise mess up. It is compassionless.

This use of ridicule is widespread these days, not just in the Philippines, but in social media everywhere. It is not healthy. It is a disease. It is the opposite of compassion, a worthy human character trait. You don’t find much compassion in a hyena, either, I suppose. Or a crocodile.

I would venture that those who ridicule Mar Roxas:

  • Were not in the storm, and have no idea what it was like to deal with that beast.
  • Do not have the same sense of accountability that Mar Roxas exemplified in using any means possible to get to the heart of need. So they miss the context entirely, and have a weak ability to discern anything that does not involve them.
  • They are political opponents or crabs, and don’t mind stepping on others to raise themselves up.

A bigger-hearted person would give Mar Roxas credit for: (1) not giving up in the face of ruined roads from a hellish storm, and (2) demonstrating the Aquino Administration’s accountability to getting storm preparation and recovery done right. To me, Mar Roxas is like the soldier whose helmet got shot off but he advances anyway. Any way at all.

Kudos to Mar Roxas. He solved the problem. He persevered. He displayed courage and commitment.

Boos to those who would ridicule his huge effort over a petty matter of attire. Mar Roxas had more concern about storm victims than his own well-being, and for this we will ridicule him? Hey, that was a nasty storm and people were in trouble. Mar Roxas understood.

Along with a well-developed penchant for ridicule, poor discernment is another weak character trait among way too many Filipinos. That’s why we have boxers and thieves as legislators. It’s why Senator Santiago runs high in the ratings for presidential candidates AMONG THE WELL EDUCATED. Because emotional stability, physical health, and managerial skill have no bearing on job qualifications even among supposedly enlightened Filipino voters. Rather, they like the “style”, the quip, the joke, the overblown sense of rectitude arising every time Senator Santiago takes a cut at someone else.

You know.

Every time she ridicules them.

 

Comments
164 Responses to “Mar Roxas and weaknesses in Filipino character”
  1. edgar lores says:

    *******
    Awww, you’re back. We were having so much fun!

    There was some shirt tearing, vigorous lexical posturing, a display of true heart, and the exercise of mental muscles… but no one got hurt.

    As to Mar, he certainly cannot be called pusillanimous… unlike the front-runner.

    Sometimes it takes a calamity to show the true worth of a man.
    *****

    • Joe America says:

      Well, to be clear, I am not yet caught up on the tome of dialogue that josephivo stirred up. He aspires to eclipse your troublemaker standing, I guess.

      Also, thank you for the word derivation lesson, in another comment, and used herein in the long form. I clearly had that one wrong.

    • Moises says:

      For me Mar has no problem. His wife is the source of all the problem he is now facing. In every man’s success or failure, there is always a woman behind it and that is the wife or a mistress.

  2. Thank you, Joe America. This piece is a breath of fresh air amidst the incessant storm of detractors hounding Mar Roxas.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ve hounded him in the past, too, for his photo shoots. But it is wise to sort out when he is really being extraordinarily dedicated to doing an important job. Grant him credit when due, not bow mindlessly to stereotypes.

      • vernon says:

        This unforgivable misuse of ridicule by the Filipino is one big flaw in his character. It’s also one of the reasons why, sometimes, I would skip Teddy Locsin’s takes. That guy can be so unforgiving.

        Glad to have you back, Joe, safe and sound.

        vernon

  3. josephivo says:

    So we can bury the heavy artillery again and just catch the next wave. Welcome back.

    My first real job was as maintenance supervisor in an enormous petrochemical plant. At a yearly shutdown our team had a huge delay. I was helping were ever I could and felt great. In the middle of the night the plant manager saw me helping to tighten screws with a 10 inch screwdriver and he exploded in anger: “Why was I wasting my time with something everybody could do, he hired me as supervisor to organize, not to tighten screws. I should get at the phone call for help. Drop that screwdriver now, get to your office and get things organized! And yes with 15 extra people later that night we made it in time.” This episode was running through my head when I saw the picture.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that is a worthy point. Where can a general do the best job, on the battle line where it is dangerous, or back behind the lines in a sheltered bunker? I viewed his dedication to getting through an otherwise impassable road to be indicative of how seriously the Aquino Administration takes doing a better job on dealing with disasters. Don’t watch, removed, from Manila. Only political enemies like the Romualdez clan would criticize this kind of dedication to the vulnerable communities, I think.

      • josephivo says:

        I agree that I shouldn’t criticize from my easy chair. It is always a difficult decision, do I need first-hand information, need to see it with the heart not only with the mind, motivation of the frontline troops, perception in the home newspapers… a lot to consider. We all have to give him points for trying hard and falling when on two wheels we all did many times, especially in embarrassing situations.

        Stealing billions should get a billion times more attention. Too many Filipinos can not read a scale.

        • Joe America says:

          Yep. I think those of us who were hard hit by this storm appreciate what Roxas was trying to do. Impassable roads. Mud. Wind. It was a very real and very dangerous storm. I’ve decided that terms like “tropical storm” and “typhoon” are misleading. Even the ratings of 1 through 5 are shorthand. Different locations have different threats. Roxas was out there . . . he was not doing a selfie . . .

        • I think it’s modern humans in general have a hard time thinking of very large numbers. When someone steals a million we have a problem summoning a thousand times more indignation for someone who steals a billion,

    • Have to view this through the lens of the publicized failures of Yolanda response. I believe one of these failure is the failure in communication between the frontliners and the command center. This created the situation where Mar was telling foreign correspondents that everything was fine in contrast with what the foreign journalist personally experienced. We always fight the battles that we previously lost. In this case if you cant trust the messenger then at least send someone you can trust. In this case it was himself. (If this is the case why the hell can he only trust himself). I try to be as objective as I can and I think Mar was being earnest in his desire to not have another Yolanda. I think he is not a psychopath/sociopath and Ruby is away to exorcise the personal demons brought about by Yolanda. I think it was a form of therapy for him. I think people who was in the hardest hit part where suffering from PTSD or even extreme debilitating stress. Noy should have really had them rest and brought on less stressed people. The fact that they did there jobs nonetheless speaks at least to the dedication of the people of Mr Aquino.

      • Joe America says:

        Very, very well said giancarlo. I agree point by point by point. The “therapy” point is particularly insightful. He was motivated in a very serious way, and those not in his shoes may not grasp that. They play the flippant card when he does not deserve that.

  4. R says:

    A nice, even-handed take on the situation. The problem right now is that it’s cool and fashionable to ridicule Mar, even if he’s doing everything right. Why be fair when you can be cool?

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I believe you are right, R. One either decides to be a lemming and risk going off a cliff or one decides it is better to think things through and go forth as an individual, not susceptible to mob rule.

    • Mike Acuña says:

      R., you’ve just exemplified one of the basic weaknesses in human nature. We fear rejection so we do what everybody else does; we follow the herd, we don’t stand out lest we lose everybody’s ‘votes’ or ‘likes’. We think by being ‘cool’ we can achieve ‘happiness’. The sad truth is that by going along with the herd, we’re only making the herd happy while depriving ourselves of real joy from expressing who we really are individually, and if we did, we would liberate ourselves from needing the approval or permission of others to BE happy. Nothing personal, R. – As for Mar Roxas, he made mistakes but show me someone who makes NO mistakes and I’ll show you someone who’s NOT doing his job. At least he’s committed to his purpose and is prepared to pay the price of hard work and sacrifice. The Yolanda experience was a terrifying experience for all specially for those close to ground zero. Everybody was clearly shaken by its magnitude. Ok, so you get jittery talking to CNN. Who wouldn’t? Specially if you know your ass is in a sling knowing you need some real big help in delivering food and medical services to isolated people and you don’t even know where they are, or how to communicate with them, your resources have been wiped out, there are bodies in the streets, and people are crying for help, and you just don’t have the equipment to meet the challenge. If anybody out there talks like they know what they would do in the same situation, talking from an armchair in a safe, airconditioned room typing away at their computer…that person can’t really be trusted with your safety in a REAL emergency life and death situation. “He who says doesn’t know; he who knows doesn’t say”. -est

  5. Pinoyputi says:

    Hi Joe, good you made it back sound and alive. Mar is trying to hard and showing it. He already showed his silly side with his Mr. Palenke show going for senator. Josephivo is so right about his lack of Management skils. Before when Mar was surprised by the mayors in Leyte I already tweeted, what happened to plan, do, check and act. I so wish him to be good. With him i always feel the dilemma, stupid but honest or a smart crook.
    Pinoys rather have strong, even though bad. They ridicule the weak.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, good to be back, PP. Yes, I’m going to do a follow-up to this blog. Something along the lines of “what do we do when we have lost confidence in someone and therefore no longer see straight”. We need to see straight and ding Mar Roxas when he screws up, give him credit when he is representing the President at the front line of a disaster situation, and . . . in the end . . . do our math by adding up the pros and cons.

    • Mike Acuña says:

      Pinoyputi, I believe Josephivo revised his view of Mar’s management skills after Joe reminded him of the value of a hands-on management style. He agreed it was better than staying at home.

      Your subjective view of Mar’s Mr. Palengke senatorial campaign as silly is disagreed with by the majority of Filipino voters as he was He was elected Senator with 19 million votes, the highest ever garnered by a national candidate in any Philippine election.

      His “Mr. Palengke” image, which you belittled as silly, has a sound management principle behind it. He pushed for the development of the “palengke” (market) as the basic unit of the economy and the root of progress, advocating not only consumer welfare and protection but also sound trade and investment policies, particularly SME development. (Wikipedia)

      Mar was not just surprised (whatever tha means) by the mayor (singular) in Tacloban, he was set up BY the mayor to take the fall for the city’s death toll in order to hide the mayor’s ineptitude and neglect which included showing up in Tacloban less than two (2) days before Yolanda’s landfall. Two weeks after Yolanda, at a birthday dinner in Makati I met a refugee couple from Tacloban, a german national and his Filipina wife, who flew out to Manila on the first C130. When asked about the mayor’s and his wife’s claims of a door-to-door campaign to evacuate people in Tacloban, they said that the campaign was weak, that they were told that if they don’t evacuate, “bahala sila”. This, among other things, added to the mayor’s inept handling of evacuation and storm preparations which he conducted via mobile phone from his vacation out of town. After arriving 1.5 days befoere the storm’s landfall, he took the time pa to inspect his newly built house beside his beach resort, which is where his family was caught by Yolanda’s 9 meters of seawater. That’s why the mayor had to frame Mar for the high body count in tacloban. If the truth were known, his political future goes down the drain. Search: “Unless Manila’s hit by a catastrophe, typhoon-hit Tacloban & Visayas will be ‘Ground Zero’ for the 2016 presidential race” by Raissa Robles.

      A glimpse into Mar’s management skills shows that he engineered the spark that triggered the exponential growth of the BPO (Call Center) industry which currently employs about a million Filipinos from Libis to Taguig to Makati to Muntinlupa to Cebu to Cagayan de Oro. While the OFWs brought in about $20 Billion in 2013, the local BPO industry brought in about $13 Billion but it’s projected to overtake the OFW market in 2016 with an expected $26 Billion revenue and employing an estimated 1.5 million Filipinos. The BPO’s unprecedented growth RESCUED the office property market by filling up the empty office buildings from libis to Alabang, creating a happy problem of office space shortage prompting a construction boom, and saving the building owners from financial hara-kiri. The BPO fallout likewise waved its magic wand on the food industry where call centers abound and gave the tranportation industry a much-needed boost, as there is now a 24-hour market for commuters. Mar was acknowledged in 2010 by the country’s two leading Call Center Associations as the “Father of the call center Industry”. That’s just one of his achievements. We haven’t even talked about how generic medicines came about or equal access to education for more filipinos.

      So if i understood you correctly, you ‘tweeted’ instructions from a distance on how to manage Yolanda’s aftermath and you judge Mar Roxas as “stupid”..

      Your “summary” of Mar Roxas is highly subjective, thus one-sided, shallow and grievously lacking in verifiable information. My overview of events in Tacloban are based, not only on my own research, but on an in-depth analysis by Raissa Robles, in which she took the time and trouble to investigate and verify the facts.

      Every filipino who cares about what really happened in Tacloban in November last year must check out her report. Search: “Unless Manila’s hit by a catastrophe, typhoon-hit Tacloban & Visayas will be ‘Ground Zero’ for the 2016 presidential race” by Raissa Robles.

  6. atong says:

    Was Mr. Roxas hurt? I hope he was not.

  7. Bert says:

    Mar Roxas is DILG secretary. Here in Metro Manila, at most times in some streets you can encounter police checkpoints apprehending motor cyclists not wearing helmet. It’s against the law, and those guys implementing the law are Mar Roxas’s boys. I think it’s prudent for Mar Roxas to follow the law of his department while doing his job, for the sake of victims of any calamity, and for his safety, too. Is that asking too much of him. Am I representing bad character, Joe, for saying this. I’m not voting for Mar Roxas for president in 2016 by the way, and I’m not voting for Binay.

    • Joe America says:

      Consider the situation, Bert. He was in a car leading a convoy to communities hit by the storm. The road was blocked. No one had helmets. He was in a hurry. He is supposed to shrug and turn back? He is supposed to bum a helmet when many in rural areas don’t have them, or they are useless? Or he is supposed to get where he is going and coordinate national’s disaster response?

      Laws are for a reason. When lives may be at stake, I think it is smart not to niggle over them.

      • Jason says:

        But that’s not the case here. Was there such urgency to use motorcycle without helmet? Government officials should be role models – no excuse. Probably hundreds of motorists are apprehended every day just because they are not wearing helmets. What makes Mar different then? Why should he be “off-limits” from the scrutiny of the public?

        • Joe America says:

          Because it was an emergency situation and not having National government represented in the communities hit by the storm would be more negligent than riding without a helmet.

          • Bert says:

            Two minutes to get a helmet, or maybe less, if there’s a will to do it. and Mar Roxas just want to reach “ground zero”, so the reports stated. The owner of the motorcycle has no helmet? I doubt that. But I’m nitpicking already. This will be my last about helmet.

            • Joe America says:

              We weren’t there. Remote area? People don’t use helmets. I’d say give the guy a break. He had important things to do. He was concentrating on that.

            • ponkawolla says:

              Jason, Bert: if you were in the path of an incoming tsunami but the unattended motorcycle nearby did not contain a helmet, are you saying that you would’ve chosen death over having ridden helmet-less to safety? Similarly, had Mar Roxas been seconds away from that tsunami but also lacked a helmet, should he have chosen to drown for a photo-op instead of fleeing on two wheels? Get my drift? The extraordinary situation in Roxas’ case meant that his personal health and safety were of secondary importance to the lives of thousands of Filipinos that day. But you’re so thick-minded to understand that simple fact, it’s hilarious.

              • Bert says:

                ponkawolla,

                Just want to remind your thin mind that the “tsunami” passed a couple of days already when Mar Roxas decided to inspect the devastation caused by that “tsunami” and he was in no danger from it when he rode that motorcycle. That simple. I hope you get it now.

              • Jason says:

                I hope we dont get too imaginative. The fact is, Mar was not in the path of a tsunami nor was he seconds away from a tsunami. There was no danger so imminent that could justify his disregard to safety.

                Was there any significant increase in his contribution from the time he saved by not wearing a helmet?

              • Joe America says:

                See my comment elsewhere. And what do you achieve by diminishing his effort?

            • tristanism says:

              And if they checked Mar’s wallet, he may have not had his driver’s license with him. The fiend!

              (also he was not wearing elbow and knee pads)

              • Joe America says:

                Nor those tooth protector things that basketball players wear. Or a cup, like baseball catcher’s wear. Mar was a regular wild man on wheels.

              • Mike Acuña says:

                I was expecting you to say, “But wait! There’s more..!”

                Tristanism, I hope you were just kidding but if not, then honestly, there is not a single person on this blog or in this country or on this planet, who hasn’t had thoughts of, or done things like, or had the desire to do or commit, rape, murder, incest, tax evasion, racism, violence, indifference, bullying, snobbery, stealing, petty theft, self-righteousness, backstabbing, envy, prejudice, jealousy, suicide, fornication, and other unsavory or somewhere-near-there acts and thoughts and desires.

                Some of us are better or worse than the rest of us but only by degrees. We’re all the same. So let’s keep it real.

                Driver’s license, protective pads…really?

                What year were you born? Seriously..

          • Jason says:

            Oh that is interesting. I guess he did help a lot by “representing” the national government. Aside from “representing” the national government, what specific and measurable help was he able to contribute? And by the way, if I recall correctly, Mr. Lacierda was riding with Mar – was he there to “represent” the national government too?

            • Joe America says:

              A lot more than if he were cooling his heels in a warm, safe place. I’m sure the local residents appreciated his being here. Would you not, if you had just ridden through a hellish 12 hour storm in an evacuation shelter? Yes, Lacierda is spokesman for the President. It is an important job. Kudos to him, as well, for going “on scene”. I know you can define sarcasm. Can you define compassion?

            • ponkawolla says:

              I was being hypothetical with the tsunami reference.

              • Jason says:

                Thanks. I would like to focus on what really happened and not on some hypotheses that we generate to justify things that obviously are not justifiable

    • Mike Acuña says:

      @Bert: Respectfully, may I correct your erroneous claim that the implementation of the Motorcycle helmet law is under mar Roxas’ department:

      “REPUBLIC ACT No.10054 Sec. 6. Implementation. – The Department of
      Transportation and Communications (DOTC), with its attached
      agency, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), is mandated by
      this Act to issue guidelines necessary to implement the provisions
      of this Act.”

      What is more important? To reach your destination to ensure the safety and welfare our people in an isolated area, or to waste time to find a helmet?

      Does it really need to be spelled out that the welfare of the people far outweigh any consideration about wearing a helmet?

      For the sake and attention of everyone else who may read this, this long-drawn criticism of the slip of the bike ridden by Mar and the absence of a helmet is reaching ridiculous proportions in light of the bigger picture and its prolonged continuance may suggest it’s possibly being promoted by elements behind the scenes who are against Roxas.

      Thank you, Bert, for your patience and understanding.

      • Bert says:

        Mike,

        Thank you for the clarification though I admit I am ignorant of the law and my point was not whose department the helmet law falls under but only that the people manning those checkpoints apprehending motorcyclists without helmets are policemen. I’m sure the police are under the jurisdiction of Mar Roxas’s DILG.

        Just to be clear, I am not ridiculing Mar Roxas for doing his job, really I honestly think he should be commended. I was just saying that it should have been prudent for Mar Roxas being the DILG secretary to follow the law and secure a helmet when riding a motorcycle. It would not take a DILG secretary a minute or two to find one if he wanted to and what’s a couple of minute delay just to inspect the damage caused by the typhoon, ‘di ba?

        As to the prolonged continuance in the discussion of this helmet brouhaha, I think that our dear JoeAm here contributed to it by making this the topic of this thread and he is not against Roxas.

        Thank you, Mike, for taking the time.

        • Mike Acuña says:

          Bert,
          I’m not any more knowledgeable than you about the law but I understand the importance of verifying my statements, just to make sure that I project my opinion as opinion and fact as fact. I actually had to google it to find out under whose jurisdiction the Helmet Law is.

          However, you said in your last comment that your point is not that whose dept the law falls under but that policemen manning checkpoints and apprehending helmetless motorists must be under Roxas’ DILG. Here’s your original comment:

          “Here in Metro Manila, at most times in some streets you can encounter police checkpoints apprehending motor cyclists not wearing helmet. It’s against the law, and those guys implementing the law are Mar Roxas’s boys. I think it’s prudent for Mar Roxas to follow the law of his department…”

          I googled it again for accurate information.

          The DOTC, through the LTO, deputizes local government traffic enforcers, the MMDA and specific members of the PNP to apprehend violators of Republic Act 10054…

          …NOT the DILG.

          It’s best to be accurate in order to avoid misinformation or misunderstanding. Fact over speculation.

          I could agree that it may have been prudent for Mar to have taken a minute or two to find a helmet using his position but what if the conditions were not favorable to do that? It’s easy to say it could take a minute or two in a safe environment like metro manila but out there in the middle of nowhere? With a category 5 typhoon breathing down your neck?

          It probably would’ve taken a lot longer than just a couple of minutes and time was something they clearly didn’t have much of, as they were racing against Ruby.

          The way I read his article, Mr. JoeAm made it the topic of his thread to illustrate the seemingly inane criticisms that Mar, who was on a mission of mercy, should’ve first secured a helmet. Judging by other comments here, his work seems far from over.

          You’re welcome, Bert. It’s always a pleasure.

  8. Whatever they say – I will still vote for Mar Roxas – especially if against BINAY…

    • Joe America says:

      You know, Mark, the uproar over Roxas’ slip on the bike makes me wonder just how much I personally have been susceptible to sensationalist media hype and social media buzz. Mar Roxas is back on my “consider” list, too, exactly because I don’t want to be played for that kind of fool.

  9. AngBayanKo says:

    Whatever his purpose is I dont care. I think main point dito is nagpunta siya and he did his job, instead of staying in his office or bahay having coffee or sleeping! 🙂 Masyadong pinapalaki ang issue because he is running for President sa 2016. Bago ang 2016, magtrabaho muna sila like what i think he did. Magpasalamat nalang tayo hindi siya tamad at naghihintay nalang ng 2016. I hope manahimik na yung mga makikitid ang isip. Hindi nakakatulong sa bansa… PLEASE LANG!

    • Joe America says:

      Yes! I’m with you exactly. Do we want President Aquino on a motor bike trying to make his way to ground zero of the storm? No. Do we want Roxas there, representing National? Absolutely. No one else would represent the proper high-level commitment.

      • bauwow says:

        Uncle Joe, glad to hear that you and your family are safe and warm.
        Glad to know that you can actually understand Tagalog! 🙂

        I wholeheartedly agree with AngBayanKo, manahimik na lang sana ang mga taong nakakatulog pa sa kama na may unan sa kanilang ulo at kumot sa kanilang katawan.

  10. atong says:

    It may be over criticizing or storm in a tea cup… The best way to deal with it is for Mar Roxas to apologise and promise not to do it again. And to add authenticity to the matter. .he should get issued a traffic violation ticket and show to the people that he pays the fine like a normal citizen.

    What is wrong with him going to the disaster zone himself? Even Obama, Abbott, Merkel, Cameron, etc and heir ministers do it.. Its good for the P.R. and in most aspects..

    • Mike Acuña says:

      Mr. Atong, in my opinion, the needs of the many outweigh the rules of the road and the Motorcycle Helmet Act.

      Respectfully, when Mar led a concededly dangerous mission to protect and ensure the safety and welfare of our people (yes, those are OUR people) isolated by a storm claimed by many as more powerful than Yolanda was, I find your suggestion to issue Mar Roxas a traffic violation ticket frivolous and lacking in serious purpose or value. We don’t know each other so there is nothing personal in my observation.

      What is the real reason behind your criticism of Mr. Roxas? In light of the gravity of the storm and its after-effects, could it really be a traffic violation?

      You’re entitled to your opinion Mr. Atong after all but please sir, spare us the senselessness of traffic violations when a citation is more in order for having risked life and limb to serve others, Mar and those with him on that mission.

      Thank you for your patience and understanding.

      • atong says:

        Mr Acuna. I can’t believe that you have said what is above. The law is clear .. there are no exemptions. My point is neither frivolous or in jest. The law excuses no one and no situations.

        You are reading more than what I have written.. I have not criticised Mr. Roxas or anyone for that matter. Mine is a suggestion..

        For people that aspire to be leaders they must show to the commoners that the law not only also applies to them but they must show that they adhere to it with sincerity and honesty. How else would a leader show that they are indeed worthy of their admiration and respect?

        Humility is also important… he has clearly broken the helmet law (as others here have called it).. he should not diminish the message and importance of his deeds (there is no argument from me that he has done a good thing or two by going to the disaster zone personally) by not accepting that he has perhaps broken some law by not wearing a helmet.. pay the fine for god’s sake.

        This will even stop his critics I might think!

        I can even pay the fine for him .. if he concedes that.

        For the record.. If I can vote and if they run for president my vote would either go to Mr Roxas or Miss (or Mrs?) Santiago.

  11. stephencrux says:

    Thank you Joe, this is a well balanced take on this issue. Mar politicking is a ‘buy in’ to the ideas of his opponents. I really wonder how come binay who declared his desire since 2010 is not being badly hit for his actions, not until all his unexplained wealth surfaced did it have any impact.
    My 2 cents here is that whatever they say about Mar, they cannot claim he is corrupt. That is the criteria we chose last 2010. Unsurprisingly, corruption is still the prevailing issue come 2016. So at least for me it is clear as daylight who will get my vote come 2016.

    • Joe America says:

      Very good, Stephen. I’m actually thinking we may have been sold a bill of goods that Mar Roxas is not ready to be president. Too much media hype. No doubt, he is a “field guy”, a “hands on” manager. Someone who wants the job done right.

      Rather like President Aquino . . . and maybe we ought to cut him some slack until Jesus stops by to run for President . . .

      • Mike Acuña says:

        Joe, you hit the nail on the head “we may have been sold a bill of goods that Mar Roxas is not ready to be president. Too much media hype. What many think we know about events in tacloban is what romualdez & co. ‘hyped’ for us to believe. First he accused mar of asking him to resign thru that letter that mar was asking for. When that first accusation didn’t work because his own city administrator invalidated it, he and his ‘team’ came up with a second accusation THIRTY DAYS LATER in front of the congressional oversight hearing which mar couldn’t attend. He accused mar of ‘politicking’, meaning mar was insisting on that letter daw instead of just providing relief goods and assistance, amid his tears. He made it appear that mar was holding hostage relief goods and operations if he didn;’t get that letter to”legalize” everything. Then they uploaded on youtube that 18-second clip spliced of a 42 minute video edited to make mar appear arrogant.

        To understand, It needs to be known that tacloban is a HUC (highly urbanized city) which exempts it from reporting to the governor. The National Code requires a city council resolution giving permission to the govt to undertake police and military operations or a takeover of tacloban which was what romualdez was asking NDRRMC to do. Rromualdez said there was no quorum to sign a resolution because daw the councilors were ‘nasalanta’ by yolanda when in truth some or many of them fled to manila to avoid the storm. So mar, wanting to protect the govt from being accused of martial law tactics against the president’s bitterest political enemy, mar asked instead for a simple request letter from the mayor and co-signed by the city administrator who was present.

        Romualdez was advised by his lawyer that the letter was tantamount to political resignation so the mayor refused to give mar that letter, which of course pissed mar off and that’s when he said “Bahala kayo sa buhay niyo” and “You are a romualdez,,,”, out of anger. But those are just words and you have to judge by one’s actions. In the video his words were taken out of context. Because romualdez refused to give a letter, mar was pointing out the possible consequences for the govt if they were technically accused of violating the law specially because they are bitter political foes.

        As for actions over words: From Day 2, Nov 9, one day after yolanda struck, the govt landed two C130’s at tacloban loaded with assorted personnel and 12,000 lbs (1 ton) of relief goods which it distributed as best as it could BEFORE, DURING and AFTER that meeting with Romualdez on Day 4 Nov 11. So there was NO HALT TO RELIEF OPERATIONS CONTRARY TO ROMUALDEZ’ FALSE ACCUSATIONS. FURTHER, IT IS ON RECORD THAT ROMUALDEZ ASKED FOR AND RECEIVED THE SAID RELIEF GOODS WHICH WERE TURNED OVER TO HIM. The military curfew and police personnel he asked for arrived, as well as medical and emergency personnel. That already invalidates his accusations vs mar of politicking, of which he is the one guilty of. He put his political interest ahead and above that of tacloban’s. WHY? To DIVERT PUBLIC ATTENTION from the FACT that mayor ROMULADEZ ARRIVED IN TACLOBAN ONE AND A HALF DAYS (1.5) BEFORE YOLANDA ARRIVED!

        He came from vacation. In that short span of time he managed to inspect his newly built house and guesthouse beside his private beach resort where they were caught by the storm. In the province, when people see their mayor in the area, they won’t evacuate anymore. Officials 2 neighboring provinces stayed put and evacuated people to high ground. they even arrested those who refused to leave in order to get them to higher ground. The result: 1 casualty in one province and zero casualty in the other.

        When romualdez spoke at congress one month after yolanda hit, he accused mar of politicking etc. and then there was that youtube video making mar look bad. At that point, the entire nation was in such emotional turmoil, crying and mourning over the dead. The sight of romualdez weeping at that hearing plus that video of mar, gave the nation the release and scapegoat it, and Romualdez, needed. For the latter to hide his ineptitude and negligence.

        Emotionally overwrought, we screamed for mar’s head. When he tried to explain what really happened, we drowned him out, screaming “STOP THE BLAME GAME! FOCUS ON RELIEF OPERATIONS!” With no other choice, mar continued what he was doing anyway. Sadly, most people today believe Romualdez’ versions of events. Of all the reposts I came across, the most in-depth and researched analysis was by Raissa Robles: “Unless Manila’s hit by a catastrophe, typhoon-hit Tacloban & Visayas will be ‘Ground Zero’ for the 2016 presidential race”.

        • Joe America says:

          Very good overview on what has happened and how Mar Roxas is being given a bum deal. I really detest the Romualdez game-playing over tragedy. And it is time to give Mar Roxas a fair shake.

  12. manuel buencamino says:

    Joe,

    It is not okay to ridicule the weak, it is okay to ridicule the mighty. Dubya chokes on a nacho while watching football from his couch, a president slips going up a stage or down the steps of his plane. It doesn’t matter where, what, or why. The mighty stumble and that’s fair game for ridicule.

    My only complaint about all the stuff that came out about Mar is none of them made me laugh. When one engages in ridicule the rule is “Funny or Die” like the title of a show in Comedy Central.

    • Joe America says:

      Three thoughts, MB. (1) Yes, ridicule is a useful communications tool and you use it about as well as it can be used to expose hypocrisy or bad thinking, (2) if ridicule is used to diminish others because we ourselves lack strength, and it is the only way we can prove we are strong, then that is psychologically unhealthy, and (3) as readers of ridicule, we need to strive to understand whether a point of ridicule is the truth and the whole truth, a lie, or a joke. It is the latter point that concerns me. If there are enough people with an agenda out to destroy Mar Roxas, or we are allowing our picture of him to be drawn incorrectly, then we are either being played for fools, or are foolish. We ought to strive to see the whole picture, the context, the meanings, and not get led down the wrong path for superficial or untrue reasons. We might make bad choices for bad reasons.

      • manuel buencamino says:

        Joe, I get what you mean and I agree with what you warn against but in the end ridicule either works or it doesn’t. If it works then maybe the “ridiculer” struck a chord, whether it is the right chord or not, whether it is the whole truth, a lie, or a joke, whether it is fair or foul, is another matter because ridicule comes from outside the realm of reason and norms.

        So I think it is futile to lecture about the incorrectness or inappropriateness of ridicule when people have already laughed at the object of the ridicule. The best way to counter ridicule is either to ignore it or to come up with a good comeback but a good comeback is difficult when the ridicule has already struck a chord. I guess that’s what makes ridicule such a great weapon against the mighty.

        Those who made an issue over Mar’s accident are nasty. I don’t like it at all. So I’m with you on that. I’m just sharing my thoughts on the “art” of ridicule. 🙂

  13. Manny Santos says:

    Very well written piece JoeAm – I can feel Mar’s concern and sincerity. He is still in my list

  14. Cornball says:

    That was airtight Joe, quite a transition. From the topic of oligarchs to praising one. Maybe you’re taking it too seriously because you experienced the wrath of Ruby first hand? Maybe it’s just a PR stunt gone bad and those who doesn’t like Mar had a blast when they saw the pic of the incident?

    • Joe America says:

      Maybe I want to pick a good president and don’t want to be misled by social media fun and games (the lemming syndrome), or people with an agenda to destroy a good man. I agree my view of the storm is one of seriousness, because it was intense. It was not a matter of levity to me, for sure, and I think Roxas was serious about helping people, and not out for a photo shoot.

      • Joe America says:

        I think of Roxas as a part of a dynasty, but not an ownership baron like the Tans or Ayalas. I don’t read him as pulling money out from under people if they cross him. Or using his money to power over people. He does not project a sense of entitlement, at least to me. I can be re-educated, of course, if that reading is wrong.

        • Cornball says:

          The brunt of the criticisms should be directed to Mar’s PR handlers, they saw an awesome photo op situation that blew up in their faces. Mar should’ve ridden in a car or truck but his PR people tried to push their luck to make their boss more visible. Let’s hope they learned their lesson, their enemies made a feast out of their boo boo.

          I’m on the no helmet, no ride camp. No exceptions. Did you just gave us a greenlight to bash Mar?

          • Joe America says:

            What is your source of the narrative that he was being handled by PR people?

            • PR people? This was shared with me via Facebook this morning. – https://www.facebook.com/mike.mendoza.7505/posts/10152861926599099

              It appears to be a first-hand account from one Mike Mendoza regarding the person who took the “viral” photograph. According to the writer, Mar even shook the photographer’s hand. To me, this raw unedited narrative speaks more truth than a claim of a botched PR job.

            • Cornball says:

              Just a theory Joe, do you want to hear another theory about the no helmet ride? It’s not that Mar was finicky to wear someone else’s sweaty helmet, it’s because he wouldn’t be easily recognizable in the photo ops wearing a helmet.

              Mike Mendoza account an attempt for spin or damage control? It’s either we accept it on face value or shrug our shoulders and say “who knows and who cares?”

              • Cornball, I don’t know the guy but the writing felt raw enough to believe and so I’m probably one of the stupid ones who’ll accept it at face value and not the enlightened ones who scrutinize for the sake of scrutinizing.

              • Joe America says:

                Okay. Unfortunately, your credibility drops to zero with me because I think information is a better decision-making tool than cynicism and speculation. Roxas was in a car, the road was blocked, he rented a motorcycle from a resident so he could represent the National government in Dolores where people were hurting. I admire firemen, military people, and policemen and would not ridicule them if they slipped while they were earnestly engaged trying to preserve our safety.

              • Cornball says:

                Yes Joe, I got it, you made it clear from the start. Airtight. No gray areas here from on, or is it only when the topic is Mar? Good luck.

                Time to move on to grayer pastures.

              • Joe America says:

                Actually, I think grey is the natural order of things when it comes to imperfect understandings or the intricacies of argument that are beyond current knowledge. I’ve written critically about Mar Roxas and his awkward photo shoots in the past, so I am not any kind of Mar Roxas fanatic. But I am in the camp of trying hard to understand the top presidential candidates, and to be accurate in that assessment. To that end, accepting theories that appear to be misconceptions is not a case of black and white or grey unless one argues that the grey of error is a virtue.

                That said, I do have my principles, shaped by my biases as an American, and ridicule of public service people who put themselves in danger to do a job that benefits others is generally not done. So I guess I am black and white about supporting those who are doing what others might not have the courage or initiative to do. How many others would have taken the initiative to bum a motorcycle to get to people in need? Not all, I am sure. That should be the focus of the story, I think. Praise and uplift. Not the helmet or fall or using this incident to mis-characterize an earnest man as a bumbler and media whore. It takes a customer to make a whore, and an audience of drooling, shallow sensationalists to make a dedicated man into a media whore.

              • Bert says:

                Joe, just for curiosity sake: Would you say the same things of Binay if Binay was on board that motorcycle instead of Mar Roxas, given the same situation?

              • Joe America says:

                Hard to imagine. Good question. I don’t know. I have so little trust in Binay but trust Roxas a great deal.

            • manuel buencamino says:

              Exactly, Joe. We should ask for sources and vet them and not get mesmerized by people who wave assumptions that they pulled out of their asses. 🙂

          • josephivo says:

            I repeat, stealing billions is a billion time more serious. Keep a sense of proportion. If you steal a few grains of rice on my plate that is bad, I liked the rice, but is not if compared with the other guy that stole shiploads, billions of grains. What a wasteful discussion.

            • Bert says:

              Joe was asking to “Let’s get ready to RUMBLE.” He got it.

            • atong says:

              If you steal rice from my plate. I’ll make it sure that you’ll have the ulam too. Becasue if you do, I am sure that you are beyond desperation. An empty stomach knows no bounds.

              • josephivo says:

                Correct, Mar Roxas did not stop at one little mistake, he made many. Discussing his little behavioral issues is a waste of time. But it is on top of the to do list of the real thieves. It deviates attention of the real issue, the disappearance of billions.

                Let us discuss the obscene amounts stolen by smugglers, tax evaders and expert politicians as Marcos’, Binay’s. Enrile’s, Estrada’s, Revillia’s… and many others.

                “Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam”, Cato had to repeat this a thousand times over many years before the Roman Senate took action.

                “I BELIEVE THE THIEVES HAVE TO DESTROYED “

          • Mike Acuña says:

            Cornball, if you can stop filtering your awareness, open your eyes and observe objectively without prejudging, you will notice in all the pictures from news articles and videos that the roads to their destination were covered by trees, posts and other debris and could not be traveled by cars trucks or anything bigger than a motorcycle, which is more maneuverable and light enough to lift over fallen trees. The motorcycles were rented but in that place and at that specific time, there were NO helmets. The rules of the road simply did not, and could not apply anymore, because there was a bigger mission to accomplish, people who needed to be reached, which would make the issue of requiring helmets and a fine for Mar look very, very petty, small and, looking for anything to find fault with. Now, after this explanation you still find fault, then you are making your intention crystal clear. It really doesn’t matter whether Mar does anything right because you have already made up your mind to make him wrong. In which case, the choices we make in life today will shape our life tomorrow. That concerns me where the future of the nation is at stake and in whose hands we will entrust it to.

  15. marietta abriol says:

    Thank u Mr Joe for the good complements for DILG Sec Mar. I really admire this guy. For me he is not mayabang although we all know he is awealthy man. I hope and pray Pnoy will choose Mar as his candidate for presidency in 2016 and Im sure only Mar can continue Pnoy’s “tuwid na daan”. Grace Poe she’s popular because of his father and I think she have to prove muna as senator say for 3 years or more before she will run for upper position. As of now I think she has nothing to prove yet.

  16. Welcome back, Joe! I am relieved to hear that you and yours are safe and sound.

    My take on ridicule is: it is the tool of the TOOLS. Insecure people often find fault in others to make themselves feel better. It is an entertainment and psychological knee jerk for those with inferiority complex. It also diverts the attention from their flaws momentarily. In a nutshell, it is the band-aid for TOOLS.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tool

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you, Juana. I’m relieved too, after one horrid sleepless night spent mopping water from leaking doors and roofs not adept at handling horizontal rain. 🙂

      “Tool” rhymes with fool, also means cretin. Perfect. It is what we should strive not to be, eh?

      How’s your garden?

      • The garden has been eaten by the chicken. 😦 Lesson learned: Chicken and greens in the winter do not mix, unless both are in a cooking pot. The hobby farm is coming along fine. We cleared most of it and started perimeter fencing. Lots of mishaps: getting eaten by fire ants and wasps, hitting holes with the tractor, being attacked by blackberry brambles, almost burning the neighborhood… Not giving up though. Not yet. 🙂

        Mar needs a waterproof “bug out” bag when he visits disaster areas. Korina should pack one for him so he is always prepared. In it, she should put in satellite and solar powered gadgets (phone, computer, flashlight, etc), first aid kit, change of clothing, snacks and a helmet.

        • Joe America says:

          Ahahahaha, now there is a title for a riotous book. “The garden has been eaten by the chicken!” The rest of your agribusiness woes fit within that cover, I think. You will have to pardon me for laughing uproariously (awaking the wife, so now I am in big trouble).

          Ha, yes, a big back pack, to get that helmet to fit.

          You are in fine humor today. Thanks. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  17. Mike Acuña says:

    Dear Joe, I enjoyed your article because of your insight. You wrote, “Ridicule is a common feature of Philippine character. It is an element of “amoral interdependence”, or the crablike way Filipinos deride others to raise themselves up”.
    In the market the basket of crabs needs no cover. As soon as one of them reaches the top, he is pulled down by those below. This bad Filipino trait of ridicule or backstabbing is not natural to the Filipino character. This was ingrained into our psyche during our almost 400 years of servitude under colonial rule. Our lands were taken forcibly from us, opposition dealt with severely. We were forced to till the land and most of its produce taken away, leaving us the crumbs. The haciendero was our master, practically a god to us because from him we receive reward and punishment. Imagine even after say, ten or twenty years of these conditions, even the most principled person would be reduced to a hungry creature fighting for survival, with low self-esteem, little self respect left. How can you respect others when you have little or no self-respect?

    Now wonder we have lawmakers who think they are entitled to steal tax money. No self-respect. In this mindset we competed with each other for favors from our master, the haciendero. If it meant getting even a little more food to feed the small ones, we groveled. So when we see another getting ahead of us and getting closer to the boss, we ridicule or backstab that other, more favored person, in order to give ourselves a fighting chance to take his place and survive better than our fellow Filipinos in the same situation.

    Almost 400 hundred years of this “conditioning” gave rise to the Filipino today. Indifferent except to his own needs. “Kanya-kanya”. When we became free, no elder summoned us to “debrief” us by telling us WHY we did WHAT we did to each other, in order to help us “connect the dots” and in doing so, become aware of the truth, why we had been acting out this bad trait of putting each other down, how it came to be and how it shaped our minds and values.

    Because if we discovered how it all began, we would be “cured” of this trait. For this reason I believe Jose Rizal wrote, “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, di makakarating sa paroroonan”, because he foresaw that as a result of our cultural values supplanted by different influences would bring about a generation of Filipinos afflicted by the cruelties of slavery under severe colonial rule. Though the conquerors have long gone, they have left behind a nation with a damaged psyche that can only be restored by looking deeply into its history for the answers.

    Much like a patient cured of his malady after his psychiatrist points out to him a specific event in his past that continues to drive his present actions. The truth of this past “liberates” the patient from repeating his behavior as he can then rise above it.

    I had read recently of an article which explains how the “habits” of a past generation are inherited and repeated by a later one.

    Once again, thank you for your inspiring article.

    • Joe America says:

      Whoa, Mike, and thank you for that very clear and profound explanation of the reasons “why”, an essential step to setting aside those bad influences. If I inspire, you return the favor with great enlightenment, and for that I am grateful. Thanks.

  18. Sir Joe, I’s nice to read your article about Mar Roxas and commenting on this negative trait of the filipinos,ridiculing Mar,but as a filipino i felt that it is not fair to judge us all that way because others don’t act it that way. The incident was magnified given his stature as a politician ,nothing more, nothing less.

    • Joe America says:

      I have to laugh, Maria, because I explained the photo, my blog, and reader comments to my wife over breakfast this morning. She said, succinctly, “it is all political”. So you confirm she is right, which means I’ll likely never win an argument around the house again . . . 🙂

  19. letlet says:

    ” The greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising everytime we fall ” … Confucius

    Mar had shown his strength of character, mentally and emotionally mature, by getting up from his fall. He had shown his state of mind and his state of physical being, how he employed his mind rationally and objectively, a very collected person. He showed us very rare qualities of an extraordinary leader. In times of utter dilemma / quandary, saving lives is the uppermost to do, Obeying the laws of the land becomes the next prerogative, it could be sidestepped. Most world leaders have undergone such experiences. Compassion, mercy and consideration to the most needy and vulnerable are on the beanpole of humanity. This is what Mar had tried to do, and his critics failed to grasp that.

    His critics had shown how wicked and diabolical they are by ridiculing Mar, that it is them who are weak and something mental, that they are mentally and emotionally immature, the narrowness of the working of their brains showed tremendously, that they are casting stones to Mar, thus, hiding their fallability / erroneous ways. The reality of the matter is the ridicule is on his critics that boomeranged with such impact on their totality. I suppose they never realized that, but psychologically, that’s what it is

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, ridicule undeserved, especially when PRAISE is deserved, ought to rightfully boomerang back on the critics. I also agree that Mar Roxas will be a better president for what he has to put up with as DILG head. I think he may have been appointed in part to get close to the mayors and governors, but his hands-on EXPERIENCE of managing crisis situations is unmatched by any other potential presidential candidate. It for sure raises my confidence in his abilities.

      Maybe the ridicule is a good thing, because we can now put such games aside and look at his true character and capabilities. The laughing and mockery was a wake up moment for me, for sure. So unkind. And, really, unreasonable.

    • Bert says:

      “Obeying the laws of the land is the next prerogative, and could be sidestepped.”

      By the DILG secretary? The guy who is in charge of the police and the local politicians? Hmmmmmn, amazing. And Mar Roxas is not even a doctor, to save lives out there. He was on an inspection tour to see the extent of the damage. He is not even connected to the DOH, or the DPWH. He is in charge of the police and the local government. What emergency are we talking about here?

      • during times of crisis the NDRRMC becomes the primary tool goverment uses to coordinate a response. Mar is part of that.

      • Mike Acuña says:

        @Bert; The DILG Secretary is the vice chairperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (NDRRMC). Its purpose is to ensure the protection and welfare of Filipinos. Mar Roxas as vice chair was serving his purpose. You can google it:

        “The National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (NDRRMC), formerly known as the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), is a working group of various government, non-government, civil sector and private sector organizations of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines established by Republic Act 10121 of 2009.[2] It is administered by the Office of Civil Defense under the Department of National Defense. The Council is responsible for ENSURING THE PROTECTION AND WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE DURING DISASTERS OR EMERGENCIES.
        (Cont’d.)
        “In February 2010, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) was renamed, reorganized, and subsequently expanded. The following heads of agencies compose the NDRRMC:[4]
        Chairperson – Secretary of Department of National Defense – Voltaire Gazmin
        Vice Chairperson for Disaster Preparedness – SECRETARY OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT – Mar Roxas
        Vice Chairperson for Disaster Response – Secretary of Department of Social Welfare and Development – Dinky Soliman
        Vice Chairperson for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation – Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology
        Vice Chairperson for Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery – Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority”

        Members:
        Secretary of the Department of Health
        Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
        Secretary of the Department of Agriculture
        Secretary of the Department of Education
        Secretary of the Department of Energy
        Secretary of the Department of Finance
        Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry
        Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication
        Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management
        Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways
        Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs
        Secretary of the Department of Justice
        Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment
        Secretary of the Department of Tourism
        The Executive Secretary;
        Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
        Chairman, Commission on Higher Education
        Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines
        Chief, Philippine National Police
        The Press Secretary
        Secretary-General of the Philippine Red Cross
        Commissioner of the National Anti-Poverty Commission – Victims of Disasters and Calamities Sector
        Chairperson, National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women
        Chairman, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council
        Executive-Director of the Climate Change Office of the Climate Change Commission
        President, Government Service Insurance System
        President, Social Security System
        President, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation;
        President of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines
        President of the League of Provinces in the Philippines
        President of the League of Municipalities in the Philippines
        President of the League of Cities in the Philippines
        President of the Liga ng Mga Barangay
        Four representatives from the Civil Sector Organizations
        One representative from the Private Sector
        Administrator of the Office of Civil Defense (- wikipedia.org)

        This started from a slip of the bike ridden by Mar. This would have possibly attracted ZERO or LESS attention if it had been someone else.

        Criticism based on lack of information may not really be helpful although I acknowledge that you may have had that intent somewhere in your critique of sec. Roxas, right? But this continued stretching out and long drawn criticism of sec. mar may end up with the criticism losing its value, specially because he really was just doing his job.

        Which begs the question: Why are we REALLY criticizing and bashing Mar Roxas? Do we want him to just stop and drop out of service? He’s already stated he will abide by his party’s wishes if it chooses someone else to run in 2016. I’m willing to venture that if there was some assurance that the winning presidential candidate is someone truly intent on serving the welfare of the people, Mar Roxas would not seek the position.

        So there.

        • Bert says:

          @Mike, please read my answer to your comment at Dec. 12 at 1:55 pm. And to clarify, I am not bashing Mar Roxas. Just expecting him to follow the law because he is the DILG secretary in charge of the police.

          • Mike Acuña says:

            Bert, which law are you suggesting Mar seems to have disobeyed? Not wearing a helmet? The man has done something beyond what was asked or expected of him to do. Others in the same spot might have given up. He fulfilled his role of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of countrymen who are not as gifted as we are with resources and creature comforts and were in much greater need of assistance than you and I are. I believe the law was not meant to prevent people from helping others. Yet you are inferring that he broke the law. The graceful thing to do, for me, is to just let it go.

            Years ago, I drove along Buendia on a Sunday after lunch just after one pm. I turned right on Malugay Street. The light was red and there was a sign on the corner “No right turn on Red”. But since I was the only car in sight I turned right anyway. Immediately after turning I was met with a motorcycle riding traffic enforcer parked alongside the road right after the turn.

            He was dressed in full regalia that Sunday as he approached me. “Looks like he didn’t get dressed up for nothing”, I thought to myself. We greeted each other and he stated my violation. I acknowledged and accepted my wrongdoing in good spirits.

            I asked him if that law was applicable on Sundays and holidays, to which he replied in the affirmative; it was operative everyday, he said. I referred to the sign on the corner and expressed my respect for the law but I asked him if the purpose of that particular ordinance was to prevent vehicles from turning right in order to avoid collisions with the cars coming from the other side crossing Buendia and going straight into Malugay.

            He looked at me thoughtfully and said yes, that was the purpose. I then asked him if there were other vehicles around and, after looking around, he said no, there were none. I told him that he would be absolutely right if he issued me a traffic ticket and that I would accept it without complaint

            He looked at me closely for my reaction and with raised eyebrows asked in tagalog, “Are you suggesting I let you go”?

            And I said, “Only if you want to. It’s your call. But whatever you do, sir, I read somewhere that “Mercy is greater than Justice”.

            He took a breath and looked at me straight in the eyes for a second, folded his booklet and despite his firm visage, gave me a slight hint of a smile and said, “Continue on your way. Drive safely.”

            What Mar Roxas and his companions have done is greater than my wrongdoing.

            Please, Bert…may I ask of you, let him continue on his way.

            For mercy is greater than justice.

            • Bert says:

              Mike, I was responding to Letlet’s comment saying in effect that it’s okay for Mar Roxas to sidestepped the law because he was in a hurry to see the damage done by the typhoon, and I could not agree with that not only because he is DILG secretary but also because I think it’s not wise for us citizens to encourage government officials specially law enforcers to sidestepped the law while we the ordinary citizens were being apprehended for the same violation.

              Now, if you disagree with me on that and you are agreeing with what Letlet stated then that’s okay with me. Good luck to us and good luck to our country.

  20. well it’s very brave of him to do so but a stupid thing at that if you think about it. why put yourself out there when you can do more good at the controls. if he put himself in harms way, will he be able to stop the typhoon from hitting the Philippines? certainly not. what for then? morale boost for the troops? to assess first hand what’s happening and after he becomes one of the casualties what then? if all was prepared beforehand he would not have to do this radical move. my respects to him for his achievements but this is a shallow PR move if it is – with no helmet to boot. safety first if it’s the safety of the people you intend to protect.

    • Joe America says:

      That is worth a debate. Roxas is a “hands on” kind of leader. He wants to be at the trouble scene, whether Zamboanga, or the bombing at Cagayan de Oro, in Tacloban after Yolanda, and in this one, at the place where the storm hit directly. Is “hands on” good or bad, for the head of DILG. If not Roxas making the trek to discover what the scene was like where the storm hit, then who should be sent to represent the national government? I think the critics are carving a box pretty small for Roxas to move in, for he would get criticized whether he went or did not make the trek. I would add that he could not know where the storm would hit because this was the most unpredictable of storm tracks, with Japan saying it would go south, the US north, and Pagasa in the middle. Even at the last moment, the storm twisted a little to the south, stalled, and moved very slowly. Yolanda blasted through in 1.5 hours, Ruby in 12. What is PR to you? Keeping the public informed? Media were along in the convoy because they wanted to be there. They did not rent motorcycles, I think. The photo was taken by a bystander, not a planted photographer or media photographer.

    • Mike Acuña says:

      What good are controls if you don’t have a map? No fresh ground zero intel? Data on Logistical requirements? No headcount of affected persons? Our resources are third world as shown November last year in central visayas and Bohol. Stupid isn’t stupid when it’s all you’ve got and lives are at stake. If somebody doesn’t take risks, nothing will ever get done and more lives may be lost. If he is “unable” to complete the mission, the NDRRMC will send someone else to finish it. Sounds harsh but what else will happen if in case?

      Everything possible was already done and prepared but getting there STILL had to be done. Part of the preparations’ completion needed getting information in the field and this mission was IT.

      You missed that link on this page which showed a credible looking firsthand account of a bystander with a camera who took Mar’s slip of the bike and Mar even paused to chat with the guy, which suggests that it’s not the image of him falling that’s shallow here.

      Helmet…again? #armchairgeneral

  21. macspeed says:

    Well, I don’t criticize people for what they do as long as they don’t harm others. Personal thing is different for ones work. The work may be a good or bad one what matters. Sec Mar Roxas is doing his best to serve his countrymen for the work assigned to him. The current trend of plundering and stealing peoples money is not his business, he is very good person.

    There is too much critical people specially those who want to grab a seat in government and so they can do stealing, these people has to be shot by firing squad, they are evil.

    For Sec Mar Roxas, just go on and on be bring on the best of what you can do…

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, what is this incessant need to live other people’s lives for them, in every infinite detail. as if we could do it better than they can, given identical (stressful) conditions? Maybe we couldn’t. It is extreme, but I think of firemen running up the World Trade Center stairs as the building was coming down. We ought to leave ridicule for the ridiculous, not the brave, or not even for the earnest.

  22. Jose Guevarra says:

    Mar certainly showed great leadership with his actions at the height of typhoon Hagupit(Ruby). He has shown what he has learned from the government’s failure to deal with Yolanda just a year ago. I am not sure this is enough to win him the presidency (and he probably knows as well this isn’t enough to get him elected) but at least, he is doing what he thinks needs to be done best.

  23. Gakspu says:

    This is exactly the reason why it is not good to put politicians in departments that is in charge for disaster control and mobilization. cant they just to their job minus the drama. for God sake they are in the middle of a disaster and yet still find time for a photo shoot.! Is the camera following every Mars move and try to capture some dramatic moments to project to the public that he is there risking his life for the people. People who are sincere to help does not need all this BS! Just ask the hundreds of unsung heroes of typhoon yolanda and ruby, people who silently voluntered to help, and they are the ones on the frontlines.

    • Mike Acuña says:

      Can you kindly provide proof that it was a photoshoot? I ask that sincerely. There was a link on this blog that showed a firsthand account of a bystander with a camera who caught Mar just as he fell. Mar even went over to chat with the fellow to inquire about his status vis a vis typhoon Ruby. But if you have information that could refute that report and prove that Mar’s slip of the bike was a staged shot, everybody deserves to know.

      So please, can you kindly prove that it was a photo shoot?

      • Gakspu says:

        Mr. Palengke , the LRT ride? etc etc..no proof is required. So its like the people there said, look! theres the DILG secretary on a motorbike lets get all our cameras cause his gonna tripped in 5 minutes!..Politicians will always be politicians no matter what the situation is…But never the less, good job Mar for being there on the front line…This could have been a great job if not for the Photo.

        • Mike Acuña says:

          I don’t believe the LRT ride was staged either because the commenter is a member of a political blog with which I’m affiliated. He was just giving credit to his group which he loosely and naively referred to as ‘team mar’, not expecting it to be misinterpreted. Your glib reply fails to hide your lack of proof for your assumption that the bikeslip was a photoshoot.

          It’s my observation that a lot of commenters fail to speak responsibly and can’t really back up their claims. And when they’re challenged, they try to smooth-talk their way out of an awkward situation with fluent but shallow, insincere language. We need to start taking responsibility for our words no matter how much we may dislike someone. That way, when we speak, it will be difficult to disprove.

          • Gakspu says:

            Well I admire your trust and belief of Mar my friend. I have my reasons why I stop casting my votes after 1992.

            • Mike Acuña says:

              You’ve stopped voting because you’ve stopped believing. You’ve given up. You don’t expect anything good to come of elections. Have you given up on the future wellbeing of your family, friends co-workers and fellow filipinos?

              Did you lose that much and hurt that much? Because if you’ve stopped voting you’ve lost your faith and not making a choice is also a choice but one that will be made for you. In a situation like that you forfeit your right to speak out because you gave up that right when you stopped voting.

              So you comment on blogs like this to vent your frustration and broken expectations. You think you’re alone in your jaded dreams?

              Well you’re not alone. I’ve lost a lot. More than you think. And so have a lot of other people out there. Some of them are right on this blog and are tuned in to every word we’re saying. The difference is I know why and what I’m fighting for. I’ve struggeld to remind myself. You’ve lost sight of that. And yet here you are, speaking out.

              Maybe you haven’t completely lost your vision. Maybe, you’re still harboring hope. You just need to reconnect with the Why and the What of your desires for your homeland.

              There’s still time to think it over and get back in the fight.

              But please remember, you are never really alone. You and I, We all have a shared heritage of blood, sweat and tears. We can’t ever give up.

              • Gakspu says:

                Actually I havent lost anything, I am just a common man with a fairly wage job enough to put food on my family’s table, provide a low cost shelter above their head, send my kids to school, saving for their college education and my retirement. But it hurts me to see this country being thrown to the dogs for a long time now. Our leaders know there is something wrong with our polical system and electoral system but they dont want to reform it because they will lose the all benifits. So the this country is just being pass from one group of dogs to another. By the way, pardon me for my comments of Mar, maybe I was just frustrated for the government’s response during Yolanda ( I am from Leyte by the way) and to honestly tell you that I survive and rebuild back my home without government or NGO’s help, there are more less fortunate than me that needs their help. But I used up all my savings for that sadly., But who is prepared for that kind of Disaster. Maybe you know Mar personally, I hope he is what you said he is…Keep on the fight man.

    • Joe America says:

      Maybe you are mis-characterizing the incident as a photoshoot, eh? BS is when stuff is made up and peddled.

      • Gakspu says:

        Totally agree with you man,.. made up and peddled = B.S.

        • Mike Acuña says:

          Gakspu, unless Joe corrects me, I believe his above statement was directed at you.

          • Joe America says:

            It’s okay, Mike. I think he knows that, and he was just turning the expression back at me. That’s fair. Even made me smile.

            • Gakspu says:

              Im glad it makes you smile …Keep on writing man, your blogs are insightful.

              • Joe America says:

                You got it. Keep commenting to keep me tipped in the right directions.

              • Mike Acuña says:

                Gakspu,
                Whenever I feel as if I’ve cried myself out of tears for the people of Tacloban, all it takes for me to discover I’m wrong is a video, a report or a reminder.

                I want to say for the sake of saying it because I need to say it – I am so sorry for your loss. For what you have suffered through, and for what you continue to go through. I’m sorry from a very deep part of me. May God fast-forward time so that the sunlight of blessings will once again shine down upon you, your family and each and everyone in Tacloban and in every place likewise affected.

                I’m sorry because our country has been through so much and our people had been molded by cruel history and crueler events, to become what we were not, originally, but over the years leaders have come into power and position who mostly serve themselves instead of serving our people and our children.

                It is my conviction that, among others, Mar Roxas will be different. I have observed him ever since he first ran for congress to fill in the position vacated by his brother who died of cancer. I didn’t even vote for him the first time he ran because I knew so little of him except what I had read about him. So I kept an eye on him, as congressman, DTI secretary, congress again then senator and so on.

                The decisions and actions he has undertaken were mostly based on principle, which tends to last a very long time. His vision fathered the call center Industry. He started his plan for cheaper medicines when he was still DTI sec by supplying generic meds in pharmacies of govt hospitals to make cheaper but equally effective medicines available for the masses. Today they are commonplace. Generic medicines were never really meant for the rich, were they? I watched with amusement when he strong-armed pharmaceutical giants into reducing by 50% prices of medicines vital for blood, heart, brain, etc. because their generic equivalent were unavailable except through those companies which produced them exclusively. This is in the generic medicines law which he co-authored. It’s possible that even his enemies and their families may be benefitting from this. Or not.

                His father, Gerry, could have been president but martial law “assassinated” his political life. His family found themselves on the outside looking in. His grandfather’s background speaks for itself. That experience and history, plus the upbringing of his mother, Judy, and his wealth, will prevent him from even considering plunder. Living and studying abroad grounded him and made him independent and clear-minded. Unknowingly or not, he may have been trained for leadership.

                Events between now and 2016 will tell us more. But my convictions and gut-feel are based on what I have observed and experienced. Also, his family is a basis for my belief that we cannot afford to lose Mar as a public servant because his lineage practices that servant-leader mindset.

                I took a minute to write this last paragraph because as I examined it; and let it float around my heart and head, I saw and sensed nothing wrong with it.

                I believe in Mar Roxas. I’m convinced that if he becomes president, he will be a game-changer. Mar will reform the way things are done and he will take away their benefits, as you described it, Gakspu. This is why his enemies will do everything to stop him.

  24. @Joe just saw an ad in facebook from Mar 2016 community page using this blog post.

    Welcome people from facebook!

  25. I’m sorry, but your comparison doesn’t quite make sense, you compare Mar to a “soldier who has lost his helmet yet advances anyway”, that does strike deep into the heart of the matter doesn’t it? Mar is NOT a soldier, he is the DILG Director, i.e. a Senior General, who rushed to the front without adequate equipment (dependable communications gear, ways of contacting his “troops, etc etc) and knowledge of the situation.

    It’s like having the army general recon ahead of the troops, a great way for the army general to get killed and to cause confusion to his troops because suddenly they are leaderless.

    • Mike Acuña says:

      Morituri Te Salutante, it was a metaphor, wasn’t it? So you don’t have to literalize it.

      Have YOU ever rushed to the front of a storm described as stronger than Yolanda? If you’ve ever had to do that, how would YOU prepare for roads blocked by fallen trees, electric posts and assorted debris? That is WITHOUT knowing in advance about the raod conditions. The issue is not with communications gear. they had satphones with them, a lesson learned from Yolanda. All roads were IMPASSABLE by the vehicles they had. But Mar spotted another way to their destination by using available resources in the field, motorcycles. In that situation, NOBODY has adequate information about the situation until someone goes out there to get it. Mar and his team were IT.

      I disagree with your own metaphor, “It’s like having the army general recon ahead of the troops, a great way for the army general to get killed and to cause confusion to his troops because suddenly they are leaderless”.

      The NDRRMC is composed of a composite of various government agencies. The DILG secretary is vice chair and if he is unable to perform his duties, someone else will do it. They will not be leaderless as shown by the composition below of the NDRRMC:

      The following heads of agencies compose the NDRRMC: (Wikipedia)
      Chairperson – Secretary of Department of National Defense – Voltaire Gazmin
      Vice Chairperson for Disaster Preparedness – Secretary of Interior and Local Government – Mar Roxas
      Vice Chairperson for Disaster Response – Secretary of Department of Social Welfare and Development – Dinky Soliman
      Vice Chairperson for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation – Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology
      Vice Chairperson for Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery – Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority
      Members:
      Secretary of the Department of Health
      Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
      Secretary of the Department of Agriculture
      Secretary of the Department of Education
      Secretary of the Department of Energy
      Secretary of the Department of Finance
      Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry
      Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication
      Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management
      Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways
      Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs
      Secretary of the Department of Justice
      Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment
      Secretary of the Department of Tourism
      The Executive Secretary;
      Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
      Chairman, Commission on Higher Education
      Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines
      Chief, Philippine National Police
      The Press Secretary
      Secretary-General of the Philippine Red Cross
      Commissioner of the National Anti-Poverty Commission – Victims of Disasters and Calamities Sector
      Chairperson, National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women
      Chairman, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council
      Executive-Director of the Climate Change Office of the Climate Change Commission
      President, Government Service Insurance System
      President, Social Security System
      President, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation;
      President of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines
      President of the League of Provinces in the Philippines
      President of the League of Municipalities in the Philippines
      President of the League of Cities in the Philippines
      President of the Liga ng Mga Barangay
      Four representatives from the Civil Sector Organizations
      One representative from the Private Sector
      Administrator of the Office of Civil Defense

      The point that Joe was making is that Mar had a mission and he put the mission above other considerations. He took calculated but risks made acceptable by the objective of the mission itself. the needs of the many outweigh otherwise smaller considerations. Such as a helmet which was likely unavailable, a given in some remote provinces.

      Reality check: This is not Japan. This is not (yet) a developed country with an abundance of resources, as sadly manifested in Tacloban. this is the Philippines. First world in its aspiration, third world in its capacity in certain qualifications.

      But someday, we’ll get there. And these are the experiences we need to do that.

      “Calm seas do not a seasoned sailor make”.

    • Joe America says:

      So you, in his place, would send a lieutenant to represent Mr. Aquino? Or no one at all because it was too dangerous?

  26. Santo says:

    Fantastic web site. Lots of useful information here.
    I am sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious.

    And certainly, thank you for your effort!

  27. gerverg1885 says:

    Joe,

    My take on this helmet issue is: are there any law enforcers around on that totally chaotic place during that time who will issue a citation to the secretary?

    • Joe America says:

      Out here in the boonies, helmet laws are not enforced, except at periodic check points, which people simply wind their way around. A motorcycle is a poor man’s car, and a whole family will ride on one, two adults and three kids. No helmet. Pragmatism rules. Only hoity toity city people would write tickets to those earnest people.

    • josephivo says:

      Helmets safe lives, a lot of lives. If you have seen what a helmet can do, you will not ridicule helmets. We might have to educate some people that you wear a helmet to protect yourself, not to avoid a fine.

      In an emergency, saving more lives by being in time on ground zero in time, may be. But being afraid that you might look funny wearing one is not a good enough reason.

      But I still believe that “plunderers have to be to be destroyed first” before we discuss helmets. .

      • Bert says:

        Agree, though I think the “plunderer” has been “destroyed’ already basing from the latest survey but not enough to be complacent. And yet,, people are still hot on helmets and our dear JoeAm here is in the mode to Rumble still and so…on with it.

      • Mike Acuña says:

        So what are you saying, Josephivo, you have conclusive proof that there were helmets available but Mar refused to wear one because he might look funny?

        Would you please share that information here for everyone’s enlightenment?

        Or is that just your personal opinion? If yes then you’re inferring something unfair and untrue to Mar, suggesting that he was positioning for a photoshoot.

        But if you can prove here and now that Mar was being superficial and PR hungry, we need to know the truth, not malicious libel.

        Google The difference between slander and libel for personal education.

        • Bert says:

          Excuse me, Mike, but asking for conclusive proof that there were helmets available is similar to asking for conclusive proof that there were no helmets around. Fair is fair. Who among us here can tell what’s on Mar Roxas mind or whether he refused to wear a helmet or not since we are not there during that incident? If we are to be too meticulous and insist on asking for conclusive proofs for every opinion or comments we do in this thread then by all means we should all be doing that without exception.

          • Mike Acuña says:

            That, Bert, is EXACTLY the point. We all have a responsibility to present our opinion as opinion and fact as fact. There are way too many opinions masquerading as news and intentionally or unintentionally we are spinning innuendo into gospel truth and may unfailry damage character and reputation. It’s high time for us Filipinos to fight off the colonial conditioning of acting like crabs and start taking responsibility for our lives and others’. And we can do that with every word we speak and write. That way we can have a truly constructive dialogue that’s based on facts, not inferences and unverified assumptions.

            • Mike Acuña says:

              Further, Bert, I haven’t said anything that I cannot verify. At least I tried my best to. If a thing cannot be confirmed immediately, I avoid speculation. If I have to speculate, I either identify it as such or my words infer that it is unfounded, as yet. I’m not perfect but if we base our comments on truth or fact or close to it, we can help each other arrive at the best point of view to use as basis for decision-making. This is not about winning the conversation, it’s much bigger than that. We can contribute to this search and thereby help our countrymen in their own quest. That is what this blog is for, ultimately, a search for truth. My asking for proof was meant to drive this point. Is it the truth or opinion? What would happen if we cast our votes in 2016 based on opinion, speculation and innuendo that was presented in such a way as to appear as fact? Our individual or group perception of the truth would then be based on a lie. This is akin to climbing a ladder leaning on a wall representing a particular belief system and upon reaching the top, we discover the ladder had been leaning against the wrong wall, all that time.

            • Bert says:

              Okay, Mike, you said it. You kept on inferring that there was no helmet available in that place. Just one question: Do you have conclusive proof that there was no helmet around when Mar Roxas rode that motorcycle, or, that he did not refuse to wear one?

              I would like to warn you that since you brought up the term ‘conclusive’ proof, we will be sticking to it in this discussion, and I don’t think that’s being unfair to you, is it?

              • Mike Acuña says:

                No, I don’t have conclusive proof, Bert, nor did I ever claim to have any. But you seem to have missed the WHOLE point, which is that it would be wrong to make conclusions about people’s character, motivations, etc., if we don’t have enough information to establish it. As in this case, we have all agreed that mar did a good thing but that didn’t satisfy some people who persist on focusing on the wrong he did based on details: Not wearing a helmet.

                While we momentarily have no conclusive proof that there were no helmets, or that there were and that he refused to wear one we instead try to base it on the context of the location,, the habits and practices local to that area, plus the urgency of the situation.

                You are actually RIGHT in saying that he would have been better off wearing one IF there were any, but what makes that point lose its intrinsic value, even becoming petty in its persistence, is the bigger picture, the human purpose of that mission altogether; what should’ve earned, at the very least, some modicum of consideration for him, is instead being veered away from the accomplishment and fixating on the small details, like a prosecutor gathering evidence to establish guilt.

                Bert, if you bring this up again, I can’t guarantee I’m going to respond to this particular issue which to me is as clear as day but I’ll think about it. Honestly this is beginning to feel really silly to me. No offense, but it’s what i feel.

              • Mike Acuña says:

                As a follow up, Bert, I’m after the bigger picture here.
                What are YOU after?
                I want the truth to be portrayed as accurately as possible. In fact, if a particular fact about Mar Roxas were to be discovered here or elswhere, I will acknowledge it for no other reason than because it’s the truth.
                What do YOU want? Aside from being right?

              • Bert says:

                I agree with you, Mike, that this thing about helmet is already getting silly and I, too, wants to let go of it. But you were demanding conclusive proof from JosephIvo without you offering one yourself to the contrary and so I was responding to that. What’s good for the gander is good for the goose, isn’t that what they said?

                You will have the last word, Mike. Thanks for indulging me.

  28. Bing Garcia says:

    Mar Roxas can be a good president.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m coming to that view, too, Bing. He’s had to deal with a lot as head of DILG and learned, as Mr. Aquino did, that he must make decisions for the correctness of them, not to satisfy the critics. He’s had to deal with some tough situations. Senators Santiago and Poe have not.

  29. Mike Acuña says:

    Dear Joe,
    It would be nice to have but okay if nothing can be done about it, to get an ‘edit’ button on comment boxes to correct typhos and streamline ideas after posting. Some blogs have it but it’s a minor thing. It can be a big deal for someone with fat fingers or a 2-finger typing technique. Ever had that “Oh, no” reaction feeling after clicking “Post”? Hehe
    Live long and prosper.

    • Mike Acuña says:

      Got that “Oh, no” thing, I typed ‘feeling’ after ‘reaction’. See what I mean?
      It’s okay. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I’d like to have that, but don’t know if it is available on Word Press. I’d also like to do the numbering of comments so that when there are a lot of replies, we don’t get lost in the forest. Too much popularity is a pain in the neck . . .

      I do try to make edits when people point them out in a separate follow-up comment.

      • Mike Acuña says:

        Well, some neck pains may be good for us. Appreciate the reply. Thanks.

        • jolly cruz says:

          @mike acuna

          im so glad that there is someone who writes and argues as well as you. your posts are exactly what i had in mind when i read josephivo, cornball and bert’s posts. i just dont have the erudition that you have. thank you for representing what me and i believe countless others who read mr joe’s blog, feel about what the three says.

          • Joe America says:

            Jolly, if you can spell erudition, you have it. 🙂

            • Mike Acuña says:

              Thanks, Jolly. Don’t be impressed. I had to look up the meaning of erudition. Ultimately, It’s not what we know, but what we DO with what we know, that matters. Instead of judging, I observe, instead of assuming, I question, as objectively as possible, to weed out the truth, for the truth is all we really need. The truth doesn’t need to defend itself. It will stand on its own and, it will set us free.

  30. andrewlim8 says:

    Those who are so anal about Mar not wearing a helmet should also be alarmed at Binay’s non-use of UV blockers like lotions, visors, sunshades, umbrellas, etc. 🙂 har har har Both can be hazardous to health, and border on recklessness. 🙂

    Does Binay say grace before dipping his grubby hands in a boodle fight? 🙂 Hazardous!

  31. bauwow says:

    Uncle Joe, just in case you haven’t read it, Solita Monsod wrote a positive piece on Mar Roxas.
    http://opinion.inquirer.net/80891/congratulations-are-in-order

    Good thing Teddy Casiño lost his senatorial bid.

    By the way, congrats to your purple and gold, they won against the Spurs today!

    • Joe America says:

      I saw that article. Ms. Monsod is arising as a rational voice of the modern Philippines. More power to her.

      Gadzooks, the Lakers beat the Spurs? Spurs age showing? I think they are leaning on Leonard too much, myself. He’ll burn out. Bryant must have been pleased . . . he’s already burnt out . . . ahahaha

  32. Joe America says:

    This one is for those who persist in claiming this was a staged photo-shoot, nothing more than a campaign moment in disguise:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/kit-belmonte/of-typhoons-and-leaders/10152556586617689?pnref=story

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