The 2016 election is about Philippine character, and China


[Photo credit: The Weather Channel]

I’ve come to understand that the Philippines is the center of the world. It is the pivot around which the fate of the planet revolves. Now you may pretend some false modesty and say, “Oh, Joe, you kidder you!” 

I’m not kidding.

Consider the weather patterns. The Philippines wobbles between northern and southern, eastern and western trade winds and monsoons, or, more correctly, the weather patterns wobble over the Philippines. The winds can come from any direction based on the mood of the day. It’s fascinating to watch the swirling clouds dance about the nation. I just wish they weren’t painted blood red.

Here’s today’s dance, as provided by The Weather Channel.

The weather patterns are but one aspect of the entire climate change condition, however, as oceans get warmer and and plastic flotsam arrives at the beaches in swarms, replacing the fish which used to school there. The cows burp in Peoria, Illinois, USA and storms intensify in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. Climate change has the Philippines in its bull’s eye. (See a prior JoeAm blog: “The Philippines: the most dangerous place on the planet”, written two weeks before Yolanda struck.)

But the most dramatic global pivot about the nation is geo-political. It is the centuries old dance of the mighty nations and, right now, the Philippines rests smack in the way between China’s eastward expansion and America’s resolution to hang on to the influence acquired during World War II, at the cost of so many lives. The Muslim influence pushes northward from Malaysia. The Japanese affiliation re-emerges from the north, a lot more peaceful than last time.

Spanish Asia has become a cultural, social and political focal point, a melting pot, a soft, slow battleground that is likely to remain tense perhaps another century to go with the five or six that have passed since the Spanish brought a Western moral vision and preference for gold to the Philippines.

The 2016 election is the exclamation point to the pivot point within the greater geo-political dance, and the Philippines will emerge from that election to go down one social/political path or another, depending on who is voted into the presidency.

Here’s a brief characterization of the choices ahead:

On one hand, we have the social culture of power and favor that is the Eastern culture, or the Chinese culture, or the Philippine social character. This includes some of the economic principles that go along with it, the wheeling and dealing along lines of influence. It is dynastic.

On the other hand, we have the governing culture of laws and skills-based competition, and some ideas about opportunity and fairness, that fire up an economic engine that has had its successes elsewhere, but not yet in the Philippines. This governing culture frames the Philippine leadership ideals – law based – and that part of the economy that is rules based and competitive.

Eastern-based social character is reflected in the strict bank secrecy laws that protect the entitled, absence of ethical standards and disciplines in most professions including the press and the Senate, a judiciary that cannot get to speedy justice for wading through a rat’s nest of legalistic loopholes and escape tunnels, and the business of trading in favors, debts and money called corruption.

Well, we also cannot deny the Chinese their successes, can we? Decades of growth and enrichment and the awakening of a beast that seems voracious in its appetite. Slept too long, perhaps.

But the culture clash is stark within the Philippines. Get beyond the national government and its rigid framework built on western concepts and laws and we find power and favor is THE way of life. Entitlement is THE way of life. The governors and mayors live this life, many crossing the threshold into favors that are . . . by law . . . illegal, but  . . . by culture . . . acceptable. This accounts for the widespread corruption that persists within the Philippines as Eastern power and favor tread over the line. Over the Western laws.

President Aquino’s straight path is devoted to the Western ideals, ideals of transparency, of setting and measuring goals, of working within a set of laws that empower fairness and opportunity for an increasing number of well educated Filipinos. Here’s an example of the crossing of government culture (Western) and social character (Eastern):

The government, in 2010, in its six year plan, set a goal for poverty reduction. That goal was not met in 2013. The government acknowledged that point and set out to make adjustments in spending and priority to get back on track. This is the Western ideal in action, forthright, well-directed, adjusting to achieve goals.

However, the press and political opponents operate from the Eastern mindset. They shouted “failure” in bold headlines. They attacked the President for failing to cure poverty, for failing to meet the goal.

The press and vested interests are the institutions of “power and favor” within the Philippines. They are not dispassionately objective. They are not even aware that the setting of the goal was a voluntary discipline of self-accountability that ought to be admired, or at least appreciated. Their operating method is conflict-centered, in picking winners and losers, thereby gifting recipients with power, or lack thereof.

But I digress.

The 2016 presidential election gives Filipinos three choices, and they are rather stark:

  1. Move the government aggressively toward power and favor, and toward China. Step away from Western fundamentals of economic empowerment based on skill-based competition and move toward a social character where success is based on powers and favors, and even theft. Vote Jejomar Binay for that choice. China becomes a pal. The US is evicted.
  2. Move slightly toward economic power and favor, and toward China, but keep the Western governmental framework of laws and skill-based competition. Vote Grace Poe for that choice. The business community grows steadily closer to China, and the US is kept in the picture as a mere expedience for the short term, until the public gets used to China being an integral part of the Philippine business community.
  3. Continue to press toward transparency, accountability and skills-based competition throughout the nation, keep a distance from China, and adopt a firm independence that leans on America as long as China is in an acquisitive mind set. Vote Mar Roxas for that choice. The Philippines conducts trade with all nations, including China, but continues to protest China’s incursions into Philippine seas.

Well, we can put on our imaginations and see how dramatic these choices are.

Because the Binay election is a vote for power, we can expect that he will hold onto it, or pass it to a family member. The structure may continue to be democratic, but it will thrive on wheeling and dealing, and not on ideals of fairness or opportunity for all. The Philippines will evolve over 25 years to be an economic appendage of China. China will dig the minerals and sell its goods in the Philippines, and Philippine companies will compete in China and send dividends increasingly to Chinese investors.

The Poe election will have the same result. The pace will be slower. The powerful will become more powerful and will not react well to laws that constrain their might. It will take up to 50 years for the nation to become an economic appendage of China.

The Roxas election will be the hardest path. His administration will continue to re-cast the social character of the Philippines toward transparency and laws over the objections of the power brokers and corrupt. The entitled like their power and dislike the idea imposed by the National Government that their performance ought to be measured by objective standards. It tends to crimp their style. Resistance will be expressed as it has been against President Aquino. Any flaw in operations means the character of the President will be deemed flawed.

The Eastern social character of power and favor is rather unforgiving of Western willingness to accept errors as lessons for the earnest.

The Roxas Administration will stand up to Chinese incursions into Philippine seas. This is a hard position to take for a poor nation, and the Philippines is, frankly, unlikely ever to see China moved off the rocks and out of Philippine seas. It for sure would be easier to concede to China to get something from the deal (as would Binay and Poe), but that would undermine Philippine sovereignty. The Philippines would be instructed regularly by China to move to the back of the bus (see the JoeAm blog “Why Mayor Estrada is wrong on Hong Kong” to grasp this principle.)

The Roxas presidency would advocate for the Philippines as an equal among nations.

But make no mistake, the Roxas approach, toward Western ideals and Philippine independence, is the hardest path for the entire nation. It goes against the grain of Eastern social ideals, and the ideals shared by many local governors and mayors in the Philippines. Not to mention an oligarch here or there.

Well, we can’t project the future with absolute certainty. Even my bookie Sal puts an asterisk beside his bets to note that one’s choices invariably involve risk.

But if we see the future in terms of flows of result, one choice generating another, and another, we can look at downstream results and see the following*:

If Binay or Poe are elected, the brain drain will continue. Competent young people who want a fair shot at opportunity, and don’t want their career path blocked by some mayor’s inept cousin, will leave the Philippines. The nation will upgrade to Banana Republic 10.0, an extension of the New Chinese Empire.

If Roxas is elected, the Philippines will rise as an independent state, more productive, less poor, and operating much as South Korea, Japan or Malaysia operate. Entrepreneurship, and small and mid-sized businesses, will flourish. Careers will become meaningful. OFW’s will move home. China will trade in the Philippines according to Philippine laws, and will develop a begrudging respect for this confident, capable independent nation.

This is most definitely the hardest path. It can be made easier if Filipinos far and wide start to prize their national identity and look for the positive instead of the negative. If Filipinos recognize that laws are good for the well-being of the many and ought to be respected. If Filipinos support their leaders through the rough patches, because the nation is stronger that way.

It will take hard work and discipline if Filipinos want their nation to be confident, capable, free and independent.

There is no easy route to self-sustained sovereignty. Real independence takes dedication, sacrifice, intelligence and courage.

The easy route is to sell the nation’s resources and soul to China, or gift them to the entitled.


*Outcomes projected in this blog are opinions and not certain; read, believe and act at your own risk.


413 Responses to “The 2016 election is about Philippine character, and China”
  1. Cheers. I’vebeen thinking of how to do what you just did, recast this election as a referendum on our national identity. Seems BBM will cast his lot and je is surely just in the middle of poe and binay in this issue.

    Vote for the path less taken.
    Vote for the hard path to freedom.
    Vote to end the export if human capital
    Vote for a Professional Government
    Vote for a Fighting Chance to a decent life.

  2. Thanks Joe. I got interested in your lead story on Philippines being the pivot or the center of the earth. It is not new as we are the global center of marine biodiversity. But, when you mentioned the western-eastern mix in culture, politics and government system, it totally veered towards the discussion of the coming national elections.While this is acceptable digression from the original postulate of being the global center (if not the universe), am I glad that you dealt with the flaws of the system that the future would have to deal with if we want change for the better. It is also good that you have been underscoring the external influences that China and the US would exert in the coming administration. Because of this, you have indeed made the point that we would be in the throes of cataclysmic developments in the coming years.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m glad the sudden right turn from climate to elections did not throw you off. I suppose the commonality there, other than as a device to gain reader interest, is that the Philippines is right now deciding on many things, depending on who is elected President, and the “style” that goes along with that. How to respond to climate change, how to deal with land use and management of the seas, how to deal with other nations, and how to be satisfied with the homeland. It seems to me that not enough are satisfied, yet confidence begets enthusiasm and development in the right direction.

      But it ain’t easy.

  3. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I was exiled by my parents to former colonizer, America. I hated America. They colonized us. I hate Spain. They, too, colonized us. Limahong discovered and traded with Filipinos before Philippines was discovered by Magellan, yet, they never colonized us.

    I was not exiled after all! I was deported by the Philippine Government. I had no immigration papers! I was a undocumented teen. I was an illegal alien. No wonder I speak English. I write English. I watch English movies. Struggle with Talagog. I was BORN-IN-THE-USA !!! It broke my heart knowing this. I look like a Filipino but cannot be a Filipino, ONLY AMERICAN just because I was borned there. My birth certificate is U.S. not Philippines. I am confused.

    In my imminent deportation, my mother spread a map of America: “This is America”. Gosh, it looks like a head of a bear with its mouth wide open in anger. She gave me American geography lesson to this day still sticks. ME, NY, NH & MA forms the nose. GA & FL the lower jaw, etcetera. Mother was a goot teacher.

    She whipped out the Philippine map: “Mariano, this is where you are right now”. She explained: “It is a scrawny malnourished Filipino holding a cane wearing a diaper with enlarged head running away from America with its tiny feet so it can be “… run by Filipinos like hell than by Americans like heaven””

    I never forget that. Mother was right. Philippines is destined to be poor just by looking at its map whilst America is the land of the brave bears. It is fate.

    With Grace Poe on the helm, she’ll give away the cane to China. The Palawan Islands.
    Mar Roxas? There will be intercranial pressures from his Bosses, the people, and Aling Koring that causes enlargement of the head, NOT BRAIN! that forms Luzon
    Jejomar Binay? As you all know already, Visayans adore Jojo. So, Jojo rob them till their ribs juts out from their chest.
    Duterte? Ha! Ha! Ha! They will be in constant dialysis to refresh the bloods that he kills. Adult males will be hunted down replaced with babies in diaper.

    Those spindly legs? That is Ampatuan running !!!

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Yet, the heart is beating. Right there where the heart should be in the Visayan area. It is a heart transplant. A heart transplanted from America. It keeps on beating. IT IS JOEAM !!! The beacon of hope.

      Thank you, Joe, for not giving up Philippines.

      • Joe America says:

        Ahh, but Mariano, the Philippines is an exciting place, moving, dynamic, changing, growing up. I can’t imagine a more fascinating and rewarding place in which to immerse one’s mind and heart.

      • LOL, MRP! I can’t see the head of a bear, but I can make out “a scrawny malnourished Filipino holding a cane wearing a diaper with enlarged head running away from America with its tiny feet”.

        Still looking at the world map on Google, I do notice that the Philippines and California are tilted similarly, Luzon=Northern California, Visayas=Central California, Mindanao=Southern California, and Palawan, Mapun, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu & Basilan=the Channel Islands,

        like synchronize swimmers.

    • Joe America says:

      Mar Roxas and intercranial pressures from his bosses, the people. And the former President Aquino. And big business. And his wife whom you neglected to mention and I must point out that shortfall. That IS the issue for him. Standing tall for right decisions, not favors. Listening, reflecting, studying, then doing what is right. All by himself, making that decision.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Thumbs up to your mom for putting to good use through teaching her pareidolia.
      Learning is a continuous process. I Never imagined that Philippine map was emaciated Filipino. I thought it was shaped like deformed bamboos that is why it’s our national lumber for national house. “Our”, that excludes you and Joeam, you’re americans.

      If Mar wins, Korina will ban you from staying in her Spratley Resort and Spa in West Philippine Sea.

      If Binay wins he is going to name his bakery and air condition piggery Hacienda Binay and bakery in Scarborough Islands, South China Sea.

      With Grace, she will decree that any Filipino who goes to those islands, renamed Trump International Seaside, will automatically become dual citizens, Americans like you. Joeam will be banned from this place for being pro Filipino.

      Thanks to your mom MRP😍

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Aha! ha! ha! ha! Philippines has spent billions and billions of pesos to buy Frigates and Helicopters to protect Spratleys from China so all Mestizo Class can frolic, scuba dive and bask in the sun in prestine beaches free from oil rigs at the expense of hungry Filipino children.

        I am an American. I’ve gone to every nook and cranny on earth I DO NOT THINK I can afford to go to Spratleys. I am afraid I might be mestaken as janitor.

        China should respect Philippine Sovereignty over Spratleys. WE DISCOVERED IT FIRST. China had a chance to colonize Philippines pre-Magellan during the time of Lima Hong. But they did not. If they did, they wouldn’t have a problem with Spratleys. And if they did, we’d be speaking Mandarin.

        • Johnny Lin says:

          “Duterte said he will not vote Mar if DOJ Secretary will be in senatorial line up og Liberal Party”

          MRP, Do you know the true story why Duterte is mad at DOJ Secretary Leila? Both of them are patented nationalist, pure blooded Filipinos, no Mestizo blood like you.

          Digong was a prosecutor, graduated from San Beda, not UP , so don’t get tantrums.

          Leila was a human rights lawyer and married at that time. They usually tussled in court and Duterte always lost his case against her. He got mad at her since then, not because he was always losing but because he thought Leila was a Chinese descendant of Lima Hong.

          Duterte could not forget the name Lima Hong because he failed his 6th grade history class because he could not answer the question “who was the first Chinese pirate who sailed to the Philippines before Magellan”, did not finish grade school in time and terribly spanked by his father.

          During those times Leila goes by the name Attorney Leila De Lima-Ong. Her ex husband is half Chinese.

          Edgar reminded us, don’t forget the Last phrase of this blog by Joeam

          He he he!

          • Joe America says:

            That’s a wonderful tale, Johnny. His hostility is bizarre, and the tale so specific in its plot line, I think I’ll buy it hook, line and sinker. Plus I’ve read the shrinks’s evaluation of him from his annulment proceedings and it’s like one step short of psychopath.

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      Are you Popoy?…

      • sonny says:

        Oh, dear! Mary Grace, my sentiments exactly. How could you so exactly read my mind? This is scary. I think JoeAm has achieved that Madison Ave land of OZ. He has established more than a beachhead towards the homogenizing of the minds of this Society’s membership. 🙂 (wink, wink) Joe even manages to mention a historical reference to “Spanish Asia …” He hates history. (another wink).

        But just to formally register my choice: I like Joe’s Third Choice. Not Binay for bazillion reasons already mentioned. Not Poe. She has no business aspiring for the Presidency. If she does, then I think she’s fooling herself and enabling that Malay trait of feeding on the trappings of faux aristocracy.

  4. nielksy says:

    My take –

    The chief radar man sees three moving ships, one or two moving the eastern waters and the other goes western. The ships’ respective captains were identified as Binay, Poe, Roxas. All three captains are set to sail and let me give each the absolutist, the realist, and the purist tags, respectively. Absolutist because it seems clear Jejomar will ‘share’ China; realist because Grace tends to ‘like’ China, and purist because Mar will ‘delete’ China. Those will be their Zuckerburg buttons – no more no less.

    Speaking of pre-plotted courses, Binay appears to go native – a vassal to the Chinese monarch out to forge a 25-year contract as ‘appendage of China’ or ‘extension of a New Chinese Empire’. Whereas Poe will forever await the tugboat back to the pier. Mar parrots US hegemony and out to Americanize Filipino lifestyle into the very womb of the bureaucracy.

    Beyond the country’s character waters toward the high economic waves of globalization, post-modernization, and post-developmentalism, by even the most rationale estimate, who do I think among the ship captains is ready to set sail in a way that can carry the weight of public interest and private interest and find the BRP Philippines steaming on an even keel?

    Amongst three, I say, Jejomar Binay has the conn.

    To backdrop a bit on today’s very fine article, I have two further comments to make:

    One. There cannot be a choice between a ‘social culture of power and favor (i.e. ‘wheeling and dealing’) and ‘governing culture of laws and skills-based competition’; certainly no such dichotomy as East vs. West or an East-West Cultural Divide. The world has long since transformed into what scholars term as ‘governance without government’. More ships set to sail in the high seas of development, collaboration, in an emerging new economic world order. Territories are just dots in the world map.

    Two. Choices have to be made but as far as we have known, it will be a case of ‘same vote too many’ , meaning precisely, as a deliverance from growth or deliverance to growth. Whatever more informed judgment we know in making such choices, at the end of the day, it is still the larger mass of Fiipino voters who will proxy for us. This political Darwinism is itself the ‘little dragon’ in every one of us.

    Are we tame or are we wild? The choice is yours. As long as our grand institutions [Huntington] are in tact, whoever is lucky to become president, let there be no occasion for a feared ‘political decay’ [Huntington].

    • Binay appears to go native – a vassal to the Chinese monarch out to forge a 25-year contract as ‘appendage of China’ or ‘extension of a New Chinese Empire’.

      Primer, what exactly does this mean? Can you break this down further?

      • nielksy says:

        LCpl_X – that simply followed the trajectory in Joe America’s article, if and when, Binay wins as you will notice in the cited quotes [i.e. ‘appendage of China’, ‘extension of a New Chinese Empire’].

        That likewise flows from my earlier characterization of Binay as absolutist or one who will ‘share’ China. Honestly, I just sort of adopt or ‘appropriate’ the bias of Joe America here in my response.

        Hoping you get it.

        • Thanks, man. As you know I have no dog in this fight. I know that Joe’s site is pro-Roxas, and very anti-Binay. Prior to my 1 month hiatus, I never used to comment on local politics–don’t know, don’t care. But the more I’m getting into the whole elections over here, the more I’m interested in what’s going on there via Joe’s blog.

          Duterte’s the one I’m most familiar with, from being there on 2 occasions in the mid-2000s, so bias for me is on his side (strictly name recognition & having heard people say “he’s gonna be President someday”)

          I get that Binay is unsavory and is a thief, but isn’t that the norm over there, what makes his particular racket worst than the others?

          So from my readings of everyone’s commentaries here on these candidates spanning these few months now, I get the sense that Binay is Darth Sidious (pure Evil), Duterte is Darth Vader (between good & evil), Roxas is Luke Skywalker (the chosen one) & Poe is Princess Leia (pure innocence).

          I just saw the trailer to Episode 7 and thought I’d use Star Wars here (totally arbitrary, you can use Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia just as well), but my point is if I’m making caricatures of these candidates, I’m not getting the full picture.

          So I’m getting a lot of pro-Roxas, not so much the cons on him (it’s similar to how people felt about Obama). If you can offer a balanced description of Binay, that would be great. Duterte too, but Joe stated he’s not doing any more articles on him (I guess until he actually runs).

          Binay & Duterte, for me, represent politicians who possess the common touch–so it’s just a matter of balancing out the two polarized descriptions of these two candidates.

          Roxas & Poe, seem to me too perfect (when there should be some sort of polarizing process as with the two candidates above), so just like Obama when voters chose the promise as oppose to the guy’s qualifications–

          don’t get me wrong, I think the guy’s been a good President here, but balance positive & balance negative, Obama’s largely been neutral.

          So relying on my understanding of what happened to the Obama presidency, Roxas & Poe, need to be researched further. This is where you come in as a person in gov’t over there, Are they really Luke Skywalker & Princess Leia?

          Balance out Binay & Duterte. Shed more light on Roxas & Poe. Thanks.

          • Joe America says:

            A note from this morning, I see that Duterte is elaborating on his prior remark, something to the effect that “Americans won’t die for us”. He is now holding the US responsible for the fact that China was able to complete the island building program.

            I wonder on what legal authority he believes the US could have acted to stop the building?

            Oh, right. Laws are irrelevant to him . . .

            • “Americans won’t die for us”

              If he’s talking about national/security interests, ie. “Countries don’t have friends; Just interests”, then I agree with him. Americans won’t die for tribal conflicts like in Rwanda/Burundi, but where there are interests at stake, Americans have been dying for other nations throughout the 20th century–granted it hasn’t been all altruistic, watch video here:

              In the case of Philippines though, Americans will die for Philippine (and US) interests there–especially once a certain level of working relationship is established. Here’s a good story,

              It’s the second bronze star, though, that illustrates how gray the decision making in the field can get. That one came after a 2005 firefight in the Philippines, where he and other U.S. soldiers had been sent to assist the government in hunting down extremists. The document that accompanied that award notes that Tyler “without regard for his own personal safety…led a two-man element to rescue four injured personnel.” The truth is that Tyler came damned close to disobeying orders, since he was supposed to be an “observer,” not a combatant. He and another SEAL used two small boats to go up a river, firing all the way, to pull out ambushed and wounded Filipino troops. It was political dynamite, but human grace. Tyler could have been court-martialed as easily as decorated.

              “The men had been shot up; they were bleeding out,” he says. “I got on the phone with the captain back at the base, and he wanted us to wait. He didn’t want to make the call, politically. Then my phone fell in the water. It kind of slipped out of my hand. Even now I don’t know if I did it on purpose.” Three of the four men he rescued survived, and Scott Tyler’s reputation spread.

              As for the US being blamed for China’s island building program, what exactly did he say?

              • Joe America says:

                From news report:

                He reiterated his earlier statement that the United States could not be relied upon to defend the Philippines if an armed confrontation developed with China.

                “America will not die for us,” Duterte said, pointing out the US did not lift a finger when China was building structures recently on the disputed islands.

                “Now they’re there. [The US] allowed them to be finished,” he said.


              • Is he talking about unilateral actions? Because we’re kinda like vampires, we kinda have to be invited in.

              • Joe America says:

                That’s why his comment makes no sense. It is a political statement, tough sounding, at the expense of the US.

              • edgar lores says:

                And it’s a denial that the Philippines has any responsibility.

              • Tough anti-American talk is the norm when dealing with Third World allies–we’ve given Pakistan trillions of taxpayers’ dollars.

                I do agree with his point about the F-16s though, isn’t that why the Philippines is inviting the US? You guys have more pressing problems to deal with, these F-16s can’t solve. Let’s prioritize. Cargo planes and ships first (and small drones next), the high speed low drag toys you can have once you’ve taken care of your poor. The gear you should be getting are things you can use in war as well as disasters.

              • Joe America says:

                I agree on the F-16’s, too, and on relying on the US for big equipment (air craft carriers, satellites, cruise missiles) while the Philippines develops superior local shoreline tactical capability (drones, small missile boats, etc.). But I don’t like Duterte’s bluster for effect. It is not actually forthright.

          • nielksy says:

            LCpl_X (@LCp_X),

            Indeed, every theory is value-laden. That goes true with opinions we toss into this site. While it is so that whenever each one throws his dice, we can count their dots, they too when it is their turn count ours. The resultant data show however, that we either do not know how to count or we choose to count in our own value-laden ways. A host of reasons can explain this phenomenon – and at the very least, we, in this universe, are stakeholders – well-meaning for the country.

            Still, we thought there is an objective reality out there than opinions that polarize us since we apparently use different colored lenses. And not few use the yellow lenses such that it somehow colored their perception of the world out there. But if we as much as care enough to trace where all this ‘faith’ came from, we realize that it traces its way to Cory & Ninoy. Cory accounts for having sort of maybe revived democracy when it was held tight by a constitutional authoritarian that was Marcos. Otherwise, we hardly know what good it all were that we had Cory as president. Definitely there was less compared to Marcos in the overall value chain. .

            Sadly now, I have yet to see another site, store if you will, in our social media that sells Binay-knowledge products. I should like to buy some.

            First off, I must confess to the smooth comment of Lance just presented – analogies and all. They read astonishingly nice and took to the more balanced view of how things in the political landscape can be seen especially on his first person account of Duterte which might differ where one is confined to watching media sources where Duterte throws swear word like “putang ina” or threaten anyone with “papatayin kita”, et cetera. Offhand, I see these ‘behavioral signs’ as counter-intuitive to the democratic space we revere.

            At some risk of falling to a trap of reductio ad absurdum, I do think that there were only Binay and Trillanes knocking each other out in the boxing ring. In short, until the judges come up with the verdict [i.e. Ombudsman, CA, SC] as regard the cake as it is on the building, no one yet knows for sure if corruption of reported scale [i.e. Trillanes says 2 billion]. And Trillanes simply used the Senate as the vehicle, rightly or wrongly stretched over time much too long to be considered rational. It’s either way, dirty politics.

            My view of Binay is sure to attract opponents aside from the fact that the man and his cohorts can speak for him Sadly, his spokesperson Toby Tiang has neither the pleasing looks nor his lawyer JV for that matter. But we can listen to what they have to say. We can listen to his other lawyer Rico Quicho, if we care a bit. We can listen to any one else who might have a different view down from the people below. But for that to happen, we have to find a site, build a store, sell the product.

            I estimate that it will not sell in the first few months but not forever. But if all the social weather station surveys were any gauge, partisan or non-partisan, push-pull polling circuits or otherwise, there is every clear indication that the whole demolition job against the man created very little dent.

            On a lighter note, Binay looks little Obama, doesn’t he? They are both bright, both lawyers [or why even put someone who isn’t; always clueless on goings-on like Grace Poe?]. In fact, the whole weight of our falsely or rightly-held belief against Binay as a scheming thief is our own collective safeguard against abuse even if he were to become president by struck of destiny. I believe that our institutions are pretty in tact. The presidency is just another beginning of a much more improved roadmap of the many weaknesses in need of reform.

            Between two possible occurrences – one, Binay being impeached before he can run for president because the proper courts of justice have failed to come up with their verdicts and two, that he was allowed to run for president – whether people will vote him anyway, I will go for 2. No president should make the government a holding center for those it has succeeded to boot out from government [i.e. former lady Ombudsman, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, et cetera]. I don’t want my government to be plainly vindictive. There is so much to be done: people finding themselves in a hell of congested traffic all around the metro, train stations without trains, expressways that are not accident or congestion free, airplanes that cannot land, et cetera].

            In truth if BF will have to run again [or why will he?] as president, am for him.

            • “But for that to happen, we have to find a site, build a store, sell the product.”

              Sounds like all he needs is some PR campaign and re-branding. There’s a whole industry all about making people look good over here (after they’ve screwed up), I wonder if a similar industry is in place there to carry out what you’ve described. They did wonders for Justin Bieber.

              “On a lighter note, Binay looks little Obama, doesn’t he? They are both bright, both lawyers.”

              Lawyers are a dime a dozen over here.

              Being bright is hard to come by though, and people usually figure out these candidates’ intelligence through their ideas and how well they get these ideas into the realm of reality. Obama’s got ideas that’s for sure, but he’s been hard pressed to get things done. Sure external factors can be blamed but in the end, getting things done (the carrying out of ideas) is a necessary component.

              You said Binay’s bright, so what are his ideas and what has he done (will do)? I know they’ll be plenty to list, but to keep on topic just stay within Philippine character and China.

              “In truth if BF will have to run again [or why will he?] as president, am for him.”

              Who’s BF? Is this Binay’s nickname? Thanks again, Primer.

              • nielksy says:

                Forgive me, LCpl_X, but BF stands for Bayani Fernando who did run for president the last election cycle and lost. Like Binay did to Makati, BF made Marikina one of the best cities in the world.

                Am sorry that I cannot oblige to having to describe or list Binay’s known accomplishments suffice to say that I have yet to hear ‘counter historical accounts’ that would debunk what have already been written about him and are read in public administration literature.

                Am almost inclined to invite you if you have time.

              • @nielsky Binay did not make makati a great city

              • “Am sorry that I cannot oblige to having to describe or list Binay’s known accomplishments…”

                Well that’s kinda my issue here. I’m starting from scratch, with the exception of Duterte. I know Google is my friend, I can probably read articles online (though I am not privy to a great more because of language restrictions). But what I am looking for is to be convinced.

                You said it yourself, Binay just needs a solid PR campaign. Does this Rico Quicho have a blog or twitter or instagram? Or is he just a lawyer for a specific case? If you ask me to explain why I love Donald Trump, I’d write you a whole article–I’m praying that Hillary will get indicted, so we’d have a Trump vs. Sanders for 2016.

                I was simply looking for a counter-balance to the anti-Binay perspective here (to be convinced that he is in fact the opposite).

                Why you are being coy, I don’t know, but it is somewhat disconcerting (like Sauron in the Hobbit)–shady is the word we use here. But that’s your prerogative, your value here could’ve been two-fold: actual pro-Binay (as oppose to anti-everyone else, ergo Binay approach) & bureaucrat in residence for this blog.

                Thanks anyways, Primer.

            • Mike Acuña says:

              “Like Binay did to Makati…one of the best cities in the world.”
              “…suffice to say that I have yet to hear ‘counter historical accounts’ that would debunk what have already been written about him and are read in public administration literature.”

              I had lived in Makati since I was a teenager. But my wife had lived in Makati since she was 6 years old and we maintain a permanent office in Salcedo Village, Makati City for which we pay real property taxes.

              From 2010 to the present, Binay’s political ads portrayed him as the reason behind Makati’s current status. “Ganito kami sa Makati..” (This is how we are in Makati), his ads proclaim, and the infomercials show free hospitalization, educational scholarships and educational subsidies against the backdrop of tall buildings. The subtle suggestion from the way the ad is presented is that Binay is the raison d’être for these benefits.

              But these benefits had been in practice for many years under the former mayor, Nemesio Yabut, long before Binay came about. I was a teenager at the time.

              But I and everyone knew that it was Yabut, not Binay, who installed these services to benefit the underprivileged with the help of the city’s constituents and institutions.

              The educational scholarships and subsidies were known as “Yabut Scholarships”, its graduates or proponents were called Yabut scholars. My wife came from a poor family so she worked hard and graduated from Pio del Pilar High School in makati, a Yabut scholar.

              These scholarships/subsidies were afforded by and continue to be funded by 20% of the real property taxes paid by its property owners (like me). Its says on the bottom of the real property tax receipt that 20% of the tax paid is for that purpose.

              Long before Binay took over, indigent residents of makati could receive free or reduced medical services from the ospital ng makati and, by extension, from the makati medical center, which had donated millions annually in medical services and pro bono services from its doctors and staff. This evolved into the Yellow Card program of Makati. Of course, a substantial amount of this free or reduced medical program was and continues to be funded by taxes paid by its residents.

              As stated, Binay did not conceive of these programs. They’ve been there for years. He merely expanded it. Nancy Binay admitted it in an interview, that they took pre-existing programs and built on them.

              But when Binay’s political ads first began airing in 2010 until now, projecting him as the city’s hero for these projects, I wondered why he never gave any credit at all to the city’s taxpayers, like me, who work hard to pay their city taxes. Or the makati medical center for the free services and substantial cash donations they have given all these years, and still are giving. Or to Nemesio Yabut, who started those projects.

              Why was there no mention of the substantial contributions of legitimate NGOs who worked with the city government to alleviate poverty, medical & educational needs, etc., in makati?

              Last but not least, no credit was given to nor any mention was made by Binay of the Ayala family for their contributions to Makati’s progress.

              Instead, his slogan and ads show pictures of Binay superimposed on the projects and benefits. The numbness I felt after seeing his ads gave way to indignation. It seemed to me unkind, even arrogant of Mr. Binay, not to have given credit where it was due. He would have even come off as gracious had he done so.

              The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own is the very definition of plagiarism.

              My comment is based on years of observation, living and working in the place where all of this which i spoke of happened. The image he has created for himself is not a true representation.

              • I had to Google who this Yabut guy was and found this:

                Like most districts and towns scattered across the 1,000 inhabited Philippine islands, Makati is controlled by a tough, ruling party mayor, Nemesio Yabut. Unlike most of the other 1,600 mayors that stitched together Marcos’ formidable political machine, Yabut is extremely close to the first family, and he owes his vast wealth and power entirely to Marcos and his wife, Imelda.

                In return, Yabut’s most crucial function is to ensure a major, ruling party victory in his influential and vote-rich district in every election–especially when Marcos’ own political future is on the line.

                But the political climate has been changing in Makati, as Marcos’ credibility and popularity have waned nationwide in recent years, and the business district ruled by an iron-fisted man whom Imelda Marcos once described as “a tribal chief” has now become the seat of the Philippines political opposition.

                For example, in one of the many opposition street protests in Makati in the wake of the 1983 assassination of Marcos’ chief rival, Benigno S. Aquino Jr., the husband of the president’s election challenger, a heckler in a high-rise bank building dropped a plastic bag filled with urine on Yabut’s head as he spoke at a pro-Marcos rally set up to bolster the president in difficult times.


                I wished they did something like this over here, plastic bag full of urine. Love it. LOL!

              • nielsky says:

                @Mike Acuna,

                Yes, you are absolutely right.

                Such is our political culture: as an old politician leaves, a new one comes – renaming or relabelling ongoing activities, projects, programs to pass off as if these were of the new political actor.

                In the case of Binay who was elected mayor from 1988 to 1998 and relected from 2001 to 2010, not to mention having been appointed OIC by no less than Cory, the mother of PNoy in 1986 – it must be true that he simply continued some of those Yabut implemented.

                The huge wall of history (i.e. Binay as mayor for 20 years) inevitably cover from public view whatever Yabut may have accomplished during his incumbency. But the same length of time of having nurtured these activities, projects, and programs for their attributes as ‘best practices’ must necessarily be recognized as the legacy of Binay. This is so because he could have opted to abrogate them.

                Your very authoritative narrative achieves to show that perhaps, more than Binay, Yabut should also be acknowledged. But again, our politics leaves little room for such a give away.

                In fact, most of the projects that Marcos envisioned are simply being continued by all presidents that followed him. Good examples of these are on infrastructures like toll expressways, MRTs, and even in telecommunications.

                Thank you Mike for your informative comment.

              • @ nielsky

                “The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own is the very definition of plagiarism.” – Mike Acuña

                That is his point, as I understood his comment.

                Credit must go to Binay for recognizing a good idea and opting to continue it. But claiming it as his own is another thing – a negative. Claiming the progress in Makati (the country’s premier financial center) as the result of his work is even worse, as any mayor in that city can do that if not better, and without his plundering ways. We can say that Makati made him rich, not Binay who made Makati rich.

                His epal ways of claiming credit for his dole outs for the poor when it was taxpayers like Mike who funded them is being shameless beyond compare. He did not sourced those dole outs from his own salary, in fact, the expose from the SBRSC hearings and various investigative journalism show that he allegedly dipped his fingers (to allegedly build for himself and his children mansions and some business with dummies so he can launder his stolen funds) from Makati’s enormous fund c/o her taxpayers, BSP anomalous transactions, and the equally anomalous Comembo property acquisition, not to mention the ghost employees of the city that is allegedly the source of his early campaign sorties all over the Philippines. The AMLC findings revealed such funds in his various joint accounts with Limlingan and Baloloy who upon his instructions are not appearing in that hearings. He is counting on the judicial court’s snail paced process so he can delay being convicted, meanwhile he is trying his best to appear a victim, trying to fool the people. We are tired of his palusots.

                The nerve!

          • andrewlim8 says:


            If I may share to you my views re your concerns.

            “I get that Binay is unsavory and is a thief, but isn’t that the norm over there, what makes his particular racket worst than the others?”

            Precisely the point of the campaign and why it is of that nature. It shouldn’t be the norm.

            Electoral politics here differs sharply from the US in this sense: you go to battle on policies and ideologies and cultural biases, but you don’t have to concern yourselves with integrity issues. Those who do not pass this initial criteria are weeded out.

            Bush the younger was reviled so much but nobody can accuse him of corruption (which I will define as the financial kind- illegally benefitting from position). Obama was highly popular at the start but got bogged down on so many issues – immigration, economy, Iran, healthcare, etc. But you never hear of him dippng his hand in the cookie jar!

            Here, the first concern is: will he steal? Considering this is a nation of 80 million Catholics and nearly 500 years of its dominance, go figure why integrity of its leaders is always in short supply.

            The battle on who’s a better manager, with better plans and effective leadership is the second step in a two-step process. The integrity issue has to be hurdled first, and so many fail to do so.

            • edgar lores says:

              Good answer!

            • “Precisely the point of the campaign and why it is of that nature. It shouldn’t be the norm.”

              Are you saying that the other would-be candidates (throughout) are sparkling clean, or that the ones caught (or under investigation) were just sloppy. Because I’m pretty sure (again I’m being biased here, based on what I saw there) if we put all of them under a microscope we’ll find something on each–precisely because that’s the norm.

              I can totally respect the ideal, but the norm is the norm and there’s no denying it. Maybe have a law in place, where every politician is allowed to plunder with impunity (let’s say the first year, let’s make it worthwhile for them–something like the biblical concept of jubilee but for politicians over there), but thereafter the task of effectively running a nation has to be done.

              Americans aren’t immune to corruption. To quote Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney, “We all know that people are the same where ever you go, there is good and bad in everyone”. The only difference are systems and institutions in place to keep people in check. I guess culture also, “All men are created equal”–we’re not perfect but there’s a clear trajectory towards that goal.

              Is this “Daang Matuwid” ideal more of a hindrance (ie., because it’s hypocrisy, sort of like the old kindergarten saying of not pointing because when you point, 3 fingers–4 if your thumb’s really flexible–are pointing back at you). I’m being facetious with the bizarro jubilee idea, but my point is work with what you have.

              Besides the jubilee idea, do you have other ideas that will slow down the musical chairs of corruption allegations there? If every other President who gets elected gets dinged for corruptions or some other type of scandal, that kinda renders the whole point of the office moot, no?

              • edgar lores says:

                Andrew is saying that, with respect to corruption. PNoy is the new ideal norm.

                The term “norm” has two meanings: one is “typical” the other is “standard”.

                You are using it in the former sense: i.e., what is being practiced.

                Andrew is using it in the latter sense: i.e., what should be practiced.

              • “PNoy is the new ideal norm.”

                For something to be the new norm, there has to be either a lot of it and that it’s spreading. So are there plenty more PNoy’s? Are Roxas & Poe ones for sure, or are they just fitting the mold, but placed under pressure will yield a different tale? Is it spreading, this new norm? This question, I can answer, just from gauging the articles on here and that’s a big fat no.

              • edgar lores says:

                Ahaha! The new norm is spreading. In this blog, only Primer/nielsky/nielksy holds on to the old norm. Admittedly, he is three persons in one.

              • Joe America says:

                The new norm is established at the core of government, where competence and measurement toward goals are common, if not comprehensive. The top tier of leadership, cabinet level, is at the new norm. It falls off below that, I think, but it is for sure pushing toward transparency and objectivity in measuring performance, and even incenting those who do well. Mar Roxas will continue the spreading, I think. Poe, too, perhaps. She has two sides of her face and uses them both. Binay not. Disaster.

                I would hope that you would leave this blog with a bit of confidence that the Philippines is no longer bottom fishing, and is on the way toward modern governance and hopefully the good results that go along with it.

              • nielksy says:


                For the last time, Primer Pagunuran and nielsky are operationalized as in propositional logic in the form of – “if p then q”. Otherwise negated, please go carefully, if not p then not q. There seems to be no third way, is there, edgar?

                It still escapes me Mister why you can take the liberty to mention me from no connect of so ever type that I feel like anybody can just stab me from the back.

                Besides, I don’ t know what you and LCpl_x talk about to merit any mention of me in that so, oh well, always unflattering light. Don’t most normal people have to say: “edgar, find a life?”

              • edgar lores says:

                I am proving a point (p) to LCpl_X. And you are the one and only exception (-q) to the point.

              • andrewlim8 says:

                @ LCpl_X

                “Americans aren’t immune to corruption.” Definitely. But can you say the levels here vs there are the same? Reference the Transparency International rankings. Some countries are more corrupt than others. If your standards are such that microscopes are used, then I do not know how nations can get anything done. Does failing to attend the arrival of dead soldiers compare to pocketing millions of pesos from the treasury? We make judgments.

                “Daang Matuwid” is hypocrisy – for the corrupt! Because it boxes them in, it sticks for a long time, and renders all their arguments of competence irrelevant. Sure it’s an ideal, but do we drop every ideal just because it’s not perfect? Do we stop having relationships with women just because so many of them are naggers or unfaithful? Do we abolish the judicial system and the police force because we can’t reduce criminality to zero?

                This will lengthen the post, but I had argued in previous pieces here that certain facets of the dominant faith may actually lead to a very tolerant attitude towards corruption:



              • “Do we stop having relationships with women just because so many of them are naggers or unfaithful?”

                andrew, I’m not espousing going cold turkey here, just working with what you have and adjusting how you conduct business accordingly.

              • “I would hope that you would leave this blog with a bit of confidence that the Philippines is no longer bottom fishing…”

                Joe, I am convince that things are better now than when I was back there in the mid-2000s, but based on the LGU articles and the commentary in the ACLU article (I think jameboy was the only one espousing the positive view there), I get the sense that it is still business as usual over there–improving yes, but definitely nothing to call a new norm.

                So where is this spread happening and how is it spreading?

              • Joe America says:

                The spread is happening now, and it is comprehensive. The swamp, however, is deep and rich with all sorts of slimy and venomous creatures, hiding within the muck.

              • “The new norm is established at the core of government”

                I totally get the whole top-down model, Joe, but something so entangled and ingrained to culture over there needs to be measured from the bottom-up, IMHO. That’s the where and how I’m interested in.

              • Joe America says:

                The LGU’s are a mix of old time power and influence, with some honest and law-abiding people rising to the forefront (Robredo). It’s a process. If you want to find bad guys, you can. If you want to find good, they are there. The processes are being built to favor the good and punish the bad. But it is like running in slow motion, with chains about the limbs. I just personally dislike generalizations that take the bad and overlay them on the whole, because that ends up being a misrepresentation of the hard and earnest work being done by a whole lot of people.

  5. manuelbuencamino says:


    Why frame the choice as negative East vs positive West? I don’t know if the American or Western Boy image is good for Mar. I support Mar and I prefer to see him described as the embodiment of the “new” Filipino leader – straight, capable, hardworking, and independent when it comes to pursuing the national interest. I don’t want a China/ Eastern Boy nor an American/Western Boy, I want a Filipino.

    • Joe America says:

      Mainly because I don’t like the idea of an alliance between Binay and China, both of whom seem to be behaving badly toward the Philippines. The post advocates a law-based society rather than a corrupt one. I have a hard time figuring out which is the real Filipino culture, frankly. If it is Mar Roxas, more power to him and Filipinos like him.

    • edgar lores says:

      That niggled at my mind too because the East has wisdom the West is still absorbing.

      I’ve been trying to identify what that wisdom is.

      The West is direct and open, and the East is inscrutable and mysterious.

      The Philippines is at the crossroads of where East meets West.

      The West is mainly about science, rationality, institutions, freedom, human rights, individualism and material progress. In contrast, the East is about religion, emotionality, mysticism, family, collectivism and spirituality.

      Aha! Spirituality!

      Twelve of the world’s major religions originated in the Near East, India, China and Japan.

      o In the Near East: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Baha’i , Zoroastrianism
      o In India: Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism
      o In China: Taoism, Confucianism
      o In Japan: Shintoism

      Conversely, the West has founded Scientology, various offshoots of Christianity such as Evangelicalism and Mormonism, and Secularism.

      The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted in 1948, is suffused with Confucianism. Peng Chun Chang, the Chinese representative to UNESCO and the “towering intellect” behind the UDHR, stressed the importance of combining the Western concept of human rights with the ethics of the great religions.

      Ironically, one of the great consequences of Chinese expansionism has been the spread of Buddhism to the West from Tibet. The 14th Dalai Lama was forced to flee to India in 1959. In the years since then, Buddhist monasteries, universities and meditation centers have flowered in the West. And the New Age movement in the 60’s and 70’s drew its inspiration from the great religions.

      I perceive two ironies here that can be laid at the doorstep of Western culture with respect to the two major characters in this blog:

      1. That China has adopted the Western notion of (national not individual) “right” in its West Philippine Sea expansionism… to the neglect of ethics. This “right” can be seen as pay back for its past century of humiliation (1839 – 1949) by the “right” of might exercised by Western powers. (It is to be noted that there is an ambiguity in Confucius attitude to the crime of stealing: he seems to place primacy on loyalty to family above social justice.)

      2. That Binay and his comrades in jail have embraced — to the very extreme — the Western notion of personal happiness in the pursuit of materialism… to the neglect of the spiritual values supposedly inherent and practiced in a country that is 80% Catholic.

      I understand the use of the device of “Eastern culture” in this blog to highlight the shortcomings of China and Binay… but after all is said and done (a) the “social culture of power and favour” and (b) the neglect of ethical considerations at the national and individual levels… are universal.

      It is way past time that the notion that countries have only amoral interests be laid to rest.

      • nielsky says:

        Very quickly, if there is anything that accounts for an ‘un/trained’ perception of Chinese history and culture is, as I must have earlier also said, is the fact that China’s history, Chinese culture, and all the way to China’s foreign policy – is largely misunderstood.

        In a public lecture on China or the logic of the Chinese dragon under Xi Jinping, Dr. Li Kaisheng outlines in more graphic details what constitutes these elements. Accordingly, it is said that Chinese language has many idioms – those abstract notions for example of hope prosperity, and the like. When such idioms are often misunderstood, more will be.

        And the way it is mentioned here now, it seems that even Confucianism that somehow has long history of practice can be misunderstood. Am not sure if that would be a scholarly statement.

        By the way, the contrast of ‘humiliation’ in case you might fail to understand is actually ‘civilization’. The best way to prove that great civilization of China, unlike any other civilizations, is to immediately cite four of China’s great inventions.

        Furthermore, aside from Confucianism, the other strong foundation of the Chinese dragon if you will is its tribute system. Am sure edgar here will be able to find out, first, what these great inventions were and second, what China’s tribute system is.

        Till then, I wish to engage in a finer discussion on the theme.

        • edgar lores says:


          I count 3 “misunderstoods”, 1 “un/trained perception” and 1 “failure to understand.”

          Spell out what is the correct understanding according to you and what specifically are the “misunderstoods”.

          Addressing insinuations is a fool’s game.

          As with the issue on political dynasties, there is a failure of specificity.

  6. Vicara says:

    Binay has the con, all right. The second “n” is redundant. Agreed on that point.

    From all indications, his presidency would not usher in a new order, but would revive the archaic merchant system of currying favor with the Celestial Empire (which then as now believed it was the center of the world, and superior to all other nations) through tribute and accommodation. From the groveling merchant’s point of view, who was to know about this back in his home country? (The mailboats were slow then.) So long as the Emperor grants him concessions and made sure the taels kept flowing into his hold, Binay will say yes to everything demanded as tribute. Standard behavior in a merchant. Disastrous in a president of a sovereign republic.

    Great powers at some point end up thinking and acting alike: e.g. Germany, Japan, and yes, the U.S. But all eventually came to some kind of rude awakening–at a cost to other countries and to themselves–and made their return to the family of nations. China’s not there yet–and that bodes ill for the rest of the world. Not just the Philippines.

    • nielksy says:

      Vicara, it is a double no.

      First, ‘Binay has the ‘con’ is wrong and I don’ know where you pick that up.

      Second, the term ‘conn’ which obviously you’re not conversant about, is the proper word – extremely too appropriate in the way the term was used.

      So, no such thing as redundant there which should properly apply if the same two words are used in a sentence. No such. It is a naval lingo – trust me I have served in the navy and therefore I know from where I speak.

      Shed out a bad habit. There is time lest you might be able to appear like you even understand what conn is. Consult the dictionary.

      • Vicara says:

        Nielksy, unfortunately my ironic play on the words “con” and “conn” went a little over your head. Suggest you look up “irony” in the dictionary.

        Interesting, how you can float fairly sophisticated arguments, and then suddenly not understand irony. Wondering if another person shares your nom de plume.

  7. Attila says:

    The best solution is for a diplomatic response by the collective group of allies to bring this case to Arbitration against China’s bullying tactics. The government is doing all they can. But where is the reaction of the people? The political parties and organizations and many of the star senators like Senator Santiago and the “Magnificent 12” and many others who are not doing much or are silent about the Chinese aggression. Some of them are still have the anti VFA rethoric. When the minesweeper USS Guardian became stranded on the Tubbataha Reef in January 2013 after visiting a Philippine port there was a huge nationalist anger against the United States. Filipinos were up in arms and were united in their rage! The US payed $2 million to Philippines for damage to protect the reef. On the other hand the Chinese completely destroyed 7 reefs for development this year alone. China just keeps grabbing islands and fishing grounds from the Philippines. Filipinos are still not outraged and still not protesting the same way as they do against the USA. They completely lack the “outrage”. There are no mass protests against the Chinese in the Philippines who are exploiting Filipino workers either. They really get a pass at home also! Filipinos are holding Chinese and other Filipinos to a much lower standard than they hold Americans and other white people. Just imagine if a European country would destroy those islands and would take marine territory away form the Philippines. Filipinos would be outraged and would make their voice heard everywhere in the world by protesting and mobilizing overseas Filipinos to get involved. Filipinos would also swing in to action If a white own business would exploits their Filipino workers! The same can not be said about the many Chinese run businesses in the Philippines. Filipinos have a much higher sensitivity when it comes to my race than people who look like them. There is a nasty stinky double standard. That’s because Filipinos who are influential and powerful in the Philippines are themselves Chinese, or of Chinese origins, which explains why the South China Sea fiasco has not been resolved. Corruption is rife as government officials accept bribes from the Chinese. It seems that Chinese Filipinos are playing a dangerous game and It may backfire against them. They could end up as a target of ethnic hatred by native dark Filipinos who make up the majority of the Population. They may see them as their oppressors.

    • Vicara says:

      Am glad you brought up those points, Attila, which are dark indeed, and which many unfortunately refuse to acknowledge may exist. When the writer Francisco Sionil Jose made his admittedly graceless comments about Filipino-Chinese and their loyalties, there was an immediate backlash by well-intentioned, liberal, middle class Filipinos. They said: Sionil Jose is racist, out of line, case closed.

      Thing is, this effectively shut down all public discussion of race and ethnicity and nationalism, which in other parts of the world have been the flashpoints for a lot of the brutal wars ongoing. It would be lovely if all Filipinos were as liberal and color-blind as our tiny educated middle class thinks we are. But we are not, not always. There is no Filipino exceptionalism in this regard, and we have to be prepared for ugly racial tension should China aggression escalate.

      The moves to shut down such discussions this early also works against Chinese-Filipinos, who like the rest of us are situated somewhere along a nationalist spectrum. No doubt they are looking into themselves and seeing where they stand as individuals, or as small groups in private discussion. What may be lost here is an opportunity for Chinese-Filipinos–and certainly not all fit the mercantile I’m-in-this-country-only-for-the-money stereotype–to serve as a bridge for creating greater understanding between Filipinos and ordinary China citizens, for example acting as a counterbalance to the demonization of the Philippines in state-controlled online discourse in China.

    • Joe America says:

      You raise a very interesting point. Singapore and Malaysia have similar problems, a strong Chinese business community that runs things, with complaints from the working class. The Malays used to be the underclass in Singapore, but have largely been raised out of that by Malaysia’s own economic growth, and Filipinos have moved into the “service class” in Singapore, with a few ethnic tensions, as well. Right now, the Chinese Filipino business community is Filipino in every way. There is little cross-national residency or interest, other than a few business investments (Jollibee, SM Development). How that changes, as cross-investments grow, has yet to play out. But there is no question that Binay would undertake bilateral dialogue, tossing into the sea the work that President Aquino has done to build the multilateral opposition to China you argue for.

      • Attila says:

        In the US and other parts of the world it is perfectly accepted to talk about “white” racism. We are refereed as “whites” who are responsible for a list of crimes. From collages to the president of the US and in the media. Everywhere! The same could be expected about the Chinese in the Philippines. They could be named as the source of racism and oppression in the Philippines against the native Filipinos. It seems many of that accusation could be well deserved.

        • Joe America says:

          That could be, Attila, but I just don’t see it in the Philippines, the racial condescension from Chinese Filipinos. I see references to the darkness of VP Binay that are racial, but that has its origins from other Filipinos. I do see that China behaves in condescending ways toward Filipinos, which I am confident includes Chinese Filipinos. Whites are discriminated against in favorable terms. Blacks negative. But these are not the deeply inbred racisms of America 50 years ago, when blacks had to drink out of different drinking fountains and sit at the rear of the bus. Here . . . no drinking fountains, no problem. Anybody can sit anywhere.

          • Attila says:

            You may want to read this article: If it is normal to talk about white privilege then why not talk about Chinese Filipino privilege? It is certainly there! In this liberal progressive climate they should start preparing. If articles by prominent writers like this one starts appearing in the Philippines it could be the sing of a coming back lash.

            • Joe America says:

              The comments are worth reading, as well. My various readings suggest that the Chinese Filipino business community is into profits and not nationalism. Their families fled China several generations ago. They, I am sure, wish the Chinese incursion would just go away to leave them in peace, and if they have the opportunity to express that to anyone in China who matters, I suspect they would. I don’t think they know anyone who matters, frankly. They are pawns like the rest of us, and with a lot of money riding on peace and harmony. They don’t want internal rebellion against them, either. Filipinos are their customers, managers, workers and colleagues.

              • Attila says:

                Yes the comments are worth reading. I like this comment: “Edgar Wickberg, who wrote “The Chinese in Philippine Life 1850-1898″ said that in 1895, while in exile in Dapitan in Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, Jose Rizal was filled with righteous indignation at the “exploitation” of the natives by the Chinese traders, and appealed to the local residents to boycott the Chinese shops. He also opened a small sari-sari store to compete against the Chinese.” Has anything change since then? I start to believe that the anti-American propaganda is supported by Chinese Filipinos to cover up their exploitation of Filipinos. It may be a diversion. That would explain a lot.

              • I’m not a big fan of race baiting as strategy. These kinda things tend to get out of hand quickly. One positive aspect of Filipino culture is that it’s inclusive. Not exclusive like the rest of East Asia. Leverage that to your advantage–don’t create divisions unnecessarily.

              • edgar lores says:


              • Joe America says:

                Agree. It is inclusive, without gender bias or religious bias or racial bias in a systemic way. I cannot imagine a fiesta that would not welcome any one.

              • Attila says:

                Of course Filipino culture is inclusive. That is why the Chinese were able to exploit Filipinos because the natives let their arms down with the Chinese. I guess what happened in Dapitan in Mindanao, in the southern Philippines was a race baiting by Jose Rizal. He was filled with righteous indignation at the “exploitation” of the natives by the Chinese traders but in reality he was just being racist. Right? How would someone be labeled today if he would do something similar today?

              • You can fight injustice w/out resorting to race baiting. Have you examples of Dr. Jose Rizal actually race baiting? Or was he simply describing the injustice? There’s a difference.

                Our local newspaper, when reporting on local crimes, ie. burglary, robbery, theft, etc., feels compelled to leave out race as descriptor–rendering all their reports useless to the community. Mentioning race and race baiting are two different things.

              • Attila says:

                LCpl_X (@LCpl_X) You call it race baiting I call it describing the injustice by the Chinese. You can not have double standard where you have no problem saying “white privilege” and “white racism” and not to do the same when it comes to other races and nationalities. Sorry I do not subscribe to this kind of hypocrisy. There is Chinese racism and Chinese Privilege in the Philippines and if you want you can substitute it for “Yellow”. The Chinese are not a protected race and neither the “Whites”. The Chinese are no more special than whites so I recommend that you buckle up and just listen to you fellow patriotic Filipinos like F. Sionil Jose and take it seriously. It’s going to be a rough ride!

              • “I recommend that you buckle up and just listen to you fellow patriotic Filipinos like F. Sionil Jose and take it seriously.”

                I just Googled a photo of this guy, and the guy looks Chinese forchrissakes!!! His face nullifies your whole point, A

              • Attila says:

                The President of the USA is half white and half black He is mixed raced and brought up by whites. He says he also suffered from white privilege and racism. F. Sionil Jose may look more Chinese than a native Filipino but that doest mean he doesn’t not believe in Chinese supremacy and racism in the Philippines. Many whites also believe in white supremacy and privilege and expect some Chinese Filipinos or mixed raced Filipinos to do the same. Welcome tot he club again!

              • It’s hard to race bait, if you look like the people you are maligning, is my point. If you take race baiting to its logical end, you usually get something like Rwanda (black on black, how did they know who was who) or Zimbabwe (black on white). If it’s done well, you get something like the Japanese internment camps over here–still a bad deal if you’re at the receiving end.

                from Jose’s article you’ve posted: “I know now that in the event of a war with China, many of our ethnic Chinese will side with China so I will not ask anymore on whose side they will be if that war breaks out.

                I will ask instead my countrymen — they who are aware of our revolutionary and heroic tradition — the Filipinos who revere Mabini, Rizal, all those who sacrificed for this land and people: “What will you do now?”

                Those two “Filipinos” are Chinese descendants!!! Again, nullifying your point.

                If it’s simply collusion you (and Mr. Sionil Jose) are worried about, Atilla, there’s systems in place to quell that. Use the scalpel before using the big sword. Don’t go Balkan just yet!

              • Attila says:

                Just keep being in denial as many others do. It will come back to bite you one day: The practice of Chinese supremacy and privilege and racism at the expense native Filipinos will not be swept under the rug and it should not. Chinese race is not above all just like “Whites” aren’t. Pure and simple hypocrisy and that is why I don’t like those who protect Chinese supremacy but have no problem believing in white supremacy, racism and privilege. It is relay astonishing. However I’m not surprised. I learned that many Filipinos are hypocrites. Once you learn about them and drink with them and they open up to you then you learn about their shocking racism. Not all but astonishingly many. I also should mention that many of the Filipinos that I know are Chinese mestizos. For some strange reason they are the ones who have the privilege to come to work in the USA ( the professionals) and not the native brown ones. I learned that they are the high class and the brown ones back home are the low class. Hay Nako! I’m not a stupid Kano you can not BS me, I know the culture!

              • Atilla,

                You’re wrong, be a man about it and own up.
                Don’t whine.

                And your last post is further evidence of why you’re wrong,
                you’re a racist. Simple minds, come up with simple solutions.

                We’re done.
                Take your race baiting somewhere else.

              • Attila says:

                I just need to turn the table on you and show you how Chinese Filipinos are doing the real race baiting. Well I admit they are doing it in a very sophisticated way. A good example is a movie called A Mother’s Story. We all know that the entertainment industry the media politics, almost everything in the Philippines in run by Chinese Filipinos and I have many examples of this hight tech race baiting done by them. If you want more I will continue with juicy examples. In this movie they cleverly used a dark native Filipina (Pokwang) who was abused by an affluent white family in the USA. There is a part (1:25) where she was called stupid and a towel was thrown in to her face. You watch the movie and you see how Whites are characterized. This is not the behavior of whites it is really out character for whites to do this kind of things. It is more the behavior of rich Chinese Filipinos in the Philippines. They just switched the race and the place. Anyone in the Philippines who watched that movie now will believe that whites doing this kind of abuse to Filipinos. Fits the narrative that the whites are the bad guys right? Ugly racist anti-white propaganda when in reality Chines Filipinos are doing this kind of abuse to their fellow Filipinos both in he USA and in the Philippines. I can give you links to stories about slavery and abuse done by Chinese Filipinos against their own people in the USA. This is high tech race baiting pure and simple just to cover up their exploitation of fellow Filipinos. I have more do you want them?

              • “This is not the behavior of whites it is really out character for whites to do this kind of things.”

              • Joe America says:

                You two can stop at any time. It’s like those old western’s where two guys are beating on each others until they both collapse in the dust and recognize that this did not really accomplish much.

              • I’m simply countering Atilla’s conspiracy theories with like films and lit.–this master/slave drama is found everywhere around the world, ie. in Brunei, UAE, Zanzibar, Brazil, Japan, the Balkans, etc. It need not be part of some race baiting conspiracy.

                Tell me, Atilla, was this also some sort of Chinese Filipino race baiting conspiracy:

              • Joe America says:

                We’ve been down this path before. The conversation has two people, both self-confident and determined that his view is right, neither willing to listen to the other. It is not discourse. It is shouting. All that is missing is the letter caps. When it starts to dominate an otherwise worthy thread, I need to put a stop to it. Editor’s prerogative.

              • Joe America says:

                I would add, the point is not debatable. Nothing fries my bacon faster than someone who believes this is his blog.

              • Attila says:

                You are right. I’m sorry. It is not my blog and I respect that. Maybe I should start my own. I was just getting warmed up and I have so much to say. As an Eastern European white I look at them from a different angle with different results. Thanks again.

              • Joe America says:

                Hey, Attila, I’ve been know to get worked up, too. It’s called passion. That for today is the trombone section. We also have strings, reeds and percussion, as we witness Primer beating his drums :). I appreciate that you have your eye on the baton.

          • Attila says:

            “But these are not the deeply inbred racisms of America 50 years ago” Not just from America and not just 50 years ago but from today to hundreds of years ago. “Whites” are accused of white privilege and racism now, today! Not just in the USA but in Europe and everywhere in the world. As a Hungarian white Caucasian I’m in that group weather I like it or not. It is what it is. No one is distinguishes between a colonial white from the south hundreds of years ago or an Eastern European white. If my race can be collectively held responsible all over the world and it is widely accepted then Chinese Filipinos are going to have a tough time. I just want to welcome them to the club! Their anti-American and anti-white propaganda will bite them back. They are going to get their own medicine.

    • Dodong says:

      This is the reason why I read Joeam and Raissa’s blog you are educated and informed by the blogger on issues and then you learn more from the comment section. Thank you for sharing.

  8. edgar lores says:

    1. Extrapolation is to take “facts and observations about a present or known situation and use them to make a prediction about what might eventually happen.”

    2. The extrapolations made here are sensible, and the cautionary caveat at the end is reasonable.

    3. I like that last phrase in the caveat “at your own risk” as it accompanies the verbs “read, believe and act.”

    4. The risk to reading is becoming entrenched in one’s biases. Confirmation bias as it is known.
    4.1. The benefit to reading is enlightenment. As I ventured 4 blogs ago, reading may be the major factor that separates the more enlightened ones from the less enlightened ones.

    5. The risk to believing is the expectations of faith may not be realized.
    5.1. The benefits to believing are manifold: security, belongingness and confidence among others, and especially vindication when the belief is realized.

    6. The risk — and benefit — to acting are consequences. Unlike the first two verbs, acting — whether by commission or omission — may have a greater effect on others than on ourselves.

    6.1. Take the consequences of sex, for example. Oh, sorry, no, we are talking about the country being the center of the world and politics being at the center of the center… and Election 2016 being at the center of the center of the center. (Oh, God, Popoy’s and NHerrera’s influences have affected me: A > B > C.)

    6.2. Where was I? Oh, yes, extrapolations and consequences.

    6.3. I will make one extrapolation and one consequence: If Binay wins, there will be another People’s Power Revolution. Many people will suffer needlessly.

    6.4. No need for a caveat.

    • Joe America says:

      Ever the comedian and wise thinker . . . wonderful examination, and I agree with your extrapolation. Vote Binay and there will be hell to pay.

    • NHerrera says:


      No need for me to do an A>B>C on your 6.3 — I share that view. Now, will that help in getting NH out of influencing you?

      But I cannot promise JoeAm I will not do an A>B>C again; the most I can promise is that it will be a variation of the theme; and it does not have to be associated with Popoy.


  9. Johnny Lin says:

    Many Filipino illegal aliens in US (TNT) eventually become legal immigrants with green cards by following the advice of their lawyer. Keep hiding, keep employed, have a family like normal residents while the lawyer will file a motion to suspend deportation at the same find the best means suited for the individual to apply for legalization like marrying a US citizen, getting labor visa. The lawyer is prolonging the stay by keeping the US immigration system in check by following the law. A few are deported but most eventually become US immigrants.

    China is an illegal alien in Scarborough, building structures, airstrips, putting up communication systems, inhabiting few islands while they face or delay facing their detractors led by Philippines in international bodies like Courts and UN. They talk and refile new proceedings like the US immigration lawyer.

    What will happen? Just like Filipino TNTs in US eventually getting green cards or the Chinese will be deported?

    Did the Chinese learn the tactics from TNTs?

  10. Johnny Lin says:


    I promise this to you for spending your previous time composing this unthinkable article.

    You gave us 3 stark choices this coming presidential election. You said ” the 3rd and hardest path is for Roxas election. I agree, that is why I’m praying much harder now for Roxas to win. I’m a Catholic and I prayed not too hard before for Grace to make a quick decision to run for president so PNoy could anoint her but she dilly-dallied. My catholic prayer went unanswered.

    Since Iglesia ni Kristo is in a lot of trouble nowadays with their own ministers claiming that the INC acts like a criminal syndicate kidnapping relatives and threatening their members, DECEIVING the people with their large collection and FOOLING politicians by asking bribes for Iglesia votes. So they can recover their tainted dignity and attract other sects to join them I’m willing to convert to INC and be baptized in the river if they will vote for Mar so your dream to overcome the hardest path will come true.

    Added caveat is I will change my name following the direction of the winner according to your 3 choices.

    If Binay wins which will favor the Chinese in the South China dispute, I will revert my name to my original Chinese name- Jhan Nye Lin

    If Grace will win favoring US, I will JoeAm my name- Johnny Lynn

    And if Roxas will win because of INC block voting I will get baptized into INC and change my name to – JuaNA LIN LANG

  11. Johnny Lin says:

    “Outcomes project etched in this blog are opinions and not certain”

    Since everything is predicated to “if”, regret to say the projections are incomplete. Instead of 3 choices, there should have been four choices. Unless Joeam believes in Chinese lore, they don’t like number 4 since it’s a bad luck number.

    At any rate, to complete the supposition reality must prevail.

    Roxas wants Grace to be his Vice President. Since this blog presupposes Poe as presidential winner, there a candidate, the Vice President of Roxas would then be Leni Robredo. Ask Jim Paredes!

    Since the hardest path is Roxas being elected, the easier portals would be Binay or Poe as elected president.

    If Binay is elected, he is old, too stressful 6 years, he could die in office so VP will assume presidency and that is Leni. Ask Serge Osmena.

    If Grace will win but she could be disqualified from office for being american citizen, still Robredo will assume presidency. Keep asking Serge!

    That will bring us to the the 4th choice.- If Leni becomes president how will the Spratleys be resolved. To the Chinese, to the Americans, to the Filipinos.

    Bet Chiz will answer- to the Bicolanos since he and Leni are both from Bicol region. Syllogism, who said that?

    • edgar lores says:

      In the face of Grace’s vacillation, Leni is shaping up to be the real alternative as VP candidate. In Raissa’s blog, RO-RO has become sort of a war cry.

      This reminds me of an extrapolation from a nursury rhyme (misspelling mine):

      Ro, ro, ro the boat
      Gently down the stream,
      Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
      Life is but a dream

      Ro, ro, ro the boat
      See the water run,
      Ro-ing here and ro-ing there
      Oh we’re almost done.

      The interpretations of the song from Wikipedia is worth reading. Here’s an excerpt:

      “The song has been used extensively in popular culture, often to reflect existential questions about reality. Lewis Carroll, in the poem at the end of Through the Looking-Glass, used a variation of “Row, Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, sometimes called A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky… Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock sang “Row, Row, Row, Row Your Boat” at the beginning and end of the film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), reflecting issues about the need for self-discovery. In the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), the song is used on the soundtrack and by Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) as they try to hide from the memory erasers, reflecting issues of the importance of memory to reality…”

      Existential question: How do we define the Good Life?

      Self-discovery: Is integrity essential to our personal and political life? (Eisenhower’s quote posted on the sidebar some days ago is worth remembering.)

      Importance of memory to reality: Remember the depredations of Marcos, Erap and Gloria? Do we want another plunderer to lead the country?

  12. grammy2342 says:

    i am quite amused by your repartee with each other, guys, and wish I could add my own “intellectual” reply but I have no ammo.

    I will vote for Mar because he is not corrupt, has a good legacy to protect and does not court media. I just wish that more Filipinos would think that way and not be “bought.”

    Otherwise, I will have to apply for Canadian citizenship (am Permanent Resident) and just pray for my family who still reside in the Philippines and cry silently in my sleep.

  13. “Entrepreneurship, and small and mid-sized businesses, will flourish. Careers will become meaningful.”


    What’s the plan look for making the above happen? How do you teach entrepreneurship? Not the GW Bush or Mitt Romney or Donald Trump type of “entrepreneurship” where the previous generations give ’em a head start, but the Steve Jobs/Wozniak or Catmull/Lasseter kind where you create from nothing.

    Business is fast becoming fully dependent on the internet, how do you ensure your connection to the outside world is continuous–even with severe typhoons and other natural disasters? How do you ensure it’s free from cyber attacks? How do you make the internet connection over there bigger, faster and stronger?

    I remember my discussion with edgar, when you were on vacation, on education.

    There’s a bunch of experimental schools stood up these days to teach innovation and foster creativity, just in California alone, and it’s being encouraged by Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Are such schools being developed over there? I know there’s tons of IT type schools there, but are there computer science programs that match Stanford’s, CalTech’s or MIT’s?

    Lastly, how do you find meaning? Philippine character strikes me as very timid and risk-averse. You find meaning and you’ll find resilience,

    and all the above will fall into place. Without meaning though, “you’re just another brick in the wall”. Finding meaning, encouraging the search for meaning, is the point–entrepreneurship, the internet, education, improvement of Filipino character, all this rest on meaning. How do you nudge Filipinos to live purposeful & examined lives?

    • Joe America says:

      That would be quite a research project to get it right. I know Senator Aquino is pursuing initiatives to foster small and medium sized businesses. There are others, too, but I’ll just let the idea hang there as a likely result of efforts to make the growing economy inclusive.

    • i7sharp says:

      Without meaning though, “you’re just another brick in the wall”. Finding meaning, encouraging the search for meaning, is the point–entrepreneurship, the internet, education, improvement of Filipino character, all this rest on meaning. How do you nudge Filipinos to live purposeful & examined lives?

      I wish PNoy had used at least the phrase “emulate Rizal” in his sixth (and last) SONA.
      Or, at least the name of Dr. Jose Rizal.

      I do not know of a Filipino who has had a more purposeful and examined life.

      Looking up the Pink song on Wikipedia, I came upon this:
      “On the live version the song gets an extended ending seguing into …”

      Although I know about “segue,” I do not recall seeing or hearing “seguing” or” segueing” used in a sentence before.

      It would be nice if high school students in the Philippines get to know such words as segue, awry, and other short words of the kind early on – and feel comfortable using or pronouncing them

      LCpl_X, what you wrote reminded me somehow of a comment sent a few months ago:
      rjac = Ray James on “achieved/contributed”

      • “I do not know of a Filipino who has had a more purposeful and examined life.”

        That would be pretty sad if the peak of your civilization was Jose Rizal–that’s why I was so enraged with the comments on joseph‘s New Filipino Philosophers article. People should be searching for more Rizal-type individuals there and not settle for a historical figure who’s been coopted by various agendas throughout your short history–rendering any serious study of the man, dubious.

        Watch this:

        • i7sharp says:


          Please name a few Americans who had a more purposeful and examined life than Rizal.
          Martin Luther King? George Washington? Benjamin Franklin?.

          Or, of other nationalities.
          Mandela, Bolivar, Castro?

          Or, Filipinos.

          I hope there will be Filipinos who will prove to be as good as, if not better than, Rizal.
          In character, in intelligence, in integrity.

          But the country would be blessed to have many who are “only” half as good.

          Perhaps we won’t find many in the world who know 22 languages as Rizal reportedly did.

          • The bulk of the founding Fathers, ie. Jefferson, Paine, Franklin, etc. Then after that you have a stream of Nobel prize winners. Then you have a bunch of writers that fit the bill. Then you got the new guys, Steve Jobs, Gates, Musk, etc.

            If you wanna compare purposeful and examined life, it would have to be the Transcendentalists (to include John Muir) and the Beats (to include Allan Watts), but all those guys were just copying Sramanic traditions, so you’d have to credit Indians that.

            The thing with Jose Rizal is that he’s put on a pedestal. We have crap on pretty much all the above–there’s what they did (for the world) and there’s their character (adulterers, vindictive aholes, etc.).

            Jose Rizal over there is largely viewed as some sort of perfect being. Comparatively, he ranks up there, but certainly not on top.

            You guys have made a Jesus out of him, something to imitate but never become. For example, is the 22 languages fact or is that just part of the Rizal myth–how do you ascertain this?

            He was a doctor, a writer and teacher, he was bright no doubt but he was no da Vinci. My point is start breaking down Rizal to create new and better do’ers and thinkers and both.

            The question we should be asking is, are there new Rizals over there now?

            • i7sharp says:

              You guys have made a Jesus out of him, something to imitate but never become. For example, is the 22 languages fact or is that just part of the Rizal myth–how do you ascertain this?

              “You guys”???
              Who are these guys?
              Filipinos, by and large?

              Google “Rizal 22 language.”
              After looking at some results,
              would you settle for 11 languages?

              But let us look at the integrity, the character, the intelligence of any individual (anywhere in the world) you think is better than Rizal. Please name the one who first comes to your mind.

              btw, …
              much as I admire Dr. Rizal, I do not make a Jesus out of him – as if I can.

              (What do you know about Jesus? If I may ask.)

              • By you guys, I mean Filipinos. I saw countless of Rizal statues, really bad ones, some good, over there, mostly in schools. These Rizal statues are ubiquitous, the irony though is that most don’t know what he’s accomplished or what he stood for, even less his books–which is sort of the whole point (like Thomas Paine’s 3 books).

                Rizal over there, is basically Thomas Paine over here. Both writers, both caused a revolution. Rizal distanced himself from the revolution he caused, Paine embraced it and stoked it further–he also fought in the lines. If you wanna play compare/contrast Thomas Paine is your guy.

                What were these 11 languages, and how do we ascertain proficiency for each? Spanish we can check off. Local languages (since most Filipinos can speak at least 3 languages there), we should just consolidate to Filipino. Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic & Sanskrit, I’ll give him academic proficiency, although Hebrew, Arabic & Sanskrit I’m doubtful. English and German, I think he’ll have all 3 proficiency covered–having lived there. Japanese and Chinese, maybe Japanese in listening and talking, but doubt his proficiency for reading in both. French, Italian and Portuguese, unless he’s lived in countries that speak these languages, I’m suspicious of. I’m also suspicious of his mastery in Dutch, Swedish & Russian.

                So, Filipino, Spanish, English, French, German (places he actually lived), Greek and Latin (because academics knew Greek & Latin back then), for sure. All the rest, will need some sort of proof of proficiency. Proficiency is the ability to create with the language.

                As for Jesus, I think John the Baptist and Jesus were about salvation through austerity (ie., it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to go to heaven), then somewhere along the line salvation through belief became popular, and became the norm. John 3:16 isn’t attributed to Jesus but John (or one posing as John, pseudo-epigraphy and all).

                I believe there’s two trajectories of Christianity, and . I prefer Christians who are closer to the first concept, belief-only movements breeds superficial faith that encourages imitation instead of becoming–this goes straight to the heart of character and to the wider character of the Philippines, ie.

                “Live Simply, so that others may Simply Live.” Consumption vs. Compunction.

              • i7sharp says:

                “If you wanna play compare/contrast Thomas Paine is your guy.”

                Thomas Paine is *your* guy, not mine. Just to make it clear.

                Let us consider the intelligence of Rizal vis-a-vis Paine.

                May I suggest that, for a start, you google “Virchow Rizal” and see what you can learn from the results that is particularly relevant or worth delving into?

              • OK, the guy wrote a glowing eulogy for Rizal. Was there something in particular you wanted me to read?

              • i7sharp says:

                From this search,
                and its results, one can get an idea of Rizal’s intellect or intelligence.

                The first result I got happens to be an eulogy by Dr. Virchow.
                To know who Virchow is to get a good idea of, if you will, the character, the intelligence, the integrity of who he is eulogizing.

                That’s for a start.

                Please give us an idea of Paine in this regard.

              • “Tom Paine was the most pro-French Revolution propagandist. He had helped the Americans in their conflict against Britain with his pamphlet Common Sense and possibly had also had a hand in writing the Declaration of Independence. He had tried to encourage democracy in England. Later he went to France and was almost executed by the Jacobins on the grounds that he was a royalist. Paine then returned to America. He helped to light the spark of two revolutions and attempted a third. Paine read Edmund Burke’s pamphlet, Reflections on the Revolution in France and replied with Rights of Man which was published in two parts in 1791 and 1792. Like Common Sense before it, it was aimed at the craftsmen and artisans. Paine said that all men were equal and any non-equaliser such as money, power, prestige or titles, were wrong. He felt that governments should reflect social equality.”


                His three books are:

                1. Common Sense

                2. Rights of Man

                3. The Age of Reason

                The last is probably his most important work, continuing on where Spinoza began (the fight is against religious tyranny). But the first two books laid out the very foundation which Jose Rizal enjoyed in Europe, inspiring him to continue what Paine (and others) set ablaze, a century prior.

                Where Rizal’s influence was regional, Paine’s was global. Is Rizal cooler or much cuter than Paine, maybe, but we have to look at the weight of their influence.

              • i7sharp says:

                “Where Rizal’s influence was regional, Paine’s was global. Is Rizal cooler or much cuter than Paine, maybe, but we have to look at the weight of their influence.”

                Rizal was, I understand, about 5’2″.
                If influence is a factor, perhaps Darwin would be your man. 🙂

                When you get down to it, I think Rizal is better than Paine and Darwin combined.

                I gotta run but hope to be back on this in a few hours …
                Touching also on the Philippines being the center of the world.
                May I offer this for consideration?:
                (I believe it is not off-topic.)
                ez to remember …
                Ezekiel 5:5

              • You’re right Darwin’s transmutation would be influential,

                but he’s largely an academic character. Paine was in the trenches, whose vibrancy infected. Also, on Darwin’s character, he held out writing his tome only until he felt Wallace
                was gonna publish his own research. Good thing Wallace afforded Darwin his due, and bowed out. So Darwin’s not a very vibrant, revolutionary character on par with Rizal and Paine.

                When speaking of intelligence and character, influence is usually a fair factor to consider, otherwise our list would be limited to those with autistic tendencies. Read more here on definition of intelligence, so we’re on the same page:

              • On Ezekiel 5:5, what of the Americas? But more importantly, how is this related, on topic?

              • i7sharp says:

                “On Ezekiel 5:5, what of the Americas? But more importantly, how is this related, on topic?”

                JoeAm began his blog thus:
                I’ve come to understand that the Philippines is the center of the world.

                Who better to say where the center of the world is than the One who created and owns it?
                “Thus saith the Lord GOD;
                This is Jerusalem:
                I have set it in the midst of the nations
                and countries that are round about her.”
                e-z to remember: EZE 5:5

                For a perspective, please see Psalm 24:1

                Now, back to Rizal and why, IMO, he is better than Paine and Darwin (to name only two) combined.

                Let us learn about Rizal’s last hours from a blog by one who seems to be Chinese or Chinoy:

                From Xiao’s blog, I can gather that Rizal died a Christian.
                In other words, his soul was saved.

                “For what shall it profit a man,
                if he shall gain the whole world,
                and lose his own soul?”
                Mark 8:36 KJV

                LCpl_X, how were the last hours of Paine?
                Or, Darwin’s?
                Did they not lose their souls?

                btw, please note that Rizal was unceremoniously interred (without so much as a coffin) under the nose, so to speak, of the reigning religious authorities at that time. Are they still reigning now? What do you think?

              • Ah, I see where you took this, I thought we were being objective and comparing revolutionary writers.

                You’re playing the I’m “saved” game and you’re “not”!
                I’ve always failed to see the fun in this.

                Clearly Ezekiel 5:5 missed the other half of the world. Ethnocentric is the word for this.

                As for Rizal being saved, how do you know this for a fact, what is your basis? Can you provide evidence of Rizal’s salvation? And then can you provide evidence of Paine’s non-salvation? Let me cut to the chase, you can’t. You can only think that you know–that’s different from actually knowing. We’ll never really know.

                Was he Christian? To collect the “evidence” you have to scour his writings (since this will be the window to his soul), not cherry pick them to fit your own view of things. This would be a better discussion. Although Paine was very forthright with his last book, the best comparison for whether someone was Christian or not would be Thomas Jefferson.

                But for revolutionary writers, who caused revolutions, Paine and Rizal is an interesting compare & contrast.

                Paine’s last book defined his thoughts on religion and faith. Here’s how he died. Remember who else died with no fanfare? So the manner of which someone dies is beside the point, your ideas live on.

                Thomas Paine had passed the legendary limit of life. One by one most of his old friends and acquaintances had deserted him. Maligned on every side, execrated, shunned and abhorred – his virtues denounced as vices – his services forgotten – his character blackened, he preserved the poise and balance of his soul. He was a victim of the people, but his convictions remained unshaken. He was still a soldier in the army of freedom, and still tried to enlighten and civilize those who were impatiently waiting for his death. Even those who loved their enemies hated him, their friend – the friend of the whole world – with all their hearts. On the 8th of June, 1809, death came – Death, almost his only friend. At his funeral no pomp, no pageantry, no civic procession, no military display. In a carriage, a woman and her son who had lived on the bounty of the dead – on horseback, a Quaker, the humanity of whose heart dominated the creed of his head – and, following on foot, two negroes filled with gratitude – constituted the funeral cortege of Thomas Paine.

              • i7sharp says:

                “Ah, I see where you took this, I thought we were being objective and comparing revolutionary writers.”

                Well, I am heading to where hopefully the world can see how Rizal’s influence- among other things I intend to mention – can make the Philippines be, in a way, the center of the world.

                Let me push the envelope a bit farther:
                Rizal is better than Thomas Paine, Charles Darwin, Bertrand Russell, Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins … Obama … (to name a few) combined. 🙂
                My opinion only, of course.

                Who could Rizal be thinking when he uttered his last words?
                Would you know?

              • I’m Googling as I go here, I’m no Rizal expert. But,

                Farewell, sweet stranger, my friend,
                who brightened my way;
                Farewell to all I love; to die is to rest.

                He’s referring to his wife, correct? Unless you have a different interpretation.

                As for ‘better than Thomas Paine, Charles Darwin, Bertrand Russell, Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins … Obama … (to name a few) combined’, what were Dr. Jose Rizal’s accomplishments besides being a doctor, educator and writer? OR

                Are you just hanging all this on the idea of Christian salvation by way of belief, hence he is “better”?

                I still doubt he was Christian the way you’ve pigeon holed him. Do you have writings of his in which he professed his faith in Jesus & salvation?

                We’re going back to the whole notion of Filipinos making him Jesus, or at the very least, some sort of idol (your views just confirmed my point on this).

              • i7sharp says:

                “I’m Googling as I go here, I’m no Rizal expert. But, …”

                Neither am I.

                Please read again the blog article I shared yesterday – if only because it is, IMO, the best blog article on Rizal’s last hours.

                Here is the shortcut to it:

                Please note that Rizal read the Bible and “Imitation of Christ” during those hours – and his last words were, “Consumatum est.”

                “It is finished.” John 19:30 KJV

                Was that proof he died Christian – or rhat his soul was “saved”?
                Let us continue to look at his life to hopefully get a better idea.

                (LCpl_X, let us pause here and note that the Philippines (“the center of the world”???) is said to be the only Christian nation in Asia. Thus, my focus on the word Christian – not necessarily believing the Philippines is, thus far, it is said to be.)

                btw, did PNoy’s father (the late Senator Aquino) do the same – i.e., read the Bible and Imitation of Christ in his last days? Am not sure but I think he did.

                For a wider perspective, let us look way ahead into the future
                … to the “new heavens and a new earth.” Isaiah 65:17 KJV

                Did Rizal look that far ahead? Did Paine?
                – Who was more likely to have done so?

                Do you look forward to that realm, LCpl_X?
                Frankly, I do.

                There is a group of some 1,300 members and of some 24,000 postings that devotes discussion on Dr. Rizal.
                I do not know if any of the 1,300 believe Rizal died “saved” or Christian.
                A big majority, I guess, believes he s a humanist.
                Perhaps he was – until his last hours?

                There was a dude who was deemed a malefactor an hour or so before he was assured of paradise.
                See Luke 23:32-43

                If the guy made it (to paradise), why would not Rizal?
                Why would Paine?
                For that matter, why would Darwin, Russell, Hawking, Dawkins … Obama?

              • I just posted a comment about an article on Level 5 Leadership, which ends with this,

                “Whether or not we make it to Level 5, it is worth trying. For like all basic truths about what is best in human beings, when we catch a glimpse of that truth, we know that our own lives and all that we touch will be the better for making the effort to get there.”

                I believe Dr. Jose Rizal to be one of these rare Level 5 leaders, though his potential was cut short.

                Thomas Paine (and Barack Spinoza, from which the concept of church & state separation came) and his convictions are readily available for all to read–again “Age of Reason”, IMHO, was his greatest work. Had he recanted all that upon his death bed, and wrote a similar poem as Rizal’s ‘Last Goodbye’ (highly interpretive), Paine would still be known for his 3 books, his articles and speeches–his written convictions on living and how to live life well, the examined purpose.

                But you are focusing on the last period (.) , that period, punctuation mark, where Rizal’s life is so rich of lessons to be learned. Isn’t more important to focus on what his convictions were, as he wrote them either as letters to friends and family, professional correspondence and in his literary work?

                You may be right, that that last period (.) of his life story, symbolizing salvation, according to you and many others who have coopted Rizal as icon to your own convictions, is the most important facet of this great man. We disagree that’s for sure.

                But how does this focus on salvation aid to foster the next leaders of the Philippines? Wasn’t idol worship one of the very concepts Rizal was against? And just for purposes of full disclosure, what is your religious affiliation? (you were witness to my interaction with edgar in this matter–I’m basically an atheist when speaking to literalists of any religion, but an agnostic when speaking to atheists.)

                Other than focusing on his purported salvation, how else can the Philippines use the story of Rizal to encourage more purposeful and examined lives over there? Specifically to engender the new philosopher-leaders that josephivo wrote about a while ago?

                Here’s a story of a female Sufi mystic name Rabia from Basra, one of my favourites from the Middle East:

                One day, she was seen running through the streets of Basra carrying a pot of fire in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When asked what she was doing, she said,”I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise. They block the way to Allah God. I do not want to worship from fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of Allah God.”


              • i7sharp says:

                And just for purposes of full disclosure, what is your religious affiliation? (you were witness to my interaction with edgar in this matter–I’m basically an atheist when speaking to literalists of any religion, but an agnostic when speaking to atheists.)

                For my response, please go to:


            • Joe America says:

              There are many, many talented and brilliant Filipinos working around the world. What I have termed the Eastern system makes sure they leave the Philippines to find good jobs, because the mayor’s inept cousin is usually the boss. Or if they are here, working as . . . say . . . attorneys . . . then the system makes sure they get intellectually corrupted, ala Binay’s camp and party. I think the big missing piece in Philippine performance is the dedication to skill, and the measuring and rewarding of it, in the workplace, that allows the talented to surface. I really dislike nation to nation comparisons on talent. Talent is everywhere, but the systems differ.

            • nielsky says:


              Just a piece of thought from me.

              Have any one yet bothered to check if Jose Rizal graduated medicine, as we commonly know it and on whether there is any document in existence (i.e. diploma) showing that one Jose Rizal has been conferred the degree of Doctor of Medicine.

              I understand even ‘archaeologists’ might still be searching for this ‘missing’ document. I hope my reliable source is wrong. Try if you can.

              • Rizal studied ophthalmology specifically for his mom, for me this was never under suspicion. Your “reliable source” is wrong. Here it is:

                “For Medicine and Ophthalmology training in Europe, Rizal studied at the Universidad Central de Madrid where he earned his Licentiate in Medicine in 1884. A licentiate is similar to what we now call a bachelors degree. During those times, further medical education was not necessary to call oneself a physician or practice medicine. However, one could go on to obtain a doctoral degree after passing examinations and writing and orally presenting an approved thesis.

                Rizal began to write his thesis for his doctorate in medicine. But because he lacked funds and was rather in a rush to become an ophthalmologist as he was receiving letters from home about his mother’s failing eyesight, Rizal did not stay long enough in Madrid to be able to orally present the thesis. Without completing the requirements for a doctorate, he left for Paris to study ophthalmology.

                In the 19th century, ophthalmology was already a separate, flourishing, and dynamic specialty in Europe although there were no formal residency training programs yet. One became an ophthalmologist through the tutelage and supervision of well-known professors. If you were good and your mentor liked you, then you were allowed to personally assist them in the clinics and at surgery, and actually performed some of the procedures. Training was very personalized. Rizal went to Paris to train under the famous occuloplastic surgeon, Dr. Louis de Wecker (also known as Louis von Wecker) where he served as assistant at de Wecker’s clinic for 4 months (from November 1885 to February 1886).

                He then proceeded to Heidelberg where he trained under Dr. Otto Becker. He completed his doctoral thesis in Germany and just mailed it to Madrid, hoping that they would accept it in that manner. To orally present it would mean an extra trip to Madrid, which he could not afford at the time. But Madrid did not make an exception for him and he never completed his doctorate. Perhaps, this is the basis for the mistaken notion that Jose Rizal was not really a doctor.”

                He reminds me a lot of Dr. Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara:

            • Ric says:

              Very late reply, but it seems to me that i7sharp’s argument with you was unnecessary because you were not belittling Rizal anyway. He seems to have been under the impression that you were belittling Rizal, which I simply can’t see from your original posts (maybe a little from your succeeding posts, but that was after he sorta provoked you into doing so.)

              To me, your original point was quite clear – Jose Rizal was a pretty good guy, but the Philippine nation can do even better today. He lived more than a hundred years ago and there are more than a hundred million Filipinos now. Rizal is not the summit we should be satisfied with, I’m sure there will be more Filipinos who will equal or even exceed his accomplishments. Not me, obviously.

  14. jess rodinas says:

    JoeAm don’t discount the possibility of a Duterte presidency he scored big in social media surveys. He i the man we are hoping for that can make the country like singapore.

    • Joe America says:

      I know a lot of people like his style. I don’t think abrupt change will get the Philippines where she needs to go. Stability and consistent economic growth will, because it encourages investment. The nation has had too much of instability from those who believe they have the best way. There has not been enough simple, good work.

  15. jojo carreon says:

    hi Sir,, again a great article..
    i just hope somebody could translate your article to “tagalog”so people in the class C,D & E could understand that this 2016 election is not just a ONE-DAY of fun & money over flowing..

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, I’m glad you found the article meaningful. Someone would have to volunteer to do the translation. It’s not in my skill set. I think communication with the C/D/E voters has to take a different form than this, and we are starting to see that with banners, bracelets, t-shirts and the like.

  16. Miguel says:

    This is my take on Poe.
    Her decision leans on popular sentiments, like Pnoy’s accountability on Mamasapano or condemnation of Binay’s corruption (albeit to late though). Therefore she may go against China. However, she will not choose the right and narrow path even if it will bring better results. Yes the powerful will become more powerful, because she is loyal to whoever is “good” to her despite their chizy background. She is naive but will fight if provoked. The comments against her in the social media and in this popular blog will provoke her to run for President. Oh no.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, Miguel, thank you for clarifying what has been irritating me for some time, but I’ve not been able to clearly identify it. It is Senator Poe’s LACK of any defined purpose other than finding popular issues to ride onto the front pages. Many of these are attack-oriented, rather than BUILDING anything, and are done at risk of undermining the credibility of people working diligently . . . as did the Mamasapano hearing. She chooses her fights badly, I think.

      Thanks for that light bulb moment.

  17. NHerrera says:


    – The Binay election path — the road easily travelled such that at the end, we can hope to beg and get a pot of rice and can of sardines, through being bussed to rallies and voting precincts.

    – The Poe election path — the road not difficult to travel such that at the end, we may have a pot of rice and can of sardines without begging for it.

    – The Roxas election path — the road difficult to travel such that at the end, we may have jobs with which to buy our needs with dignity.

    • nielksy says:


      In your thematic variation, in the case of Binay and Poe, why do they sound like a ‘shoe fits two’ since as you laid in your premises, there hardly is any essential or substantive difference between them.

      And yet in the case of Roxas, you no longer have rice and sardines but ‘jobs with which to buy [our] needs with dignity’ except that at the same time, in Mar, ‘the road (is) difficult to travel’.

      Do you think that, both figuratively and literally, people would prefer to tread the difficult road?

      Maybe, explain more about this ‘election path’ metaphor lest it can be misinterpreted. And there is an imagined variance since you quite cleverly simply changed the values – it then appearing, Mar must be preferred.

      Will it be correct to say that for Binay and Grace, the 4Ps program will still be okay since it caters to the poor – giving them aid [begging or not begging] which literally means rice and sardines. But for Mar, maybe he will abolish it since he would rather have people working thereby making the road difficult to travel?

      So if we remove the 4Ps from the poor under Mar, doesn’t that then sound like – “bahala na kayo sa buhay nyo”? Am just making a clarificatory point.

      • NHerrera says:

        My mind and heart expressing itself in prose or a bad imitation of poetry, if you like, nielsky. We will never know until at least 2022, will we? Note that I used the phrase “at the end.” May be at least a decade is the better time scale for the phrase “at the end.” Thanks for the note.

    • Joe America says:

      There you go! Domestic version, short form. Excellent profiling of the impacts of the voters’ decision.

    • Remedios Santos says:

      correct NHerrera with dignity

  18. Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

    Can hardly keep my eyes open, dunno what’s wrong, mind a little bit foggy, hope can comment later if internet service at the office is restored, had to testify in court again…dolor de cabeza, scram!’re making my bp 144/74

    …great article as so much to join….commenting after a short break….saturday, perhaps…zzzzzzzz

    • Joe America says:

      Take care, Mary. Get some rest. Kick the computer.

      • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

        Thanks, Joe.

        Yep, I almost kicked the computer, it was internet connected (service restored after a week) before the PLDT lineman took a look, after he left, we lost the connection for the whole week (again)…

        That was some mighty rest, thank God I was able to wake up to the world of the living.

        Here at home, we had internet but I was out for the count…now the ipad needs recharging…will have to use the mini one…hahaha!

        • Joe America says:

          Ahahaha, lot of gadgets you have . . .

          • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

            Shared by the whole family…those gadgets…gifts from OFW members of the clan

            • Joe America says:

              Sharing is something I should write about one of these days. It is something Filipinos do very well, and something we “it’s mine!” Americans have trouble with.

            • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

              Mentioned different gadgets not to boast, just to justify why my posts are from different computers, or what computer experts say different IPs…have an aging desktop and laptop here at home too, that I seldom use…the aging desktop was my gift to myself a long time ago, the rest are all gifts from generous relatives. If different gadgets results in different IPs then I could have as much as 6 IPs hahaha…

        • edgar lores says:

          Mary, glad you’re back.

          • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

            Am, too…i have some rebuttals to do re nielsky’s posts…just staying away a little more so this pesky irregular bp readings have settled, when it’s not too high, It’s way way too low that I almost pass out…hope comments will not go stale until I’m ready to deal with PP/nielsky

  19. DAgimas says:

    I am more worried of Binay winning in 2016. If only Poe is willing to slide to #2

    PNoy and Roxas should not have called on Poe to give way. they should have looked beyond her. Robredo I think is a good VP and can stand her own against Escudero

  20. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    There was a time when the righteous attacked The Binays of dilly dallying thru technicalities … Now it is Binay-prosecutor-Trillanes turn to postpone and dilly dally …..

    If only Anti-Binays listened to me, they wouldn’t have face the same issue they had with The Binays.

    It is time for HUSTISYA MATUWID.

    Trillanes has all the right to postpone the contempt hearing. It is technicalities, yes! But Laws requires technicians. Now they are learning. From whom? FROM BINAYs !!!

  21. Johnny Lin says:

    Ninoy anniversary is coming on August 21.

    Grace Poe is still undecided. After 6 months being in the news that she is top choice and still undecided speaks highly of her poor judgment or confusion by whispers of self interested advisers. Only left for her is to run as VP and screw Chiz since VP is a waiting post and does not need immediate decision making. Makati Business Club just declared the OVP as the most inept government agency. What did these business people expect from an agency without any known purpose except to wait for the president to die or get comatose and buy dozens of black suits and black laced barongs to go to funerals. Compound this standby post with a corrupt family syndicate, Binay is the worst Vice President all over the universe.

    The very day after Ninoy anniversary and Grace is still undecided, it’s time for Roxas to dump her and announce that RORO is the hands down choice of the Masa. That is fairness to her to give her sometime to make a life changing decision. In return, Leni must decide before 9/11 anniversary by reminding people that tragedy is not confined to terrorist attack like what happen to US plane victims but it could also affect simple families out of dedicated work of family breadwinner like what happened to Jessie’s accidental plane crash. Yet, life goes on and people with purpose move on thus she decided to seek higher office to continue the dream of her husband, serve the poor, fight for the helpless and thread good government fighting corruption initiated by PNoy.

    By announcing it with clear cut, fast decision and continue the clean image of governance of her husband, nobody could beat her for VP. And if she continues to perform very well while in office, 2022 is her time.

    The greatest loser is Grace, squandered her precious opportunities many times. Her vacillations, for whatever reason, is her own making. She has run out of time. She might finally decide to be the quintessential spoiler and new JOKER in politics.

    “To feel the heat, go to the kitchen”
    Grace Poe stayed too long in the kitchen of Chiz she forgot she has her own kitchen to spark.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      MARO is nice slogan for Mar Roxas-Leni Robredo.

      In human life bone MARrOw is the storage of CLEAN YOUNG CELLS to create new cell life of dead or sick tissues cause by cancer or prolong illness giving hope to patients.

      MARO is the same CLEAN YOUNG PARTNERSHIP to bring new life to a sick nation riddled with cancer of corruption thereby giving hope to a starving nation and people.

      • NHerrera says:


        Here is just a variation and expansion in your thought:

        – MARO with your explanation sounds nice; but RORO methinks has the zing and bite my mind somehow prefers, (one man’s opinion).

        – When the time comes the announcement of the RORO can be designed with the appropriate early teasers and words and stage performance — no effort and resources spared — to make it memorable, addressed to the masa. It should be a knockout.

        – As to timing of announcement, I believe this is being used as a strategic factor by the Roxas Camp for one reason or another, considering that all the major players are all saying SEPTEMBER or the eve of the CoC filing as their date of announcement. In short, Roxas is subtly playing a game here, methinks.

        • Joe America says:

          I believe they are lining up the entire LP ticket, from Reps to Senators, and that announcement will be a huge splash. August is a bad luck month, so I think it will be a few weeks before that is done. I’m still with Sal, who has held to Roxas/Poe all along, and Robredo likely for senate.

          • NHerrera says:

            Ok, shying away from the so-called Ghost Month, I agree — September for announcement, that is. I agree too about the splash with a full line up; even Erice is active these days, even mentioning heavy weights and more than the 12 names for Senators. And yes, even Erice has Robredo in the Senate line-up. Meanwhile back at the the Binay Ranch they have their heavyweights — Pacquiao, Alma Moreno, Atienza, Roque.

            MarPoe or Roro, that is the betting game then. In a way, I like MarPoe to happen because it is rich in strategic and tactical moves and feints fit for a story. Joe, may I suggest, you write a piece along that line when it happens. I believe it will be a bestseller.

            • Joe America says:

              There you go, reading my mind again. The tactics of Poe for VP are superb, her skills and character notwithstanding. It is a position in which she can either learn and redeem herself or become an unneeded extra left shoe. Harmless if a tad awkward now and then. Bam Aquino for President in 2022 anyway. Running against Robredo and Poe. OMG, and the US can only put up riff raff extremists and mal-contents. The Philippines has three excellent, mature choices in 2022. Just dump any overly ambitious crooks who might be in the way.

              • NHerrera says:

                If only we can export our possibilities like Bam to the US, but no can do even if granted citizenship ASAP, not natural-born. So you have to contend with Trump for the red state side. Of course, Bam sounds more like a Democrat than a Republican. And we need Bam here.

            • Johnny Lin says:

              Robredo comes into play based on this blog’s stark 3 choices.
              How could there be Mar-Poe then?

              Make up your mind! (Poe- cillation syndrome)

              • Joe America says:

                The popular wisdom, fueled by the wisdom of the press, is that there are likely three candidates for President. But the bookies and bettors recognize that politics is played in the back rooms and not in the press, and their wisdom is different. The blog article is for popular consumption. NHerrera, his magician friend, I, and my bookie Sal inhabit the dark and smokey rooms where real deals go down, and may calculate differently.

              • NHerrera says:

                Not that I love Caesar less. But I love Rome more.


              • Johnny Lin says:

                Election is really in the air

                Balimbing is the fruit of the season
                He he he!

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        MARO is not a goot slogan. In Visayan it is “smart-aleck” “street-wise”

        • Johnny Lin says:

          I’m not Visayan, someone whispered to me that kapampangan MAROK means bad. Yeah forget it, bad slogan.

    • WBAR says:

      As pointed out by Ancient Mariner @Raissa’s… if Grace is using her husband’s surname, will she be able to lead the surveys?

      • Johnny Lin says:

        This idea is nitpicking of people not looking themselves in the mirror. It’s hypocrisy.

        100% these same people when they wooed their girlfriends, wives or paramours change their appearance or identities to attract more attention and sympathy. Other times they drop the name of a famous person as their close relative or friend while applying for a job or trying to be recognized or feel important during parties or plain chit chats.

        Everyone did change their ways, identities or appearances to catch favors including you and I during our lifetime.

  22. josephivo says:

    The 1% is prospering. We, the 10%, may benefit from the right path too. But some 90% of the families living with less than 30K a month. 5+K for rent or mortgage, 5k for 2 , 3 or 4 tuition fees and school transport, 2/3K for a helper, 3/5K for electricity, TV, cell phones, clothing, some for fun… not a lot left for rice and ulam. When got your helper her last increase, or the others belonging to the least 50%?

    So what are we talking about? The Chinese way generated more inclusive growth and dramatic poverty reduction even combined with corruption. What can a Wharton graduated president learn from them? Or even a Boston College graduated?

    Shouldn’t the juxtaposition be a US cruel free market capitalism with growing disparity between poor and rich, ako, ako, ako versus a Chinese more state controlled, more inclusive economic model, we, we, we?

    • josephivo says:

      Robredo the best bet for real change and poverty reduction?

      Didn’t mention Binay because his interpretation of ako, ako, ako is an sick outlier.

    • NHerrera says:

      Re: Shouldn’t the juxtaposition be a US cruel free market capitalism with growing disparity between poor and rich, ako, ako, ako versus a Chinese more state controlled, more inclusive economic model, we, we, we?

      Gini Coefficient:

      Philippines 44.8
      China 47.4

      • josephivo says:

        Stand corrected for income GINI, China at 55 in 2012, rising fast, Philippines as 43 in 2009, decreasing. But still it feels illogic as China’s development is now spreading to the rural areas and inland cities of China, Chinese in general happy with the progress, supportive to the party.

        GINI is a income statistic. Some influencing factors. Large households versus small households. In the Philippine ¼ of people at working age works abroad with high % of remittances. GINI is relative, absolute incomes can differ dramatically, e.g. Bangladesh and the Netherlands have the same GINI income figure but the situation of the poor in both countries are quite different. Income statistics neglect wealth…. look at the BIR list of high payers, few of the wealthy pay high taxes thus don’t have high incomes, Philippine statistics might be flawed. GINI might be proof of the quality of the Philippine accountants and corporate lawyers.


        Adults: 56,730,000; Mean wealth: 8,799$ versus Median: 1,849$ (less than 1/4);
        Less than 10K$: 88.1% between 10 and 100K$: 11.1% between 100K and 1M$: 0.8% more than 1M$ 0.1%

        Adults: 998,254,000; Mean wealth: 22,230$ versus Median: 8,023$ (more than 1/3);
        Less than 10K$: 58.4% between 10 and 100K$: 39.1% between 100K and 1M$: 2.4 more than1M$ 0.1

        But one should look at it on a time scale over the last 30 years to see the real dramatic differences

        • Joe America says:

          In the context of the blog, I’m afraid I’m not seeing the point. That if Philippine culture is Eastern, it does not work to overlay Western precepts on the nation? Rather, the nation would be better suited by a high control government that instructs the great masses of laboring poor, rather than rely upon them to elect leaders, for they only come up with popular people who can’t govern well? I’m seeing the challenge to the blog, but not the alternative, that has to have some pragmatic likelihood. Binay is your choice, because he is of the Eastern mindset?

    • Joe America says:

      Certainly the Chinese model of control and inclusion, on the State’s terms, is a choice. But I’d say there are better ways to represent that than with Binay as President. The tragedy would be, though, that the Philippines is just at the cusp of breaking the poverty monster’s back, which WOULD significantly improve the lives of the poor, and do it democratically within a much more wholesome human rights model, and we risk going back to a form of control that is highly unkind. So I’ll accept your intellectual point, but not the pragmatics as it applies to the Philippines in 2016.

      • josephivo says:

        There is a political dimension. But there is also an economic dimension. I’m afraid that all candidates are so embedded in the ‘American free market” model that little change will happen for the 90% with no wealth, only utang and a meager or no income. The 1% business tycoons and their pawns will keep taking the decisions, they are the only lobbying force in the Philippines (maybe beside the church against condoms and divorce). Unions – irrelevant, the left – irrelevant, consumers – irrelevant, academic world – irrelevant, media close to irrelevant….

        This election will give no chance at all to the poor. The ongoing discussion is to make a turn or 2 degrees or a turn of 5 degrees when they need a 180 degrees turnaround. It is not East or West, not Roxas or Poe , it is not about our peace of mind, it should be all about poverty! Ask the 50% have-not’s what the difference was between Cory, Ramos, GMA and Pnoy, they didn’t even get compensated for inflation.

        And it is hot, grey, rainy day.

        (Binay isn’t even part of my book anymore, because of his proven deficiencies in leadership in Makati – look at the squatter/Binay-voter areas of Makati; building a hotel in the Ayala triangle, the last green space in town; his dynasty extremes; his corruption extremes; a 74 year old in a boys uniform???; with no camera flying first class and with camera eating with his fingers… need a complete blog for the complete list of inadequacies. Listen to tricycle drivers and helpers, Binay has no chance this time, his financiers know, and look at his erratic behavior, he knows it himself.)

        • Joe America says:

          China substantially cured her poverty by managing her currency, stealing industrial secrets, smuggling in resources, polluting the skies, water and food as if people’s health did not matter, limiting families to one child and otherwise introducing stark controls that achieved wealth in, what, 50 years? The Philippines has democratic institutions, is inclined to respect human rights, has a church that promotes unlimited babies, and has had corrupt and incompetent leadership through and through government institutions. And yet, and yet, the nation is making progress, righting its financial book, balancing its many needs for funding, and starting to make some headway against poverty. I argue that the emphasis should be steady economic growth and in 15 years, poverty will be significantly reduced. Why must it be done today? The country was born in 1987. Disruptions, ideologically driven new governments like the leftists want? Duterte federalism and a new sheriff in town and the congress dead in Manila Bay? Bunch of horse-hockey. Keep doing what the Aquino Administration started, and the Philippines will be fine. Hold to course, push the edges toward better results. Boring. Not dramatic. Will work.

          • josephivo says:

            Deng Xiaoping is 1976, 40 years ago, real growth in China starting 30 years ago. The factors you mentioned contributed, but good planning, providing hope and delivering results plus a lot of hard work where more important. (cheap oil, brain drain of emigrating countries, pollution, NSA’s economic espionage… the US did show the way and they had access to a stronger army too)

            Growth is one path, redistribution as in the old Rhineland model of Germany can be a second path. When the Philippines would be more drastic in redistributing ( 2 Kim Hennares instead of one) the real disposable income of the bottom 50% could easily be doubled in 7 years.

            Hoping that the Comelec organized political debate will take place and that miss Robredo will be able to throw in a few tsinelas into the discussion. Hope too that Mgr. Tagle keeps repeating the importance of political programs.

            • Joe America says:

              Good planning is good planning, but when the action steps are of a value system that degrades and disrespects earnest people, I have a hard time advocating that value system for the Philippines. It is, after all, the Binay system. But as far as planning and resource allocation are concerned, I agree that directing resources to high value purposes like tax enforcement and justice investigative powers and speeding up judicial processes would help. It also seems to me that the Philippines could use the Chinese value system to develop state manufacturing plants that would start to produce all the products that China now ships to the Philippines. Like cheap computers. And make buying them a patriotic endeavor.

        • edgar lores says:

          Granted the following are — more or less — irrelevant: church, unions, consumers, academia, press.

          Could social media be the force that turns things around?

          • NHerrera says:

            This may start the discussion rolling. No A>B>C thoughts here, edgar. He he he.


            1.0 DEMOGRAPHICS
            1.1 Estimated 2016 population 102m
            1.2 Estimated OFW 2.5m (rounded, actually closer to 2.3m)
            1.1 Election 2016 projected voting population 65m of which about 70% or 45m is projected actual voters. (Better to focus on the former figure because we don’t know which 70% will vote)

            2.0 SOCIOECONOMIC CLASSES (rounded numbers millions)
            2.1 AB Class 1m
            2.2 C Class 9m
            2.3 D Class 60m
            2.4 E Class 30m
            2.5 Reasonable to think ROUGHLY that the 65m voting population can be obtained from these through the factor 65/100.

            3.0 SOCIAL MEDIA
            3.1 Estimated mobile devices 100m — majority simple call/text
            3.2 Estimated internet users 40-50m (through smartphone, tablet, computers) — let us use 40m
            3.2.1 Non-voting internet users — children below voting age, proportionately more from ABC classes and some from D class
            — my guesstimate 15m
            3.2.2 Voting internet users — my guesstimate 25m


            Subject to data numbers correction:

            a. We have to reach primarily the 25m internet users (3.2.2) out of the 65m voting population (1.1). Probably wishful to think that the 15m mostly children, facebook and selfie users, can be enthused to the election campaign, except as noted below.

            b. The OFW who each must have at least a smartphone or tablet is a potent force for the campaign. The spouse of these (of course not all have spouses, but let us assume that in a rough estimate all have spouses) at home plus say 1 non-voting child per OFW who has a smartphone can be “enlisted” in the campaign. Thus, we have 7.5m (2.5 + 2.5 + 2.5) internet users who can be enlisted in the campaign. This is an upper end estimate.

            c. These 8m internet users by diffusion can get a crack at a significant portion of their relatives/ friends in the D group. The advantage of using the OFW as an agent is because they have obtained an international outlook compared to the parochial outlook of the locals.

            d. Obviously the ABC group of voters — which I estimate to be about 7m and all internet users don’t need to be enlisted in the campaign. They can of course guide their kasambahay and relatives in the provinces to vote what they believe is right for the country.

            e. In sum, we have roughly 15m (Items c and d) to diffuse the election ideas to a significant number of the remaining 50m.

            AS IN A MILITARY CAMPAIGN, I just sketched the rough available logistics and very rough first idea and how these can be deployed or employed.

            • Excellent outline.

              We need to setup a way to find out how many people we are reaching.

              On our own we can sponsor post on facebook such as so it reaches a wider audience.

              I’ll muck around fb to find out if I can promote another persons post.

            • edgar lores says:

              Mi Heneral,

              1.2. Isn’t 2.5M on the low side My impression is 10M. Don’t know where I got it.

              • I believe the last conservative government data on this is 11M including migrating workers

              • NHerrera says:

                edgar lores, giancarloangulo:

                Quick response while I search through that link. Meantime, this thought. It is possible it’s about 2.5m OFWs supporting a family of 4 to 5. If 4 then 10m supported. If 10m OFWs support a family of 4 then we have a whooping 40m of our 100m population supported by the OFW. In any case, I will look at that link and report.

              • NHerrera says:

                Please check this Philippine Statistics Authority link on the number of OFWs in 2014:


              • NHerrera says:

                I do not want to belabor, but to make sure that I do not give JoeAm’s readers a bum steer, I checked that the 2.3m OFWs in 2013 corresponds to a remittance of @25.1B. This corresponds to a monthly average remittance of $910 per month per OFW — a reasonable number. Note that this is an average number and some OFWs are managers or engineers reasonably highly paid. If there are 10m OFWs sending the same monthly remittance, the total would have been $109.2B a huge amount — PHP4.9Trillon.

                Or said another way, granting there were 10m OFWs, they would have been sending a measly average of $209.3 per month for the total to come to $25.1B.

                Conclusion — OFWs in 2013 total 2.3m.

                (Of course, one can dig deeper in the internet and go to the nitty-gritty statistics. But I am lazy at times. When in doubt I do what engineers do — check the “boundary” items for consistency.)


              • edgar lores says:

                Mi Heneral,

                1. Your numbers on OFWs stand up. I believe the bloated 10-11M figure comes from this:

                “Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) shows that roughly 9.5 million to 12.5 million Filipinos currently work or reside abroad. This translates to around 10-11% of the total Philippine population.”

                Giancarlo is correct.

                2. Your estimated monthly remittance of $910 (P41K) tallies with government statistics that the majority of remittances fall within the range of P40K – P99K. (As a monthly figure, I am impressed.)

                2. Looking at your strategy:

                2.1. As you conclude, the hearts and minds of Class D seems to be the key to the election, composing, as it does, 60% (39M of 65m) of the expected voting population.

                2.2. Assuming, that out of the 25M Internet users, (a) all AB and C classes are equipped with web-ready devices and (b) that the E class are not so equipped… that leaves (c) roughly one-half (18.5M) of Class D to be so equipped.

                2.3. The target of the campaign, I presume, are the non-web users of the D (20.5M) and E (19.5M) classes, a hefty total of 40M votes. If the campaign succeeds in harvesting one-half of these votes, the die would be cast.

                2.3. At this point, I wish there were statistics on the distribution of OFWs by class. My guess is that there are smatterings in B (average income of $3.4K), the core in C ($1.1K) and another smattering in the upper D ($.35K).

                2.4. As to Josephivo’s query whether the campaign should be defensive (anti-Binay) or offensive (pro-whoever), I would be satisfied with a defensive one. However, a defensive strategy would mean that the hefty number of 40M votes would be divided among 2 or 3 candidates… which might favor Binay. In which case, the die would not be cast.

                2.5. The fly in the ointment, of course, is the assumption that all internet users are anti-Binay. He receives support from AB and C… but this support would crumble under a successful anti-Binay campaign for D/E votes.

                2.6. May I nominate Mi Heneral for the title of Society Strategist.

              • NHerrera says:

                I concur with the POEA data and the related Giancarlo note (Item 1.) — the aspect of residing abroad, among others.

                Your numbers (Items 2.1 – 2.3) correspond with I have in my notes. Thanks.

                Now for some general remarks, but before that thanks for the ego-lifting label. But all of us, in our different ways, through our comments here are strategists — with this sometime unconscious objective by a majority of us: take out Binay from contention and elect someone better for 2016.

                My instinct tells me that all the major political players either by themselves or through advisers have recognized the potential of tapping the social media for their campaign. Most probably up there in impact are TV and associated Radio ads and face-to-face campaign. Doubtless, their expert staff must have assessed the different modes of increasing their votes and have done their Benefit/Cost analysis to apportion their resources to these different modes. I have the feeling a political marketing expert with social media expertise has been hired to give his input. If not appreciated enough, I hope Roxas takes a leap of faith and give the social media some attention.

                To my mind if all three — Roxas, Poe and Binay — run for the Presidency, the least likely to use the social media as a resource is Binay. He would rather have a face-to-face encounter with people, via eating with his hands, than the social media approach. His social media staff will be laughed out of this mode of campaign.

              • NHerrera says:

                This is definitely the last numbers play I will post on the current blog topic. He he he.

                I initially thought of keeping it to myself but decided to share it with a caveat. The game is a one-on-one Presidential fight.


                G1 6.5 ABC Internet User, voters
                G2 8.0 OFW related IU, voters
                G3 10.5 Rest of the IU, voters
                G4 20.5 Rest of voters minus E voters
                G5 19.5 E voters

                Total potential voters 65.0

                PC = Preferred Candidate

                Through campaign methods including, say, social media campaign, the fraction of the votes going to PC:

                F1 0.80
                F2 0.70
                F3 0.65
                F4 0.60
                F5 0.20

                Caveat — the F numbers above are contrived, but the relative numbers are less contrived; that is, the relative numbers have less fantasy than the absolute numbers.

                PC total vote = G1xF1 + … + G5xF5 = 33.8

                Share of PC in the total votes = 33.8/65 = 52%

                (As I said, it is a numbers play. Sorry for taking your time.)

              • Joe America says:

                Most interesting “what if” model. So as campaign manager, you’d use it to strive for those targets in each of the populations you cite. A “split vote” candidate would put some of the numbers to severe test.

            • Joe America says:

              General Herrera it is. Well done.

            • josephivo says:

              Did not count the OFW myself, but Wikipedia talks about 10-13 million. Taught to remember a 10 million figure from the Sona. Or do we have different definitions?

              A defensive campaign to block Binay or on offensive one for Roxas? Roxas + ???

              • NHerrera says:

                Please see my notes above to edgar and giancarloangulo and the link from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

            • nielsky says:


              Incidentally, there is likewise a more interesting matrix worth reflecting on which shows a comparative table in terms of the rate of percentage tax against that of the number of kilometers of railways where it shows that the Philippines has less number of railways per killometer against its comparatively very high percentage tax.

              Can you come up with the table as this will be an interesting empirical data?

        • Vicara says:

          My housekeeper (who left school after the 4th grade) has tartly observed that Binay seems to be having trouble coming up with a running mate. Experienced politicians appear to be edging away from him; there’s a general air of desperation surrounding his campaign (hoping here that that’s not merely wishful thinking). Likely he’ll end up with a political neophyte with C/D/E brand name recall. Someone like Noli de Castro of yore? (Shudder.) For whatever it’s worth, my ongoing taxi driver poll indicates consistent interest in Duterte (taxi drivers like enforcer types; before Duterte came along they used to mention Lacson). None of them like Poe (a woman). And a surprising number–more than half–mentioned Mar Roxas AND the need for continuity/stability. Didn’t expect that from taxi drivers. They say there’s no one else at this point. But they also sound wistful, scanning the political lineup for a bit more novelty/dramatic tension. Politics is their meat and drink, sports and theater combined, and Roxas is a known quantity.

          • nielsky says:

            It is the same shoe that fits Mar.

            That is why, search is on and presidentiables tend to offer the slot practically to just anybody else they meet in the street.

            Isn’t it time to relieve your housekeeper? [in jest only]

            • Vicara says:

              Whoever ends up running as Roxas’ VP–and there are good candidates who are willing to be his running mate and are being considered, as time will reveal–that person won’t be chosen on brand name recognition alone. Time will reveal.

              I respect my housekeeper for her keen empirical observation, common sense and independence of mind. If you can understand this. She’s voting for Roxas as it happens, having looked at the three candidates and applied a similar line of reasoning as JoeAm, on her own, thinking things through in her language and from her perspective. Let’s not assume that CDE voters automatically make “bobotante” choices, or choices derived only from personal wants. Imbecility and vested interests are to be found in all classes, chattering or otherwise.

              • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

                Hats off to your housekeeper, Vicara….bravo, too to taxi drivers out there whose eyes and ears are open and using them, not ignoring what they see and hear, may their tribe increase!..Truly there is hope for our country yet.

              • Vicara says:

                Thank you, Mary Grace P. Gonzales. Yes, there is hope.

              • nielsky says:

                “She’s voting for Roxas as it happens, having looked at the three candidates and applied a similar line of reasoning as JoeAm, on her own, thinking things through in her language and from her perspective” says Vicara.

                You are lucky to have on board a wise voter, not as you say, a ‘bobotante’. How much do you pay your housekeeper? Depending on the number of taxis you might own, You’re just lucky if all your taxi drivers are also not ‘bobotantes’. And how much do they pay you?

    • “Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) shows that roughly 9.5 million to 12.5 million Filipinos currently work or reside abroad. This translates to around 10-11% of the total Philippine population.”

      10-11% of the total population abroad?!!! What’s the percentage for those over 65 yrs old–retirement, no longer productive?

      • edgar lores says:

        The 2010 figure for 65 years and over is 4.3. In a population of 100M that’s 4.3M.

        This may not necessarily mean retired and no longer productive.

        • That’s not so bad, ours is like 14% here. Pretty common for these old folks to die alone in their homes and apartments when smell is detected by neighbors or passers-by. What’s the view of suicide there, including assisted suicide? Here’s a very touching letter on this subject:

  23. caliphman says:

    Joe, thanks for a thought provoking and perceptive essay. China’s current economic hegemony, a raging and timely topic to focus on. I distinguish this from its earlier and more ideological attempt to foment a socialist revolution in the sixties and seventies inspired, supported, and influenced if not controlled ultimately by party bureaucrats in Beijing. What is going on now is blatant economic imperialism, the end objective not to gobble up countries and populations but to own if not control the rights to the vast petrochemical and mineral resources underneath what they want to refer to as their China Sea. The Japanese launched WW II for the same strategic objectives except the resources were in countries that had to be militarily subjugated and included as part of their Asian CoProsperity Sphere. This is not just an impulsive incursion on China’s part and you are right in saying that their creation and occupation of these island bases 120 miles off our shores is more or less permanent, even if the Hague rules in favor of the Philippines.

    I am less optimistic than you in thinking that any of the three candidates are clearly capable or tough enough to deal with this brand of Chinese economic hegemonism. The most immediate threat is not to our national pride but survival of our fishing industry which takes a fourth or half of its catch from now Chinese controlled coastal waters What it takes is leadership qualities that engenders respect from an aggressor who adheres to a belief that might is right and from prospective allies who can join in presenting a united front against a powerful threat. A competent team of very experienced advisors can help in developing and making the right strategic options and responses but whether Poe,Binay, or Roxas can act in the role of such an international statesman is pretty questionable at this time

    • Joe America says:

      It’s complicated. I do know that the US Congress is getting angry about China’s use of force to acquire territory, so I think there might be backing of a Philippine hard line about the occupied seas if the UN declares that they properly belong to the Philippines. It just would not happen in a day, as bureaucracy is not so speedy. Senator Poe has indicated she would continue to support the arbitration case, but Binay has not. But Senator Poe appears willing to step away from a tight relationship with the US, an odd irony considering the claims that she is “too American”. I think Mar Roxas is most likely to play hardball, as he was trained at the Zambales hostage seizure in that method.

      • Tambay says:

        I think the distance she’s making is a personal guilt she has knowing she once swore allegiance to the US and the rest of her family might still be US citizens.

      • caliphman says:

        I am not sure adopting a hard ball strategy would be in the best interest of anyone, be it the US, China or the Philippines. In this this type of situation where the country has a very weak hand, its chosen leader must be very flexible rather than rigid and must be an excellent communicator, prepared to bluff his opponent and allies at times and be willing to negotiate when pushed to the brink of outright confrontation. Roxas’s experiences at the DILG which is primarily dealing with internal security issues have not given him a leg up on the other candidates in developing him as a better leader in this type of situation. One of course might cringe at the thought of what a leader like Duterte might do in his less than nuanced approach in handling confrontations. Binay would the worst type leader to choose because based on his past behavior, he is likely to negotiate a win-win approach for the Chinese and of course for himself. Poe is a blank slate but I would be surprised if she or any of the other candidates would not invite increased US muscle or support or threaten it except for as you suggest, for pre-election posturing.

  24. I’d just like to express my joy.
    A couple of months ago we collectively considered Leni as a serious VP contender.
    A lot of survey oriented commentators said she cannot be seriously considered.
    One way or another what was unimaginable a couple of months ago seems to be reality bit by bit.

    Here’s to the dreamers in the society!!!

    May we have dreams and not nightmares.

  25. chempo says:

    (1) Can democracy solve Philippines’ economic and social problems?
    At an official diner during his visit to Cory, Lee Kuan Yew asked then Chief Justice Cecilia Muñoz-Palma what lessons learnt from the experience of the last 40 years since independence in 1946 would guide her in drafting the new constitution. She answered without hesitation, “We will not have any reservations or limitations on our democracy. We must make sure that no dictator can ever emerge to subvert the constitution.” In other words, she was taking the “made-in-Amerca” pill (quoting PP) as the be-all panacea.

    LKY noted in his memoir : “Was there no incompatibility of the American-type separation of powers with the culture and habits of the Filipino people that had caused problems for the presidents before Marcos? Apparently none.”

    One size does not fit all. I feel Mar will nudge Philippines a little further up the hill. But we will never reach the top of the hill and see the beautiful sunrise even after another 10 good presidents unless we identify and deal brutally with all the causal cultural issues that condemned the country to such a mess that has everyone pulling hair and exclaim just what is wrong with Philippines.

    To take just one illustration – Vic Sotto’s bill for the registration of post-paid SIM cards. I just cannot fathom the process we have to go through for something so simple and straight forward. In Singapore, it was simply a ministerial decision. Once decided, the instruction goes out the next day. By the 3rd day, it was implemented.

    (2) Will Binay empty the state’s coffer?
    He has stolen enough. He is on a power and ego trip. I hold the view that he will do his best to leave a positive legacy to negate the tarnished image of a thief that he is. But that does not mean he will succeed. Sponsors and endorsers will line outside his office seeking pay-back big time. His China card will please some, and indeed as in PP’s views, the people might see direct economic benefits. For those to whom the loyalty pledge means something the loss of certain sovereignty will be painful.

    For me, the China danger is more mid-term. The immediate danger of a Binay win is the world’s perception of Philippine country risk will go North dramatically. The problem with this kind of development is that the impact is unheard, unseen, and unknown by lay persons. So the average Filipino will go by their days in blissful ignorance of this cause-effect of electing a flawed leader. The impact can be tremendous in terms of loss opportunities and increased borrowing cost to the country.

    Let me give an example, again quoting LKY. He wrote of the Cory administration :

    “It was obvious that the Philippines would never take off unless there was substantial aid from the United States. George Shultz, the secretary of state, was sympathetic and wanted to help but made clear to me that the United States would be better able to do something if ASEAN showed support by making its contribution. The United States was reluctant to go it alone and adopt the Philippines as its special problem. Shultz wanted ASEAN to play a more prominent role to make it easier for the president to get the necessary votes in Congress. I persuaded Shultz to get the aid project off the ground in 1988, before President Reagan’s second term of office ended. He did. There were two meetings for a Multilateral Assistance Initiative (Philippines Assistance Programme): The first in Tokyo in 1989 brought US$3.5 billion in pledges, and the second in Hong Kong in 1991, under the Bush administration, yielded US$14 billion in pledges. But instability in the Philippines did not abate. This made donors hesitant and delayed the implementation of projects.”

    Filipinos never knew that the Philipines Armed Forces’ adventurism caused the country the loss of US$17.5 billion aid pledges (that’s Php770 billion loss opportunity – courtesy of Honasan)

    Under Binay, cost of external borrowings will go up both for government and public enterprises seeking internal funding. In the daily interbank money markets, the spreads on fundings to Phil banks will notch up a few points. Foreign investments (other than China’s) will dip. Big businesses looking at their capex numbers will hold back. Asean economic cooperation initiatives will move along by-passing Philippines. Come natural disaster time, foreign donors will be extremely apprehensive. All these are not wild guesses but stark naked realities, the simple reason being foreigners are not stupid.

    Some may think that Philippines can simply curtail foreign borrowing and thereby lower the cost of funds.. (There was some discussion on peso bonds). I perceive some ignorance in the way the Treasury and financial institutions manage their foreign exchange and interest rate risks daily. There are what is termed commercial trades (means there is a commercial transaction behind the foreign exchange or money market deals they make) and there are many more deals which are hedging or arbitraging or trading (speculating) transactions. To be able to manage their risks, they require to go to the market and borrow/lend continuously. Their cost of funds will etche up a few basis points because their foreign counterparties view a higher risk for Philippines.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Philippines is living off credit cards. Binay is their poster boy of wht is wrong with the Philippines. There could not have a Binay if our checks-and-balances are followed thru. Problem is, those handling the checks and its balances are micro-crooks and the justice department cannot even handle simple investigations to nail Binay to the cross. To this day, Ombudsman is still “gathering evidences” yet the Filipino minds are already poisoned that Binay is guilty and they never hear of self-incrimination.

      That means the Filipino still do not and cannot know how to exercise justice. After Binay, Mar or Poe or Duterte will be dogged by the same judicial issues as the prosecution of Binay.

      It is not too late to exercise HUSTISYA MATUWID, MATUWID INBISTIGASYON and other MATUWIDS as an example. Filipinos know what justice is. They also know if they use HUSTISYA MATUWID, Binay goes free.

      That is why Filipinos prefer name-and-shame, poison the mind of the Filipinos with HUSTISYA BALUKTOT and create an opinion that Binay is guilty DESPITE OMBUDSMAN IS STILL GATHERING EVIDENCES.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        It is not too late to exercise HUSTISYA MATUWID. Don’t care if Binay goes free. If this were in my country and Binay goes free, My Country would study where it went wrong, why it went wrong and how to fix it. It happened on OJ. It happened on overpriced Los Angeles Metro Subway system. It is also happening in the construction of Target store in Western and Sunset Boulevard which is one storey-taller.

        Nope, we did not ask for the mayor’s head. Because to approve the overpricing, the lackaidisical investigation of OJ and the additional storey of Target involves a lot of people not just one person. That is why it is just so incredible how Binay himeslef, alone, singularly approve everything.

        This should be studied so it can never happen again.

        In the Philippines there is nothing to fix. Because the fixer, like me, would be inundated with nmegative comments.

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      “Filipinos never knew that the Philipines Armed Forces’ adventurism caused the country the loss of US$17.5 billion aid pledges (that’s Php770 billion loss opportunity – courtesy of Honasan)”

      Few Filipinos knew that, but now I have to conclude that somehow, Honasan (allegedly under Enrile and his group) knew of that Php770 billion in pledged aid which could have done wonders for the economy that was then reeling from Marcos’ thievery. Their macho image could not take in that a mere woman (a widow at that) is on the brink of bringing the country back to its status as being second only to Japan in growth before the Marcos regime. They want the power for themselves. These are the groups that now compose the UNA party.

      I said it before and I will say it again, PP is concluding that Cory in her 6 year administration was not able to measure up to the accomplishments of the 20 year rule of Marcos precisely because of the resistance that came from the remnants of that tyrannical regime in much the same manner that they place such resistance in the son’s admin.

      The battle lines have not changed since the 1980s…the battle between good and evil, quite clear but others even educated ones who should know are persisting in muddling the line, insisting on returning to the crooked ways of the past.

    • nielsky says:

      The tale of two countries.


      Rachel Caoili (2005) has written a scholarly article titled, Reflections on Democracy and Development in Southeast Asia: Why do the Philippines and Singapore differ?

      Allow me to quote a relevant part, “One need only consider how the Philippines has been an American platform of democracy in Asia, yet it remains a developing country with entrenched inequalities and poverty. On the other hand, Singapore – with its own home-grown communitarian culture – advocates certain values opposed to Western liberal democracy and has become one of the world’s most advanced industrial countries in less than half a century. It appears that a particular political culture supporting success in Singapore contrasts with Western liberal values still promising socio-economic progress in the Philippines.” (Abstract).

      This is still where we are in terms of democracy and development. I would argue that the more we are under strong American influence, the less able we are to tread the path of our growth at the national level. We must make choices.

      • Joe America says:

        Kindly define the “strong American influence” that the Philippines us under. This can be taken a number of ways, to overthrow the system of government because it is patterned after the American model, or the culture of laws (Western) should be abandoned in favor of the culture of power (Eastern), or the Philippines is a lackey in American foreign policy, or English should be thrown out as the language of government, or American commercial influences exist (customers of call centers), or what exactly? It seems to me there are no influences other than what the Philippines accepts as healthy for her defense and development. So let’s get into the specifics and find out where we agree and disagree.

        • Joe America says:

          I think it is time to get past the generalities and nebulous aspersions, which begin to take the form of provocations at a personal level if they are the preferred form of dialogue. Let’s consider that we are developing legal contracts and have to define terms and state specifically what we are talking about. We can in this way decide that we disagree and understand why, or perhaps even find a path to agreement. Right now, the discussion is going around in vague circles.

          • nielsky says:

            My moorings are on academic studies already done on the subject so that will in no way calibrate on mere ‘generalities and nebulous aspersions’.

            Nor am I even suppose to run rings with anyone in here as i track and follow a line of discussion engaged with chempo who is quite aware of the case of Singapore.

            In a larger sense, studies show that even in the face of globalization and modernization, there are countries that on purpose choose too do away with all these so-called Western influences simply because they do not jibe well with their culture, with their governments, with their economic capacities.

            I think this subject is pretty understandable.

            • Joe America says:

              The complaint is understandable. What, specifically, you’d propose to do about it is not. Are you proposing overthrow of the established government and installation of a dictator? Who do you have in mind that would correct these ills of American influence?

              I find such radical ideas very strange when the Philippines is so close to having gained a mastery of its government, taking it away from the corrupt, and is stringing together year after year of sound economic growth, a requirement to eradicating poverty. On the cusp of success, you want something else.

              What, exactly? What is your point, really? I can only figure that you are interested in the establishment (re-establishment?) of certain power groups.

        • nielsky says:

          Strong American influence is a historical given, in fact, not just in the case of the Philippines but as well as other emerging democracies or economies in Asia.

          Having generally cited the comparison between Singapore and the Philippines, I do think that if the Philippines were to be like Singapore, it will entail more of one and less of the other. We have to make a choice whether to have increased intake of development aid/assistance or we could find other ways like the case of Singapore.

          Let me quote, “The success of Singapore and other Newly Industrialised Economies of East Asia questions the view that democratisation is a political conditionality for foreign aid and economic success. Arguably, it is strong government leadership managing economic progress rather than democracy that is necessary for economic development. Thus, Singapore is an exceptional example demonstrating how communitarian ideology and strong leadership implement good governance, resulting in economic prosperity and political stability. In outstanding contrast, a country such as the Philippines, a consolidated liberal democracy with a vibrant civil society has no legacy of good governance and is still awaiting economic renaissance” (Caoili, p. 2).

          So I do not go as far as say the issues that you have broken down, not a single one, not a single time.

  26. nielksy says:

    The ‘Chinese Dragon’ (loong) is a symbol of China’s history. The dragon here is said to be golden, longer, un-winged, lives in water mainly sea, and the god of rain and water. Likewise,it is in ancient China the symbol of the emperor as it also means good things in Chinese culture.

    Sadly, the dragon is portrayed as a symbol of evil in Western culture. Apparently, China’s dragon is different from that of the one referred to by the West. It is a winged dragon Thus even at that level, symbols are at once a subject of misinterpretation.

    In a larger sense, Chinese history is misunderstood. It follows that China’s foreign policy may have been misunderstood as well. More so perhaps of Chinese culture. In such a situation, there is a need for either side, to understand each other For one, Chinese think tanks must study the uniqueness and peculiarity of the Filipino mindset which Chinese scholars actually find to be unlike any other Asian country. ‘Iba ang Pinoy’.

    The current score, based on latest developments is that the Flag Officer of Command of the Philippine Navy issued public statement to the effect that it in fact defends Beijing. As reported, in news and I quote: :

    “The Philippines’ new navy chief may have inadvertently defended China’s activities in the South China Sea by declaring that Beijing is merely guarding its own interests and that “no expansion is happening” in the region.”

    Inadvertence or otherwise, it seems clear that the status quo remains. Whether that is PNoy’s marching order is another story.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      When I was in grade school, they describe China as SLEEPING GIANT in one of the DepEd-approved textbooks. Now the SLEEPING GIANT has awakened. It is now the ECONOMIC DRAGON. The nubmer one economy in the world. Apparently it has stumbled. Stocks down 20%. They devalued their currency. The DRAGON has lost its fire.

      • nielsky says:

        As I understand, as soon as China’s currency devalued to even as high as 30% causing shocks, in no time it sort of work it out and stabilized. Incidentally, the dragon that you describe is the one from the Western culture (i.e. America) which demonized it as wingedly evil which is not the case in Chinese history, ancient or modern.

        At least, if it is any consolation, it took a thousand of years for it to awaken and if does awaken, pray it is not from her part of the past. Can I share you a link”

    • Joe America says:

      I think you have it reversed. The dragon has been welcomed into the global community, but she charges in with fire breathing, stealing other people’s territory. The accountability for the problem rests with China, not those being robbed. Same with Binay. That quote from the Navy commander deserves its full context, I think. He was not setting policy, or speaking national policy.

  27. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    While Joe is having technical problem, here is a good laugh from Binay Camp:

    Makati Business Club said the office of Vice-President AGENCY, which is purely ceremonial, is the, listen …, WORST PERFORMING GOVERNMENT AGENCY.


    Aha! ha! ha! ha!

    Either Ma-KATI Business Club do not know that VP Agency (Yeah, they call VP as an agency) is a non-functional office. Purely ceremonial.

    What the Ma-KATI Business Club did not elaborate is what this Agency actually does. The Ma-Kati must be telegraphing to the people that VP should usurp the function of the Presidency.

    Jeeeez !!!!!!

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Funnier is last year, 2014, same MBC rated VP agency on top list in which Binay praised business people and did not complain.

      Now, at the stinking bottom of the list Binay trashed businessmen while rattling complaints.
      VP agency is not only ceremonial, it is also the Complaints section in government.

  28. Johnny Lin says:

    “Outcomes projected in this blog are opinions and not certain”- Joeamerica

    Chiz-Miss time!

    According to Ramon Tulfo’s column on PDI the recent swardstalk between Salcedo of Binay and Lacierda of Malacanang was actually between two gays.

    Since changing name has been the vogue, Esrada from Ejercito, Roces from Sonora, Poe from Llamanzares, Vice Ganda from JoseMarie, Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn Jenner
    Joey has changed his/her name to ANA.

    Top 10 Proofs:
    1. ANA- Salcedo complained about untruthful SONA
    2. ANA- Salcedo complained that Binay was not treated fair in Aquino cabinet
    3. ANA- Salcedo complained the poor did not improve during Aquin Daan Matuwid
    4. ANA- Salcedo complained that LP wanted to become forever dictator
    5. ANA- Salcedo complained that LP wanted to use savings in govt for political campaign
    6. ANA- Salcedo complained that Aquino violated campaign law when he endorsed Roxas
    7. ANA- Salcedo complained that Trillanes new threatened expose on Binay is old hogwash
    8. ANA- Salcedo complained that the new Makati cakes are smaller compared to Binay’s cakes.
    9. ANA- Salcedo complained that Ombudsman did not treat JunJun fairly in suspending him.
    10. ANA- Salcedo complained that the tag of VP office as worst agency is trash.

    ANA- Salcedo is Angal Ng Angal spokesgay of Binay

    • I thought Chiz-Miss is the name of the Independent party of Escudero and Poe. 🙂

      Shouldn’t ANA be paying back the Makati LGU for his salary from the time he appointed himself as the VP’s spokesperson? Trillanes should look into this… 🙂

      • Johnny Lin says:

        2 Title personalities entitled to 2 salaries😀

        Joey as spokesMAN of Makati mayor JunJun
        ANA as spokesGAY of VP Binay

        NO SURPRISE in Double Dipping- Corruption is ingrained in Binay’s family and staff

  29. Character and China.

    Internal vs external issue.

    I’d say this 2016 election, Filipinos should concentrate more on the internal issue, that of the character of the incoming President. The next executive’s mindset will guide the direction of the Philippines in the next six years, both internal and external.

    PH can not project a strong external image if it is weak internally. I am not minimizing China’s external threat. I am merely stating the fact that PH could withstand any external pressure if it attends to internal matters that will fortify it.

    PNoy’s government is a transitional plane for the Philippines. He and his administration had engineered a new set of “normal” in rule, law, and evidence based governance. It is not ironed out yet so the next President will be responsible for correcting and adjusting the process so transformational outcomes will deliver the desired state of the nation.

    The voting public need to shun the traditional but superficial way of choosing leaders. They need a certain ruthlessness in discerning who to vote for. All Filipinos will be better off in the future with wise decision making in 2016.

    Here is a thoughtful article about the influence of polls in PH:

  30. Johnny Lin says:


    Recent MBC Performance survey in govt is an eye opener. Serious discrepancy noticeable in their survey is ranking DFA dept of Foreign Affairs in top list. It should be in the top 3 bottom list. Imagine the poor service to Filipino citizens involved with DFA scumbags in foreign embassies, and worst the delayed issuance of passports causing billions of lost income to traveling OFWs and its effect on local business and well being of their families.

    About writing a blog on the possibility that the primary reason the Philippines is not progressing fast economically is due to sabotage by govt employees possibly related to corrupt ways.
    Delay in passport issuance
    Delay in driver license and auto tags issuance
    Delay in Bureau of Customs computerization
    Delay in Comelec computerization
    Delay in resolving cases in judicial courts
    Many more in other agencies.

    Manual payroll payment in Makati is epitome of inefficient means to commit corruption. Delaying tactic is man made by government employees corruption SOP.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Example of a corrupt government worker

      Sandigan Justice Samuel Martirez is the lone dissenter in the recent judgment to try Ex Chief Justice Corona for PERJURY in filing his SALN.

      Justice Martirez reason is he, himself, is confused, could not understand how to file a SALN because it is about assets and liabilities. This Justice made a decision based on his ignorance and self assessment instead of the evidence presented pertaining to Corona.

      MRP, this guy Marirez must be a UP graduate in your book😀

      Besides, SALN filing is so simple because it asks only what you and wife earn, what you save, what you own and owe in your own name every year.

      It becomes complicated if you are corrupt, hide the loot, deposit cash in the name of children and relatives, thinking it is yours, don’t want the govt to know and later on transfer to your name.

      Confusing if you are a crook and the way it looks Justice Martirez is hiding something from his own admission.

      Family of Justice Samuel Martirez should be shamed and ashamed of their father.

    • Joe America says:

      When are you going to write us a guest blog, Johnny? Your comments – such as this one – are worth headline treatment.

    • “writing a blog on the possibility that the primary reason the Philippines is not progressing fast economically is due to sabotage by govt employees possibly related to corrupt ways.”

      I remember Ireneo (where is he anyway?) commenting on how DFA officials smugly view their countrymen abroad, seeing them as beneath their stature–I have yet to find a successful customer service model that begins with that.

      I too would love an exposé article on the Philippines Dept. of Foreign Affairs, Johnny!

      • Johnny Lin says:

        Here is another example of corruption and morons running government agencies.

        LTFRB just approved 4 new franchise for Premium black taxis, color coded bus on EDSA, airport bus and another one(?).

        Why they are morons? EDSA and Metro Manila is already clogged with different vehicles daily yet they are adding new vehicles plying along EDSA and rest of Metro.

        A Director of LTFRB named Cabrera was interviewed on TV from the complaint that premium taxi was given franchise to compete with Uber and Grab taxis. His answer was that the franchise was given to improve the quality of transport system in Metro Manila.

        Absurd, dumb answer if not moronic. If the motive is to improve the transport system, the first move is to reduce the number vehicles plying congested routes.
        1. Reduce number of buses along EDSA, put them on timely schedule with specific stopping points
        2. limit boundaries and enforce stopping areas of UV express plying certain routes discontinue any taxis older than 5 years and buses older than 10 years
        gradually phase out jeepneys to limited number of jeepneys
        prohibit tricycles in major thoroughfares.

        After these corrections were done, adding new franchise should be studied to determine the number of vehicles could be accommodated by main thoroughfares. Otherwise, it’s all about corrupt motives.

        Adding new franchises without reducing the number of vehicles means the motive is “going out payday” for these officials. They are cornering bribes with new taxi and bus franchises. No reasonable motivation with these new franchises except corruption.

        Airport Bus is long overdue but they have to reduce those jeepneys and buses first clogging around airport road especially the corner of Roxas Blvd and MIA road.

        Watch those MMDA everyday catching private cars who are pushed to the left side by triple park buses and jeepneys in the corner ending up on left turn lane. When they go straight to Coastal Road they are ticketed for being in the wrong lane by force.yet these MMDA men don’t flagged those erring jeepney, bus and taxi drivers who forced the motorists to the left lane. One time CNN TV crew was filming them, the traffic was smooth because MMDA enforced traffic rules. This MMDA tactic to accept bribes from erring motorists happens in many intersections all over Metro Manila, notoriously towards North of the 3 bridges on the bifurcation before Metropolitan Theatre in Lawton and southward bifurcation of Taft underpass in City hall. Watch those MMDA make their money from bribes.

        Also notorious are those LTO men catching motorists along Macapagal Blvd. On a daily basis they always number 30-50 men around 2 infrared radars. It must be a syndicate approved by high LTO officials with the loot divided among them. Watch them!

        What we need is an independent monitoring agency to report these mischievous acts of government employees reported by netizens.

        • Johnny Lin says:

          What is funny in that bifurcation before Metropolitan theatre is the MMDA will always point to the erring motorist a traffic sign that is 1x 1 ft in diameter, with blurred letters, non visible from afar aside from being covered by the high bus of non obeying traffic rules drivers.

        • “What we need is an independent monitoring agency to report these mischievous acts of government employees reported by netizens.”

          Like yelp. Primer, what say you on this?

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Primer might be an IP trademark already. Yes as long as shenanigans in govt are exposed and shamed, their unexplained wealth, free spending family members in big houses, multi new cars, expensive schools and frequent foreign travels with govt salary.

            Yes, expose is the next thing for Daan Matuwid or small and medium fish.

            • nielsky says:

              Whatever you think I am, enjoy your right to ‘be like a fool’.

              Perhaps if I challenge you to define ‘Daang Matuwid’, you might give me a big laugh in your chronic inability to define it in concrete terms. And perhaps, that is because that referenced road is just a mirage in the face of PNoy government share of ‘inefficiencies’.

              Were there really things accomplished?

        • chempo says:

          Just to add to your list of absurdities.
          Each day after work my girlfriend catches a UV express van at the Ayala Center Terminal. Its official route is ACT-Edsa-Skyway, Sucat Road-Evacomm. There is no actual Evacomm terminal. The van simply makes a round trip back to ACT. This return route depends on the traffic. The dirvers keep in touch with each other via walkie-talkie and take the route with least traffic. The thing is, the franchise does not allow them to pick up passengers on the return trip. So every evening, you see hundreds, if not thousands, of empty these trips that adds to the congestion meaninglessly.Not to mention the economic losses.
          Mind boggling meaninglessness !

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Yesterday, airport traffic for 8 hrs. Imagine lost revenues of people and business due to poor anticipation of scheduled flyover construction. why can’t MMDA post warning signs and implement travel ban in the vicinity of certain vehicles during the day of construction?

            • caliphman says:

              I do not know whether any of these proposals have never been thoroughly studied, rejected, or tried before but failed miserably. I am strongly reminded of that colossal blunder called the color coding traffic scheme the intent of which was to reduce the number of vehicles using the thoroughfares and highways but led to doubling the amount of cars required to meet the daily needs of the driving and commuting public. If anything it forced those unable to afford another car to rely on an already overburdened, antiquated, traffic exacerbating, completely mismanaged mass transportation system. As far as I know this scheme is still in effect inspite of the horrendous traffic situation in greater Manila.

              Yesterday there was a truly enormous logjam that turned routes to the the airport into parking lots for half the day causing thousands of airline passengers to miss their flights.

              The palusot of Aquino and Roxas who used to be transportation secretary before Abaya took over and who escaped being indicted for the MRT corruption scandal, by claiming it happened before his watch? The nation should be glad because it is a sign that the economy is booming. Daang Matrapek is not at all due to epic neglect , government mismanagement, and continuing corruption due to selective Daang Matuwid policy application (Macy and Malacanang favors family and friends..hehehe). Surely, when traffic stoppages lead to flight cancellations and missing bookings by the thousands, one should expect more of a response from public officials than telling the public essentially to just grin and bear it because the traffic mess is an unavoidable consequence of the great job the government is doing with the economy. Oh really?

        • thanks for saying what every driver in the city screams silently about.

        • nielsky says:


          You will be forced to admit that the ‘example of corruption and morons running government agencies’ (jonnny) you here mentioned – happen and can only happen – during the regime of ‘Daang Matuwid’.

          And the shame or blame game never ends since it was discovered to be the most convenient way to measure performance. What a fine print? PNoy’s cabinet secretary of the KKK League cannot be blamed. Always.

          • WBAR says:

            “You will be forced to admit that the ‘example of corruption and morons running government agencies’ (jonnny) you here mentioned – happen and can only happen – during the regime of ‘Daang Matuwid’.

            And the shame or blame game never ends since it was discovered to be the most convenient way to measure performance. What a fine print? PNoy’s cabinet secretary of the KKK League cannot be blamed. Always.”

            …remnants of the past administrations “Daang Baluktot”— infamous for zte, northrail, fertilizer, garci, jueteng, velarde, pidal, and so many scams…which may be considered the most appropriate baseline of comparison by the regime of “Daang Matuwid”

            • What I am reminded of is a certain manicurist given a director position in a GOCC.
              Does this mean Johnny no longer has to concede anything?

            • nielsky says:

              It’s the economy, student!

              If people were to see the so-called ‘Daang Matuwid’ ever again for the next 6 years, you can be sure it will never have its way as people begun to understand that it is an empty rhetoric.

              The next political movement will not even endorse the experience of the past 6 years as any guarantee of continuity. Rather, it will bat for change. People cannot afford to be experiencing more of the same. In exiting, the incumbent president no longer regained the popularity he held at the start.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            Aquino inherited a dilapidated, falling building with many occupants. He gathered many workers but he does know the background of many except those close to him. In any labor force there are skilled, unskilled good background, poor background. He started rebuilding by strengthening the foundation, slowly rebuilding while at the same he is discovering there are many laborers who are not qualified pilfering materials nd reselling them. This happens all the time in big construction business. Discovering the rotten and punishing them is the next step.

            On my suggestions, the first step is to clean the system before adding franchise. You did not touch this item, that is why you are confused with your explanation. You compared it to a child who will grow yearly. How wrong is that comparison to public vehicles, which do not grow if there are no added franchises. Existing franchises do not grow either. Besides cars break down early compared to lifespan of a person.

            You are terribly mistaken on understanding the premise.

            Your explanation proposal 1. You are sounding that 4000 buses are on the road and parking at the same time along EDSA. Whoa, how did you arrive at that conclusion. When my proposal was to control their flow at regular timely interval in loading/ unloading zones and as of now there are 2 bus terminals to be built in North EDSA and Airport South area.

            One of the new franchises put up by LTFRB is adding new color coded express buses on EDSA with timely schedule. It’s the right move exept there is no reduction in existing buses. Basically this is my proposal number too but reduce the number of existing buses first before implementing new franchise.

            Those UV cars, they are not obeying their franchise because they are supposed to load and unload at specific locations like on Buendia to UP route. What they do is pick up passengers between UP and Buendia along EDSA basically functioning like a bus or jeepney and stop anywhere clogging the streets instead of stopping at Buendia and UP points only.

            Our Jeepneys are mainly old and pollutants causing health problems affecting entire populace and economic production. Tricycles cause road congestion aside from accidents. Phasing them out and replacing with limited number of ejeepneys in major thoroughfares should be contemplated immediately.

            I did not touch on 2 things.
            First, MRT and LRT because they are already existing and everybody agrees that improving and extending their lines would contribute to the plan of reducing those motorized vehicles and increased ridership which the next administration should continue to improve. Added effect of efficient and safe train ride is less use of private cars along EDSA.

            Secondly, if our govt really wants to decongest EDSA take the bold move to promote walking but that needs building safe, crime free covered sidewalk from Caloocan to Roxas Blvd, that is the length of MRT. In NY and Tokyo people walk for several miles commuting daily. How long is EDSA in km?

            Pedestrian commute over safe well lighted streets and sidewalks with efficient train and flood free EDSA is the best solution to rid the highway of many vehicles. Can it be done in 10 years. Yes, with Political will by enforcing tough punishment of lawbreakers and cooperation of 5 big Metro citiy officials.

            Officials of these 5 cities could not even agree on the rules of color coding ban on cars. That is the problem of Politicians, no will at all plus pessimistic Filipinos retard growth and discipline.

            • nielsky says:

              Let this sample specimen serve as the classic example of an incoherent exposition.

              It failed the simple three way tests, namely: clarity (or clearness), conciseness, and coherence.

              Suffice to say that in Paragraph 1, it seems difficult if not impossible to take heads and tails on what the author tried to say. As a matter of fact, it portrayed the president as totally ‘incompetent’, something that I happen to believe.

          • Johnny Lin says:

            No world leader can absolutely stop corruption but it can be minimized and under Aquino there is less corruption than 15 yrs before 2010.

            If it’s true that you are Primer Pagunuran who worked in Congress under Syjuco I already posted in your last blog( few blogs before this) that most people criticizing Aquino’s Daan Matuwid are the same people who have been corrupt and lost financially under his term and wanting to go back to their old ways of stealing.

            • nielsky says:

              johnny lin,

              Mister, you are both out of order and out of your mind. When you realize that you cannot even win argument, you resort to character assassination [ad hominem attacks], a bad practice that has no respectable place in society.

              Since Joe America allowed you to do that doesn’t mean it gave you absolute entitlement to just impute on people you hardly know whatever malicious notion you have in mind especially when there is hardly any iota of truth in it. I cannot possibly describe you since I do not even know you from Adam.

              It is really a pity to come a cross an individual like you who actively participates in a supposed-to-be respectable forum only to end up weaving stories that have no basis in fact or in reality.

              It is without shame but with honor that I can tell you that indeed I have worked with Cong. Augusto Syjuco Jr. as one having been selected as his Chief of Staff. I would have been much flattered if you are someone who even in just a single day, ever worked with the House of Representatives to at least lend credence to your dirty and entirely obscene comments.

              My mother kept telling me that ‘little knowledge is dangerous’. Pick it from there.

              On the issue, I have never been impressed with PNoy as president and that is well within my right as a citizen of this country. Are you a Filipino?

              • i7sharp says:

                “Nielksy” or “Nielsky”?
                Which is which?
                The same banana?
                If so, why?.

              • Joe America says:

                Here’s a task for you, as a skilled grammarian. Writing is like finger prints. No two people’s are alike. You can dissect the contributions of the two screen names and determine if they are the same or different based on sentence structure, cadence, word use and punctuation. Let us know of your findings.

              • Johnny Lin says:


                I did not know you are Nielsky when I first commented on your blog “Postscript to the 2015 SONA” as Primer. What I wrote is what I believed on those people attacking PNoy. Since you are Nielsky and Primer I referred you to my initial post on your Primer blog when you said it was the fault of PNoy with every small time corruption still happening in the government. I have been posting my vilification of these despicable persons even before you wrote your blog. Read again my post third paragraph “I have said many times in this blog” and you will realize the sequence of event I enumerated were accurate, so you could not accuse me I wove a story with the knowledge of knowing your identity. I generally accused people like you attacking PNoy without knowing their identities.

                It’s the mind set of people who suffered financially under PNoy’s time from their previous jobs of stealing from government.

                If you insist telling that you attack PNoy and you worked with Syjuco and other Cong, and denies not having accepted a bribe including free meals or night out, you sound like Binay.

                Blaming PNoy by the way you discombolute your understanding of simple premises pertaining to corruption I strongly believe it’s more than a night out.

                I am an analyst by profession and my specialty are documents, like your postings.

                “If you have hidden wounds, don’t swim in the ocean, saltwater will writhe you pain”

                He he he!

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Primer,I mean Nielsky

                You said “Joeam tolerated me”
                I repeat what I posted, “you have discomboluted understanding of simple premises”

                What did I say about you people?– “those people attacking PNoy about his fault for every unabated corruption of small fish working in govt are the same people who lost financially under his term wishing to back to their old ways of corruption”

                What did Joeam say that PNoy referred to him in SONA?– “if I am with PNoy in a foxhole I will cover his back because I know he will cover mine”

                Now, since you served as chief of staff of many congressmen who are supposed to be intelligent, I assume you are intelligent too.
                How could you say “Joeam tolerated me” when the 3 of us share the same foxhole!
                Analyze This to become COS in Joeam blog

                I will tell you what is COS after you answer
                He he he!

              • i7sharp says:

                @Joe America
                “Here’s a task for you, as a skilled grammarian.”

                Am not skilled enough nor have time.

                “nielsky” is feeling “lucky”?:

                “nielksy”… we will see:

          • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

            So the rave reviews of WB and other foreign think tanks on the overall performance of this government do not count. What you see are the imperfections of the few of his friends and the remnants left in the government by the previous admins. You seem to forget that they have security of tenure from the Civil Servce Commission and cannot be removed without due process which would reduce government function to a standstill with so many of them (not all) who are enjoying the benefits of their corrupt ways, those in the rank and file, at least.

            It’s really beyond my understanding how you criticize the Daang Matuwid of PNOY and so blind to Binay’s corruption in Makati and his decades of rule in BSP…he could not let go of both for reasons that are now being exposed. You even belittle Cory’s contribution to the restoration of decency and democracy to this country and find her 6 year regime wanting compared to the 20 years rule of Marcos.

            Reading between the lines in your various posts here, it’s quite clear that you are in complete agreement with whoever is opposing the Aquinos, and now that he endorsed Roxas… the two of them ….you’re with Binay and the UNA groups who are all doing their best to derail the fight against corruption.

            The Marcoses have plundered the country, the courts have decided on those plunders, had convicted Estrada as well….the Binay’s have allegedly done the same – have you not read all the investigative reports by the media on Marcos, Estrada, and Binay? Or you are just interested in the media propaganda of theses oppositions and not bother to try to read the opposite views.

            Are all those who have worked with allies of these officials the same, seemingly unable to discern what is right and what is wrong…and willing to use their intelligence to defend the indefensible?

            Where is the genuine love of country? Even simple people like taxi drivers and househelps recognize NOW the enemy of the people…the thieves and plunderers as well as the power hungry ones and their blind defenders.

            We ordinary citizens would like this country to be governed by upright, principled officals, not manipulative and corrupt ones who dream of one to sawa reign of greed and rent seeking manipulations.

        • nielsky says:


          You will be hard put to explain how to operationalize your proposals.

          There will be more questions of you than you may be able to give satisfactory answers.

          Don’t appropriate the illusion that since you already came now that therefore these were the things that should be done. Many came before you and the problems live forever. You could not have possibly given the brightest idea when too many economists, strategists, policy analysts have already drain their minds on the problematique – to no effective lasting solution, either.

          To be graphic about it, tell me if these are the ways we will approach:

          Proposal I: “Reduce number of buses along EDSA, put them on timely schedule with specific stopping points”.

          Thus, if the total number of buses plying EDSA is a good 8,000 any given day, we will allow half, 4,000 to ply EDSA.

          Consequently, 4,000 buses will be a case of funny ‘urban sprawl’ – they will park in every road, avenue, street, boulevard possible since some companies do not have their own bus terminals or the government should then build a huge paid-parking site. Furthermore, government builds an x number of stopping points at maybe every 5 kilometer intervals. So how many such structures will government build from say Balintawak all the way to say Ayala/

          Proposal 2: “Limit boundaries and enforce stopping areas of UV express plying certain routes discontinue any taxis older than 5 years and buses older than 10 years
          gradually phase out jeepneys to limited number of jeepneys prohibit tricycles in major thoroughfares.

          Simply tiresome to even analyze such a rather ‘differently-minded’ proposals.

          You know how all these sound like? I appreciate the strong sense of ‘parenthood’ in them. But you know what, it is akin to a parent who is measuring his child’s height each year on his birthday. There is not even a need. The child grows throughout the year.

  31. Geng says:


    I thought the Filipino character was explained in full then in the guest blog of Dee two or three years ago.

    My point of view as of today is, from the lowly crab that she described then, the character had changed so much to the lowest crab we are seeing now who are pulling down everyone just to stay on top.

    This is the character of a people who has no definite identity and who prefers to stay as such due to that overwhelming crab mentality.

    The urge to cast my vote again in the coming elections died down once more as I could see nobody wanting to change the social structures that nurtures the existing systems that breed graft and corruption.


    • Joe America says:

      The straight path is a form of changing the social culture, but is not stated so explicitly, as to do so explicitly is difficult without condemning Filipinos far and wide. It is a positive expression of the need for change. I will be doing a blog soon about President Quezon’s Code of Citizenship and Ethics from 1939, and it will get into this idea of “who do we want to be?” Indeed, the pace of change would speed up if a presidential candidate could figure out how to articulate an inspiring vision of change that people far and wide could buy into. That becomes easier as the nation starts to record success in economic growth.

    • nielsky says:

      Quick note. If one studies Psychology 301 dubbed ‘Sikolohiyang Pilipino’ and even in social philosophy courses, you will learn that ‘crab mentality’ is actually a social label or social stigma ascribed to Filipinos by a foreign national.

      This reminds me likewise of Fallows who also spawned the idea of ‘demented psyche’ by Filipinos. In fact, given that human nature is universal, there is an easy counterpart of such crab mentality with other race depending on the unit of analysis.

      It is even more therapeutic if we consciously regard this label as merely an imported notion. We never have to use that again to describe our fellow Filipinos. .

      • Joe America says:

        I think that is nice therapy that goes along with “denial”. In America, we have the condition of “keeping up with the Jonses” to describe the jealousy and competitiveness that enters the American mainstream as one neighbor gets a nicer car, incenting us to keep up by working harder to get a nice car, too. The envy raises the bar. The comparable Filipino condition (generalizing, for it is not universally true, but dominant) is envy that is attached to anyone getting ahead, and so the pronounced effort is to criticize the other guy and bring him back to where we are, because there is no “up” for us to aspire to. Thus, the bar is lowered. It has nothing to do with the nationality of the observer.

        • The best way to do away with Crab Mentality is to be content with . Translate that into Filipino.

 (in UK, NZ and Australia)

          Over here, people counter Crab Mentality with the term Player Hater–ie. Don’t hate the Player, hate the Game. Everyone’s just trying to get theirs here, and anyone who stands in the way or maligns those who aspire to rise, gets called a Hater.


          “Look at her, wearing a really short skirt for Sunday mass. Who does she think she is?”

          “Shut up, Maria Clara, you’re just being a hater. So what if she wears short skirts? It’s a free country, and there’s a new norm now.”

          “You’re right, Doña Victorina, I’m just being triflin’. I apologize for being such a hater.”

          And that’s how you stop Crab Mentality there.

        • Sal E. says:

          In Japan they have a saying, “The nail that stands out gets pounded on.” No pulling you down by your crab legs there… they believe in hammer time. 😛

          • Joe America says:

            Yes, the homogenization of mankind. That’s interesting that the force in both cases is not to cause loss of face. But one is community driven (Japan; follow the rules) and the other is self driven (Philippines; don’t follow the rules).

      • chempo says:

        I first heard of this crab mentality about 30 years ago. It was a French banker who worked many years in New York. I asked why he did’nt wish to return to his beautiful country France. That’s when he told me of the crab mentality of his countrymen.
        Nobody knows who owns the originality of this description. But it sure is’nt racial. It’s probably everywhere. But in Philippines, it’s presence is suffocating.

      • chempo says:

        In Singapore we have a term “kiasu” which was added on to the English vocabularly not too long ago. It’s a bit difficult to explain outside the culture, but roughly it means a state of being “afraid to loose”. You get ahead of the competition driven by the fear of loosing out. It’s more fear driven rather than competition driven. The undertone is mostly negative because the acts to get ahead is mostly underhand, un-civic, anti-social, and non-gracious (such as jumping Qs). Sometimes, it can be positive if there is nothing wrong with what you do — such as burning extra mid-night oil to study harder for the exams.

  32. Bing Garcia says:

    No other administration has waged such a war against corruption. With such spectacular results. Let us count the ways: Three sitting senators and a couple of congressmen are in detention on corruption and plunder charges (nonbailable). Another set of legislators or former legislators are soon to be in the same position. A former director general of the Philippine National Police is also behind bars. A chief justice was impeached, convicted and removed from office. One ex-president is pining away, incarcerated in a hospital. And, of course, there is the case of the Vice President. We used to complain that no big fish have been caught in the fight against corruption. You can’t get any bigger than these fish. Solita Monsod

  33. Bing Garcia says:

    Chatters in social media molded a different political landscape. It raised the bar of winnability to a higher level. At this time, though, netizens should focus on the Ombudsman and urge her to file plunder charges as soon as possible. An online petition requesting the Office of the Ombudsman to prioritize this year-old complaint will do the job. Cesar Crisostomo

  34. chempo says:

    In Chinese culture the dragon is much more than a symbol. Ancient Chinese believes they were descendants of dragons. (ala History channel – Ancient Aliens dragons were mis-understood UFOs). They are wingless and elongated and there are 4 of them. They are auspicious creatures that guard a few domains — heaven, earth, water, and spiritual world. That’s why dragons hold a special place in Chinese culture.

    Western dragons are pure story book creations and always depicted as evil.

    Nielsky :”Chinese think tanks must study the uniqueness and peculiarity of the Filipino mindset”
    I think in the context of our current problem with China, the reverse is more true. Philippines must study the Chinese mindset.

    I am Singaporean and a 2nd generation Chinese My parents emigrated from China when they were kids. So I think I have a better perspective on the Chinese which I like to share, particularly as race was discussed a while ago.

    To understand the Chinese one has to differentiate the ordinary Chinese population and the political/military machinery.

    Ordinary Chinese are mostly non-political, conservative and Confucianist in attitude. Confucianism is a very large field to cover, but the basic attribute is someone who has a great deference to authority, whether it’s seniors within the family, the local chief, or the emperor. That’s why we are basically non-politcal animals. We simply respect the order of things. The Chinese diaspora is world wide. Long before you have the Filipino OFWs there were Chinese in every little corner of the world. They mostly thrived within their community and keep away from the politics of the host countries.

    Chinese are completely dedicated to their family and they can make great sacrifices for the betterment of their offsprings. Two things pre-occupy them — children’s education and business. They are a very pragmatic people and understand their place in the world they are in.

    Chinese mindset for loyalty is country first, family, then self. Compare this to muslims all over the world — religion first, family, self then country (there have been surveys on this). As to the Chinese diaspora, what then is country? From my personal experience, I can tell you with certainty that it takes only 2 generation for this loyalty to change. The first generation understandably have emotional ties to the motherland. That bond is steadfast. Growing up, I could see my parents and other old folks keenly discussing the day-to-day events of the cultural revolution following the failure of Mao Tse Tung’s Great Leap Forward economic plan. We were dead poor but my dad used to remit large part of his meagre earnings back “home”. By the 2nd generation, the emotional attachment to China was completely gone. We are immersed and attached to our adoptive country. There is no question of our loyalty to the country we call home, wherever it may be. Absolutely so when we are naturalised citizens of the country. The reason is simple. We are very pragmatic people and we know where home is. We feel ‘oneness’ with China only from the cultural standpoint, not emotional. I am absolutely confident the Chinoys here are more Filipino than Chinese.

    The single mindedness on business and education is the reason why Chinese diaspora is one of the most successful communities all over the world. It’s the same reason why they prosper here in Philippines. One should appreciate they reached foreign soil mostly penniless. The reason they survived is because there is great community spirit. There is no crab mentality. New comers are helped and eased into the community. The Chinese never needed state handouts. Unfortunately, the success of one race has often been the reason d’etre for their being mis-treated throughout history. Host governments often use them as scapegoats for the country’s problems. In Germany, Hitler exterminated Jews. In Malaysia they have the Bumiputra policies that economically dis-advantaged the Chinese and Indians, in Indonesia the Chinese are non granted citizenship, Uganda’s Idi Amin threw the Indians out of the country. In this respect, Philippines can hold its head up high. The Chinese immigrants are assimilated and given naturalised citizenship and indeed given the same opportunities to hold govt offices. Indeed, my observation is the Filipinos look at the success of the Chinoys with respect and some awe. They appreciate that these Chinoys were once as poor as them. In Indonesia and Malaysia the success of the Chinese are viewed with envy, and sometimes hatred. I think religion probably has a hand in this divergent views.

    The massa in China are not well-informed. They are an emotional lot and easily swayed by leadership that plays on the nationalist card. Notice how the tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 got played out into something that generated a national outpouring of hatred for Malaysia. For the political and military leadership to get the massa behind them is pretty easy. And they will play this hand at appropriate times especially when there are international eyes on them. Notice how in the initial standoffs when China rebuff Philippines report of their aggression the military and diplomatic tirades were reminisce of the old Red Army’s nationalistic rhetoric. Unfortunately, for Philippines-China, there is not much of a people-to-people channel of communication that can downplay any tension.

    For the political rulers, they have to be very mindful of the military. Many of the old guards are still arround and pretty influential. The military is not yet fully under civilian authority in the way the US is, or thankfully, like the Philippines now. President Xi may project himself as the emperor, but in reality, he too has to thread warily. At the moment, the military is holding back. If they were to re-exert their position out of this sea row, it is not going to bode well for the region.

    Both Lee Kuan Yew and Kissinger do not see an end to this row in the way that the free world wants it, that is, a Chinese pull out from the islands. Kissinger has suggest a Deng Xiao Ping solution of letting future generations settle the matter, much like the solution for the return of Hongkong to China. I understand PP’s point of view on making the best of the situation by going the China way. That is pragmatic. But not at this point in time. We should let the ICJ hearings play out, more pressure by Asean, more American co-operation. This will give Phils a little more strenght to the table when sitting with the Chinese.

    Don’t get me wrong. If I have a capability, I’ll kick the Chinese out of the islands in a heartbeat.

    • “We are immersed and attached to our adoptive country. There is no question of our loyalty to the country we call home, wherever it may be. Absolutely so when we are naturalised citizens of the country.”

      My Drill Instructor from bootcamp, our Heavy, was Chinese (adopted from China by a white couple from Texas), who spoke with a Texas drawl.

      Thanks for this post, chempo. Awesome. Perfect timing too.

    • josephivo says:

      Where is the like it and share bottom? Very to the point, very enlightening.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you so much for this elaborate examination of what it means to be Chinese in a different land. And the distinctions between the common people, business people, military leaders and civilian leaders of China . . . none of whom can be correctly painted with generalist brushes. I also believe your recommendation for the Philippines, in dealing with China, is absolutely the best approach.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Same is true with Filipinos who resided for long time in their adoptive country like US. They become Westernized while majority of 1st gen retain their cultural upbringing 2nd and 3rd gens are less culturally if not exposed to a large Filipino community like those living in North Dakota or Iowa.

      I don’t think race is the problem in South China Sea, it is more of international economic and military power maneuvering for defense or offense by China in case of economic warfare. I believe devaluation of Yuan is part of that strategic build up in the area. Japan, U.S. South Korea understand the strategy making them more proactive lately.

      • chempo says:

        Not just Filipinos but many others as well. Italian, German, Irish, Kenya Americans, etc.. all identify themselves as Americans. The only exception are Muslims. They do not want to be assimilated and their first loyalty is not to their country but their religion.

        Certainly race is not the problem in the South China Seas. LKY interpreted it as China re-establishing themselves in an area where they once flourished and moved around freely with surrounding kingdoms offering tributes. For once I think LKY was absolutely wrong. The one and only reason the Chinese are on the islands is because of the petro dollars under the seas there.

        The one thing that I’m truly pissed off with the Chinese is the 9 dash lines. For them to claim the islands I can understand. But claiming the whole chunk of the South China Seas is demonish. What would they say if the United Kingdoms draw a 9000 dash line all the way to Falklands?

      • Sal E. says:

        Johnny, I sense the same thing you do. I see the land grabbing in the West Philippine Sea as part of a defense setup on China’s part, just like Crimea and Ukraine is to Russia. It is tied to their setting up of BRICS and the self devaluation of the Yuan. They sure seem to be getting ready for a global economic or financial meltdown of sorts, which of course could very quickly turn to military strife. Taken in this context, it would explain why China is not placing much importance to the UNCLOS proceedings nor seemingly concerned about world opinion.

        If that is so and the Philippines finds itself in the crossfire of these two thermonuclear-armed world powers, would we be better off siding with China (the Binay gambit) or with the US? If you think about it, China will most probably not hesitate to attack the Philippines if we side with the US. OTOH the US will most probably not attack the Philippines if we align ourselves with China. So will we be forced to take the path of least resistance, making who wins the 2016 Presidency a moot point?

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:


      This is quite a good read. Thank you. My employer (my fourth) is Chinese and I can see everything you describe in them, from a little brother sitting in the laps of his ahiya to save on daily fares while commuting to and from school, to managing now their vast empire that were truly the fruits of their hard labor, patience and excellent business acumen. They treat their employees very well, that I can personally confirm.

      Your post is a very refreshing read to wake up from my near comatose sleep that I had just recovered from.

      I share your conclusion at the end of your narrative.

      • chempo says:

        Thank u Mary.
        Certainly Chinese are not angels but with faults like everyone else.
        Certainly Filipinos are not second class and there are brilliant ones all over.
        In life, we just learn and try to bounce off the goodness we see in others.

    • edgar lores says:

      Truth speaks.

    • nielsky says:


      Your narrative makes for a good and authoritative take on China-RP from the perspective of Chinese history, culture, and the possible contours of her (China’s) foreign policy under Xi whose background is one of a revolutionary.

      There are few puzzles to solve, however,and they happen to be big ones. By big I truly mean any act of China can have not only at ‘unit level’ but as well as regional and global repercussions.

      Am truly appreciative of the way you were able to discuss on China and am sure you are really wary of the possibilities of Xi. It cannot be denied that China’s asserting some form of military power cannot be discounted from the political equation and it becomes that which we might fear.

      On the other hand, it may be seen as the ‘balance of power” this part of the region or globe. Am not fully bias for US role as world policeman for I see more clearly a China’s role as world businessman, if I may use such a term. It has always been the case of China, it survives colonial cruelties not just years but centuries.

      We have been with China relations as early as the 10th century to 17th century and all the way to the 19th century. There may have been a valid break as a result of World War II but we never for a moment have seen any sign of China empower us militarily any more than just for trade.

      And trade is everything we need. To kick China? I think that it needs rethinking.

      • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

        You still don’t get it….We are using the law to show the world that China is encroaching on properties they do not own…you and Binay want to surrender ownership without attempting to defend it by legal means all because of instant gratification – MONEY.

        • nielsky says:

          If I must tell you straight, on the part of China, they somehow also think that the present site they occupy legitimately belongs to them. However, they also realize it has become a territorial dispute now not just with Philippines but also of Vietnam, etc. So these become one of the challenges of China on its end.

          Please refrain from identifying me with Binay as it is most unfair for me and maybe to him whose position is not clear to me on the China dispute.

          The whole problem here is the ‘behavior’ of Filipinos which Chinese scholars say is unlike any other Asian country. In like manner, we also do not understand this behavior on our end about China locating itself at a territory we believe legitimate belongs to us but failed to even guard against incursion from the very beginning.

          Please try to refrain from identifying me with Binay unless you might wish to check it with him personally if I might have been asked to articulate his position, if any.

          Just please so we do not glide down to the issue at hand which I personally also find relevant to discuss. As long as we resist to fully comprehend the whole thing, we will always have a problem – as most indicate now.

          • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

            As far as I can oberve, your stand on most issues reflect Binay’s stand too…which include ridiculing Daang Matuwid, his perceived ineptness and mistakes, as can be seen in almost all your posts however much you deny them. You may not belong to their group in a formal way kinda like we are not formally with this government but I am honestly in full sgreement with most of the way they are going about the business of governance. I don’t want Binay’s kind of governance to stay in any government agencies, local or national…that goes true with the style of Marcos, Enrile, Arroyo, Revilla and Binay.

            You deny that but you write otherwise. We are not stupid.

          • edgar lores says:

            If China thinks that the sites they occupy in the West Philippine Sea belong to them, why have they refused to participate in international arbitration?

            • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

              My exact question, too. And I think it’s because they could not defend that position as elucidated by SC Senior Associate Carpio.

              So she resorts to bullying and outright possession however illegal that is, much like a child who snatch a toy he badly wants fron another child who owns it.

          • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

            Re China, what this admin is doing is to show the world that their historical belief is wrong, and without legal basis. Binay is undermining that process by his pronouncements, thereby weakening the government’s position, worse the one doing it is the VP of the land who is aspiring and campaigning to be the President since June 30, 2010…my subconscious is thinking, is he by any chance courting campaign support from China as they have publicly admitted that they are having problems financing their campaign sorties…I refuse to believe that, as I still credit Binay with at least a semblance of patriotism and will refuse any back door dealing. I sincerely hope I am right in my minute hope of Binay’s former nationalism.

        • nielsky says:

          To give the issue some enlightened but more balanced treatment, the above item might help. We are quick to tell people “you still don’t get it” when obviously, the contrary is truer than true and for that matter ‘bluer than blue, sadder than sad’.

          To the issue, we need more than rather worn out slogans I must say imputing every malice to those who hold a different view on the matter. I feel confident that I closely can track where the issue leads.

          • Joe America says:

            That’s an interesting article, but at odds with the national position, and one has to decide who to listen to, a columnist who writes a variety of opinions, or the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, who, in his opening remarks to the UN arbitration panel, explained that bilateral negotiations have been tried, but always fail because China’s starting position is that discussions must recognize Chinese sovereignty over the disputed seas. What does the columnist say about this, I wonder. And what skills do corporate lawyers have at preserving a state’s sovereignty? Once that sovereignty is clear, the corporate lawyers have a basis for negotiating the commercial deals that fall within the sovereign umbrella. To do otherwise is to cede, as President Arroyo was prepared to do, rights and values to China that are not earned, but taken.

            Now if the point of citing the argument is that others agree with your position, that is fine. Let’s clarify your position. Would you proceed with a commercial deal if it meant establishing the precedent of releasing Philippine national rights over the disputed seas to China?

          • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

            Between SC Senior Associate Justice Carpio and Ms. Carmen Pedrosa, I’d rather believe the former..I have stopped reading the latter when she proved to be an irrationally PNOY hater – shades of GRP group, waste of my time. I had a collection of SCSA Carpio’s articles regarding this topic and I find them educational, with deeper discussion on historical aspects of the China claim. Try reading them as I had read your link.

          • Subject: UNCLOS Maritime and Airspace Zones

            Disclosure: not being a high tech computer geek, the link I provided may not work. This is a graphic pic of the above subject.


            Jay L. Batongbacal is Assistant Professor, University of the Philippines College of Law, and Director, University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea. He is on leave and affiliated with the East West Center in Washington as a U.S.-ASEAN Fulbright Initiative Visiting Scholar, doing research on evolving US maritime security policies and their impact on the resort to international arbitration and the Rule of Law in the South China Sea disputes.

            These may work.



    • NHerrera says:

      Very informative.

  35. RHiro says:

    I have heard that a new narrative is being prepared by the Palace that will state that China moved to devalue their currency due to the fear of the impending Roxas presidency.

    Roxas being a staunch believer in Economic Wahhabism will lead the Philippines to move past China as the fastest growing economy in the world. So the Chinese reacted…

    It has been reported by sources in the palace that upon hearing of the Daang Matuwid program of Aquino, Bernanke extended the QE program. and the EU and Japan followed suit…Naturally they wanted to benefit the Daang Matuwid of Aquino…

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Economically, Phl by itself is a long shot threat to China. But As pawn of US and Japan, it is more plausible. How, would be the question then?

    • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

      We know we are insignificant, compared to US, Europe, even China. in our smallness, we try to lift ourselves using the Daang Matuwid governance which are being ridiculed by the learned and the opposition who want to return to their days of looting the government coffers.

      So the Daang Matuwid has had a few bumps, imperfections, mistakes, it’s being run by humans afterall not God…but it is basically founded on sincere, steadfast and honest principles which if given the chance of continuity will bear fruits for everyone. We also know that no one has the monopoly of Daang Matuwid, but a look on the opposition and the people circling them will clearly show who is really for it and who are definitely not.

      There’s no need for ridicule, sarcasm most especially from fellow Filipinos.

  36. chempo says:

    Sorry I joined late on the chat about the Philippines map. So like the guy who caught the joke late, let me tell you what I see.

    In Mindanao I see a Philippines crab with a phallus for its left pincer…and a trail of ejaculation all the way to Sabah.

    On a more positive note, China’s 9 dash lines might well realise Joe’s vision of Philippines as the centre of the world. For Asean countries, the sea and air space are now China controlled. Philippines becomes the hub for air and sea routes between Asean, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, ME, Africa on one side and Japan, Taiwan and the west coast of the Americas on the other side.

    • Joe America says:

      All hail to China for empowering the real Middle Kingdom.

    • i7sharp says:

      “Sorry I joined late on the chat about the Philippines map. So like the guy who caught the joke late, let me tell you what I see.”


      I won’t take the Rorshach test on the map just yet. 🙂

      IMO, what one cannot readily see or appreciate is the length of the coastline of the Philippines.
      But even more significant, probably, is its “coast/area ratio.”

      Compare, for example, the ratios for Indonesia and the Philippines – noting the following:
      Indonesia has 18,307 islands (more than twice the PH’s 7,107) and a land area about six times PH’s.

      What one definitely cannot see from the air is PH’s underwater and relatively humongous “properties”:
      1. Benham Rise (larger than Luzon)
      2. Philippine Trench (34,580 feet deep).
      — Mt Everest is 29,029 feet high)

  37. @ society
    I went and made a facebook page so that I and others can promote the page through facebook ads.

    Hope we can target the youth through facebook.

    • Nice. I wonder if discussions will be easier to read using facebook. thanks, man.

      • Joe America says:

        What is interesting is that the blog discussion thread is filling up. That is, there are so many comments that it is hard for a newcomer to find a place. The Facebook page opens up a new thread, and perhaps it will be filled with another band of loyalists. Cool!

        • Exactly, there should be more discussion “corners”, not just here. I finally caught on what those A, B, C, D, E, F voters you guys always talk about. So besides facebook, multiply the ideas found on this blog, via slogans (Andrew Lim) on Twitter and pictures on Instagram/Pinterest, for those that don’t read too good–keep it simple for them. Use both negative & positive approaches.

    • Joe America says:

      What a great initiative. How wonderful it would be to get a youth following. Or even leadership . . .

      • Joe I’m gonna start the post promotion with the minimum amount. Can you help with the copy/headline for the ad of this post. Not really much of a headline writer.

        I’m initially targeting the 18-30 demographic

        • Joe America says:

          Ah, I’d really rather that obligation fall elsewhere. I am trying to calm my activities down from the roar caused by Mr. Aquino’s kind mention. Put another way, it’s been a zoo trying to keep up with comments and good wishes, to accord each person the respect to which he or she is entitled. Plus write and edit here. My wife thinks I’m a computer zombie . . .

        • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

          Will participate in this endeavor of yours once am at the office….this gadget is truly a battle of persistence and abject surrender…the website keeps reloading…it’s thru persistence that I can post

  38. BFD says:

    Off topic, but relevant to the Philippine election 2016

    For those who want Leni Robredo to be the vice presidential candidate, let’s help however we can. If you can, please disseminate to your social media accounts to make it viral.

    For those who have not yet signed but is supporting Leni, please sign petition for Mar Roxasto get Leni Robredo as his Vice Presidential candidate. We need to have the best leaders in the Executive Department to move this country forward.

    Copy paste the link to your browser or just click the link, whichever is appropriate for you, to go to Change dot org to sign the petition.

    Short URL:

    Long URL:


  39. chempo says:

    George Bernard Shaw ;”The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

    That’s where we are with regards to the China-Philippines dispute.
    That’s where we are with regards to all discussions over the political divide.

    In territorial disputes of this nature, like it or not like it, might is right. In the Falklands war, UK retained the island after a short war with Argentina. (Although in this conflict, UK went to war because the island folks, primarily of British stock, voted to remain under UK). The Japanese islands of Kuril Islands were annexed by the Russians after WW2. The Philippines predicatment is more likened to the Kuril Islands scenario. A red super power USSR vs a small (defeated) country Japan. How should the civilised world help settle the dispute. It’s better to appease USSR than go to war??? They settled this in the San Francisco Treaty in 1951 with Japan being the looser. How much faith should Philippines have in US support. The US meanwhile have stated they will not abandon Philippines.

    The Philippines lost sovereignty over those islands the moment the US was kicked out of the country. As I have mentioned, Philippines never pay attention to geopolitics. The removal of the US created a power vacuum in the SE Asia region. The untapped undersea resources may have been the prime economic motivation for China. Concurrently, what must have triggered the move is the loud noises coming out of the US by various personalities of the need for greater American presence in the region. The window of opportunity for least resistance presented itself when the GIs left unceremoniously. From China’s viewpoint, should’nt they move into the vacuum and pre-empt the American’s return in one form or another? It’s a no brainer.

    Chinese history has been trade and not colonising. (Hence my reference to Chinese business mentality). To a certain extent, even Nepal and Uighurs region is not pure colonising. Nepal’s is a matter of national security in view of past wars with India. Uighur has historically been part of China. The problem has a lot to do with religion. Uighurs are predominantly Muslims (being on the silk route they were more exposed to middle eastern cultures).

    To that extent, I share Nielsky’s opinion on the pacifist nature of the regions’ historical relation with China. But up to a point. My pacifist view of China was shattered the day they occupied the Spratlys. It was a moment of greatest disappointment for me. True, historically China has never imposed its might on any country in the region. But the nature of the beast has changed. It wants to take it’s place as a world superpower.

    Nielsky’s view is go for China and we benefit from trade. The option of war is futile. At least I grant that Nielsky has thought it over which differs from Binay. The VP pronoucements often reflect the simple-minded problem solver of an autocratic mind. I’ll talk to China, I’ll talk to Nur Misauri (re the Zamboanga siege), I’ll’ talk to the law graduate who hurled the grenade in the bar exam, I’ll talk to the various heads of state where OFWs are jailed…etc. Binay’s China stance is simply one of exerting himself into a situation, by-passing other courses of action which is already in play.

    I understand Nielsky’s stand, but I dont agree with regards to timing. We need to let all the other courses of action play out. Very possibly ICJ decision will favour Philippines. China will not budge. Does that mean war next? Of course not. And China has declared it will not take military action. So next will come protracted talks, negotiations, various other well meaning countries playing settlement feelers, and finally, as in all such plays, an agreement will be forged that will pander to face savings, some equitable sharing of resources, lots of give and take.

    • chempo says:

      Oops my reference to Nepal is incorrect. Should read Tibet

    • Joe America says:

      Another fine distillation of the issue. The one thing I don’t understand is why China does not go for the resources peacefully, doing as she says, proceeding with bilateral negotiations guided by UN laws, or the 200 nautical mile EEZ. Who cares who owns the land if the minerals can be extracted and bought or sold at fair market value. Commercial deals are struck all the time to parse the values fairly. China is not being straight. Either she WANTS to steal the resources, or the islands have purpose other then commercial . . . that is, military. Those who suggest, well, talk to China, seem to me to be willing to allow Philippine goodies to be stolen without protest, or are willing to allow military occupation in Philippine seas. The latter is not necessarily costly in any terms but establishing an awful precedent.

      • chempo says:

        “China is not being straight”
        Joe, the more I think about it, military is reason, resource is the bonus.
        Perhaps we lost sight of the significance of Asean in the eyes of China. Individually, we are nothing. As a bloc, the population of Asean is 600 million which forms the 3rd largest economic block after China and India. Asean economic co-operation is moving along a slow but inevitable path. It has not gone un-noticed by China that most of the countries in this bloc has good relations with US. Even Vietnam has warmed up to the Americans. Thus the need for China to position itself both militarily and teritorially. Asean as a bloc is in a way a threat to China, that’s probably they way they see it.

        • av says:

          Chempo, you should just get rid of America in Asean. You all are Asians and the US should not come and interfere in this. You doesn’t need their intervention.

          As long you do not understand this you will be their slaves and China will not be.

          Your roots have nothing to do with the white colonial masters.

          This said by an European.

          • Joe America says:

            The IP address for user av is in Singapore. I don’t know the reason for the deception, but the content of the messages suggests political trolling.

            Further comments from av will go through moderation before publication.

          • chempo says:

            In the game of thrones you play every which way you can. Power is dynamic and the axis shifts through the years. In this particular Philippines Seas problem the US is not interfering. They are there at the invitation of the Filipinos. If you know your recent history well, the US was entrenched with a strong military presence in Subic base in Philippines not too long ago. When the Philippines congress voted to kick them out, the US left with no bitter taste in their mouth. China is in Tibet at this very moment. Try asking the Chinese to get out of Tibet! Who is the colonialist?

            When the Americans got kicked out of Subic, Lee Kuan Yew negotiated for some Amercian presence in Singapore because he held the view that China’s growing power needs to be balanced in this region. You are in Singapore. Can you please tell me are Singaporeans now slaves to the Americans? LKY was a street smart guy. He knew of the GI’s rambuctiousness, so there were agreements that the American HQ keep a reasonable leash on their fighting men to avoid altercations with local folks.

            Try to get the “white colonial masters” mentality off your chest and move on. The world has changed a lot since then.

          • chempo says:

            AV just to add an after thought …

            In 2013 American minesweeper USS Guardian ran onto the Tubbataha Reef. The protected reef suffered some damages. The Americans accepted responsibility, apologised and paid a US$2mm fine. Imagine this — a world superpower invited to come to the assistance of a weak country, accidentally caused some problems, bowed and abided the laws of the country he is spending billions helping.

            On the other hand, an un-invited guest, the Chinese are building artificial islands and in the process destroyed 7 reefs in a matter of months that took millions of years to form.

            I wonder if Europeans are myopic.

        • Joe America says:

          That suggests a defensive purpose, but from all indications, the goal is more than that. There is no military threat from ASEAN or the US. There is no territorial threat. Perhaps there are commercial threats, but China has proved herself capable of competing with anyone. So it seems to me there are only resources, and China, in my estimation, intends to stake her claims, assertively. There is also a possible nationalistic divine right to be the center of the earth, a rather scary precept.

          • caliphman says:

            It is a mistake to view the behavior and motivation of China in its creation and occupation of its island bases on these contested reefs as belonging to one monolith entity. The fact it is driven by both military and economic objectives. It is no secret that members of the politburo have become among the wealthiest class in this communist society because of their joint control and ownership of a military-industrial complex that would have put the US equivalent at the height of the global arms race to shame. At the very pinnacles of power, the voice of this complex has been calling for some time now to strenghthen China’s naval forces and to project its power in upholding it sovereignity over every inch of its claimed territories. That it cloths its seizure and occupation of disputed reefs under the mantle of nationalism and self-defense is typical military-style rhetoric to justify its action into turning the waters enclosed by the 9 dash line into an inland sea. Because China lacks the aircraft carrier force the US has to patrol and assert its dominance over this inland sea, it is not surprising that the construction of airstrips is a very high priority which can accomodate combat aircraft to establish patrol and control over this inland sea. The extent to which it can accomplish this capability depends on how willing the US is to deploy the might of the Seventh Fleet to contest any Chinese restrictions on the maritime and aviation use of these heavily trafficked waters and airspace. China would also be quite reluctant to try and establish this type of military domminance over its newly seized territories and waters if the Philippines wins at the Hague and it is increasingly perceived as a bully and aggressor in seizing territory and waters over which it has no claim to under international law. That they in fact did seize the contested reefs is quite a departure from what their culture and long history, as well as their ideology as a communist state would lead one to expect. It is indicative instead of an unusual alignment of the military, economic, and nationalistic voices in the politburo coming together and reaching a decision that the potential benefits of this strategy outweighs its risks.

            • Joe America says:

              Thanks for that great sense of how the military is driving the current strategy, and in that context, diplomacy is useless. These island aircraft carriers have one disadvantage, though. As soon as the first missile or military plane arrives, junior officers in bunkers in Virgina or wherever will be keying in the coordinates to various aiming devices for various weapons located here and there. It is such foolish business, driving national strategy by military interests.

              • caliphman says:

                Think long range reconnaisance, cargo and troop aircraft rather than interceptor aircraft to interdict unidentified and uncleared aircraft and possibly ship traffic.

            • chempo says:

              You state it well Caliph.
              Point of clarification — I think China recently commissioned their first aircraft carrier. Its the MV Liaoning

      • Joe, would you know why the US is not a signatory to the UNCLOS….I understand China and the Philippines are.

        • Joe America says:

          Politics, which make getting 2/3 of the Senate’s votes nearly impossible (the 2/3 being required for international treaties). The US was instrumental in developing the laws and considers them appropriate guidance, even if not ratified. Presidential aspirant Clinton argued actively for ratification when she was Sec. of State, but Republicans have refused to support ratification because of the risk of the US losing rights. (This is the “I’m the big dog and can be a jerk” line of thinking that guided GW Bush foreign policy.)

          • Thanks, Joe…really appreciated the clarification. Sometimes democracy and too much check and balance in executive and legislative functions are way too unpractical.

            • Joe America says:

              Yes, that’s true.

              • Shades of what happened to us when the Senate voted to kick out the US bases here…what a lack of vision on the part of our lawmakers! I remembered our poor widow president then, who led a rally when the vote is going on, trying to make those “nationalists kuno” to see things more clearly as we are just a tiny speck among the giant nations. Singapore and Japan welcomed the US in their country and no one can question their nationalism, Japan was able to concentrate on the economy and did not worry too much on defense spending.

              • sonny says:

                Yes, Mary Grace. Sen Saguisag could not get past the prolonged presence of the Americans on our soil. For me it was a chance to strengthen our alliance/bond with a strong ally.

              • Correct, sonny… Saguisag and the rest of those ultra nationalistic ones…look where their decision led us to. The Chinese are so emboldened to bully us, even shooing away our fishermen from our own EEZ and engaging in island reclamation therein. They knew the US is too far away from us to do anything as even our current legislators most notably Santiago are even against EDCA. We don’t want war but we don’t want to be bullied just like that because our minimum credible defense is still a long way to go. (today’s PhilStar banner headline)

                I cannot fathom the direction of our legislators, so proud and yet weak kneed.

              • Agapito “Butz” Aquino, Joseph Estrada, Teofisto Guingona Jr, Sotero Laurel II, Ernesto Maceda Jr, Orlando Mercado, Aquilino Pimentel Jr, Rene Saguisag, Jovito Salonga, Wigberto Tañada, Victor Ziga, and former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

                – See more at:

              • sonny says:

                Under file category of shoulda, woulda, coulda:

                for the moment turning a blind eye to FM’s evil, he had a keen eye on the national security and infrastructure needs of the country which he addressed with US mutual defense agreements and base rentals and Japanese reparations. IMO.

    • edgar lores says:


      You mention Nepal and Uighurs, but not Tibet. It is said that here China is not only colonizing but committing cultural and literal genocide with the “Hanization” of the region. Your thoughts, thanks.

      • edgar lores says:

        Sorry, did not read your correction that Nepal is Tibet. Still, Tibet is not just a buffer against India… and my question on genocide still stands.

        • chempo says:

          Am no apologist for China, let me make that clear. Nobody has any answer to these disputes that go all the way back into ancient times. Just as in the Palistinian-Jew problems. Who is right who is wrong — the answer depends on who you ask. Certainly there were atrocities on the part of the Chinese in Tibet. From human rights point of view, that’s of course indefensible. Genocide would have been a national directive, ie orders from the emperor. Atrocities are more local command actions.

        • chempo says:

          “Hanization” is simply an old and tested attempt for a longer term best outcome where a state is trying to bring a region into its fold. Same as in Mindanao where Christians settlers was a Manila initiative. Better “Hanization” than ethnic cleansing, don’t you think?

          • edgar lores says:

            Good point. The difference, if any, would be one of degree.

          • Vicara says:

            Even better to have neither hanization nor ethnic cleansing. And frankly, in the case of China in Tibet,I don’t see the difference between them. What China is doing in Tibet seems much the same as what Japan was doing in Manchuria in the 1930s and throughout WWII. Only China has been at it much longer.

            • chempo says:

              No Vicara. On this score I’ll be a bit soft on China. Not condoning the action, but the comparison to Japan is definitely way off in terms of scale and the cruelties. There’s no comfort women, no Kempetei, no bamboo tortures, no medical tests, no rapes of Nanking. It’s more like Isreal towards the Palestinians in my view.

              • edgar lores says:

                I would probably agree that Japan’s atrocities in China are of a higher scale than China’s atrocities in Tibet. The Rape of Nanking stands out as an abhorrent war crime, and the Japanese Army murdered an estimated 300,000 civilians and combatants.

                In turn, I will be hard on China. After some thought, I believe there can be no comparison between the Hanization of Tibet and the Christianization of Mindanao. The systematic atrocities by China in Tibet cannot be compared to anything that has ever been committed against the Muslim South. These include:

                o Exile of political/religious leaders
                o Political and religious repression
                o Abduction of the Panchen Lama
                o Political prisoners
                o Ill-treatment of detainees, including torture and death penalty
                o Extensive human rights violations
                o Extrajudicial executions
                o Forced abortions and sterilisation… and even infanticide
                o Physical genocide exceeding a million
                o Forced resettlement

                More than 130 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest since February 2009, more than 20 were women. I do not know that any Filipino Muslim has.

                I do not know how true the following figures are but records show that between 1949 and 1979 the following deaths occurred. If these are true, it invites comparison with the Rape of Nanking in cruelty; in scale, Nanking is dwarfed:

                173,221 Tibetans died after being tortured in prison.
                156,758 Tibetans were executed by the Chinese.
                432,705 Tibetans were killed while fighting Chinese occupation.
                342,970 Tibetans have starved to death.
                92,731 Tibetans were publicly tortured to death.
                9,002 Tibetans committed suicide.


              • chempo says:

                Edgar, score 1 for you, 0 for me.

                Compared to your list of atrocities purportedly perpetrated by Chinese in Tibet, Manila was kissing the Bangsamoros. I was just illustrating the re-populating aspect of “Hanization”.

                I counted the Tibetan deaths you brought up. Assuming all these were directly caused by the Chinese, that totaled 864,477. A pop concensus I read somewhere put the 2011 total Tibetans at 2.7mm. That’s a whopping 1/4 of population whipped out. I don’t mean to belittle these atrocities, but the I think the numbers certainly tests our credulity.

              • edgar lores says:

                Not keeping score, Chempo, mate. 🙂

                There are commenters who contribute here to share, and argue to shed light. There are others who come here to pontificate, and argue to score. It is with the latter that I keep score.

              • Vicara says:

                Thank you, Chempo and Edgar, for going for exactitude and digging up figures, etc. But please note that I was comparing the China-Tibet situation with Japan’s creation of an imperialist puppet state in Manchuria (Manchukuo) over 13 years, not Japan’s war activities in the whole of China (Nanking included). And while the points raised by edgar lores regarding China’s occupation activities in Tibet do support my comparison with Japan in Manchuria, I had in mind particularly the “import” of Japanese non-military settlers into Manchukuo to establish communities, build factories, etc, and displace/suppress the locals, as part of “hanization.”

              • Vicara says:

                Sorry, meant “similar to” hanization, in my last line.

              • chempo says:

                Vicara– got your point. I think Manchuko did not suffer as much as China under Japan because (1) it capitulated early and (2) it was not seen as threatening to Japan in terms of numbers. The sheer size of China scares everybody, hence Japan need to rule by terror.

    • chempo,

      In the Mid-East there’s this concept of wasta, or ‘super wow’ in English (for the letter that begins the word in Arabic). The root word means middle, so wasta is the ability to mediate.

      It has a negative connotation, ie. nepotism, cronyism, corruption, etc. but in essence it’s all about creating value for one’s self by being able to get things done between opposing parties. Imagine 7th century Arabia, a disagreement, no systems or institutions, short of war, the opposing parties seeks the guy with ‘super wow’, or wasta and he deliberates and gets things done.

      In keeping with Joe’s Philippine-centric article, your break-down of Chinese and China and Chinese-Filipinos, how can the Philippines assume this role of wasta, bringing about value for itself as the mediator between East and West. You’ve hinted at the Chinese-Filipinos’ value in China-Philippine relations, but what’s the best way to affect this role as mediator.

      Primer has called for studying China closer, I agree. But how can you re-train the Dept of Foreign Affairs, AFP, Law Enforcement, business (big & small) and academia ( also the common people) over there to take on the role of mediator.

      • chempo says:

        “wasta” the way you described — “creating value for one’s self by being able to get things done between opposing parties” is great in that old Arabic environment. But I thought it’s mostly negative. At least in Philippines it’s mostly negative. It’s the “who do you know” disease that gets things done. It gives rise to “fixers” big and small.

        It’s a good question — how to get Phils to play the role of mediator between East-West relations. I have no ready answer. However, my feeling is that in a country to country discord, the role of mediators often fall into the hands of larger than life characters. People like Kissinger, Lee Kuan Yew, Nelson Mendela, the Pope. These are people who are respected by both sides, who hold world views and can provide value-added advices to move discussions along. But if you are thinking in terms of someone just providing neutral venues and do the admin staff of getting 2 parties together, much like what Malaysia did for the Manila-MNLF peace deal, then certainly it’s trainable.

        • Joe America says:

          Speaking of Kissinger and Johnny Lin’s comment in the “power” blog thread about the power of love, Henry was a ladies man. The women just fell for him, no matter the heavy accent and non-Schwarzenegger body. When asked the secret, he said something like “I was genuinely in love with each woman.”

          Charisma of the power of love.

        • Vicara says:

          In Philippine interpersonal relations, the role of a “tulay” or “bridge” is given much importance, and it doesn’t work only in a negative way (asking for bribes). It’s also about enhancing “pakikisama,” or the ability of “getting along.” So it may not be a matter of formulaic “training” (which, begging your pardon, sounds very Singaporean and strange to us Filipinos) so much as enhancing a long-existing cultural trait and directing it to foster better relations among countries. In Arabic cultures, wasta probably arose from trade, which could flourish only when a certain degree of social capital (trust, tolerance of other cultures, etc). The Philippines is an archipelagic country, which has no land border issues. There is great flexibility and openness in the culture, and a wish for everyone to get along and have a good time. I’ve been to a number of multi-country conferences in SEAsia, and it has struck me how other delegates have relied on the Filipinos to break deadlocks and build consensus.

          Fostering understanding and smoother relations between Filipinos and China citizens would need more person-to-person interaction. Through official meetings, of course, but also through tourism and other informal exchanges. Have met PRC citizens while traveling these past years; and what struck me is that what they have in common is a fairly high level of anxiety–even though they are middle-income at least, and have white-collar jobs and professions. I was also surprised by the number of those who said they would like to migrate–from the economic powerhouse that is China today, of all things. But there is an uneasiness arising from that runaway success, and a fear that it can’t possibly last much longer. On the other hand, my instinctive (Filipino) reaction to them was, “Don’t worry so much! Chill.” But there they are, caught in the bubble of state-controlled media, and also, separated from us–and other SEAsian countries–by language. This is why I’ve suggested in this blog that Chinese-Filipinos could have an important part to play as “tulay.” Although it would seem a daunting task, not just because of PRC state control (e.g. on online social networks) but because there seems to be a deliberate demonization of the Philippines in order to justify what the PRC is doing in Southeast Asia, as part of its re-writing of history.

  40. av says:

    Joe America, wouldn’t it be better to spread cooperation with China?

    Get rid of your colonizer image that you spread and also your knowledge about China is weak.

    China is an opportunity to get rid of their colonial past and people that still brainwash them.

    • Vicara says:

      “It has not gone un-noticed by China that most of the countries in this bloc has good relations with US. Even Vietnam has warmed up to the Americans. Thus the need for China to position itself both militarily and teritorially.”

      av, it is precisely China’s military and territorial “positioning” that has precipitated closer relations in neighboring countries among themselves and with the U.S. It infuriates China that former bitter enemies (e.g. Vietnam and the U.S., Japan and the Philippines) are working more closely together on regional issues, but China has only its arrogance and ham-handed tactics to blame. Late in the game, it realized that to criticize its neighbors as colonial relics hasn’t gained it any friends; so how lucky it is indeed that it has European ex-colonizers like yourself to lecture Joe and to tell us lesser Asians how to conduct our foreign policy.

  41. av says:

    And Joe, I don’t see the Indonesians being brainwashed by the Dutch colonial master. Why?

    • chempo says:

      Difference between Spanish, American & Dutch occupation.

      Spain came for the gold and the spread of the word of God through swords.
      Dutch were more trade driven — for the spices.
      Americans have their sense spreading their notion of freedom/democrcy to where they happen to be.

      av — the Indonesians were certainly brainwashed by the Arabs. Why are you silent on this?

  42. maya pula says:

    the Roxas approach, toward Western ideals and Philippine independence, is the hardest path ……Joe, this model may not be the hardest daan to take as it is closest to the Filipino ideal, superimposed over a latin-asian value system. The Philippines still pine for the commonwealth days, perhaps quaint but is a benchmark that somehow Mar Roxas generates.

    • sonny says:

      Maya pula, it is not as quaint as it seems and truly, benchmark is a good term to use and to keep in mind. The Commonwealth days were full of ideas and ideals both for transition and going on first gear towards self-determination. I called it Filipinos colonizing Filipinos. It behooves our current leadership and would-be leaders to revisit those ideas and ideals. Our youth and young adults are not mere passive descendants or receivers of positive traditions but rather active learners and participants in the active duty of citizenry. There is much information now readily available. Libraries are no longer just serial servers but parallel conduits to and from our histories limited only by the diligence we apply. Economic, social and political opportunities need not be confined to the A & B categories of our population.

      By going the route of Mar, we have the opportunities to leap frog many of the obstacles that come our way.

      • nice one, sonny…. you saying that ideas are so hard to come by compared with sophisticated words, but here you are producing such gold nuggets…. easy on the mind to comprehend, too!

        • sonny says:

          Mary Grace, for us of the twilight generation, nakakataba ng puso to see that insight and involvement such as yours and maya pula are alive and well. The relay baton is in good hands.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, I appreciate the optimism, maya pula. Thanks.

  43. bing catap says:

    Thanks for the article Joe…. a well rounded, complete analysis that gives an insight on what the future holds as a result of the upcoming 2016 presidential elections…… now if this can only be translated to reach the and open the eyes of the rest of our voting masses……

  44. obed says:

    A coin has 2 sides, one side could say: China expansion / land reclamation however the other side of the coin could say: it is China’s security. It isn’t China’s claim of 90% of the SCS; it is China’s security in regard to the US move. Has this logic Joe ?

    • Joe America says:

      I’m sure it does, but I’m not sure I see how the US is in any way a threat to China’s security. And I write about it, not from the US perspective, but from that of the Philippines. The Philippines is not a rich nation and China is not threatened by her in any way. On the other hand, the Philippines is greatly threatened when her fisherman can no longer fish the seas that were once open to them.

  45. obed says:

    Sorry if it was out of the context here but these days i see so much anger.

    Also our beloved Philippines has been playing the Spratly Islands issue under different gambits. This all makes it’s so unclear.

  46. obed says:

    So Joe, do you think that the fish-ground is the key issue here ?

    Or could China feel threaten by the US move ? Could this be the key point ?
    Or on the other hand China does want to expand and conquer however their history doesn’t point into that direction.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, fishing, as it represents the idea of sovereignty and the right to resources, is the key issue for the Philippines and other nations whose EEZ’s have been disregarded by China.

      I don’t know what move you refer to that makes China feel vulnerable. The US has been a dominant force for non-aggression in Asia since World War II.

      History is past. Now is now, and China has taken control of territories that by UN law belong to other states. It is a form of conquest, not of peoples, but of their rights.

  47. obed says:

    Looking back on what the media has published, it all started with fish ground, then oil and now military asset. This makes it all so unclear and shows that we think to know what the purpose from China is but in reality we don’t.

    The last one could point into the direction that they want to protect the SCS. I don’t expect it will be an base for attack.
    “but I’m not sure I see how the US is in any way a threat to China’s security”, in your context you right however in the Chinese one ? How do they think ? Same as us ?

    • Joe America says:

      It is hard for me to understand the acts of China, so I for sure have no idea what her thought processes are, other than “we need resources to become a dominant state, and we are entitled to them if we can get them.” It’s rather the same motive for stealing industrial or military secrets. It makes no sense to me, that such a great nation would take the route of confrontation and theft to acquire the resources she needs. Buying them would be a lot more responsible to the community of nations.

      • sonny says:

        It could be in the national DNA (the AB population of China), i.e. the Confucian idea that Chinese culture is superior to the world’s. Maybe?

        • Joe America says:

          You know, that makes as much sense as anything.

        • chempo says:

          Sonny let’s leave the good old sage out. Confucius is all about how to be a good person. There is nothing about I’m better than thou. The AB population in fact are by now highly westernised, well-travelled, international in outlook. If you want to blame DNA I think it is the 100 years of communist indoctrination. This is where the “unreasonable man” of George Bernard Shaw comes from. You still see them vividly in Norkor.

  48. obed says:

    “I don’t know what move you refer to that makes China feel vulnerable”, Didn’t Obama announced the pivot ? The purpose was not containing China however now it’s looks like about containing China. Makes this sense Joe ?
    Could we blame Obama for causing the worst tensions in Asia ?

    • Joe America says:

      The US pivot was in response to China’s military build-up and assertiveness, to protect America’s interests in Asia. Those interests are pretty much the same as they are world wide, to promote democracy and freedom, defend allies, and protect American resources, which can be things like sea lanes or troops stationed in the Pacific. Certainly, the US would want its allies such as the Philippines to stand independent and democratic. Sure, you can say Obama worsened tensions, but I can assure you that is not what Filipinos think. China is the problem, not the US. Indeed, China is pushing nations toward alliances that invite other nations into Asia. China succeeded in breaking down the wariness in the Philippines toward too much American influence. Now, people generally welcome the protective umbrella being provided by the US, and also Japan. They are also appreciative that other ASEAN states support the arbitration case filed in the UN court as a peaceful way to deal with the dispute.

  49. obed says:

    Thank you Joe.

    “It is hard for me to understand the acts of China”
    “so I for sure have no idea what her thought processes are”
    “It’s rather the same motive …………..”
    “It makes no sense to me”

    Those sentences point into the direction that we have no clue in what they are really doing and the purpose of it. We just guess because we would handle / think like this and that and we suppose they would do the same.

    On the end of the day, are all cultures the same ?

  50. obed says:

    Could be that we are different, the difference would be that i had a look at the back side of the coin and tried to understand it. You didn’t.

  51. obed says:

    Joe, i would say it’s honest to look at it, it’s fair and expand your view.

  52. Vicara says:

    obed, do consider interrupting your study of coins and confusing media reports to consider instead a direct statement, in black and white, of China’s military intentions, as outlined in the PLA’s first white paper on defense. I daresay you won’t require a translation into English. :

    “Traditionally, China focused on economic development and took a hands-off approach to global affairs. But with Chinese interests growing by leaps and bounds in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, China is finding that its defense responsibilities are set to go as global as its economic interests… In response to the new requirement coming from the country’s growing strategic interests, the armed forces will actively participate in both regional and international security cooperation and effectively secure China’s overseas interests.”

    But, as Jeremi Suri points out in a review of Bill Hayton’s excellent volume,The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia: “Leaders in Beijing are thinking about the South China Sea as an extension of landed authority–that is how they articulate legal claims to ‘territorial waters.’ The value of the sea, and the socioeconomic dynamic that defines its historical development, is movement and trade, not state control. Chinese efforts to assert state control will destroy the value they seek. Local regional actors need not put aside their own differences to combat Chinese aggression; they only need to defend their traditional positions as participants in a complex, multipolar system. The United States is in a very strong position because it does not seek to control the region, but protect the various local actors and the sea-lanes they traverse.”

    He adds: “This is a case where the Chinese, not their neighbours or the Americans, are forgetting the most important lessons from the past.”

    • obed says:

      Vicara, sorry but your reference isn´t the white paper that China issued. It´s just a persons view on some parts of it and taken out of the whole context.

      This person view is called by you `a direct statement, in black and white, of China’s military intentions`. Fine, up to you to take his words and personal view as granted but would suggest you to read the original one,

  53. edgar lores says:

    Judiciary: The Vote on Enrile’s Grant of Bail

    For the record.

    The Supreme Court voted 8-4 to release Senator Enrile on bail on 18/8/2015. As usual, the Retrogressives voted as a bloc.

    The eight Retrogressives, all GMA appointees, who voted in favor of Enrile were: Brion, Leonardo-De Castro, Velasco Jr., Peralta, Bersamin, Del Castillo, Mendoza, and Perez.

    The four Progressives who voted against were: Sereno, Carpio, Leonen and Perlas-Bernabe.

    Jardeleza recused himself.

    Villarama and Reyes were probably on leave.

  54. obed says:

    Vicara, sorry but your reference isn´t the white paper that China issued. It´s just a persons view on some parts of it and taken out of the whole context.

    This person view is called by you `a direct statement, in black and white, of China’s military intentions`. Fine, up to you to take his words and personal view as granted but would suggest you to read the original one,

    • Vicara says:

      So you do know about the PLA white paper. I wonder what all your questions were about, then.

      The FP quote I selected (which is not the direct statement I referred to) was a summary of the the white paper points which seemed most pertinent. Although FP does view matters from a more benign perspective than I do; but then the nine-dash line is just outside my door, figuratively speaking, and proximity may have something to do with my grumpier point of view.

      • obed says:

        “So you do know about the PLA white paper”,
        i went further then the article you pointed and did my research on the white paper and took the time in reading it.

        “and proximity may have something …..”,
        perhaps living close to the border with another country on mainland would not give you this feeling. I do not have problems with the proximity. You would need a boat to get there (nine-dash line).
        Seems to be something created in your mind.

        • obed says:

          Vicara, so what is the direct statement ?, in black and white, of China’s military intentions, as outlined in the PLA’s first white paper on defense ? What is your concern after reading it ?

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