“Hey university students: I’m calling you out! You’re not doing your job to take care of the Philippines!”

Andrew_Classroom_De_La_Salle_University wikimedia commons

University student protest planning meeting. [Photo credit: Wikimedia commons; De La Salle U. Andrew classroom]

As an outsider, I have no place to make demands here. If I were a properly papered insider, a citizen, I could righteously try to shake some social fruit from the Philippine cultural trees. And, to be frank, I get mighty upset with student apathy and negligence in the Philippines, the negligence being that young people, who are the hope of the nation, stand by irrelevant as the nation chokes herself on corruption.

They leave the protesting to the olds. Boy howdy, that’s a clear-cut case of abandonment of social duty.

Social change across the world almost always starts with young people. They are filled with dreams and idealism and don’t like to see their aspirations blocked by the establishment. Equality among races, genders and religions. Brought to us by young people. Fairness in hiring. Care of the environment. Recasting of social institutions. The right of a woman to her own body. Same-sex unions. These are all points of social progress brought to us by young people.

Corruption, fought by young people around the world.

Corruption in the Philippines?

“Aw, who cares?”

So I’d cite my complaint loudly: “University students, you’re not doing your job!”

Then I’d add some specific challenges to prod young people to extend their intellectual and moral reach:

“Hey students, did you see the Arroyo 8 Supreme Court justices whip a huge obscene gesture toward the idea that all Filipinos are equal? You do nothing? The Arroyo 8 justices ruled that a man in jail for likely stealing P172 million deserves more privilege than an ordinary old and sick Jose who is rotting in a crowded, stinking prison cell without recourse to money, lawyers or compassion. Do you students think you will get the same privilege as Senator Enrile, or as an ordinary Jose, if you are accused of a misdeed? You can’t articulate the ideological horror that “justice for the privileged” represents, that it disenfranchises ordinary Filipinos?

Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” was not on your reading list?

Did you see the evidence presented in the Senate hearings against Vice President Jejomar Binay, recording how billions  of pesos were re-routed from taxpayers to purposes of Mr. Binay’s choice, included in all probability a palace on a hill with a downright pretty piggery? And you let him run for president? You can’t put that into context, that ethical integrity ought to deny people of that character the right to power in the Philippines?

Do you see the mob family structure represented by the Makati Sister City network, usurping the most basic principles of democracy that represent your hope for progress and fair dealing? You can’t frame that as an ideological obscenity?

Were you not compelled to think in your classes? To develop ideological constructs? To anchor good deeds to good moral principles? To articulate statements of integrity and a commitment to reason and fairness and kindness?

Are you not compelled to act out of common good-will and advocate for the idea that Filipinos are a decent people, and their nation should be a decent place?

What’s driving you? The false security of Facebook friendships? That will hold the crooks and totalitarians at bay? Your BFFs, the warmth and cuddlies and jokes and funny stickers sent, one to another?

That is life’s purpose for you?

You don’t dream? Of hope and opportunity and the riches that come from making something out of your life? Do you not see that the Philippine governments, national and local, frame the future for ALL of youth? Or are you too self-absorbed to care?

You don’t know how to organize movements and protests and marches? You don’t know how to paint signs? Write slogans? Or just sit down . . . the protest “sit in”?

Hong Kong students can do that. For democracy.

You can’t?

I don’t get it.

Are you waiting for Jose Rizal to rise from his tomb to write a manifesto, or what?

Your nation is on the brink, on the edge. On one side is a steep slide into darkness, the other a valley of promise, rather like the Garden of Eden.

And you are silent.”

Man, if I were a Filipino citizen, I’d challenge these young people to stand up and speak out.

There is no group of people in any democratic system that is more important than its youth.

Not its Legislature, or its Executive, or its Judiciary. Not the press, driven by profit and not national well-being. No business association or set of investors is more important.

Youth represent the vibrant energy of fresh thought, the impetuosity that converts ideas to acts, and the inspiration that comes from creating . . . not just watching or reading about . . . a path of hope and opportunity for the well-being of the nation and all Filipinos. Youth are nothing less than the nation’s conscience.

But Filipino youth are dead in the water.

The nation’s conscience is dead in the water.

Doing whatever they are doing that they deem more important than the well-being of their nation and fellow citizens.

I can’t do anything about it because I am a foreigner and not allowed to provoke acts that might be deemed disruptive to the calm that is the (corrupt) way of government today.

But if I were a citizen, I’d be impatient by now. This silence is too much. This negligence. I’d be shouting through the megaphone, or in blazing headlines, or a snappy YouTube video:

“Hey university students: I’m calling you out! You’re not doing your job to take care of the Philippines!”


260 Responses to ““Hey university students: I’m calling you out! You’re not doing your job to take care of the Philippines!””
  1. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Your heart, JoeAm. Hydrate and breathe deeply. Thanks for this. It seems the aging battle tanks of the First Quarter Storm are the ones doing the fighting, for now. Let’s leave the youth be. They’re busy earning moolah while the earning is good, because you know what, they are helping their folks (yes, the same battle tanks) with their maintenance meds, hospitalization, sundry expenses, in their retirement. Some are taking care of siblings in the education process. Yes, they are there. They are in the ramparts, but quietly financing their parents’ unfinished revolution — mostly in Facebook — by being good children and good stewards of their salaries. At the right moment, just you wait, JoeAm, they will rise, and the enemy will say, where did they come from? They are in the frontlines all the while, being obedient to their parents who will say “on my signal, unleash hell (from Gladiator).” — Will

    • Joe America says:

      Well, thank you, Will, for calming my eruption of apoplexy, and for the statement of confidence in Filipino youth.

    • Bing Garcia says:


    • @ Will

      Young professionals yes, they are busy starting their careers and supporting “the aging battle tanks of the First Quarter Storm, who are the ones doing the fighting for now”..I think Joe is targeting this article not only to them but to those still in colleges and universities who are soooo involved in friends around them and in the social media thru the gadgets that are so fashionable now. I don’t hear much from them except for those belonging to the radical group, the left leaning ones who are so noisy denouncing PNOY and so strangely quiet except for a few token criticisms against Binay usually reverting back to attacking the President in the next breath.

      I see rare exceptions on TV where debates on current and raging issues are held, schools are pitted against one another, I suspect they are law students. Because of the limited time given them, they debate at a pace that will put the super-fast magnetic levitation (maglev) train to shame leaving them out of breath and stressed out and the viewers hardly comprehending their POVs. After that debates, I was not able to hear from the cream of the crop ever again.

  2. edgar lores says:

    I believe the youth and their passions are invested in FaceBook conversations, Pinterest pinboards, Instagram exchanges, Twitterverse posts, mobile phone selfies, and video games.

    It’s all about the high-tech toys, the school and cyber circle, and me.

    They are too busy exploring the ever expanding frontiers of the technological world… to be vexed with the inequalities and injustices of the real world… and to bother about changing the world.

    • Joe America says:

      A young person on twitter sent me a note to say that students choose to undertake their protest activities in social media rather than on the streets. I asked if she thought that was as effective, or are they mainly talking to themselves? I’ll let you know if there is an answer.

      Follow-up response: “it is somehow effective because the world can easily notice their complain by just clicking a link or just by retweeting it.”

      • I think the children shaming that Johnny was talking about is perfect with gian’s “targeting” project on facebook. Maybe that’s their “way” of protesting these days thru memes (re andrew’s article).

        gian’s onto something. Get these memes out (although I agree with Johnny on shaming, it has to be balanced, I would recommend reverse psychology and make the shaming look good, ie. ‘Keeping up with Kardashians’).

        Then follow up with long articles that distills. Let’s “target” Primer’s school and class.

        Are there political plays in college theatre over there? This song always gets me riled up.

    • “They are too busy exploring the ever expanding frontiers of the technological world…”

      That very act, right there, is what’s changing the world–for the better or for the good, though, I’m not sure. But web 2.0 will definitely change the election landscape, over here the Tea Party movement has gained traction, the popularity of Trump is perfect example.

      Black Lives Matter movement is another great example, only a few months old, and it’s a bonafide movement, unlike the Tea Party movement which translated into some sort of political movement generated by old people who knew how to convert their energy into politics,

      Black Lives Matter is just a bunch of black kids pissed off (at what exactly, hard to pin point, though the police are the initial targets and the reason for being). When they talk to politicians like Bernie Sanders or Hillary, and asked what they want done (ie. laws, policy, etc.) these black kids don’t know–but they are mad about something.

      So whatever happens over there re web 2.0 movements, study the Black Lives Matter movement to see how just getting mad about something can turn into something legit. It started out just a hashtag.

    • NHerrera says:

      China analysts say that the demands of the Chinese for more freedom, especially from the idealistic youth, are held in check by two things:

      – nationalistic feelings promoted by state-owned information media and by pronouncements of Politburo officials — be concerned of these baddies: US, Japan, and those around our precious South China Sea 9-dash lines;

      – the unstated sentiment that we are taking care of you via economic development: look what we have achieved the last 30 years — of course, the recent sharp downturn in things economic lately will test this.

      In a similar way, I may say that the Philippine youth’s outrage about the bad politics, in almost all spheres of Philippine life, is held in check by:

      – the relatively good economic health of the country (in Philippine terms);

      – what edgar wrote: the distraction and joy of playing with the digital gadget or toys and their use in communicating with social media buddies — the allure of the new iPhone or the new Samsung galaxy phone elicits more frenzy from the youth.

      There is missing the spark that may come we know not when and from what firebrand — certainly not from the discredited Bayan or Makabayan noise-makers. Perhaps Blogs such as this may help spark the youth to action.

      • “China analysts say that the demands of the Chinese for more freedom, especially from the idealistic youth, are held in check…”

        I’m reminded of this article,
        “As a science teacher in the northwestern region of Ningxia, Wei Jinbao has seen firsthand how China’s education system transforms children into hardworking students with an impressive capacity for processing factual information. “Give them a problem and they will find the answer,” he said. “However, they can’t ask a good question.”

        “In a similar way, I may say that the Philippine youth’s outrage about the bad politics, in almost all spheres of Philippine life, is held in check…”

        To quote MRP:

        “I did not say EDSA with a Revolution because I do not believe it was a Revolution. I do not think the Dead Filipino Walking protected HRE. They were not there to protect Marcos. They were not there to Revolt. It was entertainment like Justice in the Philippines has become a primetime drama.”

        The Chinese are coming to the US in droves to figure out what makes Americans creative.

        In the Philippines, though no gov’t policy exist to harness American creativity, they over there equate consumption (to drama, to unimportant things) to mimicry–to some degree consumption is very much part of America (not the best part). But that’s not what drives.

        Joe’s got it right here, “the impetuosity that converts ideas to acts”.

        It’s obstinance, the trait of being hard to influence or control, that’s the secret to American creativity and vitality. Figure out how to teach that in China and the Philippines, and you rule the world.

  3. This article about how the youth attended and reacted to the Presidential candidates visit to Cebu is promising. http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/103674-leader-cebu-youth-roxas-binay-poe-visit

  4. Sup says:

    Off topicYou are not alone in your opinion JoeAm if you read the comment sector..


    • Joe America says:

      Thank you, Sup. “Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event.” (From Wiki) Man, that to me would be a pretty persuasive defense argument. I wonder if the defense had a psychiatrist expert. I have to add, it is good that the trial is no longer being posed as an international incident, but is focused on the crime.

      • Sup says:

        I did click the link again..many reactions now, 95% pro Pemberton..Murder is not ok but Laude pretending to be a female is also very wrong…if you play with fire you can get burned..I did meet Jeffrey during miss gay contests..not a ”shy” type…May he rest in peace but be gentle to Pemberton please…

        • Joe America says:

          I’m disappointed in Sec. de Lima’s insistence that the charge be murder and not homicide, given the circumstance and lack of witnesses. Maybe it’s the prosecution’s bluster, to assure the win. But I thought it was called “The Department of Justice”.

  5. winky says:

    Let me help you out Joe.

    Listen up kids: Arroyo is baaaaaad; Aquino is goooooood.

    That about sums it up right?

    • Joe America says:

      No, of course not.

    • Not necessarily. It could be argued that all administrations from Aguinaldo to Aquino had their positive and negative sides. For Arroyo for example, she had her good (infrastructure, the economy grew, the Strong Republic Nautical Highway, etc.) and her bad (Hello Garci, ZTE, increase in debts, unexplained wealth, etc.), and Aquino had his ups (high economic growth, stamping out corruption, rise in tourist numbers, etc.) and downs (Manila hostage crisis, Haiyan/Yolanda, Mamasapano, etc.). Even Marcos, for all his hideous faults and his corruption, did at have accomplishments (like infrastructure, albeit at the cost of kickbacks and ballooning national debt). History should judge administrations not by only their good and bad points, but if what they did moved the country forward, as well as the context of their times. In this sense, Arroyo and Marcos are “negative” administrations, while Aquino is a “positive” administration.

  6. Ed Cabigting says:

    Well said Joeam! I am a 72 year old Filipino and can’t understand why the youth of today and so called activists are not concerned on what is happening to our country today.

    • allan reyes says:

      You have by now at your age some apo’s in college…You are almost same age as my father..Know what, being in mid 40’s and working abroad and have 2 children in college – I told them to concentrate on their studies and they must have respectable grades…Their time will come…Hope you understand…

    • Joe America says:

      It’s a mystery to me, too, Ed. I’m told that they protest via social media, but I for sure don’t see much pressure originating from that, or much influence on the Binay supporters to look elsewhere.

    • Perhaps because they don’t suffer enough and are well taken care of, these selfie-obsessed, party-loving, and electronic-gadgetry-toting Filipino youth of today have become uncaring about their country.

  7. chempo says:

    This is a “Let a thousand flowers bloom” speech in a garden of infertile soil.

  8. Carmie C. says:

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    From:”The Society of Honor by Joe America” Date:Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 2:09 AM Subject:[New post] “Hey university students: I’m calling you out! You’re not doing your job to take care of the Philippines!”

    Joe America posted: “As an outsider, I have no place to make demands here. If I were a properly papered insider, a citizen, I could righteously try to shake some social fruit from the Philippine cultural trees. And, to be frank, I get mighty upset with student apathy and negl”

  9. “Oy utol, butot-balat ka na, natutulog ka pa” – Banyuhay ni Heber

  10. Well, to be fair to the young generation (of which I am a part of), a sizable number are in fact aware of what’s going around in the country. Many express their views, whether pro or anti-government, in venues such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, etc. Perhaps we need a paradigm shift of sort where need to think that social media can be as powerful as traditional media and actions if done right by the right people. With that said, I agree that while social media is good, it would also be very effective if the people of my generation would also put their words into action in the same way that activists fight for their ideals.

    Also, looking around Twitter, it seems a slight majority of people still support the administration. Perhaps the pro-administration people are the silent majority after all. Also, anti-Binay pages on Facebook do get plenty of likes, so that’s a good sign. Unfortunately, Marcos loyalist pages have even more likes. I think my generation needs to be educated about the horrors of Martial Law and why it just wasn’t worth it; what’s even sadder is that many continue to believe in such ideas even if presented with facts that collaborate the traditional viewpoints about Marcos.

    • It would be nice if Eugene Apostol, Letty Magsanoc (of the Mrs. & Ms fame) and the Burgos family Of the We Forum and Malaya) can reprint their pre Edsa mosquito press issues that had been so effective then. Some e-copies, maybe? The Marcos family still has their billions plus the salary and discretionary allowances from their government positions that they are now using as propaganda to brainwash the youth and the not so young people of today.

      • chit navarro says:

        @Mary Grace – Raissa Robles and Alan Robles websites have heaps of articles on the Marcoses. If you open up Raissa’s blog, scroll to the bottom of the page, shee “Story Index” – click on Marcos Cronies or Marcos & Co or anything on Human rights violation, etc., and all the Marcos topics are there, complete with documentation.

        Allan Robles blog also has plenty of articles on the Marcoses.

        • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

          Noted with thanks, chit…

          We need to direct the attention of the youth to those articles. What they are accessing are the various Marcos propaganda which they swallow hook, line and sinker (a phrase I get to read so often these days).

          Problem is most of the youth today have short attention span….What I’m thinking is how to convert them to memes with pics that would somehow catch their attention kinda like what we usually see today in FB pages.

    • Joe America says:

      I do think the leftist groups have a better understanding of how to get media play, and use that to leverage 50 voices to mean big impact. Put 150 people in front of the US embassy, and it gets the front pages, with photo of the angry mob. Leftists do anger better than most. The last StopBinay rally was completely missing in the news that I saw, and it had a couple of thousand people. Gently walking. Now on social media, there are thousands of people yapping, but mostly to themselves. I think maybe it affects 50 people.

      As well connected as people are, as offensive as a Binay presidency should be to young people, nothing much is changing at the polls. Social values are not being shaped.

      • Did the anti-Binay rally really have thousands of people? I know the anti-PNoy SONA rally had a few thousand, but maybe because it was a SONA rally; the rallies that they frequently hold in front of the Supreme Court usually have less than 30 people.

      • I think one possible reason that many people have overlooked is that, as far as I know, quite a few journalists were themselves activists in their younger years, so they may have probably remained sympathetic to their former causes or otherwise still have a soft spot for the activists, and thus would report on them while they can.

        There’s nothing wrong with opposition: in fact, as long as it is constructive, it should actually be welcomed. They are a form of check-and-balance and may allow you to realize that some things may have gone wrong but your allies for whatever reason don’t have the heart to tell you. You should get worried if P-Noy would be putting all his critics in jail.

  11. Hong Kong students and young professionals were able to unite and express their disgust effectively by using the social media, (same with the Arab spring) but sad to say the mainland China is so bent on controlling her citizens, although it did not go the way of the Tiananmen Square (except for a few instances of show of force thought not fatal), still it was all for naught.

    Edsa 1 was made possible through the use of announcement thru Radio Veritas (which was later destroyed by government forces in the futile hope of denying media access to the peaceful revolution) and Radio Bandido (in a secret location) not to mention those mosquito press in the early stages of the fight.



    EDSA 2 was a bit instant, cellphones were used, people were there a few hours after the nauseating victory dance of Tessie Aquino Oreta after the NO votes won in the Senate Impeachment Court.

    I have faith in our youth of today, their hand held gadgets will come useful in due time, I hope that time is NOW, to show the 8 shameless Arroyo justices that people are disgusted. The First Quarter Storm, what were left of them, are now weak-kneed, with aching joints and under maintenance meds, sickly and old (except Jim Paredes and Cynthia Patag and company) We need the youth TODAY. I hope they realize the urgency and discard their apathy.

    • chempo says:

      Mary, let’s leave China out. They are not ready for democracy (not necessarily the US version). I don’t know how to classify them — capitalism run by old communist party??.With full freedom of speech and expression the country will explode. When China is in turmoil, the world suffers. They need more time to evolve.

      Philippines has never actually have democracy. You have all the forms — the laws, the institutions, separation of powers, universal sufferage — but never the substance of democracy. EDSA 1 discarded the shackles of marshall law and what evolved to this day is something that I would describe as an oligarchical kleptocracy.

      If the youths are galvanised and play out their role positively, it’s only a small step for democracy. Oligarchy and kleptocracy hang like the Sword of Damocles over Philippine democracy. If the old power bases, the dynasties, are not broken up, true democracy will just be a holy grail. There is no way that I can see Mar or Poe or Duterte being able to take the giant step to neutralise these power bases.

      • When China is in turmoil, the world suffers.

        Yep, I saw proof of that in the way the stock markets all over the world plunged as a result of China’s economy slowing down. China is so vast with billions of consumers targeted by other countries’ corporate entities for their products i.e. Mexico’s and Australia’s ore, etc. – that’s how I understand this stock plunging phenomenon…can you elucidate more?, am really interested.

        • NHerrera says:

          Mary Grace,

          If I may, I hope this helps:


          There are also links in that article you may view for more on the topic of China stock/ economic crisis.

        • chempo says:

          Mary the link provided by Nherrera is the market talk – nothing wrong with the analysis. The whole world economy is inter-connected (except for Philippines which is quite insulated) and China being the 2nd largest economy, whatever happens there affects everyone.

          Sometimes a little off-market view may give some food for thought.

          China was into massive massive projects. As it got richer, projects got more massive. Builders don’t build condominiums, they build whole townships. Greed and over confidence has a lot to do with that. There is only so much that demand side can take up. The huge over-supply in real estate was a major problem in the last 10 years. They have been trying to solve, camouflage, pretend it did’nt exist for a long time. China has been the world’s factory for a long time. As they got richer, factories grew bigger and more in numbers. Greed has a lot to do with that. I’m repetitive haha. Then comes the dip in world demand for their products. They tried to beef up domestic consumption to help solve the problem. But their output is so high even their huge population cannot be the answer.

          The bomb was in the backyard a long time. Comes a time something has to give. It just needed a spark.

          The main simple reason? China grew too big too fast. Growth is good, but managed growth is better. There was a period of run-away growth. And it was not because they were that good, but because they did not play by the rules. During those heady days of growth, they refused to allow their currency to float which would have caused the renmenbi to appreciate higher against world currencies. They controlled their currency artificially against the dollar for a long time, making their products cheaper and hence conquer the world.

          NOTE: This is a lesson Philippines is not learning. Philippines real estate is not as pretty as the media reports and the financial reports of real estate companies publicise. Just take a look at the under-occupancies. It’s glaring.

          • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

            Pretty much like what happened to Japan, right?

            Ok, so now you think the Philippines is heading that way, too with the real estate boom going on. That’s scary.

            We put up seven towers in BGC but we usually start construction only after we have achieved critical mass i.e. 90 % signed contracts with no bank loans at all. I think that should be the way to do it.

            China had devaluated their currency lately, but do you think it’s too little too late or will they be able to rebound using their much vaunted trade surplus?

          • Mary Grace P. gonzales says:

            Thanks, chempo…truly appreciate this. You’re a kind guy.

    • Joe America says:

      I shall wait patiently for the explosion of passion from young people who recognize that it is THEIR lives at stake. The rest of us are on a slow freight out of town.

  12. amernh79 says:

    You hit the nail right on the head Joe…The silence of the Filipino youth in these serious issues is extremely disturbing especially when hash tags like #ALDUB and #KATHNIEL can generate million tweets in few hours. That says a lot about who we are and what values we have.

    • Joe America says:

      Right, amernh79. Something is missing from the priority checklist. “Oh yeah, my country. And my future.”

    • sonny says:

      What do the two mean?

    • allan reyes says:

      my take here is that, we’re not in the same situation like in the early 70’s up to EDSA 1. Then, you really had no choice. The moderates got squeezed and they either went underground or kept their silence. Very few true opposition remained free to continue the fight in the open. Most became afraid. That’s why we recognized and appreciated what they did and those who lost/sacrificed their lives in the process. What i’m trying to say is today we can say our piece in different social millieu, hence, the angst are not contained and does not boil over to the streets. And by the way, can we excuse the students? I, personally being a father with college kids, don’t want them protesting in the streets and endangering their lives. I want them to finish their studies and be good, productive & responsible citizens. Sorry, but i’m probably got burned out by so many strikes and protests that happened during my younger years and probably felt that we’re not better off that way. Just an opinion from probably an over protective parent.

      • sonny says:

        my initial reaction was “i think leave the students alone. their duty is good performance on their academics” this pretty much reflects my own and siblings’ upbringing. my father had strict reins on time and all resources, all collimated (allusion to laser beam, i.e. super focus) towards school performance and behavior. In sum, the single objective was the successful completion of your college degree. After graduation, you can make your own decisions, determine your own accountabilities, in other words determine the tracks of your life as a responsible adult. The home is the backstop for your initial forays into the market.

        (I got the feeling, he more or less knew who and how each of us would perform in and out of school) 🙂

  13. Also, please correct: Lina is a Commissioner, not a Secretary.

  14. Also, did you read the news earlier today? Renato Reyes of Bayan (not to be confused with Bayan Muna, although the two organizations are allies) criticized Mar Roxas for “premature campaigning”. Which is fine, because honestly in my opinion he’s kind of right. However, why single out Roxas? Renato Reyes failed to criticize the #1 premature campaigner: Jejomar Binay, who has arguably been campaigning for the presidency since Day 1 of the administration. And Binay is hardly the only one doing premature campaigning: Poe, Duterte, Bongbong, Mark Villar, Joel Villanueva, Isko Moreno, and a long list of politicians with ads on TV. Why single out Roxas, and why not instead criticize *all* of them, *Including* Roxas? Some say that it’s because Roxas might use the funds of the DILG, but wouldn’t that be the same thing as Binay and the OVP? It would have been fine if he criticized both Roxas and Binay, but with singling out Roxas but not mentioning Binay, something doesn’t seem right here.

    Speaking of Reyes, there was an incident regarding him lately. A Twitter user asked him two questions: 1. why Bayan and other activists groups had not held any protests against Binay, and 2. where the funds for the making of effigies came from. Rather than replying to the questions, Reyes actually blocked the user in question. The said incident went viral on the internet. Later on, Reyes made a statement saying that their group does not like Binay, but said that what they don’t like is that (non-verbatim) “the yellow media is using Binay’s issues to cover their own issues”. Here’s a link to a post which discusses the aforementioned incident:

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I was aware of the criticism of Mar Roxas, which made me laugh considering what Binay has been doing. Talk about an organization without any credibility or integrity. I wasn’t aware of the other incident, and appreciate your bringing that in.

      • And in the spirit of fairness, here’s Reyes’ full statement regarding the incident.

      • It’s interesting to note that Reyes has comments on his blog turned off. I find that kind of ironic: they criticize the government all the time but it seems they can’t tolerate criticism of their own views. Even Teddy Casino is better: although comments in his blog are moderated at least comments which criticize him usually get through.

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          Majority of the Filipinos cannot torerate criticism especially criticism that cannot be argued upon because it is facts and logical.

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          It is not moderated, it is heavily moderated to the point of censorship.

          • Well to his credit, I once posted an anonymous comment there asking him why he didn’t rally against Binay. While he never replied, at least the comment went through. Similar comments are also common in many of his blogs.

            • Joe America says:

              MRP’s approach is usually less diplomatic. ahahahaha

              • Johnny Lin says:

                More of Sayangtific

              • edgar lores says:

                That made me LOL!

              • chempo says:

                Off topic but I’m piqued, Can someone enlighten me.

                Trillanes latest expose — an ex-Makati city officer received 15 cheques from Abigail Binay out of her PDAF. Abigail said nothing wrong. The payments were meant for a medical programme she supports and paid to the officer who was the disbursement person for the programme.

                Question — I thought PDAF was supposed to flow from Abad’s dept to implementing agencies who release to contracting parties. So how come Abigail isuued those 15 cheques?

              • edgar lores says:

                I share your befuddlement. My impression was that the members of the Legislature recommend a project, the Executive releases the funds to either government or non-government agencies, the agencies execute the project, and the independent Commission on Audit verifies that everything is hunky-dory.

                Nowhere in the process should members of the Legislature have their hands on — or should I say snouts in? — the funds.

              • Joe America says:

                In the past, under PDAF, legislators personally controlled large amounts (P70 million for Reps and P200 million for Senators). Actually writing the checks seems unusual, but they directly controlled the money. It could be that the money was routed from DBM to a project Rep Binay controlled. There without question were abuses, and it would be standard procedure for DBM to approve whatever a legislator authorized under their PDAF. It’s hard to spend three trillion in a year, and DBM was pushing it out fast. They still are, under better visibility and control, but get criticized for not spending fast enough.

                Damned if you do, damned if you don’t . . .

              • edgar lores says:

                No wonder everybody wanted to be a Congressman.

                I would have thought the funds were not handed personally to them or coursed through them. That is a recipe for disaster… which it was.

                I understand some Congressman did not avail of the PDAF.

                “Direct control” can still be implemented under a “hands off” procedure, with the congressman operating at “arms’ length” with the DBM and implementing agencies.

                The PDAF pool should remain with DBM until specific projects have been identified and approved. Unallocated PDAF should remain in the pool.

                When authorization is given by a Congressman for a specific project he has requested, DBM should release the money to the identified implementing agencies and not directly to the Congressman.

                Controls and control points should be implemented whether the implementing agency was government or non-government.

                In Abigail’s case, the money should have gone directly from DBM to the LGU. But why would a rich LGU such as Makati require funds from the national coffers?

              • Johnny Lin says:

                Abigail wrote PDAF check payable to an individual, meaning it can be deposited on his personal account instead of the revolving funds to distribute social assistance.

                The devil is in the depository bank. If deposited it’s in his own account without proof he transferred same amount immediately to Social Revolving Fund, that guy could be charged with malversation and Abigail office as accomplice to divert funds illegally.

                Senate blue ribbon knows where the checks were deposited because depository bank and account number of recipient is always printed in the back of the check.

                interesting if the guy endorsed the checks but deposited in another individual’s bank account like let’s say a “dummy” of Abigail. Remember, this guy said on questioning he did not remember any check that he personally benefited out of Abigail’s PDAF?

                Binay is a Family MAFIA of thieves
                Ghost seniors and ghost checks

                It’s always fun in the Philippines!

              • Joe America says:

                Actually, PDAF is dead and now all projects are line items in the budget. There are a few discretionary budgets for storm relief and the like, but it is all more tightly controlled, monitored and publicly reported now. The shenanigans had been going on for years, long before the Aquino administration. It had become accepted, I think, as a way for congressmen to enhance their salary and no one was looking . . . on purpose. Ben Hur Luy blew it all out of the water.

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                PH needs more “intentional” whistleblowers instead of the “accidental” ones like Ben Hur Luy and the SBRC witnesses.

                I have a lot of respect for the forwarder in that GMA interview who candidly talked about the grease money scheme at BoC.

              • Joe America says:

                And Lina’s response was a classic Binay-style dare, “Name names.” That guy will bring Roxas down, by extension. What a horrid way to respond to an accusation of wrongdoing in his bureau. I now have zero confidence in the guy who Harry Roque called “hollow block faced”.

                By the way, Roque is not running for the senate on the UNA ticket, but for a party list group. He is evidently trying to disassociate from Binay, probably having discovered that his integrity took some mighty powerful whacks. I wish the voters would also wise up.

              • sonny says:

                Lifted from elsewhere and can be subject of student marches, to picket SC 8 :

                “Spread and propagate the compassion, not equalize the suffering or democratize the misery. We may cite the repoorted and implemented Enrile ruling to alleviate the condition of others.” — Ex-Sen Saguisag

              • sonny says:

                “Name names.” This is so reminiscent of the Marcos (FM) years! FM’s favorite: “Where is the evidence?”

              • caliphman says:

                Might you have a link, Juana?

              • chit navarro says:

                Congresswoman Abigali’s pet project in Makati funded by PDAF is vermin culture – maybe an offshoot is Ber-sa-min culture….

              • sonny says:

                Madamag ko laeng, edgar, adda cadi nabati pay nga ‘interes’ mo idiay ka-Ilokoan?

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                @sonny, re: Ilokano question to edgar. I am not sure if he is conversant in the dialect.

                Did you say?:

                ” If I may, edgar, ask you what are your interest pertaining the Ilocos region?”

              • edgar lores says:


              • sonny says:


                @ edgar: Dios ‘ti agngina.

                @ JP: maawatan na, ading.

              • sonny says:

                translation: Dios ‘ti agngina = Thanks. Maawatan na, ading = Yes, he does understand.

              • sonny says:

                translation: Awanen = not anymore.

                (asking every one’s pardon – just exercising our Ilocano)

      • Though if they were just criticizing Binay but not Roxas or any of the other names I mentioned, that would also be wrong.

        Also, interesting that the activists don’t have any statement so far on the bail of Enrile, whether a positive or negative reaction.

        • WBAR says:

          Activists are silent re Enrile’s bail…coz Enrile is New People’s Air Force

        • I agree that something is amiss with the leftist groups. They have trained their guns almost exclusively against P-noy and barely a whimper is heard from their quarters against Binay, Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, and Enrile. If they are so angry with the “magnanakaw” why are they vilifying the one person that everyone knows has not stolen from the coffers. (I believe he will not and has not stolen because he does not have progeny to think about and stealing would be like spitting on his parents’ faces.)
          Regarding JoeAm’s post. I take the opposite view. While organizing protests, mouthing slogans and joining rallies are acceptable and valid exercises of our freedom to express, I believe the best way for the youth to help in nation building is to make something of themselves, to succeed in their studies. to find good employment or to build businesses and to vote intelligently during elections. I remember debate between a leftist and a congressman whose name I cannot recall. I felt the congressman;s words to be more compelling when he said, “You say your family was poor, so was mine. You took your anger to the streets, shouting slogans while I took mine to my studies refusing to give up until I finished law. Now you say I am anti poor, but I am in a position to help while you are still leading protests wihich lead to little change. Does this make you better than me?”

          • Joe America says:

            Welcome to the blog, jumerccadelina. Let me interject if I may. I think your last paragraph is superb and ought to be the guideline for all parents and students. Enrich yourself and you will enrich the nation. It works if government is democratic and stable and functioning well. One has to wonder, though, who is responsible if the democracy is so young and unpolished that another autocrat can rise to take over the land. Always “someone else”?

  15. Johnny Lin says:

    Two-ways Young ones coalesce to personality/ties
    Inspiration and Adoration

    Inspiration is the magic word for the youth.
    Someone they are in awe, mesmerized
    Someone mysterious, fearsome yet soft
    Someone appealing, looked up
    Similar to Ninoy
    This is Lasting

    Adoration by the youth brings a different perspective
    They are enchanted on the personality
    They are entertained, intrigued
    They feel happy/sad with the life story
    They identify with the personality
    Similar to #AlDub
    This is Fleeting

    You want to shout to the Former!?
    But “Who” is their inspiration?

    “Who” is what’s missing!

  16. panget says:

    hi sir joe am,
    again, thank you for another inspiring, thought-provoking article. maybe what they need is a catalyst, and for us, patience. 🙂 i wanted to understand them better, reliable google showed me this:

    Click to access GenerationalDifferencesChart.pdf

    -They grew up more sheltered than any
    other generation as parents strived to
    protect them from the evils of the
    -Came of age in a period of economic

    but this one is really interesting, when will this happen?

    “They hope to be the next great generation
    & to turn around all the “wrong” they
    see in the world today. ”


  17. ofw from abu dhabi says:

    hi, mr joem…another great piece.. i have daughter at 16, i asked her once regarding current events, she said, she really dont care.. but she likes duterte.. i think the youth today are really scared of the criminality that goes around the neighborhood that’s why she will go for duterte… its like they want action rather than promises & bla-bla-bla !

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      With due respect,
      1. I thank your daughter for knowing Duterte and the good he has done to Davao City
      2. Knowing Duterte means reading newspapers
      3. WAnting Duterte means your 16-year-old daughter is worried about criminality
      4. Knowing criminality is knowing that Philippines is not a fun place
      5. We need more 16-year-olds like your daughter.

      • People are looking at the wrong people. Duterte, whether or not he actually is behind the Duterte Death Squads, has an attitude which is not fit for the presidency. Also, he doesn’t seem to believe in due process of law. The end does not justify the means.

    • Joe America says:

      I wonder if they realize it is their future at stake. I don’t see much critical thinking going on at all.

  18. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Millennials are wise, I think. They see education as the quintessential activism. Poverty is the problem in the Philippines. How can corrupt politicians prosper in their trade if they get less and less voters to buy? We’ve tried our best as far as shouting ourselves hoarse is concerned. To no avail. No Filipino will ever fire the first shot to start a bloody revolution. But if we move away from poverty, then vote factories will shut down and we can have better leadership. So, JoeAm, the silence we hear is not the silence of the lambs, it’s the silence of people digging themselves out of the hole in which we find ourselves. The corrupt swim merrily in the sea of poverty. Remove the sea, and they will be thrashing on dry ground, good for frying.

    • Joe America says:

      Which is ironic, because 15 years of 7% growth and deep poverty would be a thing of the past. Yet everyone is criticizing the straight path because it is too slow and they could cure poverty in a year or two. Right.

  19. chempo says:

    Less youngsters clicking through here mis-intepret, I’m sure this is not an irresponsible call to arms, or rather lock-arms and march down the street, and wreck havoc like the leftist demonstrations. There is a time and place for that and now is not the time, the red line has not been crossed yet. Edsa 1 was right at the time.

    This is a call to rouse the young from their slumber of dis-iinterest in national issues. They should make their voices and views felt now, and demand accountability and explanation from politicians and officials on various troubling issues of the day. They can do so in responsible and organised ways now….or wait till the red line has been crossed by then you will need violent demos on the streets.

    As Uni students, there are a few peaceful avenues that you can channel your passions and energies. Organise inter-intra school debates, invite relevant personalities to your school where they can explain their positions and you can grill them, challenge them to debates, conduct street corner talks to raise awareness to your fellow youths etc… all these events under the glare of TV if possible, and go live on youtube. I’m sure there are many other ways.

    • sonny says:

      Joe’s piece can be taken rhetorically to coax our millennials, to rouse them from an apparent stupor. As parents of millennials we are aware of the odds they will be facing and we shudder for them. We also know that with their youth and education they can only be the ones to ride the waves that will be coming their way. Hopefully they will not be wanting of the mettle that will be demanded by their own times

      Other times, other paradigms, other heroes:


      • The point of being young is to get laid, as often as one can get. My parents were hippie types, although they did things to change the world, the main impetus to their undertakings was to hook-up. So if you harness sexual energy over there, you’re one step closer.

        This whole rising-up and protesting and getting mad has to be sexy. People in the Philippines are already fans of bikini contests, sex tourism is rife, short-time motels plentiful, leaked sex videos, etc. so sex as driving force is already apparent there (ie. it’s non issue in Saudi Arabia, and now Brunei) use that to your advantage.

        • Joe America says:

          Ahahahaha, hey, Bubba, I was a hippie myself, kind of. That free love era was fantastic, not to mention the weed and San Francisco, which has yet to recover from being a little off to the left and eccentric . . . yet romantic.

          • They were more surfers than hippies, but similar sensibilities,

            • bauwow says:

              The point of being young is to get laid, as often as one can get.

              Why didn’t I learn this when I was young?

              • sonny says:

                bauwow, you’re taking this better than i can.

              • All glands should be squeezed out regularly–getting laid takes care of 3 glands with one activity. The point is more on efficiency. No reason needed to perform this regular emptying out–the body does it naturally & creates craves,

                but if you can tack on some kind of motivation, greater meaning, the better.

                “The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.” –Friedrich Nietzsche (sweat gland is the 3rd)

              • i7sharp says:

                From “getting laid” … seguing to “Nietzsche.”
                Is it good for the “university students” to be influenced by Nietzsche?

                btw, a search for Nietzsche at Schiller Institute produced 129 results.
                by the way, in answer to the question you asked a few days ago: No, I am NOT a member of the insitute. Never thought of applying for membership.
                [ For context, the reader might want to click here:
                http://j.mp/ja-si ]

                A search at the site for “Wurmbrand” produced no result.
                Perhaps they should know about Richard Wurmbrand.
                I learned a few weeks ago that Richard Wurmbrand was in the Philippines in 1970 and had an audience with Marcos, distributed 50,000 copies of his book, “Tortured for Christ” to the armed forces of the Philippines.

                Here is an excerpt from Wurmbrand’s “Marx & Satan”:
                The age of Marx was a time of Satanist ferment in
                many spheres of life. The Russian poet Sologub wrote,
                “My father is the Devil.” Another Russian poet,
                Briusov, said, “I glorify equally the Lord and the Devil.”

                Marx was a child of the time that gave us Nietzsche
                (Hitler’s and Mussolini’s favorite philosopher), Max
                Stimer, an extreme anarchist, and Oscar Wilde, the first
                theoretician of freedom for homosexuality, a vice which
                today has met with acceptance even among the clergy.

                Richard Wurmbrand, who died in 2001, would – like Manny Pacquia and Tim Tebow – agree that the university students would benefit most from reading the scriptures.
                [Did you know that Tebow, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, was born in the Philippines, in Makati?]


              • Joe America says:

                Hahaha, wrong school I guess.

              • Is it good for the “university students” to be influenced by Nietzsche?

                I agree, he’s passe over here, ‘God is dead’–who cares? But over there, absolutely! if only to counteract group think in the form of the Church over there. But I agree with you, Paine and Nietzsche are a bit of aholes. Before anyone covers them (and their lambaste), Spinoza (both his philosophy & biography) should be covered thoroughly, then jump to the Transcendalists (to include John Muir)–if you have people similar in thought and temperament over there, cover them. But counter all that dogma over there, university students will be better for it.

              • i7sharp says:

                “… then jump to the Transcendalists (to include John Muir)–if you have people similar in thought and temperament over there, cover them. But counter all that dogma over there, university students will be better for it.”

                I would settle for Dave Barry, to name one.
                “A Brief History of Computing”

            • the university students would benefit most from reading the scriptures.

              I absolutely agree, i7, to include Homer’s and later Virgil’s third book. I would also stress, that the Philippine collection of myths, legends, hero tales, creation tales and other folklore should be preserved and transmitted–why focus on just the Mediterranean stories, when your side of the Pacific is also just as rich with stories and meanings (same with other peoples and nations, cover Hindu & Jain myths, American Indians’, South America, the S. Pacific islands, etc. etc.).

    • NHerrera says:

      I agree, especially the doable activities described in the last paragraph.

      From the socioeconomic class demographics in the Philippines — ABC 10%, D 60%, and E 30% — these students most probably will come from the lower C group and the upper half of the D group. The E group will not have the luxury of reflection and most probably they rarely are in the Uni student groups; and the upper ABC group may not bother — they have their foreign estates to run to or they are themselves the sons or daughters of plunderers or businessmen who abet them.

    • Joe America says:

      That is an interesting point, what, really, would satisfy this JoeAm character? Riots in the street? The intellectual awakening you cite? I think somewhere in between.

      If you take the Supreme Court ruling, it really is an affront to the idea that all Filipinos are equal under the law. It is offensive to the humanist, the idealist who sees the use and abuse of the poor and the entitlements of the rich. It is rather like racism, is it not, anyone who is not of proper bearing, move to the back of the bus. Or go climb on your broken down rusty clunker of a bus whilst we whistle for our driver and private car.

      What is the cause? The cause is fair treatment and honesty. Get politics and power out of the government and take better care of people. In my day, the activists, of whom I was a follower and not a leader, would likely organize a “Resign Bersamin” initiative and would march and shout and demand justice.

      Funny word.


      I’d be happy with a few thousand young people at the next Stop Binay walk, peaceful but clear as to what they expect of the Philippines, value wise.

      • NHerrera says:

        Good idea — last paragraph. The students with their digital toys do not have to part with those toys, they can join Jim Paredes and Leah Navarro et al and put those toys to good use. Funny that the students are not the leaders but Jim and Leah, years past being Uni students. Where is the un-sullied idealism of youth? Where are you youth that Jose Rizal spoke of?

        • Joe America says:

          I think one problem that has been recognized here is that there is no charismatic leader, plus no strong organization to coordinate. The Stop Binay movement works as an informal association of interested parties. There is no organization that would, for instance, start wrapping other organizations under the umbrella . . . I suspect in part because other organizations don’t want to be wrapped. They want to be their own show.

          So that is three issues: (1) no charismatic leader, (2) no organization, (3) divided we fall.

          • jameboy says:

            I also can’t exactly put my finger on it but allow me to express my wildest conjecture on the matter.

            When the issue is against the president, the executive office (as compared to Congress and Judiciary) the reaction tends to ne quick, overflow, be emotional, extend and exaggerate that often gets out of hand and result on something dire and serious like the EDSA uprising or the Magdalo hotel-occupation, etc. Erap was ousted and Gloria seriously humiliated and reduce to practically nothing. The people, which includes the university students, tend to act fast and gets charged-up when the center, the main target is the Chief Executive. One wrong step by the president, like the Mamasapano, and all hell breaks loose. Call for resignation, protests, rallies and demonstrations left and right; prediction of doom and gloom and everything meant to destabilize not only the government but the entire country as a whole.

            But a long string of alleged corruption by the VP? Nothing, not even a whimper. Yes, there are marches and that’s that, marches. Try the same scenario with the president as the accuse and you’ll see people overflowing the two lanes of EDSA.

            That’s not me saying it but history reminding us. That’s the trend we’re having.

            But ‘Chief’ Justice Corona is no executive you may add. How come he was sideswiped like Marcos or Erap, both mis-chiefs, err, chiefs (executive)? True, but take a second look, his downfall cannot really be taken as one the president is completely isolated from. Meaning, in a reverse situation, Corona’s head was chopped off not because he’s goody-goody with the president’s but actually he was the nemesis of the ‘Dang Matuwid’. At least, that’s the impression.

            The same with Napoles, Jinggoy, Bong and Enrile scramble and to some extent with VP Binay. The people drag their feet simply because its out of their range. Mass actions, demonstrations and endless rallies are historically reserved for the president not to corrupt senators or super corrupt vp.

            That, in essence, is the reason why I do not concur with the notion that the absence or silence of the university students means they are not doing their job. Of course they do its just that the cast of characters are not what they’re used to. So they wait for more evidence, more time, more cajoling. That and the distractions they are subjected to by the Internet influence and video game craze which their counterparts in the past don’t have to contend with. 😎

            • Joe America says:

              Fascinating. So the President is fair game for any complaint, any ill. He need never be appreciated as a leader (that’s for outsiders to observe), he is expected to make out lives perfect. If we have an ache, it is the President’s fault. The VP does not have a similar responsibility.

              Cool! Where’s Kafka when you need a fair description. The youth are just a part of this surreal drama, like the Greek choir, jumping in to sing when the high points come along . . . They don’t really DO anything.

        • allan reyes says:

          Ibarra’s character in Rizal’s Noli put up a school to make educated youths out of the ignorant indios. The youths you’re looking for are still in schools busy with getting their education. We just hope that they are being prepared and taught well to become outstanding leaders of this country.

  20. Johnny Lin says:



    ” A tourist fell down on the floor of NAIA 2 because the floor gave way. He went to feet under”

    An airport official on interview said the reason the floor gave way because the FOREIGN TOURIST IS TOO HEAVY

    Are not floors be made to carry the load of tons of weight in public areas?

    Airport Officials plan to put up signs all over the airport the following:

    It’s always FUN in the Philippines
    He he he

    • NHerrera says:


    • Joe America says:

      I hope they put in trapeze bars so we can swing to the check-in counter.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        This airport official is typical mentality of govt officials because they are political appointees or have high positions due to connections. Calous, insensitive and mentally incompetent jerks in MIA.

        Instead of apologizing to the world, he insulted physical characteristics of tourist on TV.
        Shame on the Philippines again.

        • Joe America says:

          I know the kind. I once complained to an Immigration Official during my required annual registration because I thought it was a little insensitive to make us fly to Cebu to pay our P350 or thereabouts (Tacloban was an operating agency, but it’s computers were not yet re-connected to Manila because of Yolanda).

          He leaned over the desk and intoned, in a rather threatening way, “You know, your stay here is a privilege, not a right.”

          Well, I didn’t think that was the issue, but quickly grasped his point. I think the guy was maybe Primer’s brother.

          • Hahahahaha… on Primer’s brother. I gotta re-post Joseph Conrad’s description of these bureaucrats,

            “He was commonplace in complexion, in features, in manners, and in voice. He was of middle size and of ordinary build. His eyes, of the usual blue, were perhaps remarkably cold. Otherwise there was only an indefinable, faint expression of his lips, something stealthy—a smile—not a smile—I remember it, but I can’t explain. He was a common trader, from his youth up employed in these parts—nothing more. He was obeyed, yet he inspired neither love nor fear, nor even respect. He inspired uneasiness. That was it! Uneasiness. Not a definite mistrust—just uneasiness—nothing more. You have no idea how effective such a faculty can be. He had no genius for organizing, for initiative, or for order even. He had no learning, and no intelligence. His position had come to him—why? He originated nothing, he could keep the routine going—that’s all. But he was great. He was great by this little thing that it was impossible to tell what could control such a man. He never gave that secret away. Perhaps there was nothing within him. Such a suspicion made one pause.”

            “this papier-mâché Mephistopheles, it seemed to me that if I tried I could poke my forefinger through him, and would find nothing inside but a little loose dirt…”

            • Joe America says:

              Is that from “Heart of Darkness”? I’d imagine so. It’s the only Conrad story I ever read, and it was a tough read. But so very very rewarding. I read it again after watching “Apocalypse Now”.

              • Yup, https://goo.gl/9cjFfN

                Book and movie were great but the real deal surpass them both,

              • Joe America says:

                Man, what a character, what courage.

              • i7sharp says:


                Just trying to follow.
                Mr. Kurtz, the fictional main protagonist in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” is Richard Francis Burton in real life?


              • bauwow says:

                You really are bookworms both of you. I fell asleep after the first page of that book. Where do you find the patience to endure Conrad LCpl_X?

              • Joe America says:

                Endure is the right word. It’s like mining, you have to go through it one sentence at a time looking for gems. When you find one, you get inspired to look for more.

              • i7, bauwow, sonny,

                I had to read this book in HS, then we saw “Apocalypse Now”, and wrote a compare and contrast as assignment. Then our LT, same guy who made us read ‘Good to Great’, had us read about Burton–so when I think about ‘going native’ I always think about this holy trinity, the book, movie and Burton.

                i7, I don’t really know if Conrad thought of Burton when he wrote, but I don’t know anyone else in the mid-1800s who wrote about ‘going native’, so by default I’m thinking Conrad read Burton’s books (who was the Graham Greene of that era). But your guess is as good as mine, but in my mind those 3, book, film & biography, are intertwined.

            • sonny says:

              bauwow, you and me both. Were it not for LORD JIM in Classics Illustrated and the movie (Peter O’Toole), Joseph Conrad would not be in my memory. I only know he was Polish and he used the pseudonym.

  21. Bing Garcia says:

    In fact, working under what could possibly become the Bersamin Doctrine, our lawyers should look around the country’s jail cells and find even more geriatric detainees who should enjoy the compassion of the Supreme Court. Raissa Robles

  22. caliphman says:

    Where does one usually look for signs of universiity activism and what idealistic college students are vocal and passionate about. Here in the US one looks at the campus hotbeds of student activism like Berkeley, University of Madison in Wisconsin, etc.. In the Philippines, I would expect UP, Ateneo, University of San Carlos, and their school publications. There are approximately 2 and a half million tertiary school students of voting age or over who should have the awareness and intellect to comprehend what is happening with the government and the issues on the natural scene. Are they just lacking the leadership and the venue to have their voices heard? I have not seen any organized Facebook or tweeter sites that shows their presence in the online media. Hard to believe the youth of today are apathetic or feel powerless about the crucial issues facing the country that is bound to affect their own and their families future.

    • Those campus “hotbeds” strewn about across these United States, were formed inside a perfect storm of events–much like a diamond forms with the confluence of extreme heat and pressure.

      In the mid-60s, there was segregation, the suburbs, drugs, sex, rock & roll, cold war, communist witch-hunts, lying government, etc. to provide the extreme heat,

      for pressure is was the draft, it wasn’t just theory anymore, you could die in a war justified by a naval battle, in which President Johnson commented privately: “For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there.”

      are the conditions present to galvanize youth over there? From the looks of it, heat is tepid and pressure minimal at best.

      But sex and obstinancy are two things young people can easily be cajoled into doing. It’s in their nature. Start with that.

    • The most obstinate people I’ve come across over here are Armenians. The consistency and pervasiveness of their obstinance is really a wonder, I’ve always wondered what their upbringing was like. And whether or not this was a reaction to the Turkish killing and kicking them out, or if it was the reason for such actions. So maybe the Philippines can send envoys to Armenian (or to Glendale) to examine and learn from them.

      • sonny says:

        LC, I always think about marching in cadence when crossing a bridge of unknown tolerance vs marching in random steps over the same bridge.

        • Though still strictly Monophysite (maybe that’s the source of their obstinance), Armenians would be quick to tell you that theirs was the first nation to adopt Christianity and that their church in Jerusalem is built upon the home of James the Just, with James’ remains inside the altar of that Church. Although not coming from Pauline Christianity, like Filipinos, Armenians are as fanatical of their Christian faith. But there is a wide gap in the level of obstinance between these two nations.

          So I think the manner in which you march is as less consequential as the materials built to strengthen the bridge–the bridge is what’s important, either re-built or renovate, but the point is to have everyone march, jump, dance, frolic in all manners of contentment.

          • sonny says:

            Very sorry for the place my reply went to, LC. I meant my bridge analogy to refer to how the university population can be in rebellion when in unison rather than in disarray, i.e. to each their own. (I know very little about Armenians as a people).

            • (I know very little about Armenians as a people)

              LOL! Consider yourself lucky, sonny. Joe knows, http://www.glendalenewspress.com/tn-gnp-me-glendales-drivers-named-among-worst-20140923,0,3203243.story

              as for “unison rather than in disarray”–disarray is the reason why Muslim takfiris/jihadis are gaining ground.

              • sonny says:

                Does Cher Bono count? 🙂 My sister’s best friend (LA Latvian-Brazilian widowed by Armenian businessman) is my only connection to them.

              • Joe America says:

                I did my masters thesis on Cher. Well, on her show. I did a survey of all the people who wrote complaint letters about the show which, at the time, was considered a tad lascivious for the revealing gowns Cher would wear. Well, about 85% of the complaints were from women, so I easily concluded that CBS should just ignore the letters, as they weren’t representative of the audience at all. Then I expanded that into about 300 pages of ridiculous perfectly typed (on a typewriter, by a paid typist) puffery, and graduated.

              • sonny says:

                PS. Love the graphics, good way to explain software databases.

              • sonny says:

                PPS. I will have an eye on to Armenian history, geography & culture. (Not too many Armenians in Chicago as far as I know. Monophysitism is such an ancient heresy. hmmm…

              • sonny says:

                LC i find some irony here.

                “… disarray is the reason why Muslim takfiris/jihadis are gaining ground.”

                From THE MORO WAR, it was the acute disarray among Moro tribes that enabled Leonard Wood, John Pershing & Tasker Bliss to hold the tribes at bay for the US colonial
                government and also allowed the settling of Mindanao by Filipinos from the Visayas and Luzon. (I still owe you a review. my excuse: attention is too dissipated 😦 )

              • Monophysitism is such an ancient heresy.

                Have you read this book, sonny, http://amzn.com/0061472816

                Does Cher Bono count?

                There has to be cultural transmission, not just blood. Obstinancy, I don’t think is genetics (though one can argue animal husbandry), it’s learned.

                From THE MORO WAR, it was the acute disarray among Moro tribes that enabled Leonard Wood, John Pershing & Tasker Bliss to hold the tribes at bay for the US colonial government and also allowed the settling of Mindanao by Filipinos from the Visayas and Luzon.

                Visayans I thought had already been there, occupying the north and east. While the people from Luzon were reparated there post WWII.

                I think sheer force was on the side of the Americans to render moot any advantage of de-centralized networks. But then again, going back to what Ireneo said about feudal society over there, you have to account for datus being the heads of central structures, take out the head and the body withers–do you think this is more apt as description?

                I’m more familiar with the American Indians here, the eastern tribes were more organized and they were the first to fall. The Moros, I think, would be closer to the plains tribes–who put up a good fight but in the end were still ruled by chiefs. In California, the best comparison over there are the Negritos, since there was no more west to push them to, they were annihilated–that’s why you never really hear anything about CA Indians (except for those in Silicon Valley).

                Now the tribes that best fit the de-centralized model are the Apaches and Commanches and they were the longest to subdue–disarray as advantage. In the end, sheer force also won the day.

              • (I still owe you a review. my excuse: attention is too dissipated 😦 )

                That’s right! I forgot about that.

              • sonny says:

                @ LC The injection of Visayas & Luzon Filipinos was opened by the Spanish right after the founding of Manila. The migration was more a chronic movement. My guess for this trickle of movement is the inhospitable conditions of Mindanao’s forest cover & rugged terrain. This was also the reason the Moros did not seek refuge in the forest as haven. Instead they (the coastal Moros) chose to settle in kotas around Lake Lanao. The sea-bound Moros, on the other hand logically considered the Sulu chain as bases for their piracy and slave industry.

              • sonny says:

                @ Joe Interesting subject for a thesis. Marketing-related phenom?

              • Joe America says:

                Degree was an offshoot of journalism: Radio and Television Arts.

      • Joe America says:

        You do know Los Angeles.

      • The Armenians were not only heavily persecuted by the Turkish, the Russians did not give them a nice time either. There is an old story about an Armenian father telling his son in Czarist times “pray for the Jews my son”. Son asks why, father says if the Jews are gone we will be the ones at the bottom. So the obstinacy could be similar to that of the Jews – born out of constant persecution and the way they survived throughout the millenia.

        But nearly all the people of the Caucusus and the Balkans are obstinate and fierce – these are areas were empires passed through and no mercy was given to anyone. Georgians, Azeris, Serbs, Albanians, Bulgarians – all of them are hard nuts to crack.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m not sure youth know how to organize a platform or set of ideals that have broad appeal. Each wants to be leader or of his own little sect, or at least talkative within it, and is happy within that “initiative”.

    • chempo says:

      UP students should start by putting their Harry Roque under the spotlight There are so many things he need to explain, not asking them tells one a lot about those UP students.. But alas there goes their grades for sure.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        To go on a little tangent based on the gist of what you just wrote, there are always traces of impunity in all facets of life in PH: Do not make waves because you and everybody you are related with will pay for it. Intimidation of the rich, powerful and well connected have cowed the less fortunate for generations. There is no wonder even students are silenced by the fear of retribution.

        There are always rumors of some kind of illegal deeds going on but people often do not come out to report it to the proper authorities. Case in point is when the SBRC started investigating the Binays, a number of people from Makati said, “We knew that.”

        Is there a sort of fraud, waste and corruption hotline in PH? Like a 1-800 number that people can call to anonymously report illegal activities that they witness? Maybe the personal cloak of being anonymous would make people talk.

        • chempo says:

          Understand your point. This is the sickening status in most poor countries. I don’t know if there is a corruption hotline. The internet is a great enabler for this. If I were in DILG or DOJ the first thing I’ll do is to set up a whistleblower website. Anonymous submissions are allowed.

  23. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    1. 36% or 36,000,000 Filipinos are 21 years old and younger …
    2. 12% or 12,000,000 working age Filipinos are abroad …
    3. every OFW supports 3 members of the family …
    4. 48% or 48,000,000 Filipinos rely on OFWs …
    5. a member of OFW family may consist of a spouse and two children or parents and a sibling
    6. For every OFW family, two children or one sibling are sent to University out of OFW earnings
    7. 24,000,000 or 12,000,000 of 36,000,000 21-years-old and younger go to school made possible by OFW.
    8. These university OFW students are sent electronic devices that connect to internet to chat with OFW
    9. OFW demand selfies to connect with their household.

    WHAT ABOUT THE EDSA REVOLUTIONARIES? Do they make a dent to Philippine revolution against corruption?
    1. They were mostly in their 30s
    2. today they are now in their 60s
    3. retired
    4. No care in the world
    5. One of their children are abroad OFWing
    6. My quick-and-dirty estimate they consist rougfhly more than 24% Two parent of each 12,000,000 OFW

    1. 36% no care 21-years-old and younger
    2. 12% no care OFWs abroad
    3. 24% post-EDSA two-parent of OFW who are now in their 60s and retired

    That adds up to 72% no care Filipinos

    That leaves 28%. These 27% are soooo busy making ends meet. And 0.5% are against the government and 0.5% ARE THE ADORED ex-colonist MESTIZO RULING CLASS lording over ex-colonized minimum wage, working class commoner Filipinos.

    • Joe America says:

      My bookie Sal printed this post, grabbed a six-pack and his slide rule, and is out under the mango tree rippin’ numbers. He has a rather impressed look on his face. Like you are making a whole lot of factual sense.

    • chempo says:

      Johnny’s story on NAIA floor incident and officials’ reaction : BEWARE IF YOUR WEIGHT IS HEAVY DO NOT WALK ON THE FLOOR.

      The reaction to Edgar’s stats : Statistics are no good. Strike out the subject in schools.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      25% are dishonest corrupt workers, remaining 3% are honest working Filipinos.

      Philippines is deep in the pits based on these statistics!

    • I think it is deeper than just “they do not care.” There are several factors involved in the apathy. First and foremost is FEAR which I already tackled in a comment above. Another is the “kalakaran.” Some bad behaviors and illegal deeds had been institutionalized that it will take a lot to cleanse these institutions to get rid of the permeating stink of “kalakaran.”

      We need the next President to have an iron will and literally, a bullet proof armor to exorcise the nation of its ills.

      • Iron will and bullet proof armor… or maybe bullets to get rid of certain groups of people? Now is anybody still wondering why Duterte has such appeal to many voters?

        • Glad to see you are back, Ireneo. I hate to get sappy, but you were missed here.

          Duterte would be perfect if he has some diplomatic skills. I am afraid he will threaten foreign dignitaries and we will be at war with a few countries. 🙂

          • He does have diplomatic skills – in fact Davao is one place where Muslims, Christians and Lumads manage to live alongside each other peacefully. A lot of his bluster is about his being basically a Christian datu in a strongly Muslim area of the country. Well otherwise, just been around enjoying the heat waves in the European summer, after a cold spring – temperatures have dipped the last few days so I happen to be at home once more… 🙂

  24. Letlet says:

    We should be teaching morals and ethics in our schools- The Telegraph by Peter Tail, March 2015

    Excerpts from above articles

    As the British government continue its crusade to enforce the teaching of urgent issue that needs to be addressed. Daily, we read actions and behaviour that show an absence of self- regulation and a lack of integrity, morality or any sense of social responsibility.

    As the old social groupings of nuclear families, extended families, church and local communities are replaced by imagined communities and the state, we have a generation that includes many who are rudderless, isolated and lonely, drifting without any moral anchor or structure to their lives.

    If we expect our children to grow up with a respect for the rule of law, then we need to teach them about making moral choices and having value system as a basis for their decision – making.

    Part of this require a change in the mindset that is prevalent in society, one that says “if it is legal, and if you can get away with, then it is acceptable”.

    In order to make this change requires us to make time in our curriculum, through assemblies and other school activities in order to teach our children to consider issues and behaviour by a moral yardsticks rather than more usual measures of success. For without proper ethical considerations we are in danger of society becoming increasingly fragmented and unstable as self- interest overshadows the public goods.

    The other, powerful change in our society that adds to the ethical imperative is the unprecedented and largely unregulated advances in science and technology that are happening across the globe.
    Politicians have a mantra that they religiously follow “if it is illegal, and if you can get away with it, then it is acceptable. Their inner core reflects of no moral yardsticks and no ethical considerations. Where did it go wrong and what are the internal and external factors that make up of what they have become. Education has never played a great role in inculcating the moral principles that governs the person’s behaviour, that he has enormous difficulty in distinguishing right from wrong actions and that he is unable to be guided accordingly to rectify his mistakes in conducting his life. The failure of the educators to address this Herculean issues still remains the most crucifying factor in the death of virtuous characteristics of people.

    When the parents are not equipped with principles of morality, they can’ t share any which they haven’t got with their children. The cycles of immorality within the family run from generation to generation. The church’s ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for those excerpts, Letlet. Permissiveness and forgiveness accepting of bad deeds, vs discipline and principle driving for good deeds. You set out the challenge in its most basis sense.

      • Johnny Lin says:

        “You said “Permissiveness and Forgiveness accepting the bad deeds vs Discipline and Principle for Good Deeds”

        that was the logic of our topic of discussion on previous thread.
        Instilling Discipline, Punishment is Inevitable(military creed)
        Tolerance is the Opium of the Filipinos(Johnny Lin creed)😃

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, tolerance is an opium, isn’t it? It puts your head in a cloud and often leads the brain to bad deeds. Even self destructive deeds.

          Tolerance and sacrifice are cut of different cloth.

    • chempo says:

      I absolutely agree with you Letlet. We always ask the question just what the heck is wrong with Philippines. James Fallows’ “A Damaged Culture” is a good read. But at a very simplistic and visible level, the low moral fibre of Filipinos generally is the major cause. How did the moral sense get so low, I have no idea. To me this is a matter of utmost import. That’s why some blogs back I suggested Joe put up a blog on this — the question of morality and how to improve it.

      In Singapore we inherited the British education system some 50 years ago which had some form of ethics lessons. Our educational system has since evolved dramatically and is very dynamic and fast in responding to changing times and needs. But over the years we wrestled with problems of morality, loyalty to state, family values, social responsibilities, filial piety, etc. Although the hard sciences and engineering are very important, we recognise humanities are equally important because that helps build characters. All those who do not go on to major in humanities would also have gone through certain levels of study in the subject. I don’t know how much Filipino students are exposed to Shakespeare, John Keats, William Worthsworth, etc.

      Some 20 years back I think, we actually introduced some formal teachings on morality. How this is actually taught I’m not too sure, but I guess there would be studies of many compelling stories. The Chinese history is rich in this aspect. There are great tales based on factual events of courage, love and loyalty to country and family, and other heart wrenching stories of sacrifices. As I’m sure other cultures too have it. There will be nay-sayers who think what we are doing is some social engineering. There can be no empirical data to prove its success, but hey teaching something that is good can never be bad.

      • sonny says:

        Now, in retrospect, Fallows had it pegged right after all. His piece was a bitter pill to swallow then. Our current morass can be traced to things he talked about.

    • Johnny Lin says:

      Teaching morals and ethics in Philippine schools? Emphasis on Philippines!

      Who is going to teach these subjects?

      Catholic Priests?- they could not even contained their own
      Iglesia Ministers- unless kidnapping and punishing the mother is not immoral
      Lawyers- Joeam would self deport from the Philippines
      Physicians- they can’t even be honest on their medical samples and Phil Health charges
      Journalists- word payola has to be stricken off Webster and Thesaurus
      Accountants- then auditors will be out of jobs
      Politicians- adding UN to the subjects(moral and ethical) would be more appropriate lessons
      Homeless- probably better suited for understanding how to live in abject poverty

      CONDUCT is not even periodically reported in the report card of Grade students now. Before Martial Law it was mandatory.

      • chempo says:

        Gosh we do have problems. Short of out-sourcing it, I dont know what to say.

        Singapore has a programme on good governance open to higher echelon civil servants from various countries. We are happy to share what makes the country tick with anyone wanting to learn. We have had thousands of participants from Philippines over the years. Hopefully returnees can contribute in some ways.


      • sonny says:

        JL, i notice that the members you mention from the groups that should be the flying butresses of our Filipino society are the ones who have gone renegade or going renegade to their respected charters. I suggest that we call out their flaws loud and clear lest we neglect the good the other members do. Not to throw away the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. Name names and pronouncements, for example. (I am aware we already are to some extent). Just a feeling we need to do more. I’m hoping we are surely creating a silent majority that we are nurturing by exposing the good and bad. I could be all wet.

  25. cha says:

    Maybe they are just choosing different forms of engagement?

    1. How 20-Year-Olds are Taking Back the Cities of Metro Manila

    “Last May, Bantay.ph partnered with Fly Dev, a youth organization that provides socially relevant volunteer opportunities to student leaders, for “Summer Undercover.” It was the biggest data collection activity of Bantay.ph with 60 volunteers from Fly Dev to cover the different cities of Metro Manila. As a good governance organization, Bantay.ph regularly fields youth volunteers to visit different city halls to check the quality of frontline services. The approach is geared towards what citizens can do to improve governance in the country – in this case, student leaders from: San Sebastian College, Lyceum Philippines University, University of the East, DLSU Dasmarinas, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, St. John Technical College of the Philippines, Datamex Institute, Adamson University, Eugelio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, UP Diliman, and DLSU Manila.”


    2. How young Filipinos are making local governments work
    “Everywhere in the country, young people are making the world a better place, making their voices heard for gender equality, urban poor development, sustainable environment, and other relevant issues.

    They are getting more creative in pushing for important reforms in the government by doing art protests, profile picture campaigns, and tweet-ups with decision makers to drum up support for progressive policies.”



    “There are Filipinos, are less than 30 years old, are social entrepreneurs, and have only one goal: to eradicate poverty in their country.”


    4. TAYO Awards: Youth as nation builders

    Milk Matters
    Phi Lambda Delta Sorority
    The Phi Lambda Delta Sorority pioneered the health program project, Milk Matters, to address the shortage of breast milk needed by babies with critical conditions in the ICUs at the UP-Philippine General Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (PGH-NICU) and further take a step forward in empowering mothers to practice breastfeeding.

    Eco-Raft Project
    Red Cross Youth & Junior Rescue Team
    This school-based organization in Kawayan City, Isabela was recognized for their project, Eco-Rafts. During days the river near the school rises, 40 percent of the students are hindered from going to school. Because of this, the students came up with the idea to build rafts made of empty bottles.

    Mangrove Reforestation
    Youth for Environment in School Organization-LCNHS RANSOHAN
    Through the efforts of a team of volunteer teachers to bring environmental knowledge to a mangrove-surrounded community in Lucena City, locals, especially the youth, became engaged in planting mangroves and cultivating them. They use the mangroves to make charcoal.

    Homepage ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: Agricultural Waste to Energy
    Katipunan ng mga Kabataang Santiagueno
    In a mountainous region in Santiago City, Isabela, this youth organization creates charcoal from agricultural waste. This way, they help improve their community by means of cleanups, generating livelihood for indigent families, and sending out-of-school youths to school. Their project has produced 98 graduates of technical and vocational courses.

    Pondong 2B’s
    Indigenous Youth Servant Leaders Association of the Philippines-Isabela
    A group of indigenous youth devoted their efforts to help fellow indigenous youth in the mountains come up with a project to address education, health, environment, peace process, and mentorship issues. The Indigenous Youth Servant Leaders Association of the Philippines was recognized for their project, Pondong 2Bs para sa IPs, the 2B standing for bote (bottle) and bakal (steel) which they collect, sell, and utilize at the lowland to fund their projects for groups in the uplands.

    Project Image|A|Nation
    Univ. of San Agustin Little Theater and Youth for a Livable Cebu
    A week after the super typhoon hit, University of San Agustin Little Theater responded as artists, as humans, and as students to Yolanda-stricken Iloilo with theater performances, providing comic relief and a gust of hope, especially to the children. Their creative theater play, “Basura Busters”, staged in unconventional spaces, aimed to reach out and reassure the community in Iloilo with their interactive and spirited performance. Together with the university’s medical help and relief goods, the students brought with them their passion to share and a performance of hope, eliciting laughter and relief.


    • Joe America says:

      Sorry about the moderation, cha. There is a three-link limit to comments.

      It is always heartening to read of such initiatives. One can only hope that there are people also engaged to make sure that the course of the Philippines in 2016 does not generate a shambles of the hopes and dreams and efforts of young people. And that there are those who will engage to end the kind of class discrimination represented in the Bersamin ruling on Enrile’s bail.

    • edgar lores says:

      Thanks, cha. You always bring in real-world examples to the discussion. Keeps discussions grounded, and makes us descend from the ivory towers that we — in particular, I — occupy.

      • cha says:

        What can I say, Edgar, when it comes to literature I like fiction, but when it comes to current events I like non-fiction. 🙂

        Seriously though, I follow bantay.ph, Gawad Kalinga and other groups and individuals doing good for the Philippines through their social media platforms. It’s why I haven’t lost hope for our country.

  26. jameboy says:

    The write-up is a call to arms directed at university students which, as clearly stated, were ‘not doing their job’ (to take care of the Philippines).

    Indeed, the times they are a-changing. Or are they?

    The activists and hippies of yesteryears are no more. Rallies and demonstrations are already passe. Before when you want to promote change and push for reforms, you either march on the streets and exercise your democratic right to be heard or you go to the mountains and take up arms and submit to subversive philosophy and ideology all in pursuit of change. While some still do it the appeal of mass actions as well as rebellion, demonstrations and the likes are no longer the main route to express outrage and opposition against the government. It’s no longer the in-demand medium to drive home a point and push for better alternative.

    We no longer see warm bodies marching down our streets in protest. We no longer witness truncheons and molotov bombs coming from all directions because the rallying students and riot policemen decides to stop staring at each other and starts mixing it up. Nope. Band-aid and its solution are no longer. Today, Apps has all the answers to everything. 😎

    The insinuation that the university students are not doing their job maybe true but only on the aspect of doing things in a conventional way. The Internet age has changed everything how people do the business of interaction and how they respond to stimulus affecting them and in what manner their response will come to form. While we no longer subscribe to archaic ways of doing things I still believe that the fire in us, university students included, is still there. That we have not stopped making our voices heard on all events where the government tends to promote chaos and confusion.

    The blood and gore maybe gone but the spirit remains and active in blogosphere. The new venue for venting. The place where the hustle and bustle of mass actions and demonstrations are now confined. We have hundreds if not thousands of Plaza Mirandas online that tackles everything about the government and the people running it.

    The times have not change actually. What changed was the style. 👮

    • “The times have not change actually. What changed was the style.”

      Agree with everything you said, jameboy, as far as ‘style’, but would caveat with “beating-off to free amateur porn on the internet does not make one a porn star”–it may feel good, venting, but in the end you’re not really doing anything.

      • jameboy says:

        “it may feel good, venting, but in the end you’re not really doing anything.”
        You do something when you vent for you are making known your feelings or opinion on something which more often is in the form of criticism. But the real question is, in the process, are you convincing other people about your view? Is your venting making other people stop and think and react? If nobody noticed you, no one agreed or disagreed, then, I’m with you on your assumption that you haven’t done nothing.

        Let”s just take for example how this blog was cited in the last SONA. Joe and the gang never did any ‘occupy’ this or that movement. Never barricaded any street nor demonstrated to call attention to itself. It simply vent and made sense and pow! The president was hooked. Now that’s the more popular side.

        The regular goings-on, the everyday happening on this blog shows that Joe and the gang of honorees (sorry for sounding like bragging or smart ass, words keep on popping up while I type 😄) are getting results in the form of consensus, contrary/opposing views, animated debates and risky arguments, etc. This blog, like other blogs, is doing something in its own little way.

        • You are right, man. I forgot about the SONA, now I’m regretting writing that “beating-off” comment, I hope Kris Aquino didn’t read that–I had the biggest crush on her while I was there, her and that chic from Wowowee (I forgot her name, but they kinda look alike).

    • Where’s gian? He’d totally own this article, why hasn’t he commented yet?

    • Joe America says:

      For me, it is the results that count, and they will be measured in 2016.

    • Vicara says:

      “Rallies and demonstrations are already passe… While some still do it the appeal of mass actions as well as rebellion, demonstrations and the likes are no longer the main route to express outrage and opposition against the government.” Isn’t this disenchantment the result of people power being co-opted? EDSA1 was the real deal, creating a global prototype that inspired or encouraged similar mass movements in South Korea, Indonesia, and for all we know the man with the shopping bag who stood before the tanks in Tiananmen. Thing is, here in the Philippines it rapidly congealed into a formula that was manipulated in EDSA Dos (the texting that went on there antedating the social media platforms used in the Arab Spring) and a pale shadow referred by some as EDSA Tres. Some of the cynical stagers of these latter shows and political machinations were none other than First Quarter Storm veterans seeking to relive the heady days of their youth–and protect their personal/vested interests. The so-called Gen-Xers and Millennials figured out that those mass actions were not about THEIR future. Exhibit A: Ex-street parliamentarian Binay.

      Cha is right, there are youth out there in Mindanao and the Visayas and in the further reaches of Luzon who are engaged despite everything–through local government and civic initiatives. National politics for them is just one chaotic traveling circus in which you can have your selfie taken with Grace Poe when the circus comes to town. As for the youth in Manila–life has a way of grinding you down there, twenty-somethings have never been so stressed by the competition and the constant mutation of the BPO sector–when they aren’t adrift between endo stints. Labor rights and improved working conditions–not to mention public transport–are important to them, but so long as economic growth continues, there will be no dramatic groundswell for major political change. Also, no inspiring Bernie Sanders equivalent for now. But incremental change at the local level; one can see that happening.

      • Joe America says:

        Very very very enlightening read. Puts a lot of things into order that makes sense.

      • there are youth out there in Mindanao and the Visayas and in the further reaches of Luzon who are engaged despite everything–through local government and civic initiatives.

        I just requested an article from Joe about this above. Do you have more on this, links, stories, videos, Vicara? Thanks.

        • Vicara says:

          Thanks, Joe. LCpl_X (@LCpl_X), some examples were cited earlier in this thread, but there’s been a quiet trend among LGUs to engage the youth sector (for reasons other than getting fresh votes). A regular effort to make them part of public-private consultations–and it varies from one LGU to another, of course. It could go either way–those Boy Scouts of Binay, and the Kabataang group of Marcos (shudder). Sorry, am in transit. Otherwise could dig something up. Thing is, beginning with FVR, but intensifying with Arroyo, the youth who could make it past high school were molded primarily to be good workers for the global economy, not time-wasting thinkers. So they expect to be worked hard, face competition, and be prepared to be flexible and nimble amid 21st century economic shifts. Things get tough in the province, they move to another province or Manila or abroad. War breaks out where they’re working as OFWs, they move back here or to another country. So the sense of a country of one’s own, of a place that has to be cultivated and defended–what happens to that in the midst of all this movement? What anchors them other than family? I wonder.

  27. Oh yeah an update: the leftists finally broke their silence on the Enrile issue. Now, they are asking the government to release around 50 political prisoners due to the “Enrile doctrine”.

  28. NHerrera says:

    I find interesting and educational the exchanges or evolution of ideas here:

    1. The blog starts with bringing out the apparent apathy of the students on important matters — of the political kind — that will greatly affect their future;

    2. Some suggest that the spark, the red line has not occurred for the students and the charismatic leader has not yet appeared on the scene; and that some parents even advice their children-students to concentrate on education, before engaging in political activism learning from their own sad experience on activism;

    3. Some suggest that the relative economic health of the country has not made the influential middle class students suffer enough — unlike, for example, in the Middle East “Arab Spring” brought about by the high price of bread (of course there are the perennial complaints of the usual suspects who have mainly lost their influence);

    4. There is the comment that the there are engagements among the students but of a kind more attuned to the use of digital technology; in fact, there is the suggestion that the engagement is there, but the style has changed as a result of the technology;

    5. Then there is the listing of several specific, significant, youth engagement but of a non-political kind.

    MY HOPE is that the young among our readers and contributors here — and there are certainly young ones here compared to geriatrics such as myself — will pick up from the comments here; spread the ideas; and find some creative way to engage so as to make Election 2016 a miracle of youthful engagement with their smartphones, tablets and computers.


    So Joe and others here, let us keep on with the gospel. After all we still have a good 9 months — and we are living in a different high-speed world of new “normal” in almost all aspects of life. Quite different from those of our youth before Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page; scientists and engineers who made the digital www world what it is today.

  29. Bing Garcia says:

    If true, the revelation of ‘special accommodation’ will be good in the long run. It has a cleansing effect on our justice system. For it is far better to know who, among the Supreme Court Justices, are dishonest than not to know at all. They are still public servants not immune to close scrutiny and severe criticism. Atty. Mel Sta. Maria   

  30. Caliphman says:


    Out of topic but definitely worth the read on how the Enrile bail SC ruling is only the latest of a very disturbing inclination of the Court to favor the rich, powerful, and elite in their interpretation of the law when the latter engages in criminal wrongdoing. This article delves deeper into the majority opinion’s use of a supposedly international principle declaring an absolute right to bail and cuts that argument off at the knees. Not very often one reads of a law dean calling the justices of the court “inept”, but yes, add ” selective” and I would be total agreement.

  31. caliphman says:

    The premise in the question is that PDAF is not allocated per legislator and instead based on the needs of each LGU. Unfortunately the political dynamics of the system, which definitely fosters corruption, is such that the PDAF or some reincarnation of it is a key element in the legislator’s campaign to reassure his reelection and in the ruling administration’s ability to influence if not control the legislative agenda.

  32. Johnny Lin says:

    Joeam, Protest in the streets, you were heard though wrong crowd

    University students are not protesting in the streets but religious zealots are!

    Why INC members are protesting DOJ? kidnapping, illegal detention and other nefarious crimes committed by INC high officials

    They don’t want the government to interfere in their criminal affairs because it’s church affairs!
    Stretching separation of church and state the way 8 SC justices stretched kindness to Enrile bail.

    INC members defying constitutional mandates on criminal activities, that any violation committed within INC church compound should be off limits to the government

    Another Shame on the Philippines!
    It’s always fun in the Philippines

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that stable, rational institution of religious worship is turning into yet another extremist organization seeking to impose its will on the government. Emotions and the broadly held right of impunity overwhelm discipline and respect of the laws and others. I have concluded it is a crummy church, although I suspect it has a lot of members who are dismayed by those acts.

  33. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    NOTES FROM THE EDITOR: CNN: “Sereno: Concurrence to Leonen’s dissent is ‘unqualified’ ”

    “Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno vowed it will be “business as usual” in the courts regardless of who the next president will be after President Benigno Aquino III steps down from office next year.” – CNN photo caption

    “BUSINESS AS USUAL” in quote is not mine it is CNN’s. As we all know CNN is made up of upright upstanding professionals, therefore, Sereno’s “business as usual” is in quote meaning it is doubtful.

    DISCLAIMER : CNN Philippines is run by University of the Philippines journalism graduates. Not your usual Anderson Cooper type. So, please read responsibly.

  34. Jose Guevarra says:

    Damn if you do, damn if you don’t! In the Philippines, when the youth take on the streets, they’re called activists, often with a derogatory notion. They’re told to focus on studying, being productive and leave matters they “know nothing about” to their elders. When they remain silent, they’re described as being too self-involved, even selfish. I understand Joe’s confusion, he being from a country where freedom of expression is valued and taught even among the very young. But among fellow Pinoys here, well, how exactly do you want our young ones to conduct themselves?

    • Joe America says:

      Excellent, excellent question. There are significant number of “votes” for sticking to school and studying. And some considerable concern that youth are not engaged in politics, except a few in the extremes. It has also been pointed out that youth ARE engaging in non-political ways.

      I would ask a counter-question, though, to parents. What does the election of Jejomar Binay mean to your child’s future? What does a Supreme Court with 11 more Bersamins mean to the future of your child?

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        Heck, Joe. I’m in my mid-40s and I have yet to see my own mom listen to anything I say. My dad passed away without having seen me succeed mostly because he also did not care about what I thought, said, or did. Now I may only be one person with these two parents. But I do think my situation serves as a perfect example of the typical way with which Filipino parents treat their kids both then and now. I have since given up on the older generation. You really just can’t teach an old dog ANY new tricks.

        • Joe America says:

          I think you speak wisdom, Jose. The “olds” hereabouts are pretty . . . um . . . confident. The first Visayan term I learned was “gahi ulo”, because everyone was walking around applying it to everyone else.

  35. josephivo says:

    Just trying to remember. In 1968 the Louvain University students in Belgium, with “Students and workers one struggle”, we got the prime minister to resign. We were very politically active. Why? Partly because of international currents, Paris, Berkley, Berlin, the inspiring Provo movement in Amsterdam. Partly because some decisions taken about the university were so blatantly unfair. Partly because you got the feeling of being important, being in the center of the news. But most important it was great fun, the daily rallies and battles with the police, the sit-ins, the sing-a-songs, the debates, listening in great masses to some very charismatic student leaders with hero status, Roel van Duijn from Amsterdam, Rudi Dutschke from Berlin, Cohn-Bendit from Paris…

    Things never change, are universal, thing change ever faster are specific. To get students moving you might need several things coinciding. Parallel movements, some student specific issues, and an appealing method of protest. But the methods might be totally different. What about the successful “Corrupt Governor” game based on a real case, why not translating it in the “corrupt Mayor” game? Similar fun activities with a heavy political content might get a movement going.

    • AV says:

      josephivo, being from this generation in Belgium, in those times we had a soul.
      We believed in changes and went for it.

      You people now can only talk and talk and when it doesn’t suits you call it “you are a troll”.

  36. Dominique Pahina says:

    I believe youth’s passivity takes root in their primary, and secondary school days.
    Typical teachers in typical primary, and secondary schools indoctrinate students to “study hard so you can finish school, and get a good paying job or go abroad.”
    Hurrah for Philippines’ current brain drain!
    The so called institutions of higher learning have merely become employee factories whose program offerings, and curricula are dictated by industry demands.
    Too much emphasis is given on grooming adolescents or young adults to become proficient in skill areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) that are deemed to be profitable, business-wise.
    The humanities, and social sciences are not economically profitable, so they say.
    Is America not suffering from a similar plight of passive (in societal context) youth?
    I once read an article that says US’ young professionals are technically skilled, but lack ingenious, critical thinking abilities. Is that not because US has given more support to STEM subjects than the liberal arts?
    While some Filipino yuppies may be aware of the current notable issues of the country, all they can do for now is voice out their displeasure online.
    Yes, most are busy building careers and supporting their families, but there’s no assurance that they’ll proactively participate on nation building in their thirties, or, perhaps by that time, they will be too busy to be bothered because they’re already starting their own families, or perhaps they’ve already migrated to some first world country.

    • Joe America says:

      Very sharp observations, Dominique. Thanks. Yes, America has similar flight to passive, but still has some roots of protest in the Occupy movement. I don’t know about the lack of critical thinking. Could be . . . I’d ask my recently graduated daughters, but they don’t think critically about things like that . . . 🙂

      • sonny says:

        Just a thought. It is quite serendipitous that this blog’s owner is a Communications expert/practitioner/philosopher and interacting with an audience that would like to be heard singly and en masse. Thank you for that, Joe.

  37. Cic_x says:

    I believe Randy David once pointed out that Filipinos have collective protest fatigue. The spirit, force and volume of the first EDSA revolution has not been replicated in its successors, and any forms of traditional street activism, as other commentators above have noted, are lambasted as being contrary to progress, a nuisance, and unnecessary political agitation. Why so? Any social phenomenon is always underlined by complex and interacting factors. I was not alive during the first EDSA revolution, but as it is now presented, it appears that diverse sectors of society (aside from perhaps, Marcos loyalists) believed that the Philippines without Marcos was better than a Philippines with Marcos. The army, the church, communists, students, families, and the political opposition mustered a collective force which toppled the government. The US was also showing waning support for the Philippine strongman, which meant he was left with precious few aces.
    I’m not sure what kind of change our society expected then, but clearly, the main grievances of the late eighties remain. The Philippines remains a poor, developing country with high inequality, corrupt leaders and no consistent vision or roadmap for its future. The pearl of the orient became the joke of the orient and has only recently been picking up economically.

    Our parents, those who protested during the 70s against Marcos, are jaded and deluded. They long for the successes of the country (some even during Marcos’ first term) but despite doing their best to get rid of the beasts of corruption and poverty, their efforts failed. It’s the same story all over again, and we have inherited a broken system of formal and informal practices that hold the country’s development hostage. I studied at a university where people sincerely believe that collective and mass action can force politicians to practice good governance and be held accountable to the people. Unfortunately, this rhetoric does not draw enough numbers to make a difference. This is partially because some dogmatic communist rhetoric is infused – some of which I find rather bland considering that communist radical Slavoj Zizek has recently been exploring other aspects of hindrances to socialism as of late. If socialist doctrine is to be promoted, it needs a new form of ‘marketing’ – pardon the irony. It is also because of parents who castigate activism and are afraid of police brutality and want to live quiet, middle-class lives. They probably implicitly believe that economic power (more money in the household) will be better than political freedoms, a trend that we see in other Asian societies (the Asian values argument by China and Singapore). Sad for democracy, but once you think how many OFWs have lived in countries that are politically stable, but where economic freedom is more important than political freedom, I’m not surprised that this notion is carried over here.

    I also think that political activism requires belief in an ideology and a concrete plan for development. The lack of real ideological positions and the fuzziness of a clear vision for our future is what stymies the reason for going out into the streets. Not that the bad weather and horrible traffic helps: most people are content with being net activists, simply because it’s more convenient.

    • Joe America says:

      That is a superb distillation of the situation, Cic_x, and makes terrific sense. Protest fatigue, active engagement on the internet, no crystallized cause or issue to buy into. Other things to do. I think I fault those who could be leaders more than youth, as I reflect on things. No one of any authority or competence organizes a “cause” and presents it in a way that achieves buy-in.

  38. pachpach says:

    Hi Joeam, a great article as usual, and something that mirrors the times.

    Deviating from this article a bit, would the idea of “mentoring” people be also a form of taking action of what is happening now? It is well and good to fight for what is plaguing the country now; but if we were to make sure that the youth will grow up to be responsible citizens, we should take an active role in mentoring them.

    The typical Filipino youth doesn’t have someone a bit older than them challenging them to face reality more. They grew up disillusioned, thinking that nothing will change. If only they knew that good character development upon the youth today will eventually yield a collective effort that will benefit the country.

    These mentors should live life on life with them, not only advising them. They should impart their lives, so they learn to love their fellow Filipinos. To learn to persevere amidst the hardships. To see that a great hope implanted in the youth today would lead to a better Philippines for tomorrow.

    Molding the youth today does not only include education. There are many educated people who don’t give a damn on what’s happening with the world. There should be that sense of compassion, and a hope that many in this day and age are losing. As D.L. Moody puts it, “If you educated a man who was stealing nuts and bolts from a train track, at the end of his education he will be stealing the whole rail track.” There is something more than education. That is love and concern for our fellow being, and in this particular sense, our countrymen. The root of this love will only be unshaken if it is based upon my ending remark in this post. 🙂

    The problem is indeed with the human heart. For it is the wellspring of life. If the hearts of the youth are indeed molded well today, we can have a better future ahead of us. Fight for justice, both outwardly and inwardly.

    God bless us all. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Hi, pachpach. I think “mentoring” is one of the ideas that might have some traction.One suggestion that appears now and then is a required two-year public service requirement for graduating students. I suspect there are some problems with that, in terms of volume of people and where exactly they would be assigned to work, but it WOULD instill real-world values. Mentoring is rather a scaled down version of that, but one has to establish the system whereby they are trained or otherwise certified as qualified, and then put youth into the programs.

      I’ve been asked to do a blog about young people and bringing them into the “real world” more forcefully and proactively, generally from a business viewpoint. Let me add mentoring to the collection of thoughts that will go into the blog.

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