Heneral Luna, The Other Side of AlDub

heneral luna trailerw
by Wilfredo G. Villanueva

It’s been bugging me. I cannot write about AlDub and diss or ignore Heneral Luna the movie. Both have a fans base, although AlDub takes the cake in Twitter and Facebook. But the groundswell, the aftertaste of Heneral Luna has taken everyone by surprise, just as AlDub has.

And so it goes. The country is a fascinating study in contrast: highs and lows, gains and losses, light and darkness. We probably have a collective personality disorder, but the good news is that we are putting a mirror in front of our faces and saying, “Hey you, yes you, whatsa matter with you? You’ve got loads of talent, you know how to love, you have commonalities with every Filipino no matter the sitio, barrio, city, province and region in things that matter, but how come you cannot sustain things you started? How come you have the world’s admiration as far as resilience is concerned, but its disdain for your volatility, lack of purpose, apathy as a nation? Nothing sticks with you, not the soaring nobility of the revolutionary heroes in general, the love of country of Wenceslao Vinzons (who he?) and Ninoy Aquino (huh?) and his family, not the kleptocracy of the Marcos couple, not the corruption of Binay and his family, there seems to be no memory or serious bone in your body. Grow up, man (or woman). This country is not about you and the mirror. It’s about love and patriotism, it’s about US as a people. You know that already but you cannot seem to grasp or practice it.”

Yes, we’ve been getting a lot of self-talk lately. Joe America is a foreigner but he seems to like it here, and he seems to be genuinely interested in the nation’s well-being. Same with a spattering of writers like Winnie Monsod, Ambeth Ocampo, Randy David, Rina Jimenez-David, to name a few. We may be witnessing a renaissance of sorts, a jar, a cajole, a batok on the tuktok on the things we should be proud of, and ashamed of, and everything else in between.

Something I wrote about Heneral Luna as soon as I watched it, posted in Facebook — which very few liked or commented on — but maybe this time they’ll sit up and take notice now that the movie is pinipilahan (queued):

I’m still in the movie Baby, Agee and I watched last night.

Better than the Godfather. So there, the parameter. Downright gruesome but with a touch of humanity — at its worst and best. Came out of the movie house wearing the general’s boots and cap, military snap but with a tragic flaw.

It’s Heneral Luna. Before I proceed any further, what didn’t I like about the movie? I liked the whole movie—the actors , script, costumes, sets and sceneries, battle scenes , dialogue, slant, everything. So what didn’t I like about the movie? It was a Friday 6:55pm screening, there were the three of us, and another group of about six people. So less than 10 watched it at that time. What a waste. Where’s word of mouth? (This has since been corrected, as word of mouth did come with a vengeance.)

Oh, one thing. The red field of our flag keeps changing places. Was it a device to show that we are at war but that peace and war are interchangeable as far as the Philippines goes?

I approached the movie thinking about how flimsy our principles are as a people, coming from my previous post which I titled “Paralysis, an ant’s view of the traffic problem”. And so I watched the movie with a lot of jaw dropping, eye-popping (spoiler) moments, reveling in myself as a Filipino, proud to be one, for the courage we have as a people, not to mention movie-making skills. Wow.

At the start, the producers cautioned the audience: the movie Heneral Luna was based on facts and on imaginary things, which is the best way to present characterization and to get a feel of the people and the period. And what a period it was! Make no mistake about it, we have a history, and it is not only colorful and authentic, it bespeaks of the courage and conviction, the blood and guts of our forefathers. Make no mistake about it, we are a great people. People did die for principles for our sake.

A sense of greatness is something I least expected in seeing a “Tagalog movie.” But as I type this, I am hoping that it would get the Best Foreign Film Award in the Oscars, or even an honorable mention in Cannes. Movies which get awarded are actually period pieces, like your present circumstances — popcorn, Facebook, wifi, wife, parking safety — drop out of mind and you are transported to a new realm, from beginning to end, you are but a witness to the unfolding events on screen. Of the five senses, everything is accounted for and deployed, except the smell. That’s movie-making at its profoundest best.

Ambeth Ocampo himself likes the movie. We should read more of his columns in the Philippine Daily Inquirer as he delves into historical nuances and mirrors, fusing it with modern-day concerns, and making history just as relevant and compelling as yesterday’s news.

As we watch our own present world unfold, here are some insights I wish to share as a consequence of Heneral Luna:

One, people skills matter. Oh yes, ardor and passion count a lot, but a kind word, a less arrogant manner, a dose of humility never hurt anyone. Let’s keep our temper in check at all times (read: road rage).

Two, always keep a journal. Antonio Luna was nothing but a tragic figure, a man given to fits of temper which was the cause of his ruin as he was ganged upon. Help the historians to string together your life, especially with the ease of social media and desktop publishing. It shouldn’t be time-consuming to commit your thoughts, aspirations, frustrations on paper or cloud. How can society benefit from your genius if it is kept in a jar? In another vein, centuries from now, as the Vatican appraises your sainthood — you never know — it’ll lean on your writings. So there.

Three, choose your friends well. Be cautious in your dealings without sacrificing your principles. Be aware of the possibility of treachery. Not all heroes should die an untimely death in the hands of supposed allies.

Four, drop the swagger. You may or may not be God’s gift to your cause or advocacy, but always maintain a low profile. Speak of love and compassion while you drive home the point. Not all people around you are on the same page, wave length and intensity. Mostly, you are a rare phenomenon, a class by yourself, but be aware of your own weaknesses and pitfalls. You may be special, but you also deserve to be loved, and

Five, “A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.” — William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar. Felipe Buencamino and Emilio Aguinaldo had to explain themselves silly, that they are not party to the assassination while the hero lies in peace, accorded full military honors. Choose.

Go watch Filipino art and Filipino courage in one go.

Another Facebook post:

There is a Heneral Luna in each one of us.

I, too, had my Heneral Luna moments. In a small community of about 130 households, I was president of the homeowners’ association. A favorite son of the community and of his own family had done something bad, like trying to arm himself with the security guard’s gun in a tussle with boys from another neighborhood.

The head of the other group, a judge would you believe, called for the police to pick up the boy for questioning. I led the posse to the boy’s house. All the officers and other neighbors went to the side of the boy, whose family resisted the arrest. I only wanted the law to be enforced. No one went to my side. In the Philippines, culture trumps law, and the arresting officers left the house empty-handed.

I felt empty, too, realizing that if you stood up for what is right in the country, chances are you will receive no support or sympathy. Something in our culture says be careful with enforcing the law—especially if it involves influential members of society. If the boy came from an average family with no voice, guess what, he would have been picked up.

It’s a wound that has healed but which I had nursed for a long time, because all parties were eventually reconciled, still, it’s the culture, stupid, the culture that has led us to the freeing of Juan Ponce Enrile on bail for a non-bailable crime, and possibly GMA and Binay will parrot the same line. See what it does?

My advice for those who want to lead: accept the leadership role but pull out when you have made your point. You will not win, not in the Philippines. Pull out for your own sake because the system will damage you unless you want an early death of body and principle, but leave an indelible mark, a message, that righteousness is possible, the law can be enforced, wisdom will be king, but the people have to lend support. For now, that is the message I can impart.

I am after all a family man, on watch for my own family. At bottom, my kids know what is right from wrong, so when they enter other societies where law trumps whatever culture is on the ground, they know what to do.

A child of mine asked if she and her sisters committed a crime, would I allow the arresting officers to take them? My answer without skipping a beat: yes, I would. But I would make sure the arrest is in order, call a couple of lawyers I know — I know many, remember I’m a UP man — to inform them and seek expert advice, and go with my child. I would sleep outside the jail cell to show love and support, but I would not let them off the hook beyond the parameters of the law.

Oh, another Heneral Luna moment: I stood watch with security guards in the main gate of our subdivision of 3,000 households. There was this guy who refused to have a sticker on his car and the guards barred him from entering. I ordered the guards to shoot at the tires when the car sped off. (Sira rin ang ulo ko, ano? I’m crazy, yes I am.)

He charged me for attempted murder. All the lawyers I sought advice from told me not to admit to giving the order to fire. Guess what: I explicitly admitted to the act in the counter affidavit, but attached press clippings, reports of my community service to show character, to prove mitigating circumstances.

The fiscal dismissed the case for lack of evidence. It was scary, telling the truth, but God provided the cover for me. Been that way since I was born, brought up that way. When I’m wrong I will admit it and suffer the consequences, but I will reason out. The fiscal saw my point.

Postscript: as a result of our efforts to instill discipline at the gates, a large mall chain agreed to open its back gate for residents of the subdivision, knowing we have a creditable security system. So there. Not all Heneral Lunas end up the same way, by God’s grace. And by God’s grace, my children grew up with character — defined as doing the right thing even when no one is looking. That is my reward, and what a reward it is! 

Thoughts like these raced in my mind as, and after I watched Heneral Luna.

When will we ever grow up?

When will we love our country so much that everything, except God will be measured as “Is It Good for the Country, Y/N?” When will heroes stop dying in vain for us?

That’s why Heneral Luna and AlDub are just two sides of a coin. Going through the comments in my article “The Social Significance of AlDub”, I could see the country, a country with so much angst, but with plenty of love to spare. Prophets and poets would be pleased.

We have, however, been through this before. EDSA One birthed so many heroes, so many Filipinos saw a new dawn rising, confident that we have learned our lesson in not taking our country for granted, that God will help see us through as we carve out a country we could be proud of for generations to come. Guess what: Binay was one of them. He was a hero to Cory Aquino, that’s why he was assigned the sweetest, juiciest prized mango of all, Makati City. Look where it got us. Instead of going north, the country headed south, and if you were to believe the surveys, Binay has a fighting chance to gain the presidency in spite of so much loathing for him and his family, with so many pieces of evidence against him which he simply dismisses as lies and politics. And another thing, perhaps the unkindest cut of all: Marcos is resurgent. He’s back! I don’t get it, but I understand it. As Teddy Locsin said, “Why, did those who followed Marcos do any better?” What a point! How utterly fixed we are in our predicament, like a deer in the headlights, careening into the next era of presidency still without principles of our own, still open to “Brod ko sya, syempre sya ang iboboto ko,” or “Lahat naman yan magnanakaw, dito na ako sa libre ang sine, may cake ka pa pag bertdey mo.” (“He’s a fraternity brother, of course he has my vote,” or “Everyone’s a crook, I’ll go with a crook who gives free movies, and cake for my birthday.”)

Heneral Luna the general was a symbol of the Philippines itself. The country wanted to be considered first priority — “Bayan o negosyo?” — (“Country or self-interest?”) but there are simply too many considerations, and in the end, unable to stomach country’s incessant cry for priority and discipline, we just hack it to pieces, hacking ourselves as well, but that’s the way it is in the country. We can’t solve a problem but we can chop it down until it is no more, a crying shame upon the generations.

AlDub again. Moving back and forth between the two phenomena. As I asked early on: are we dying or are we being born? Are we looking at the mirror now?

Yes, we are being reborn, yes, we are reflecting. As our beloved OFWs — Baby and I have two of four daughters in that echelon — and those who chose to stay in country read and reread about the twin instances of reflection and pride of place, we may be facing a new era in the beloved country. Flawed, yes, struggling and conflicted, yes, but triumphant in love and passion. Nothing is lovelier.


299 Responses to “Heneral Luna, The Other Side of AlDub”
  1. Sad but true. There is a Heneral Luna in all of us but our culture breaks him down and kills him.

  2. Karl garcia says:

    The defeatist comments of Obed shows how some just wants us to get out of the way,and not listen to any solution tells a big picture of what is wrong with us. The enemy is us.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, I think Obed is actually an enemy with a specific agenda, to sow discord between Filipinos and the US. We are the enemy only if we buy into his simplistic deceits.

      • https://joeam.com/2015/10/01/can-we-kindly-lose-this-minimum-credible-defense-mentality/#comment-139604 – once more for all here to see, I quote the relevant exchange:

        me:Obed, even in your scenario, China will negotiate from a position of weakness.

        Let them launch their warheads we are not afraid. Who knows we will be ready to attack Chinese coastal cities in the dead of night with missile or drone-carrying speedboats.

        What you are mouthing here are threats. Threats of genocide. For losing a few islands which are geographically between Vietnam and Philippines, even Hainan is far away they will kill millions of us. In that case, it is legitimate for us to hit back and kill millions of them.

        So a few islands are more important to China than Filipino lives? That shows what they think of us, the “master race”. And of the descendants of Cantonese and Fukienese who were and are second-class citizens in China anyway, which is why they left that country.

        The Hongkong bus massacre will be nothing compared to what Filipinos can unleash when they are treated like animals. The captain of any seafaring ship can tell you that.

        hehe I was already a bit angry and sarcastic at time, his response was:

        Obed:Irineo, “China will negotiate from a position of weakness”, your guess.

        China isn’t a army of farmers in the Middle East or Afghanistan.

        You know what happened when Japan hit US land. Sure you know what happened.

        So guess what China would do if one of their cities get hit.

        We can wipe out Manila from the maps.

        note the WE and the Chinese pride sentence in the beginning.

        Irineo:“Obed: China isn’t a army of farmers in the Middle East or Afghanistan.

        You know what happened when Japan hit US land. Sure you know what happened.”

        And you know what happened when the US recovered from the shock.

        “So guess what China would do if one of their cities get hit.

        We can wipe out Manila from the maps.”

        Aha, WE! Nagalit ka rin. Bistado ka sa wakas tarantado.

        Wipe out Manila, that would solve a big problem for us. No more traffic on EDSA.

        But if we learn to be controlled, we will let you do it first. Then hit back. USA might join…

        Obed evaded my questions on where he is from in the Philippines, or if Manila what part does he live in. Even his speaking Tagalog is not a guarantee that he is Filipino – China and Russia train their folks well when it comes to languages. Folks at home watch out!

        He wrote to me that he is an FPJ fan but evaded my question on the ending of a Poe movie that I remember well and that cannot be googled because it is from the 60s.

        But he did know how to write modern SMS-Filipino which I don’t, so I think he is in Manila.

  3. After this article and Ireneo mentioning Heneral Luna on every thread, I’ll have to watch this soon. Thanks, Wil.

    I can understand getting stabbed in the back– figuratively here, though I’ve seen a tension pneumothorax treatment from a stab wound to the back ( only light puncture of the lung ).

    But the way Filipinos conceptualize this concept ( back stabbing ), of disloyalty and treachery is so pervasive ( there before it even happens ), that it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

    Similar to the superstition pathology you guys have.

    Which circles back to my point of Leadership in Joe‘s previous article. Seems to me, that if Filipinos got a huge dose of Leadership ( in the next 10-20 years ) from elementary to high school, also at home and in media, this can all be averted.


    Why do Filipinos turn on each other as a national past time?

    And you hit the nail square on the head, Wil.

    “here are some insights I wish to share as a consequence of Heneral Luna: “

    Your 1) and 4) are related, basically it’s Level 5 Leadership.

    2) is Lessons Learned, we have TCCC precisely because of our brothers-in-arms, the Rangers in Somalia, incurred more casualties than first there because they were doing CPR to dead Rangers, while bad guys were still shooting at them– a lesson paid in buckets of blood.

    Pass Lessons Learned to the next generation.

    3) Selection & Training, as individuals we can’t impose some official vetting process on the people we want around us, but informally, we should be vetting for character traits, ie. are they pie eaters or pie bakers.

    The idea of reciprocity over there seems more a hindrance than a positive social phenomenon, so also train & vet those who practice a more magnanimous type of reciprocity ( read altruistic, pay forward )

    5) Courage, goes back to 1) & 4) Leadership, but is also a stand alone, you don’t have to be a leader to be courageous. But a true leader should be able to elicit courage from others, or at least inspire.


    Level 5 Leadership.

    Lessons Learned.

    Selection & Training.


    The 5th for me, is Fun— make the pursuit of meaning and accomplishment enjoyable.

    That’s how you guys mend this national penchant for disloyalty, intrigue and treachery,

    up your Leadership quotient.

    • “I ordered the guards to shoot at the tires when the car sped off. (Sira rin ang ulo ko, ano? I’m crazy, yes I am.)”

      There’s this thing called ricochet, where the bullet would more than like bounce and hit some innocent passer-by. Same with bullets shooting up to the sky, it’ll drop down ( on someone’s head ).

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Yes. Shame on me. My only weapon is prayer. So far, I’m still sound.

        • Consistent with your Heneral Luna theme, I noticed guns were the most potent form of masculinity over there, Wil, 2nd was one’s collection of women and 3rd tolerance to alcohol. Not so different from over here.

          But my biggest pet peeve whilst there was getting shotguns, rifles and pistols pointed at me ( mostly by guards, but also regular Filipinos )– lack of not only muzzle awareness but when joined together with lack of finger discipline, the chances for accidents go up.

          Instead of guns, I propose going back to the basics and have Filipinos master boxing and knives again, especially the rich kids over there– who made a habit of consolidating the 3, liquid courage, love triangle & firearms lack of knowledge.

          Or swords, ala Heneral Luna.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Thank gootness I do not live in a community Wilfredo lives in. I live in a planned community of 65 families with average size plot of 750 square meters. Residents call it a boutique subdivision. Others call it a planned community. I call it Live-by-Invitation only community. I cannot tell where our boutique-community is, else, Society of Honorees would be protesting at my residence.

        When I was in the U.S. my parents received an invitation from the Philippines “You are chosen to live with us in comfort and security” that was the beginning of my sojourn back to the Philippines and the eventual cultural-shockers: Slow Internet, UP crooks, EDSA gridlock, when I pee it floods Metro Manila, people requiring heavy dose of anger management, you know “stuff happens” as Jeb said on Umpaqa but on a daily basis in the Philippines? That is totally unacceptable.

        I know I am repeating myself by to put legitimacy to what I have to say I quote Obama on Umpaqa massacre, “… I have to repeat myself regularly and politicize gun control … ” If Obama can do it, MAYBE I can.

        Our invited residents are screened by pedigree, no violent-tendiencies in our DNA, not tainted by corruption, If they are UP-graduate, tough luck. We do not have UP graduates in our 65 households. Because if you invite in a UP graduate, they have classmates that come and visit them, too !!! They are like cockroaches. Once you bring in a cockroach, it breeds cockroaches.

        We are checked if we fancy firearms: No. I hate firearms. So does everybody in our community. Our community is one small enclave somewhere in Metro Manila with tree-lined 3-lane street. Very tony. We have upcoming halloween costume party. Christmas Party. Valentines Party. Of course, my parents told them I do not celebrate EDSA REvolution and June 12. Fine! Fine! Fine! Your son (that is me) passed our screen test. Come live with us. Gosh, that come-live-with-us letter brings memory back to the moment I received the notice of acceptance from Ivy-school in the U.S.

        Yeah! I’d be living among the Filipinos from time to time. Away from my moat-and-drawbridge halt-who-goes-there-identify-yourself-or-we’ll-shoot armed guards bristling with shotguns and 24/7 camera (Filipinos call it closed-circuit-TV, while we call it SIMPLY “camera”).

        That is why, folks, you have to excuse me for not fully integrating into Filipino society. What I am still not getting is why University of the Philippines not being investigated for creating and producing the most crooks in the country. If it were in my country, The U.S., it would have been defunded and investigated. But it seems Alan and Raissa and David are mum about it.

        Of course, they were from U.P., like crooks, they protect their own. THAT IS WHY NOTHING IS HAPPENING IN THE PHILIPPINES. Because the cabinetry are run by…. where else ….. U.P.

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          You’re right, MRP. As I said, shame on me. But it’s a microcosm of the country, our community, that’s why the narrative was important in reflecting on Heneral Luna the movie. First, we were abandoned by the developer, left to our own devices. Even the barangay at that time was almost nonexistent, reactive and passive. We had to secure our boundaries or else our children would not be safe. The Vizconde massacre had just happened in a nearby subdivision. Males would be out the whole day, leaving their wives and children exposed. In a word, we had to do preventive maintenance, of course backed up by the subdivision law. Our gates were porous, residents themselves did not want to cooperate with the security system because it was a joke. We had to be strict with our rules when we assumed office. No one would believe us if the entry rules to the subdivision would be inconsistent. I remember we even stopped Manny Villar, he was congressman at that time I think. It was an unhappy task. But you know what, the wife of someone who would become an official of the republic called me to say that she appreciated our efforts, the first time any system was implemented at the gates. Well, be glad you’re not in our country at that time, MRP. We had a duty to perform and I did not shirk from the responsibility even if it meant an attempted murder rap. At that time, it was the sane thing to do. I am accused, and I will not hide behind legalities. I accept. I share this incident to show that Filipinos have a backbone, we are not pushovers. I recall JoeAm’s exhortation that minimum credible defense should be excised from our vocabulary. I had wanted to say that Filipinos will not take invasion lightly. We will fight house to house, cave to cave. That is our solid line of defense, our love for family, for wife and children. A war can’t get any more personal than that. Heneral Luna was an s.o.b., we have many s.o.b.’s, so transgressors beware.

          • Isn’t the family also part of the problem sometimes? How often have Filipinos betrayed the country because foreign colonizers offered their families a better deal – while showing them what can happen if you do not go by their way.

            Datus who cooperated with the Spanish became principalia. Their descendants later became ilustrados. Datus who did not cooperated where killed or exiled. Major “royal” families were freed from forced labor – it is confirmed that the Spanish kept this promise, made by King Philip II himself, even into the 19th century, because the Claveria decree giving Filipinos surnames mentioned certain names as not to be given due to this rule.

            The Japanese invasion did galvanize Filipino unity – because the Japanese were so racist that they treated most Filipinos really badly. Probably the reason for relative national unity in the 1950s. Maybe a Chinese invasion would actually do the Philippines a huge favor?

            • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

              You’re right about family being a hindrance to nation building, Irineo. We’re the Plus 1 (family love) minus 0.9 (family right or wrong) people. Difficult to progress with this formula. But if we increase Family Love ten times, that means one step in the right direction. So AlDub love should be in the mix.

              • AlDub is the national barangay. Loyalty to the barangay or in-group is also very Filipino. This sense of community extended to the nation is a very important step forward.

                Heneral Luna add to this. People are SEEING – Filipinos are visual what they see affect them more – hey these were our folks, this is how they lived, this is how they fought. Next step may be already on the way – I have seen discussions about Luna on Facebook and everywhere, about how similar the situation today is, even political memes. Sense of community plus the understanding of what can happen if one does not care enough for it could finally make the country a true sambayanan which everybody feels responsible for.

          • chempo says:

            Wil you did right at the gate incident and I can relate to that.

            Once as a lcpl I was guard commander at a camp. Way past midnight I was roused from sleep by my sentries. They had refused entry to a camp officer who was making a ruckus at the gate. I soon found out he had with him a lady companion that was why the sentry refused him entry. I told him I could allow the entry of the lady on his recognition, but I required her ID for registration. Of course an officer on a hanky panky mission was not going to allow that. He pulled rank on me and like you, I stood my ground. The situation was resolved when he finally called up the camp duty officer who authorised his entry. The resolution was not to my satisfaction, but I allowed to let the buck rest at the duty officer because (1) my ass was covered and (2) he (duty officer) was once a schoolmate. Had he not been my schoolmate, I was prepared to take all consequences – because I was confident I was on the right side of rules of conduct.

            Guys like you, and those security guards who stood their ground against Mayor Jun Jun Binay at the condo gate incident, should be put on a pedestal for kids to emulate. The morning after, teachers in schools should discuss these incidents with their students. That’s how moral fibres are built slowly over time.

            The moral of your story is that for guys doing right, there are consequences (when there should rightfully be none) and you need to have the commitment to go the distance. Failing which, the entitled community will just gloat over you. We need all down-trodden Filipinos to stand up and be little Heneral Lunas just like you. That would be the Filipino revolution at the barangay levels. Looking back at my own incident, I realised that unlike you, I was selfish. I performed my duty, but I allowed a transgression as long as my own ass was covered, and friendship impaired my commitment to pursue the matter up the command chain. The Heneral Lunas’ test is not just a matter of doing right, but the strength to stay committed to one’s action. You passed and I failed. But you know what, it’s guys like you that make me reflect and learn my lessons.

            • How fast things change. Even 4 months ago a Ro Ro 2016 was a pipe dream. Now it is reality.

              What a fine day this has become.

            • Yes and that is the problem right the rewards are internal personal most of the times but the consequences of doing the right thing is more visible.

              • chempo says:

                Yes you summarise well.

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                Yes, giancarloangulo. A senator’s brother once told me, “How come we prefer public victories to private victories when private victories affirm the conscience and public victories recognize the ego first?”

            • wilfredo g. villanueva says:

              Thanks, Chempo! Affirmations are long in coming for guys like you and me, but mostly the conscience says we are doing good, and that should be enough. I think it’s called moral fiber. Thanks again.

        • ” Guys like you, and those security guards who stood their ground against Mayor Jun Jun Binay at the condo gate incident, should be put on a pedestal for kids to emulate. “

          I say good initiative, but bad tactics on Wil‘s order to shoot the tires- then leaving the guards hanging had they actually shot, ie. his lawyer’s defense.

          That should be the lessons learned address on these type of after actions first– tactical considerations. If not addressed first then like the telephone game, the big concepts get lost, and you get a bunch of heroes shooting at tires.

          What would’ve been a better way to handle it? Tactically.

          • wilfredo g. villanueva says:

            I was thinking on my feet, LCpl_X. But the guards weren’t in the line of fire legally. The recalcitrant resident was after me, my name only on the charge sheet.

    • “2) is Lessons Learned, we have TCCC precisely because of our brothers-in-arms, the Rangers in Somalia, incurred more casualties than first there because they were doing CPR to dead Rangers, while bad guys were still shooting at them– a lesson paid in buckets of blood.

      Pass Lessons Learned to the next generation.

      There are lessons learned in the Philippines, but IMHO not enough. Not enough analysis of why things went wrong, more of trying to find culprits like during the Mamasapano hearing.

      Passing lessons learned to the next generation is sorely lacking in the Philippines – especially on the educational and institutional level. That is what history should be about.

      For most Filipinos, the Marcos period is ancient history, the “Old Republic” hardly known. But I have more on that in my main posting to Will at the bottom.

    • http://www.gerryroxasfoundation.org/leadership.html

      Just found out this foundation for leadership training:

      In memory of its illustrious founder, the REWC, Inc. was renamed the “Gerry Roxas Foundation, Inc.” (GRF) in 1982. Since then, the GRF has evolved beyond its youth leadership program into a development foundation with national, regional and international programs for Leadership Development, Justice and Peace and Governance.

      Each GRF Program focuses and begins by enabling leaders: public servants, barangay justice advocates or exemplary youth. Through their energy, commitment and visions, access is created, communities are served and development becomes sustained progress.

      Over the years, as its organizational competencies steadily grew, GRF evolved into a premier social development institution.

      The USAID has supported the Foundation’s programs since 1992 with a total funding assistance of close to $10 Million for various programs on barangay justice, health and governance. It has worked with international partners such as the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), University Research Co. (URC), Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH) and Management Sciences for Health (MSH). Its programs also received financial and technical sup¬port from other international donor institutions such as World Bank, EU, JICA and UNICEF.

      Currently, GRF operates in more than 75 provinces nationwide providing expertise in various aspects of project development and management in educa¬tion and leadership, justice and peace and health. In all its development programs and projects, the foundation taps awardees and scholars of the Gerry Roxas Leadership Awardees (GRLA) and the TOYM as consultants, resource persons and mentors. GRF retains a pool of Local Resource Partners (LRPs) and experts nationwide that serve as technical service providers in various aspects of development management.

      Now guess who is the son of its founder.

      • Thanks for this, Ireneo. Though it looks like (from their news and announcements) the latest from them was 2013, much like that DOST site, there seems to be a big lack of content shared online. So I’m wondering what they are doing with USAID money. But more importantly…

        Specifically what is their Leadership curriculum?

        From my experience, Leadership courses, both long-term and short, need heavy scenario based training. Discussion afterwards. Readings before hand to get big philosophical concepts out of the way, then the next day training,

        via mentoring and a heavy dose of lessons-learned through de-briefing or thru videos taken of the scenario based training. Then connect the big philosophical concepts to the thing that was just undertaken.

        It’s not for the faint of heart and/or thin-skinned. Most people mistake those corporate feel-good team building seminars, where people fall backwards and get caught by his colleagues as leadership training– that’s not Leadership.

  4. neo canjeca says:

    Somebody should write a book: THE FOUR NATIONALITIES OF FILIPINOS.
    The Filipino of today is either a Lumad (the orig and the only real, true Filipino) , a Muslim, an Espanol and a Merkano.

    Why not Chinese or Tsinoy? How many are they of the 100 million souls the sizeable majority of which are poor? The real Chinese are left behind or chooses to stay in China.
    How many of Filipino heroes who went to Spain approaches the patriotism or the likes of those who did not? Like Lapu-Lapu, Tamblot, Andres Bonifacio, etc.

    Was Antonio Luna not Espanol-influenced and -educated? Fast forward to the present Gen. Luna’s utterances I read about the movie could be mistaken as political sloganeering coming from the mouth of candidates or their paid media hacks.

    The Filipino of the present genre can not be a psychiatric case having multiple (four ) personalities. He can have only one persona; either as Lumad (one from the multi-ethnic tribes) or Muslim, an Espanol or a Kano, all culturally generated homo sapiens.

    Any book written to that substance will be four books in one because every contention, every conjecture should be debatable proposition. Now, was Antonio Luna a dyed-in-the -wool Filipino patriot or a conscientious nationalists-economist Espanol victim of politics for power struggle?

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Before I get started … allow me tos queeze this in … DONALD TRUMP SHOWED OFF IVANA … by saying “…wife would be ‘unbelievable’ First Lady. Here, read the whole news:

      Chiez and Heart and Grace& Family have released their family photo … Mar has not. I am not telling you folks who his wife is, the future First-Lady-in-Waiting, it is for you to find out. Mar’s wife is treated like Rosemary Kennedy that carries a stigma in the Kennedy family even the wife of Arnold, yeah, all politicians in America shows off their wife very unlike Mar, did not know Rosemary’s whereabouts but lovingly talk of her in fundraisers which I am a donor to her cause by-invitation-only, because that is what politicians are to say.

      Filipinos will soon see her. Watch her. In a television show ala` “news reporting” to mellow her growl into a meow. Once the Filipinos have aggrandized to her Mar will release his wife’s identity beside beaming Benigno, of course.

      I am not anti-Mar. I like his palengke-looks. I just do not like his wife, an ALLEGED maid-beater. As you know, Fiipinos, once ALLEGED is always ALLEGED like Jojo and Jejo and guilty even not guilty. It hangs in the air like nitrous acid.

      Filipinos do not llove themselves … they are not patriotic … they are embarassed to be identified as Filipinos, go check Bloggys jurors once of them said just that … but in general, Filipinos would rather not be Filipinos by preference … they’d rather be looking like tisoys, tisays, tsinito and tsinita or preferrably Amerikano.

      They even tweak history books to make Filipinos brave so they can be proud to make June 12 Independece Day credible and EDSA Revolution not a squabble between Marcos-and-Honasan-Ramos-Enrile but an uprising BY THE FILIPINO PEOPLE against MARCOS0HONASAN-RAMOS-ENRILE. That they were not bystanders, witnessers and enjoying the fun obliterating the corrupts by themselves. They even tweaked news on Mamasapano that farmers who never seeen city lights “saw drones flying above”!!! Tell you, folks, If I fly a drone Makati city condo-dwellers cannot tell a drone from a plane BECAUSE I CANNOT despite me living in 1stWorld country-trying-to-re-integrate as a Filipino.

      So, I cannot know if the adaptation of Heneral Luna is really true or just another feel-good movie by another misguided University of the PHilippines graduates.

      I remember my parents PTA meeting in the most exclusive schools in the Philippines that gave them advisory: DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN WATCH TAGALOG MOVIES. It is full of misinformations, no artistry, cinematography is worthy of 3rdworld country.

      But I must watch it !!! I MUST !!! Because I am RE-INTEGRATING INTO FILIPINO SOCIETY no matter how difficult it is. I am still CULTURE SHOCK !!!

  5. andrewlim8 says:

    Thanks for this, Wilfredo. Was planning to write a review myself, but flu got me. I have two points on this which I have raised a few times in past essays here but need reiteration in view of Heneral Luna. These mainly concern how the dominant religion has evolved and how it has not been corrected.

    1. While it is ludicrous to belittle the value of family, in this country the fourth commandment of “Honor Thy Father and Mother” trumps even the sense of right and wrong. So even “Thou shalt not steal” or “Thou shalt not kill” is acceptable if it was done in the service of family objectives. By the way, like in Catholic Italy where the Mafia originated, much of the corruption here was done family-style – take the Marcoses, Arroyos, Estradas, Ampatuans.

    The Facebook post you cited (was that you or a repost?) shows a very rare Filipino – one who is willing to surrender his own family for a crime committed. Can the average Catholic handle this? Is the value of family above the value of justice or the sense of right and wrong?

    2. Connected to the above point is how the average Filipino has evolved his high tolerance for wrongdoing, how the pursuit of justice ties up with his faith (most will not understand the connection since religion is seen primarily as protection from harm and the granting of wishes), and why easy forgiveness leads to persistent high levels of corruption.

    My view is that the Catholic faith has made us into a most docile people willing to forgive for even the most heinous of crimes. If Hitler was Filipino, what are the chances his descendants would be legislators and politicians by now?

    My issues stem from how Catholicism has evolved here, and how it has not been corrected for these. The usual defense is that the doctrine is bulletproof, but the Church has not evaluated itself how well it has performed its evangelization. Maybe that is appropriate since its quincentennial is fast approaching.

    My quick reaction to the movie was that Luna’s ilustrado background which included European study enabled him to grasp higher-level abstracts like patriotism while many could not. The movie was illuminating in raising the point that Filipinos could grasp family and regional ties but not country. But pausing to think made me take the view that Catholicism and the violent vehicle it rode- colonization was a factor as well.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      It was me, andrewlim8.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      “The Facebook post you cited (was that you or a repost?) shows a very rare Filipino – one who is willing to surrender his own family for a crime committed. Can the average Catholic handle this? Is the value of family above the value of justice or the sense of right and wrong?”

      Hi andrewlim8! Kinda late, but have to respond to this.

      We have a disturbing default comment for a father whose wife has birthed a son: “Maghanda ka na ng pang-piyansa.” (Be ready to post bail bond.) This could be the reason we have many spoiled brats. My father instilled fairness and a sense of justice in me. I’m just mirroring him. No big deal. Thanks, andrewlim8, for your comment.

      • Our religion and even our superstition can also be a source of strength as tradition:


        Theme song of Heneral Luna, translated in English

        You are the home of my heart
        Start and end of my life
        I will hope as long as I can
        I will dream until I die

        As long as I can I will avoid viciousness
        But if it is needed
        I will pay with my life

        to see you free
        and love peacefully
        to live in this world
        saved from fear and troubles

        To see you free
        under one oath
        I will embrace you, love you
        until there is now tomorrow

        Whether I win or die
        I will embrace the uncertain night
        You are the life I chose
        to love you fully and truly

        Until the end
        I shall be at your side
        Until the end
        Your name shall be on my lips

        Now the original, with the scenes in the video:

        Revolutionary soldier appears out of the dark
        Band starts playing
        Revolutionary soldiers get their arms and into formation
        Mar Roxas, I mean Ebe Dancel is shown
        over a spectacular view of the Philippine mountains

        Ikaw ang tahanan ng aking puso
        Ang puno’t dulo ng buhay ko

        Heneral Luna welcomes journalist Joven, smiling
        Joven sits down

        Mangangarap hanggang makakayanan

        Heneral Luna is seen inspecting the Cordilleras

        Mananaginip hanggang kamatayan

        Heneral Luna leaves his men after no one volunteers to be a hero
        Heneral Luna is shown slamming the table because the Cabinet is lost in discussions

        Hanggat maari iiwas sa dahas

        Revolutionary army is shown forming

        Ngunit kung kailangan

        Luna leaves because he is needed
        Worried Joven is shown after Luna leaves

        Buhay ko ma’y kabayaran

        Luna and his officers stand up and turn
        after praying to the Virgin Mary

        Para makita kang malaya

        Karl Garcia, I mean the usually jovial Capt. is shown leading his men
        to charge at the Americans – after he is splattered with blood because
        the soldier he just told to be careful lost his head to a cannonball

        At umibig ng payapa
        Mabuhay sa mundong itong
        Ligtas sa takot at gulo

        Ang makita kang malaya
        Ang nag iisang panata

        Heneral Luna is shown in front of the Philippine flag
        the old one with a Latin American style sun like Ecuador’s

        Yayakapin, mamahalin kita

        Heneral Luna is shown leaving church
        The charge against the Americans is shown

        Hanggang wala nang bukas

        4000 fresh Filipino recruits are shown forming on a hill

        Magtagumpay man o ikamatay

        Filipinos are shown building trenches

        Hahagkan ang gabing walang katiyakan

        Coming out of the dark, a sidewalk vendor from old times
        and a Major come to play on the drums with the band

        Ito ang pinili kong buhay
        Ibigin kang buo at tunay

        The rest have a look at the video, refrain and stuff repeats

        Hanggang sa huli
        Ako’y nasa iyong tabi
        Hanggang sa huli
        Pangalan mo pa rin sa aking mga labi

        Look for the other cues in my link and in the music video..

        “I will embrace the uncertain night” is something LCPL_X and me talked about – Filipinos fear of the dark and so many things. This is a song about overcoming it – among others.

  6. Obed says:

    Heil Irineo

    Schauen Sie nicht zu viel Filme, schlecht für den Kopf.

    Sie haben es alles falsch. Ich bin nicht in Manila und auch nicht chinese
    Sie denken, Sie wissen alles, aber du hattest gefaalt.


    • So you are not in Manila and not Chinese you say. Let us use languages most people are likely to understand – English mostly. Tagalog is used here occasionally, sometimes Bisaya.

      If you are going to be here so often, it might be common courtesy to introduce yourself.

      Name is not necessary that is a personal choice, but at least your nationality, where you are posting from. You have defended the Chinese position and have written “WE” in a certain context that makes it logical for me to think you are Chinese: “We can wipe Manila of the maps”. In medieval Europe, it was customary for knights to open their visor and show their faces. The military salute is descended from this old custom. Introduce yourself Sir.

      You wrote in Tagalog that you are “a fish in our sea”. What sea and what kind of fish?

      If you are Filipino, what part of the country? Is there a reason for your being pro-Chinese?

      • “Heil Irineo” hehe. Brings back memories of teasing. Teasing is the Filipino way of teaching humility, of not taking yourself to seriously. Not being pikon, since nobody is perfect.

        “Sie denken, Sie wissen alles, aber du hattest gefaalt.” I know I sound like a smart-ass very often, and I am often one. But I am willing to stand corrected if one can convince me. So I am wrong you say, tell me your version of things, enlighten me and everybody else…

  7. Will, many thanks! One, people skills matter. Oh yes, ardor and passion count a lot, but a kind word, a less arrogant manner, a dose of humility never hurt anyone. Let’s keep our temper in check at all times (read: road rage).”

    Two, always keep a journal. Antonio Luna was nothing but a tragic figure, a man given to fits of temper which was the cause of his ruin as he was ganged upon. Help the historians to string together your life, especially with the ease of social media and desktop publishing. It shouldn’t be time-consuming to commit your thoughts, aspirations, frustrations on paper or cloud. How can society benefit from your genius if it is kept in a jar? In another vein, centuries from now, as the Vatican appraises your sainthood — you never know — it’ll lean on your writings. So there.

    The road rage thing – I know it myself, and sometimes I fly into a commenter rages – has to do with ideas flying around together with passion. Journals and articles help organize the ideas, condense the result of passion into something useful. Passion must be channeled properly.

    There is the adage that it takes longer to write shorter. To spew out long texts in passion is nice, to save them on your hard drive and them summarize the gist is even better.

    Luna had his revolutionary newspaper – the Joven character is based on one of his reporters. Unfortunately in a country that has a short memory and attention span, of what use is this. Ambeth Ocampo once had Luna’s private letters but gave them back to some state institution without making fotocopies – the institution lost them or something. My father worked in the National Archives doing historical research, he told me it was a mess. Come on not even Filipino movies from the 1950s and 1960s have been conserved. Nearly none of the buildings from the beautiful city that Manila once was in the 1950s are still there. Without deep roots, a tree cannot grow high. Where are the roots of the Filipino, do they care? Everything is just the present.

    Three, choose your friends well. Be cautious in your dealings without sacrificing your principles. Be aware of the possibility of treachery. Not all heroes should die an untimely death in the hands of supposed allies.

    Yep, and always know where the exits are. Luna’s mistake was to go to Cabanatuan with just his two closest people. And Capt. Janolino whom he humiliated by dragging him out in his underwear at gunpoint because of insubordination was the first one to hit him with a bolo.

    I remember how I as one of the leaders of a Filipino association humiliated someone accidentally. This person told me “kapag Pilipino, idikdik mo sa lupa para hindi ka balikan” – don’t do things halfway with Filipinos, you have to do them in so they don’t get back at you. Well the fact that he told me was already an assurance that he would not get back at me, more dangerous are the ones that do not speak out their rage and make “abang” like Capt. Janolino. This kind of stuff of Filipinos waiting around the corner has happened to many foreigners who stepped on their toes. LCPL_X wrote about leadership – many Filipinos do not have the capability to express their feelings and thoughts. Humiliation can fester and become treachery. The one who told me the sentence BTW is my friend to this day – probably because he told me, let it out maturely.

    Treachery is a form of weakness. It is being incapable of emotional intelligence – dealing with one’s humiliation for example. Hey the Kano insulted me, I will wait for him with my friends down the road and we will beat him up. My employer is not paying me enough, so I steal from him – instead of asking for a raise and giving the reasons for it. We don’t like that arrogant Luna, so we tell Aguinaldo that Luna is planning a coup – instead of sitting down and telling him please tone down your approach. The lack of articulateness among many Filipinos is also a root cause.

    Four, drop the swagger. You may or may not be God’s gift to your cause or advocacy, but always maintain a low profile. Speak of love and compassion while you drive home the point. Not all people around you are on the same page, wave length and intensity. Mostly, you are a rare phenomenon, a class by yourself, but be aware of your own weaknesses and pitfalls. You may be special, but you also deserve to be loved, and

    Dutertes slogan happens to be Tapang at Malasakit – Courage and Compassion. One could say Duterte is Luna = passion plus compassion – he does take time to talk to his people, even if he has occasional flare-ups. And takes time to listen.

    Five, “A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.” — William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar. Felipe Buencamino and Emilio Aguinaldo had to explain themselves silly, that they are not party to the assassination while the hero lies in peace, accorded full military honors. Choose.

    The third choice: do what my friend told me back then – make sure those who can get back and you cannot because they are the ones in the coffin. The alleged approach of Duterte.

    Because Luna also put Janolino in jail, his entire group in fact – but Aguinaldo let them out.

    For all leadership, there are people you cannot talk to, you cannot convince. You have to get them out of your way, and in a country where all kinds of people get the “Out of Jail” card, even from the Supreme Court what do you do? Make sure they are dead, or are scared of you.

    • Neo Canjeca says:

      PASENSIYA po, KSP kasi.

      Somebody should write a book: THE FOUR NATIONALITIES OF FILIPINOS.
      The Filipino of today is either a Lumad (the orig and the only real, true Filipino) , a Muslim, an Espanol and a Merkano.

      Why not Chinese or Tsinoy? How many are they of the 100 million souls the sizeable majority of which are poor? The real Chinese are left behind or chooses to stay in China.
      How many of Filipino heroes who went to Spain approaches the patriotism or the likes of those who did not? Like Lapu-Lapu, Tamblot, Andres Bonifacio, etc.

      Was Antonio Luna not Espanol-influenced and -educated? Fast forward to the present Gen. Luna’s utterances I read about the movie could be mistaken as political sloganeering coming from the mouth of candidates or their paid media hacks.

      The Filipino of the present genre can not be a psychiatric case having multiple (four ) personalities. He can have only one persona; either as Lumad (one from the multi-ethnic tribes) or Muslim, an Espanol or a Kano, all culturally generated homo sapiens.
      Any book written to that substance will be four books in one because every contention, every conjecture should be debatable proposition. Now, was Antonio Luna a dyed-in-the -wool Filipino patriot or a conscientious nationalists-economist Espanol victim of politics for power struggle?

      • I beg to disagree – every Filipino has a Lumad at his core. The cultural overlays coming from colonialism are overlays on top of his true nature. Getting to know a Filipino is like peeling an onion, is what Carmen Guerrero Nakpil wrote.

        A Spanish-influence Filipino will not fit in with true Spaniards. An American-influenced Filipino is different from an American – or from a Fil-Am who grew up in the US and therefore is more American inside, except maybe for family influences.

        Luna and Bonifacio were partly Spanish mestizo, Aguinaldo and Rizal were partly Chinese mestizo. Even now there are many types of Filipino patriotism, depending on the social class and influences of the one espousing it. Filipino culture is also very mixed. The patriotism of Luna was even different from that of Rizal. Bonifacio read Rizal and made his ideas more suitable to the local context. Aguinaldo was local, but was he patriotic?

        • Another thing I remember – I think Carmen-Guerrero Nakpil or one from the same school of thought said it: the Filipino needs to digest cultural influences before they become part of his culture.

          Now the culture of the masa is different from that of the Lumad in that it contains many Mexican influences. Philippines was ruled from Mexico until the early 19th century, much contact due to the galleon trade.

          I even venture that the Philippine revolution was a result of a cultural mismatch between the mainstream Filipino culture (lowland Christian, colonized) that had developed till then and the culture of the Spaniards who ruled more directly from the 19th century onwards, especially when the Suez canal opened and brought loads of them over. Ask any Latin American whether he gets along well with Spaniards. They are separated by them by the same language, just like the English and the Americans. Cultures mix, merge, and change.

          Which is why I think there are even mixtures of various cultural influences in the Philippines. Duterte is a mainstream Filipino – from a Cebuano political family – who has been exposed to the Lumad and Muslim cultures. Many Mindanaoans of Visayan origin are like that – they are somehow different from original Bisayans. In varying degrees, they have absorbed Lumad and Muslim influences.

          Hindu and Mexican influences, to some extent even Spanish influences (excessive legal formalism is one) are absorbed into mainstream Filipino culture. American influences to some extent, it is an ongoing process. Southern Chinese influences are partly absorbed. The old school Spanish mestizos who used to form a separate group have become more mainstream, after all they go to the same private schools as the chiildren of other rich Filipinos. Chinese mestizos are getting there. In fact they are the ones with atypical drive and ambition, which is why so many are rich. Cory Cojuangco-Aquino could still speak Fukienese, I am pretty sure Noynoy and Kris do not. The mainstream eventually wins.

      • sonny says:

        Great take on our Filipino psyche, NC & Irineo. I suggest a quadrilateral cube assigning LUMAD, MUSLIM, ESPANOL, MERKANO at the corners of the cube. I think almost all Filipinos will fall neatly in the confines of the cube. Children of OFWs, 1st generations anyway, can still fall inside. (From some American studies, 3rd & beyond can be considered the natives of their birth country.)

      • “Was Antonio Luna not Espanol-influenced and -educated?” Belgium and France.

        Rizal was educated in France and Germany. For the more forward-looking among the ilustrados, Spain was not the first choice, because it was behind the rest of Europe in attitudes. But because many where there, it was where La Solidaridad was published.

        There are two attitudes in the Philippines that are difficult and should be shed:

        1) Looking down upon people because of poverty, ethnic background or education which includes exposure to foreign countries.

        2) Hating or suspecting people because they are richer, whiter or have gotten education, especially additional enrichment by being abroad.

        Both attitudes are COLONIAL MENTALITY.

        “Now, was Antonio Luna a dyed-in-the -wool Filipino patriot or a conscientious nationalists-economist Espanol victim of politics for power struggle?” Like I wrote, there were many variants of patriotism, and even now there are. The first Filipino nationalist was a Spaniard born in the Philippines, Andres Novales. He was made a count by the King of Spain and was in France, influenced by the French revolution. Mutinies in the 19th century by Spanish and mestizo soldiers used his rhetoric, defined themselves as nationalist.

        Then came the ilustrados, not mestizo by the definitions of that time – a real mestizo had to have a Spanish father. 19th century papers classified all of them as Indios, even if the grandfather was Spanish or Chinese. Ilustrados continued with the nationalistic ideas that the creole Spanish (Filipino was originally the term for Spaniards born in the Philippines only) and the “real” mestizos had. The Katipunan took over ideas from the ilustrados.

        Lapu-Lapu, Tamblot etc. were not Filipino nationalists, they were just defending their native soil (Lapu-Lapu) or native traditions (Tamblot). They had no idea of “Filipino”, Lapu-Lapu did not want King Philipp II to rule his barangay. Filipino was defined by the ilustrados, who claimed the term to mean all living on the islands, and continued partly by the Katipunan. Even if Bonifacio called his country Katagalugan and wrote an important article called “Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog” – what Tagalogs must know… Aguinaldo if you ask me only cared for his people from Cavite, finally. The Visayans had their own revolution separate from the Katipunan – Negros. A truly Filipino state only fully existed under Quezon. The Filipino nation started to truly to develop after independence.

        Quezon was of course still a Tagalog and a Spanish mestizo. Roxas I was the first Visayan and also mestizo. Magsaysay was the first Kapampangan and truly “native” in origin. Quirino, Marcos, Ramos were all Ilokanos. Erap is Manilan, Gloria from Pampanga.

        Now PNoy is the first President whom no one would refer to by his ethnic roots even if both parents are from Pampanga. Says a lot about how the mindset has changed. Nobody will refer to Mar as being directly Visayan. But wait, there is a candidate whom everybody refers to as a Visayan from Mindanao… So one sees what parts of the country are still not fully part of the nation. This is my view of Philippine history, which I am fleshing out:


        • Finally, each group back then had their own “Phillippines”. Bonifacio only the Tagalogs, the Visayas had their own revolution, to some extent the ilustrados and Katipunan folks did not fit. Ilustrados only joined after 1898 with some exceptions – elite vs. masa.

          Even now I think that if one is talking to someone else about Filipinos and the Philippines, one should ask what does he or she mean by Filipino and the Philippines. Because many probably have not even thought about it. More on that topic in this article:


          • sonny says:

            From either Kamen or Michener I read that the modern Iberians have their own brand of egalitarianism. Those on top should not be too proud of their status in life because there is no other way but Down and for those at the bottom, there is no other way but Up. Thus no matter what status you’re at, there is hope or despair. That is up to each individual. In their words it is always: VIVA YO!! This is the individualism we should always think about. The Spanish were not that bad if we think of them this way. And this is also what the early Americans exhibited – empowering the individual!

            • sonny says:

              As exemplified in the discussions in this blog, I would submit that we are at a tipping point: backwards to our old habits or forward to our destiny. Sector AB is talking about it, sector CDE must be pulled to the same page.

              • The state of the Philippine Internet makes it difficult to reach sector DE. Sector C is probably stuck in traffic to and from work most of the time and too tired for this stuff.

                Plus English in the Philippines has deteriorated since your generation. Our English was still OK but our accents more Filipino. Now Filipino is widely used among the AB classes in the Philippines I have observed, together with English. What is interesting is that the Luna movie is fully in Tagalog, but a large part of the conversations among those who ran the country at that time took place in Spanish, with a little more Tagalog among the military.

                It is documented – but not in the movie – that the challenge that General Mascardo gave to General Luna was: “akala mo yata ikaw lang ang may bayag” – you seem to think that you are the only one with balls around here. Probably most Cabinet meetings took place in Spanish. In fact up to the 1920s, all but one daily newspaper in Manila was in Spanish. American colonial government forms were bilingual – Philippine Islands, Islas Filipinas.

                Jerrold Tarog, the director of the Luna movie, also rewrote the original Rocha script – Rocha is co-producer and the original script was from 1998 – into colloquial Tagalog. Good thing because it is the living language, a far cry from the original Balarila.

                Tipping point would mean that the ball starts rolling down in a new direction. The peak of the mountain has not yet been reached for that to happen, we are still in the Sisyphus phase, but at least some people have already reached that tipping point – individually. Since all societies – not just Filipinos – are governed by bandwagon habits, the critical mass must still be reached. Heneral Luna trending is a beginning – the movie has made people who previously did not care discuss history and politics. But only a beginning.

        • Neo Canjeca says:

          if I may: see what I mean? Irineo BRS can already write half of the book. I was grade one when they open the schools after liberation. Most of what we sang, learned and recite everyday where American : Jack and Jill interspersed with Pepe and Pilar. Jack be nimble Jack be quick .

          . . studying In Britain we were twelve in one small college, condescendingly our profs told us we think like and talk with American accent. I thought those Brits haven’t meet any Americans at all to conclude my Ilocano, and Visayan classmates are actually gifted with the American Accent. Knowing me, knowing you (from ABBA song) I surely I know where I will place myself in the quadrilateral cube, since I am a pre Pearl Harbor baby. Regardless of parentage and current citizenship, Filipinos NOW should know the face of the cube to place themselves.

          Like the Japanese, I thought the Chinese will remain Chinese forever; poor or rich in any country they retain the capacity to do better than the locals at whatever whatevers.

          • sonny says:

            IMO, our indigenous Chinese are rooted in the Philippines and are also not going to give up whatever cultural advantage they carry from the Fujian province and the Ming dynasty. In these way they are like the Jews in their diaspora. They carry their Torah scrolls wherever they go and take physical root. They learn and discuss their Talmud and maintain their diversity and still pay their dues in their lands and cultures of birth. This paradigm is now being practiced also by our Filipino diaspora. Filipinos are both Malay and religious. OFWs occupy and worship in the great cathedrals and churches of Europe and America and they will not be denied this right. They are in the kitchens, the ships, the schools and hospitals of the world. And like the geographic Israel, there must also be a geographic Philippines.

            • “there must also be a geographic Philippines”. Which is probably the reason why Mamasapano made me very interested in the Philippines again – because I realized how much Muslim separatism is an existential threat to the Philippines. Something I realized at the emotional level of course, also the Chinese threat – both are mentioned in my first article here as PinoyInEurope, the Tipping Point article which even though it is positive contains a caveat in the form of a negative scenario of a totally partitioned country.

              During the Arroyo years I totally lost interest in the Philippines, turned my back on it. Aquino brought back my interest but only peripherally. But realizing that the country may no longer exist if things go very wrong – that was a jolt for me, in retrospect a good one.

              • sonny says:

                This was the point of the analogy, Irineo. Israel had the Zionist movement to pull-together both diasporic & Palestinian Israel and minimize/eliminate the push-apart factors, religious and cultural divisiveness. It is up to us to maintain both the pull-together factor cohesiveness in Island Philippines and diaspora Philippines and minimize the push-apart divisiveness in internecine politics and separatist movement in Mindanao.

    • LCPL_X wrote about leadership – many Filipinos do not have the capability to express their feelings and thoughts. Humiliation can fester and become treachery. The one who told me the sentence BTW is my friend to this day – probably because he told me, let it out maturely.”

      Being thick skinned, I think is the easiest fix– as evidenced by your quick turn-around and learning curve, then lasting friendship with the guy who corrected you.

      So long as it starts in elementary or at home as kids. Honest de-briefing and best practices is more beneficial than empty praise. Arguments are great vehicles for this, so teach kids how to argue/debate– and if they lose their cool or cry or get angry afterwards, counsel them– then stand them up and have them do it again. Same with boxing.

  8. Obed says:

    Politics, islands, …. Let’s talk about the basketball qualification.
    All China players looked like Chinese, but Philippines players … well, you tell me.

    • Joe America says:

      American players look like a global patchwork of ethnic athletes. Diversity is wonderfully enriching, I think. It prevents the lunacy (and racism) that comes from too much homogeneous in-breeding.

      • Homogenous people are easier to lead, being similar in their natures. Witness Japanese and to some extent Germans – but in truth the Germans are more mixed than one thinks. This being easy to lead makes it easier to form armies with them.

        Heteregenous people typically have a certain ingenuity and resilience, but are not as easy to lead. Witness Brazilians and Filipinos – or Romanians for that matter. Americans I guess are somewhere in the middle, the core stock being Northern European + Anglo-Saxon.

    • Filipinos are a very mixed people due to colonization. But that need not be a disadvantage.
      Too little mixture of genes can lead to inbreeding which is harmful. Maybe the Chinese mentality of being so difficult is due to inbreeding. Especially among the Northern Chinese who are basically Mongols – not Mongoloids don’t get me wrong. The Southern Chinese are the original Chinese driven South, plus the aboriginal tribes they partly drove out, partly mixed with. These tribes were the Nusantao, the ancestors of Vietnamese, Thais, Khmer, Laotians, Malays and even Filipinos. There are mountain tribes in Southern China that dance something like Tinikling. Do we go and claim that area back? Shows how ridiculous it is to use ancient history for claims. Greater Germany, Greater Hungary, Greater Poland – all based on some historical documents which were true, but in the end totally irrelevant. So forget the Ming dynasty document to claim the Spratleys for China.

      Hitler’s ideas about racial purity were total nonsense applied to Germans BTW. They are in the middle of Europe and have had all sorts of mixture. Pure Nordics can practically be found only in Iceland which is isolated, and to some extent in Norway… Germans East of the Elbe river are racially closer to Poles than Germans West of it by genetic evidence, but does that matter? Culture matters. BTW I ate at an Uyghur restaurant yesterday, lots of refugees from there over here in München. China does not treat them well, I have heard.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ve put you on moderation as I found this comment distasteful, and I believe you are playing games here rather than engaging in earnest discussion.

    • Look at the NBA, NFL mostly Blacks.

      Look at our military Special Ops units, mostly Whites.

      But that’s all changing lately, more Hispanics are representing the US in pretty much all facets of competitive endeavors– professional & military.

      You know who which Asian-American groups make up a disproportionate amounts in our Special Ops units? Koreans. What’s that all about?

      Homogenous vs. Heterogenous, the mixed teams always have the upper hand. It’s a source of strength rather than weakness.

      • chempo says:

        Homogenous vs. Heterogenous…

        I have this to say — nothing personal or casting rascist aspersions — for years I have observed that those with mixed parentage seem to gown up stronger, (not necessarily healthier), good looking, more outspoken. Physically, the DNA seems to be better. Mentally, no difference from homogenous parentage. But there is a big problem in the moral souls of the mixed bloods. I have no empirical backing, it’s my personal observation over decades, something I was intrigued for a long time. My sixth sense point to this as a major root cause for the ills in Philippines today.

        • Joe America says:

          That is a fascinating read-out. Moral foundations usually emerge from homogeneous values, religious or reason. Maybe it is the values that are wrong, and not the people behaving outside them??? The Philippine condition is so convoluted by political and religious influences, I think it is hard to lay the difficulties on cross-racial mix. More than likely, it is contradictions in values, poverty, occupations and a whole host of other reasons. You’d be hard pressed, I think, to even put together any kind of control group because the influences are so extreme and varied.

        • ” those with mixed parentage seem to gown up stronger, (not necessarily healthier), good looking, more outspoken. Physically, the DNA seems to be better.” Thanks! 🙂

        • How do you even begin to test that, chempo?

          We know for sure that if you narrow the gene pool, either w/in siblings and 1st cousins, problems arise. I think the natural tendencies for people ( instinct ) is to seek out the mate least similar to them.

          My hypothesis is that if you take out all the value laden aspects of people, ie. enonomics (I’m attracted to that one because of the Ferrari), religion (Pastor says we can only sleep with him), cultural (the language of Love), etc. etc.

          Strip ’em down, no extraneous bias, and people will mate with those least similar, granted symmetry has to be in play. The best way to test this is to have a big orgy, and document choice. Orgies have happened, but academically no one’s bothered to keep notes.

          UP Diliman grant writers, & post -docs, that’s a free-bie– just make sure to send me videos of the study 😉

          My point is that if it’s indeed natural, then you are wrong– and this bias, whether or not, backed by statistics will eventually be proven wrong ( because it’s going against the flow of nature, not with ).

          I would love to observe such a study with you, and wage a good bet. Plus, as Joe noted, values are too subjective.

          • “the natural tendencies for people ( instinct ) is to seek out the mate least similar to them.”

            Pheromone research has proven this. Pheromones give out gene markers if I remember right, and the attraction is to someone who does NOT have the same recessive genes.

            • Because recessive genes are often harmful, causing inbred communities a lot of problems.

              Even the Icelanders who are almost pure have some mixture of Scots who joined, and Inuits who were originally held as thralls = slaves.

              The first country-wide genetic profiling was done in Iceland – because they have a perfect situation – annals that document the ancestry of every Icelander back to the time of Eric the Red in the 9th century.

              There is even a hook-up app in Iceland that checks whether a potential hook-up partner is too related – tapping into the annals that are now computerized, and I think the genetic database as well.

              This is science fiction become reality – but it is exactly the reverse of Gattaca.

            • edgar lores says:

              Or quite simply: opposites attract.

          • chempo says:

            Worth checking into — if some crazy guy somewhere has done some research.

  9. AV says:

    Goals, goals, goals.

    China has set a goal of $2.5 trillion in trade with Silk Road countries by 2025. In support of this, China seeks to inspire mergers, acquisitions, and green-field investments to create what might be called “multinational companies with Chinese characteristics,” some with headquarters in Europe or elsewhere outside China. The current surge of Chinese merger and acquisition activity in the EU – much of it involving the German Mittelstand – reflects this objective. As the “one belt, one road” concept is implemented, the EU and China should draw ever closer commercially. The same, for other reasons, is true of China and Russia, and of China and Iran.

    Meanwhile, as you all know, China is overhauling its economic structure. The old model based on integration of trade with global markets but with limited financial linkages has reached the end of its useful life. Chinese growth is weaning itself from dependence on domestic fixed asset investment and transitioning to reliance instead on the expansion of the services and domestic consumption.

    Services overtook manufacturing and construction as economic activities in China in 2013. They now contribute almost half of Chinese GDP, up from less than one-third ten years ago. Chinese consumption overtook investment as the main driver of growth in 2011. While it remains relatively low as a percentage of China’s GDP, continuing rapid urbanization and the concomitant growth of China’s middle class promise to correct this. In 2014, 55 percent of Chinese lived in cities, up from less than 20 percent in 1980. According to the OECD, China is on its way to a 69 percent urban population by 2030. City dwellers are heavy consumers. This is the digital age. China is already the world’s largest digital marketplace.

    As the Chinese economy evolves, we are beginning to see massive growth in China’s cross-border capital flows. Chinese investment abroad exceeded $100 billion for the first time in 2014. A lot more money is on the way. The majority of it will go into investments under the “one belt, one road” program. China’s emerging global financial role will be decisively shaped by its experience with Eurasian economic integration.

  10. AV says:

    Next year, China will launch five years of collaborative strategic planning with foreign partners about projects to be carried out under its “one belt, one road” concept. Implementation is expected to begin in earnest in 2021, the 100 th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. It will culminate in 2049, the 100 th anniversary of the People’s Republic. The scale of what China is attempting is unprecedented, but the grand vision, long planning horizon, optimism, and tie to anniversaries are typical of contemporary Chinese political culture.

    For the past two decades, China has devoted about 9 percent of GDP to the enhancement of domestic infrastructure. It has learned a lot about how to build things that boost transportation and communications efficiency. China built its first expressway in 1988. By 2011, it had the world’s most extensive expressway system. China’s first high-speed train went into service in 2007. By the end of last year, its high-speed rail network, with over 16,000 kms (about 10,000 miles) of track, was longer than all high-speed rail systems outside China combined. China has installed about 1 million kms (about 620,000 miles) of fiber optic cable. It now has the world’s largest broadband network. Almost half of the expansion in the world’s high-voltage electrical transmission lines is now taking place in China. Having produced amazing economic development in China itself, Chinese capital, energy, and infrastructure-building expertise are now focused on Central Asia, Russia, Europe, and the Middle East.

    To this end, China is creating new international institutions that both supplement and compete with existing U.S.-sponsored funds and banks. It is promoting the Chinese yuan as a medium of trade settlement and public borrowing throughout Eurasia. These innovations are taking place as the obsolescence of existing exchange and development institutions has become increasingly obvious.

    The IMF and World Bank were born in 1944 at Bretton Woods. Seventy-one years ago, the United States led the capitalist world. It produced half of global GDP and held seventy percent of the world’s gold reserves. America does not occupy a similar commanding position now. More to the point, the United States has recently shown neither the will nor the political capacity to muster the means to adapt the Bretton Woods institutions to this century’s economic realities and development requirements. In this context, China’s initiatives amount to a tectonic shift in the global monetary system

  11. AV says:

    Apple CEO Tim Cook met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Seattle last week, and in one sentence he perfectly characterized what it’s like to meet one of the most powerful men in the world.

    “Did you feel the room shake?” Tim Cook asked after the meeting, according to a report by The New York Times’ Jane Perlez.

    The two men were at an internet conference on Microsoft’s campus that the Chinese government put together to greet Xi.

    Xi did a ten minute photo op with executives from the top tech companies in the country, from Facebook to IBM.

    Xi Jinping is arguably the strongest leader China has seen since the days of Mao Zedong, founder of the ruling Communist Party. Over the last year and change, he has consolidated power through an anti-corruption campaign that has ensnared the highest level party officials in the last 30 years.

    And the Chinese people love that. According to the Pew Research Center, corruption is their biggest concern in the country. Xi has also drummed up support by striking a nationalist tone on issues like China’s military activity in the South China Sea.

    Its neighbors — US allies — are worried about China’s claims that it has a right to dominate the waters.

    Xi maintained that belief, despite US opposition, while speaking at the White House last week.

    “We have the right to uphold our own territorial sovereignty and lawful and legitimate maritime rights and interests,” he said.

    That’s a room shaker.

  12. AV says:

    Americans like to apply military deterrence to threats and coercive solutions to problems. China’s return to wealth and power certainly has military implications that must be addressed. But China’s main impact on world affairs has been and will continue to be politico-economic. The challenges posed by a more prosperous and internationally engaged China have no military solution. The world’s future is far more likely to be determined by the peaceful economic integration of China with the rest of Eurasia than by the U.S. “pivot to Asia.” In this context, the military aspects of the “pivot” are irrelevant. And the conceit that rules for trade and investment in the Indo-Pacific can set by arrangements that exclude China, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is preposterous. China is every country in TPP’s biggest trading partner and greatest potential source of future foreign investment.

    In many ways, the U.S. and Japanese responses to China’s increasing role in global economic affairs remind me of the dysfunctional reactions of an entrepreneur as the private equity boys reorganize the company he founded, change its management, do transformative mergers and acquisitions, and deprive him of all pretense of control over his company as they take it public. Waving a gun in the air may make the man feel good but it is beside the point. And it will not earn him the support of the new stakeholders. To continue to lead, one must engage and contribute, not deny the reality of change or boycott, bluster, and block needed reforms. As the great conservative, Edmund Burke, declared: “the heart of diplomacy is to grant graciously what you no longer have the power to withhold.” Doing this is how one repositions oneself to future advantage.

    China is now near the heart of the global capitalist economy. Despite many internal problems, it is currently outplaying all rivals, including the United States and Japan. It has a vision of reform and opening of itself to its neighbors to the west that is potentially transformative on many levels. If China realizes its vision, it will fully deserve the name by which it calls itself – 中国, the country at the center of the world’s affairs. We cannot hope to prevent this through military maneuvers and exclusionary trade arrangements even if it were in our interest to do so, which it is not.

    • Joe America says:

      @AV, I’m not sure why the spam detector put your comments into moderation. Maybe it thought it does not really address Heneral Luna. 🙂

      Nevertheless, it is an interesting profile of China’s centrality to the future. I particularly noted the room-shaking presence of President Xi Jinping. I’d characterize him as not “one” of the most powerful men in the world, but THE most powerful, because he can exercise his wishes in ways that a democratic president cannot. For me, I would have no problem with a Chinese dominated world except for the single quality of perceived ethnic superiority, which reduces all other nations to servant states, and all other peoples to subjects. That foretells of great bloodshed to come, because it is not the way of free will to be easily roped and cornered, especially after people have come to enjoy it and almost worship it. That is the disappointment of China’s thuggish approach to world domination. Her expectation that all lesser beings bow to the great ethnic superiority of the Chinese race.

  13. MAXIE says:

    “We have, however, been through this before. EDSA One birthed so many heroes, so many Filipinos saw a new dawn rising, confident that we have learned our lesson in not taking our country for granted, that God will help see us through as we carve out a country we could be proud of for generations to come. Guess what: Binay was one of them. He was a hero to Cory Aquino, that’s why he was assigned the sweetest, juiciest prized mango of all, Makati City. Look where it got us. Instead of going north, the country headed south, and if you were to believe the surveys, Binay has a fighting chance to gain the presidency in spite of so much loathing for him and his family, with so many pieces of evidence against him which he simply dismisses as lies and politics. And another thing, perhaps the unkindest cut of all: Marcos is resurgent. He’s back!”

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Don’t worry, Marie. Marcos may be resurgent but he’s a kitty, cut down to size. He was a paper tiger anyway from the start. We’ll be all right. Patriots abound.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        And Binay will never make it, Marie. That’s why Chiz-Poe, in that order, as Plan B for him. But they won’t make it either. Duterte, however, will definitely reduce Mar’s chances of winning.

  14. MAXIE says:

    Ooops, sorry, didn’t realize I was on all-caps (red-faced)

  15. Will, you mentioned Ambeth Ocampo – he is quite good because he humanizes history, brings in the personal touches, almost like talking about some showbiz personalities…

    another very good popular historian is Prof. Michael Xiao Chua (also of UP) with his TV show “it’s Xiao time”:

    • I didn’t know much about Senator Gerry Roxas, Mar’s father until just now… very interesting.

      First of all Gerry Roxas make me trust Mar Roxas a bit more – because Mar’s namesake grandfather, President Manual Roxas, did not have such a good name.

      And that Gerry Roxas and Ninoy Aquino were pretty close – and that both redeemed their family’s reputations, Ninoy’s father was tried for treason for collaborating with the Japanese.

      Of course they taught us Marcos babies in school that Manuel Roxas sold out to American economic interests, and that Benigno Aquino Sr. was tried for treason – both true. They did not teach us though that Ninoy’s grandfather was a general in the revolutionary army during the Philippine-American war – or that one of Mar’s grandfathers was in the Malolos Congress, or that his great-grandfather was a soldier in the Spanish colonial army.

      What they also did not teach us was that Mariano Marcos – father of President Marcos – was found to be a Japanese collaborator and killed by guerillas. They brainwashed us.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        That is why Heneral Luna created instant chatter in blogosphere because of our hunger of REAL HISTORY. UP Historians gloss over our history because historical characters are bunch of sleazy people.
        1. Emilio Aguinaldo sold the Philippines and its inhabitants to Spain so he can vacation in Hong-Kong
        2. Of course, as you mentioned, Mariano Marcos was a collaborator
        3. So was Manuel Roxas ….
        4. Filipinos sold out to Honasan-Enrile-Ramos. They were THE FORGIVENS
        5. Another recent member of THE FORGIVENS is Trillanes.
        6. The future first-lady-in-waiting was borned in Hong-Kong. Never gave up her Hong-Kong citizenship but anti-Grace questioned her residency and citizenship
        7. EDSA REvolution was sold as such because never in the history of the Philippines Filipinos won a Revolution. Time Magazine celebrate the take down of Berlin Wall and Russian take down of their president but never mention EDSA Revolution. Because Time Magazine were miffed it was not a revolution after all. It was Usisi Revlution.

        Filipinos are also Chinese collaborators. They are covert supporters:
        1. They adore SM Mega Malls owned by Chinese
        2. They fly Chinese-owned PAL
        3. They ride Chinese-owned Ferries
        4. They buy cars from Chinese-owned dealership
        5. They love Chinese buffet dim-sum
        6. They love tsinitos and tsinitas kasi pogi
        7. They buy condos from Chinese
        8. They sip chinese tea
        9. They work for Chinese
        10. They love Chinese made Chicken McJoy

        To this day, Filipinos maintain and collobarate with former colonial masters.
        1. They wanted to look like Piolo
        2. They love the kutis of Heart and Korina
        3. They pasyal to Ayala mall.
        4. They go to America.
        5. They love Americans
        6. They do pilgrimmage to America because going to America is a sign of having made it in life.
        7. They love to be called Don and Dona

        When can we ever love our own?

        • The moment we LOVE OURSELVES. Then we will leave the vicious cycle of alternately loving and hating others too much. And we will stop alternately admiring and being jealous of those among us who are whiter, richer, and/or more educated. We will accept the richness of the Philippines for all the influences, racial and cultural, that have added to the original kanin of our Malay stock to be the ulam at sabaw. And even eat pancit with it.

          I too did my pilgrimage to America – New York. Having been in Germany for a longer time, what I noticed was the following: Sie kochen auch nur mit Wasser – they only cook with water just like we do. So do the Germans BTW, I have noticed these years.

          With that CONFIDENCE, we will be a great country – but unless we both are as hard to kill as Juanito Furrugunan, I mean Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, we will not live to see this. But does it really matter? Sometimes it is good for the soul to have started something good.

          • Rizal understood the Filipino well: his hero/anti-hero Ibarra/Simoun says in his final moments in Fili: “what if the slaves of today become the tyrants of tomorrow”? and “where are you youth, who still have the fire of enthusiasm not yet quenched in your hearts?”.

            Rizal and Luna were both great men – I do not LIKE the word heros at all. They became victims when they died. Why are all Filipino heros tragic and recognized only when dead? Crab mentality I would imagine. Who helped Robredo while alive? Who helped Ninoy?

            Finally, this boils down to Edgar’s point about REASON. A great man is even better if he is able to disseminate his ideas so that they have an effect. What have Filipinos learned to this day from the Noli and the Fili? Things were not that different in these novels. THINK!

          • chempochempo says:

            Spoken like a true sage.

  16. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    I’m reading you guys (except Obed), some heady stuff here like too much wasabi or lambanog. Be back towards evening Monday PH time, gotta make some moolah. Just keep inputting.

  17. partly off-topic but still fitting in an article about a strategist like Luna: the The Art of War by Sun Tzu is now fully available in a Filipino translation. The next potential enemy is China, why not learn from their past masters: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/sun-tzu-in-filipino-chapter-13/

  18. edgar lores says:

    It appears there is intent by some commenters in this forum to push China’s case as a leader in international affairs.

    The main argument of these commenters is that China is a force for international good and cooperation in its strengths of economic might, primarily, and military might, secondarily.

    The contention seems to be that economic well-being is the be all and end all of existence. The contention is deceptive and wrong.

    China cannot be an international leader for the following reasons:

    1. China is a selfish nation. It only looks to further its own interests.

    2. China does not respect the rule of law. It does not submit itself to international arbitration in the dispute over the rocks, shoals and islands in the West Philippine Sea. And it has said that it will not abide by the ruling of the international tribunal.

    3. China does not respect human freedom. It has invaded Tibet and is now engaged in the cultural, if not racial, genocide of the Tibetan people. It also does not recognize the right of self-determination by granting autonomy to the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Admittedly, this latter is also a shortcoming of the Philippines with respect to the Muslims in Mindanao.

    4. China does not respect human rights. It does not respect the inherent dignity of the individual and the basic inalienable rights as contained in the UDHR. It suppressed the protests in Tiananmen Square that called for freedom of speech. It controls access to the Internet, and blocks Google, YouTube and Facebook and Twitter, among many other sites. Can you imagine that?

    China cannot lead because it is deaf, dumb and blind.

    • AV says:

      1. China is a selfish nation.
      If they invest in other countries, local people get better lives (better infrastructure, …) Make no sense what you telling, this are win – win situations

      Travel to Colombo Sri Lanka and ask the people what they think about China.
      All will show you a big smile, even some will tell you that China rebuild there damaged churches.

      2. And it has said that it will not abide by the ruling of the international tribunal.
      China is accused (still not a condemned person) and has his rights. Respect them.
      They also have the right in leaving it. The US is even not a member of it. China do also have this right.

      3. China does not respect human freedom. It has invaded Tibet.
      I would say, learn some more history about it.

      At the beginning of the 20th century the British and Russian Empires were competing for supremacy in Central Asia. Under the pretext to forestall the Russians, in 1904, a British expedition led by Colonel Francis Younghusband was sent to Lhasa to force a trading agreement and to prevent Tibetans from establishing a relationship with the Russians. In response, the Qing foreign ministry asserted that China was sovereign over Tibet, the first clear statement of such a claim. Before the British troops arrived in Lhasa, the 13th Dalai Lama fled to Outer Mongolia, and then went to Beijing in 1908.

      The British invasion was one of the triggers for the 1905 Tibetan Rebellion at Batang monastery, when anti-foreign Tibetan lamas massacred French missionaries, Manchu and Han Qing officials, and Christian converts before the Qing crushed the revolt.

      The Anglo-Tibetan Treaty of Lhasa of 1904 was followed by the Sino-British treaty of 1906. Beijing agreed to pay London 2.5 million rupees which Lhasa was forced to agree upon in the Anglo-Tibetan treaty of 1904.In 1907, Britain and Russia agreed that in “conformity with the admitted principle of the suzerainty of China over Tibet” both nations “engage not to enter into negotiations with Tibet except through the intermediary of the Chinese Government

      The good that you seems to forget or at not willing to see:
      The Communists quickly abolished slavery and serfdom in their traditional forms. They also claim to have reduced taxes, unemployment, and beggary, and to have started work projects. They established secular schools, thereby breaking the educational monopoly of the monasteries, and they constructed running water and electrical systems in Lhasa.

      Most governments recognize the PRC’s sovereignty over Tibet today, and none have recognized the Government of Tibet in Exile in India.

      (please enlighten me what the CIA was doing there in those times). supporting rebels like in the Middle East ?

      4. China does not respect human rights, facebook, ……….
      Don’t be a hypocrite and they still do at home what they want (who will tell you what to do at your home).

      But let see how other perform:

      Although Americans are supposed to enjoy the freedom to peacefully protest, protesters are sometimes arrested, beaten, mistreated, jailed or fired upon.

      On February 19, 2011, Ray McGovern was dragged out of a speech by Hillary Clinton on Internet freedom, in which she said that people should be free to protest without fear of violence. McGovern, who was wearing a Veterans for Peace T-shirt, stood up during the speech and silently turned his back on Clinton. He was then assaulted by undercover and uniformed police, roughed up, handcuffed and jailed. He suffered bruises and lacerations in the attack and required medical treatment

      Guantanamo Bay ?

      and we could go on and on

      Tears will not change anything.

      • Joe America says:

        One can always look for incidents and generalize them to be the norm, or to represent the character of a nation today when the incident took place decades ago. The theme here is similar to Obed’s, cast America as a villain and China as an angel and the Philippines as screwed up. It seems to me that you have your speech well prepared, having likely used it elsewhere, and are here to lay down the truth without regard for what other’s think, and without regard for working toward any kind of harmony or solution, other than accept China for what she chooses to be.

      • Where’s this guy now?

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          Aaaaah, the Tank Man. became known as the Tank Man or Unknown Protester. As the lead tank maneuvered to pass by the man, he repeatedly shifted his position in order to obstruct the tank’s attempted path around him. The incident was filmed and seen worldwide.

          His identity was never known.

    • I read the ChinaChange blog by chinese democracy activists and what one getsbis a sense of anachronistic leaders living in the past. A country whose leaders mistake action for direction. If china will be the lone superpower in the next decade I will be fearful for our world.

      • mp says:

        Salamat Gian Carlo, wasn’t this also what we first thought in regard to Hong Kong that their system never would work. They would have failed.

        Being the only one in my street having a gun on my table doesn’t mean i will kill all my neighbors and force them into my law.

        • Joe America says:

          Note from JoeAm. Like Obed and AV, mp’s comment was directed to moderation by the spam filter. I merely cite that because it is peculiar to have such an active defense of China in a blog that is not on that subject. It is likely that there is a network developing on the topic.

  19. AV says:

    “It appears there is intent by some commenters in this forum to push China’s case as a leader in international affairs”

    Wrong, this is to show that Chinese leaders have a plan (long term goals) and are accountable by the people.

    For those that seems interested in China philosophy.
    Deng Xiao-Ping’s 1989 advice to “fear no one, antagonise no one, avoid excessively provocative statements or actions, assume a low profile and don’t take the lead.”

    “perceived ethnic superiority”, never met a Chinese that told me i’m better then you.

    • Joe America says:

      China shows her ethnic superiority by disregarding the interests of others. A racist is not prone to say “I’m a racist”, but the nature of the beast is pretty clear when it instructs other nations to move to the back of the bus.

        • Joe America says:

          There you go. Thanks.

        • chempo says:

          I don’t know where this sign came from or the context in which it was put up. But it’s an obvious play back to the times when the 8 nations that subjugated China, those shameful years to the Chinese, when foreigners put up signposts in their establishments all over China that said NO CHINESE, NO DOGS ALLOWED.

          Whatever the background, all those who put up such signposts sure as hell are wrong.

          • sonny says:

            The sign was shown in the Bruce Lee movie, THE CHINESE CONNECTION. (Chinese, Japanese, Russian protagonists) Used conflict to stage martial arts styles.

          • chempo,

            The difference is about 70 years. That picture is from a shop today (read recent) in China (not sure about your photo), this picture is from the 1930s. Context and trajectory is important here, and we’re back to homogeneity vs. heterogeneity.

    • I think the plan is to get their grandchildren Canadian, Australian Citizenship.

      The opacity of chinese politics makes even people trying to stay informed nearly impossible for non chinese readers/speakers.

      The failure of engaging with the world through the internet is exacerbated by the trollish behavior of a lot of those who do.

      • Even UP does not seem to have much Chinese studies, inspite of the fact that they are breathing down our neck so to speak. Don’t no about La Salle or Ateneo, they could tap the Chinoys that are studying there. I thought Andrew Lim was Atenean because of LIM…

        Even my father who knows Chinese history like nearly no other UP history professor has not written about their history in Tagalog he always uses – just Philippine history/culture.

        “Who knows himself and knows his enemy will not be defeated in a 100 battles” – Sun Tzu

  20. AV says:

    “is not the way of free will”

    No country is forced in making economic deals with China.

    Look at the Philippines, they don’t want to jump on that train.

    Some other countries understand Deng Xiao-Ping’s wise words and keep low profile in the island case. But the Philippines want to take the lead, fine.

    In meantime the Philippines is losing precious time in making reforms, but do they really want ?
    Oh, yes they have democracy. But Edsa traffic get unsolved, internet sucks, electricity burnouts, ………………………………………………………………………….. .

    • Joe America says:

      AV, I’d be interested in a little background on you. For whom do you work? What is your basic reason for being here? I ask because the spam system automatically dumps you off into moderation, which suggests a history of having been defined as “spammer” by others. Plus you came on scene right after Obed, who was determined to be trolling the blog with pro-Chinese perspectives. And yours are similar, albeit, not as caustic.

      In the interest of candor, what do you seek to achieve? The conversation is way off topic, although one of considerable interest to many.

      I’m looking for an end game because I don’t want my blog to become a vehicle for political agenda. It is aimed at being a discussion forum, with the end point the well-being of the Philippines.

      What’s the point of Philippine “internet sucks’ in the context of that objective, and a promotional series on China?

      • josephivo says:

        Did I read too many le Carré and Forsyth books? But this China defenders look more CIA agents than Chinese. Chinese would be more subtle. And what better to unite people than a common enemy? Doesn’t the Philippines need a stronger national feeling in the military sense of the word? (See what happened to Heneral Luna.)

        History determines what the right words are, liberators or occupiers, terrorists or freedom fighters, war mongers or peace makers. For the mean time the American army is still the strongest, so there definition of words most common. (e.g. guns do defend my freedom, not guns kill people)

        What people are and how they behave isn’t always the same. Most of us are racists, we whites are a little stronger and thus a little smarter than the others, look at the history of the last 500 years, but we do not say it openly, that would be political incorrect. (But we only look through economic or better even through financial glasses.) Others are more blunt in their language, welcome mister Trump.

        Thanks to the Chinese extreme poverty is reduced to below 10%, not because of the World Bank. Mainly because of the hundred millions in China but also because they created a belief in many countries that it is possible: “if poor, rude, primitive Chinese can do it, we can do it too”. (e.g. look in sub-Sahara Africa)

        Comparing nations as a whole is tricky. Better look at what we can learn from each other.

        • mp says:

          As in a factory setting up a bench mark. Being responsible and accountable for the results.
          Where is the leader ?

        • Joe America says:

          You gave me a flashback to my first ex-wife, Singaporean Chinese, as she was praising Chairman Mao for having raised so many out of poverty, and me countering, yeah, among those who survived. And you will have to excuse me for being mildly amused at your occasional objections to the rent-seeking oligarchs who dominate Philippine society whilst excusing the Chinese for stealing and smuggling their way to enrichment. Now what, exactly is it, we are supposed to learn from the Chinese?

          I have no idea as to the origins or aims of the new arrivals who praise mightily the great cuddly Panda sitting on Philippine rocks, but I can confirm that they are gameplayers, all evasive and thereby being somewhat less than honorable. If it is the CIA doing a double-back to stir up Philippine anger against the Chinese, I’d say it is a pretty slick trick and likely to work. All I know is that the spam controller, which is a pretty smart and all-knowing beast just a hair short of Google’s prowess at harnessing ticks and tacks from across the internet, has slapped a warning label on all three of the visitors.

          • Joe America says:

            By way of progress report, Obed has gone away, AV refuses to answer the question posed as to who he is and what he is about, and keeps throwing little notes out to see if they will go through. They won’t. The only thing that will go through will be forthright discussion that indicates a willingness to listen rather than merely joust and continue to sell that pig’s ear as designer wear. mp is putting out mysterious little notes, like a fisherman seeking a pool that will yield a bite.

          • https://www.cia.gov/careers/opportunities/analytical/open-source-officer-foreign-media-analyst.html

            ” If it is the CIA doing a double-back to stir up Philippine anger against the Chinese, I’d say it is a pretty slick trick and likely to work. “

            1). It would suck, if you went to college or grad school, all that edumacating and trolling is your life’s work.

            2). I’d be pissed as hell if they’re doing this on taxpayer dime.

            I don’t think it’s the CIA, if so I’d be writing my Senators and congressman. That’s a waste of time and talent. Now if they were paying people in bumf*ck Africa to troll Joe’s blog, then I’d be somewhat relieved for the cost-effective approach, but from an ops point, it’s still crap and still a waste of time and talent.

            As for me, I know Ireneo hinted at some sort of agenda, “LCPL_X and Joe have shown two very different opinions, whether it is their own opinion or an agenda dictated to them, I don’t really care. “

            Like I’ve stated here from the git-go, my point here (aside from learning more, so I can share that knowledge to other Marines) is to help the Philippines become a worthy partner. This is all my time and my analysis, not the US government’s.

            • Joe America says:

              I’ve never detected an agenda from you other than a willingness to supply a whole lot of relevant information and ask a whole lot of relevant questions. If we disagree, it is usually because we are both exploring new territory and maybe bumping into rocks. I also think the CIA has better things to do than speak through blog discussion threads.

            • ” I know Ireneo hinted at some sort of agenda, “LCPL_X and Joe have shown two very different opinions, whether it is their own opinion or an agenda dictated to them, I don’t really care. “

              I hinted at the POSSIBILITY, but I discounted that one posting later. In fact there is the POSSIBILITY that I might be German government, it is a suspicion that I would not even be angry about because I manage to spend a lot of time here, when do I earn my moolah?

              In fact I can bike to the German equivalent of Langley in half an hour.

              “Like I’ve stated here from the git-go, my point here (aside from learning more, so I can share that knowledge to other Marines) is to help the Philippines become a worthy partner. This is all my time and my analysis, not the US government’s.”

              Replace Marines with Filipinos, and US with German: same with me. I know how to vet people’s statements and their consistency – my training for that was on-the-job, not with the BND or the CIA or the NICA but doing consulting work internationally. In the end logic is good, but “use the force, Luke, trust your feelings” is the right way to go after all possibilities have been considered. Filipinos would say “pakiramdaman mo” – and I think our master of “pakiramdam”, Mary Grace Gonzales not Poe, will confirm all of this.

              • https://joeam.com/2015/10/04/heneral-luna-the-other-side-of-aldub/#comment-139792

                This is my analysis on Joe and LCPL_X:

                the United States witnessed two humiliations that would cause great soul-searching. The Vietnam war, and the recent wars of George Dubya Bush. Joe American and LCPL_X are products of these wars and of the soul-searching that they caused. LCPL_X is therefore one step ahead of Joe in his attitudes. America is learning, in fact they now have Foreign Area Officers to understand the countries better they are dealing with. America often bumbled when it came to culture, now they are learning from the British Empire which learned to drink tea from the Indians.

                Now everything is possible in this world, alliances are like marriages. The Russians say that “behind the eyes of another person lies darkness”, the Germans say “one cannot look behind a person’s forehead”. But in political alliances, one should do the math, both locally and geopolitically, and make the best choice. What would General Antonio Luna do in the present day? Maybe we should ask a mananambal (Bikol term for a sorcerer) to ask his ghost. Or think STRATEGICALLY like him, even better, and remember that whatever motivations an ally may have, common interests are the most important aspect:

                China is a bully growing in strength, like Spain in 1521 and America in 1898. And is insenstive like most up and coming powers. Now what do you do if you are too weak?
                You ally with the more human superpower which might need help. Tama ba Tony? (Luna)

              • Luna might have taken Joe and LCPL_X as political and military advisers, just as he took former Spanish soldiers to form the Luna sharpshooters.

                People who see Heneral Luna as an anti-American movie are fools – one should see the broader context. A bullying power, and a disunited Filipino people who are not able to make use of a strategic thinker because they think transactionally.

                Joe I know why you put EXACTLY that picture of Luna planning the Luna defence in the Cordilleras. Because you wrote about the lack of strategic thinking among Filipinos in an older blog. Luna like Rizal was WAY ahead of his time.

              • I am very much inclined to put one sign up everywhere in the Philippines, the sign that IBMs old boss Thomas Watson put into offices.

                The other would be: user the force, Luke. When thinking reaches its limits, gamitin ang pakiramdam. When strategy reaches its limit, gumamit ng deskarte. These are the traditional strengths of Filipinos. Thinking and strategy, not yet.

              • karl garcia says:

                Rey James,the guy you scared off said that ibm motto before.

              • I know Karl, I am a bit of a luna-tic sometimes. Your closest equivalent in the movie I think is Capt. Rusca, very humorous but also worried about the Filipino very often – and willing to charge when it is is necessary. Or hide somewhere if needed – he was the only one of the three, Antonio Luna, Paco Roman and Eduardo Rusca, who survived the treacherous killing by hiding behind a confessional, if I remember the historical account correctly.

                https://notoriouslaylow.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/movie-review-heneral-luna/ – there are pictures of the characters in this blog article.

                Now if my father (who can also be a raving luna-tic) and Agoncillo (who is descended from Aguinaldo, or his wife was I don’t remember exactly) had gotten along, maybe our history would have gotten written differently. But they did not, and did not help each other.

                But I did read about Luna in my father’s library which he later donated to La Salle, from a book of Agoncillo. I wonder why he has been my hero since then? I wonder why I like Cayetano and to some extent Duterte? Am I like them, maybe? Just a little bit I think.

                If my father had not quarreled with the American report John Nance, they together may have found out that Manda Elizalde and Marcos were fooling Nance about the Tasaday, who were only a subgroup of the Manobo after all. But my dad had to attack the Kano… and maybe if I had not scared Ray James off he would still be part of our team, who knows. But Joe thank God is no one to hold grudges, even if I pissed him off a few times. And you also, Karl, got pissed off with me occasionally, but you are not vindictive. Thanks.

              • Joe America says:

                Your father follows the blog on Facebook. He offer up “likes” now and then, which make me very happy.

              • He has been your fan for quite a while, I know… 🙂

              • I would not be able to analyze things the way I do if I had not gotten the enrichment, not only of my father’s extensive library, but also the historical and (geo)political discussions that were a normal part of our household. And the historical and DFA crowd we were with.

                I was lucky to get that background. And since I did not develop the usual weakness of many top Filipino intellectuals – not being able to explain well – I am here. Good thing.

              • karl garcia says:

                Speaking of facebook.Irineo your don’t accept or add friends in facebook? About pissing me off,no worries, I piss people off most of the time and I went overboard by saying the F bomb.Sorry.

              • Joe America says:

                Never once, never at any time, have you pissed me off. Now I can’t say that about josephivo, Irineo, Micha, RHiro, i7sharp, Primer, MRP, Chinese trolls, Poe trolls, and even Edgar maybe once long ago. Mary Grace has also not pissed me off . . . except when I can’t find the typos that worry her so . . . 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                And Jameboy, man has he gotten me riled. hahaha LCPl_X irks me now and then but doesn’t really piss me off. We army guys concede certain things to the marines, one of them being muscle . . .

              • Joe America says:

                Also they know ships from boats . . .

              • karl garcia says:


          • josephivo says:

            I didn’t realize I would be perceived as pro-Chinese. That was not my intention. Being critical for Americans is not the same as being pro-Chinese. Critical you only can be for good friends, other ways it is negativism.

            “Evidence based medicine” is what I believe in. Not that emotions and the use of more power language should settle an argument. Riding on waves of differences is more productive than enjoying the echo-chamber effects of gatherings by likewise thinking people. China has some very solid evidence of effectiveness, just look at how they approach the Spratleys, step by step, well planned, again and again, rewriting history along the way. Did they learn from a trader selling islands to the Philippines in the fifties?

            And I accept that trolls exist in all forms and sizes, always annoying in the end. As long as they fuel the “fire” of the “rightists”, a good thing until they have served this purpose.

            • Joe America says:

              “Riding on waves of differences is more productive than enjoying the echo-chamber effects of gatherings by likewise thinking people.” That’s true, but sometimes exhausting. I believe in orienting one’s work and arguments around principles. Through conversation, it is possible to discuss the principles and confirm, reject or amend them. I agree China has good discipline, but I don’t like her principles. They punish innocents.

    • “Look at the Philippines, they don’t want to jump on that train.”

      Is this party train going to Hainan Island? LOL!

      Nanyang (Chinese: 南洋; pinyin: nányáng; literally: “Southern Ocean”) is the Chinese name for the warmer and fertile geographical region south of China, otherwise known as the ‘South Sea’ or Southeast Asia.[1] The term came into common usage in self-reference to the large ethnic Chinese migrant population in Southeast Asia, and is contrasted with Xiyang (西洋; Western Ocean), which refers to the Western world, and Dongyang (東洋; Eastern Ocean), which refers to Japan.

      • The Chinese used to see the whole world as tributary to them, and their own empire as “All Under Heaven”. People who came to trade were defined as “giving tribute”.

        This illusion was shattered by three things:

        1) major inflation caused in 1750 because the Empire was flooded by silver. Too much of any currency causes inflation, and the de facto currency in China was Mexican silver pesos. Guess where they came from? From the galleon trade. Acapulco via Manila.

        2) The Chinese Empire was in decadence under the Manchus – not real Chinese, in fact they forced their Chinese subjects to wear pigtails as a sign of being subject while they wore their hair long like the Mongol-type people that they were. In the economic and moral crisis of those times, many Chinese resorted to opium, shipped by mainly Scottish smugglers. Attempts by the Chinese to stop them were answered by the Opium War.

        3) China was finally occupied in parts by 8 powers – European powers, USA, Japan. This is where the “dogs and Chinese are not allowed here” sign was displayed in Shanghai.The Boxer Rebellion was a Kung-Fu style uprising against these powers.


        General Chiang Kai-Shek was also called “General Cash my Check” by British satirists. Ostensibly he was a nationalist, but more probably under United States pay and very close to Time Magazine’s boss Henry Luce, who had a vision for US Asian domination.

        Mao Ze Dong reconsolidated China – good for the Chinese. But what is happening now is called https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revanchism . China wants to get back the rule it imagined it had for millenia – ruling the world. This is simply ridiculous – and dangerous.

        Similar to the Manifest Destiny doctrine that caused America to come to Philippine shores back in 1898. But America has changed, I shall explain why in the next few sentences.


        What would Heneral Luna do today? Heneral Luna, who would have been called a mestizo moreno by the Spanish – historical photos prove it, he may even have had something Afro-Cuban in his ancestry, if one looks at his old pictures. He was Filipino in spirit, but he did not have any problems with taking Spanish sharpshooters to join Filipino ranks. Because the assholes of before can become allies, especially if they have changed.

        Great powers that get humiliated may learn and become more human. America in 1898 was racist and imperialist, much like China today. Spain in 1521 was inhuman as well.

        But the United States witnessed two humiliations that would cause great soul-searching. The Vietnam war, and the recent wars of George Dubya Bush. Joe American and LCPL_X are products of these wars and of the soul-searching that they caused. LCPL_X is therefore one step ahead of Joe in his attitudes. America is learning, in fact they now have Foreign Area Officers to understand the countries better they are dealing with. America often bumbled when it came to culture, now they are learning from the British Empire which learned to drink tea from the Indians. A bully who has learned to be more human, and needs help because his empire is a bit over-extended – that is the USA at the moment.

        China is a bully growing in strength, like Spain in 1521 and America in 1898. And is insenstive like most up and coming powers. Now what do you do if you are too weak?

        You ally with the more human superpower which might need help. Tama ba Tony? (Luna)

      • And the Chinese propaganda about the Silk Road is bullshit, complete nonsense.

        Because the Turkic nations will not go for Russia/China dominating them. Turkey is massively helping its brothers in Asia, where the original Ottomans came from. Turkic languages are very similar – like Central Philippine languages, think Tagalog, Bikol, Cebuano. Doesn’t take long for them to learn each others languages. And they are pretty pissed off at how the Chinese are treating their Uigur brothers in Xinjian, also Turkic.

        Turkey is a strong country, is in the NATO, therefore allied with Europe and US/Canada.

        And in the long run, who knows what happens when the remotely related Mongols wake up? They are in between Russia and China, but they have been doing business with the USA lately. They used to rule vast areas of Eurasia. They are known to sleep for centuries, but when they unleash their fury they are like volcanos that sleep for long. This could be a geopolitical Pinatubo waiting to happen.

        “Wo Gefahr ist, wächst das Rettende auch” – where there is danger, what rescues also grows, wrote German romantic poet Hölderlin. It is a scary situation with China, but by no means is it sure that they are going to win the global game.

        • Most PMCs that made a killing in Af-Pak and Iraq are now servicing contracts ( energy companies ) in Mongolia. I have a buddy come back from a gig there, and reported how beautiful Mongolian women were. So I Googled and confirmed– they are HOT.

          So Han vs. Turkic, I’m with you on Turkics.

          • Turkish nationalists – I know one here in Munich – like to hang maps of the Turkic countries wherever they can. The one I know is a bit of a shady character, but in an honorable way.


            Every country should be self-centered, but not the way the Philippines is now without any view beyond local. Think global, act local is the correct way to go.

            The Philippines has to become a powerful thalassocracy, like the Visayans had in the old days, like the Kingdom of Tondo – or like the Delian thalassocracy in ancient Greece. It could be a very good and powerful partner of the USA, like Turkey is.

            Let us look at the Philippines in a global context:

            • The Philippines became an object of international politics because of the sea routes that intersect in front of its shores:


              Now, the Chinese obviously want the Iberian trading routes of old. Harbors in Sri Lanka and Mozambique, natural resources interests in Africa, planned Nicaragua canal. Now this is not long-winded Irineo,this is short,snappy like Karl Garcia, but spaces after commas.

              Now they not only want the Iberian global routes, they also want the Silk Route. They are fools to reveal their strategies with a guy like me reading and thinking strategically.

              “He who knows oneself and knows his enemy cannot be defeated in a hundred battles” – Sun Tzu, the Art of War. Translated into colloquial Filipino by me – colloquial, para kahit sinoy kolokoy diyan, makakaintindi at mapag-isip-isipan.

              • It is not just China sponsoring and helping the Islamists in the Middle East.

                China and Malaysia are pretty close. And the MILF sees China as an ally.

                Anyone can google on these two facts I have stated. Which is why, even if I had risk management in mind when I wrote my BBL article as PinoyInEurope – in case BBL was unavoidable, I now ask – why deal with pro-Chinese MILF? It is a very dangerous thing.

              • chempo says:

                @ Lcpl — Indian and Chinese soldiers hand holding — missing caption : Let’d check into a hotel room?

                @ Irineo — You are observant. Malaysia is pretty warm towards China whilst they seem to treat Singaporeans as pesky neighbours.

              • chempo,

                He’s not Indian, China and India are opposing forces. He’s Pakistani, and they are holding hands because China wants two ports from Pakistan.

              • chempo says:

                Same o same o. Can still check in.

                The Pakistani ports projects are frightening. It demonstrates China’s financial might, guts to commit to very long term goals, guts to pursue completely out-of-the-box game plans, and most importantly, the negative impact on Asean countries.

                Interesting to see how China will tame the Pakistani corruption once the ports begin operations.

              • “Interesting to see how China will tame the Pakistani corruption once the ports begin operations.”

                They won’t even try.

                So long as they get their rare metals, lumber, ores, oil, gas, etc. etc. China’s happy. They’ll make a one-time big payment to the big dogs, and the big dogs will ensure everything runs well.

                It’s genius, actually.

                Roads, tracks and ports, like straws, having the grandest time in a malt shop.

              • karl garcia says:

                Here is a Chinese and an African.Enter the new imperialists.


              • karl garcia says:

              • Pt says:

                Imperialist? Karl I don’t see arms. More like industrialist

              • Joe America says:

                im·pe·ri·al·ism imˈpirēəˌlizəm/ noun a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force. [Google]

                Doesn’t require arms.

              • karl garcia says:

                I see many arms attached to their shoulders.

        • Here’s an awesome excerpt/article in the Atlantic from Kaplan’s “Empirial Grunts”:

          The morning I arrived at the American embassy in Ulan Bator, Wilhelm, newly promoted to colonel, greeted me wearing a gray suit, a white shirt, a tie, and suspenders. Born in 1959, raised in Orlando, Florida, and given formative military training at West Point and the Army Ranger school, in Fort Benning, Georgia, Wilhelm had risen through the ranks of the military as the Cold War order was falling apart. On the ground in several theaters of military operation, he had witnessed the messy collapse of communism in Eurasia. Known to warlords in Bosnia as “Mean Mr. Tom,” and to colleagues in Tajikistan as “Aga Tom,” he became the ultimate area expert on the former Soviet empire and its shadow zones, from Yugoslavia all the way to Mongolia.

          Wilhelm’s plans for the morning I arrived were typical in their variety: he had to deliver personal thanks to the parents of a Mongolian-born U.S. Marine fighting in Basra, Iraq; he had to plan for a visit of the chief of the Mongolian military, Major General Tsevegsuren Togoo, to Washington; and he had to make arrangements for a visit by fourteen American brigadier generals. Also due to arrive was Lieutenant General Wallace Gregson, then the commander of the Third Marine Expeditionary Force (“III MEF” as it’s written, and “Three MEF” as it’s spoken). That last visit was the most important: if there were ever a land war in Asia—on the Korean Peninsula, for example—III MEF would play a role just as prominent as that played during the invasion of Iraq by I MEF, which marched from Kuwait to Baghdad.

          The statue had begun to flake and crumble, but its size and substance meant that it might well be around forever, like the abandoned statue in Shelley’s “Ozymandias.” It brought to mind ideas not just of brutality and domination but also of cheapness. “Everything the Soviets built looks like it was constructed by a high school shop class,” Wilhelm said, laughing.
          “We should be careful of our own ambitions,” I said. “We don’t want to end up like the Soviets.”… “There is nothing we need to build here,” he answered, “except relationships.”

          • … The statue had begun to flake and crumble, but its size and substance meant that it might well be around forever, like the abandoned statue in Shelley’s “Ozymandias.” I like Walter White aka Bryan Cranston’s reading of Ozymandias.

            “We should be careful of our own ambitions,” I said. “We don’t want to end up like the Soviets.”… “There is nothing we need to build here,” he answered, “except relationships.” Exactly. The Age of Empires is over. The Age of relationships has come. America and China are competing in this. Russia is still too old school but Putin’s Eurasian Union plans are an indication of a new school of thought among his younger advisers. Russians around 40 are more modern – and act like human beings. 🙂 For the Philippines, the USA are the best partner around, especially since values coincide. As long as China is even more racist than the US was in 1898 or Spain in 1521, fuck them.

  21. mp says:

    Worth seeing view.

  22. God is truly good, we have friends that have the well being of the Philippines – Joe, an American and now, Malcom Conlan, a British “Pinoy at Heart”


    Before China’s dominant win versus the Philippines’ Gilas in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship game, Malcolm Conlan, the British who is known to be the defender of Filipinos, has sent an open letter to the president of the host country in connection with a ‘statement’ allegedly released by China’s head coach Gong Luming when the latter was asked during a press con what he thinks China’s chances are of beating the Philippines in the finals.

    Head coach Luming, as disclosed in an article by Manila Link on October 3, 2015, reportedly said in jest that “I am very confident. I am so confident that I’m willing… I’m willing to make a bet. If we lose, they can have the Spratly Islands“; drawing laughter in the press room.

    Although it may have been spoken in jest, his quip was taken as a jab into politics; something which did not sit well with many Filipinos — including the ‘Pinoy at heart’ Conlan.

    Unable to contain his vexation over the coach’s alleged jab at the Philippine team and the controversial island, he came up with an open letter addressed to ‘His Excellency President Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China” and posted it online.

    British man dubbed as ‘Pinoy at heart’ takes offense on China coach Luming’s jab at the Philippine team
    ◾He sends open letter to the President of China Xi Jinping
    ◾He touches on the issue of Spratly Islands

    Hours later, Conlan shared on his social media account that he had just sent a copy of the open letter to the political office of the Chinese Embassy in London– “as there is no point writing a letter if it does not end up on the desk of the relevant people.”

    The Pinoy at heart, who has a track record of speaking up on behalf of Filipinos worldwide for the past two years, had the guts to express in his letter that “you [China] cannot give back something which did not belong to you in the first place, that is generally known as theft. Secondly, the Spratly Islands are not to be treated as some kind of pawn in a high stakes gambling match. The Spratly Islands are a valuable asset which historical evidence has proven belong to the Philippine people.”

    Moreover, Conlan attempts to drive home a point that “the Spratly Islands should be returned to the people and nation they belong to, and unhelpful comments like this, or even bets on the livelihoods of the Philippine people are unhelpful. Please with respect, do not use this issue as some kind of joke to gain cheap laughs.”

    As he ends his missive, he introduces himself as being married to a Filipina and having Filipino relatives both in the Philippines and in the United Kingdom. He also expressed having the greatest respect for other nations and cultures, and that he has freedom of speech — but admits in the same letter that he was previously somewhat reluctant to write to the head of state over safety concerns.

    He concludes his letter with much hope — that his rights to freedom of speech will be respected as a British Citizen.

    • Joe America says:

      The purpose of international sports is to overcome mistrust and political rivalry. The Chinese coach obviously does not get it, so I’d say Philippine coach Baldwin’s observation that Chinese fans are “fake fans”, lacking spontaneity and understanding of the game, applies to the Chinese coach as well.

  23. edgar lores says:

    1. I haven’t seen the movie. I will have to wait for the DVD.

    2. So AlDub is love and Heneral Luna is passion? And so we should direct love and passion to the Nation?

    3. I have trouble with these two words. Love is amorphous and passion is definite, but both require an object… perhaps the wrong object.

    3.1. For clarity’s sake, I would prefer to use the term loyalty instead of love, and spirit instead of passion. Love and passion are… too romantic.

    3.2. Love is not a plan of action. And passion without design is madness.

    3.3. With just love and passion, and bereft of principles, we are, to mix metaphors, a siphonophore or a herd of wildebeests, fattening ourselves like lotus eaters.

    4. In the hierarchy of loyalties, it is observed that the Filipino is more loyal to Family than Country. Granted. The question then is: How do we transfer a portion of the loyalty from Family to Country such that a balance is achieved… or tilts in favour of the latter?

    4.1. I do not think there is a way except through educational conditioning. And I question that it is desirable.

    5. In the hierarchy of loyalties for different constructs – in ascending order Self, Family, Community, Church, Country, World and God – I would suggest that we should strive, first and foremost, to be loyal to God. And everything should fall into place.

    5.1. But which God?

    5.2. In a secular sense, I would define God as Conscience. Loyalty to Conscience has primacy. I would call this the First Principle of Loyalty. Even Catholicism accepts and recognizes this principle.

    5.3. Where there is a conflict between or among constructs, the First Principle should operate. We must, therefore, find in our actions and behaviour the God Principle or the Conscience Principle. (In doing so, we become like Conchita Carpio-Morales and Heidi Mendoza.)

    5.3. The difficulty is recognizing what is the true voice of Conscience because of our conditioning and our bias toward constructs lower than the God construct. In Part 3 of “The Hierarchy of Loyalties and Ethics”, I suggested four criteria by which we may determine the voice.

    o The Rule of Others
    o The Rule of Self Sacrifice
    o The Rule of the Extended Self
    o The Rule of Conflicting Interests

    6. Now, relating the above observations to Wilfredo’s experiences:

    6.1. Case 1: A child of mine asked if she and her sisters committed a crime, would I allow the arresting officers to take them? My answer without skipping a beat: yes, I would.

    6.2. Case 2. Case 2: The Dasmagate Equivalent. .

    6.3. Both these cases pass the Rule of Others and in hindsight the second case also passes the Rule of Self Sacrifice.

    6.3.1. Simply stated, the Rule of Others signifies that our decisions should hew closer to a “consideration of others” than to a “consideration of self.” In the first case, Wilfredo is thinking of the importance of the Rule of Law and the welfare of the Country above the welfare of his progeny. In the second case, Wilfredo is thinking of the welfare of his local gated community above the chaos that would ensue if community rules were not observed.

    6.3.2. Simply stated, the Rule of Self Sacrifice signifies that the loyalty of the Self to the other constructs should transcend loyalty to Self. Here, Wilfredo proved that his commitment to the community was greater than that to himself, thus opening and making himself vulnerable to a serious law suit.

    6.3.3. The Rule of the Expanded Self also applies in the second case. Simply stated, this rule consists of the phenomenon whereby the Self strongly identifies with other constructs, usually intermediate constructs such as Church or Country… sometimes to the effacement of Self. Here, Wilfredo has identified himself with the community and has internalized their goals.

    6.3.4. (LCpl_X has a point in that ordering the guards to shoot, Wilfredo might have violated the Rule of Others. A lift barrier gate might have been the proper solution?)

    7. While I see the necessity of rules 6.3.1 (Others) and 6.3.2 (Self Sacrifice), I do not see that it is necessary for the Self to identify with intermediate constructs, which is rule 6.3.3 (Expanded Self). It is desirable… but not absolutely necessary. The danger of the Rule of the Expanded Self is that it may bring us into conflict with the First Principle… if we are not careful.

    7.1. This is seen in the over (?) attachment to, and a lack of critical thinking in, the phenomena of AlDub and perhaps Heneral Luna. It is also evident in the conflict between and among religions, and between and among nations.

    • https://joeam.com/2015/10/04/heneral-luna-the-other-side-of-aldub/#comment-139745

      To summarize the posting I made to Will: AlDub is the beginning of a national community. Heneral Luna is a beginning of realizing what can happen if you do no not care for it.

      Filipinos are visual and emotional – red and blue in the terms of my former consultant trainer who is now one of my Twitter followers, a former German Navy Officer from Hamburg. He gave me a psychological test and told me I had potential in the logical aspect (yellow) – associated with listening and writing and the ears, while visual is related to eyes, big picture and aggressivity; while blue is related to harmony, caring about people, touch.

      That is why movies and film, touching the visual and emotional (red and blue) aspects of the Filipino – I obviously am a typical one for all my German heritage – is a place to begin with – to activate thinking. To realize the yellow potential, which I have been doing for years.

      https://joeam.com/2015/10/04/heneral-luna-the-other-side-of-aldub/#comment-139728 – and Edgar, why are WE (migrants) in this blog? Look at Sonny’s posting about Israel. Because “by the rivers of Babylon, we wept and remembered Zion” – emotion drives us! That is the blue aspect which also contains compassion. The red which is passion is also needed. All tempered by the yellow, logical aspect – now which flag has ALL three colors?

      • I will write an article in my blog titled “The Chinese Challenge”. Joe feel free to “peer” it like you did with my Internet article. It will condense the stuff discussed here about China.

        Now I am going to make my lunch: rice with hamburger, with UFC in both Tamis Anghang and Sharp variations, bought from an Asian shop in Munich, run by ethnic Chinese Vietnamese former refugees. Unfortunately my soy sauce is still “Health Boy”, Chinese, but the Viets have Silver Swan, Filipino soy sauce which I will buy when I finish the bottle. Anyone who wishes to follow me may do so on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ibrsalazar, because: “This looks like a job for me, coz I need a little controversy, cause it feels so empty without me!”. And thanks again to my American allies, Joe America and LCPL_X!


      • edgar lores says:

        We are here basically because we identify with our Filipino-ness… and we want to uplift the country.

        For me, the emotion is there, the emotional attachment that was there as I grew up and touched and walked the brown soil, swam the emerald sea, climbed the trees and green mountains, all under the overarching blue sky. But the emotion is leavened with reason. I see the faults and the shortcomings of our nation… and the whole of humankind.

        And in seeing these, I see myself, and hope that recording and communicating what I see will bring about a rise of consciousness… and conscience.

        I am a Filipino. As a child, I pledged allegiance to America. I am also an Australian, and pledged allegiance to Queen Elizabeth. And I am a citizen of the world. I do not see or feel any conflict in these allegiances and loyalties. And if there were, I would simply follow my conscience.

        We are far too emotional. Love and passion alone will not overcome. Reason has to be in the mix. It’s not only red, yellow and blue; we need all the other colors as well. Perlas ng silanganan. At sa langit mong bughaw. We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil. Amber waves of grain. And purple mountain majesties.

        • My consultant trainer’s model of human personalities:

          a. RED: passionate, agressive, visual, eyes, big picture
          b. BLUE: compassionate, loving, smell, touch, harmony
          c. YELLOW: logical, analytical, listening, ears, writing

          each person is a mixture of these three dimensions according to this color model. The Philippine flag happens to have these three colors – that is a coincidence of course:

          Irineo: RED is dominant, followed in almost equal proportions by BLUE, then YELLOW
          Edgar: I think you are YELLOW-dominant, with a lot of hidden BLUE, and a little RED

          Joe I would think is similar to Edgar but with a bit more RED (the boss aspect). LCPL_X is similar to me but with a stronger touch of YELLOW (logical thinking).

          Mary: BLUE-dominant I think, followed by YELLOW plus (Batangas) RED, equally.

          Simple, pragmatic model of personality analysis. My trainer has a questionnaire on a laptop, he does not give out the software, but one can feel how people are like.


          I am a Filipino – natural born, ius sanguinis. German citizen as well – by application of law, not naturalized and not natural-born – because the German Constitutional Court decision to allow citizenship to be passed on via the mother was 1973 and I was born before that. Being thorough, the Germans have a certificate for that – that I am a citizen by application of law. Unfortunately the Filipinos are sloppy with this, which has lead to GPL discussions.

          I have pledged no allegiance to anyone – Germany did not require me to – and define myself as Filipino-German – which country is first is intentional. Asked once by a nationalistic grade school teacher what I would do if there were war between the Philippines and Germany, I answered: Sir that is very unlikely, and I would do everything to prevent it because I have folks on both sides. If it started I would not join and risk the consequences of being jailed as a deserter, because I will not shoot on my own folks.


          Love and Passion – BLUE and RED – plus reason – YELLOW – are in the Filipino flag. Added to AlDub and Heneral Luna, there must be further thinking and study, more discussions about what the Filipino is, the Philippines is, and what we want for us all.

          • I cannot yet feel that I am a citizen of the world. I unfortunately cannot feel any love or compassion for beings that call themselves human but are in fact inhuman in actions.

            Or really care for countries that act inhuman, even if I pity those who among their peoples that are human in actions.

          • “LCPL_X is similar to me but with a stronger touch of YELLOW (logical thinking).”

            To date, I think we’re the only ones that have been banned and returned. So I agree with red. LOL!

    • “6.3.4. (LCpl_X has a point in that ordering the guards to shoot, Wilfredo might have violated the Rule of Others. A lift barrier gate might have been the proper solution?)”

      There’s two components for me of Wil‘s Mexican stand-off.

      1). Spectrum of Force.

      a. Firearms. Bullets bounce and they follow gravity. So either shoot the guy dead, leave the bullet inside the body, so it doesn’t bounce or fall anywhere else. Or if you opt for a warning shot ( as described ) then ensure it doesn’t bounce or fall anywhere else, shoot dirt, a tree, etc.

      b. Weapons. Cut his face with a knife or introduce his head to a large stick.

      c. Physical. Grab the offending character and beat him to a pulp.

      d. Stern talking to. With raised voice, scare the offending character.

      e. Talk like men. Be professional & polite, settle the issue amicably, over beers.

      2). Proportionality.

      a. Was his “crime” deserving of the use of a firearm ( deadly not only to the offending character, but potential to others no involved ). Was your intended action and the crime, proportional? If not, then no talk of pulling out a firearm should even come to mind.

      b. Weapons. If this was warranted, is (are) the person(s) applying this option, familiar with these implements? Familiar enough to ensure that only punishment is meted out, no death or permanent injuries?

      c. Physical. Same with b. For most guys their most over-estimated skills are fighting and sex.

      d. Again same with b. and c. What if you lack command presence and half-way thru your stern talking to, the offending person, laughs and leaves?

      e. No skills needed to having a beer.

      Escalation vs. de-Escalation

      Unless you’re getting paid good money or protecting yourself and others (friends & family) from imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm, always opt for de-Escalation. Use your head, there’s more than 1 way to skin a cat.

      My point

      These processes outlined above ( and there’s more to consider, I’m just laying out 5 possibilities ), from a Leadership stand point per the article, all the above should already be committed to memory and the possibilities played with over and over, until everything becomes more predictable.

      Because if you chose the path of Escalation you will have more unpredictable variables, so commit the predictable ones as routine. When routine, the speed of which you decide to either Escalate or de-Escalate, will save you heart-aches.

      The operating premise here is that the best way to take care of yourself, your family & your friends is to build standards and processes into a routine until predictable things work smoothly.

      That way, leaders ( you ) have the ability to focus on the unpredictable in times of chaos.

      Don’t invite chaos too quickly, is my 2nd point.

      • edgar lores says:

        I am not sure the spectrum of force applies. I imagine the scenario is this:

        1. The car wants to enter the gated community. The driver, who is owner (or renter) of a house within the community, sits in the car, stopped by the security guards at the guard house, which stands by the road side at the entry point. There is no lift barrier.

        2. One of the guards, positioned at the guard house, and the driver talk. This has happened several times. Remember the security guards are rotated, so they may not be familiar with the driver. The arrogant driver has refused to buy a sticker to be attached to his windshield. So he is stopped every time he tries to re-enter. And being arrogant, he simply ignores the security guards each time and bullies his way in. Some people are like this. If he were not so arrogant and had the sticker, the security guards would see the sticker from a mile away and simply wave his car through.

        3. I imagine the guards will initially be polite (scenario e). I am not sure they can escalate to scenarios d, c or b. Scenario d is out because in the social hierarchy security guards are below driver-owners, and they have been trained to be polite. Scenarios c and b are out because the owner-driver is in a locked car with only a window partially open.

        4. So the owner-driver shouts, “Punyeta! I am an owner,” and simply drives off. We are left with scenario a.


        5. A solution would be for the Homeowners’ Association to arrange for a visit and sell the driver-owner a sticker.

        • Exactly, on 5.

          Which means this was a purely emotional outburst one too common amongst Filipinos.

          How to fix it is the question.

          As for puñeta, this is a hard definition to search for, but I got ejaculate matter ( read jizz– not jazz ). I’m not familiar with it, is this a purely Tagalog expression?

          Cuentada & Maniobra, are used interchangeably in the southern regions of the Philippines, and seem fitting here.

  24. wilfredo g. villanueva says:

    Posted this in my FB page, on the Playgirls thing:

    Devils Leading Devils

    If all men were angels, there would be no need for government. — James Madison

    The problem, obviously, is that if government were made up of devils. It will be the blind leading the blind. If men who run government were devils, what’s the need for government?

    All men I suppose go through several stages:

    Either these:
    Innocence — Infancy to Start of Puberty
    Demonization — Puberty to About College Age
    Epiphany — Post-College Realization of Wrongs Committed
    Reformation — Innocence with Knowledge
    Evangelization or Advocacy — Spreading the light
    Commitment — Total Surrender to a Good Life


    Innocence — Infancy to Start of Puberty
    Demonization — Puberty to College Age
    Absence of Epiphany — Conscience Knocks But is Ignored
    Inability to Reform — Complete Surrender to a Mindless Life
    Reverse Advocacy — Leads Others Down the Wrong Path
    Reverse Commitment — Removes All Barriers to Bad Things

    So where do the men who did not interpose any objection to the girlie show belong? Quite obviously, the latter scenario.

    The question begs to be asked: Why do we elect men who belong to the second tier? But more importantly: Why do men who belong to the second classification insist on having themselves situated in places of honor, such as an elective or appointive position, upper rungs in the corporate ladder, front and center of any human undertaking?

    Is it because they crave for private victories such as resisting temptation but being unable to, they would rather secure places that affirm their lofty goal in life—to be good—every man’s aspiration.
    People in the rank-and-file are generally willing to be led, awaiting instructions. The onus is in the higher levels. There are generally good men and women in all levels of work. Work is all right. It’s when the group turns to party-party mode that wrongdoing becomes a real possibility. It helps when there are manongs or manangs in the group, then good behavior is paramount.

    The problem starts when no one objects to wrongdoing. This is where you separate the men from the boys, from those who know right from wrong.

    There are still men and women who will do the right thing, who will resist temptation, who will lead others to the right path. To them we leave the ultimate destination of the ages, that men can be redeemed.

    “You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’ ” — George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) End of post.

    Since we’re talking about citizenship and leadership values, the Playgirls episode is instructional. There will always be someone who will say, enough already, enough of this nonsense, start acting like adults. In the Liberal Party caper, no one stood up to say otherwise. Is it because they thought they could trust the cameras and the journalists around? Character is just as important as skill.

    • I went down almost the entire second tier – “Breaking Bad” – before I had my epiphany.

      I could check nearly all items in St. Augustine’s confessions or Count Leo Tolstoy’s.

      I completed the Reformation phase this summer, and am in the Evangelization phase.

      • Binay was already in the Evangelization stage as a human-rights lawyer which is why he was considered promising, yet finally submitted to Demonization.

        If mine is third tier, Binay’s way is fourth-tier – Binayization.

    • chempo says:

      Ah all the world’s a stage, we are but players all.
      I’m still playing at ephipany.
      This blog’s helping my reformation.

      • “As long as China is even more racist than the US was in 1898 or Spain in 1521, fuck them.” Although I would rather do that Mongolian chick LCPL_X posted upstairs.

        Finished eating my rice and hamburger, not only with UFC but also AMERICAN Heinz Ketchup, let us not forget our allies. And the Germans like to say “nach dem Essen sollte man Rauchen und eine Frau gebrauchen”. After eating, smoke, and have a woman.

        Now I have smoked already, but no woman around – DAMN. 🙂

        Now thinking of Binay – Raissa morphed him into Darth Vader in her blog. Remember who Darth Vader used to be. Parallels abound.

        Siguro Anakin ang pangalan ng naging Darth Vader dahil isang putok lang, kambal kaagad ang ginawa niya. Si Binay naman, anakin din, pero sa sipag nakuha hehe.

    • Joe America says:

      Neither of those tracks works for me. I don’t recall a demonization period. Indeed, I had too much conscience so arrived at a period of confusion when institutions proved to be demonized. My reformation was to recognize I had to separate myself from the demons, and to see that innocence was a lie. I feel no need to lead others down any path, because they each have their own to walk. My commitment is neither to a good life, nor bad, but to knowledge, in all its beautiful and ugly shades. From that, conscience remains a good guide.

      I don’t have a problem with the Playgirls as the only victims were those who stayed when their conscience told them to leave, and they did it to themselves. One of my early confusions, at the age of 23 as I visited New Orleans prior to shipping off to ‘Nam, is that pole dancers are athletes and some of them are downright interesting people. The prudish lessons taught by my parents rather dissolved and I had to reconstruct things. I do have trouble when pretend prudes, some of whom likely have their hands in the public cookie jar, try to paint innocent people as damaged by associating the girls with “LP”.

      • Pole dancers are truly interesting, some are downright smart. They have to know how to hustle – been hustled by some, learned hustle from others.

        A very smart Bulgarian pole dancer I know is now a store manager for luxury lingerie. Slipped into pole dancing inspite of her university degree because of her late teenage liking for coke and bad boys, one of them took her to Germany and basically pimped her. Finally got off coke and a strip club manager who was trying to pimp her – because unlike Grace Poe she is smart and has self-esteem she developed. And the strip club manager was older than – and not as diabolically cunning – as Chiz is. Another political analogy.

        The world is more complex than black and white, which is what the pretend prudes forget.

      • chempo says:

        So you subscribe to John Keats :

        “Knowledge enormous makes a God of me.”

        • Joe America says:

          Hahaha, I never was a fan of Keats, perhaps because he seemed always over the horizon from where I was at the time. I suspect Dr. Seuss or Calvin have similar philosophical leanings.

    • edgar lores says:

      Funny. For me, I go through these stages — the first set and the second set including JoeAm’s confusion — every single day.

    • josephivo says:

      Would love it was that easy. Right and wrong, but what about all grey areas in between, shifting morals and dilemma situations? Conscience and emotions are often deeply intertwined, often cultural determined. Pragmatism and evidence shouting loud in some situations, change out beliefs or ignore?

      I did not see the whole Sexy Girls dance, but what I saw you can see at every party in every college here, standalone the many clips of top ten hits on internet. All degrading women? So epiphany happens only to the happy few? It might have been a stupid idea, but front page news? Binay approving his own mistress(es?) and condemning an “innocent” sexy dance?

    • What I know about this is: It’s a local gathering, a birthday of a local congressman (an LP) and of all days, they made it a gathering of former politicians associated with other parties who now switched to LP, that Mar was not there or any national LP figure. It shows the talent of the opposing party to nitpick and make the whole party as lacking of morals, etc. Shame on that congressman, he should know better and stop that show from the start, instead they enjoyed and participated in the lewd dancing without concern for the children or youth that form part of the audience.

      Now, compare this one with Bongbong, Ocampo and Liza Maza


  25. Obed says:

    Do you know Joe why China never went in a deal with the Philippines in regard the islands.

    Let me tell you:
    The Chinese knew that the Pinoys will cheat on the deal! So the Chinese would rather take over! No costs, no contracts which the Pinoys would simply violate anyway.

    Personally i think it would be good that China would take over the Philippines.
    The local politicians would love the way that the Chinese deal with corrupt politicians and and officials. A quick trial is held. They are convicted. They are marched around a public parade ground for all to see, then shot. It’d be quite some clean out here.

    Or we let them their Freedom who is also the freedom to live miserably and ingnorantly

    This people here don’t want to develop, Its not like in China when Deng Xiao Ping gave them a longer leash and hungry as they were they immediately started doing something. The People here don’t want that.

    They have already all freedom you need for success and also a lot of resources. They just decide to do nothing with them.

    Have you noticed that in this worlds 3rd biggest exporter of Coconuts there are barely Coconut dishes? That Coconut milk here comes from Thailand and Malaysia, there is no Coconut Soap in this country also. Instead of actively adding value to a resource they have plenty of they choose the easy way out. Why ?

    • sonny says:

      The whole Bicol region is awash with coconut dishes. The rest have been sold to Procter & Gamble cosmetics, Peter-Paul candies very well leveraged I presume. I grant you, I hope research will yield industrial use for medium-chain fatty acids in the future. What’s the beef?

  26. The theme song of Heneral Luna – which I have not watched, have to wait for the Berlin showing, but I have extensively researched on it, watched the social media action etc. – did not trend I think.

    But it puts together love and passion in a most sophisticated way. The significant words of it translated to English are, referring to the country: “I will love you, embrace and defend you, until there is no tomorrow”. It is a rock ballad, but from behind the stage, civilians and military from the Heneral Luna period appear and start to play on the drums. That they obviously have come back from the dead is seen by blood on the arms of one woman. For me it felt like – if the time comes to defend the country, will these dead appear like Christ in the famous Quo Vadis novel, and will I ask like Peter “Quo Vadis, Domine?”. At that point I am as superstitious as any Filipino.

    neo has asked whether the stuff in the movie is possible campaign propaganda. I don’t think so.
    But it is definitely advocacy for love of country, and passion. Ebe Dancel’s music video even more.

    Edgar’s caveat that reason must be applied is very important. The balance of love, passion and reason – blue, red and yellow in my consultant trainer’s model – is important anywhere.

    Because without enough love, passion and reason lead to havoc, maybe even tyranny. Heneral Luna did not live long enough to become a dictator. Because without enough passion, love and reason lead to a contented migrant’s life which I already had. Because without enough reason, love and passion lead to a contented slave’s life where others “take care” of you and you may rebel and protest, but without effect. All three colors of the Philippine flag must be represented.

    • I meant a DIScontented slave’s life… love is not enough to find ways to feed yourself and your children… passion alone will not help one cast off one’s chains. Reason is important, especially STRATEGY.

      • Flip-flopping the flag all the time was probably something they missed in an otherwise near-perfect cinematography – in the first Filipino “hero” movie that shows a flawed hero. Always hated those hero movies where they presented living saints – none of us is one.

        In fact I argued pretty tersely with Marilou Diaz-Abaya at the Munich Filmfest about her Rizal movie, and she told me in a pious voice “well, we should not be too judgemental”. Controlled myself and breathed so loud the whole cinema heard, thinking “I am not judging him, stupid… I am judging your Christ-like portrayal of a man who was great, but not Jesus Christ dammit”. She smiled and said.. “any more questions?” “No, then thank you very much”. I then left. I was not yet ready to say my opinion with blowing my top… 🙂

  27. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    President Emilio Aguinaldo and his cabinet were debating the issue of the American presence in the Philippines. Felipe Buencamino and Pedro Paterno supported the American occupation, while Prime Minister Apolinario Mabini and General Antonio Luna wanted independence for the Philippines. Luna asks the cabinet to authorize a pre-emptive strike while the Americans have yet to land their ground troops. Aguinaldo however assured his cabinet that the Americans had promised him to win the country’s freedom from their Spanish overlords. Unfortunately, the Americans have invaded key cities in Manila, declaring war against the Filipinos. – PERSPECTIVE OF UP HISTORIANS

    Americans had no intent to COLONIZE the Philippines. We came to Manila to obliterate Spanish Galleon wherever they are inthe world because they sank our frigate The Monitor. After the greatest battle on earth was over in less than a day. Admiral Dewey landed in Manila and asked a Filipino, “Take me to your leader!”.

    A Filipino answered: “Sir, we do not have a leader. Our leader sold the Philippines and the Filipinos to Spain. Hestyled himself as General. General Emilio Aguinaldo. He is in Hong-Kong.
    DEWEY: “Mga bata. Sail to Hong-Kong. Find Emilio Aguinaldo. Bring him to me. I want him to run the Philippines.
    MGA BATA brought Emilio Aguinaldo to Manila that was May 2nd, on June 12 Emilio Aguinaldo declared Independence Day.

    But that was not the intent of America to bring Emilio Aguinaldo. The intent was for Emilio Aguinaldo to rein in the Filipinos NOT DECLARE INDEPENDENCE ….. yet !!!

    Instead they declared independence and stabbed Americans in the back that liberated them.


    Funny in America, we have finished our history textbooks. We have letters of John Adams to Ambassador Benjamin Franklin in France. We have every other letters of and bios of drafters of constitution …. TO THIS DAY, FILIPINOS ARE STILL MAKING UP STORIES TO MAKE IT STICK AND CREDIBLE.

    Philippine History change like waves in Mauna Loa.

    • not traitors – they were just not part of the deal Aguinaldo might have privately made with America. Your story matches with Malolos, The Crisis of the Republic by Agoncillo in my father’s library which he donated to La Salle because U.P. betrayed him after retiring – the facts are the same, only the interpretation different. Agoncillo was from UP, so was my father – and both had a lifelong war with one another, typical Filipino thing.

      Aguinaldo in my interpretation was weak, unable to hold his ground – making him a traitor:


      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Wheeew !!!! Irineo, when can we ever know the truth. Our DepEd Textbooks could be screwing us.

        The Philippine HIstorians better get straight with us.

        • There is NO objective truth in history. There are only:

          1) documents = witness accounts. You have to weigh witness accounts for how objective they are, based on WHO is writing. The FBI has “statement analysis” for that in the area of criminal investigation. Historians also have to do this. Know the background of Pigafetta…

          2) archaeology = evidence. You can gather a lot about how people lived and with whom they traded from this evidence. Chinese pottery in the Philippines, own Philippine stuff.

          3) judgement = History actually means: his story, her story, their stories, our stories. The more you are far from what happened the more objective you become. Because you are like a JUDGE who is trying to put together what you logicall think really happened…

          Now even the historical judgement about American history changes, has changed…

          Like some have the opinion that George Washington was dictatorial in nature and that his Marines (the oldest existing American troops) where his Praetorians, semper fides to him.

          There were some American colonists who were loyal to the English crown and who went back home after the Revolution won. Benjamin Thompson of Massachussetts for example: he went back, did not feel at home in England, and went to Bavaria were he volunteered his brilliant capabilities to the Duke of Bavaria, who made him Count Rumford – also famous for his physics experiments internationally. Less well-known internationally for the English Garden in Munich, created to supply fresh air to Munich, and for recreation of the population – larger than New York’s Central Park. The first American to come to Munich, later we had the GIs here, just yesterday the Oktoberfest finished, were there were many.

          The truth is very multifaceted. Like Tagalog Wikipedia mentions that the colors of the first Philippine flag had Cuban blue – as brotherhood to them. English Wikipedia does NOT. German Wikipedia is most thorough and mentions that when the Philippine flag was permitted again by the Americans, they had only navy blue cloth, so our blue was made American blue. The present flag is a compromise from the time of President Estrada.

          Nobody wrote about Buffalo soldiers or Little Big Men in the racist America of the 1950s. The race riots against Filipinos in California, 1930s, and the laws to prevent mixed marriages of white women to Mexicans or Filipinos are not mentioned too much even now. I have put them in my blog for perspective. imagine that Mexicans and Filipinos were feared by whiteboys back then as grabbing their women! There were many old Filipino manongs – most were Ilocano – who remained bachelors all their lives. On the East Coast, no such restrictions – but many Filipinos there married Polish women = both Catholics and no Filipinas then. Lots of Polish-Filipino mestizos in Chicago for example. But the history of Philippine-American migration must be written by Fil-Ams. It is still very incomplete.

          • sonny says:

            On the nose, Irineo. There are time, place, characters and environment. There is clustering, interpolations and extrapolating of historical data in order to come up with an interpretation. It always reduces to: we were not there, so we don’t really know. Historical truth is a spectrum.

            • Even if you were there, you will see what happened from your own perspective, where you happen to stand and according to your respective principles and perceptions.

              Whew, just finished my China article, but it is a huge topic and I will review it tomorrow.

  28. http://www.rappler.com/rappler-blogs/107411-aldub-heneral-luna-criticism

    This is a truly great article – reflects what LCPL_X and myself discussed about the lack of a culture of discussing constructively in the Philippines:

    #AlDub and Heneral Luna are just the latest examples of the Filipinos’ childish struggle with criticism. From Pope Francis, to Manny Pacquiao, to whoever we’re voting for in 2016, we are a people who just love having sacred cows. Is it our constant need to have a savior instead of saving ourselves? Is it our tendency to handle our pride with kid gloves? Whatever the reason is, it’s evident that ending this habit will be good for us.

    Filipinos keep complaining that we’re too complacent, that our country is going nowhere, that our history keeps repeating itself. That’s partly because we keep having the same conversations. We keep building echo chambers out of reinforced steel. And should there be a new topic to talk about, it only becomes valid if the opinion on it is one and the same.

    The first step in progress is communication, in allowing for everyone to respectfully discuss a matter, and not shut down unfamiliar opinions. If we’re not brave enough to hear something we don’t want to hear, how can we be brave enough to change our lives for the better? If we can’t stomach our opinions getting shaken up, how can we stomach our world getting shaken up? Because one thing’s for certain: the path to a better Philippines is going to be hard and tortuous. Your comfort zone will have to be obliterated. Progress is not convenient. But stagnation is.

    Yes, it feels really good to belong to a large, self-congratulatory group. And it also feels good to defend that group; it creates a satisfying sense of purpose. But it’s when you try to scare people off from saying what they think that the line needs to be drawn. You need to ask yourself: Is your cow truly sacred, or is it your comfort and pride that you’ve placed on the altar?

    the fact that there is an article like this shows that some of us are moving forward.

    Now I hope people learn one more thing: courage. Please feel free to oppose my opinions. I know I am a formidable person to discuss with – Joe didn’t have it easy with me. I have always cultivated a virtue LCPL_X also propagates: unpleasantness. But I am willing to learn from others. I am even willing to listen, if I do not, be a little bit louder folks. My left ear is slightly deaf. All I am doing here is contributing my opinions – I will not pull a pistol at anybody. I have even learned to be courteous.

    • I have also plugged Will’s article as a commenter on Rappler. Every opinion that contributes to thinking and broader understanding in the Philippine discussion should be heard and listened to. I even read GRP from time to time, discuss with them I rarely do because they are not able to listen or discuss constructively. But they have their points, especially Grimwald whom I do respect – he does not have the bitter sarcasm of benign0.

      Joe, just to let you now, benign0 himself invited me to join when I was in temporary exile. But I have chosen the alliance with the Society, with my own blog as a library of learning.

      That’s it for now folks, see you when my China article is done. My inputs are there for you.

      • Joe America says:

        I think your commentary would have raised the intellectual bar at GRP, but unless they set out to genuinely broaden the readership base to be inclusive of more views, the discussion would not have done justice to your articles.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Thanks, Irineo. Let me know please what else I have to do to after “I have also plugged Will’s article as a commenter on Rappler.”

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Thanks, Irineo, for “plugging my article as a commenter on Rappler. What are my duties?

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      There has to be open forum of our history. Heneral Luna is a start to open our eyes to incredible history textbooks.

      I wish they will have more movies of our history. It seems we’d rather watch the movie than read DepEd-approved history textbooks.

      • You are very welcome to comment in my blog. Just follow the link on my name.

        I have finished everything up to the post-Marcos period, tell me your opinions please. 🙂

        And yes, DepEd textbooks are very weak I think. Do they still use Agoncillo?

        My blog articles are just an outline of Philippine history. Sonny and me want to use them to write more extensive chapters on our history. So it becomes a national narrative / STORY which helps Filipinos understand how things became the way they are now.

        A tree without deep roots cannot grow tall. The Chinese know 3000 years of their history, which is why they plan ahead strategically. Filipinos think in years. Americans in decades: 80s, 90s, noughties. Europeans in centuries: 19th, 20th, 21st. Chinese in MILLENIA.

    • “I have always cultivated a virtue LCPL_X also propagates: unpleasantness.”

      Disagreeableness is a more fitting word. I know both words are synonymous, but the connotation for me when using “unpleasantness” is of one who does not take a shower. I don’t mean to stink up the commentary.

      Disagreeable to me is more synonymous to abrasive, which relates to the rubbing of hard surfaces, creates friction, and if lucky either get a small spark or a full blown wild fire. We’re all shooting for wild fires here– of ideas.

      Social lubrications, I appreciate, but we’re here to spark good ideas– that’s priority above all else, IMHO. So I agree with you, Ireneo, bumper cars is the only way to go. It’s also fun.

      • Joe America says:

        I would only have to note that when the bumper car arena is stocked with a few abrasive drivers who are knocking the snot out of tourists, fun-lovers, little kids and mothers, encouraging them to seek a ride elsewhere, then it is not exactly the style of play that is in the best interest of the fairground.

        • Joe America says:

          In other words, humility is a virtue, and inclusion. It is not necessary to type every idea that comes to mind in Joe’s discussion thread. Rather, it might be better if each of us considered ourselves architects of the blog, and not just construction workers pounding nails with an automatic hammer.

          • Architects, I like that analogy better.

            • josephivo says:

              Construction workers, architects and Joeam as the ultimate urbanist… And who are the citizens we build utopia for?

              • Joe America says:

                The architects design ideas which leaders and opinion makers turn into policy and deeds, benefiting the ordinary Jose and Mary Grace, the citizens for whom the utopia is constructed.

              • who are the citizens we build utopia for?

                It’s my 6th month on here, and I’ve read every article and comments ( minus about a month ). The answer to your question, josephivo, is…

                for Davao City ( and Island Garden City of Samal ).

                Seems they’d be the only ones amenable to the ideas presented here.

              • “The architects design ideas which leaders and opinion makers turn into policy and deeds”. I was thinking more of giving interested citizens more background knowledge – something I have concentrated in my blog now – plus stuff to form their own opinions.

                With a certain middle class critical mass building, it might be important if citizens do not rely solely on the higher-ups – if citizens are not watching they tend to go their own way.

              • “The eagerness of our search for firewood turned us all into botanists.”

                — George Orwell

  29. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Excuse me, Will, for being out of line …… In Leni’s introduction to the voters, I see Aling Koring presence. The article in Inquirer is well managed. I studied Youtube clips of Leni’s introduction and acceptance speech. THE CAMERA NEVER FOCUSES ON KORINA !!!! And Korina in Inquirer’s article never mentioned Aling Koring as the wife of Mar. She is treated like a leper. But she is not. She is not even introduced by Mar like this, “And to my right, ladies and gentlemen, is my beautiful wife, Korina, who suppoprted me thru thick and thinned faces”

    Very unlike Mar-Binay Vice-Preisdnet war.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Very unlike when Cory ran for president when all the Philippine Media introduced Cory’s children caption in her photo-ops. Truly well-managed. Like Rosemary Kennedy’s presence were scripted. You can see Rosemary but you don’t. But she is there. Readers not knowing she’s the aunt of Shriver-Schwarzenegger.

      Wow! They must have paid plenty to those cameramen and to the media.

      How the Philippine Media is managed is why The Binays became constant Senators, Mayor and Vice-President. They were sold by the Philippine Media and the voters caught it hook-line-and-sinker.

    • Joe America says:

      President Aquino included Korina in his introductions. She is not there to be a star, as evident from her casual attire without makeup for the cameras. She ought not direct attention away from her husband, and she was true to that role. I think she is also aware that a lot of people don’t like her for reasons that have nothing to do with who she really is. Maybe Mar Roxas did’t acknowledge her because she is not really engaged in his politics and they have agreed to tread carefully so as not to stir up the emotions of fanatics.

      • NHerrera says:

        Nice notes by MRP and JoeAm on Korina. I am one of those who sympathize with Koring. The handling of Koring is delicately done, much as Mar may want it differently. And I believe any previous sharp edges of Koring may have been blunted or softened in the process of learning.

        BTW, as long as we are on the subject of “delicacy” in politics, the three girls of Leni may be a potent resource or tool in the campaign. But I hope the strategists/ planners handle this with delicacy. Meaning less of the cheap talks — that is, a few very meaningful from the heart statements from the girls. More presence and actions in helping the mother than cheap talks. The talks and actions of the children of Binay, Poe and Robredo will be watched by the nation. These may affect sublimely the people’s votes.

    • INQ_reader says:

      Korina was introduced by Mar in a very Filipino (i.e. informal) way. I just can’t remember the exact words.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      MRP, duty to country calls, and it says Korina may be a threat (SWOT), so we’re still straight and true. Six years is not a long time for a supposed battle axe, but six years is long for a POE-tender, a confessed thief (three per cent kick-back is all right he said), or a Pol Pot, if he decides to do a double take.

  30. Maxie says:

    All university students of the Philippines should read the book In Our Image by Stanley Karnow.

    • sonny says:

      I agree, Maxie. IN OUR IMAGE is a very good 2nd (post high school) Philippine history book to get an introduction to Philippine geopolitics. IMAGE is an engaging read, extensive and not heavy. As one gets a deeper taste for Philippine history, there are many scholarly editions that delve into other aspects of Philippine social history. The Internet will provide more special materials.

  31. Karl garcia says:

    We all know some good things never last. The pope was a rockstar when he was here,after he left we are business as usual and only reminded of his existence once he arrived in Cuba.

    We are always in a phase,a zone if you will(pun alert) lilipas din ito tulad ng Pinoy Big Brother ano ba yan naghahanap tayo ng kiya na magutos at mang uuto sa atin.

    Got to believe romance serye was good while it lasted,it was watched around the world,now we don’t give a damn who Lizquen is.

    Antonio Luna showed our true colors if backstabbing,sucking up,politics,romance,passion,patriotism and a rich history. Which is very good.

    This realiserye and kalyrserye is also a phase ….wait til the campaign season starts

    • Writing the China article which I will review and publish tomorrow, it became clear to me that all the political stuff about candidates is just another form of showbiz, most of the time.

      The big game is being played around the Philippines. In the time of Lapu-Lapu it was a surprise that the Spanish came. Nowadays there is no more excuse for surprises.

      Now of what use is what we are doing here if there seem to be no lasting lessons learned?

      • Joe America says:

        I suppose it depends on what your expectations are. You are unlikely to see the mountains move without a fantastic multi-dimensional stop action camera that can record the roll-out ripples of ideas as they move through the heads of the influential and into deed. It is not by spike of fate that a politician will cite an idea that moved through here a few weeks or months before. I am confident the mountains are moving though. Congratulations on your contributions which, like those of Sisyphus, mean looking at a lot of rock, but one of these days we’ll get that big sumbitch past the tipping point . . .

        • True, the spread of memes is not that easy to record. Tomorrow you shall see the boulder I just have moved. The Chinese challenge. Its sheer magnitude. And how little we saw it.

          But the way the President is acting, he must have people who see it – his strategy fits.

          • Ernesto says:

            In the final analysis the problem of South China Sea is the problem of how to consider and recognize the world order set after the world war second.
            The drawing of the nine-dash or eleven-dash was the result of the two important international conferences held in Potsdam and Cairo separately among the Big Three before the end of WWII that ordered that Japan return all territory (both land and waters) captured from Sino-Japan war in 1895 to WWII to China, Taiwan and South China Sea included.
            It is the American rebalancing Asia and pacific policy to contain China that encouraged the Philippines to take the case to the tribunal, which not only reveals Philippines miscalculation to jump on the wagon but also its violation of the agreement reached between the two governments that all disputes be settled through bilateral negotiation without involvement of the third party previously.
            The irony of the ironies is that the Philippines are well aware of the fact that such a tribunal has nothing to do with sovereignty but still bring the case to court.

            • Joe America says:

              You will have to excuse me, but we have had a flood of China apologists visit the blog to insert a one-sided picture of things, as yours appears also to be, trying to justify the unjustifiable, the nine-dash line, and presuming to know what motivates the Philippine government to take actions allowed under law, and casting aspersions on them. What is your background and interest? Do you live in the Philippines or where? Why do you care?

              • Ernesto says:

                There are more countries in ASEAN that have disputes with China, but they don’t challenge China so hard, would the world consider these countries smart or the Philippines smart?

              • Joe America says:

                I’m sorry, but you did not answer my questions as to where you live and why you care, leading me to believe you are here to troll the blog with disinformation and efforts to stir up dissension. If you are here for discussion, please have the patience for the moderation to be released and I’ll publish your comments. You would be the fifth person arriving here for no reason that I can discern and pushing the beauty of China’s methods.

              • Joe America says:

                Sovereignty means it is not for other nations to judge whether the Philippines is smart of not smart in her arbitration filing. It is a mechanism that respects the law as a way to peacefully resolve disputes, and only China to my knowledge is openly hostile to the Philippine initiative. Other ASEAN states took a strong interest in the arbitration filing, sending representatives to the oral arguments at the Hague.

              • Ernesto says:

                Times street, QC, close Aquino, back side Great Eastern Hotel

              • Ernesto says:

                In submitting its case, the Philippines is not asking the tribunal to rule on the territorial sovereignty aspect of its disputes with China, according to Del Rosario.

                “We are here because we wish to clarify our maritime entitlements in the South China Sea, a question over which the Tribunal has jurisdiction,” he told the tribunal.


              • Joe America says:

                It is a two step process. Step one . . . the current case . . . is to clarify Philippine entitlements in the sea, and, assuming the arbitration panel concurs with the Philippine case and rules that she is entitled to an economic zone of 200 nautical miles, then step two will be undertaken, to file cases against China regarding specific infringements, such as Panatag (Scarborough) Shoals. Your point on sovereignty is misleading, as are your claims that the major powers certified the 9-dash line. You are basically here peddling distortions, as far as I can tell. That’s what I refer to as trying to sell a pig’s ear as a purse.

                It’s not a purse.

            • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

              Ernesto, quit your threatening presence. If you want to discuss logically, do so, even if reason seems to escape you. If you are representing China, bare your fangs for all to see. Fly your flag. Do you think spreading President Aquino’s residence address in this blog will make us cower in fright? It only reinforced your sorry image as a bully in modern times. You may win all the battles, but you will not win in the war for world opinion.

            • Ric says:

              China can’t even make up its mind how many dash lines there really are. It started out as 11. Then, 9 after just 2 years. Since July 2013, it was again changed, this time to 10 dash lines.

      • NHerrera says:

        Agree. Big picture view and associated analysis in the right balance with the small ones.

        BTW, I note that almost all countries of note have this disproportionate Big Picture concern versus the local concern. A case of too big, too much, too soon — keeping pace with the digital development.

      • Karl garcia says:

        If by lasting lessons is by repeating the same mistakes all over again,Einstein is wrong to call it insanity. Santayana and that other guy doomed us all.

        • It’s actually quite simple if you ask me. At is core Philippine culture is still what it was during the time of Lapu-Lapu and Humabon. Barangay and family-based. The other stuff around it was adapted to but not really internalized, being foreign and forced upon people.

          More successful cultures grew their concentric circles of organization in an organic way, based on their own traditions. So what they do and how they do it is simply second nature.

          Cultures that had long colonizations have the same gap between formal and informal cultures – an example being Southeastern European countries like Greece, Bulgaria, Romania that were under the Turks for about as long as Filipinos under the Spanish.

          At the formal level, they pretend things are this way, at the informal level it is done in a completely different manner. Because they learned to play a game of pretense towards their colonizers. Can also be an advantage because they adjust easily to new masters.

          Which is why I still think federalism would be a good idea for the Philippines. There would be some local problems at the start but each area would try to fix itself and develop its own approaches organically. The central state is IMHO overwhelmed by its responsibilities. It definitely has to keep police and army to prevent total disintegration. Add to that a total simplification of taxation, budgeting and lawmaking. Delegate as much as possible.

      • sonny says:

        Irineo, it is very tempting to zero in on the voyages of Zheng He and learn about the Chinese mind even from such a long view. The excursion of China & the current leadership into the Spratlies is quite reminiscent of those years when China & the emperors dominated the Malay sea lanes and the Indian Ocean to preserve China’s world trade. One can understand their cupidity and aggresiveness in that light.

        • Ernesto says:

          Since 1949, China has settled seventeen of its twenty-three territorial disputes.
          Moreover, it has offered substantial compromises in most of these settlements, usually receiving less than 50 percent of the contested land. China’s pattern of compromise in its territorial disputes presents several puzzles.

          For realists, China has not used its power advantages to bargain hard over contested land, especially with its weaker neighbors. Nor has it become less willing to offer concessions over disputed territory as its power has increased. Instead, China compromised in eight separate disputes as its power grew rapidly in the 1990s.

            • Joe America says:

              This appears to be academic propaganda used mainly by Chinese outlets to justify the “cooperative” position of China in dealing with territorial disputes. This is a more sophisticated presentation, but it all still looks like a pig’s ear to me.

              • Ernesto says:

                M. Taylor Fravel is Assistant Professor of Political Science and a member of the Security Studies Program at
                the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
                The author owes special thanks to Allen Carlson, Tanisha Fazal, George Gavrilis, Michael Glosny,
                Hein Goemans, Lei Guang, Ron Hassner, Alastair Iain Johnston, Andrew Kennedy, Alexander
                Montgomery, Nikolay Marinov, Kevin Narizny, Robert Ross, Holger Schmidt, Benjamin Valentino,
                Alan Wachman, Xu Xin, the anonymous reviewers, and especially Thomas Christensen, James
                Fearon, Jean Oi, and Scott Sagan, for helpful comments and suggestions. Seminar participants at
                the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, Duke University, Harvard Uni

                versity, the Institute on Qualitative Research Methods at Arizona State University, and Stanford
                University also provided useful feedback. Stanford’s Center for International Security and Coop

                eration and Harvard’s John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies offered valuable ªnancial sup

                port for which the author is grateful. All interviews for this project were conducted on a not-for-
                attribution basis.

              • Ernesto says:

                We can’t deny the facts.

                Since 1949, China has settled seventeen of its twenty-three territorial disputes.
                Moreover, it has offered substantial compromises in most of these settlements, usually receiving less than 50 percent of the contested land. China’s pattern of compromise in its territorial disputes presents several puzzles.

                For realists, China has not used its power advantages to bargain hard over contested land, especially with its weaker neighbors. Nor has it become less willing to offer concessions over disputed territory as its power has increased. Instead, China compromised in eight separate disputes as its power grew rapidly in the 1990s.

              • Joe America says:

                For realists, China has not used its power advantages to bargain hard over contested land, especially with its weaker neighbors. Nor has it become less willing to offer concessions over disputed territory as its power has increased.

                I think the correct term would be “reconstructionists”, not realists. China didn’t negotiate over contested islands in Philippine seas. She took them. Again, I can only conclude that you are a paid agent of China assigned the task of distorting that “reality” of which you speak.

                What is your interest in the matter, anyway? This is a blog about the movie “Heneral Luna”, and you and four other advocates for China have taken up residence here to try to do . . . what, exactly? And for whom? And why?

              • Ernesto says:

                “what, exactly? And for whom? And why?”

                Good question! You want the short answer or the long one?
                Here I give you the short answer: because there are people who are trying to smear China 24/7, and I don’t think it deserves it.

              • Joe America says:

                Okay, I have worked at being forthright and you have worked at being illusive. My conclusion is that you are a troll and are therefore banned from this blog, along with the four like-minded friends who preceded you.

              • Joe, since I also have a blog, I know you have the IP addresses of the people.

                In case you have any mail address of someone in the government you can trust, I suggest you send these IP addresses to them so that they can be properly investigated. They may even belong to Chinese companies in the Philippines if they are so stupid and we lucky.

                I for my part am coming out with my China article soon. My blog is under German law, therefore I reserve the right to report suspected Chinese troll IP addresses to the police. In fact I have the right to ask for identification as I am liable for my blog under German cybercrime and libel laws. This is a fair warning to those trolling here. Chinese hackers have attacked German ministries in the past. You are not considered friends over here.

              • I think these are Filipinos working for the Chinese the way the MAKAPILI worked for the Japanese. Look up MAKAPILI in Google folks – unfortunately former Revolutionary General Artemio Ricarte, El Vibora himself, made the mistake of supporting them.

                AND pipol – pag-aralan ninyo ang kasaysayan para hindi kayo mabigla ulit sa mga ganito. This is probably just the beginning. Putin has similar trolls working on the Ukraine conflict.

                I know Ukrainians. I know how they are suffering. Don’t want Filipinos to suffer like them.

              • Welcome Joe… 🙂

                http://www.infosniper.net BTW is a tool where you can enter any IP address and locate where people are posting from.

              • I can confirm that “Thomas” is truly posting from Germany and the Vietnamese IP address is also correct. Thomas’s posting can be read in two different ways – literally or sarcastic.

                Leipzig is in East Germany folks. As long as they do not post on my blog, fine.

                At this point is the time to refer once more to LCPL_Xs insistence that the Philippines beef up it’s cyber-security. And my insistence that our countrymen learn more global stuff. Because this here proves that China is truly well organized, internationally folks.

              • Joe was very fast in hiding the Vietnamese and German troll postings – that is good.

                But they did post real (North) Vietnamese and (East) German IP addresses is the point.

              • “In case you have any mail address of someone in the government you can trust, I suggest you send these IP addresses to them so that they can be properly investigated. They may even belong to Chinese companies in the Philippines if they are so stupid and we lucky.”

                I for one, appreciated the pro-China counter-point, more so the last, Ernesto’s.

                But your point above is very titillating. As a fan of the Sherlock Holmes short stories and novels, I’m wondering if those 4’s IP address lead to a significant place.

                Maybe write a blog ala Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a sleuthy blog connecting those 4’s IPs. To me they were very different, so I’m thinking 4 separate IPs, 4 different people. Maybe Primer’s students? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… the plot thickens.

              • Joe America says:

                I think the discussion would be good, in the correct place, in the correct manner. But to descend on the blog in a pack, with a one-way message . . . that reached racist taunts and other unkindnesses . . . no. I left Ernesto’s in and gave him the chance to deal forthrightly, but he declined. So now I am in delete mode, and anything that comes in on China gets spammed, unless it is from a regular. I’ve given up hope for an earnest conversation from these pig’s ear peddlers.

              • edgar lores says:

                I am certain the Chinese government commenters are not aware of the irony that their trollish behavior completely undermines whatever arguments they can muster… and, indeed, prove the proposition that they and their government have little respect for international law and cyberspace protocols.

              • Joe America says:

                Truly, some of the stories they tell are fictions of the most extraordinary kind, warm-ups for the gullible, I suppose. Their English is impeccable as they practice their deceits, casting dark lights on America, and Filipino leaders, and Filipinos themselves. Tossing out racial slurs easily. Yet they represent China as a warm, cooperative nation, earnest and agreeable in all deeds. I’m reminded of Binay as he recasts reality to show himself as the savior and all good people as bad.

                Joke’s on us . . .

              • You can reblog my article on China once it is out, Joe. Then they can come. I am giving a full backgrounder on China, the claim and the situation so that people can discuss knowing full information, thinking people will see that the stuff of these trolls is bullshit.

                But you are very right, they should stop doing it in this article – but the stuff already there is good. Shows how Heneral Luna is relevant to today’s situation. 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                I’m looking forward to the article, and will feature it here, too.

              • “cyberspace protocols.” Edgar, this is why the cybersecurity stuff that LCPL_X has suggested the Philippines should take care of, NOW NA, is of utmost importance.

                The Chinese, having learned from their Russian allies, are extremely well-prepared and the Philippines is most certainly not – if DOJ is taking care of cybersecurity like Karl wrote once, they should godammit and punyeta work together with NICA, Tony Luna would say.

                And the Philippines should goddamit and punyeta tap the old military cooperation networks that possibly exist between the Philippines and Romania, even if that cooperation comes from the time of the friendship between Ceaucescu and Marcos, diplomatic ties were established then, and I remember that the military attache in Bonn even during Cory times made long road trips to Romania in his Mercedes that had nearly 500 thousand kilometers on it as a result, driven by his Sarhento, typical Filipino style.

                Because the Romanians have a top-level cybersecurity unit, they have experience from having been the Warsaw pacts hackers before, and they are the NATOs frontline now, helping the EU and the USA secure the cyberfront against Russia, paying back the oppression that the Russians visited upon this Latin people caught in the East because Dacia, old Romania was Rome’s Australia were they dumped convicts and adventurers.

                Folks, we have to think laterally and strategically. Use every asset we have in this fight. Because it is going to come. Joe, thanks in advance. The article will be BBL risks++.

  32. Bing Garcia says:

    Binay expects that a case would be filed against him before the Sandiganbayan and a warrant of arrest issued after he files his certificate of candidacy this month, he said during a roundtable discussion with STAR editors, columnists and reporters. Oct 6, 2015

    • Joe America says:

      He already seems a shrunken shell of a man, discouraged I suspect by having VP prospects shun him, and his shrinking survey ratings. All he can do is make up slanders.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Demeanor gives him away. Pained smile, defiant look, absence of rhetoric. He’s beating up himself, his internals are in the grip of struggle. The Ombudsman is running rings around him, picking off targets near him to unnerve or make him lower his guard, and then wham. Jail time.

    • Karl garcia says:

      Binay should be careful of what he wishes for. It would be grand if it will come true.

  33. INQ_reader says:

    I watch Heneral Luna last Sunday, the cinema was 2/3 full. I guess after more than a month of showing, the word of mouth traveled faster in some areas.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi INQ_reader! Two thirds full is good compared to my less than ten. And after a month of showing. Thanks for the update.

  34. http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/the-aldub-nation-is-also-luna-country/

    Two histories are being played out on screen: The free TV through a drama that takes place on the street, which is telling us there is another world that is not caught in the web of politics, and the film Heneral Luna that pokes us how the politics of heroes has always been about self and self-interest.

    Give me AlDub, anytime!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Heroes and Mirrors

      A blessed time in the beloved country,
      is The Society of Honor the new
      La Solidaridad? AlDub love and
      Heneral Luna passion on split screen,
      Filipinos by name and spirit
      come out of their warrens
      to view a celestial show,
      26 million tweets in recorded history,
      and a movie one month running
      still as potent as the day after
      the Cabanatuan Carnage,
      are we awake now?
      Do we see the connection?
      China smothers, inserting itself
      even in places we thought secure,
      are we dying of fright now
      with Ernesto’s cryptic Times Street
      reminder, a well-placed C4 right
      on our heads?
      Or are we truly awake, is AlDub Nation
      the nation itself, making mano
      to our elders, making mano to
      Heneral Luna, mano po, bayan po
      kami, hindi negosyo, are we awake
      now, crocs around us with predator
      eyes, which one of you is my next meal
      he asks, are we a meal for China
      and him who gloats of his winning
      in spite of, will we still take it,
      what does the mirror say?

      October 7, 2015

      • stpaul says:

        Yes Will, I think this Society is the modern age La Solidaridad :)!

      • Ako ri’y tutula po Will, mahabang-mahaba:

        La Solidaridad was the beginning,
        The Liga Filipina continued to fight,
        The Katipunan started by winning,
        The Republic lost to Yankee might.

        The enemy of my enemy is my friend,
        Luna got Spaniards would could shoot,
        Enemies of before may become our friends,
        Especially if in our country they have taken root.

        Joe is a Yankee who once fought our kind,
        his home is now that of his wife and son,
        Lance Corporal also comes to mind,
        to us and the Arabs he has gone.

        From the Liga came the Katipunan,
        where are our Jacintos, Arrelanos,
        who shall translate for our Lipunan,
        what we write here with Americanos.

        Our Internet is slow so many of us do not see,
        and because of traffic many lack time to read,
        we must spread the message by land and by sea,
        that our countrymen all may finally take heed.

        Ignorance is something we can no longer afford,
        the enemy to the West of our shores knows us,
        and may cross their sea just like a river ford,
        to take more of our islands and enslave us.

        Karl ikaw kaya’ magbuod at magsalin sa Tagalog,
        Manong Sonny na Samtoy sana sa sa Ilokano,
        Juana na tagaroon sa pampang ng ilog,
        Mariano at mercedes na mga Cebuano.

        O kaya’y iba, basta sana may gumawa,
        dahil huwag natin hintayin ang kalaban,
        pagkat ito’y mga dilaw na walang awa,
        at baka marami pa sa ating mapaslang.

        For we do not want to be like the Jews in Babylon,
        who cried by the rivers and remembered Zion,
        or ask our ancestors who fought so valiantly
        like Peter asked Jesus: Quo Vadis, Domine…

        Ako’y uupo, tapos na po.

        Salamat Will sa dakilang inspirasyon.

        • https://joeam.com/2015/10/04/heneral-luna-the-other-side-of-aldub/#comment-139862

          Heneral Luna Theme Song Lyrics

          Ikaw ang tahanan ng aking puso
          Ang puno’t dulo ng buhay ko
          Mangangarap hanggang makakayanan
          Mananaginip hanggang kamatayan

          Hanggat maari iiwas sa dahas
          Ngunit kung kailangan
          Buhay ko ma’y kabayaran

          Para makita kang malaya
          At umibig ng payapa
          Mabuhay sa mundong itong
          Ligtas sa takot at gulo
          Ang makita kang malaya
          Ang nag iisang panata
          Yayakapin, mamahalin kita
          Hanggang wala nang bukas

          Magtagumpay man o ikamatay
          Hahagkan ang gabing walang katiyakan
          Ito ang pinili kong buhay
          Ibigin kang buo at tunay

          Hanggang sa huli
          Ako’y nasa iyong tabi
          Hanggang sa huli
          Pangalan mo pa rin sa aking mga labi

          In today’s setting, the true message of Heneral Luna is more relevant than ever. And “nag-iisang panata” means “bound together by one oath” like the Swiss under Wilhelm Tell. Rizal knew why he translated Schiller’s play into Tagalog. This one oath is the theme of Joe’s article on Filipino citizenship. Hanapin natin ang iisang panata nating lahat – let us look for the one oath that binds us all, like the oath of the three original Swiss cantons.

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Ganda! Kainggit! Salamat, Ireneo!

          • The result of passion tempered by love. Those who know my writings from before only saw the anger resulting from sheer frustration at seeing things – especially knowing how they can be handled in other countries. Similar to Heneral Luna’s frustrations, I imagine.

            Love brings hope – hope that inspite of terrible conditions, things can change with time. Rizal understood that changing the country would take time. Quezon applied this.

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          I thought I posted: Ganda! Kainggit! Thanks, Irineo!

  35. Joe America says:

    The blog is currently receiving a flurry of pro-Chinese postings from a group of people who clearly are here with an agenda. I am dumping them off into spam as fast as they come in. I apologize if they get past the spam filter for any length of time. This is a discussion thread,, not a place for pushing agenda.

  36. karl garcia says:

    Funny that the Chinese apologists trololols decided to do their propaganda on current trending phenomena Topics.Sorry for mentioning Obed.if i haven’t mentioned him probably he would not have returned.

    • My advice to obed and the other chinese makalipi and trolls.
      Go for the long game. Try to build an audience target the weak history education of the Filipino Youth.

      If you need results fast Just go make an alliance with the BBM trolls and learn from their playbook.

  37. “The real impetus behind the so-called “China Threat” is the prospect of the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex facing defense spending cuts as mandated by the heavily-indebted U.S. government. More tension in the South China Sea means more business for the defense contractors.”

    That’s actually a valid take. That’s one of my worries, as well.

    I’m somewhat partial to Kissinger’s take on China. And if I had to weigh the more problematic rise of East Asian nations, I’d be more worried about Japan first, then Korea second– you guys know who S. Korea’s security apparatus focuses on? N. Korea. You guys know who’s next on that list? the US ( go figure ).

    China’s foray into the world awhile bak is still celebrated in parts of India and especially Indonesia to this day, so they must’ve done something right, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_Kun_map

      • Great map, thanks. And among patriotic Chinese, there is the frustration that the Empire scrapped its ships soon afterwards. And guess who continued sailing – Europeans who (with their American descendants) occupied China many centuries later.

        This is important to know in order to have a full view of the situation – which is my article is taking longer to finish. For the Chinese who think long-term, 500 years is very short, equivalent to six months for a Filipino, 5 years for an American, 50 years for a European.

      • Looking at that map, I’m still trying to figure out why Zheng He was Muslim.

        He’s a eunuch from Yunnan, which borders Burma. But Islam was confined to the Stan regions. The Moguls were in India around that time, so I guess some Muslims around eastern Burma at least were Muslims.

        The Chinese then used to cut their sons’ testicles, not for the reasons St. Origen cut his nuts, but rather to ensure a future, easier to get a job with the Empire if you had no balls.

        No doubt he was received well in Indonesia precisely because he was Muslim. But Islam came by way of Mecca, then Hadramawt (Yemen), then Southern India, then to Sumatra & Java, then Sulawesi & Maluku– the Philippines actually represent the backwater of these empires.

        All Islamic conversion tales from Indonesia, document men (Muslim saints, or walis) from Arabia. Who married local princesses and were also merchants. Most stories also mention them as powerful, ie. can move rivers & mountains and fly in the sky– so it was still Twilight Zone time in SE Asia.

        Zheng probably was more of a saint, than his Arab predecessors a century prior ( who probably flew over there ), especially as a eunuch.

  38. ideacribber says:

    I agree that it should be law over culture. I also agree that that’s not usually the case here in the Philippines.

    Hey, “Heneral Luna” is now officially on it’s eighth week! Love the movie. It was very disturbing, but in a good way. It made people think and reflect on the truths (“We are our own worst enemies,” etc.) uttered.

  39. ideacribber says:

    I agree that it should be law over culture. I also agree that that’s not usually the case here in the Philippines.

    Hey, “Heneral Luna” is now on it’s eighth week! Love the movie. It was very disturbing, but in a good way. It made people think and reflect on the truths (“We are our own worst enemies,” etc.) uttered.

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