President Quezon’s 1939 “Code of Citizenship and Ethics”, and the Philippines today


President Quezon early on

I suppose one approaches a pinnacle of presumptuousness when one decides to edit a Philippine president’s earnest works. Such are the demands on bloggers today, forever impelled to re-interpret the world to try to find a path less burdened, or more attuned to modern times.

Yet, I somehow think that Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon would have expected no less from us.

Pre-World War II tensions were running high in 1939 when, on his 61st birthday, he wrote:

“The life of a nation depends upon the moral and civic virtue of its citizens. Now, more than ever, when nations, great and small, are on the verge of collapse do we realize this fundamental truth.”

He then penned Executive Order No. 217 that established a set of civic and ethical rules to be taught in all Filipino schools. Those rules were subsequently codified in a 71 page volume that attached historical anecdotes and important lessons to the 15 rules.

Today, I will comment on the 16 rules in their original statement. It is 76 years later. Do they still apply, or ought we to adjust them. How are we doing at living up to them?

Before starting, I would state categorically that those who are corrupt violate the Code in a major way. And I would add that those who look the other way are little better. Ethics, after all, impel us to find courage and principle, and do what is right. Not what is easy or to personal advantage

As citizens (I merely project myself for the intellectual exercise; don’t worry too much about it), are we up to the challenge today?


President Quezon’s 1939 “Code of Citizenship and Ethics”

Here’s the link if you want to see them in color: Quezon’s Code of Citizenship and Ethics. Otherwise, merely read along.

1) Have faith in divine providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

Atheists and even secularists might object to the President calling for faith in divine providence, but God and His values explicitly underpin the Constitution. And most Filipinos are “of faith”. I interpret “faith” to be inclusive of every being, with “reason” being a form of faith’s expression. Beyond that, I don’t think the rule is needed. It’s like saying, “go forth and live well.”

2) Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affections, and the source of your happiness and well-being. It’s defense is your primary duty. Be ready at all times to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

This value combines two important ideas. One is to love your country, the other to sacrifice for the nation, if needed. President Quezon accurately read the tensions building toward World War II, and Filipinos did what he asked during that war.

This to me is a value that has slipped backward. I can’t get a reading of much willingness among ordinary Filipinos, or Filipino politicians for that matter, to offer patriotic sacrifice. Possibly the idea still exists among the military. But, generally speaking, I don’t “feel” much national unity or the kind of willingness to step up to the bar that I think President Quezon meant. Mostly I read of complaints and unbending opinions. Not of trust and respect.

Philippine media have a lot to do with this, I suspect.

In my presumptuous re-crafting of words, I would try to make love toward country more tangible and active by expressing it this way: “Honor your nation in all deeds.” In fact, that would be my opening value, replacing “faith”. The need to fight and die is “natural” in time of war, within that admonition. I think when love is expressed as an active process of honoring the nation always, people might reflect on whether or not being apathetic or corrupt or tossing trash on the road is really doing enough.

3) Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are obeyed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

This is actually an excellent statement of moral values, for the laws essentially codify the more important values and rules, defining right and wrong and allocating punishments.

It is also interesting that there is a demand for transparency here, or an obligation for citizens to make sure public officials are working honestly and forthrightly in the public interest.

Other than the legions of corrupt who have no moral conscience, and a false faith, the Philippines does quite well in this regard. The press are free, social media have entered the landscape, and checks and balances are levied daily. I do think that citizens don’t do enough to hold their fellow citizens accountable for good behavior, but perhaps the mandate to “Honor your nation in all deeds” will empower some people.

I’d leave this value statement pretty much as is.

4) Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but also obligations.

5) Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the majority.

These two guidelines seem “operational” to me, rather than expressing values. If we honor our nation in all our deeds, we will pay our taxes and we will make sure we vote and respect democratic outcomes. I think tax disciplines are loose, not because of citizen negligence, but the negligence of government agencies at establishing clear, enforceable rules and methods of payment. I’d drop both of these guidelines from the list.

6) Love and respect your parents. It is your duty to serve them gratefully and well.

Perfect. This is a Filipino strength, something special. I’d leave it just as it is stated.


UN formation 1942

The United Nations is formed in 1942 with Presidents Roosevelt and Quezon pictured together at the table, among other world leaders.


7) Value your honor as you value your life. Poverty with honor is preferable to wealth with dishonor.

8) Be truthful and honest in thought and action. Be just and charitable, courteous but dignified, in your dealings with your fellowmen.

These are related ideas  . . . both important . . . and I’d combine them. Before doing that, however, I would strike the statement about “Poverty with honor . . .” because it reads almost as a voice of entitlement lecturing the poor to stay poor and be happy about it. Number 8 states our personal obligation in a positive way.

9) Lead a clean and frugal life. Do not indulge in frivolity or pretense. Be simple in your dress and modest in your behavior.

The importance of “austerity” has been discussed in this blog at length. Humility is also generally recognized as a positive value. I have to laugh at the admonition not to “indulge in frivolity or pretense”, though, because, after all, the campaign season is upon us and there seems to be a lot of pretense about, and not much humility. If budding leaders cannot set the pace, what is the hope the nation’s peoples will be upright?

I’m not committed to frugality, either, as I believe in the energy for self improvement that is generated when one is rewarded with an easier or better . . . and less frugal life. There will be less poverty and misery when there is less frugality in the Philippines. I’ll keep this “personal values” guideline in the rules, but tweak the words a bit.

10) Live up to the noble traditions of our people. Venerate the memory of our heroes. Their lives point the way to duty and honor.

This again seems to mix two ideas. One is to take pride in the traditions and history of the Philippines, and the other is to venerate heroes and emulate them. Well, I tend to think that prizing history and culture and regional differences and languages is a good thing. But I also tend to think Filipinos do too much hero worshiping without really finding much to emulate while doing so. Rather, the emulation takes the form of singing karaoke and wishing to be on The Voice of the Philippines to make it big. Buying lottery tickets is a proxy for this.

 I’ll take the history/culture part and combine it with number 14 to be discussed shortly and let hero-lessons emerge naturally from honoring the Philippines in all deeds.

11) Be industrious. Be not afraid or ashamed to do manual labor. Productive toil is conducive to economic security and adds to the wealth of the nation.

12) Rely on your own efforts for your progress and happiness. Be not easily discouraged. Persevere in the pursuit of your legitimate ambitions.

13) Do your work cheerfully, thoroughly and well. Work badly done is worse than work undone. Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today.

These three guidelines seem to address one general value, to hold oneself accountable for working diligently. I shy from the admonition to “toil cheerfully” because, again, it seems to be the entitled telling the working poor to stop complaining and get back out to the sweating fields. I’d much prefer to set in mind the idea of self-improvement and accountability for honest work. It seems to me the biggest omission of the Quezon guidelines is the idea of creating opportunity for oneself and working for one’s well-being and prosperity. I’ll insert a new statement about self-development.

14) Contribute to the welfare of your community and promote social justice. You do not live for yourselves and your families alone. You are a part of society to which you owe definite responsibilities.

This speaks to citizen accountability to a variety of institutions other than immediate family, including, I suppose, one’s own church, the churches of others, charities, social organizations, schools, local governments, provincial governments and agencies of the National government . . . even the LTO and BIR (hehe). This means developing the gift of giving, or . . . as Wilfredo G. Villanueva might put it . . . the art of loving.

I’d strike the “You do not live for yourselves . . .” admonition as it contradicts a new statement to be inserted regarding self-development.

15) Cultivate the habit of using goods made in the Philippines. Patronize the products and trades of your countrymen.

This one could I suppose be wrapped up within the admonition to honor your nation in all deeds, but I’m leaving it in because it speaks to strongly to two needs that many seem to have forgotten about: (1) there are things that WE can do to improve the Philippines; it is not always up to others, and (2) we ought to stop punishing ourselves.

This is my favorite statement, actually, because of those two “ethical imperatives of the common man and woman”.

16) Use and develop our natural resources and conserve them for posterity. They are the inalienable heritage of our people. Do not traffic with your citizenship.

This is another citizen “fail”, I think. Fail at so many levels, and for sure at Executive over multiple administrations with disjointed and corrupt DENR, agriculture, fisheries and environmental efforts, and at the Legislature which finds it to their PERSONAL best interests not to address the NATIONAL interest by penning a National Land Use Act that stops the indiscriminate chopping up and peddling of the Philippines resources, which, are, after all, our children’s wealth.

Truly, one wonders how the highest representatives of democratic civility in the Philippines . . . the nation’s senators . . . can live with themselves knowing how negligent a body they collectively represent, and how their long-term coddling of the entitled and corrupt has defined the Philippines.

“Do not traffic with your citizenship.”  I wonder what that means to . . . say . . . Senator Poe. It is a strange statement, to me, and I suppose means don’t use your citizenship as a basis for stripping the Philippines bare. But it also seems to speak to loyalty, and commitment, to the nation. That is, we circle back up to the first guideline. So I shall leave it in to puzzle others and cause them to think a little bit.


JoeAm’s suggested “Revised Citizenship and Ethical Guidelines for 2015”

1) Honor your nation in all deeds.

2) Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are obeyed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

3) Love and respect your parents. It is your duty to serve them gratefully and well.

4) Value your honor as you value your life. Be truthful and honest in thought and action. Be just and charitable, courteous but dignified, in your dealings with your fellowmen.

5) Lead a clean, honest and helpful life. Do not indulge in frivolity or pretense. Be simple in your dress and modest in your behavior and demands on others.

6) Make education and personal development a lifetime goal. Seek and create opportunities for others to thrive. When you develop yourself and others, you empower the nation.

7) Live up to the noble traditions of our people. Contribute to the welfare of your community and promote social justice. You are a part of society to which you owe definite responsibilities.

8) Cultivate the habit of using goods made in the Philippines. Patronize the products and trades of your countrymen.

9) Use and develop our natural resources and conserve them for posterity. They are the inalienable heritage of our people. Do not traffic with your citizenship.


226 Responses to “President Quezon’s 1939 “Code of Citizenship and Ethics”, and the Philippines today”
  1. neo canjeca says:

    Abroad doing a PG study, my tutor handed me a book that tells almost everything about the Ifugao rice terraces. Quite recently I ask my, the other people Dad who tells me of the finger lakes of New England, whether he knows Saranac Lake and what about it, told him that’s where one of our former Presidents died. Here Joe Am is telling me, telling us about the great MLQ who sloganned his preference to a government in hell by Filipinos than one in heaven run by Americans. My point is I who is supposed to know it just learned about it now from Joe Am. GOOD JOB JOE AM–Before them bloggers of honor and dishonor rake it over the coals.

    • Joe America says:

      Hahaha, thanks, neo. The full quote was: “I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans….Because, however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.” He was making a statement about independence, not really about Americans.

      But I’m getting even just the same by editing his works . . . 🙂

      • neo canjeca says:

        Nitpicking Joe Am. Or plain splitting hairs. MLQ is pro-kano assuming probably politically correct that kano is capable of heavenly governance and sort of predicting correctly also that Pinoys will surely run the country like hell whatever. He was accurate predicting a tuwad repeat TUWAD na daan for Pinoys. Nevertheless MLQ was deepest and so far the only recoilless rifle of Philippines politics. Mar Roxas whose grandpa was MLQ’s contemporary could be an RPG to shoot ’em down to smithereens the heirs and descendants of those who made hay este hell of the last several decades.

        • Neo Canjeca says:

          Just read 520 plus comments in PDI on Binay allies desert UNA for LP and I realized I told me so come May 2016 because I have posted it here :
          September 27, 2015 or thereabouts:

          Start to accept it now. MAR ROXAS CAN BE RUNNING UNOPPOSED.

          If only opinion makers and media will go beyond reading between the lines and instead discern what’s behind events using selfless cold as steel reason: Mar Roxas will run unopposed come May 2016. MAR ROXAS will be the ONLY CANDIDATE and SURE WINNER in the presidential election.

          OH YEAH? How is that NONSENSE again, MAR ROXAS WITH NO OPPONENTS, you who must be dreaming in the pancitan. Well, who’s snoring all these months?
          It is not about the principle of the HIDDEN hand more like a statesmanship of the rare kind. PNoy’s track record is subtle, unpredictable, measured and calculating, prudent, humane, more apolitical than dirty politician.

          The wise, the optimists, the honest and the patriots MIGHT just LEAVE IT to him, to leave it to the physics of politics the fate of the succeeding presidency. Let the Officials and bureaucrats DO THEIR JOBS in accordance with their GOOD and not their BAD conscience. PNoy can crack the whip and BINGO Pinas is on its way to Tuwid na Daan. But he’s not likely to do it. Just as knowledge is not the monopoly of one man so also is love of country and heroism to keep the undeserved and unqualified. PNoy is he really giving others the honor to DO right by their country? Others in the government can just do it, ENSURE a clean and proper presidential election. What a joke, a clean and proper election with only one candidate? Why not even when the other candidates are first class clowns? Well, Widow Leni Robredo could win like, unopposed too.

          October 06, 2015

          How is that again wise guy? When Erap, Duterte, MIRRIAM, many others, etc. Could give Mar a run for his money? Siyanga naman. Of course naman politics is like basketball, the ball not the game. Wait for 2016 na lang, ha? Pero talagang walang kalaban eh!

          • Joe America says:

            On days when I think Mar Roxas might win, the sun seems somehow brighter and friendlier. If there were a golf course on Biliran I might take up the sport. Snarl at the caddies in fond remembrance of when the HONORABLE President Roxas was just a schmuck like the rest of us.

            But forgive me, I have forsworn politics in favor of more boring escapades.

      • sonny says:

        Joe, for so very long a time this quote from Quezon has prevented his being called the great Filipino – all because somebody committed the fallacy of malicious truncation on his powerful thoughts.

        • Quezon was a Filipino titan – youthful picture below. The other was Ramon Magsaysay.

          Rizal was the intellectual titan, his ideas tapped too little – even until now.

          • I remember reading in a book about how Quezon arrived in the United States as Resident Commisioner to represent the Philippines in Washington, regarding an article by an American newspaper which I paraphrase from memory: “Everybody half expected a wild man in loincloth. But instead a handsome, well-dressed young man with superior airs came out of the ship and down the gangway.”. I will have to look for accounts of his years in Washington which were not taught in history classes. For my Quezon biography article.

            But I will have to finish the China article first. Hardly any Filipino material exists on China. Nothing I know about Philippine-Chinese trade relations from the time of Tondo until now.

            Not even about Chinese migration to the Philippines. The different waves that came…

            • sonny says:

              Maybe China will use the Philippines as labor base to mine the Benham Plateau and Philippine rare earths to supplement its corner of the computer market?

              • Thanks for that input Sonny. And for the aspect of land-based natural resources which the Philippines continues to have in abundance. I overlooked these significant points.

                Plus the Philippines has gold deposits. Chinese are greedy for that like the Spanish were. Have to look into the data about Philippine mineral reserves. Didn’t know the Philippines has rare earths. Finally we are a gateway to the Pacific – the Chinese Nicaragua canal.

              • karl garcia says:

                why No more cheap labor in China?

              • sonny says:

                Nephew, under better circumstances I wouldn’t mind Chinese proprietary presence.

                Watching so many learning Filipinos in Baguio schools one time, I said a silent prayer that no minds be wasted at any time. At 10% yield from 100 million maybe geniuses can be surfaced to populate as supercitizens.

            • sonny says:

              Irineo, lots of rich material for this period (1898-1902):

              LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, (America’s forgotten bid for empire which cost 250,000 lives)
              by Leon Wolff, 1960

        • Joe America says:

          I think Irineo is about to make sure that gets rectified, and we’ll do our part to help.

      • I think that Quezon would have asked to change the schedule for Philippine independence if he had been still alive in 1945 and had seen the damage to his country. But tuberculosis finally got him – his being so driven was because he got it young and expected to die soon.

        The question is – would America have held on to the Philippines longer if they had asked? That is doubtful, because when Philippine independence was decided on in the 1930s, Filipino migration to the US was curtailed. It was the Great Depression, US jobs scarce.

        Anti-Filipino riots in California, laws against mixed marriages with Mexicans and Filipinos. Don’t think it was that much better in 1945, they delayed Independence which in 1935 was planned to be 10 years later just one year, 1946. Could be the US was glad about that, having Germany and Japan to take care of and rebuild as well, and Filipinos insisting on independence which as we have seen, they were not yet ready for. The 10-year plan would have worked if the war had not happened. Don’t know if extension was discussed.

        • sonny says:

          California looked on the Philippines as stiff competition to their agri-business (San Joaquin Valley). Abaca, coconuts, tobacco and sugar came to the mainland in exchange to using the colony as dumping market of finished consumer products, hence the absence of development of capital goods and industry in the islands. Manpower, copper & iron were available on industry scale development, hence the Japanese interest toward Philippine raw materials.

    • neo canjeca says:

      I said in a previous post that there are only four Filipinos of today: the lumads, the muslims, the espanols, and the merkanos. I like to be proved wrong by the proposition that ACTUALLY there are only two mental Filipinos who runs the government and the society like hell: the Espanols and the Kanos. They vie to decide who of them determine “who get what, where, when, and how much” . These two breed of Pinoys kowtow to foreigners same same as friends or foes; benefactors or predators. And make hay for their descendants.

  2. josephivo says:

    Some are specific to the nation, 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9, the others are universal, humanistic 3, 4, 5, 6, the supernatural is dropped.

    Don’t know if I agree with 8, smells protectionism. We live in a unified world. Instead: “Find what you are good at and produce the best there are.”

    The humanistic ones are a random set of all ethical values, why those? The ones we are good at or the ones we have to improve?

    • Joe America says:

      The exercise was to take an established set of citizenship and ethical guidelines taught in the schools and see if they applied. If the goal were to draft a new set of citizenship and ethical guidelines, that would be a different project, and one that would put me into the position of being a foreigner lecturing Filipinos on how to live their lives. I’m not selling the list of nine, although I would be inclined to sell number one, and sell it every which way for the next 15 years until it becomes a way of life.

      As for number 8, it had a certain utility in 1939 and I was struck by the utility in 2015 if relations between the Philippines and China continue to deteriorate. It has a specific, not universal, meaning.

      • I wonder when they stopped teaching those 16 rules in school. After the war? During Marcos days? Somewhere in between? Don’t remember any civic rules taught to us.

        • Karl garcia says:

          Let’s ask Neo,Sonny Nherrera.

          • Maybe they should also tell us when the massive influx of informal settlers from the provinces started. And when people started to live more and more in gated communities.

            Because I don’t think that was how it was even in the 1950s. There were rich people in Tondo who lived alongside the poor, but I think both were not so rich and not so poor. Economic every man for himself may have a lot to do with the lost sense of community.

          • sonny says:

            Sorry, Karl. Walang Civics classes akong maalaalang itinuro sa San Beda (1952-59).

            • This rules on ethics by ex Pres. ML Quezon is always being aired in English and Tagalog at DZAS 702 AM radio, a non sectarian evangelical radio station.

              Also, the English and Tagalog version of :


              Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

              As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all people.
              Speak your truth quietly and clearly;and listen to all
              even to the dull and ignorant;
              they too have their story.

              Avoid loud and aggressive people, they are vexations to the spirit.
              If you compare yourself to others you will become vain and bitter;
              there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

              Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
              Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
              it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
              Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
              But let not this blind you to the virtue there is;
              many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

              Be yourself especially do not feign affection.
              Neither be cynical about love;
              in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

              Take kindly the counsel of the years,
              gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
              Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
              But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
              Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
              Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself.

              You are a child of the universe,
              no less than the trees and the stars;
              you have the right to be here.
              And whether or not it is clear to you,
              no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

              Therefore be at peace with God,
              whatever you conceive Him to be.
              And whatever your labors and aspirations,
              in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

              With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
              it is still a beautiful world.
              Be cheerful.
              Strive to be happy.

              ~ Max Ehrman

  3. andrewlim8 says:

    I’m wondering if there were any Filipino thinkers in the past who were able to put down political philosophies in writing, organic ones which could have been applied to the creation of distinct political parties with specific ideologies. Were there any?

    For instance, were there any Filipino political thoughts devoted to government’s role in economic development – a common distinction amongst political parties abroad. Laissez faire or interventionist? Big or small govt? Heavy taxation or not?

    Otherwise we are stuck with the empty mind of a Pacquiao, the shallowness of a Poe, the deviousness of an Escudero, the evil design of a Marcos, etc. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      It seems that there are some concepts that fall outside the range of passion. For example, the new guideline I inserted about self development is aimed at capturing better the productive energies not just to build an economy but to build an employment system that is dedicated to raising the most talented and productive into management positions. It falls absolutely on deaf ears. It is the most amazing thing to me that it seems that the ENERGY that capitalism represents for growing skills and productivity completely escapes the nation. You can shout it into people’s faces and they don’t grasp it.

      “It’s not the way we do things here, Joe.”

      Yeah, okay. Pacquiao for Senate!!!!

  4. andrewlim8 says:

    Grace Poe: “Itutuloy ko ang sinimulan ni Fernando Poe Jr.” (I will continue what FPJ had started.)

    This is what Fernando Poe Junior started:


    No, your eyes are not fooling you and I did not forget anything.

    If our organic political thought amounts only to “breakfast, lunch and dinner are the only important issues” which Grace Poe’s adoptive parent uttered, then where are we headed? 🙂

    • FPJ was a good actor. Maybe she thinks politics is acting. Maybe she is even right?

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Politics is all about acting. They do not show who they really are.
        A character in front of the public with all political correctness …
        And another character in the household with all brutality on their houseslaves ….

        Their houseslaves rises at 4:30a.m. to cook for the slave masters …
        … they eat after the master havve
        … they do not have breaktime
        … they do not have lunch time
        … they do not have sick time
        … they do not have vacation time
        … they cannot get sick and must not get sick
        … they cannot have period cramps
        … they cannot have headaches
        … they do not have full 24-hour weekends off
        … they are fed left-overs
        … they are thrown slippers


        I bet Korina Sanchez will fight for houseslaves … on second thought …. that is for the public to sea ….. and what they cannot see … FIRST, THEY HAVE TO PROVE IT !!! Sounding more like The Binays.

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          Oh, I forgot …. Houselsaves sleep late at night …. among the hampers and dirty laundries

          • Ours have their own private room, they sleep at 9:00 pm, rest when chores are done, watch TV with us, dine and have snack with us, and accompany us in our swimming and outdoor trips, with regular whole day off on Sundays, and with SSS and Philhealth coverage, we send separate medical assistance (not considered loan) to their families during emergencies. They’re part of the family sharing jokes and laughter…KAPAMILYA, KASAMBAHAY.

            • Joe America says:

              I believe there is a sliding line between what I would call “urban policies”, which are yours, and “provincial policies”, which are characterized by MRP. The line has provincial policies moving more toward urban, and that will increase as the economy picks up speed and the cheapskates are forced to actually start taking care of their help, lest they end up with none.

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          … after the slave amster gone to sleep after long hours of saving the Philippines from Chinese drafting laws to protect the workers and lawmakers … she went thru the dirty laundries … sort the silks … the whites … and the coloreds … it is already late at night …. time to sleep … before resting her tired old hands and aching back …

          … she laid prostate before photocopied image of her God. She asked for deliverance from slavery, servitude and abuse … she prayed out loud … calling all the saints …

          After she finished her prayers from her heart, when she covered her body with hand-me-down bullet-riddled blanekt … the slave mistress banged on her door, “BA’T TULOG KA PA, ALAS KWATRO EMEDYA NA HINDI KAPA NAKA HANDA NG BREAKFAST !!! ”

          That is the life of the houseslaves … PLEASE PRAY FOR THEIR DELIVERANCE FROM PERPETUAL SERVITUDE …. 24/7/365 no laws to protect them in the land of the Republic of the Philippine Islands the ONLY ROMAN CATHOLIC COUNTRY IN ASIA.

          I read in the papers sometime back it happened in Mactan Island. It was Sunday. The slave masters came from CHURCH SERVICE. The houseslave burned a hole in slavemaster’s Levi’s Jeans. The house mistress, took out the still hot flat iron and FLAT IRONED THE FACE OF THE SLAVE.

          I wonder whatever happened to it?

          Who will fight in favor of these dregs of society?

          • karl garcia says:

            You must have been a good treat your servants right.

            • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

              Yes, I am a good “master”. This is where my Roman Catholic wife and I get into an argument. She thinks I’m giving them too much slack. She is alluding that I got a crush on one of them. She totally got it wrong. Just doing the right thing American-style.

              My roman catholic wife wanted me to be STRICT with them. What is there to be strict about? They are doing their job right.

              Talking about “STRICT” I noticed Filipinos do not want to be strict to anyone. I was pulled over by Binay’s Makati Cops for unsafe lane change. I was ticketed. My wife said, “why do they have to be strict?” “Naku, ang ekstiktu!” WHAM ! Oh, by the way, this happened couple of nights ago … that got me thinking …. “STRICT” and “DISCIPLINE” are bad words to Filipinos.

              No wonder the laws in the Philippines are applied like plastic, ELASTIC. Laws should not be applied STRICTLY !!! That is what causing EDSA Traffic Gridlock, policemen are afraid to give tickets else they’d be accused as “STRICT”.

              Singapore is progressive because the Chinese Singaporeans are STRICT !!! Toss a gum, they’d be drag to [prison. A weed punishable by firing squad. Not in the Philippines because authorities must not be STRICT !!! That is why Filipinos are not DISCIPLINED. They cannot be DISCIPLINED because they are not STRICT.

              That is all for now, Karl. There are maid/helpers in our neighborhood wanted to apply. There are long lines. Why me? Because they heard I am good man. Helpers-with-Benefits-and-Social Security as required by law.

              I went to Social Security to check if they have stats of Maids/Helpers given Social Security. As usual, this government office does not have statistics like other government offices.

          • chempochempo says:

            Among my siblings and my extended families I was the first to employ a live-in domestic helper and over the years have had 4 Pinay and 2 Indonesian helpers. We never ever called them maids but domestic helpers. “Maid” has a derogatory master-worker relationship tone, “domestic helper” has an employer-employee relationship. Over time, my siblings and many members in my extended family engaged the services of live in domestic helpers. None of us ever treated these workers in even the slightest hint of what MRP described. There were accorded full respect due to any human being, in fact more like family members. Of course there was some chiding for work not done, just as any manager would their erring staff members. They are provided workmen’s compensation insurance coverage, eat the same as whatever we eat, often at the same table and same time, joins us in restaurant meals, given their birthday treats, sometimes we give something for them to send back for their kids’ birthdays, on the rare ocassions where their families back home met with tragedies (such as accidents, typhoon damage to houses) we pass the hat and collect some cash for them to remit home. Mind I say, we are not the only ones. Many other ordinary families are just like us. Thus I tend to think MRP is highly exxagerating the situation here in Philippines. Can Filipinos be so unkind to their own? It’s difficult to believe.

            • As usual, MRP is exaggerating, that is his style, or maybe he treat his domestic helper that way, joke….

              We treat our kasambahay in much the same way we treat yours, chempo. We went the extra mile by advancing her 3 year salary which she used for a small business, and was able to purchase more agricultural land in her hometown Davao from the income from that business. She will be back there with her own family, just this October 15th.

              • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

                @chempo, first day domestic helpers report for work they are told “tayo para tayong pamilya …… anong kakainin namin, kakainin n’yo” But that is only said than done … They are not really part of the family and not treated like family …..

                We give our helpers an option to go on vacation to their hometown with pay and round trip ferry ticket (to make sure they return to work 🙂 ). Their health is my concern, too! If we have inihaw they have inihaw. If possible we eat together. I bus our plates. I never ever disturb them while having lunch. Of course, the fringe benefits, they can watch AlDub in the comfort of their room with soft beds and bed sheets. I provided them electric fans.

                I wake up early in the morning. I prepare my own coffee. Have a smoke. The maids would tiptoe after shower (yes, they have their bathroom with shower and tabo) “Kuya, anong lulutuin nnatin?”

              • chempo says:

                Nice to know that, MRP. We play our small little parts to make other people’s lives more bearable. That makes our own lives a little more meaningful.

          • Raul Sandoval says:

            Dregs of society? That was callous of you to say. I believe you are treating them right, but calling your household help as houseslave isn’t appropriate. Don’t you think so?

            • Joe America says:

              Raul, Rule #1 to reading MRP is not to take him literally. He exaggerates to make the point. His point is not that HE considers househelps to be the dregs of society, but that SOCIETY treats them that way. He opposes treating them that way.

        • Joe America says:

          That’s an exaggeration. Sometimes they sneak breaks.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Here are the things that I like about Mar that supercedes all the ills of his wife, Korina Sanchez

        1. He looks real …
        2. I know he is not acting …
        3. I like his hair, uncombed …
        4. He doesn’t have that snooty snob character
        5. He looks like your next door parents in Tondo ekeing out a living
        6. There are times he shoots from his lips but not often, well, he is human
        7. He is not stylish unlike Duterte, Dick Gordon and Chiz and Trillanes and Cayetano
        8. If Mar is lined up against all of #7, Mar would look like your average waiter
        9. Of course, he will SUCCEED Benigno Aquino that told the world that Cory Aquino is only second to Grace Poe, meaning, he will SUCCEED and PROCEED all Benigno’s HONESTY PROGRAM.

        Here is what I wanted to ask Mar …
        1. Come clean with Maid-Gate
        2. Do not hire U.P. graduates
        3. De-fund U.P.
        4. Investigate U.P.
        5. Since Mar and Solita studied in the U.S., they should know about law of evidences not law of witnesses and affidavits

        Since we already have BENIGNO’s LEGACY OF HONESTY …. It is ripe time for Mar to build his own LEGACY …. HUSTISYA MATUWID AMERICAN STYLE which Benigno failed miserably, which in fact, Benigno perpetuated this looney HUSTISYA MATUWID PHILIPPINE STYLE.

        After all said and done … we all marry opposite of ourselves … we marry a partner what we are lacking …. Mar did just that.

    • Neo Canjeca says:

      In the shadows of the mind I see G Llamanzares as a beautiful M Pacquiao. Manny somehow realized the likes of an American Dream, while Grace is dreaming to give long nightmares to the Filipinos. The Filipinos more Espanol than Kano always go for the underdog, the unlucky, the unfortunate like the clueless moths seeking scorch by the flame as Filipinos become all of the above.

      Oh yes what it was during my grade school days, those days are not nowadays. Different times different songs, live, laugh, love so differently, there were fewer media deodorized lust childs, fake foundlings, bastards and SOBs. It was enough for us to have clean clothes and fingernails in the classroom, to have good manners and right conduct to make us and our teachers law abiding citizens. Why? Firecrackers they say drive away evil spirits and flesh and bones beings. World War II seemed to make evil hibernate. Not now, evil glories and worship the sound of bombs and gunfire, the feel of crisp dollars . . . in the gyrating loins of macho men and the undulating bellies of belles.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Cory Aquino, mother of Benigno, is SECOND ONLY TO GRACE POE ! Cory must be turning in her grave.

      Leni existed before Grace Poe. Aquino&Mar wooed Grace. Grace dumped them. They wooed Leni. Leni accepted. She is running for VP for Mar&Aquino…

      … then …. “AQUINO LIKENS LENI TO CORY” – Tabloid Inquirer

      TRANSLATION: Grace is first, Leni&Cory is second Because Aquino&Mar wooed Grace first and Leni Second.

      • “Did you vote for Cory Aquino, if you did, I will shoot you in the head” and proceeded to shoot the walls of the restaurant where they ate and drunk, then left together with his friends without paying – oh my! If this is true, then the roles FPJ portrayed in the silver screen are the exact opposite of what he really was. He really was a Marcos die hard loyalist, he and all the members of his family and friends are… I echo your question to Grace Poe’s handlers – “Is this what she means to finish? If the news of what they did to Sheryl Cruz are true, what will her presidency be like, if that could be done to a relative who dared speak against her running, how will they treat all other critics?

  5. Thanks for the article. I love it!

    This is my favorite: “Value your honor as you value your life.”

    Do we have people in the government who still stand for their honor? It seems that most of them do not care anymore. Unfortunately, they always choose convenience. 😦

    • neo canjeca says:

      “Value your honor as you value your life.”
      like a smart aleck, twist it a bit and you got to think:
      value your life more than honor, because you can have
      all the honor but without a life what’s an honor for?
      ISN’T it the reason for admonishing someone to have a life?
      Someone should tell bad politicians : you scum of the bath tub,
      go have an honor.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, great, Johnny. Yes, I developed a liking of President Quezon. He is the only President I know of that worked on the matter of character directly. I think the Marcos era wiped out his good works, and, indeed, a lot of government creatures lack honor and integrity. They POSTURE it, but don’t live it.

      • sonny says:

        Joe, the yrs 1942, 43, part of 44 were dark times for the Filipino clan & nation, family members had to live under the conquerors’ feet. Heroes were in the hills and in hiding and eventually captured and executed; sheep & goats had to fend for themselves in town; Filipino fiends roamed the countryside. The good guys who escaped Bataan & Corregidor ended up as bands eking survival, the lucky ones eventually formed the ragtag groups that became the eyes & ears of Southwest Pacific Command.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, when I first arrived in the Philippines I was briefed by a man who was a child of 11 or 12 at the time, and he recounted how they hid in the trees on the mountainside whenever a convoy of Japanese came through. Some childhood. Others were not so lucky, I know.

          • sonny says:

            I own a hard bound copy of this monograph:

            The Bad Guerrillas of Northern Luzon: a Memoir of the Japanese Occupation in the Philippines Unknown Binding – 1982

            by Ernesto Rodriguez (Manila journalist stranded in the Ilocos during WWII)

            • My father rarely spoke about WW2, but he did tell us about how he witnessed the Japanese blow up Ayala bridge and then laugh, imitating small chinky eyes doing so, and how he ran to a textile factory and hid under some clothes to cry – he was 11 years old.

              My mother – this is something he probably told her – told me about how villagers had to witness executions of guerillas after Sunday mass in the village poblacion. My lolo’s family moved back and forth between Manila and Albay, my grandfather Atty. Irineo Salazar was both guerilla and rice smuggler, helping feed Manila, and making money for his children in the process – also something only my mother told me. It hurt too much for Filipinos to talk.

              The executions were done by Japanese officers with a katana – a samurai sword which is the sharpest blade, similar to that of Swiss knives. Can you imagine my father’s fear of seeing his father suddenly in the line-up, in case old Irineo was in the hills near Tiwi? Or if he happened to be in the town, it could always happen that the Makapili traitors, wearing baskets on their heads like spies in manga comics referring to the Tokugawa age, could point him out just like that, and he would be executed too? To cries of O Showa Banzai, Showa being the term for the rule Emperor Hirohito? This is what happened then folks.

              • chempo says:

                War is a time when men do their best to do their worst. My parents too suffered under the Japs. At checkpoints they get people to do monkey tricks of all sorts, prey on women folks etc. My dad was bayoneted, in through the abdomen, and out the back. (They had extra long bayonets). He feigned death, they gave him a couple of kicks and left. My dad used his sweatshirts to bundle up his intestines which flowed out and a kind samaritan took him to hospital. Miraculously he survived to a ripe old age. One can forgive, but never forget.

  6. 1) Honor your nation in all deeds.


    As you well know by now, I’m not a big fan of institutionalized, outward, shallow expressions of patriotism. To me it’s dangerous, it’s what happened post-9/11.

    That “all” is problematic for me. I know where you’re coming from and in this blog we are basically building a country from scratch. But that “all” is too “Chinese” for me.

    It’s unquestioning, sounds too Borg-like.

    I don’t know if Ireneo has written about the issues brought by Ernesto on the other thread, but I’d rather hear counter-points posed against the party-line, than be pro-anything or anti-something, especially when it comes to China– this should n’t be a black & white issue, but calculated.

    Or how about a blog to de-construct Ernesto‘s points raised.

    1. But a nation should be subjected to all questions and/or criticism,

    3. same with parents ( some are useless, w/ 4 you’re essentially taking care of 3, just not mandating it like Moses ) and

    2. a written document ( in the US, FOX-tards carry around the US Constitution like it’s some sacred document, they are usually the literalists when the whole point of our Constitution, and why so short, was that the Founding Fathers left it to the next generation to be adjusted and re-interpreted ).

    4, 5, 6, 7 are the only ones I can back 100%,

    while 8, 9 might have unintended economic consequences, ie. use national resources wisely, instead of going too Cascadia on us ( though I’m a Cascadian by heart ).

    • 1. But a nation should be subjected to all questions and/or criticism.

      Just ensure that this is solutions-based, focus on lessons-learned for the greater good, and should not simply be for whining and for politics.

    • Haven’t written on Ernesto’s points yet, even if I saw them. My article was already done, and I still have to do some additional research and editing before I release it with delay.

      As for 1), I would replace it Always be loyal to the nation..

      Loyalty does not necessarily mean unquestioning obedience.

      As for 2), the Filipino Constitutionalists who treat the 1987 Constitution as Gospel and Koran at the same time annoy me as well. And there are moments where the government is not my government anymore. In fact that is what bugged me when I first read the article – I know that kind of rhetoric from the Marcos dictatorship. I would replace it with Always uphold the rule of law, human dignity and democracy.

      Because I can never accept a Constitution, laws or government that undermine these 3.

      As for 3) I think this is a private matter not to be regulated by the State, just like God.

      4 and 5 Be forthright and helpful. is simpler. Don’t like the connotation of modesty in the Filipino context, which may mean don’t dare question certain things or don’t dare to outshine those higher than you. Quezon wasn’t all too modest himself. 🙂

      6) Learn and teach. Teach and learn. Develop yourself and enable others.

      7) Contribute to the community and promote equal opportunities.

      8 and 9 out because my new definition of 1) already contains them.

      These 5 principles are in fact those by which I already live by over here…

      • Be forthright and helpful. Fulfill your commitments. Value people. is how I extend this one. I was still missing some components.

        • This 5ive,

          I’m on board.

          • Thanks LCPL_X. Let me summarize, with one addition.

            Always be loyal to the nation. Show pride in it in what you do.

            Always uphold the rule of law, human dignity and democracy.

            Be forthright and helpful. Fulfill your commitments. Value people.

            Learn and teach. Teach and learn. Develop yourself and enable others.

            Contribute to the community and promote equal opportunities.

            Joe is right about the Marcos days destroying our values. This is what I realized when reading the Quezon civic values. Marcos distorted words in an Orwellian way. Which is why I took care to use in words without dictatorial shadings. Very difficult.

            War is peace, ignorance is strength – the latter could be the Fox-tards motto BTW. Honor is obedience to the dictator and ratting on those who oppose him, could be FM-speech.

      • Joe America says:

        A nice distillation, reconciliation and revision.

        “Always be loyal to the nation” to me is more passive than “Honor your nation in all deeds.” It does not get people to think about what they are doing, like when tossing trash out the bus window.

        It is crucial, crucial, crucial to me to try to figure out ways to pump up national unity and dedication, because it is so important to ridding the land of corruption, trafficking, drug dealing, smuggling . . . etc.

        • I have given you the answer one posting above. Marcos destroyed the meaning of nearly every English word – in a truly Orwellian way.

          Do I honor the nation by betraying my high school classmate who is still an NPA commander, my former KM comrade who helped me, possibly even saved my life?

          By the Marcos definition of honor, I would have to rat on him. Technically I might be not helping the law by keeping what I might know to myself. But morally I think it is correct.

    • Joe America says:

      Perhaps cite an example of when it is okay not to honor the Philippines and maybe I’ll agree with it. I can’t think of any myself.

      I’d welcome the calculation on China, but I doubt I am the guy to do it, as I harbor untoward feelings toward Chinese leaders and their policies and statements. Ernesto is providing only one side of the case, for sure.

      Wow, you leave out 1, 2 and 9, which in a nutshell cover loyalty to nation, law-based civility and care of the environment and resources. Those seem like rather huge omissions to me. I agree 3 and 8 are expendable, but caretaking the elders is unique in Philippine society, and necessary as long as the nation is impoverished. Otherwise, we’d have a lot of old starving people about. Buying Philippine goods can be tossed, I agree, but only if 1 is retained and if efforts are made to encourage ordinary people to work to build their nation.

      I’m afraid your retaining 4, 5, 6 and 7 would not really accomplish what I’m trying to accomplish, build a stronger patriotic unity. You seem to object to unity because of the 9/11 after affect, so you’d prefer the status quo? Every man for himself?

      The Philippine democratic experience and life cycle is very different than America’s. Values are different. Needs are different. Solutions can’t be based on the American experience, but on what the Philippines is missing and needs to build.

      • “9, which in a nutshell cover loyalty to nation, law-based civility and care of the environment and resources.”

        Ireneo‘s got it down pat. Whittled down, elegant and parsimonious.

        For me 9 was the most problematic. I’m a Luddite at heart. I look at a humanure toilet and think that’s a great idea. If I was President of these United States, I’d double and triple National Parks. My default setting is not to build but live within the confines of nature.

        All this week, I’m participating in harvesting wild acorns. If the acorn has a hole, or still has its crown, it’s bad so leave it on the ground. Only California indians made acorn their staple, other natives thought it too time consuming.

        Grind it to a flour and make pancakes or soup, these are simple pleasures. During the harvest/forage we’ll be picking up and ID’ing native plants to add to the menu. How many people in the Philippines can ID local fauna & flora, know which are edible and medicinal, be familiar with their other uses?

        But I digress. That’s me. If people like me ran the show, we’d never get off the Earth– colonize other planets, capture comets & mine iridium, harness other forms of enery, etc . So I defer the use of these resources to wiser and smarter guys ( I’d be too content with unbridled nature as is ). People like Elon Musk or Pippa Malmgren.

        These people are thinking more of the Earth as,

        And view natural resources as something that will propel us to greater heights, much like the Kardashev scale,


        “Perhaps cite an example of when it is okay not to honor the Philippines and maybe I’ll agree with it. I can’t think of any myself.”

        The “all” deeds was my issue. Honor’s fine.

        Since the Philippines hasn’t really been in a position of strength, I can only cite American examples where honoring “all” deeds led us to places we didn’t have to go, ie. Gulf of Tonkin (Vietnam), and yellow cake/Agent Curveball/Chalabi (Iraq). Of course, hindsight’s always 20/20 or better, but these were information readily available at that time, just missed ( by accident or on purpose ).

        Hence the need for cynicism and skepticism.

        All deeds need to be tested,


        “Solutions can’t be based on the American experience, but on what the Philippines is missing and needs to build.”

        I know that. I’m coming from a lessons-learned from the US angle, where too much patriotism leads to group-think and bad decisions. The Philippines isn’t there yet, but if/when it becomes a true partner ally, they’ll have to have a more nuance and sophisticated view of patriotism– healthy doses of skepticism/cynicism is a must.

        Gen. Smedley Butler ( USMC ) thought us that.


        “You seem to object to unity because of the 9/11 after affect, so you’d prefer the status quo? Every man for himself?”

        The status quo over here is that more vets of these wars are more cynical and skeptical of people like Dick Cheney and Samantha Power, and others with executive authority. A questioning and knowledgable citizenry is what I envision.

        People who are cynical/skeptical of their gov’t, but don’t do anything to change it, are dead weight. But cynical/skeptical people who push and prod their gov’t, now that’s the basis of democracy. The more of these, the better.


        • Joe America says:

          “Hence the need for cynicism and skepticism.” Yes, but those are exceptions, discovered mainly in hindsight, and for the cynicism, or the exception, you are throwing out the rule. Your values are indeed strong, for you, but . . . trust me . . . Filipinos have a different set, and if a new set is not articulated and seated then the current irresponsible rampage across land and seas and humanity will continue. Keep the skepticism in the form of a demand transparency and the application of diligence to actually study things, but I think it would be a mistake to let the Philippines drift without much sense of a national conscience.

          • We definitely have a good difference in optics here. I’ll defer to your more nuanced understanding of the Filipino mind.

            Now for the application of this code.

            Will this be said in school, everyday before class? I liked reciting our Pledge everyday before class began, ( though it didn’t really mean anything, ’til I actually joined the Marines ). Is there a Filipino equivalent? Something that’s now recited everyday.

            Though Quezon’s code and your newer version, reminds me more of, . The new Marine Raiders have a similar Creed, though I’m not sure if they recite it as religiously as Army Rangers do– I doubt it. Marines maybe be cult-like, but we like simple stuff, hence God, Country & Corps works just fine.

            I remember on my first deployment, our legal officer, who was some hot shot Major from Marine JAG, Ivy League trained, handed our Colonel the ROEs for deployment. And our Col. having read it, said something like, ‘this is excellent legal treatise on foreign engagements, worthy of examination and study for posterity, but my 18 yr old Marines have to be able to understand it.’

            Whittled down. The legal officer’s ROEs essentially was this, ‘act locally, think globally’.

            So these things, pledges, creeds, codes, rules, etc. have to be used and applied. They can’t simply just hung on walls collecting dust. How to apply ’em effectively is key. I don’t think Filipinos and Marines– in this regard– differ so much, simple goes a long way.

            • Joe America says:

              Yes, a pledge (patriotic oath) is cited by Filipino kids. I hadn’t thought about application as I was just focused on content. I wouldn’t envision it being recited, but rather studied in a civics class in perhaps 7th grade and again in 12th so that students can hopefully relate better to what it means to give to their nation. I don’t think mindless recitals do that. Two years in public service might work better.

              • Can you imagine what two years in Customs would do to decent people? 🙂 What is needed is a core team where there is not one rotten apple. This core team must train other core teams, with really heavy supervision.

                Filipinos can be good at acting tidy when bosses are around. They are used to doing that, did it with the Mexicans who basically ran the country until 1815, learned a lot of bad habits from them as well. Did it even more with Spaniards, then Americans. You need people who are straight but know the nuances and subtleties of how Filipinos play. In order to give them no chance to break out. Six months intense training under heavy supervision then two more years with refreshers to keep from backsliding into old habits.

            • karl garcia says:

              Semper Fi!

  7. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Joe, please, please excuse me for being out of line!!! I am just giddy happy about Mar’s pronouncement in today’s paper:

    “WHY? Did he steal anything?” – Mar Roxas on alleged Jail-Binay Plot

    First off, I am not pro-Binay. I am pro-Justice. Pro-Justice does not mean Pro-Binay in my vocuabolary.

    2ndly, Benigno has cemented his legacy as the MOST HONEST PRESIDENT the Philippines has ever had. I did not say “COMPLETELY”, I said “MOST”

    3rdly, Since Mar SUCCEEDS Benigno, Mar has to build his own legacy: HUSTISYA MATUWID which Benigno failed BUT NOT MISERABLY.

    4thly, Mar will be continue GOVERNANCE BY HONESTY as he promised to Benigno in addition he will build a legacy of HUSTISYA MATUWID !!!

    Mar is right! Binay is not proven to have stealed YET ! Let the slow justice roll. It is not the fault of Benigno. It will not be the fault of Mar. But Mar is working on fast-track evidenced based justice system. In Cebu, as read from CebuDaily, fast track justice by justice-on-wheels is now implemented. Yes, JUSTICE-ON-WHEELS ! They go from municipality to municipality to mete out efficient justice system.

    Never heard of it? Now you have heard of it. They have Court-on-wheels !!! Isn’t that awesome?

    I know anti-Binays will have none of Mar’s comments. I know they will attack Mar. Hold on to your horses, Mar! The Filipino people just needing educating. But, Mar, it is not you who educate the Filipino people on justice …. IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE FUNCTION OF PHILIPPINE MEDIA WHICH THEY HAVE FAILED MISERABLY!

    WAY TO GO, MAR !!!! You have my vote like from the beginning.

    Oh, Mar, are you sending subtle message to me? Are you asking me if I have proof on the beating of a helpless defenseless powerless uneducated commoner houseslave? Nonetheless, IT IS A GOOD START OF OUR RELATIONSHIP.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, as per usual, you read things upside down, but it’s okay as we come down with the same conclusion. I thought Mar Roxas leveled a giant-killer with his statement, putting to rest the idea that he is too goody goody to confront Binay’s misdeeds. He was impeccably sarcastic. His speeches have also been laced with genuine humor which signifies a good comprehension of the people about him, and a loseness different from the sacks of grain. When we start to understand that he is actually a playful guy, behind the serious demeanor, it absolutely causes the stereotypes to dissolve. Even hauling sacks of rice or directing traffic in the rain fit. He’s just him. He’s not you, or me, or anybody else. And he is of very high character. Maybe not perfect, but pushing the envelope.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Why Tabloid Inquirer asked Mar is beyond my comprehension. Mar is not DOJ. Mar is not SC. Mar is Interrior Secretary. Interior Secretary does not issue arrest warrant. Tabloid Inquirer and the rest of the Philippine Media was asking the wrong person

        Well, Tabloid Philippine Media are ignorant people. They should ask DOJ. Mar should have directed these ignoramuss to DOJ. He should have ignored them in the first place.

        As expected it was Binay’s ruse. Because Filipinos love underdog. IF BINAY WAS ISSUED A SEARCH WARRANT Binay would likely turn himself in busing in naive Philippine Media bristling with telephotos.

        If DOJ did that, BINAY WILL BE WHISTLING TOWARDS MALACANANG WINNING BY A LANDSLIDE just like Trillanes who campaigned from his jail cell.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        As former Human Rights lawyer, Binay knows how to win Malacanang. He will pay someone to have himself arrested more so his entire family …

  8. karl garcia says:

    All of this honor Binay will say is instilled in the boy scouts of the philippines.

  9. karl garcia says:

    Sense of community exist when your community hides a criminal or a rebel.

    • karl garcia says:

      Gossiping on your neighbors is a sense of community.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Gossiping is a social event, like, going to church is not about spirituality but dressing up, watching girls and men go by, look pious hoping they snag a girl … church service is a social event.

  10. The 2nd World War was a time of bravery I feel that this code was forgotten, victim of the Not Invented By My Administration malady.

    As PNoy is entering the last phase of his presidency I think he should expend some effort in creating enduring things such as this code.

  11. karl garcia says:

    Every show on tv is said to instill values even if it is about a cheating husband,a criminal,dysunctional families,teen pregnancies…..

  12. karl garcia says:

    For Rotary,The Four-Way Test is the corner stone of all action…..
    1. Is it the truth?
    2. Is it fair to all concerned?
    3.Will it build goodwill and better friendship?
    4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

  13. karl garcia says:

    From a forwarded quote in facebook.

    Before they call us citizens,now they call us taxpayers.

  14. josephivo says:

    Don’t know… it feels so much as the preaching during retreats, I still smell the incense, the dim candle light, the “you are big boys now”….

    1. Is it too old fashion? Do the millenniums and current teenagers think this way?

    2. Is it double-up: the church ethical guidelines 10 Commandments, humanistic guidelines, school, company… up to my Boy Scouts oath?

    3.Was my own behavior ever guided by ethical guidelines? I don’t remember, or was it unconscious?

    4. Aren’t dreams more recruiting then rules? Shouldn’t nation-building be carried by promoting common dreams?

    5. Isn’t the future more global? “Be a good Filipino to be a good citizen of the World.”

    Principles and teaching principles effectively to the next generation. (Not to us, the nostalgic previous generation). Where are the new marketing guys?

  15. karl garcia says:

    Scout Oath (or Promise)

    On my honor I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country
    and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong,
    mentally awake, and morally straight.

    Scout Law
    A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,
    courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty,
    brave, clean, and reverent.

    • karl garcia says:

      i copied from the site of commonwealth of dominica

      Here are some notable examples of civic responsibilities. It is the responsibility of citizens

      to take action wherever they can to improve their own economic, cultural and social development, and to promote self-reliance ;
      to give a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay;
      to act with integrity, sharing with others, caring for others, promoting sound values, and guiding the next generation;
      to participate actively in affairs that affect them by joining with others to create resources and facilities in their communities, and
      to build leaders in their communities by identifying and nurturing people who can take responsibility for themselves and for other people.
      Civil Society organizations also have civic responsibilities and a role to play in building and moulding good citizens. In order to do this they –

      should help to create a good society by educating people in issues relating to active citizenship;
      should play a central role in making citizens aware of their rights and responsibilities, and prepare them to undertake those rights and responsibilities;
      should build community leadership through facilitating access to information and training, and
      should play an effective role in promoting a strong, capable and responsible Civil Society which is able to work in partnership with an active and equally responsible State.
      In view of the unequivocal obligations imposed on all States by universal human rights instruments, it is the responsibility of governments –

      to uphold the constitution and ensure that fundamental human rights are guaranteed and observed;
      to enable citizens to participate effectively in governance through freedom of expression and the media, freedom of association and assembly, and the right to information in all its forms;
      to ensure the full practical realization of human rights including the economic, cultural, environmental, and social rights of all citizens with particular attention to disadvantaged groups such as children and the physically challenged.
      to work with citizens and Civil Society organizations to ensure equal opportunities, and the equitable distribution of the resources of the State;
      to sustain the physical, natural and human resources of the country; and invest in the infrastructure and other services that will enable citizens to develop appropriate economic and social ventures;
      to create an enabling legal and political environment for the smooth functioning of Civil Society organizations;
      to develop and implement measures, which involve Civil Society organizations and citizens, to avoid maladministration and ensure transparency and credibility in the body politic;
      to share information, consult citizens and encourage debate on matters of national concern, so that citizens may be in a position to hold public leaders and officials accountable for their actions, and
      to demonstrate tolerance of dissent. In this regard it is imperative that whether or not the voices are appreciative or critical, informed or ignorant, narrow or holistic, precise or vague, they have a right to be heard. Disagreement must not be treated as either a sin or a crime.

    • Karl garcia says:

      Yes,in Binay we Trust!

  16. edgar lores says:

    1. Sixteen. I wonder why sixteen. While sixteen is even, it is odd to have sixteen rules in a code.

    2. I guess it’s because it’s more than an ethical code. More than the Ten Commandments and Mabini’s Decalogue, both from which it is derived.

    3. I would categorize the 16 precepts as follows. The number in parentheses indicates how many precepts are in each category.

    3.1. Religio-faith (1): Precept (1).
    3.2. Religio-ethical (3): Precepts (6), (8) and (9).
    3.3. Civic-general (8): Precepts (2), (3). (7), (10), (11), (12), (13) and (16).
    3.4. Civic-specific (4): Precepts (4), (5), (14) and (15)

    4. Religio-faith. This is a bow to the first of the Ten Commandments, the Preamble and Article I of the US Declaration of Independence; and the first four of Mabini’s Decalogue.

    5. Religio-ethical. Precept (6) is the Fifth Commandment and Precept (8) is the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Commandments combined. Precept (9) is not part of the Ten Commandments but is the gospel of Salvation by Austerity as deduced by LCpl_X and as noted in the blog.

    6. Civic-general.

    6.1. Precept (2). This is Mabini’s fourth commandment. I would leave the phrasing of the main precept as is. This is love as agape. I object to the phrase “the source of your happiness and well-being” as being untrue.

    6.1.1. With respect to the hierarchy of loyalties, I find it fascinating that Mabini ranks Country after God and honor. To me as a secularist, God and honor are the same and both form Conscience. But Mabini totally ignores the World construct – that is both humankind, Earth’s environment and international law — which I would position after Conscience but before Country.

    6.2. Precept (3). In modern parlance, this upholds the Rule of Law.

    6.3. Precept (7). Honor is also referenced in Mabini’s fourth commandment. I read this less as being pro-poor and more anti-corruption. This is an interesting one in the historical context of Aguinaldo’s cupidity, treachery and perhaps complicity in the assassination of Bonifacio and Heneral Luna. It is interesting to this day in the ascendancy of corrupt leaders and our lack of principles. I think Quezon had more than an inkling of the lack of honor in the national character.

    6.4. Precept (10). I do not know that there was much noble tradition and history when this code was written. I stand to be corrected.

    6.5. Precept (12). Ah, the virtue of self-reliance. This mirrors Mabini’s sixth commandment. It is significant in the context of history as the whole of Quezon’s being and ambition was for the country to become independent. It is significant to this day given our culture of patronage, nepotism, cronyism and mendicancy.

    6.6. Precepts (11) and (13). While Precept (11) is aligned with the biblical verse of “Whatsover thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,” this teaching, alongside with Precepts (13) and (15), go to the economic well-being of the nation.

    6.7. Precept (16). I must say this is forward looking even before sustainability as a term became conceptualized in the 1980s.

    7. Civic-specific.

    7.1. Precept (4). Hah, taxes, the second certainty in life.

    7.2. Precept (5). This precept shows how deep the idea of democracy had sunk into the national consciousness. It parallels Mabini’s seventh and eighth commandments. Again, in the historical context, this might be in reaction to Aguinaldo’s shenanigans at the Tejeros Convention and possibly in the 1935 presidential election. Was Aguinaldo the first vote buyer? This precept is of utmost importance as we have witnessed how Marcos perverted elections, how GMA stole democracy, and how the Amaptuans murder political rivals. As Election 2016 nears, are we still dominated by guns, goons and gold?

    7.3. Precept (14). This precept of community is the counterpart of Precept (12) self-reliance. Between the constructs of Family and Country, we should also be loyal to the intermediate construct of Community. It’s relevant – and instructive — how Leni (Robredo) was conflicted among the three constructs and what her decision was.

    7.4. Precept (15). It was President Garcia who institutionalized this precept in his policy of Filipino First. In Australia, there is a website that identifies Australian made products and there is a continuous campaign to patronize local goods.

    8. Definitely, this code should be updated and I endorse the notion that it should be taught in civic classes.


      Mabini’s decalogue (I did NOT mention Heneral Luna the movie yet in this thread. I must not let down LCPL_X, so I am doing it now. There was a major social media ruckus about a young woman in the cinema who asked why Mabini never stood up – really great):

      First. Thou shalt love God and thy honor above all things: God as the
      fountain of all truth, of all justice and of all activity; and thy
      honor, the only power which will oblige thee to be faithful, just and

      Second. Thou shalt worship God in the form which thy conscience may
      deem most righteous and worthy: for in thy conscience, which condemns
      thy evil deeds and praises thy good ones, speaks thy God.

      Third. Thou shalt cultivate the special gifts which God has granted
      thee, working and studying according to thy ability, never leaving the
      path of righteousness and justice, in order to attain thy own
      perfection, by means whereof thou shalt contribute to the progress of
      humanity; thus; thou shalt fulfill the mission to which God has
      appointed thee in this life and by so doing, thou shalt be honored,
      and being honored, thou shalt glorify thy God.

      Fourth. Thou shalt love thy country after God and thy honor and more
      than thyself: for she is the only Paradise which God has given thee in
      this life, the only patrimony of thy race, the only inheritance of thy
      ancestors and the only hope of thy posterity; because of her, thou
      hast life, love and interests, happiness, honor and God.

      Fifth. Thou shalt strive for the happiness of thy country before thy
      own, making of her the kingdom of reason, of justice and of labor: for
      if she be happy, thou, together with thy family, shalt likewise be

      Sixth. Thou shalt strive for the independence of thy country: for only
      thou canst have any real interest in her advancement and exaltation,
      because her independence constitutes thy own liberty; her advancement,
      thy perfection; and her exaltation, thy own glory and immortality.

      Seventh. Thou shalt not recognize in thy country the authority of any
      person who has not been elected by thee and thy countrymen; for
      authority emanates from God, and as God speaks in the conscience of
      every man, the person designated and proclaimed by the conscience of a
      whole people is the only one who can use true authority.

      Eighth. Thou shalt strive for a Republic and never for a monarchy in
      thy country: for the latter exalts one or several families and founds
      a dynasty; the former makes a people noble and worthy through reason,
      great through liberty, and prosperous and brilliant through labor.

      Ninth. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: for God has imposed
      upon him, as well as upon thee, the obligation to help thee and not to
      do unto thee what he would not have thee do unto him; but if thy
      neighbor, failing in this sacred duty, attempt against thy life, thy
      liberty and thy interests, then thou shalt destroy and annihilate him
      for the supreme law of self-preservation prevails.

      Tenth. Thou shalt consider thy countryman more than thy neighbor; thou
      shalt see him thy friend, thy brother or at least thy comrade, with
      whom thou art bound by one fate, by the same joys and sorrows and by
      common aspirations and interests.

      Therefore, as long as national frontiers subsist, raised and
      maintained by the selfishness of race and of family, with thy
      countryman alone shalt thou unite in a perfect solidarity of purpose
      and interest, in order to have force, not only to resist the common
      enemy but also to attain all the aims of human life.

      ————————————————————————————————- – my pentalogue:

      Always be loyal to the nation. Show pride in it in what you do.

      Always uphold the rule of law, human dignity and democracy.

      Be forthright and helpful. Fulfill your commitments. Value people.

      Learn and teach. Teach and learn. Develop yourself and enable others.

      Contribute to the community and promote equal opportunities.

      I think is simpler and clearer. Five is the maximum number of things the Stone Age part of the brain can truly remember. LOYALTY/PRIDE, LAW/DIGNITY/DEMOCRACY, HELPFULNESS/COMMITMENTS/PEOPLE, LEARN/TEACH/DEVELOP/ENABLE, COMMUNITY/EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES. Had to be careful with the word because like in Orwell, the Marcos era destroyed the meaning of many words. Ignorance is strength… 🙂


      Plus my pentalogue is not that “square”. I would pardon a smuggler if he works as a spy against the Chinese or sabotages one of their installations. He has then redeemed himself.

      After all Han Solo first got a medal from the Republic. Then he became a General.

  17. karl garcia says:



    First. Thou shalt love God and thy honor above all things: God as the
    fountain of all truth, of all justice and of all activity; and thy
    honor, the only power which will oblige thee to be faithful, just and

    Second. Thou shalt worship God in the form which thy conscience may
    deem most righteous and worthy: for in thy conscience, which condemns
    thy evil deeds and praises thy good ones, speaks thy God.

    Third. Thou shalt cultivate the special gifts which God has granted
    thee, working and studying according to thy ability, never leaving the
    path of righteousness and justice, in order to attain thy own
    perfection, by means whereof thou shalt contribute to the progress of
    humanity; thus; thou shalt fulfill the mission to which God has
    appointed thee in this life and by so doing, thou shalt be honored,
    and being honored, thou shalt glorify thy God.

    Fourth. Thou shalt love thy country after God and thy honor and more
    than thyself: for she is the only Paradise which God has given thee in
    this life, the only patrimony of thy race, the only inheritance of thy
    ancestors and the only hope of thy posterity; because of her, thou
    hast life, love and interests, happiness, honor and God.

    Fifth. Thou shalt strive for the happiness of thy country before thy
    own, making of her the kingdom of reason, of justice and of labor: for
    if she be happy, thou, together with thy family, shalt likewise be

    Sixth. Thou shalt strive for the independence of thy country: for only
    thou canst have any real interest in her advancement and exaltation,
    because her independence constitutes thy own liberty; her advancement,
    thy perfection; and her exaltation, thy own glory and immortality.

    Seventh. Thou shalt not recognize in thy country the authority of any
    person who has not been elected by thee and thy countrymen; for
    authority emanates from God, and as God speaks in the conscience of
    every man, the person designated and proclaimed by the conscience of a
    whole people is the only one who can use true authority.

    Eighth. Thou shalt strive for a Republic and never for a monarchy in
    thy country: for the latter exalts one or several families and founds
    a dynasty; the former makes a people noble and worthy through reason,
    great through liberty, and prosperous and brilliant through labor.

    Ninth. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: for God has imposed
    upon him, as well as upon thee, the obligation to help thee and not to
    do unto thee what he would not have thee do unto him; but if thy
    neighbor, failing in this sacred duty, attempt against thy life, thy
    liberty and thy interests, then thou shalt destroy and annihilate him
    for the supreme law of self-preservation prevails.

    Tenth. Thou shalt consider thy countryman more than thy neighbor; thou
    shalt see him thy friend, thy brother or at least thy comrade, with
    whom thou art bound by one fate, by the same joys and sorrows and by
    common aspirations and interests.

    Therefore, as long as national frontiers subsist, raised and
    maintained by the selfishness of race and of family, with thy
    countryman alone shalt thou unite in a perfect solidarity of purpose
    and interest, in order to have force, not only to resist the common
    enemy but also to attain all the aims of human life.

  18. karl garcia says:

    • karl garcia says:

      Truth justice,freedom,equality and peace still need enabling laws.
      Anti-dynasty,National land use,FOI,BBL…

  19. karl garcia says:

    Laws of the Code of Kalantiaw Edit

    The entire Code of Kalantiaw:[7]

    Article I

    Ye shall not kill, neither shall ye steal nor shall ye hurt the aged, lest ye incur the danger of death. All those who this order shall infringe shall be tied to a stone and drowned in a river or in boiling water.

    Article II

    Ye shall punctually meet your debt with your headman. He who fulfills not, for the first time shall be lashed a hundredfold, and If the obligation is great, his hand shall be dipped threefold in boiling water. On conviction, he shall be flogged to death.

    Article III

    Obey ye: no one shall have wives that are too young, nor shall they be more than what he can take care of, nor spend much luxury. He who fulfils not, obeys not, shall be condemned to swim three hours and, for the second time, shall be scourged with spines to death.

    Article IV

    Observe and obey ye: Let not the peace of the graves be disturbed; due respect must be accorded them on passing by caves and trees where they are. He who observes not shall die by bites of ants or shall be flogged with spines till death.

    Article V

    Obey ye: Exchange in food must be carried out faithfully. He who complies not shall be lashed for an hour. He who repeats the act shall, for a day be exposed to the ants.

    Article VI

    Ye shall revere respectable places, trees of known value, and other sites. He shall pay a month’s work, in gold or money, whoever fails to do this; and if twice committed, he shall be declared a slave.

    Article VII

    They shall die who kill trees of venerable aspect; who at night shoot with arrows the aged men and the women; he who enters the house of the headman without permission; he who kills a fish or shark or striped crocodile.

    Article VIII

    They shall be slaves for a given time who steal away the women of the headmen; he who possesses dogs that bite the headmen; he who burns another man’s sown field.

    Article IX

    They shall be slaves for a given time, who sing in their night errands, kill manual birds, tear documents belonging to the headmen; who are evil-minded liars; who play with the dead.

    Article X

    It shall be the obligation of every mother to show her daughter secretly the things that are lacivious, and prepare them for womanhood; men shall not be cruel to their wives, nor should they punish them when they catch them in the act of adultery. He who disobeys shall be torn to pieces and thrown to the caymans.

    Article XI

    They shall be burned, who by force or cunning have mocked at and eluded punishment, or who have killed two young boys, or shall try to steal the women of the old men (agurangs).

    Article XII

    They shall be drowned, all slaves who assault their superiors or their lords and masters; all those who abuse their luxury; those who kill their anitos by breaking them or throwing them away.

    Article XIII

    They shall be exposed to the ants for half a day, who kill a black cat during the new moon or steal things belonging to the headmen.

    Article XIV

    They shall be slaves for life, who having beautiful daughters shall deny them to the sons of the headman, or shall hide them in bad faith.

    Article XV

    Concerning their beliefs and superstitions: they shall be scourged, who eat bad meat of respected insects or herbs that are supposed to be good; who hurt or kill the young manual bird and the white monkey.

    Article XVI

    Their fingers shall be cut off, who break wooden or clay idols in their olangangs and places of oblation; he who breaks Tagalan’s daggers for hog killing, or breaks drinking vases.

    Article XVII

    They shall be killed, who profane places where sacred objects of their diwatas or headmen are buried. He who gives way to the call of nature at such places shall be burned.

    Article XVIII

    Those who do not cause these rules to be observed, if they are headmen, shall be stoned and crushed to death, and if they are old men, shall be placed in rivers to be eaten by sharks and crocodiles.

    • Some historians now believe that the Code of Kalantiaw is a fake…

      but it might have some truth in it – replace headmen with entitled and you have impunity.

      • ARTICLE XII reminds me of MRPs posting on maids / “houseslaves”.

        There were in fact two kinds of slaves in pre-colonial Philippines (this is confirmed by reputable historians like William Henry Scott):

        aliping sagigilid = slaves living at the edge (inside the house, MRPs house-slaves) and aliping namamahay = slaves with their own place. In Visaya “uripon” and “hayohay” – source: historical teleserye “Amaya” which had advisers…

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          I would have paid our helpers Php4,500.00 with Social Security but my Roman Catholic wife set the pay. Php3,000.00 with yearly incremental increase. Look, I may be noisy here but I’d rather keep my mouth shut when my wife open her mouth. I said, “OK, Php3,000.00 is reasonable with yearly increase and Social + AlDubs + vacation”.

      • sonny says:

        The Code of Kalantiaw is now considered a fake. Its modern provenance has been traced by Philippine historian William Scott.

        • karl garcia says:

          Yeah,it is a hoax,what if it was not an urban legend,would pinoys turned out to be disciplined and law abiding?

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            How can Filipinos be DISCIPLINED and LAW ABIDING when they do not want authorities to be STRICT !

            “Ang STRICT naman sa Singapore” Or, “masyadong EKSTRIKTA ang asaw ni Mariano” “Naku ang estrikto yung mga traffic enforcer sa EDSA mga walang hiya”

            That is DISCIPLINE and STRICT do not go hand in hand in the Philippine setting, like, AMBITION and SUCCESS.

          • It is like I have already told you Karl – because they did not form a state by truly by themselves, but always adopted things given to them by others or by the elite which is a continuation of colonial rule – the slaves of yesterday became the tyrants of tomorrow, exactly what Rizal predicted in the Fili. PNoy is like his nickname says probably the first from the elite who truly identifies with his own people – who often do not thank him for it.

   – the Swiss by contrast had the most organic development of their nation – from an oath by rebels to defend their freedom together, to a pact between the three original cantons of Switzerland, to the present Swiss Constitution which any layman can understand. Because in Switzerland citizens can vote on anything and must vote on important matters – like the trade and border agreements with the EU.

            If one looks very closely, one will notice that the first Swiss constitution, the pact between the three cantons, does not fully fulfill the intention of the rebels, saying even man must continue to serve his overlord. And if one knows Swiss history, the canton of Bern did not follow the principles of democracy – it conquered neighboring areas and subjected them to its military control, especially the French and Italian parts of Switzerland. But eventually the principles of the beginning prevailed. Just like they did in the US which abolished slavery and later outlawed racism. The guiding spirit matters, the rest one can figure out.

            So the question is: what are the principles we would want as Filipino “comrades in oath” to use the Swiss term for citizen. Ano iyong nag-iisang panata na ininais nating lahat isumpa?

            Mula doon, maari nating pag-isipan ang magiging Saligang Batas, dahil alam na natin ang mga prinsipyo o saligan para sa Batas. Knowing the basic principles that count, we can even think of a new Basic Law or Constitution. A simpler one, based on true consensus and not something grafted on all of us by ambitious politicians who wanted to make an exercise in perfection. But that is another step. Making new codes – civil, penal etc. that embody the consensus is the next step. But if the country (civic principles), the constitution and the laws become something created by the people, with the people and for the people like the Americans say, they will be followed by most and enforced by many.

            • Full Federalism for the Philippines would not work, but I have another proposal:

              – each barangay has a representative in the to-be-created Council of Barangays in every province. The barangay captain is like now elected directly by the populace.

              – in each province, the Council of Barangays elects X representatives to the to-be-created Council of Provinces which shall replace the Senate. How many depends on Population.

              – The Provincial representatives are answerable to the Council of Barangays. The datus, I mean barangay captains are answerable to the common people in their barangay.

              Now if you are saying it needs Cha-Cha, yes it does. But the way to go about it is simple:

              – the Constitutional Convention shall be formed in a similar way to the to-be-created Council of Provinces – X representatives elected by a Provisional Council of Barangays within each province. They report intermediate results to their respective prov. council.

              – the council of barangays per province suggests things and checks its Con-Con people. The people in each barangay discuss with their barangay captains about progress.

              – the final draft of the Constitution is decided upon by a nationwide referendum.

              This would be the beginning of the formation of a national consensus on the country and on the Constitution. From there, laws made by a system the people have created themselves would be seen as the legitimate Vox Populi. It would change things greatly.

              • karl garcia says:

                I like the idea of Swiss pancit cantons. I mean Swiss direct democracy. Here congressmen are always absent,they only submit their voluminous bills on the first day of the session.(I am allowed to exaggerate too!)

            • karl garcia says:

              America may have a short constitution ,but their laws before signed were encyclopedic bills!

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        1. Code of Kalantiaw was deemed written in 1913
        2. Even National Geographic swallowed hook and sinker in Mindanao’s pre-historic stone age Filipinos.
        3. If you do not mind my repeating, EDSA REVOLUTION was a hoax, too !
        4. So was Emilio Aguinaldo.

    • Joe America says:

      It scares me into submission, for sure. Daggers and finger flying . . . stoned and crushed . . . old men eaten by politicians . . . nothing subtle here . . .

      • Article XIV

        They shall be slaves for life, who having beautiful daughters shall deny them to the sons of the headman, or shall hide them in bad faith.

        Sounds like “do you know who I am”? Where is your beautiful daughter?

  20. NHerrera says:

    From BrainyQuote, I picked this up:

    At the descriptive level, certainly, you would expect different cultures to develop different sorts of ethics and obviously they have; that doesn’t mean that you can’t think of overarching ethical principles you would want people to follow in all kinds of places.

    — Peter Singer

    In this rapidly shrinking digital and nuclear-armed world, I believe there is a crying need for a universal “overarching ethical principles.” Principles that China and the Philippines can agree on and follow in their relationships???

  21. edgar lores says:

    I find Quezon’s Code less remarkable for its content than for the fact that it was written.

    I have noted before that the generation of lawmakers in the first six decades of the Twentieth Century — between Aguinaldo and Marcos — were real and principled patriots. Diokno. Tanada. Recto. This was the generation born before the fin de siecle.

    I think the spirit of the times was that of a new beginning, of being able to fashion the path and destiny of a new nation.

    The generation of lawmakers born in the first halt of the Twentieth Century were recidivists modeled after Aguinaldo. I continue to wonder why the silver threads in the national fabric were broken, and why the coarse fibers became dominant. Marcos. Erap. Macapagal.

    Perhaps some enterprising historian will tell us why. I have a suspicion that the chaos and anarchy of WWII had something to do with it. It tore apart the new strands before they could be fully woven into the national fabric, and laid bare the thin cultural underlay.

    Hopefully, the post-WWII generation, starting from PNoy, will find and hold fast to the silver threads that we know are there.

    • Joe America says:

      I find it remarkable for its effort to make the nation’s citizens accountable to some bigger ideas. I think Marcos took the nation 180 degrees the opposite way, and thus, WWII plus Marcos . . . no chance for the ideas to set as a cultural foundation. I agree, the chance now exists to get back to the Quezon ideals.

    • I camE across this article and it got me thinking…Binay fought Marcos but he succumbed to Marcos’ ways of plundering and scheming when he got the taste of power. He, the former human rights lawyer, was corrupted by power he wouldn’t let go. If only he did let go, there could be hope for him, finding himself and his former principles again.

    • President Magsaysay was born in 1907, President Garcia 1896, President Macapagal (Gloria’s father who was in office before Marcos) in 1910. Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1917.
      The war broke out in 1942. Magsaysay was 35, Garcia 48, Macapagal 32, Marcos 25.

      It could really be the war that had an effect. Marcos and those around him were really young men when it broke out. All others were over 30 and more or less fully formed.

      In my blog I place the end of the post-colonial American era with the end of Ramos’s term. He was the last President to have consciously experienced the colonial American period. He had been to Westpoint. Cory was born in 1933, she still saw some of it as a child.

      The war plus losing the compass that had been how it was during American colonial times, in a society where that compass had not yet had much time to be internalized by everyone – without any true Filipino compass to replace it. Starting with Erap things got much worse.

      Noynoy was shaped by his personal experience, which is why he struggled to better things. Mar was shaped by that as well, a little less directly but also. Maybe that could be the legacy of Noynoy – to define a Daang Matuwid Codex for Filipino citizens. To set the parameters by which the country is to live by and for the next president to rule by. Because as of now Daang Matuwid is not precisely defined. Defining it would help give continuity. Because as we have seen here, none of the postwar Presidents used Quezon’s code, not even Manong Sonny was taught anything like that in class. So how could it be internalized?

  22. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Jeeez, Never heard of 1939 Code of Citizenship and Ethics from Manuel Quezon until Joe came along. What I heard of Manuel Quezon III was:

    “I’d rather have the Philippines run by Filipinos (Manuel was not, he was a remnant of colonizers) like hell rather than run by Americans like heaven”

    Manuel knew Philippines were ran like heaven by Americans (after anti-American Heneral Luna was murdered, anti-American Filipinos vanquished) he’d rather not the Filipinos succeed to be ran by Filipinos running it like kindergartners to hell. Manuel’s famous quote was very prophetic. It applies to this day.

    For 400 years, Filipinos never had a taste of what it was like running a country by themselves. They wanted to try it. So, they ratified to be independent from colonizers and colonial mentality. They failed … and failed MISERABLY. To this day, OJT presidents after Intern apprentice presidents THEY ALL FAILED. Except Marcos and Benigno from a spectrum of despot to presidency by apprentice. One destroyed by his kleptomanic wife and the other celibate president not by choice women just simply dumped him. He ws even dumped by Grace Poe! And in public !

    The Citizenship and Ethics of Manuel is just awesome. These are NATURAL ethical and survival codes. These are already built in and hard wired in every babies born. Manuel just found words to it and expressed it in written form. It is like “air”, we breath it but did not know until someone said it is what is making us alive breathing in “air”. Like, God-Give-Us-Will because in REALITY GOD HAS NO CONTROL OVER US. Like, Satan-Did-It and Filipinos-are-Lazy, because God cannot control violence and Filipinos. Very convenient. Very smart. It is the environment that makes Filipinos not succeed. Once they are in America they became successful, they became nurses the highest attainable career so far … as usual, they are also in politics from Bellflower to Carson in California, in fact, there is a highest ranking Filipino in the White House. She is a cook. OK …. she is a chef … but still a cook.

    Why is Code of 1939 not known until Joe’s is beyond me. Why it is hidden from us is a mystery. Well, UP Hitorians cannot even reconstruct history accurately. Philippine history is based on hand-me-down stories and myth with no proof or evidences.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Late reply again, my apologies.

      “This speaks to citizen accountability to a variety of institutions other than immediate family, including, I suppose, one’s own church, the churches of others, charities, social organizations, schools, local governments, provincial governments and agencies of the National government . . . even the LTO and BIR (hehe). This means developing the gift of giving, or . . . as Wilfredo G. Villanueva might put it . . . the art of loving.”

      Strange how bad things (Binay) and good things you do return to you in your lifetime. When I was president of that huge subdivision which had no respect for the homeowners’ association before my term, I endeavored to turn things around. Being an advertising man, I knew the power of words, so I had printed in all our stationery our slogan which was

      Love works.

      That was like two decades ago. Sometimes i ask myself what had happened to the seed I planted? And then JoeAm put it mightily: “. . . as Wilfredo G. Villanueva might put it . . . the art of loving.” Yes! I still carry the message even if few thanked me. It may have changed or transformed few Filipinos but it definitely made a lasting impact on me. No other power in the world can set the Philippines right. Not genius, not genetics, not name recall, not Americans, not the Chinese, nothing and no one. Only love can set things right in the beloved country.

      And I didn’t know that MLQ had a code for the Filipino. Been there, done that, but didn’t know about the code of ethics or of citizenry. Had to take a foreigner among us to mine the depths of our forgetfulness and emerge with a mother lode. Thanks for this, Joe.

      One more thing, let me take you back to James Fallows’s “A Damaged Culture” (1987):

      “It seems to me that the prospects for the Philippines are about as dismal as those for, say, South Korea are bright. In each case the basic explanation seems to be culture: in the one case a culture that brings out the productive best in the Koreans (or the Japanese, or now even the Thais), and in the other a culture that pulls many Filipinos toward their most self-destructive, self-defeating worst.”

      Love trumps culture, is all we can say. AlDub you Philippines! Bayan muna bago sarili! Mano po, Heneral Luna.

      Long live La Solidaridad II!


        the theme song of Heneral Luna sings about “nag-iisang panata” which we are trying to find right here – the one oath to bind us all like the Rütlischwur binds the Swiss.

        And it sings about love of country, about fearnessness and willingness to defend – it is a modern-day version of Bayang Magiliw, whose sense many of us have forgotten.


          The shaft that killed Gessler ignites the signal fires of revolution, and at daybreak peasants and workingmen are tearing down the prisons. In one they find Bertha; they rescue her just as burning timbers are about to fall on her. The liberated peasants, with Ulrich and Bertha among them, now throng Tell’s home with the cry: “Long live William Tell, our shield and saviour!” Bertha, greeting the commoners as comrades, asks to be accepted into their League of Freedom. Her request is granted and she gives her hand to Ulrich. He proclaims: “And from this moment all my serfs are free!”..

          Jose Rizal, the famous Philippine revolutionary nationalist and author, translated the drama into his native Tagalog in 1886, having drawn much of his literary and political inspiration from Schiller and his works. During the 19th century, William Tell inspired many freedom fighters, e.g. in Italy and the Russian Empire.

 – Approximate English translation of the Rütlischwur. Switzerland is called “Eidgenossenschaft” to this day: a community bound by one single oath which was made in the Middle Ages, 13th century or something like that.

          We want to be a single People of brethren,
          Never to part in danger nor distress.
          We want to be free, as our fathers were,
          And rather die than live in slavery.
          We want to trust in the one highest God
          And never be afraid of human power.

          • – here is the definition of the Eidgenossenschat, the oath fellowship that Switzerland is called until today. And citizens are called Eidgenossen – Comrades by Oath. Could come straight out of Lord of the Rings.

            Eidgenossenschaft (German pronunciation: [ˈaɪtɡəˌnɔsənʃaft]) is a German word meaning confederation. The term literally translates as “oath fellowship”. An Eidgenossenschaft is a confederacy of equal partners, which can be individuals or groups such as states, formed by a pact sealed by a solemn oath. Such an alliance could be either time-limited or unlimited (or “eternal”). An important characteristic is that the partners were always considered equal, in contrast to the oath of fealty in feudal societies with their strict hierarchies. As a political term, it is used most often as a synonym for Switzerland, whose official German name is “Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft”, usually translated as Swiss Confederation. The oath referred to is the Rütlischwur, the three men recorded as taking the oath on August 1, 1291 historiographic tradition are the Three Confederates (Drei Eidgenossen).

            An Eidgenosse (literally: comrades by oath) is a member of an Eidgenossenschaft, and is an expression for “Swiss citizen”.

            • – this is the founding charter of Switzerland, exhibited in Swiss archives – a later copy but authenticated:

              The Federal Charter or Letter of Alliance (German: Bundesbrief) documents the Eternal Alliance or League of the Three Forest Cantons (German: Ewiger Bund der Drei Waldstätten), the union of three cantons in what is now central Switzerland. It is dated in early August, 1291 and initiates the current August 1 national Swiss holiday. …

              It should rather be seen in the context of chapter 15 of the Golden Bull of 1356, where Charles IV outlawed any conjurationes, confederationes, and conspirationes, meaning in particular the city alliances (Städtebünde), but also other communal leagues that had sprung up through the communal movement in medieval Europe.

     – this is the English translation of the Latin original, the original Swiss constitution so to speak:

              For the common good and proper establishment of peace, the following rules are agreed :

              In view of the troubled circumstances of this time, the people and communities of Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden promise to assist each other by every means possible against one and all who may inflict on them violence or injustice within their valleys and without.

              Each community shall help the other with every counsel and favour and at its own expense in the event of any assault on persons or goods within and without the valleys and to this end have sworn a solemn oath to uphold this agreement in confirmation and renewal of a more ancient accord.

              Every man shall continue to serve his overlord to the best of his abilities.

              The office of judge may not be obtained for any price and may only be exercised by those who are natives or resident with us.

              Any dispute amongst the Confederates shall be settled by the most prudent amongst us, whose decision shall be defended by all.

              Those who commit murder shall themselves be put to death. A murderer who flees may never return. Those who protect him shall themselves be banished from the valley until they are recalled by the Confederates.

              Those who maliciously injure others by fire shall lose their rights as fellow countrymen, and anyone who protects and defends such an evil-doer shall be held liable for the damage done.

              Any man who robs a Confederate or injures him in any way shall be held liable to the extent of his property in the valleys.

              The property of debtors or sureties may only be seized with the permission of a judge

              Every man shall obey his judge and must if need be indicate the judge in the valley before whom he must appear.

              Any man who rebels against a verdict and thereby injures a Confederate shall be compelled by all other Confederates to make good the damage done.

              War or discord amongst the Confederates shall be settled by an arbiter and if any party fails to accept the decision or fails to make good the damage, the Confederates are bound to defend the other party.

              These rules for the common good shall endure forever.

              Done with the seals of the three aforementioned communities and valleys at the beginning of August 1291.

              Now that is a simple and clear Constitution.

              I like the bolded treaty of mutual defense between the communities.

              I also like the simple definition of what a judge should truly be.

              • – the present Swiss Constitution:

                The preamble and the first title of the Constitution determine the general outlines of Switzerland as a democratic federal republic of 26 cantons governed by the rule of law.

                The preamble opens with a solemn invocation of God in continuance of Swiss constitutional tradition. It is a mandate to the State authorities by the Swiss people and cantons, as the Confederation’s constituent powers, to adhere to the values listed in the preamble, which include “liberty and democracy, independence and peace in solidarity and openness towards the world”.

                The general provisions contained in Title 1 (articles 1–6) define the characteristic traits of the Swiss state on all of its three levels of authority: federal, cantonal and municipal. They contain an enumeration of the constituent Cantons, affirm Cantonal sovereignty within the bounds of the Constitution and list the national languages – German, French, Italian and Romansh. They also commit the State to the principles of obedience to law, proportionality, good faith and respect for international law, before closing with a reference to individual responsibility…

                Title 2 contains the Constitution’s bill of rights. The 1874 constitution contained only a limited number of fundamental rights, and some of them grew less significant as the 20th century wore on, such as the right to a decent burial guaranteed in article 53 of the old constitution. In consequence, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court’s extensive case law developed an array of implicit or “unwritten” fundamental rights, drawing upon the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and applying the fundamental rights guaranteed in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which Switzerland ratified in 1974.

                In the course of the 1999 constitutional revision, the Federal Assembly decided to codify that case law in the form of a comprehensive bill of rights, which is substantially congruent with the rights guaranteed in the ECHR, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

                Title 2 also covers the essential rules on the acquisition of Swiss citizenship and of the exercise of political rights. Furthermore, it contains a number of not directly enforceable “social goals” which the state shall strive to ensure, including the availability of social security, health care and housing.

                Now that is a modern KISS constitution. The Swiss who are used to referenda wanted something the normal citizen can understand and decide on. Referenda in some villages still go by the old rule – meet at the town square under the sky, WITHOUT WEAPONS. Referring to democracy as self-control in not resorting to violence against one another, discuss peacefully instead. So it may have been a bit different in the Middle Ages.

      • “Without Love (There Is Nothing)” by Tom Jones

        To live for today and to love for tomorrow
        Is the wisdom of a fool
        Because tomorrow is promised to no one
        You see love is that wonderful thing that the whole wide world needs plenty of
        And if you think for one minute that you can live without it
        Then you are only fooling yourself

  23. – I have added to my pentalogue two more phrases: “TRUST YOURSELF” – because trust in God was the old, religious way of finding trust in oneself. And: “FEAR NO OPRESSORS” – because the human power that is to be feared is that of oppressors. Those who trust themselves and never fear shall be free, since to quote Heneral Luna in the movie: “ang taong may damdamin ay hindi alipin” – those with feelings are never slaves.

    Always be loyal to the nation. Show pride in it in what you do. Trust yourself.

    Always uphold the rule of law, human dignity and democracy. Fear no opressors.

    Be forthright and helpful. Fulfill your commitments. Value people.

    Learn and teach. Teach and learn. Develop yourself and enable others.

    Contribute to the community and promote equal opportunities. – thank you Wilhelm Tell for this inspiration:

    We want to trust in the one highest God
    And never be afraid of human power.

    And to Ebe Dancel who composed this wonderful rock ballad for Heneral Luna:

    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

    English translation:

    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

    But let us always remember Oscar Wilde’s adage, because while love is what makes us feel there is something worth fighting for, passion makes us fight for it, it is viciousness we need to WIN:

    patriotism is the virtue of the vicious

    • – Viciousness does not unable to feel love – on the contrary it can mean passionate defense:

      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.

      From Will, one who carries love and passion, vicious when needed. Hangga’t maari, iiwas sa dahas – as long as I can I will avoid viciousness, like Ebe Dancel is singing.

      • The trilogy that Jerrold Tarog is planning about Philippine history:

        Heneral Luna – opposed Aguinaldo and died because of it

        Heneral Del Pilar – loyal to Aguinaldo and died because of it

        Manuel Quezon – left Aguinaldo and finally completed the Republic

        Quezon was shaped by the Revolution and learned from its lessons. He made his code of citizenship based up Mabini’s Decalogue. Mabini was also tragic, because he was the smartest and most diplomatic of all the Revolutionaries – maybe because of his condition?

        One must wonder what lessons Quezon learned from Mabini, but also from watching all the others die while he was Aguinaldo’s Lt aide-de-camp. And what lessons he learned from watching the Americans while he was in Washington to represent the Philippines.

        – father was a Spanish colonial soldier

        – UST law dropout (to join the Revolution)

        – surrended to the US in 1900

        – worked for the American press

        – finished his law studies and bar exam

        – public service in various functions

        – elected Tayabas governor in 1906 (now Quezon province)

        – elected to the Philippine Assembly in 1907

        – Resident Commissioner to the USA in Washington, 1909-1916

        – Senate President from 1916 to 1935

        – secured the passage of the Tydings-McDuffie Independence Law in 1934

        – became Commonwealth President in 1935 – against Aguinaldo (National Socialist Party)

        One must admire Quezon’s patience in achieving what he saw the people around him failed to finish – establish a Republic. And attempt to give it a code of citizenship.

        • sonny says:

          Irineo, the trilogy must be written from the point of view of an EVERYFILIPINO (like Everyman of medieval times) living in each of those times: Luna is the flesh&blood tragic hero w/flaws, G del Pilar the Sir Galahad, Manuel Quezon, the Don Quixote de la Mancha of the Filipino, and the Philippines his

          • sonny says:

            … Aldonza

            • Tarog is the director of the Heneral movie. Give the success, the sequel will be made.

              There is a Marvel-like teaser with Del Pilar asking for 60 men during the closing credits.

              60 men defended Tirad Pass against the Texas rangers under “boy general” Del Pilar.

              Lt. Quezon (picture below) plays a minor role as Aguinaldo’s aide-de-camp in the movie.

              Meaning all the actors for the sequels are already there and can age into their roles.

              • In case you were wondering: the rank system of the Philippine Revolutionary Army – the epaulettes was a bit different – more stars meant lower rank, which is why Lts had 3:

              • now contrast that with the improvised weaponry the Filipinos had – aside from some capture Spanish cannons they had this, iron pipes strengthened with bamboo:

              • Joe America says:

                Good lord. Babe Ruth would have had a hard time hefting that bat.

              • This man was Captain-General before Aguinaldo replaced him with Luna: Artemio Ricarte. The man the Spanish called El Vibora, “The Viper”, because he was a good guerilla.

                Refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to America, he eventually exiled himself to Japan. Saw the Japanese as an ally for a more Asian Philippines. His tragedy was that he helped found the Makapili, who actively helped hunt down Filipino and American guerillas.

              • Macario Sakay did not surrender to the Americans. It is said he had made an OATH (Panata) not to cut his hair until his country was free. Founded a Tagalog Republic in the Rizal mountains in 1902. Captured in 1906. Hanged as a bandit in 1907.

                Bonifacio’s writings never spoke of a Philippines. They spoke of Katalugan, the Tagalog country. Aguinaldo took the Spanish name for his Republic, the movie Heneral Luna is insofar modernized because they spoke mainly Spanish – like we speak English today. Visayans had a separate revolution – Negros. Moros were incorporated into the country by the Americans. The Philippine State was completed by Quezon. The nation evolved out of the people in that state and is still evolving now. May it find its true code of citizenship.

              • Joe America says:

                Wonderful characterization of how modern, really, is the divided nature of the republic. No wonder there is little nationalistic glue.

          • Thanks for giving me an idea for an article in my blog: Quezon’s biography.

            He is a great man (not hero I dislike that term) and the true founder of the Republic. Including making Tagalog the de facto lingua franca was his legacy.

            • – what made Quezon decide that the Philippines must have a national language:

              I once told some writers of an incident that happened to me in Baguio, I was having a few months’ rest there because I had tuberculosis. One day, while I was taking my siesta, my nurse came in and told me, “Mr. President, the press wants to see you,” I answered, “Tell the press to go to hell.” That expressed my feelings towards the press. The nurse turned around and — I suppose she was too much of a lady to repeat exactly what I had told her — must have said something to the visitor which indicated that I did not want to see the press. In the afternoon I discovered that it Father Tamayo of the University of Santo Tomas who had come to see me, and that what the nurse meant to say when she mentioned the “press” was the “priest,” I leave to your imagination what Father Tamayo would have thought if this nurse had not been well-breed and had repeatedly my very words “Go to hell” to him.

              I am convinced that the English language can never be our national language; if it could be, then it would be some kind of English language. This is bound to happen, unless we are willing or able to spend millions and millions of peso. If we had American teachers in every school to teach English, and if the children that went to school remained there for a least seven years, certainly we could make English the national language. They would learn it very easily because they would speak English in their own home. But we cannot do that. We cannot pay the salaries of American teachers and we do not have enough Filipino teachers who can teach English well. On the contrary, many of our teachers in the barrios will call the priest the “press.” 🙂

              • sonny says:

                Just throwing more fuel to the Filipino language brainstorm: the intellectualization of the Filipino language –

                “…we will never be able to develop our languages for higher thinking unless we begin basic literacy and education in them. It isn’t a matter of first intellectualizing a language before using it. We can only intellectualize a language by using it.” — Dr. Ricardo Nolasco

                “The process of intellectualizing a language, say Filipino, so that it may be used as the language in the CDs (controlling domains) of language involves, among other processes, the building of (1) various populations who possess different knowledges and skills in Filipino, who have a good command of the registers needed in the domain and sub-domain, for example, agricultural scientists, medical doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. …”
                — Dr Bonifacio Sibayan


              • I think that if things continue as now, with the economic rise of Cebu and Davao, we will be hearing more Cebuano in the mass media. They have been instrumental in spreading street Tagalog to the islands – not the Tagalog written by intellectuals.

                That Heneral Luna director Jerrold Tarog converted the language of the original script by Henry Hunt Rocha into colloquial Tagalog so more people would understand was an important concession to current realities. But reality may go even further…

                The historical teleserye Amaya which plays in the Visayas just before the Spanish came – starring Marian Rivera of course – mixes a lot of Visayan words with Tagalog in order to reach the Visayans. The choice of venue by its nationalistic filmmakers was also a concession to the Visayans who have always felt left out ever since Quezon ignored them by taking Tagalog as the basis for Filipino – because the Tagalogs are the largest group.

                But if one looks at neighboring Visayan languages, they form a continuum that includes even the Tausugs. Half of Mindanao is Visayanized by migration. Tagalog by now has a legacy and foothold. But Amaya I think is just the beginning. Visayan newspapers are gaining ground, a stronger demand for Visayan television, maybe even movies may come next. Duterte speaking Visayan very often in interviews is also a sign of changing times.

                Visayan and Tagalog are quite close, being Central Philippine languages. Bikol is in the middle. The new de facto lingua franca may finally be a mixture of Tagalog and Cebuano, similar to the Davao street dialect. Because people exposed to media in both languages may start mixing, being Filipinos they WILL mix words from both. Now that could be a language accepted and used by the majority. And it will facilitate true discourse and true understanding – because a lot of the English the Filipinos use is “some kind of English language” like Quezon correctly predicted. The true sense of many words is distorted or only barely understood by so very many. The connotations and richness that English words have was never transmitted to most. Which explains the absurdity of many debates in the Philippines, their formalism. For many English is, and this may be harsh but I think it is mostly true, similar to Latin in the Middle Ages – a formalistic language, devoid of life.


                Or use international media to substantially improve English in the Philippines. Get teachers from Singapore if necessary, long after Quezon American teachers are still too expensive. Or send Igorot teachers to the entire country, they still speak English best.


                Or push Filipino and enrich it with words from other languages by teaching alternatives to words. I was tempted to use Ilokano “nang-abak” for winning and “na-abak” for losing in my Sun Tzu translation because it would have sounded nice, but they are hardly known.

                Finally the Philippines will have to decide for itself. Because half of what those proficient in English or Tagalog try to get through is not truly understood. Because learning languages properly is a part of learning to think properly. And as long as so many people have not developed true thinking rooted in reality – which is caused by language taught as a mere formal exercise and not as a tool to describe and conceptualize the real world – nothing will truly get off the ground. Mutual learning will be impaired. Communication as well.

              • Vicara says:

                The state of language is ever-fluid; it’s easier to contain quicksilver. In Mindanao, those born and bred there have noted the increased use of Tagalog over the last 20 years–since TV/cable access became widely accessible. It’s almost as common as Visayan.

                A Cotabato native (who is Moro) has remarked to me that mixed groups (what are known among NGOs as the “tri-peoples”–Christians, Moro and lumad) prefer to use Tagalog, as this is a comparatively “neutral” national language, unlike Visayan, which was introduced by Ilonggo settlers, and therefore associated with conquest/displacement.

                On the other hand, a BPO manager I interviewed there–yes, there are large call centers in Mindanao–there is a large enough labor pool with the required English competence–remarked matter-of-factly that they would hire from a particular area near Davao for the Australian market, because for some reason the call center agents from there were easily able to adopt the Aussie accent and idiom.

                She had found that the best English speakers they’d hired were from Cotabato, because those who study at the colleges and private high schools there had less Taglish influence. There have been BPO ventures in Zamboanga aiming for the Latino American market, presumably because a Chabacano background gave the agents there an advantage.

                I’ve met natives in Sultan Kudarat whose grandparents in the 1930s had migrated as settlers from Ilocos to MIndanao; the descendants were Muslim and spoke Maguindanao in daily life, but were still known as “Ilocano.”

                The notion–or practicality–of a “fixed” national language directed by a national academy of wika seems superfluous in this cultural context.

                Note: The influence of TV has gone both ways–it helped spread the use of Tagalog, yes, but the establishment of TV station bureaus across Mindanao beginning in the late 1990s also exposed other regions of the Philippines to Mindanao current events. And seeing themselves in media–whether through news coverage, talk shows or teledramas–paradoxically helped a younger generation to see themselves both as Mindanaoans and Filipinos.

                There have always been Visayan media channels–radio, TV, print. I don’t see a marked increase in use of the language. It is simply WE (dear English-language, expat, Manila-educated blog commentators) who are becoming more exposed to other Philippine languages (which themselves are also in flux.) A sign of the impending fall of Imperial Manila.

              • Reading Mindanews and other Mindanao media sometimes gives me a feeling that there are already the beginnings of a Mindanao nation. That they might simply go their own way.

                In fact it would be able to survive on its own pretty well.

              • sonny says:

                “… yes, there are large call centers in Mindanao–there is a large enough labor pool with the required English competence–remarked matter-of-factly that they would hire from a particular area near Davao for the Australian market, because for some reason the call center agents from there were easily able to adopt the Aussie accent and idiom.

                … She had found that the best English speakers they’d hired were from Cotabato, because those who study at the colleges and private high schools there had less Taglish influence.

                … I’ve met natives in Sultan Kudarat whose grandparents in the 1930s had migrated as settlers from Ilocos to MIndanao; the descendants were Muslim and spoke Maguindanao in daily life, but were still known as “Ilocano.” “

            • Joe America says:

              What astounding revelations you are bringing here today. Indeed, it does appear that President Quezon deserves more recognition than he is given.

            • sonny says:

              @ Vicara

              the points you make are no accident. Cotabato is under the educational ministry of Catholic religious congregations such as the Notre Dame Oblate schools (OMI) and Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM). Eight congregations cover the schools scattered along the Archdiocese of Cotabato. The oversight of these institutions is under the archbishop, Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, OMI. (He is Ilocano, by the way.) These educators serve ALL comers (Christian, Muslim, indigenous Filipinos and “elite” Filipinos).

              My simple inference would be, the English-speaking graduates of these institutions are the “preferred” ones.

              IMO, the preferred profile for Filipinos in Cotabato would be as polyglot speakers of their native Bisaya, Ilocano, Tagalog, Moro and English. The intellectualization in language would be found here and the Linguistics offices of the DepEd.

              • Vicara says:

                Thank you, sonnny and Irineo. Yes, the OMI order is so important to Mindanao. I was amazed to find that Notre Dame de Jolo, for example, which is helping to “keep things together” in the Sulu archipelago and is central to the community, has something like 90 percent Moro students. Yes, it is normal to find quadrilingual high school students in Mindanao, particularly in the archipelago–with a smattering of Bahasa and Arabic to boot–but certainly not all languages are formally taught–or taught well–which translates into a kind of fluidity of idiom and thought. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it means you don’t have identities/ideologies–civic or religious–set in stone. Although you may have individual people with personalities that veer towards a more fundamentalist viewpoiint, the situation is always shifting and complex.

                Now from the discussion in thread, that would seem a negative element: How does one get the Filipino people to pin themselves down, memorize a set of common civic principles whether by MLQ or other, and stick to them? (Chempo, I visualize a Confucian classroom full of earnest scholars–which I submit is possible only with a strong centralized state, which we certainly don’t have.) Perhaps one doesn’t then, not in that way: perhaps praxis is the key. You try something, it works, then you extract the guiding principle and adopt that. Very pragmatic, also takes time. But that’s the only way to get people to buy in to abstract concepts.

              • “You try something, it works, then you extract the guiding principle and adopt that”

                Confucius say, “The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions.” – from the discussion below, and a protection against hypocrisy.

                I venture that the meanings of words in the Filipino context are fuzzy because of:

                1) English did not take very deep roots. The cloud of meaning that English words have when native speakers (and I do not mean English-speaking Igorots by this) use them was not fully transmitted to all by barrio teachers who said “press” instead of “priest” (Quezon)

                2) The Marcos era added to that by distorting the meaning of words in Orwellian fashion. Love and Beauty, Humanity and Benevolence, Passion all meant something different. Similar to War is Peace and Ignorance is Strength. Probably this era caused English to fall into disuse, because people tried to find back to real, rooted meaning using Tagalog. The damage to English and to clear meanings I think still persists. It was used for hypocrisy.

                Confucius also said something like: “when what is said is not what is meant, confusion ensues, and order decays”. I guess Confucius was the ancient Chinese Yogi Berra.

              • It could be that Mindanao was not touched as much by developments 1) and 2).

                Those that learned English learned it properly and the Marcos nonsense did not reach Mindanao that much. It could be that because of that, the analysis I read in Mindanews is tons more intelligent than most of the stuff in Manila – and more rooted in reality.

                In Manila they nitpick details of a Constitution that is barely even enforced in the reality of today’s Philippines, like medieval scholars debating about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Why not instead make a Constitution just as simple as that of the first Swiss Confederation and make sure it is at least 98% enforced all over the country?

                The gap between words and meaning is huge in the Philippines. Clean kitchen and dirty kitchen so to speak. It is IMHO the real reason why stuff never truly gets off the ground.

                What does Constitution really mean, let us look at it in detail:


                A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed.[1] These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is. When these principles are written down into a single document or set of legal documents, those documents may be said to embody a written constitution; if they are written down in a single comprehensive document, it is said to embody a codified constitution.

                Principles according to which a state IS governed… CONSTITUTE what the entity is. Now what constitutes the reality of the Philippines in slum areas. What constitutes the reality of the Philippines in zones where armed bandits control the place, call them NPA or MILF or whatever else. What constitutes the reality of the Philippines for maids, sikyos, low-level government clerks, OFWs and more? What constitutes the reality in Manila malls? What constitutes the reality in Manila subdivisions? The 1987 Constitution is a farce. It does not constitute reality. As little as the Holy Bible constitutes reality for prostitutes who go pray to St. Mary Magdalene in Quiapo before they go back to work.

        • Joe America says:

          Thanks for the historical brief.

  24. Micha says:

    Off Topic:

    Hi Joe, please send me your email address so I could drop off the blog contribution. Thanks.

  25. Joe, it might be that starting with civic virtues, the American way, will not work in the Philippines. Let me tell you why: the Philippines is a hierarchic society masquerading as a democracy, just like it masqueraded at being Catholic while the Spaniards were around, but remained pagan at heart.

    The cultural descendants of the principalia who rule the country now have to give themselves an ethical codex first, then the public servants under them. If those above do not follow the rules themselves and have no codex, those ruled will not follow suit. That could be the bitter reality.

    Communal approaches like those of Duterte are too young and will be opposed by the entitled. The way to go is Ro-Ro, especially the second Ro who is pioneering communal approaches also.

    But the codexes must be set and communicated, I mean truly communicated in spirit not as rote. Imagine teachers then teaching Quezon’s code, in an English language they barely understood, and the true meaning, the applications to daily life were not communicated, just words memorized.

    When the rulers have principles, the ruled will follow suit. And the communal stuff converge with it.

    • There are large groups in the Philippines that are marginalized and do not necessarily care about the “res publica”, Latin meaning “public matters”, the root of the word republic. Because what happens will most probably not make any difference for them:

      1) house servants, security guards and the like. Ordinary soldiers and policemen.

      CCT and other programs may be the improvement they see. Civic virtues? Maybe if they see that there is a chance that their lives will improve, they can be convinced.

      2) The urban poor whose concerns are truly those Fernando Poe mentioned.

      Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Possibly the occasional birthday cake… Unfortunately. Their kids growing up healthy enough and strong enough to move to the next level. Nothing less.

      3) people in outlying areas where the national government is effectively not there.

      Peace and order. Rule of law. Security forces that do not abuse them. Some years of seeing stability and normalcy, then they might have an ear for civic virtues. Not before.

      If I were in the position of any one of the three, I might not think otherwise. The whole public ethics thing will be between the ruling and middle class to find some solution. Doesn’t invalidate this exercise here, but the realities must be figured into the equation.

      • The foundation of any democracy is the middle class – and sizable parts of the old middle class left starting Marcos times, this is my empirical perception. The new groups that moved up in those days do not have the same values as the old middle class – IMHO.

        I doubt that there are proper statistics – MRP is right about that – regarding migration and what income groups left the country. And which groups came back and then moved up. OFWs started during the Marcos period. The disruption of families could have contributed to the disruption of society. Here there are statistics, it became even more massive after Marcos because of the economic situation. What if parents are not there to pass values?

        Plus the peace and order situation in the provinces especially during Marcos times that lead to people massively leaving to settle in Manila. Don’t think there are real statistics, but could that be one thing that tore the social fabric up even more? Who knows more?

        • josephivo says:

          It is not all in the past, also in the present. Especially Filipinos live in the present. As Coco Cola rules the world driven by our addiction to sugar, Facebook rules the world based on our addition of social recognition. The X and Y generations main occupation is to post a new selfie tonight about something exciting I just experienced. Life is excitement, often driven by expert marketers. Who still talks about values, nation, politics, other then the boring Silver generation?

          • Sociologists will try to define different groups of people or milieus based on their values and preferences, meaning what is important to them in life. Of course you have the forces of Facebook and stuff, but how different milieus and societies deal with them differs.

            Milieus that have stable values – not stated but lived – have a cushion against being thrown around by too rapid change. Societies where milieus have at least a common denominator of values are more cohesive. Any studies on milieus in the Philippines?

      • Joe America says:

        What are you drinking today? What vitamins are you taking? I need to get some of those insight medicines.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that makes perfect sense.

  26. Joe America says:

    Most interesting background info from Ricky Avancena, via Facebook:

    [Ricky Avancena] My paternal grandfather Chief Justice Ramon Avancena headed the three man committee that drafted the Code… And Joe America, “toil cheerfully” was addressed to civil servants and bureaucrats and not the working poor. No way was this is an entitled cacique speaking. He came from the working poor and as a young man , he himself, together with his dad and younger brother cleared the land( manually cut down the trees and tilled the soil to make it a rice field). “Do not traffic with your citizenship” means not to make money out of it or to sell out for purely personal and material gain.

  27. Bing Garcia says:

    Honasan is a stupid soldier.

  28. Adrian says:

    There’s also the Kartilya ng Katipunan written by Bonifacio and Jacinto.

    I remember reading an article (probably by Ambeth Ocampo) that a French consul is very proud to report that Filipinos were inspired (as laid out in the Kartilya) by the ideals of the French Revolution.

    • edgar lores says:

      Ah, another silver thread! This is more in the form of proverbs.

    • MRP would like these two items – in fact they are a useful reminder until now:

      – We are all equal, regardless of the color of their skin; While one could have more education, wealth or beauty than the other, none of them can overpass one’s identity.

      – A (person’s) worth is not measured by his/her status in life, neither by the length of his nose nor the fairness of skin, and certainly not by whether he is a priest claiming to be God’s deputy. Even if he is a tribesman/tribeswoman from the hills and speaks only his/her own tongue, a (person) is honorable if he/she possesses a good character, is true to his/her word, has fine perceptions and is loyal to his/her native land.

  29. josephivo says:

    Was just reading about Mabini, realizing I don’t know too well. Then found this on Wkipedia (

    His opinion on Emilio Aguinaldo:

    “ The Revolution failed because it was badly directed, because its leader won his post not with praiseworthy but with blameworthy acts, because instead of employing the most useful men of the nation he jealously discarded them. Believing that the advance of the people was no more than his own personal advance, he did not rate men according to their ability, character and patriotism but according to the degree of friendship or kinship binding him to them; and wanting to have favorites willing to sacrifice themselves for him, he showed himself lenient to their faults. Because he disdained the people, he could not but fall like an idol of wax melting in the heat of adversity. May we never forget such a terrible lesson learned at the cost of unspeakable sufferings!”

    Shouldn’t 7) read “Do not live up to the traditions of our people, find some noble causes instead”

  30. chempo says:

    This moral “codex” is well and good. Unfortunately, that it is not considered of great import is evidenced by the fact all commenters here has no prior knowledge of MLQ’s 1939 writing. It needs to be preached to enshrine it into the Filipino cultural layer that is running thin at the moment. The question remains how best to do it.

    Knowledge of this “codex” can be attained, but knowledge does not a moral man make. How do we teach to make one a “superior man” — borrowing a Confucius term for a person with ideal characteristics who epitomizes excellence.

    Do we need to lay down the commandmants ala MLQ 1939, induce with rewards or incentives, and cudgel for punishment for deviation. Does a legalistic approach make sense.

    Morality/ethics is something that cannot be taught like science, maths or arts. Moral teachings require 3 critical aspects — (1) self-cultivation, (2) high degree of skilled judgement, and (3) loads of moral exemplars for one to emulate. (1) & (2) are internalisation. This is a huge area for teachers of morality. (3) is the easiest part. So instead of schools hoarding MLQ’s 1939, they should hoard up every story from days of yore to every news article they can find that has a moral story behind it.


      Confucius’ Superior Man sounds a lot like Level 5 Leadership and like Quezon himself. The descriptions of the “mean man” sound like Aguinaldo or Binay.

      Tsze-lu asked what constituted the superior man. Confucius answered, “The cultivation of himself in reverential careful­ness.”
      “And is this all?”
      “He cultivates himself so as to give rest to others.”
      “And is this all?”
      “He cultivates himself so as to give rest to all the people.”

      Confucius confessed, “The way of the superior man is threefold, but I am not equal to it. Virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear.”

      Tsze-kung also asked what constituted the superior man. Confucius replied, “He acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions.”

      “The superior man has nine things that are subjects of thoughtful consideration:
      In regard to the use of his eyes, he is anxious to see clearly.
      In regard to the use of his ears, he is anxious to hear distinctly.
      In regard to his countenance, he is anxious that it should be benign.
      In regard to his demeanor, he is anxious that it should be respectful.
      In regard to his speech, he is anxious that it should be sincere.
      In regard to his way of doing business, he is anxious that it should be reverently careful.
      In regard to what he doubts about, he is anxious to question others.
      When he is angry, he thinks of the difficulties his anger may involve him in.
      When he sees gain to be got, he thinks of righteousness.”

      “The superior man wishes to be slow in his speech and earnest in his conduct. He is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions. In every action he considers righteousness to be essential. He performs it according to the rules of propriety. He executes it with humility. He completes it with sincerity. This is indeed the way of a superior man.”

      “The superior man is distressed by his want of ability. He is not distressed by men’s not knowing him. He is correctly firm, and not firm merely.”

      “He does not promote a man simply on account of his words, nor does he put aside good words because of the man.”

      “He who does not anticipate attempts to deceive him, nor think beforehand of his not being believed, and yet apprehends these things readily when they occur —is he not a man of superior worth?”

      “There are three things which the superior man guards against. In youth, when the physical powers are not yet settled, he guards against lust.. When he is strong, and the physical powers are full of vigor, he guards against quarrelsomeness. When he is old, and the animal powers are decayed, he guards against covetousness.”

      “In dealing with people, the superior man does not set his mind either for anything, or against anything; what is right he will follow.”

      When he was in Chan, their provisions were exhausted, and his followers became so ill that they were unable to rise. Tsze-lu, with evident dissatisfaction, said to Confucius, “Has the superior man likewise to endure in this way?”

      The Master said, “The superior man may indeed have to endure want, but the mean man, when he is in want, gives way to unbridled license.”

    • sonny says:

      The full ascendancy of MLQ occurred in 1935 when he became the president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. His first job was to form the Philippine Army in the face of the war clouds forming and coming from Japan and Europe and the imminent exit of American interests in the Philippines. Hence implementations of the Filipino civilian ethos was secondary to national security courses of action and budget. I was born in 1943 when all the political, social and economic superstructures were all wiped out.

      Chempo I agree with all you said especially “So instead of schools hoarding MLQ’s 1939, they should hoard up every story from days of yore … that has a moral story behind it.”

      • That nobody remembers this 1939 code is just one symptom of Philippine national amnesia which IMHO is the main reason for so much disorientation. I think a Filipino from 1900 doing a Buck Rogers into 2015 would be totally disoriented, while an American from 1900 would adjust much faster. There are such deep rifts in cultural continuity in the Philippines, probably also caused by every generation having experienced some sort of war or dictatorship. Generations lack communication. Memes get lost. Cultures are the accumulated experience of generations. History is about how people lived in their days.

        • sonny says:

          Irineo, the US gov’t initially made an immediate postwar infusion of money (my recollection is $600 million) into the Philippine political, economic life. In retrospect, the US Gov seems to always do this wherever Americans participated in the devastation of a given theater of war (e.g.,Japan, Germany, France, those affected by the Marshall Plan, Philippines).

      • chempochempo says:

        Thanks Sonny, now I appreciate the perspective for MLQ 1939. So that probably is the reason why post-WW2 till today, the pursuit of those ideals got thrown out the windows there were no more looming threats. That’s another example of the country always running reactively and lacking vision and long range plans.

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