“Mar Roxas: the man, the myth, the legend”


This is the guy I met. Not elite, not puffed up. Friendly. [Photo credit: Mar Roxas blog]

(Translation link: Mar Roxas: Ang Alamat, Ang Kathang Isip at ang Tutuong Tao)

Well, I’ll take them out of order. First the legend, the myth and then the man.

The Legend

It is true that Mar Roxas arrives on the scene as a legend.

  • For some, it is for his photos, of bags of rice, lying on ice, and motorcycle spills. It is for a maliciously edited video of a confrontation in Tacloban and other political half-truths.
  • For others it is a BPO industry pumping over $20 billion per year into the economy, and years of dedicated service to the nation under three different presidents who leaned on his abilities.
  • For most, he is a legend for being from the ranks of the entitled, the rich families painted in teleseryes as the bad, scheming manipulators of all the rest of us. He bears the burden of the historical fact that poor people have been disenfranchised as the rich and entitled form a class of impunity that shares the wealth among their friends and passes peanuts to the laboring masses.

Interestingly enough, Mar Roxas well recognizes that he is assigned that “entitled” legend, and he understands how the image is created and persists, through historical fact and dramatic rendition. He shared that with me as we were having lunch in Ormoc, Leyte with with other prominent political people of Liberal Party persuasion.

Why were blogger JoeAm and Candidate Mar Roxas breaking bread . . . or more accurately sharing sisig and lapu lapu . . . while getting to know one another?

The answer: mutual interest.

Italy northboundasia dot com

Should President Poe represent the Philippines on state visits to Italy? [Photo credit northboundasia.com]

For me, it was the honor of meeting the legend and gaining more insights into his character and programs. For him, it was to thank me for being supportive of the Aquino Administration and to make sure I had an understanding of what his programs are about. I suppose the meeting had three purposes: (1) shared appreciation, (2) shared knowledge, and (3) political pragmatism.

The skeptics will say, “Joe, you are being played for political gain.”

I would respond that any good politician, confident of his candidacy, would make sure media know about his principles and programs so they can help spread the information. There were no rules for our meeting, no requests made, no hints at anything. He was aware of my wish for anonymity and asked if he could mention that we met. I said “yes, sure.”

I would add that I am a dedicated equal-opportunity luncher, and would happily dine with any candidate for national office if they are in the area (Northern Leyte or Biliran).

The shared appreciation I mention is real. I learned from others at the lunch that even LP loyalists wondered if I was an Administration shill, MLQIII or someone inside, doing a partisan blog. I mean, how extraordinary, when you think about it. When the Aquino Administration was going through its roughest moments, here was this foreign blogger JoeAm writing into the tabloidian wind expressing comprehension, appreciation and enduring confidence in the Aquino Administration’s ways, whys and means. Paid nothing. Expecting nothing. Writing straight. They were getting beat up. They appreciated a defender.

Well, from my viewpoint, I for sure appreciate what the Aquino Administration has done . . . and what Mar Roxas can do . . . to help my adopted homeland thrive. My family appreciates it. Their security depends on it, and so do the opportunities for my Filipino son, opportunities that are in the Philippines.

People in the Administration appreciate that I understood. I appreciate that they are working diligently, even if most can’t see it. There is no guile in this expression of mutual appreciation. It is real. It exists.

benigno-aquino-japan-emperor-highest-honor philstar

Should President Duterte greet the Emperor of Japan on behalf of the Philippines? [Photo credit: Philstar]

But I fear I have digressed. Let’s get back on track.

The Myth

The myth has three parts, I suppose:

  • Mar Roxas cannot relate to the poor because he is entitled
  • He is a weak manager (DOTC, DILG)
  • He is clumsy or weak at public relations (the photos)

These myths are promoted by political opponents. Mar Roxas is a genuine man of humility. He can relate to anyone. He is a strong manager, which is why three presidents wanted him on their team, why we have a vibrant BPO industry, and why we have better storm response and better policing. Look at security for the Pope, for the INC protest, for APEC. It gives the lie to the political sloganeering and anti-Roxas image-making. As for being clumsy or weak at PR, let me just go to my observations, what I know, what I learned, and you can add that to what you observe.

I’d recommend that the lens you use should be that which interprets Mar Roxas though the personal values of Mar Roxas, not through the values of his political opponents or the sensationalist press. Don’t expect him to complain and point fingers. Don’t expect him to strut and brag. Don’t expect him to take care of everything exactly as you would do it, in the best interest of you, but as he would do it, in the best interest of the Philippines.

The Man

I think Mar Roxas is more Japanese than American. He is impeccably gracious, granting his guest a seat at the head of the table, breaking the egg and stirring it into the sizzling sisig, making sure the guest’s glass (of Sprite) is full and his plate piled high.

My Japanese bosses were that way when I worked for them and we had business lunches together, back in California. The senior Japanese took care of the junior guest. They grant honor to others because it costs nothing, and gains much.

Or a better example, now that I think about it . . . his hosting was more like that famous Filipino fiesta warmth I’ve experienced time and time again, anywhere in the nation. Always a gracious welcome, always kind attention, always a lot of food.

So I take back my erroneous statement.

Mar Roxas is Filipino. 100%.

He . . . and the others around the table . . . are also politicians, and I got the sense that they had two dialogues going on at the same time. One in their head, private, and the other public.

But maybe we are all that way, eh?

Mar Roxas is rather like blogger and friend Irineo B. R. Salazar, high energy, a vacuum cleaner for knowledge and a high intensity explorer of whys and ways. Mar Roxas knows a LOT of stuff, which anyone watching his interviews can verify for themselves. When he does not know the specifics, he does not equivocate or bluff, he immediately turns to those who have the facts. I mentioned that I thought Biliran Province should be an exporter of energy with geothermal and hydro power. Mar Roxas went immediately to others to find out if Biliran is connected to the national grid. It is, via Leyte, via underwater lines. He had quickly grasped the potential and was already exploring whether or not it is practical to make it happen.

Pope Francis and President Aquino

Should President Binay sit with the Pope on behalf of the Philippines?

If he has limitations, they would be these: (1) he works and thinks so hard and fast that he leaves others behind, and (2) he is a calculating political card shark, much like President Aquino. I arrive at these conclusions through the thinnest of observations, hints here and there, so could be wrong. On one hand, these can be seen as weaknesses. On the other, they can be strengths in a highly demanding job with a lot coming across the desk, and where politics is the way negotiating is done.

Here is the most peculiar thing. It is my impression that political people at the national level have huge egos. I mean, look at VP Binay and Sen. Poe and Mayor Duterte and Sen. Santiago. Look at the size of their individual self-assessments. Huge. Gigantic sense of self importance. I discovered that Mar Roxas also has a huge sense of self, but the peculiarity is that it is not deployed to raise himself up. It is focused on the will to get things done, and to do it the right way. It is focused on ideas and the hunt for a better way. He hurts himself, I suspect, by not being a puff-dealer like other candidates. I suppose that is why some people see him as ineffective, because he is not strutting like a peacock.

But they have it exactly wrong. His sense of self is channeled into ideas, solutions, determination and confidence. Not puffery.

Mar Roxas is walking, talking proof that Filipinos can do critical thinking. He goes from idea to problems to facts to solutions faster than anyone I’ve met, except, perhaps, Irineo. Boy, would that be an interesting contest, Irineo Salazar and Mar Roxas racing to work out an issue. Both are high energy. Well read. Conceptualizers. Open minded. Analytical. Computer quick. Problem solvers.

Frankly, if Mar Roxas is President, I expect that Biliran Province will be an energy exporter in five years.

Mar Roxas recognizes that the success of the nation requires steady, high economic growth. He is looking for ways to get another point or two into GDP growth. Stop the usurious lending that is stifling productivity. Link Filipino insurance companies with Japanese companies to broaden the depth and breadth of services. Unplug Manila with a rational busing plan. Run non-stop courtrooms to end delays and get decisions made; if people hire attorneys who don’t show up, they lose their case. Automate and link all of the 144 cities to the agencies (e.g. BIR, NBI) to speed processing of applications and improve services.

Conceptually, his approach is to remove roadblocks. To stop defeating ourselves.

“All it takes is the will to do it.”

I don’t know if that is an exact quote or not. I didn’t have a recorder and I did not take notes. But it is pretty close.

He also wants to remove politics from the decision as to how much money gets allocated to the cities and municipalities. He calls the program “Back to Basics”. Each city or municipality will receive P1,000 for each resident each year. This allocation will give LGUs the wherewithal to decide what is in their own best interest rather than National trying to decide. Want to build schools or roads or a seawall? Up to the LGUs. He said the original idea was to call it “Leave no one behind”, a way of getting National’s rising wealth better distributed to localities. But the Tagalog translation was problematic. “Leave nothing behind” is how it came out. (I laughed.) The idea did not only get lost in the translation, it got flipped backward. So they’ll call the program “Back to Basics” and propose to use it to empower LGU’s to manage their own destiny.

I think I might have called it “Federalism Squared”.

But I do think Mar Roxas has a big challenge. The immediate reaction to anything he does is skepticism, for the reasons cited at the beginning of this article. Other candidates are picking sore points and hitting them hard. They are promising the moon without saying how they will get there. Their deceitful ads show near empty trains and freeways, and propose free health care. The time or money it takes to get there is never addressed. Any Aquino Administration fault is assigned to Mar Roxas. The complaints resonate with voters because voters ARE frustrated. Stuck on the roads for hours. Over-taxed. Under-appreciated. And poorly informed through the Philippine tabloid media.

I worry that Mar Roxas has not been able to find a message that resonates in sharp, meaningful terms. He won’t deal dirty, and good for him. But others will . . . and are. He is pushing out his platform in a series of speeches and interviews, and I doubt enough people are catching them. I don’t understand his whole platform myself, frankly, just bits and pieces of it. I don’t see the power of what he is proposing. Somehow the Roxas programs need to register clearly and powerfully, stand alone, and prove to voters that relief is coming. He needs to prove that he WILL BE DIFFERENT, even as the straight path continues. If that is in the plan, we did not discuss it.

But I wonder, I do wonder . . .

What is it that makes Filipinos see things backwards? To see success as bad? To see humility as weak? To see quiet as incompetent? To like loud and impractical ideas and fall asleep when given the details, the proof that it can work?

Talk about a man totally misread by prevailing social norms . . .

Mar Roxas is actually a funny guy, so it is NOT out of character, not contrived, to find him posing on a block of ice. His staff people run light and loose. And they work hard and diligently. His advance staff were up after midnight ringing up colleagues to see how to fit me into the schedule. (Thanks, Jonathan, aka Nathan, aka Athan; thanks Ariel and Louis).

Mar Roxas stepped out of the room for about five minutes to greet the parents of the Mayor of Ormoc. The meal was just being served. When he returned, he chided everyone because they had not started eating.

“It’s the foreigners fault” exclaimed Eric Gutierez. (Laughter)

A little later, Mar Roxas: “Joe, better pile that sisig up, because once the plate goes around the table, there won’t be any left.”  (Laughter)

“You look trim,” I said during a lull in the conversation. “How do you do that?”

“Stress!” he said, quickly and definitively. (Laughter) Then he acknowledged that he was having difficulty keeping up with his normal exercise routine because of the demands of his schedule.

I don’t know about you, but I find this absence of pretense to be wholly refreshing, and I believe it is a management strength. It motivates. He does not puff and strut, or require being puffed up. He listens as well as he speaks. He doesn’t blow smoke. He deals in specifics and solutions, not generalities. He delegates and trusts subordinates.

He has one goal: to do the job well.

Hahaha, so I have to laugh. I know the accusations will come. “Shill!” “Paid hack!” “Blind follower!”

You know, that’s okay. I’m just reporting here. You can make up your own reality. It’s what most people do when they have no idea about what the truth is.

But, I’m terribly sorry. (See, I am a legitimate apologist.) This election is so obvious to me, and yet y’all are running around actually still debating things.

Here’s what I suggest you do. Find a photo of the five candidates for President, or photoshop one for yourself . . . Poe, Binay, Santiago, Duterte and Roxas. Add a sixth if Estrada the Ancient decides to run. Pin that photo on the wall.

Step back and do a Rorschach test on yourself. You know, an ink blot test.

Take 10 seconds to make a judgment of all that you see in that collective picture.

Then reflect on your judgment.

And make no mistake about it. It is not the candidates who are being tested.

It is you.

And the Philippines.


Personal note to Rep. Carol Lopez, Mayor Ondo Codillla and his wife Violy, Eric Gutierez and my Twitter friend Bev. Please forgive me for capturing so much time and attention from Mar Roxas. I’m sorry we didn’t get to chat more. Mr. Mayor, the pineapple was spectacular. 🙂 And Eric, that was the most horrid selfie I have ever seen in my life, but at least you know . . . JoeAm exists! And you have the evidence.



404 Responses to ““Mar Roxas: the man, the myth, the legend””
  1. ” Mar Roxas is rather like blogger and friend Irineo B. R. Salazar, high energy, a vacuum cleaner for knowledge and a high intensity explorer of whys and ways. “

    I hope Mar Roxas makes Ireneo special envoy for the Philippines to the whole of Europe—- Turkey included.

    Great article, Joe, I have a better sense of the guy now— especially his leadership style. And since, MRP isn’t here these days, what were your impressions of Korina? 😉

    • Joe America says:

      Korina was not at the luncheon. My impression of Korina is that, like Mar, she is greatly misrepresented on the basis of a few quotes. I think she is an independent woman who has personality, a big heart and the same kind of steeled principles as her husband. I think I’d like the lady. I’m guessing she is as smart and well-read as Mar Roxas.

      • Joe,

        Then I hope a meeting with Korina is in the works (at least to appease MRP, so he returns).

        I got the impression from the article that this was a really short meeting. Were you two able to Mind-Meld, to ensure future interactions? Aside from geothermal/hydro power of Biliran and federalism, what other policy issues were discussed? Did you have a list in mind for the meeting (1. Biliran’s energy potention 2. 3. 4. etc. etc.)? Did he have a list to push? Did the two lists match?

        I hope you can do something similar for the other candidates both President and VP— a similar article with Leni Robredo would be great, but so too with Cayetano and Marcos. Ireneo’s idea of inviting Duterte (invite Binay too) to Munich, is a good idea—- hope he extends that invite also to Mar Roxas ( I’d love to be a fly on the wall listening to those two guys get drunk off Bavarian beer!).

        • I would talk to ANY Presidential candidate who happens to come to Munich and is willing to give an interview or meet semi-privately…

          My contact info is on my webpage, so anyone can reach me… that is the nice thing about living in a truly safe place… no need to fear goons at my doorstep… and I HAVE to have my contact info on my blog… German press laws require it in case of legal issues or questions.

        • Joe America says:

          Ah, isn’t that a wonderful vision, Mar and Irineo half-plastered telling stories? I don’t even know if Roxas drinks.

      • Donna says:

        Sometimes we Filipinos are so hard on ourselves that it is easy for us to ” think the worse in us” rather than appreciate what is best in us” Mar is actually the typical educated pinoy,decent, unassuming, hardworking, problem-solver, self-righteous to a fault, principled. I see my husband, son, nice friends and relatives in him, hopefully come Election Day, the voters will see the light. God bless us all!

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        As someone who has closely known Korina since we were kids, I can tell you that her personality often comes as too strong for many Filipinos. Korina comes from a family with several strong characters that included a maternal grandmother who was the clan’s matriarch for a very long time, a domineering mother, as well as aunts and uncles who had no qualms about having their voices heard often during family squabbles.

        I’ve once accidentally had the chance to listen to someone who works for Korina. I was at friend’s friend’s birthday party and was quietly having dinner when the person seated next to me started talking about how Korina has very high expectations from everyone who works for her (as she should), but also shows great compassion for them. I was told about how people who work for Korina often tread in fear during their initial stages of employment, but that the fear usually turns later into respect and admiration when they get to know her better. Korina has no problems with giving constructive criticism (which to many people may sound harsh) about work done by people around her. But the “harsh” criticisms she dishes out are all borne out of a desire for people to simply be the best they can be.

        Will all these help Mar win votes come May 2016? I don’t know. Filipinos often take personalities far more seriously than character or skill. Even some of my most highly-educated colleagues think Korina’s persona is a bit too much for a potential first lady (similar to how many American voters thought of Hillary Clinton when Bill was President). I know this is why Korina has backed off from ABS-CBN’s news programs and has focused her journalistic enegies on her TV magazine instead.

        • Joe America says:

          Wonderful insights, thanks. The reaction does seem to be that both men and women often face when dealing with a strong, confident, not demure woman. It is rather the price of gender inequality that we may think we don’t have . . . but do. Thanks.

        • Ah, the dreaded amor propio.

          In the Marines, we have something similar we call butt-hurt : An inappropriately strong negative emotional response from a perceived personal insult. Characterized by strong feelings of shame. Frequently associated with a cessation of communication and overt hostility towards the “aggressor.” http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ButtHurt

          But we make fun of people who suffer from this malady, it’s not meant to be entertained or cuddled. Suck it up and get the job done!

          I hope that word catches on in the Philippines.

          Thanks for your insight, Jose. I like Korina already, most of what I got of her came from MRP.

          • Joe America says:

            It is a very common expression in the Philippines on social media, LC.

            • Interesting.

              I wonder if it is understood, the way we use it in the Marine— ie. suck it up, quit being such a pus thin-skinned person. Basically, as antidote to amor propio, so Filipinos will be ready for Korina (and other strong willed folks like her).

              If it is being used similarly, as we do, then you think the next generation Filipinos will have thicker skin?

              • Joe America says:

                That’s a big subject, the sensitivities and sense of “face” among Filipinos. It is like both exist at the same time, incredibly thick skin and incredibly thin. I’d have to reflect on that. I think the term is used similarly.

        • Marie Rosales says:

          Then, maybe the other side of Korina needs to be presented to the public. I have always seen her as Hillary to Mar Roxas. I believe she will make a great First Lady.

      • Roger espinosa says:

        Yes. I 100% agree!!

    • Hey, thanks… but that role should be for people from DFA… people who are rooted in the Philippines – I have been away for far too long, but if they have questions they can ask me.

      There is an old diplomatic rule – to rotate diplomats, have them come home for a few years and send them abroad again. It comes from the times of the British Empire, and was instituted for colonialists – to prevent the “going native” often observed amongst them.

      I know a Dutch woman whose father is half-Indonesian… her grandfather was a Dutch colonial administrator among the Dayak tribes… he went native and the Dutch government killed him for that shift… her father was nonetheless a Mardijker, a native soldier for the Dutch… Mardijker comes from maardhika, related to the Filipino word Maharlika for warrior. Her father was forced to leave after Indonesian Independence. These are the stories that the world makes, stories of shifting allegiances and blood.

      • …her brother is in the Dutch army BTW… all Austronesian peoples worship the same idols, the anitu… that was my father’s doctorate at the University of Paris Sorbonne. But they all have the same warrior traditions, only in the Philippines they are misdirected.

        It is time to teach the youth, whose “orag” (vital energy in Bikol) is misdirected to be true warriors of the mind and oragon, like one man does in this film about our Maori brothers…

      • sonny says:

        “… among the Dayak tribes ” Another intriguing Malay people and culture … My understanding, the Dayaks inhabit the impenetrable areas of the rain forests of Borneo: still loyal to Christianity and stubbornly autonomous among the rest of Bornean Malays. .

        • The Dayaks used to do human sacrifice… take the life of someone outside the angkan when somebody in the angkan died… a practice also common in late 19th-century Tiwi according to German-Russian businessman and hobby ethnologist Fedor Jagor…

          BTW the brothers of the Dutch woman are both Dutch soldiers… in keeping with family traditions. The evolution from primitive warrior to modern warrior. Self-discipline is what distinguishes true warriors from killers. Self-discipline is what many soldiers and police lacked in Marcos days, which is why human rights abuses happened. And professionalism – rules of engagement, even rules when to shoot or not. LCPL_X has noted trigger discipline already…

          • Two films, galvanized my views of the military as a kid—- Platoon (1986) and Farewell to the King (1989).

            Every problem I’d been exposed to since, I’ve always asked What would Elias do?, What would Learoyd think? “LCPL_X has noted trigger discipline already…” , Yes it has a lot to do with professionalism and discipline—- but I think the essence has always been compassion and empathy (use of force, lethal or not, always tempered with proportionality— violence of action yes, to stop the threat, but nothing more than necessary).

            • Empathy is important, which is why modern police training – I read the Hanns-Seidel foundation stuff about how they are retraining PNP – emphasizes a lot of psychology. Talk to suspects when apprehending them instead of just dragging them off. Against the APEC protesters, PNP used music and tapped their shields to it to drown down their shouting… psychology. Some ships use Britney Spears to scare of Somalian pirates… underground stations in Munich use classical music to keep drug addicts away it freaks them out… I suggest using Carlos Santana against Salafists, I am sure it would make them run away, it is almost a form of sorcery… 🙂

            • Joe America says:

              Mine were “Sgt York”, “High Noon” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, but they may have been a little ahead of your time. Black and white . . .

      • “I have been away for far too long, but if they have questions they can ask me.”


        Then maybe as advisor to the Sec. of DFA and the President on EU (Turkey) matters. All this expertise needs to be siphoned direct to these offices to benefit the Philippines.

        I hope you can meet up with Mar Roxas in Munich as well. If Joe’s reading of Mar is correct, then the both of you meeting would be a perfect storm of sorts!

    • Can says:

      Speechless pa po siya. Hahaha nice one

  2. edgar lores says:

    This may well be the piece that turns the tide.

    • NHerrera says:

      Yes, I have that feeling too.

      And wow, on the writing out effort, since it very well crafted, I wondered how much time and effort it took Joe to write this. But there is an important ingredient here — if written with a lot more of “heart and feelings,” it may have actually taken less time than the other blogs of lesser value.

      • Joe America says:

        It did not take so long to get the core of the article down, once I broke it into its three parts, legend, myth and man. Maybe an hour and a half. Then I noodled at it for several days to make sure I was getting it right.

        • sonny says:

          This is so uncanny, Joe. I can only think of your piece on Sec Roxas in terms of the physical phenomenon of resonance and natural harmonics. The secretary vibrates at his own frequency of thoughts, deeds and vision and proceeds, if the fates allow, to make others do likewise at their own frequencies and produce good music together. I fervently pray this happens!

          • Joe America says:

            Interesting that people want him to be loud and brazen like everyone else rather than determined and smart and quiet as he is. He indeed is strong enough to march to the beat of his own principles, which are superb. Wonderful resonance, that . . .

            • Nori Santos says:

              What people want him to be is more a reflection of those people, it’s time Filipinos sorted themselves out on the leadership they want for the country. My fear is that they might not do so in time for the polls, what with so much schmuck and noise from all those candidates.I am thinking along the same lines as your final suggestion, we need a tool to help voters decide analytically and with clarity.Thank you, JoeAm,. you’ve shown exactly the ‘sum of all parts’ I wished to know of Mar Roxas in this article.

              • Joe America says:

                Good of you to stop by, Nori, and thanks for the thoughtful and kind words.

              • daffodilsjoy says:

                Analytically and with clarity? My … My … My … Where is that strong, intelligent, fighter Alan Cayetano now? what has happend to his philosopines and principles? Why is Pacquio in the Senate so with Lito Lapid, Estradas, and many more? Why has the wife of Pacqiuo been elected as vice governor in their place? Thanks be to God, the mother of Pacqiuo hasn’t run for any public office til now. Why is Jolo Revilla and the other Revillas in the politics and have consistently won elections? And more such personalities in the Philippine politics..Who had elected them? Where is “analytically” and “with clarity” among us, Filipino voters?? And now Duterte in the scene and they said, coming out strong in surveys?? Unbelievable but even active, practicing Catholic and Christian women enjoy, feel tickled, laugh and are amused with everything Duterte says, declares and what not publicly in scandalous and dirty words!! They even have volunteered in his campaign machineries!! OMG!! God forbids!!

              • Joe America says:

                I think you are in a different plane of thought. Nori simply appreciated that I broke down the character of Mar Roxas in terms that made sense, and was kind enough to say so. The ills you cite are the other side of the divide from what Roxas represents, and they are, indeed, unbelievable.

              • No it makes a lot of sense: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/evolution-of-order/ – finally people will vote for the candidate who is at the stage they are themselves. Stage 7 is much better. It is logical and organized. I have seen it work over here. But of course it only works if the people implementing it have internalized Stages 6 and 7. Daang Matuwid had its difficulties in forcing Stage 6, sometimes using people who still were partly in Stage 5 or even below.

                Stage 1: bands, Stage 2: villages, Stage 3: warlords, Stage 4: God-Kings, Stage 5: rebels/prophets, Stage 6: moral lawmakers, Stage 7: secular lawmakers and organizers.

  3. Bert says:

    My eldest daughter who is a civil engineer and a Poe supporter after reading this blog flippantly quipped it must have been the lapu-lapu that have done it adding that Grace Poe should do the same to Joe but a maya-maya marinated in oyster sauce could do it better and more effective and less cholesterol, too. ‘Heh’, I snarled at her, ‘you don’t know Joe. I do.”

    • Joe America says:

      I would love to sit down to lunch with Grace Poe, frankly. I’d only have a couple of questions and none would be about foundlings or citizenship or applications.

      • http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/seguridad-ni-duterte/comment-page-2/#comment-1616 – and I have officially invited Duterte to come to Munich… to see true peace and order.

        And I will gladly go to Dachau with him – my first time – to see where criminals and misfits were originally sent to to work, then to die, and the only thing citizens complained about was the smell – and later others were sent… so he can see what he has started in Davao.

        Shall I dare to open my mouth,
        To speak of cities in the South?
        For I have never been to Dachau,
        nor have I ever went to Davao

        Dachau for me is very near,
        yet still it holds for me great fear,
        to board the S2 suburban train,
        so will it be Davao in the rain?

        Shall I go face the DDS
        Who remind me of the SS
        Now that my name is openly known
        and I may reap what I have sown?

  4. Joe, thanks… just some short comments here:


    1) There is a lot of brainpower comparable to Mar Roxas (or mine) in the Philippines. It is either:

    1a) Intimidated into silence. Frankie Sionil Jose is silent even if he had his birthday recently, my brother was one to congratulate him on FB. I admire Prof. Michael Chua for not being silent, but speaking out against Duterte and documenting Marcos abuses. Look for Xiao Chua on FB.

    1b) underdeveloped and ignorant. Not stupid. Misdirected. One has to know how to see the big picture and long term to be able to use brainpower properly. Many smart followers of Duterte see only parts of the picture and short-term, they don’t see the forest only the trees – what a pity.

    K-12 adresses this, because education in another language too early is bad to grasp concepts. Learning first in one’s native tongue – LOCAL tongue – makes it possible to learn what concepts really mean, and transfer this vital skill to other languages later on. This is scientifically proven.

    My father’s response to the common ignorance – not stupidity – was to start with teaching history in Tagalog at UP from the 1970s onward. The real programs in many of our Filipino brains run in Tagalog and only translate into English, which is why we truly talk Turkey in our own languages.

    Which is why Digong appears so down-to-earth, because he thinks in his Visayan tongue, while many intellectuals who only partly GET English talk such bullshit. Well, those totally trained in their brains like Mar Roxas GET things. In any language. Roxas speaks Tagalog. FLUENTLY.


    2) My father made “Braveheart” required watching for his students of Pantayong Pananaw – the school of “WE”-Thinking for Filipinos, an ideological school within Philippine history, an attempt to forge the common glue Filipinos lack, the glue that Joe has also talked about.. means to an end.

    Now my father speaks English perfectly, was an English minor, the children of Atty. Irineo Salazar spoke English with their father – and Spanish with their mother, a mestiza. Learned Bikol from their yaya. Sometimes my father’s kind of English betrays the Latin thinking in the back of his head…

    2a) There are two vital characters in Braveheart: Robert the Bruce and William Wallace.

    2b) Mar could be compared to Robert the Bruce, Duterte is a wannabe William Wallace.

    2c) My father once told me I am something in between the two, and he was very right.


    3) I have been on both sides of the cultural, not class divide. Mar and Duterte…

    3a) I was once President of a Filipino Youth Association. My VP was a balasubas from Pasig. There was a party we once threw where I planned everything, organized everything perfectly. Well, I was too tired to help in cleaning. I was accused of being lazy in the meeting afterwards. That was when I blew up and told them the next time we change roles. My Mar Roxas moment, bahala kayo sa buhay ninyo so to speak, but one must know the context. Like in Tacloban….

    3b) After I resigned from the Association, I joined the Philippine Embassy as a casual worker. Became an unofficial channel for many grievances of the Filipino groups. But I did not go the way of Duterte because I worked at the Embassy. I did filter. Didn’t tell the Embassy that some of the people in the associations had asked whether an Ambassador was “bakla” – shades of Noynoy, the Ambassador was intellectual like Noynoy, but I know from my own sources he wasn’t bakla… 🙂

    I did not tell the associations was I heard from an Ambassador after a meeting with them in the Embassy – “what do these nurses and mail order brides know anyway?” or something similar.


    Professor Ver Enriquez of UP, one of those who inspired my father Prof. Zeus Salazar, wrote about the Great Cultural Divide between elite and masses. It is already being bridged from both sides. Duterte is a secret bookworm. Mar speaks Tagalog fluently, something unthinkable in the days back then, in the 1970s a Filipina elite beauty contestant said “I speak Tagalog only to the maids”… and probably English to the dog and Spanish with her mother… these days are OVER.

    It is only when the people and their lords – for the Philippines is still a partly archaic society – find their unity like in the final scene of Braveheart, that the people as a whole can find their freedom. Dear Mar Roxas and everybody, watch this closely:

    • Joe America says:

      It’s interesting, Irineo. I’m writing another article and conclude that intelligence across the Philippines is high. It is constrained among the poor by family circumstances and values, and under-education. It is constrained among the political and well-to-do by weak ethical principles, that force people into rationalizations, like the Cayetanos have been doing since Duterte’s fondling incident and swearing at the pope. So values get polluted, and principles get warped. The brainpower is used to the disadvantage of all of us. If more people had Mar Roxas’ principles, this would be a very different, highly productive nation.

      • Hey, the stories I have already told here about how I shot down a former friend in the high school student elections, and how I lost my friendship with Jessica Zafra who knows Mar… show I might have become another Cayetano… my own father says I look and act like him.

        Same racial mixture… I could easily make myself look similar to Pulong Duterte as well… other circumstances and we three – two brothers and one rebellious, beautiful sister – could have become like the Duterte kids or similar. We just were lucky to leave the country.

        My brother is a high-powered political PR man, a Bikolano with the straightness of Trillanes and the skill of Escudero – but highly ethical. Imagine him fully raised back home?

        My sister has both the charm and strength of Inday Sara and the beauty of Pia Cayetano. She is the head of a museum. Now what would she have become under other conditions? My mother was right to make us pack and leave then. It was not only my political issues.

        She knew it wasn’t the right place to raise kids. She saw what I was becoming over there.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          “how I lost my friendship with Jessica Zafra who knows Mar”

          Funny, sir… The other day Zafra on Interaksyon posted her assessment of voters and their mentalities based on their choice of candidate.

          • Well, I basically didn’t want to play second fiddle to her… she became school paper editor and I was passed over.. instead of being a good team member I crabbed… something Mar Roxas never has done even if he could have been pissed off at losing for VP because of Kris/Binay.

            But the “huwag kang pa-under” mentality of Filipinos sees that as being Noynoy’s lapdog/tuta. The cultural dynamics of the Philippines are toxic… BTW thanks for your comment in my blog.

            new article out, http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/evolution-of-order/ – also about candidates.

            • DIGEST:Duterte is clearly in Stage 4 (God-King who decides over life and death, war and peace) He acts like a Pharaoh in the Egyptian fertility cult, with women on his lap on stage, the Mocha Girls endorsing him and followers nearly worshipping him. Davao today is also an economically prosperous area. Duterte’s vice-mayors are from different tribes, like God-King Alexander the Great delegated his regions to satraps. Duterte federalism might be similar. Santiago represents law, meaning Stage 7. But Miriam Santiago has teamed up with Bongbong and is not healthy. Poe: she wants to fix the Philippines, but has no idea how to. She is definitely in Stage 5 (prophet) Mar Roxas represents modern order, meaning Stage 7.

              Mar Roxas has done good work so far, but in some parts in may have been effective, in some not. Parts of the PNP may still be doing things the old corrupt and/or brutal way. Many LGUs are not compliant, the worst example of this may have been Tacloban during Yolanda. The famous video where he says “bahala kayo sa buhay ninyo” is only his reaction to the Tacloban mayor. Filipinos are often non-compliant, “pasaway” and need micro-management, even by motorcycle. Finally, Filipinos will choose the President that they deserve at this stage of their social development. The Agta that Fedor Jagor observed near Tiwi in Albay were the 1870s. That is hardly 150 years ago. Europeans and Americans had centuries to go through similar developments. I really hope the Philippines finds its way. Because today the world is more interconnected, and sliding back means losing to others. Finally people will vote for the candidate who is at the stage they are themselves. Stage 7 is much better. It is logical and organized. I have seen it work over here. But of course it only works if the people implementing it have internalized Stages 6 and 7. Daang Matuwid had its difficulties in forcing Stage 6, sometimes using people who still were partly in Stage 5 or even below. Those that are modern and compliant would make a Roxas presidency successful. Those that have to be motivated by fear and guided by micromanagement will be looking for a Duterte presidency.

              Mayor Duterte is a lawyer. His mind was educated for Stage 7, but his guts act more like Stage 4. Has he understood Stage 6 in his heart? I don’t know. He is popular among those who have not yet fully assimilated Stages 6 and 7 – moral and legal. His satraps who have not understood this will be a danger. And after Alexander the Great died, the satraps formed their own kingdoms. There is a clear danger that the Philippines would Balkanize after Duterte dies, which is likely within the next years. Unless he is as virile and strong as Pharaoh Ramses II.

      • sonny says:

        Amen, a thousand times over, Joe.

        Remember the America where I now live and started a family, so rich with the special schools to train and nurture the intelligent minds and talent of the country? My older went to one for music, the younger to one for Math & Science.

        This is the same blessing I constantly pray will also be visited on the Philippines and the intelligent Filipinos you speak of. (And yes, I also wish Irineo’s wish for Duterte’s visit to that place in Germany.)

        • I respect Duterte’s quest for order… but some his methods are simply too much… what I like are his different curfews for NOISE for example… this is standard here: http://www.muenchen.de/rathaus/Stadtverwaltung/Referat-fuer-Gesundheit-und-Umwelt/Laerm/Regelungen.html

          also his curfews for minors… they are also standard over here: Protection of Young Persons Act is a Federal Law http://www.bmfsfj.de/RedaktionBMFSFJ/Abteilung5/Pdf-Anlagen/jschg-englisch,property=pdf,bereich=bmfsfj,sprache=de,rwb=true.pdf

          German Federalism is highly controlled… not like American Federalism… what laws and ordnances may be passed at federal, state and municipal level is highly regulated to prevent standards from becoming too different… on top of it there is the EU with its overarching rules.

          Also what I wrote to the TRUE DDS poster in my blog about rules of engagement to avoid shoot-outs, even rules for killing hostage-takers to avoid killing civilians in the process – this could be something PNP is already learning from the Bavarian State Police… professional…

          And last but not least, since the mother of the children of Digong is Elizabeth Zimmerman, even his children are cordially invited to have a look at the country of some their ancestors… and all can have a look at how K-13 and K-12 work here… Germany also advised on that program.

    • Maxie says:

      “Well, those totally trained in their brains like Mar Roxas GET things. In any language. Roxas speaks Tagalog. FLUENTLY.”

      I don’t know if this is relevant to your story but Mar Roxas also speaks FLUENT Ilonggo 🙂

      • Joe America says:

        Ah, didn’t know that, Maxie. I bet his French is pretty good, too, because he mentioned BNP Paribas in the US and his accent was impeccable.

        • There is an old rift in Philippine Society…

          1) in the early American Philippines, there were Progresistas (Pardo de Tavera whose sister was killed by Juan Luna, Heneral Luna’s brother, and who was Raissa’s great-grandfather or grandfather, her mother was a Pardo de Tavera) and Nacionalistas.

          The Nacionalistas wanted to continue the cause of the nation. Quezon completed it. Magsaysay saved it. The LP split out of the NP sometime in the 1940s.

          The Progresistas wanted US statehood for the Philippines. Many LPs were formerly there.

          2) In 1946, Manuel Roxas Sr., LP, who was a Japanese collaborator, was perceived to have sold the Philippines to the USA in an unfavorable trade treaty. His laws also favored hacienderos, sugar industry.

          Magsaysay, NP had new trade treaties signed with the US. He stopped the Huk movement. He continued to ally with the United States but more on Filipino, Nacionalista terms. Benigno Aguino Jr. helped him as a mediator – yes Ninoy himself.

          3) Ferdinand Marcos, NP, became a dictator. He ruined the reputation of the Nacionalistas. That party never fully recovered.

          Ninoy Aquino, LP and Gerry Roxas, LP, redeemed their fathers who were both seen as traitors. That is how history can go.

          If you look at Philippine Society and Politics today, the old rift is still there in other forms. Ideas lost in translation and no longer appropriate to today remain. All are Filipinos NOW.

          • Joe America says:

            If I were an artist, I’d paint a picture of the Philippines morphing this way and that. It would probably have to be four or five different dimensions. She’s on the move still, a nation of personalities and allegiances, shifting as the waves break across the gorgeous archipelago . . .

            • Edgar once had an idea… of a telenovela with scenes of “nagalaw pa ba iyan” alternating with AlDub… Philippine history from 1850-2015 with all the people IS a teleserye already.

              But it hopefully will have an ending like “Kaputol ng Isang Awit” from the 90s. Folks, listen to the words of the song, and apply them to the Philippine condition… and look at the different colors and classes united… and the family reunited at the end.

    • mssyj says:

      So you are the son of the great Zeus. That explains it. You must be so little when I was studying at UP and was a student assisant at the Dept of History. ☺️

      • Joe America says:

        Yes, Irineo is the son of the great Zeus. Zeus follows the blog on Facebook.

        • Zeus is old and mortal… so I am fast-forwarding his original Daang Makulit…

          In Marcos Days, my father was a leftist, Russian-style. He said I am not anti-anyone, I am only pro-Filipino, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. In the 1990s he said China will be a threat, there is not much time… and America is the right partner for the Philippines to defend itself. His is Magsaysay nationalism, not stupid Santiago nationalism. And you Joe, have Pantayong Pananaw, even without Tagalog – a sense of WE for the Philippines.

  5. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Mar Roxas knows his business, I agree. Irineo is awesome, and so must Mar be. But some of us are good at other things. I am good in picking up the right things to do at the onset with heart and passion. I was one of the first Filipinos to run a full marathon, start a healthy regimen, have a family blog years before Facebook, sit up and take notice of AlDub. I’m not getting the same readings for Mar in my kilig meter—not only me, but most everyone I talk to is strongly for Leni, but apologetic for not being for Mar. I will lay my life for Daang Matuwid, believe in it because it is the best game in town, but how can we win if the lamp is not on its stand, but inside a bowl, borrowing from Matthew 5:15. I hope it’s just me. But I will continue campaigning for President Aquino’s choices, knowing the elections is a referendum, the question being: “We will continue Daang Matuwid as defined by President Aquino. Agree or disagree?” Somebody please point to where the joy is. Okay, one more time, so I get my point across: In the Philippines, you either (a) make people cry such as when Cory died, (b) make them laugh or fall in love again such as in kalyeserye, or (c) help them regain their bearings such as Aug. 21, 1983. Pray tell, where do we position Mar?

    • Panoorin mo ulit ang Braveheart… tignan mo ang pinagdaanan ni Robert the Bruce… Maginoo na nakatuklas ng ibang pananaw… pero hangga’t sa huli paurong-sulong dahil hindi pa buo ang loob niya… kaya nagmukhang mahina ang loob…

      Sa pagkilatis ko, baka ganyan din ang process kay Mar… alam ko iyan dahil nadaanan ko rin iyan sa mga na-experience ko between entitled and masses… hindi talaga madaling pamunuan ang mga Pilipino kahit sa abroad… and what I have told here is only a fraction of what I have experienced… lalo pa sa Pilipinas napakahirap… Mar must be seriously thinking damn paano ko ito gagawin… hangga’t sa mabuo ang loob niya at handa siya.

    • edgar lores says:

      I believe part of Joe’s message is not where we position Mar. It’s where you and I — that is, the observer — position ourselves.

      Filipinos have a tendency to overemote, whether with joy or with grief, to extraordinary external events.

      We have become so accustomed to extremes that we have lost the sense of wonder in the “ordinary”.

      We gravitate toward the extraordinary plunderer, the extraordinary foundling, the extraordinary vigilante, and the extraordinary producer of one-liners. Everyone must have an outsized personality.

      Someone does not have to makes us laugh or cry, discover love or die. The celebration of life or death can be found in the commonplace.

      We should not expect to be moved to passion by external stimuli alone. Passion should be found within, aligned to principles of conscience.

      And joy is everywhere. One just has to be open to it.

      The essence of Zen is about “finding the ideal in the ordinary and the ordinary in the ideal.”

      Zen wisdom says, “What we can change is our perceptions, which have the effect of changing everything.”

      • do not expect too much passion in a country run by big fat men wearing glasses. WTF?

        read more here: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/personalities-versus-politics/

      • karl garcia says:

        Mar still has to position himself because not everyone believes in him.This cannot be a case of my performance speak for itself nuff said.
        Now as for the Legend-Perceived accomplishments
        Myths-Perceived Failures
        Man-over all perception

        For me that is how Mar positions himself in the eye of the observer.

        • edgar lores says:


          You are correct of course: Mar has to position himself.

          What I meant to convey and emphasize is that it is not up to us to position Mar… in answer to Will’s question.

          Mar has already positioned himself. And he is reinforcing his position in his own perhaps unassuming way — confident but humble, as JoeAm describes it — as he goes around the country.

          The failure to recognize his positioning may have less to do with Mar… and perhaps more to do with a lack of perception on people’s part. Hence the need for the Rorschach test.

          Politics is perception. And like beauty, winnability is in the eye of the beholder. But winnability, as you imply, can be — must be — a matter of campaign strategy.

    • Nez Fuertez says:

      Sir WGV, i can only conclude from the 3 cases you stated that we filipinos are emotion-driven. Cong. Leni Robredo’s light shines brighter because of her position under case (a). Maybe that’s why Sec. Mar Roxas is only noticed by the intellectual, rational and logic-driven… his tragic story, the untimely lost of his brother, is not enough to level with case (a). His love story with Korina though romantic will never be at par with case (b) [but really case (b) is pure fiction, a product of creative minds that feeds our emotional need with a balance diet of comedy, drama and some action]. I pray another case (c) need not happen again. I’d rather we not suffer first the consequence of choosing another dictator or lawless president. I don’t want to wait for another darkness to enter our history again, because we let our hearts, that are easily persuaded by heart-wrenching, stomach-turning or kilig moments, decide in the 2016 election. So rather than finding Mar’s position in the current molds available [which is a short-term solution] why not use our intellects and combined brain powers in educating our countrymen to use logic rather than emotions in choosing leaders. I know it will need a herculean effort but the results will have a long-term effect not only in choosing for the presidential position but for all positions, for the 2016 election and beyond.

      For my own peace of mind, i’m performing my own research for each candidates. I still have a long list to review for the senate positions however as early as now i can already agree with you, i want Daang Matuwid as defined by President Aquino to continue. I believe Mar and Lenie will continue Daang Matuwid, that they can accomplish more, since the foundation has been laid out, and they will not stray from the mandate of their positions as set by the constitution.

      • The Philippines has a way to go… the vision of continuity I once posted here could be:

        2016-2022: Mar to consolidate
        2022-2028: Leni to unite the people
        2028-2036: Bam to abolish the dynasties

        The Philippines IS semi-feudal in nature. It has datus (barangay captains) and rajahs like Duterte or Gordon. Mar, who is a FILIPINO GENTLEMAN – is that an oxymoron I hope not – would be the one equipped to handle consolidating things. Leni can really include the people. Bam Aquino has the mindset already to abolish the dynasties and make a fully modern country. Because the mindset has to catch up with the outward development – ONE Generation needed.

  6. RoxasRobredo2016 says:

    I’m voting Mar+Leni; however, most of my friends/family won’t because as you have said: Mar Roxas cannot relate to the poor because he is entitled, he is a weak manager (DOTC, DILG), he is clumsy or weak at public relations (the photos)

    How do we go on debunking these myths to give Mar a fighting chance for the Presidency?

    • Joe America says:

      I think they have to understand they have been fed a lot of “myths” by crooks and political opponents. They should try to watch Mar Roxas first hand doing interview shows, and they should take the Rorschach test. Are they doing the best for the Philippines? Why? They should also ask themselves how Poe and Binay are going to pay for all the things they say they will do, and take care of poverty too, and defend the nation. It does not add up. Because it is just more of the “myths and dreams”. Your friends and family are buying into propaganda.

      I wish they could meet Mar Roxas. Truly, he can relate to anybody. Did you watch any of the video of him with Mamasapano victim families? He is genuine.

      • I met a very young Mar Roxas before the year 2000 at an educator’s conference. I heard him speak and I told myself “WOW! This young man is brilliant”. I do not remember anymore what he delivered, but as an educator for 22 years who can tell an intelligent person from the way he speaks, he earned my respect. The same respect that I give to our President, the first time I watched him being interviewed. These men will never bother about pleasing everybody; they will walk their talk. And most of the time, they save on their talk to do all the working. I come from the masses too but I was lucky because of proper education, discernment of what is true and good becomes easier for me. I just hope the same will happen to the Filipino voters.

        • Joe America says:

          Thanks for the bright light this cloudy Wednesday, Myrna. I wish people could read your view, rather than that tabloid trash. There would be no question at all who the most qualified presidential candidate is.

  7. Chivas says:

    Rorschach test. Exactly. This is hair-raising. It’s as if people hate accomplishments and the price to pay for it. As if many of Filipinos are afflicted with “shiny object syndrome”. If a certain idea doesn’t have a process to follow or ability to turn words into concrete solutions, then it is entertainment, nothing more. Voters are really tested here. Personally, I plan to migrate to Switzerland if Mar failed, because the gates to “the life” will close faster than ever and it’s every man for himself like what happened in Reservoir Dogs.

  8. Squared says:

    The problem with Mar is that he isn’t acting like a politician, most of the time. Which personally is the reason why I want Mar to win.

    When Ferdinand Marcos married Imelda Romualdez, it was perfect since Marcos was from the North, and Imelda was from the South. Ordinary people can relate with Imelda since she was poor. It was in a way a calculated marriage.

    Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez is a head-scratching pairing. Mar is perceived as an elitist. Korina because of a physical abuse charge of one of her household helper is also perceived to be an elitist.

    Some of my relatives from Roxas’ hometown who are in politics stated their annoyance with Korina because she doesn’t engage with guests. Korina should emulate Roxas’ mother, Judy Roxas who was really engaging, will bend over backwards to guests, talk to you as if you’re the guest of honor.

    Mar Roxas should have married for political reason. Preferably someone close to the masses, Someone like Kris Aquino.

    Sadly, in our culture, had Roxas not been born rich, he might not have been successful, I’ve seen morons getting promoted because of office politics, and I’ve seen the Mar Roxases in our office who stays a grunt because he isn’t in to politics.

    In office politics, people like the Dutertes (charismatic dumbass co-worker), the Binays (credit-grabbing dumbass), and the Poes (Woe-is-me dumbass). Sometimes the Miriams (know-it-all loud dumbass) gets promoted too. But the Mar Roxas’ (silent efficient working dumbasss) is seldom given any promotion.

    • Joe America says:

      I think his strength is that people he works with do understand and appreciate his style. Those with values like Leni Robredo. As more and more people of influence start to announce their choice, more and more people will announce for Mar Roxas. I think his survey numbers will push steadily up.

      • Since I have been sharing all kinds of stuff on the FGLC FB page for quite a while now – and have been seeing the comments – this is already happening on social media right now… the rational people or those who have realized stuff are coming out of the woodwork. Finally.

        • Joe America says:

          That is good news. I think the pro-Roxas people should not emulate their candidate. They should stand up and start shouting for a continuation of a good-thinking, honest, earnest government.

    • Cynthia says:

      So true..I hope people would vote for Mar.am afraid of what would happened if we get back to the black ages.

  9. chempo says:

    Joe, you should have sat down with Wilfredo G. Villanueva to write this piece. I’m joking of course, but you know what I mean.
    Thks for bring us up close and personal with the man.

  10. Gemino H. Abad says:

    THANKS, Joe! You just made my day!! (the cliche still stays true). The coming election is the acid test of our electorate: do they have good judgment? it will be a national disgrace if Duterte or Binay get elected! or Poe? (on an emotional/sentimental tide? I wish she had opted for Vice-President for more experience in governance). A national disaster if Bongbong or Escudero or Honasan get in as Vice-President!! As to Miriam, she is just bombast! May our good Lord have mercy on our country!

    • thedan1337 says:

      Poe.. On an emotional/sentimental tide. The same tide Aquino got into presidency. The same time Cory Aquino got presidency (despite being a yaya). Poe is trying to ride the sentimental tide, along with Robredo on her husband’s death. This is Philippine necro-politics mixed with emotions for decision making.

      • Excuse me. Cory was not a paid yaya. She took care of her kids while her husband rotted in jail because of FM. She could pay hundreds of yayas if she wanted to. As for the sentimental riding thing? Sentiments mark historical changes. You see tanks faced bravely by Catholic sisters with their hands sharing their rosaries to the soldiers; who would not be moved? You see those who have not forgotten with their children and grandchildren line the roads to grieve for the death of the woman president who brought back our long lost democracy, and their sentiment was ‘continue what she had given to us- respect, trust, courage and a clean bill of governance’. And that is what we have now. And that is still what we will have and more if we know who indeed is thebest for us.

        • thedan1337 says:

          Ok, she wasn’t paid, but a housewife nonetheless with no experience in much anything besides being a mother?

          Sentiments is what politicians thrive on, they know they can influence weak minded Filipinos with feelings and crying and tears.

          Cory may have brought more democracy, but democracy does not equal freedom. We still have rampant family dynasties, corruption on all levels of government, poor infrastructure, awful pollution and little to no enforcement (or selective enforcement) of laws because the judiciary branch is also corrupt to the core.

    • Joe America says:

      You are exactly right, Gemino. This election is about Filipino citizens. I think I’ll get that into a tweet,

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Wow! Didn’t know that Jimmy Abad writes prose! Happy to see you here, brod! Will Villanueva ’70

  11. I think the PR part is really not working for him. When the campaign period starts, I think he should look serious. Shoot him where he stand tall. Angles. It is all about angles and projection. Being happy in ads does not do him a favor. It makes his detractors more eager to paint him a bad picture. I know he does not do sound bites and speeches with conviction, but this is what the simple minded Filipinos fall for.

      • The Philippine elections seems to be about personalities all the time. But this is not politics, it is showbiz… Politikos used to mean “related to citizens” – or the country.

        Polis meant city in Greek, and politics was discussed in agoras like the one in Thessaloniki. Now the Greeks of today are loud and passionate like Filipinos, and maybe even more chaotic, it must have been loud there as well before. Today’s social media are the agora of Filipino politics. Sometimes they even voted on exiling certain people for 10 years or so for causing trouble, the so-called ostracism. Sometimes I wish there were such a thing in the Philippines, for people like Chiz Escudero. Occasionally they voted for a tyrannis, a temporary dictatorship to fix things for a while when democracy did not work. Often tyrants were the ones who were ostracized after ruling the polis for some years…

        During the time of Chancellor Helmut Kohl and President Roman Herzog, one columist wrote something like this: do not expect too much passion in a country run by big fat men wearing glasses. Well, after him came the “media chancellor” Gerhard Schröder. I voted for him too because I found him cool, thinking why should I vote for “the elephant”? Gerhard Schröder cut taxes for my income group and I was happy. But raised taxes in all kinds of places so everything became more expensive in the end. Nice, I had more money in my pocket, but could buy less with it than before. And more things…

        I didn’t vote at all in 2005, when boring Angela Merkel won against “Gerd”. Merkel once shot down her former mentor Helmut Kohl in the Christian Democratic Union. Now Kohl as the leader of the CDU was a political player in the same league as Franklin Drilon, inspite of his appearance. But he underestimated “Das Mädchen” (the girl) from East Germany, a Chemistry Ph.D. who used to have very bad haircuts. Everybody underestimated “Angie”.

        Enough of people for now. Back to politics. How do you evaluate the present government based on criteria like above, and what changes/improvements do you expect? I don’t see one single newspaper in the Philippines that has truly analyzed this. Nor do I see a summary like this from any single candidate. READ MORE HEREhttp://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/personalities-versus-politics/ OR LOOK FOR what Carlos Celdran said recently similar to this: “I will not go by personalities but by issues. Mar Roxas does not have a personality anyway, but I will back his work”.

  12. asintado007 says:

    Joe, fantastic piece. Will you be able to convert this into a form that is easier to digest by the masses (Binay voters), or those who prefer to only read headlines (Duterte voters)?
    Thank you, I appreciate what you are doing here.

    • karl garcia says:

      Irineo ,Juana and Will can translate.

      • karl garcia says:

        I included Juana because I am hoping she would react, there must be no snow where she is farming, is she Californa based?

        • Joe America says:

          Arizona. I don’t know about snow. AZ is desert and mountains and a grand canyon.

          • karl garcia says:

            Oh,I see.Juana must also be on a sabbatical.

            • karl garcia says:

              I have pictures of playing with snow on our way to the Grand Canyon, that coulld only be in AZ because our road trip began in CA.

              • Joe America says:

                Right. The altitude of the rim is high enough for snow. When we were in the US May 2014, we took the train from Williams to the rim, and froze when we got there. No snow, but a cold, cold wind. On the way back, the train was robbed by a gang of nasty cowboys on horseback, giving the kid a memory he’ll likely never forget.

              • karl garcia says:

                I went to the Grand Canyon in 1975. I hope the memory was not traumatic for your kid.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, a young, steely eyed bandit looked at my son and asked “What you staring at, Kid?” Junior, quivering in trepidation “You.” The steely eyed cowboy broke into a smile and handed him a souvenir. Then he was gone as quick as a desert whirlwind. Another rather hefty bandit stayed on in the car, playing guitar, singing and telling jokes. We all recovered fine.

                I doubt that much has changed since 1975 except the Colorado River is carrying less water. It’s still one deep ditch.

              • karl garcia says:

                Glad,you recovered fine.Good that that there are faded pictures and faded memories of the past.

          • sonny says:

            Aye, the US of A is such a puzzlement, weatherwise. The country is so huge and complex. AZ is the closest to the country size of the PH. And AZ is all land mass: Tucson, Phoenix, Tempe, Flagstaff, Sedona (ah, mysterious Sedona). Maybe sometime Juana will give us a virtual tour of her home state. 🙂

            • Joe America says:

              My favorite AZ city is Jerome, a little mining town perched high on a rocky mountain looking east across the entire world. Population 448, quaint it is. You can almost see New York from there. It is along one of the back roads (Hwy 89A) leading from Prescott to Sedona, and on to Flagstaff, one of my regular watering holes whilst crossing the west. Sedona is too artsy and rich and contrived for my tastes, but the rock formations are grand. Then there is Taos, NM . . . speaking of artsy . . .

              • sonny says:

                Aye, again. I have gone through Flagstaff (from Chicago) the two times I used Route 66 (parallel from the freeway anyway). The town is almost a straight shot to I-15 intersection to Edwards & Vegas. If I stay a while anywhere NM or AZ I suspect I’ll discover another America different from the Midwest (Illinois, Minn, Wisc). I’ll probably end up reading again Bryson’s book on Americana … and so on. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      A volunteer would have to offer to translate it. Anyone can take excerpts and plaster them across Facebook of wherever. I just write ’em and bounce around the dialogue thread as people comment. I am actually non-partisan, politically, but very much interested in the well-being of the nation. That sort of gets me lined up well with LP and President Aquino and what they are trying to do to bring the nation into the modern world.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Sige, I offer to translate it to street Tagalog. I’ll collaborate with Irineo and Mary Grace to make sure I get the spirit of the article. Don’t know Juana’s email or Facebook address.

        • I’ll send it to you via FB…

        • asintado007 says:

          Thanks Wilfredo. Sorry to sound entitled here, but what I meant was that a straight up translation might not work. A lot of those on social media seem to share stuff without even reading the contents or checking for facts (i.e the doctored Inquirer news item yesterday, and the Pope quote about Duterte). Hence, I feel that a shorter, easily digestable version of Joeam’s piece will be more easily received by many voters who have closed their minds to Mar Roxas and the administration.

          Thanks for the translation work you’ve done, I do appreciate what you and Joeam are doing for the country.

          • I fully disagree… it should be translated fully. Anyone can make an abridged version.

            Bloggers work using the “copyleft” principle, something open source programmers know.

            What is important are the memes of this work. The ideas, and making them spread…

            • sonny says:

              PiE, would like to request for the 2-sentence version of the “copyleft” principle. I was a programmer once (legacy systems). 🙂

              • Copyleft is you can reuse anything, but must name the source… Wikimedia for example.

                Reblogging with link to source is a form of copyleft… as opposed to copyRIGHT.

              • Joe America says:

                It should be “copylift”, as when someone goes on a heist, they lift the jewelry.

              • sonny says:

                Ah, yes. Thank you PiE n Joe. Sigh, to be younger again. Frank Sinatra’s 100th bday: Jeopardy question w/pic, “who was one of Frank’s four wives?” Ans: Ava Gardner. Not one knew her from foto. waah …

        • Joe America says:

          Thank you. I think that will get the blog a considerably bigger reach.

      • thedan1337 says:

        Why? The nation has never been historically unified and is some kind of Westerner dream to influence people to be like them. Luzon and Mindanao are vastly different in many ways while a central Manila government tries to dictate their way of life by the stroke of a pen without setting foot and seeing their plight. Clans are everywhere, and while the West’s systems try to integrate them into “development/progress/civilization” etc., it seems to encourage more corruption and short cut ways to make more off their land and investments.

        I don’t really care for any politician on a national level. It’s not like I can vote here either so I don’t know why you’re sticking your neck out if you can’t vote.

        • What is your solution? Go back to datus and rajas? Aren’t things too far for that already?

          Inside Filipino heads, thinking is still like the time of Lapu-Lapu. The modern system has not yet arrived mentally except PARTLY in the cities and of course the capital.

          But can you go back to the times of Lapu-Lapu? I don’t think so. There are too many people already for the country to support the old way of life. The only way is forward. But adapt that moving forward to the Filipino mentality, and adapt the Filipino mentality to modernity…

          • thedan1337 says:

            Well, we are still in the time of datus, and another form called political family dynasties. One solution is the anti-dynasty law, but seeing as the majority of politicians will lose their piggy bank of a “job”, there will not be any political will to pass that law. That would be a good start, but do you think it will happen anytime soon?

        • “It’s not like I can vote here either so I don’t know why you’re sticking your neck out if you can’t vote.”

          @ thedan,

          Joe would be an idiot if he doesn’t participate (by vote, or otherwise).

          Idiot is a word derived from the Greek ἰδιώτης, idiōtēs (“person lacking professional skill”, “a private citizen”, “individual”), from ἴδιος, idios (“private”, “one’s own”). In Latin the word idiota (“ordinary person, layman”) preceded the Late Latin meaning “uneducated or ignorant person”.

          An idiot in Athenian democracy was someone who was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private—as opposed to public—affairs.

          Declining to take part in public life, such as democratic government of the polis (city state), was considered dishonorable.

          Officially, or not, Joe is part of the Philippines now—- he could just as well lay in a hammock all day and sip his daiquiris enjoying the island sun, & care less, but he chooses to be involved, to take part in public life. That’s commendable.


          • Filipinos are very engaged in their democracy now, thanks to social media… but they are too fixated on persons… but I guess the Greeks were too: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/personalities-versus-politics/

            politikos used to mean “related to citizens” – or the country. Polis meant city in Greek, and politics was discussed in agoras like the one in Thessaloniki. Now the Greeks of today are loud and passionate like Filipinos, and maybe even more chaotic, it must have been loud there as well before. Today’s social media are the agora of Filipino politics. Sometimes they even voted on exiling certain people for 10 years or so for causing trouble, the so-called ostracism. Sometimes I wish there were such a thing in the Philippines, for people like Chiz Escudero. Occasionally they voted for a tyrannis, a temporary dictatorship to fix things for a while when democracy did not work. Often tyrants were the ones who were ostracized after ruling the polis for some years.

            • As for me, it is about sharing my learning curve abroad… what I learned over here in a more developed society… because development cannot be stopped, and those countries that go for best practices will win in competition… the world is getting smaller… regions and partnerships.

          • thedan1337 says:

            I can understand taking part online, but not rubbing elbows with politicians. Recently there was a foreigner deported for publicly protesting the PDAF/VILP scam. All I’m saying is that foreigners need to be careful when it comes to mingling with politicians.

            • karl garcia says:

              The Dutch guy did not just protest he berated a cop,and it wad an anti Sona Rally.Joe rubbing elbows with polticians is fine,and Joe is well aware of his limits.

              • karl,

                Ireneo & I were talking about empathy & compassion above for cops and soldiers, but this is toooooo much compassion & empathy! LOL! Thanks for the laugh, man. 🙂

              • karl garcia says:

                The Dutch kid made the cop cry.

              • thedan1337 says:

                What are you talking about? It was the anti-PDAF rally. In other words, he was protesting the corruption and got deported for it. Berated a cop? The cop looks more than healthy to me. There was no violence either…

            • Joe America says:

              I’m careful. I write articles and opinions, I don’t belong to any political group, I don’t contribute money to campaigns, I don’t join protests or “cause” marches. I write a blog that speaks as earnestly and honorably as I can to the well-being of the Philippines. I’m paid nothing. I don’t write political opinions during the official campaign period (it has not yet begun). As I said in the blog, I would be happy to meet with any candidate, as it is better to have an informed opinion than one that is half-baked. Peter Wallace worked decades here writing opinions, before finally becoming a Filipino citizen. I appreciate your concern, but don’t grasp why you want me to stop being a voice here.

        • Joe America says:

          Well, thedan, some people climb mountains and others don’t.

    • Cynthia says:

      Yes,kindly do what he suggested. Fitted for the different kinds of voters.thank you for your blogs.you do love the Filipinos.please,continue what you are doing and convince all of us about your insights as the pen is mightier than the sword.I hope you could be read in the tabloids,too.I am afraid of the young generation. They have different perceptions.

  13. Ad mocking Merkel’s funny haircut…

    And what is she since yesterday?

    Frederick the Great, Prussian King, not only upheld the rule of law by bowing to a court decree when a miller sued him… he also created an important phrase, very Protestant like he was:



    These values have crept into the German psyche… they didn’t prevent the former resident of a Vienna men’s home, Adolf Hitler, yes he was a bum for while, from becoming powerful… but they did help get great leaders like Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel into power… Frederick the Great was by all modern research most probably gay… his father was the Soldier King who forced him to “BE A MAN”… had his “best friend” executed after his son and his friend both deserted and forced Frederick to watch through the prison window… lessons of history.

  14. Irineo B. R. Salazar and his Filipino-German Learning Center = DAANG MAKULIT. 🙂

  15. Micha says:

    “Mar Roxas recognizes that the success of the nation requires steady, high economic growth. He is looking for ways to get another point or two into GDP growth.”

    I am not seeing any specifics but I imagine he has some of these in mind :

    – build that high speed train to Dau and relocate international airport to Clark.

    – move the shipping terminals to Sangley Point or Batangas which would significantly de-congest MM.

    – ensure food sufficiency by increased farm subsidies (improved irrigation infrastructure, farm inputs, and adoption of mechanized farming).

    – subsidize quality public education from elementary to college.

    – implement program for sustainable population growth.

    – develop alternative sources of energy in place of coal and oil (wind, solar, hydro etc.).

    Is there a Liberal Party/Mar Roxas campaign site we could access to verify his/their economic plans?

  16. may abriol says:

    Since 2010 election i already like Roxas, I voted for him and very disapointed when he was cheated by binay. I really hate binay coz he dont have any personality to face other dignitary people around the world. The last time hr was interviewed in cnn i feel embarassed because he hardly answered the questions and bite his teeth only. Unlike Roxas Im proud of him, polite in answeri gquestions. Duterte very proud of himself (sarcasm), Poe, in her one commercial she doubledher postfather (ayusin natin ang pilipinas). Vote fot Roxas + Robredo straight LP

  17. karl garcia says:


    Time for staff to update the wikipedia page.
    this is linked to the 2016 campaign page,so might as well update it.

    • karl garcia says:

      continuity is a fine position, but how will he articulate that for the naysayers,undecideds.
      that is why i reacted on my Idol’s stance that this is for the position of the observer.

  18. Marie M says:

    Inspiring words from the man himself.
    He attended the Wallace Business forum this morning.

    Mar Roxas: “I am not the most exciting product on the shelf. Filipinos are drawn to what’s loud and shiny. But in the end I am confident that Filipinos will chose who they can rely on. I’ll campaign the way I govern.”

    • He won Korina… Duterte can keep the Mocha Girls.

    • Mar Roxas: “I am not the most exciting product on the shelf. Filipinos are drawn to what’s loud and shiny. But in the end I am confident that Filipinos will chose who they can rely on. I’ll campaign the way I govern.”

      The last line struck me the most. He has the similar fortitude of the protagonist Seo Hye-rim in the Korean Drama Daemul (Big Thing) who went on to become the First Woman President of South Korea. The character refuses to use the dirty tactics often used by rival politicians even when people around him advises her to do so. Not even when the rivals had a clear violation of the law. I’ll campaign the way I govern. What a close resemblance. Plenty of lessons from the drama that mirrors the Philippines too. A must watch drama.

      • sonny says:

        “… I’ll campaign the way I govern.” Wow! I feel the beginning of an iconic statesmanlike phrase only because it so fits the man.

    • Joe America says:

      I think others are also campaigning the way they’d govern . . . which is the scary part.

  19. Ah, the picture of the man becomes more clear. And i’m quick to share this one, Joe.

  20. derf sibal says:

    Pls check your facts about Mar of the BPO industry. Its not Mar.

  21. junie garcia says:

    Great piece, Joe.

  22. Joe minor quibble :BPO revenues in USD not PHP

  23. bauwow says:

    This is refreshing after reading so much hate, doubt and dislike for Mar Roxas. Hell, even my own sister thinks that Mar is a wimp, for not standing up and for being contented to be just under the shadow of Pnoy. To those of us who are tired and depressed, who is excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel, read this and remember this article. We must do everything, or Mar Roxas will be the best president we never had. 😦

    • Joe America says:

      I suppose it is hared to see what we cannot see, and when all we see is translated via the tabloid press, we are not looking at much. People should be looking a little harder instead of being so lazy. My apology to your sister.

  24. hi joe, you’re obviously cozy with the codillas. i’m just wondering where the critical thinking or thinking critically went.

  25. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=506476679477291&id=395773603880933

    This is a video of a snippet of Mar’s speech. If the campaign period was longer there is no question in my mind Mar will win. This is the bill Clinton problem, if everyone could meet Bill Clinton and be part of a townhall meeting you would almost surely vote him. How do you scale the town hall. The product is good, the product can sell itself the circumstances just has to be altered a bit. How can Mar have lunch with a hundred million Filipinos.

    • There is a televised town hall meeting with Mar&Leni on CNN Philippines coming soon.

      • Micha says:

        One very practical, very doable political move Mar should take in that town-hall meeting is the abolition of expanded VAT. The national gov’t doesn’t need it. It’s a regressive form of taxation that hurts and punishes the poor and the middle class.

        I’ve read somewhere that he once advocated for its scrapping although he voted for that Ralph Recto bill while he was in congress.

        If he so decide to support its abolition now, he’ll be seeing at least a 10 point jump in his survey ratings.

        • Joe America says:

          You should put a little more argument behind that and put it into a blog. If you do, though, I don’t think a theoretical angle will sell the idea. There has to be a pragmatic angle about amount of lost revenue and how that will fit into the current debt ratios. But you are right. If he popped that, he’d get a huge surge.

          • Micha says:

            Ah, of course, the degree of difficulty in explaining the nature of the finances of a modern sovereign gov’t is comparable to, and right up there with the theory of evolution by natural selection. The religious bias is difficult to overcome. The theory is so counter-intuitive it just can’t possibly be true.

            Take for example this : a modern sovereign gov’t is not in the business of earning revenues because it can create money, ad hoc and ab initio, by spending. The act of spending is the act of creation.

            Already I can hear howls of protest from those that hold the classical view.

            So yes, I agree and recognize that a lot more effort is demanded in explaining how wrong that religious bias is.

            It takes time and energy.

            Darwin first published his paper in 1859 and even until today, die hard zombie religious creationists remain unpersuaded by its evidence and validity.

        • karl garcia says:

          I think if you remove the others like income,estate inc sss,pagibig,gsis and retain evat and expand it a little,maybe that wont hurt. We can not live on debt and not paying our debt in order to spend.

          • Micha says:


            There is domestic debt and there is foreign debt. Which one are you talking about?

            • karl garcia says:

              I believe both.We are into Peso denominated debts,but we can not afford not to borrow money from abroad. There will always be ODA projects for infrastructure. FMS for military hardware.And we tried to offer global peso bond,only a few takers,so we will always have to settle for foreign denominated bonds.

  26. RCC says:

    “Mar Roxas is actually a funny guy, so it is NOT out of character, not contrived, to find him posing on a block of ice.”

    Mar Roxas has posed for so many PR stunts that I’ve started to think that they aren’t PR stunts at all; just Mar looking awkward while having a bit of fun.

    • Joe America says:

      I don’t think directing traffic or falling on the motorcycle go into the category of fun, but doing what needed to be done in or after a storm. The motorcycle spill was actually rather heroic. I think the ice was fun and the rice was PR. Still, put alongside murder and theft of billions and crass manipulation and opportunism, these seem rather trivial.

  27. NHerrera says:


    Before he became President by default, especially succeeding the incomparable FDR, Harry Truman was considered as having no appeal or substance. But history now tells us that he is considered one of the great US Presidents.

    The implied analogy with Roxas is not a good one, but when history favors us, I believe Mar’s Administration will be considered among the great ones.

    The word “default” has lately become somewhat of a trending word, but if Mar’s Presidency is helped by that, I will not be at all sad. History is littered with roll-of-dice events:

    – Greece’s Alexander the Great;
    – Why not LKY in the Philippines and FM and Imeldefic in Singapore instead;
    – Cory and Pnoy as rolls of dice;
    – Trillanes instigation of Binay family Senate Investigation;
    – And if it comes to pass, a Poe and even Duterte cancellations of their Presidential CoC’s;
    – Etc.

    I know, for the idealist in us and The Society, it is rather “deflating” to consider such a win for Mar. But if it is any consolation, call it as a Roll-of-Dice events Humans are prone to.

  28. cha says:

    Mar Roxas behaves in ways not easily appreciated, much less understood, by those who knowingly or unknowingly situate their predicament in life within the confines of what psychologists refer to as a Drama Triangle,

    In a drama triangle, a person plays either of three roles in relation to the world he lives in: he is either a victim, persecutor or rescuer of the other players that come and go in the story of his life.

    In the context of Philippine elections, the Filipino voter for the most part casts himself as a victim that needs to be rescued from whatever misfortune or deplorable situation he perceives himself to be in. There’s plenty to choose from: unabated criminality and other threats to one’s safety and well being, the horrendous traffic and sorry state of public transportation, abusive if not inept policemen, thieving politicians, and so on. The idea is for whoever he votes for to be the next President to save him from everything and anything that is causing him misery in his present state. The swashbuckling hero brandishing knives and colourful language to boot mesmerizes him, no matter the lack of a concrete plan of attack for his rescue. So long as his candidate promises and promises loudly…

    The rather sedate numbers- crunching nerd who rambles on about stragies, plans and all the other mind-numbingly boring stuff — he cannot put a finger on. This is not something that belongs to the movie or teleserye he is in. There is only crying, hissy fits, angry words, slapping and kicking, and the occasional relief provided by kiligs to the bones moments that bring life to the movie that plays in the addictive teleserye that plays on a continuing loop in his mind.

    Mar Roxas and his kind, as well as those that support them, are an interruption to what has become a way of living and doing. They do not portray themselves as victms, neither do they pretend to be messiahnic rescuers. They are creators, challengers and coaches. They believe in mutual responsibility and accountability for the growth and progress of the Filipino nation. They may come to pass as a mere bleep on the giant screen of Philippine politics; eventually to be filed among those that held so much promise but failed to make the cut.

    Or they can refuse to budge and cause enough disturbance in the status quo to forever change the game where victims are refused a seat on the card table.

    But Mar Roxas can’t do it alone. Governance is not a game of solitaire.

    And that’s not being dramatic.

    • Sup says:

      Agree Cha….Sayang 80% of the voters are willing to sell their vote/soul for a few peso’s at election day……………..no right anymore to complain the next 3 years…………..but also forget the same day they did sell their soul…….and start complaining the next 3 years….

      Why does 80% fall in the trap of empty promises during election time….Why listening to candidates with no experience or only macho style, a thief or a wacko who did promise to kill herself and just said ”i lied”?

      The people in the streets with the most time to educate themselves about the real qualities of the ”players” are not doing it…they prefer yayadub….

      They will not read JoeAm, Raissa etc…..

      To give up your private life to become a honest public official is not appreciated by majority of ordinary citizens…..All the want is a few Peso’s from election time for some Emperador/ Jollibee and the right to complain about everything and everybody…(Even if they have no CLUE what they are talking about)

      ( I am NOT talking about the dishonest politicians because according to them there are no dishonest politicians..during Senate hearings they say ”i tell the truth nothing else than the truth so help me God”…and start lying………….)

      • cha says:

        Aphilippine media plays a big role in propagating this kund of drama mentality. And I’m not just talking about the prevalence of teleseryes being shown 24//7. It’s evident as well in how the media picks up and chooses to play up news stories for their dramatic and entertainment value. Rappler has this story today of an LP mayor (I think) that likened the presidential bets to fruits. Duhat, durian, American apple and bayabas daw. Why must that even be reported on?

        If Philippine politics is one big drama spectacular, Philippine media is its big-time promoter and distributor. Now showing at your favorite home theatre.

    • josephivo says:

      System thinking, there are two possible loops:
      The “old” (pre-industrial) loop: “Weak individuals” producing/needing “Strong families” producing/needing “Weak state and weak markets” producing/needing “Weak individuals”….
      And there is the “modern” loop: “Strong individuals” producing/needing “Weak families” producing/needing “Strong state and strong markets” producing/needing “Strong individuals”….
      (don’t know how to draw loops in this format)

      The victim mentality indicates “weak individual”, having the feeling that as an individual I’m powerless, I need the security and comfort of a close group to survive, all the rest is abstract, far away, irrelevant. Voting is entertainment, only my family is real, tangible, suggestible… A weak state results, creating little trust, the number one commodity of strong markets.

      Mar lives in another world, surrounded with “strong individuals” of we can make the difference, we have the individual responsibility to vote for the best. We know how to create a strong state, create trust and strong markets.

      How to reconcile this two worlds? Identify and convince family leaders? Bet on a critical mass of “strong individuals”? Who has ideas?

      • Sup says:

        Who has ideas?

        Like income tax, if you pay nothing your vote should count 10% during counting
        Mid income earners their vote is worth 50% during counting
        If you pay a lot of tax your vote counts 100% during counting


        • Change the bigger part of the masses says:

          I used to like this idea before but the thing is , voting like this is a form of discrimination against the lesser person which are not democracy and equality . The Philippines’ problem is lack of love and appreciation for their country and the scarcity mentality which creates more chaos. We can rate all these candidates all we want but the thing is the Filipinos respond to a stronger leader. Discipline should be acted on first and most Filipinos are emotional and undisciplined. For me, it is not fair to rate Switzerland and Germany with the Philippines because for one thing mostly their citizens’ mentality and behavior is quite advanced compare to us filipinos because of how they where brought up. Mar and pnoys reign will be the same – like minds- same style and same results. Even some people here talk about jumping ship when their candidate Mar doesnt win. No love, no respect, emotional and elitism. The same thing they accused the presidential candidates of. Vote for someone who will be able to do good for the bigger masses not the few already elite. Just my 2 cents…

      • cha says:

        Those who want what Mar Roxas represents should stand up and join the fight. Or face the consequences of their own inaction.

        • Too few are.. which means many people probably don’t UNDERSTAND what he represents.

          They are just like Binay’s cake-eaters, that means they probably have personally benefitted from the present economic boom and don’t care about the country – like most Filipinos sorry.

          • Even many who THINK they care about the country care only about their specific region or “color” of Filipino… Mar Roxas’ focus on nationwide policing and on LGUs shows he wants first order then governance to WORK AT ALL nationally… seems he has seen the big picture…

            Most Filipinos don’t give a fuck at all – “basta kami OK”… their angkan, their political party, their gated community, their slum area, their tribe so to speak… Bismarck once said in the 19th century “he who speaks of Europe is lying”… how many truly speak of the Philippines today?

            Most are just discussing about their “manok” and not about the future of the country, there are those who are already politically mature and have understood, but I think most haven’t at all. And principles? What principles do Filipinos have? Let me break things down:

            1) Rajah Soliman: Muslim and pro-Brunei, then Catholic and pro-Spanish.
            2) Paterno and Buencamino: served the Spanish, then the Americans.
            3) most Presidential candidates: feed their clientele, please the Chinese.

            The fact that most are unable to defend whatever principles (human rights etc.) against Duterte supporters means they only memorized them, like most natives just memorized the Bible and didn’t get it, like most just said yes Sir to the Americans and didn’t get democracy.

            Filipinos often seem like “Rice Christians” among the Chinese before… those that converted simply wanted to have food and benefits from the missionaries but did NOT really care at all. There are many that are NOT like that anymore, but are they enough, is that change lasting?

            • Mar Roxas has an inchoate, meaning unarticulated idea in the back of his head, about a Philippines that is inclusive. This is my conclusion from his actions so far, kahit urong-sulong. But even the ones who made his video only PARTLY understood… I like the message of the video that the people are doing it, and he and Leni are only part of the crowd, not in front… but yellow is only one of the four colors of the Philippine flag, so the LP still controls him too much…

              The choices are very clear and very grim, because DuCay have a fascist vision for the country.

              Hitler also benefitted from the fact that the educated were well-meaning but WEAK in his days. Only after the war did the middle class create the Federal Republic and stable democracy.

              In the end it hurts to see the country going this way. There is not much I can do except preach.

              But: Christmas is nearing very fast. Relax tayong lahat. After Christmas think about what you want for the country. Those back home will have to do it. Merry Christmas in advance to all.

              • My personal take on the State of the Nation and the Candidates at this moment in time:

                The nation lacks cohesion and unity. Albay has it, so Salceda is able to lead it even in crisis. Salceda supports Roxas BTW make no mistake. But MAYBE he is saner than Duterte and more realistic than Mar in knowing: Albay I can lead. Nobody can lead the Philippines NOW. The failures of every President SINCE MAGSAYSAY show that the country lacks cohesion. Aquino did well under the overwhelming circumstances. I wouldn’t dare to do all of that… nor think I can do it better like Duterte obviously does… 7000+ islands, 42,000 barangays… damn.

                – Mar has an idea but has not yet communicated it – as of now. He may surprise.

                – Duterte thinks he can but can’t, nationally. I don’t know about what’s in his pants.

                – Poe has a vision but no plan. She does care, but it ain’t like making a movie Grace.

                – Miriam thinks she knows what she is doing but she doesn’t. She lives in an illusion also.

                – Binay thinks that being a modern raja cum kleptocrat is the way. Not in today’s world Jojo.

                God Bless the Philippines, whether he be called Jehovah, Allah or Bathala. That’s all for now.

    • edgar lores says:

      “They don’t think it be like it is, but it do.”

      Not Yogi Berra but another baseball great, Oscar Gamble.

    • Joe America says:

      That victim-hood is very pronounced, for sure, and not just among the poor and under educated. Social media help it thrive, I think. To me, it is absolutely nuts that Binay, Marcos and Duterte are in this race, so the feelings of need . . . the neediness . . . must be intense.

      • cha says:

        Hah! The drama queen is a creation of the middle class. And the rich in the Philippines are a good study on how to be a kontrabida without even trying.

  29. andrewlim8 says:

    Way to go Joe. That was a coup as far as bloggers are concerned. I guess the guests ordered coffee after meals? “One Americano, tall or short?” 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Hahaha, yes, one tall American. Actually, coffee was a part of the picture because as they rushed off to get their helicopter ride, I stayed behind to finish my coffee . . . and not get photographed. 🙂

  30. Bert says:

    “I’ll campaign the way I govern.”—Mar

    It better be good…or there’ll be no governing.

    Joe, where’s the lapu-lapu? All I am seeing are Jollibee styro packs.

  31. karl garcia says:

    What does showing empty trains mean more trains or more cars.i do not know how Poe can solve the MRT problem,because all she showed us are empty trains.This could only be solved to more taxes.Without acknowkedging the present economic growth and building on its momentum.

    Binay’s healthcare of assisting a few induviduals,how can that implied universal healthcare.
    That also means more taxes.
    even universal education mean more taxes.

    Dutertes priority of infrastructure to be solved by hiring experts?
    We do not lack experts.
    Congressional oversight commitee reports are based from inputs of experts and all they can say is lack of budget support. So it is the economy stupid.

  32. karl garcia says:

    Either we have too many segments or we can not make up our minds. We have a formal speaking and looking,he is an elitist.Then come a trash talking chewing gum chewing then we have a person with no breeding.

  33. Susan Romero Vidal says:

    During the snap election in 1986, I sat on a ballot box filled with ballots five months pregnant with my eldest son in order to guard my vote and those of others. It was my gift to my son that he would live in freedom. We were cheated, But God had the Master Plan. People Power prevailed and a year after, I was walking at EDSA with my family and my 8 month old son in a stroller celebrating our new found freedom.

    FREEEDOMMM is what Braveheart Wallace shouted. Oh! how we enjoy the freedom of speech in speaking our minds, something that caused the lives of many during the Martial law regime.

    Fast forward, we are given again the freedom to choose THE HIGHEST GOVERNMENT SERVANT LEADERS in our Inang Bayan.

    Sen. Poe is leading the surveys. I see a purity of intention of Grace Poe to serve our kababayan. But there are fundamental questions that are yet to be asked and answered directly.

    1) On being a foundling: She is fighting for the rights of foundlings like her. In her three years as a lawmaker, what bill did she file to repeal or amend a law to protect the rights of the foundling to demonstrate this intent?
    2) On the residency issue: Her lawyers said that she committed an “honest mistake” declaring that she has been a resident for 6years and 6 months which if used as a reference would make her short of the residency requirement as a Presidential candidate. If she was honest, shouldn’t that mistake amended, corrected immediately after it was filed? There is a saying, THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL. . How attentive and thorough is she on DETAILS. As a President of the country, whatever you sign can make or break a nation. Due diligence is a MUST.
    3) On her oath of office – She pledged to serve our country for six years as a senator and she has shown her effectiveness in the committees she handled. Wouldn’t it be wiser for the country to have her continue this OATH to represent our COLLECTIVE VOICE?
    4) On the citizenship of her family – Have the husband and the children give up their American citizenship as an unconditional sign of allegiance to the Filipino Flag?
    5) Given the demands of the campaign, how much time has she dedicated to study and learn the depth and breadth of the Executive branch of government and the roles and responsibilities of the Presidency and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forced of the Philippines.

    In my corporate life, I have spent 25 years in recruitment of candidates for entry level to executive posts.

    A basic requirement of a company is GOOD MORAL CHARACTER. I remember a managerial candidate who was offered a post and was about to start in the company. We requested her to submit her diploma. She claimed she was busy to do it. I asked help from no less than the President of the university to facilitate the confirmation that she was a graduate of their school but found out she did not finish college as she claimed. Did we hire her? No. Not because she was not a college graduate, but because she LIED.

    THREE “C”s and critical questions we ask apart from gathering evidences on track record/experience.

    1. Does the candidate have the CORE COMPETENCIES required to assume the position on a TURN-KEY basis?
    2. Does the candidate have the COURAGE AND INTEGRITY to stand by the Vision, Mission and Core values of the company.
    3. Does he/she CARE for people?

    Give us CRITICAL INCIDENTS to substantiate a YES answer.
    What is the Situation? What is the Task? What is the Action taken? And what is the RESULT?

    We need ROLE MODEL GOVERNMENT SERVANT LEADERS in the highest positions of the land.
    We need ROLE MODELS who will inspire young government leaders to be SERVANT LEADERS in the truest essence with the highest standard of moral values.

    I didn’t like Mar Roxas because I perceived him as a traditional politician being the leader of the LIberal Party. I doubted his motives and intentions until I chanced upon clicking a video shared in Facebook about Panatang Makabayan. I was like St. Paul struck in Damascus. And since then I googled more about him, watched all his available interviews from 2007 in Youtube and read what he did in the DILG website. I checked who are the people endorsing him – Vicky Garchitorena, Marife Zamora, Loida Lewis Nicolas among others- people of integrity. Will they risk their names endorsing a candidate that will tarnish their own reputation?

    I have spent many hours searching over the internet, watching also all the other presidential candidates’ interview, browsing their websites and using the above questions,

    I have chosen Mar Roxas. I wrote him a personal email and he wrote back sharing his dream for our country. I have seen and heard him up, close and personal and worked in the ITBPO industry that he started with the rest of the business leaders. I met his wife Korina and interviewed her too. I told her I didn’t want to vote for Mar because of her, too and she smiled. I misjudged her. I met his mother Judy and saw why Mar is what he is – isang PINONG PILIPINO like his mom – (magalang, masilbi, maasikaso. (respectful, unassuming, always there to serve.)
    Yes, he is not perfect. He has his flaws. But who doesn’t.

    2016 is around the corner. To my children and the millennial generation, unlike in 1986 when we have to mimeograph flyers to know what is the truth, you can search everything with a click of a mouse. say what you want to say and not be afraid that someone will knock on your door and jail or kill you unlike during our time.

    Whatever you decide on election day will be respected. We get the government that we deserve.

    Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people (Proverbs 14:34)


    So help us God.


    Should you wish to Know more why I am for mar roxas: Google Mar Roxas and click on WIKIPEDIA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar_Roxas

    Watch his Panatang Makabayan Video.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you, Susan. Powerful testimony. My problem with Grace Poe is that she does not seem to know how things work, what the most basic responsibilities of the Presidency are, or what government is even doing. Who’d work for her, in your estimation? I think the whole cabinet would be “players” like Escudero.

      Indeed, we get what we deserve.

    • cha says:

      Hi nangni. 😊

      • Sup says:

        Wow, JoeAm the page for blessings… 🙂 Christmas is coming Cha…:-)

        • cha says:

          Hah, now that you’ve mentioned it Sup, what say you Nangni? All I want for christmas is a volunteer-driven and owned communication focused campaign for the Roxas Robredo ticket. Dami nating connections sa HR, OD, PR, and Comm practice. I may be far away but still willing to contribute. Interested?

          • Sup says:

            I type only one finger..better ask Parekoy…….hahahahahhaha
            Anyway in my own small capacity i try to convince people i meet to use their coconuts……RORO all the way…:-)

          • Susan Romero Vidal says:

            HI Cha, I am very active in the sorties of Mar in WinforMar, Gerry Roxas Leader awardees. This is it. Will send you PM in FB.

  34. karl garcia says:

    I have a former college professor who claims to have been in the It industry for 30 years and worked with Roxas in DTI claimed that to give Roxas credit for BPO is crap.
    If we investigate BPO statred around 1999.. Since Mar came to the picture in 2000 How can he be the father of BPO? Well,ok not the father but he had to be given credit for expanding the industry.


  35. NHerrera says:

    JUST OUT. Heard on DZMM Teleradyo. Comelec’s three First Division Commissioners decides for the three other petitioners against Poe, 2 to 1.

    • NHerrera says:

      The way I summarize the situation:

      – Second Division Comelec decides for petitioner Elamparo against Poe 3-0 to cancel Poe’s CoC; Poe subsequently asked Comelec enbanc to reverse the decision; this is still pending.

      – First Division decides for the three other petitioners — Tatad, Contreras, Valdez — against Poe 2-1; Poe’s Camp says it will file a MR.

      With those numbers, it seems that this is headed to the SC.

      • Joe America says:

        Ah, thanks. Multiple cases. I see. Well, I hope they move quickly.

        • NHerrera says:

          For information, although the certified list of candidates will be made soon in December, the actual printing of ballots is in the early part of February 2016, most probably before the official campaign period of February 9 – May 7. Thus, in the case of Poe, there is enough time for Comelec to include or exclude Poe’s name — since it can be presumed the SC, would have decided the matter much earlier than February.

  36. karl garcia says:

    It is not true that Mar Roxas has no connections with DOTC, that is why somehow his DOTC past will stick to him like glue.From the secretary to some of the ubdersecretaries has something to do with Mar Roxas.Mar Roxas should have a program for DOTC which do not have to show empty trains,he must say all the studies of JICA will now come to fruition because even according to Duterte it will take more than six years to solve the traffic.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, but those trying to attach Manila’s traffic problems, or the train problems, to him are over-reaching and have no knowledge about contracts, law suits and other practicalities. They fall into the category of Uninformed, which is only Dumb if they have the wherewithall to discover the facts, and decide not to. On second thought, I suspect most are in the category of Dumb, no offense intended to family and friends. This has to do with me formulating some concepts for a future blog. How smart people can get it so dumbly.

      • karl garcia says:

        On a related note,I remember my days here,when I was defensive when it comes to Abaya,until I found it useless to defend him.DOTC is a tough agency,good luck to the next DOTC secretary.
        Who ever is advising Poe and Cayertano/Duterte on DOTC matters might be one of those guys who are smart but doing it dumbly.

        • Joe America says:

          I think DOTC is a “born to lose” agency, because its work takes years and is extraordinarily complex and full of vested interests. But people want it YESTERDAY. I don’t fault Abaya for the contracts or trains, but for the decision to split the LRT/MRT common station and consign riders to a lengthy hike down a tunnel. Saves a billion, makes an oligarch happy, does not serve riders well.

  37. Donna says:

    Dear Joe, Just a request- I know one of your contributors wrote an article about Aldub – can somebody please write an article about”A Second Chance” – it’s the story of the middle class, the millennials, the upstart entrepreneurs, the yuppies, the parents of millennials, and of course it is starred in by John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo the world class actors of Philippine Cinemas today, because I believe it has much more social relevance …Thank you, Joe and try to watch it or maybe you are not a Kapamilya? But still, I know you are interested about the psyche of our movie going public. All the best.

  38. Leo Valdes says:

    Thank you, Joe, for writing this about Mar Roxas. He is never one to brag or reveal what he goes through. He is a regular guy that just wants to serve. Over the last three years, I’ve seen your comments in Rappler and in your blog. I am pleased to see commenters like you who base their opinions on facts, sound reasoning and logic, never falling into the abundant fallacy traps of speculation, conjecture, heresay, and ad hominem, to name a few. [Someone said, if YouTube comments were a person, and it ran for office, it would become Donald Trump.]
    Anything Mar Roxas does today is targeted by opposing spammers and trolls with anything they can invent to discredit the man. It’s so disappointing that untruths and gossip are juicier than reality and critical thought. We need many writers like you to say it like it is – truthfully – so that people will know about the man. Legends and heroes don’t brag about themselves. It’s our job to do that for them.

    • Joe America says:

      Indeed, supporters of Mar Roxas might think about that. Instead of asking him to bend his principles and be sharp-spoken against other candidates, perhaps that is our job..

  39. Yuri Orlov says:

    I’m trying to be as open minded as I can while reading the article and the comments.

    I checked his website to gain more knowledge about his achievements.

    As I was browsing through the achievements timeline, I came across R.A. 9502 or the Cheaper medicines act. And basing from my past research, Mar is not the original author of the bill but in fact he castrated it. So now I’m doubting the contents of the website. Please enlighten me.

    • Not true. There is a Senate bill and a house bill. Mar was coming author of the Senate bill Teddy Locsin Guarin and a few others author of the House bill. The house bill was in some ways better but the Drug companies were using their power to trash the whole bill or to gut it wholewhole or pressure GMA. Mar had to trim some things to pass the bill. You can have a nuanced view or a simplistic view. Your view shows more about you rather than the blog author or the candidate.

    • Peter Penduke says:

      Before Roxas’ “castration” of the Medicine Act, do you know how much I paid for my daily Norvasc?

      RA9502 had a very real and significant effect on many people’s medicine purchases.

  40. chempo says:

    As a detached foreign observer, the Philippines 2016 election is a no brainer to me. The cards have been laid out on the table. There are no Aces, but there is a King and Queen pair, the rest are Jokers. What’s so difficult to play when all the cards are open. If the election were to be held in Singapore, or most other countries, Ro-Ro would win 90% of the votes hands down. Joe and Edgar are right — 2016 is all about the Filipinos.

    I am reminded of what Mar said on Lee Kuan Yew’s passing.

    Mar wrote in Facebook (excerpt) — ” (LKY was) – a one of a kind, once in a generation leader… Incorruptible, dedicated visionary whose “tough love” approach brought his people and country from an orphaned rock to first world status in one generation’s time. LKY always knew it was not about him but rather all about Singapore. Truly bayan bago ang sarili. Idol kita! ”

    Mar understood the essence of LKY — “tough love”. Such a simple and so succinct an observation tells of a brilliant mind. Just as he said of LKY, I’m sure he understood, and he has in fact said it before, 2016 is not about him, it’s all about Philippines.

  41. karl garcia says:

    Mar must not repeat This PI incident again.

  42. VSB says:

    The man. myth, legend just praised Governor Lilia Pineda wife and partner of notorious JUETENG LORD Bong Pineda and one of the biggest scourges/corruptors of Philippine society.. I really want to support the man but after this desperate act.. extremely disappointed.

    • karl garcia says:

      What about compartmentalizing or giving credit where is it due?One can not be wrong all the time.
      Was it about indigent families and housing? If Pibeda deserved praise,then I do not see any problem.He might have more backlash if he just shut up or skip the event,if invited.

    • Joe America says:

      So who will you give your vote to? Seems to me the others have done worse. Perfection is such an unreasonable expectation, I think.

  43. Mar: I do not believe that might is right, in summary justice.

    Joe, Mar is starting to go on an “offensive”. Debunking myths when they are. This should be a start.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I hope he continues. It is exactly what needs to happen. He also zinged Binay the other day about being an expert on the distinction between graft and corruption.

      • Wooo. I’ll have to check on that Binay case and spread it around in my neck of the woods.

          • Joe America says:

            It is a very interesting exchange. Now we have the poor and we have the social media set, generally more educated and engaged. My sense is that a lot of people WANT (or don’t expect) Mar Roxas to speak out, and they don’t believe VP Binay, because . . . well, he is a strange one to claim someone has no respect for the rule of law after his and his son’s shenanigans ripping the Ombudsman, courts, Senate and every other forum of due process. In a tit for tat, Roxas wins.


            • Joe America says:

              Whatever the case, if Roxas is going to engage, he needs some sharp wits writing his material.

              • karl garcia says:

                Everybody is waiting for him to make a mistake.

              • He already has engaged… I was a video but can’t find it anymore, regarding Duterte’s style.

                Mar says “that is like the Dark Ages, whoever has the gun decides. I will fight that” in Tagalog. He can answer spontaneously, and his tone was very firm.

              • sonny says:

                Luke, remember the Force. Resonance & harmonics also, I say. 🙂

              • Vicara says:

                He doesn’t have a compelling narrative–for now. He should not abandon the reforms of Daang Matuwid–it’s a worthy concept, and people got it years ago and it’s why there are people voting for him– but as a slogan it’s well past its political sell-by date. People are getting irritated or bored at the very mention of it, and opponents are using it to mock. Sorry, but there it is.

                His outreach campaign needs to more focused, coming up with new slogans and forceful, consistent messages. There’s some of that in his speeches, but not enough. I urge:

                (a) Pointing towards the future. Promises are dicey, but please give a bit more about Hope and Change, even about tough times that we all must weather as a people. What are his dreams for the country? A little pandering that shows he’s attuned to our daily lives, some indication that he’s not just doing things to please Moody’s and the Wall Street Journal. As Squares says, please be a politician sometimes. Because that is what you are.

                (b) Telling us what he is going to do that’s new. How will Roxas’ management style be different from Aquino’s? How does he intend to fine-tune what has already been accomplished? And how will he address the most glaring mistakes made by the current administration? Keeping mum on this will reinforce the opposition’s projections of Roxas as someone who lacks vision and who lets himself get walked over. Loyalty to the greater good to take precedence over loyalty to the party, so time to cut one’s traces. Give us hints of changes to be made to the status quo.

                (c) Making it about us as well. About the elitist label. Given Roxas’ pedigree, it was the easiest label for opponents to pin on him. Class war, blah blah. I think he’s gone well past that paradigm. But surely he is a member of the intellectual/technocratic elite. During the talk with Harvard alumni he was at his most articulate and visionary, the listeners were totally with him, and in the informal survey (yes, another survey) taken among the home crowd, he got something like triple the points Poe did. Thing is, elite is elite, and it creates an uneasy dynamic between candidate and voters (the masses and the forgotten middle class, whether aspiring or declining).

                Know what’s an elitist tell? When a candidate looks out at the crowd and sees just undifferentiated masses of voters. When a candidate—particularly one painted as an elitist—carelessly lets slip condescending statements like “Filipinos like what is loud and shiny.” We have the freedom to say that about ourselves; no presidential candidate does. The Filipino is not just a problem that our president has to care for as though we’re children; we’d like to be known for being the solution (myself, I’d like to be valued for something other than the taxes I pay). We respond to recognition of our hard work as individuals and as groups, our struggle against odds, our creativity, the many ways in which we as citizens can serve and do serve communities and the nation. People respond to a leader who through his words shows that he can differentiate among us, and has some grasp of local context, whether that’s Bontoc or Maguindanao.

                (d) Understanding that a leader’s personal virtue is not enough to get by on. Best to drop the attitude (which the current administration has been accused of having) of, well, I’m doing the best I can, I’m not stealing a penny personally, the wheels of reform grind slowly everywhere in the world, international organizations have been giving us kudos for what we’re doing, so just let me do my job, how can you possibly understand what it’s like in the snake pit?

                Sorry, that alone won’t cut it. Not anymore.

              • edgar lores says:


                Very good points. Some things to consider:

                1. The compelling narrative is the Continuity in the Daang Matuwid. Some people were irritated and bored with the slogan as far back as some years ago. Is this a reason to abandon the slogan? I’m not sure it can be or should be. It is the centerpiece of Mar’s campaign. And the kernel of truth behind the slogan is that corruption is still the number one problem.

                2. Pointing towards the future. Every politician does this and Mar is no exception.

                2.1. From his acceptance speech: “Alam nating lahat, at nakita na natin nitong mga nakaraang taon: Ang mga pangarap na ito ay kayang maabot. Kailangan lang ang isang gobyernong nakatutok sa kapakanan ng taumbayan, at tumutotoo sa sinumpaang tungkulin nito; gobyernong mabilis, maliksi, at agarang nakakaresponde sa pangangailangan natin.”

                2.2. From yourself: “During the talk with Harvard alumni he was at his most articulate and visionary, the listeners were totally with him, and in the informal survey (yes, another survey) taken among the home crowd, he got something like triple the points Poe did.”

                2.3. “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” But is the failure in the talking or in the listening? Mar recognizes part of the failure is in his persona. Part of the failure, I have opined, is in the observer.

                3. Telling us what he is going to do that’s new. Are people listening/reading his speeches? Are the media telling it like it is?

                3.1. Here for example: http://blog.marroxas.com/2015/12/11/speech-during-galing-pooks-conversation-with-presidential-candidates-on-rural-development/

                4. Making it about us as well. This is a strong point. Perhaps Mar can be inclusive by the correct use of language and images.

                4.1. Language. Irineo has noted the divide between “kami” and “tayo”. So perhaps instead of saying, “Filipinos like what is loud and shiny,” Mar should say, “Mahilig tayo sa etcetera.” He should stop using the second (You) and third person (They) voices and speak only in the first person plural (We).

                4.2. Images. It has been noted that Korina has been sidelined(?) in the campaign. Mar has said that it makes him sad that some people will not vote for him because of Korina. Perhaps the campaign strategy should be changed in this regard. Put Korina front and center. After all, as Wilfredo shouts over the rooftops, does not love conquer all?

                5. Understanding that a leader’s personal virtue is not enough to get by on.

                5.1. This is a difficult one. Does a leader lead or does he follow? Perhaps this is a false dichotomy. But shouldn’t the people be weaned from the “song and dance” and “you can buy my vote” style of traditional political campaigns?

                5.3. There are populist and non-populist candidates. Looking at the line-up, Mar seems to stand alone as the non-populist. He has pointedly said that he will campaign the way he governs.

                5.4. For some people, I would venture that personal virtue is the sina qua non of public service. Perhaps we are underestimating the wisdom of the electorate?

                6. Sorry, that alone won’t cut it. Not anymore.

                6.1. We want change but will not change ourselves. It’s a paradox, isn’t it?

              • edgar lores says:

                I should add on 4.1, I did not find the statement condescending… but then I know I have a different set of reactions to propositions.

                For me, I ask, is the statement truthful or not? And if it is, do not politicians have the same right as bloggers to state the naked truth?

              • “The Filipino is not just a problem that our president has to care for as though we’re children; we’d like to be known for being the solution ” thanks for articulating this extremely well.

                I was trying to tell people here some months ago in relation to Mamasapano that Aquino’s use of the word “pag-aaruga sa inyo” towards the SAF on that fateful night where they were sullen did not really make things better. It is a word “caring” used only for children, or for serfs…

                Being abroad forced me to see the masa not as an anonymous mass but as real people that I had to engage with without bullshit, and even then it was NOT easy. And I do not come from as high up as Mar Roxas. OK I had friends in Balara as a kid, they were not that strange “other”.

              • I have been trying to resolve the disconnect between two things that I have observed:

                1) programs that look good (PNP and LGUs) at least looking at facts and figures.

                2) people telling me it looks different on the ground. Now since I have been dealing with software projects that change the way of work of entire divisions and over several sites even across several countries, I know how different what is reported and what is actually done can be. One just has to read Dilbert to know. Now I hope that Joe is not the pointy-haired manager from Dilbert, because then he won’t get it, but I do think he isn’t hehe… and Mar isn’t either.

                Difficult to find out as someone working top-down what does on on the ground in the Philippines… because people immediately change their behavior when someone “higher” is around… and the middle managers might report something that isn’t fully true to the higher ups and play their own games with each other and the employees… I have worked in an Embassy, and have seen UP stuff as a kid… but my kilatis tells me Espina, Marquez etc. are good folks.

                McDonalds where I also used to work long ago used to send people undercover to act as customers and check if things were done right… after the “sting” they pulled their IDs and went straight to the kitchen to audit stuff.. because at that time franchise-owners were doing a lot of bullshit big time… but later it seems my franchise owner got someone to tip him off… and we were told half and hour before stop working like the pigs you are… inspection is underway.. therefore who knows… clean before LGPMS inspections… tapos balik na naman sa babuyan.

              • For the PNP stuff NCR or the pilot site was the one involved. It is only now that Oplan Lambat Sibat is being nationalized.

                There is a component of Oplan Lambat Sibat that deals with capturing the most wanted and it is to the PNP’s credit that progress in this is visible.

                If I may make a conjecture there is a lead time to when safety is felt this is increased by the situation where the Christmas season brings about an increase in criminal activity. The ground or the front line fails to appreciate the progress.

                The nationalization is slower because a prime component of this is the CCTV installation in large swaths of the LGUs high crime areas.
                Audit blotters
                Geo tagging of the crimes
                Pushing local law enforcement to police high crime areas.

                The approach is sound but this is sure and steady work very much unlike the super fast but probably unsustainable Death Squad induced peace.

              • Thanks Gian.. to add to that, I also got feedback in FB from someone who read my article Seguridad ni Duterte – he actually read the Hanns-Seidel Foundation sources and noticed that community-based policing was a focus point, and said it was being done now in his province.

                That is classic Bavarian State Police approach they are adopting – CCTVs in critical areas – from my street sources I know that is being done in Munich and substantially reduced crime in many hotspots – and community policing to have the citizenry on their side in crime-fighting.

                What I also noticed is that PNP has stepped up its social media presence… not quite like the Munich police does… they post calls for witnesses on FB and have a webpage with all crimes reported and all wanted persons: https://www.polizei.bayern.de/muenchen/news/presse/aktuell/ – but they are getting there I think – the problem might be similar to distrust of politicians by the people… police are not yet trusted again… FB reactions to my article said police are corrupt, and that justice is only for the rich… not totally true anymore I think, but perception for many.

            • karl garcia says:


  44. http://opinion.inquirer.net/86194/grace-poes-residency

    Off topic. Hope this convinces people about Grace Poe’s residency.

  45. Jacqueline V. Pancho says:

    Yes i like Mar Roxas for being humble even if he belongs to a Rich Angkan compared to other presidential candidates. Keep it up Sir! Just continue to be a blessing to the filipino people and the Philippines. Mabuhay ka Sir!

  46. NHerrera says:


    Inquirer — Compare Iloilo with Davao (December 12th, 2015 12:09 AM) by Solita Collas-Monsod


    My attention was caught this week by a half-page ad in this newspaper, titled “Iloilo City: Safe and livable.” It was apparently paid for by the city mayor, Jed Mabilog (who succeeded Jerry Treñas, who had a very good reputation). I read it with a comparison with Davao City in the back of my mind, and the question: Is it necessary to be a human rights violator, a Dirty Harry, in order to bring peace and order to a city?

    Mayor Mabilog indeed was No. 5 in the 2014 World Mayor Prize, with the winner being Naheed Nenshi of Calgary, Canada.

    The World Mayor Prize started in 2004, initially annually, but starting in 2006 it became a biennial affair. I wanted to know how many of our local mayors got into the top 10. In 2004, we had no one. In 2005, Oscar Samson Rodriguez of San Fernando, Pampanga, was in fourth place. In 2006, Jojo Binay of Makati City placed fourth also (there was very little talk about his corruption then). In 2008, Marides Fernando of Marikina City won seventh place. In 2010, the Philippines did not place in the top 10, but Jesse Robredo of Naga City was shortlisted. The testimonials he got were inspiring. In 2012, we had Edgardo Pamintuan, mayor of Angeles City, in eighth place.

    Note that with the exception of Binay, the Philippine mayors mentioned have had no charges of corruption against them. Their reputations are solid. I see none of these mayors with unexplained wealth.

    Even more interesting, as far as I was concerned, is that Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City was never nominated, from 2004 when the awards started, to 2014. I checked.

    • Sup says:

      Angeles City? 2012? just as unbelievable as Davao…Plenty killings in 2012 with all the hookers and Korean gangs there..

      Don’t trust those so called comparison result publishers…..

    • NHerrera says:

      This item from Rene-Ipil at Raissa’s has a counter to Monsod’s piece, which I want to post here to put some more items to the pot or a fairer picture if you wish (I myself do not have researched items):

      Rene-Ipil says:
      December 12, 2015 at 10:23 am

      My favorite PDI columnist Mareng Winnie Monsod goofed this time. An honest mistake , IMHO. See PDI today.

      Winnie is wondering why Mayor Jett Mabilog of Iloilo City is among the world top mayors, while the more popular Rody Duterte is not. After checking purportedly, she claimed that since the contest started in 2004 Duterte was not even nominated. So how could Duterte win any award if not nominated?

      The truth is that in April 2014 Rody Duterte was among the list of nominees for the same award together with Mayor Mabilog and four other Philippine mayors.


      On April 27, 2014 PDI reported that Rody Duterte declined his nomination to the World Mayors award. He claimed that he could not accept an award because he just did his sworn duty as mayor. And it does not look good according to him. Duterte was nominated before by a Japanese CEO. Please see the link below.


    • Madlanglupa says:

      *shakes head* Not surprised with the fanboy know-it-alls, who conveniently ignored the other possible weaknesses of their brown knight such as dealing with the economy or continuing some of the positive programs of this administration or foreign relations (I remember how, in the aftermath of Contemplacion’s demise, Duterte made a show of burning the Singaporean flag).

      • brown knight… this is the German color scheme for political parties:

        Nazis: brown
        Christian Democrats: black (like Catholic priests)
        Liberals: yellow (well what else?)
        Social Democrats: red
        Democratic Socialists: dark red (ex-Communists)
        Greens: green

  47. Joe America says:

    Is Mar Roxas the father of the BPO industry? If not, he sure knows how its success was put together. I like this video, because it shows the problem-solving mind-set of Mar Roxas. That’s the guy I met.

    • Joe,

      I remember Filipinos teaching English, mostly to Koreans, then. With all this skype or facebook or viber, etc. video chat platform now, are there more online English teaching to other ASEAN (or beyond)? And are these English teachers considered BPO or something different?

      I know Ireneo also mentioned Spanish as a spoken language in the Philippines is set to come back, so maybe Filipinos can corner the English and Spanish teaching market in that region.

      But is there a wider strategy to use these English/Spanish language teachers there as mentors to young Chinese, etc. as mentioned here, https://joeam.com/2015/12/03/chinas-stealth-invasion-of-the-philippines/#comment-150148 ? A concerted effort to appeal to Chinese youth of sort.

      • karl garcia says:

        To add to that,there are some BPOs here with Spanish speaking agents. Some returning OFWs are hired for some other markets (other languages)

        • Mindanao BPOs are looking for Chabacano speakers because they can easily learn Kastila.

          • karl garcia says:

            In the seventies Cavite had still many Chabakano speakers Sanish-Tagalog version.Now,I think they just speak Tagalog.But, I could be wrong.

            • Cavite was where the Spanish had their garrisons and dockyards… Zamboanga they had their fortress and the workers… Albay also had some galleon stuff so we might have had it too…

              Filipinos in Germany speak a mixture of Tagalog and German… our own migrant dialect.

              • sonny says:

                There were three areas in the Philippines garrisoned by the Spanish: Zamboanga City (to interdict the Moros), Cavite City to protect Spanish activity (ship-building, galleons that plied the Galleon Trade from late sixteenth thru early nineteenth), the Bicol area where the Paracale gold mines were (for obvious reasons). These garrisons were directly under Royal control. Hence Spanish language and Spanish intermarriage with natives and Spanish culture was more pronounced than those under the Spanish missionary orders.

              • sonny,

                That’s interesting. So all three of these points can be a source for Spanish teaching (catering the Chinese, who are also trying to open up Latin American, ie. http://qz.com/430090/why-is-a-chinese-tycoon-building-a-50-billion-canal-in-nicaragua-that-no-one-wants/ )

                Do you have anymore reading material on this? Thanks. I assume when you compare/contrast Spanish among the three cities, Zamboanga retained much of its Spanish language?

              • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chavacano – in Zamboanga… it is creole Spanish much like Jamaican English is an English creole..

                Bikol I wonder if there was that… I did have problems with the Spanish past tense (only one past tense in Chabacano) when I learned it properly but the rest was easy… my folks are from Bikol so I may have heard some kind of creole Spanish as a child…

              • sonny says:


                I’m afraid the assimilation of Spanish (the language & culture) did not happen in the Philippines as it did in the Americas (sixteenth century). The dynamic of American culture & language being assimilated into the Filipino happened due to the modernity of the times (geopolitics at the turn of the 20th century). The critical mass (population needed for turnover) could not happen for the Spanish due to the attenuation of Spanish culture, like the relative ease of travel and mercantile motivation in the Americas. For example, the edict of Philip II of Spain that all Spanish subjects under the crown should be taught Spanish could not be implemented in the Philippines. So Spaniards (soldier & missionary alike) ended up learning the indigenous languages instead: the soldiers contracted into Spanish enclaves, while the missionaries went to the countryside.
                In the case of America at the turn of the twentieth, the attenuation was overcome by the steamboat and democracy (my short version).

                The historical record for the Fil-Hispanic times is relatively arcane nowadays. The story must be gathered and put together by mostly academic effort. The stories about the garrisons in Zamboanga, Cavite and Paracale can be gleaned from articles written for history journals like PHILIPPINE STUDIES (Ateneo de Manila) and KINAADMAN (Ateneo de Zamboanga), and other similar publications.

              • sonny says:

                PS (@ LC @Joe @ PiE)

                In case you have not come across this coverage of the Philippine Moro Wars, here is a good site to include in bibliography. (Joe, one article in the site: Teddy Roosevelt and the Philippines (a topic I have long suspected about good ole T.R. :-)). Enjoy.


        • I didn’t know that about other languages, karl. So are OFWs enticed to return?

          I can understand customer service, speaking in English, Spanish, etc. but is language instruction part of BPO—- if it is, it seems like there would be lots of room to free-lance, but the influence & mentorship of Chinese youth, I don’t think you can rely on private enterprise, and will probably best be coordinated with DFA.

          Kinda like this, but “how to be better world citizens” for Chinese youth, thru their English instruction, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/12/2012123122810326420.html

          • karl garcia says:

            I only know business processes to be part of BPO. I don’t think translation is part of most businesses processes.But I saw a movie called English Only Please, It is a story about a guy who hired someone to translate in Tagalog a few english lines,he will say to his ex girlfriend.

            Before online education and skype. Koreans living here hire Filipino tutors for face to face one on one sessions.
            Our neighbors like Laos and Myanmar hire English tutors.

            • As I understand it,

              There’s a hierarchy to all this English teaching stuff.

              Whites (English, Canadian, Australian, American, etc.) get paid the most.

              Then non-Whites but natives of UK, US, Canada and Australia.

              Then it all comes down to certifications.

              Then last are Indians and Filipinos who speak English, but non-White, non-English speaking countries.

              Filipinos surpass Indians because of culture, namely American culture— ie, lit, media, films, expressions, etc.

              So Filipinos are the most cost-effective, plus more return, ie. American culture, Western mindset, etc.

              It makes sense to treat this as a legit industry and invest some gov’t effort to maximize national interests, instead of leaving it up to foreign companies, entrepreneurs— get Bam Aquino’s Negosyo Centers to prioritize this, and push for free-lance, ground-up approach, is what I’m trying to get at here.

      • Joe America says:

        I don’t think there is much on-line teaching of anything, in material numbers. English is taught across the Philippines, but the quality of instruction in outlying areas is rudamentary, and kids don’t graduate with enough confidence to speak English, and their skills deteriorate quickly. In Manila, in universities, and supporting the BPO industry, English is taught as a priority. I suspect it is also taught well in large cities like Cebu, but I have not researched that. The nation is broadly English speaking, actually.

        • Fellas,

          I found this article, http://www.philstar.com/sunday-life/2014/09/14/1368671/i-want-filipino-teachers ——————————

          I was invited to give a talk to teachers who worked for a company called 51Talk. I talked to them about the noble profession of teaching and how much a teacher can change a person’s life and even his or her destiny. This was not the usual kind of teachers who teach at schools or universities, although many have done so in the past. Almost all had a few years’ experience doing that, and some are still doing so.

          One thing in common with all of them, whether young or old, is that they have now embarked on a new path of this old profession. They now teach online.

          And what do they teach? They teach English. Who do they teach? They teach middle class Chinese in China.

          There are probably not more than 5,000 foreign English teachers in China. To hire them on a one-on-one basis is quite expensive. And while many Chinese learn English in regular school, the quality is quite low and, in the words of an educated Chinese person I talked to, “practically useless.” People who study in good schools and gain a high level of proficiency in China describe the average use of English as “dumb English.” Not only is quality sorely lacking, the graduates have very little chance to practice with real English speakers.

          The biggest English language teaching company in China, New Oriental, will help you pass TOEFL tests by teaching you more about how to get around the multiple choices to pass the exams, but not how to speak the language with great proficiency.

          Enter a startup called http://www.51talk.com/ph/ CEO and founder Jack Huang and Shu Ting, co-founder, recognized a great thirst to learn conversational English among Chinese in the Mainland and decided to do something about it. Initially, they looked at different Asian countries to search for the best talents they could find to teach their countrymen, only to discover that the best teachers were in the Philippines.

          They found Filipinos to be very proficient, friendly, patient and there were so many teachers available. Our American style of English is also something that the Chinese seem to like.

          In the beginning, the idea of Filipinos teaching Chinese to speak English was a hard sell. But the moment their clients tried the course, they were hooked. In three years, 51Talk has provided freelance jobs to more than 1,500 Filipino e-Educators. They are projected to reach 3,000 teachers this year and double the number by next year.


          There looks like demand, and unlike BPO customer service or tech support, this is something you can do free-lance 1-on-1 w/out Chinese companies involved. 3,000 projected is already a lot, insert the idea of mentorship/character building along side English learning, and you have a very viable platform for influence, IMHO.

          • Here’s a good quick primer in .pdf. At the end of the day it’s about Influence (no different from Dale Carnegie’s book)—

            “This monograph offers principles for operating in the human domain which can be extended to consideration of other actors which are adversarial to the United States, and whose decision-making calculus sits in a different framework to our own — including such major states as Russia and China. This monograph argues that the human dimension has become more, not less, important in recent conflicts and that for all the rise in technology future conflicts will be as much defined by the participants’ understanding of culture, behavior, and language as by mastery of technology.”

            What should’ve been elementary, Phd’s have to write academic papers on promoting such concepts– it’s a damn shame.

    • chempo says:

      Mar was wrong on only one minor point — India was the major BPO player then.

      Mar’s 5-point plan for the BPO industry is in fact almost a de-facto blueprint of sorts. In Singapore we did lots of this kind of stuff with more or less similar plans, with variations where appropriate of course. Mar’s managerial skills definitely shows. The world is very competitive and you need to have a package that is attractive to investors or nothing is gonna happen.

      Those who deny Mar the accolade for the BPO industry has no understanding of how success comes about. Mar is of course not the first person to start a BPO business in Philippines, but he had the vision of how it can be transformed into an industry. He is the visionary and the catalyst that made it happen. Ray Croc was not the guy who started the Mcdonalds fast food chain, but he was the one who took over the restaurant and made it into one of the world’s largest companies.

      Mar’s 5-point plan approach is something that can be replicated. I mentioned somewhere before, to get the economy to a take off point, concentrate on just a few sectors in which the Philippines has advantages. Make that happen just like for the BPO. What we need are visionaries who can sniff out these sectors, the way Mar saw the potential for BPO.

      • Joe America says:

        Excellent points,chempo. Indeed, the model can be fit to other industries.

      • Hey, chempo, are you familiar with this? on management, but also re your comment on micromanagement with the naturalization process over here,

        How would you get CRM going over there? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crew_resource_management


        A CRM (Crew or cockpit Resource Management) expert named Todd Bishop developed a five-step assertive statement process that encompasses inquiry and advocacy steps:

        1. Opening or attention getter – Address the individual. “Hey Chief,” or “Captain Smith,” or “Bob,” or however the name or title that will get the person’s attention.

        2. State your concern – Express your analysis of the situation in a direct manner while owning your emotions about it. “I’m concerned that we may not have enough fuel to fly around this storm system,” or “I’m worried that the roof might collapse.”

        3. State the problem as you see it – “We’re showing only 40 minutes of fuel left,” or “This building has a lightweight steel truss roof, and we may have fire extension into the roof structure.”

        4. State a solution – “Let’s divert to another airport and refuel,” or “I think we should pull some tiles and take a look with the thermal imaging camera before we commit crews inside.”

        5. Obtain agreement (or buy-in) – “Does that sound good to you, Captain?”
        These are often difficult skills to master, as they may require significant changes in personal habits, interpersonal dynamics, and organizational culture.


        • chempo says:

          No Lance, I don’t know this Crew Resource Management. Seems more into psychological analytics. The only CRM I know a bit of is Customer Relationship Management.

  48. manuelbuencamino says:


    “But I do think Mar Roxas has a big challenge. The immediate reaction to anything he does is skepticism, for the reasons cited at the beginning of this article….I worry that Mar Roxas has not been able to find a message that resonates in sharp, meaningful terms.”

    Mismo! There it is!

    Although Mar will make a better president than any of his rivals, he has not sparked the imagination of the people. He has not connected with them. But that’s the fault of his communications people. Mar does what he does and his does it well. It’s the job of his comms team to get the real Mar to the public.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that’s it exactly. He is saying the right things here and there, but the problem is that it is here and there and not grabbing national headlines, where the marketing is free if the language is sharp and the ideas are important to working people.

      • BFD says:

        I think it’s partly because of the media people are churning out their articles about him. It’s always slanted in a slightly negative way.

        Take, for example, an Inquirer.net post I read not too long ago where the reporter added “only a 100 students attended the symposium” where Mar was speaking, and contrast that to the other presidential candidates wherein they magnify the persona of the other candidates, especially Poe, Duterte or Binay or Miriam… but with Mar, there’s a slight difference… and it’s across the board….

      • NHerrera says:

        There is a point sometime in the The Society where unchanged as we are in the belief of Mar being good for the country, we seem tired out or exhausted as to Mar and his Camp not being able to connect.

        While saying the above, I, almost by reflex counter that feeling that this is part of some strategy, like tiring out the opposition, before letting out with something. Using timing as part of a strategy. Almost like in the movies where we see the Captain, in spite of the firings from the enemy and casualties sustained on its side continues to admonish to hold their fire, until the right time.

        Remember, that in spite of the so-called survey showing Pnoy giving a negative endorsement effect, he is committed — I read somewhere — to go all out campaigning during the official campaign period.

        Sounds like I am taking some comfort pill?

        • Joe America says:

          Well, I absolutely agree with you, that there is an exhaustion. The sharpest pro-roxas comments I see are among his supporters on Twitter, but that is mainly like minds talking to like minds. Somehow his message has to reach across the great divide. I mentioned that when we met. The masa and Manila . . . he must cross the invisible barriers.

          • Merkel did: http://news.sky.com/story/1520286/merkel-mocked-over-crying-refugee-girl
            After explaining to a refugee girls that Germany has laws and can’t just let everybody in, the girl cried and Merkel, who has been perceived by the Greeks especially as “bahala kayo sa buhay ninyo”, comforted her. Months later she decided to let the refugees into Germany, and that is one reason she is now PERSON OF THE YEAR of TIME magazine…

            My original model of the evolution of order has an eigth stage, also symbolized by the climate change conference, APEC and everything else… note that every stage is rising complexity and the odd-numbered stages are unstable, the even-numbered stages are in equilibrium until the complexity of society increases once more… now let me put US into my model as well: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/evolution-of-order/

            1. Bands: Khoisan, Agta
            2. Villages: kraal, barangays
            3. Warlords: Nebuchadnezar, Ampatuan
            4. God-Kings: Pharaoh, Duterte
            5. Rebels/Prophets: Moses, Dagohoy
            6. Moral lawmakers: St. Paul, Mabini
            7. Secular lawmakers: Justinian, Quezon
            8. Humanistic order: Merkel, Leni

            Arroyo: Stage 1
            Binay, Erap: Stage 2
            Marcos: Stage 3
            Duterte: Stage 4
            Poe, Cory: Stage 5
            Cory, Noynoy: Stage 6
            FVR. Stage 7
            Santiago: Stage 7
            Roxas: Stage 7
            Leni: Stage 8

            Joe Samonte: Stage 4
            Irineo: Stage 5 (stage 4 before)
            Mary Grace: Stage 6/7
            Karl Garcia, Edgar Lores, Joe America: Stage 7
            Giancarlo, Will, LCPL_X: Stage 8

          • Vicara says:

            Edgar and Ireneo, thanks for your thoughtful responses. And I’d like to react here to what Joes just said.

            Edaar, the impetus for Daang Matuwid and the reforms associated with it should not be abandoned; as you rightly said, this is what is drawing people to vote for Roxas. But the slogan itself (and not what is behind it) needs to be reworked or refreshed in order to woo the as yet unconverted voter.

            The failure to communicate may go both ways, yes; so he and his team have to make up for the gaps in understanding. The burden is on them, because this is for the win. Their win. The media and people don’t listen? Then make them. Find the resources and the right people to do it. It is a sad fact that virtue and continuity are hard sells in the cacophony of current public discourse. Yes, people should be weaned from the “song and dance” of traditional political campaigns, but it won’t happen simply by focusing on one’s virtuous navel.

            “He has pointedly said that he will campaign the way he governs.” But realistically, campaigning and governing are different things. There’s one goal, and only one, in campaigning: winning. I’m thankful that politicking is not Roxas’ great love; he’s all about the work and the long term, and that is why he is the president we need, because he won’t give more importance to politicking than it deserves.) But the other candidates, especially the sainted Grace, have an advantage over him in that they are solely focused on politicking and, above all, the win. (Poe’s oft-stated objective is to finish what her father started; so far as one can tell, that thing he “started” was to win a presidential election. Period. Blank space follows.)

            Ireneo, as you say, Roxas (or indeed any leader) must “see the masa not as an anonymous mass but as real people.” I too, was jarred by that Mamasapano comment. It immediately hit me as another face of patronage politics—benevolent but not equal. And leadership at this stage of evolution is really more a partnership between equals. You know you’re someone’s partner when it’s clear they know where you’re coming from. When you are appreciated for yourself and for your contribution to the relationship. Neither Aquino nor Roxas are naturals at connecting with voters in this manner. But that doesn’t mean they can’t make adjustment to address this. There are local governments and police officers who have stuck to the Daang Matuwide; there are taxi drivers and small farmers and seamen who work hard and contribute to their communities’ development. Recognize them, and explain why what they do is important.

            • edgar lores says:



              1. How does one make people listen if they won’t listen?

              2. Why is it “their” win and not “ours”?

              As to the first question, I am aware there are sophisticated marketing techniques… such as the use of narrative, traditional media (broadsheet, radio, TV), new media (computers, cell phones, tablets), social media (blogosphere, FB, Twitter, YouTube), negative campaign, public relations, etc.

              I believe Mar’s team, not to mention volunteers, are working in all these areas.

              I believe and I agree with you, from the evidence of polling, that Mar and his team have an Everest to climb.

              However, no technique or combination of techniques will work if a large part of the customer base is not accessible or is not receptive.

              The negative campaign against Mar, which began in the 2010 vice presidency race, has been so effective to the point that people — even some of those who believe he is the best candidate — have been conditioned not to be receptive.

              Effective? Yes. Devastating? We will find out.

              Conditioning. I have constantly observed that we are the prisoners of our conditioning. As a collective society, our cultural conditioning is very hard to break. There is our social conditioning (caste system; master-servant), our religious conditioning (Abrahamic monotheism), and now our political conditioning (cheap gimmickry and authoritarianism).

              Conditioning is like the flowing magma that has become granite. Perhaps I should use the word “reform” instead of “break”. Reformation can be done from the outside (as by a sculptor) and it can be done from the inside. The nature of man is that we can be conditioned — and reconditioned — from the outside but more importantly from the inside.

              We are re-programmable; some parts are hard-coded (like the autonomous functions) but some parts are soft-coded. The marvelous thing about us is that we can be our own programmer… although, sad to say, most of time we would rather surrender the freedom and let other people dictate what we should think and do.

              But the freedom is there. And in a democracy, it is very important that we do not surrender our freedom.

              I agree with you: elections in a participatory democracy are about persuasion… but perhaps more importantly it is also about selection.

              So to select the best candidate (or to do most anything well really), we must be aware of our conditioning, overcome it, become open-minded, and be sincere in our open-mindedness.

              In a nutshell, what I have been trying to say is this: in an election, the burden of choice is not one-sided.

              As to the second question, you know what I mean.

              • Vicara says:

                “However, no technique or combination of techniques will work if a large part of the customer base is not accessible or is not receptive.” Then find access. Recraft the message for the “customers”. Enter their context–not just relying on traditional political theatrics which the other candidates are skilled at doing–but also redefine the context itself. Key is to make abstract concepts concrete and visible.

                This country has had six years of a breathing space in which individual LGU leaders and line agency officials and AFP officers of integrity have done Daang Matuwid–and made it work for their constituents. It’s not just Naga that’s done it,

                Mobilize these others to come forward and articulate why they believe in Daang Matuwid, and exactly how reforms bear fruit at the grassroots. Admit mistakes of the past, but show lessons learned, as well as determination to avoid the same mistakes in blueprints for the next administration. Roxas knows what needs to be done, down to mind-blowing–and sometimes -numbing–detail. So this has to be translated for voters clearly and concretely. For example, transparency and efficiency in the building of local bridges and roads means better materials, better quality infra, better savings, more economic activity, therefore improved livelihood and a better life for the community.

                “Ang mga pangarap na ito ay kayang maabot. Kailangan lang ang isang gobyernong nakatutok sa kapakanan ng taumbayan, at tumutotoo sa sinumpaang tungkulin nito; gobyernong mabilis, maliksi, at agarang nakakaresponde sa pangangailangan natin.” Yes, yes, we know all this. But how has this worked in the concrete? How will this work in the future? Focus on small, actual instances that can be replicated elsewhere in the country. Highlight the communities that have already internalized and institutionalize Daang Matuwid, and you will get other people to think, hey, even we here can do that too. Just as importantly, the spotlight will help renew those Daang Matuwid communities’ commitment to transparency and public service (never an easy task). If one community or one official can do it, then so can others.

                Have said before in this blog: Few candidates are really interested in the minutiae of governing, much less governing well. Our candidate is the only one committed to governing. His team has to be committed to winning. How badly does one want to win?

              • edgar lores says:

                We do not know if all that we have talked about and all that you suggest is being planned and being done by Mar and his team. It may well be that it is, and the constraining condition is one of timing.

                But the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.

                Apart from the factors of (a) persuasion, (b) conditioning and (c) doing our part, let me introduce another variable — the winds of Fate.

                Think back to the 2010 Elections. Why did PNoy win?

                With all that said, I think Mar should add you — your rationality, your passion and your ideas — to his team.


              • Vicara says:

                Thank you, Edgar. There are countless variables in every election, of which not all can be anticipated of course (the Fate factor). But people do what they can. I do not know the individual members of the media team that boosted Pinoy’s nowhere ratings in 2010 and won him the election. But they did a whip-smart job for Aquino–under Escudero’s orders, as it happens–and also pulled the rug out from the Roxas campaign. This is not a mistake to be made by his campaigners twice. I also remember the sage observation by political warhorse Sen.Osmena of any campaign: “You have to define the debate, shape the debate… Make sure your message dominates.”

  49. Madlanglupa says:


    Bello sees Roxas as a marshmallow. Not surprising. Unless he and many others will have to ride out Typhoon Rody in the next six years. Or he and Mar have to talk one-on-one, what Mar really needs to know, period.

    The few intellectuals who tried to bother about running for office, when he could’ve brought in something different to redistribute the wealth like what Saunders is trying… unless no one was listening to his socialist ideas because the policymakers were too busy with their own schemes.

    • Mar is NOT a marshmallow. Most Filipino intellectuals stay totally quiet in politics. Bello is one notable exception and I do respect what he says, but it goes way too short. Bello cannot say Mar is doing NOTHING about crime. Might even have been worse without Mar’s measures.

      It takes enormous guts to be an intellectual politician in the STUPID Philippines. Yes, STUPID. For sure I would not have the guts to be in that mudhole, snake pit, call it whatever you want.

      Those who want a modern Philippines should support Mar – even with constructive criticism.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        “Mar is NOT a marshmallow.”

        Which is, unfortunately and my apologies, being painted by the usual Peenoise in their Facebook zealotry. But, yes, Bello could’ve done more, but unsurprisingly he’s seen as being left field compared to Saunders.

        Yes, it is also sad that there’s this anti-intellectual streak that is persistent in our society.

  50. This is like a boxing match… Mar says “Dark Ages” we shouldn’t go back to and Duterte responds:

    A day after the Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer twitted him for his alleged killings and called the peace in Davao City a ‘myth,’ tough-talking Mayor Rodrigo Duterte hit back and said a president should be ready to use anything to achieve peace for his country—even if it means killing criminals or dying in the process.

    “What does Mar mean, that I can’t kill criminals?” Philippine Star quoted him as asking. “My advice to Mar, if you want to become an effective president, then you should not be afraid to die or kill.”

    “If you’re afraid of dying or killing, then just don’t run for president,” he stressed.

    According to Duterte, he will not be an inutile president who will just sit around and do nothing while criminals roam free in the country.

    “I will definitely stop crime and corruption if elected president in 2016,” he said, adding that once criminals are eliminated, investors will readily flock to the country and businesses will be able to thrive.

  51. This is the way to go… strengthen rule of law and implement measures to be able to check the government like Freedom of Information… make anti-Dynasty laws so that the rule of families everywhere is stopped and real politicians from the people become normal… checks and balances to include referendums and popular veto against things like BBL for example. Instead of relying on politicians of any color as saviors. The Dutch just sued their government – and WON! This is the wave of the future… the bosses of politicians are becoming real bosses… good thing.

    • Ireneo,

      The argument used looks very familiar, I wonder how much of the “Oposa Doctrine” played a role in the Dutch case? https://joeam.com/2015/05/21/a-filipino-aclu-and-lawyering-in-the-philippines/

      “In 1993, Oposa made headlines worldwide for his role in the landmark case in which he sued on behalf of 43 Filipino children who initiated an action against the Philippine government for permitting logging in the remaining four percent of the country’s virgin forests. The Philippine Supreme Court upheld the legal standing and the right of the children to initiate the action on their behalf and on behalf of generations yet unborn. It was the first time in legal history that the concept of intergenerational equity was used to win a case and is now known in Philippine and global jurisprudence as the “Oposa Doctrine.” In another landmark case that reinforces this principle, Oposa filed a petition against 12 government agencies to legally obligate them to expedite the cleanup, restoration, and preservation of Manila Bay.” http://www.thegreeninterview.com/bio/antonio-oposa-jr

      Good stuff, I hope there’ll be an avalanche of similar cases worldwide. I know the Oposa Doctrine had no application in the real world, in Manila, but that idea sure was worth the fight.

  52. http://www.wheninmanila.com/letter-to-mar-roxas-fire-your-publicists-they-make-you-look-pitiful-be-who-you-really-are/ – Joe you already wrote this months ago… Mar be yourself… but he has found his tone I think… to the point and in Tagalog… that he doesn’t want back to Dark Ages.

    Have you seen the Mar Roxas campaign ads? His fist bumping and collection of celebrities, body-bumping etc? From the comments of netizens, they are downright cringe-worthy. Some comments were saying that he seems “plastic” and he was “trying too hard” and some even say that his good image has been wiped out by the annoying political campaigns.

    Just like netizen Miyako, she shares her opinion on why Mar Roxas could win if he would re-do his political campaigns. She says he should “stop making the poor love him” and to “find himself and be true.”

    You should be all brains. Focus on institutional changes. Talk about charter change for economic and political reforms. Embrace the vote-getting Federalism not the hated, indefensible “Matuwid na Daan.” Think of brilliant solutions to Moro, CPP/NPA/NDF, and Lumad problems. Tackle Philippine concerns intelligently. Invoke science, technology, and engineering when you talk. You have a Wharton degree in Economics. Act like a tech-savvy expert. Intellectualize every national issue. Target the educated and thinking voters. They are your votes. Walk their talk. They can understand you…

    The poor will not support you, unless you will do something great like denouncing the oligarchs in the Philippines even though you are an Araneta. If you really want to be the president of the country, targeting the oligarchy can help you win. Among the presidential candidates, you are the safest one many Filipino voters can comfortably support. Redo your campaign strategy. Stop bumping fists and slamming bodies. They look funny as in trying hard-funny. That is not you. You should be holding a pen and a notepad instead while thinking what is good for the country. Be an intellectual, a brilliant one.

    • Joe America says:

      Actually, the fist-bumping and playing around is the real Mar. It us we who refuse to accept it. We want him to be who he is not, which is impossible. Like I wrote in Twitter, this is an election about us, not the candidates. I laughed at his chest bump, because he was having fun. Now how he reaches the poor, that is a different matter. For all we know, that video would do it. It is our job to see clearly and decide, not re-engineer personalities to our liking.

      • You’re right. I remember a comment by a UP prof who wrote I’ll vote Mar even if he’s corny.

        Well, what is more Pinoy than corniness? Noynoy is sometimes baduy, that’s Pinoy as well. Probably Filipinos will have to accept themselves more, love themselves more to fix stuff.

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          I don’t believe that Filipinos abhor corniness. Corny is us. We easily cry, easily laugh at the corniest jokes. We’re the opposite of intellectuality. Why? Can you take a country that’s in the path of typhoons, ringed by fault lines, seriously? “Are you entertained (Gladiator)” is directed at us. We have to laugh to appreciate our dismal state, give it oomph. Joe has done a swell job parrying commentary on Do This, Mar, Don’t Do That, Mar. From now on, I’ll keep my peace and let Mar be Mar. He knows his stuff, just as Joe and the rest of us in SoH know ours. Enjoy the ride, peeps.

          • Joe America says:

            You forgot the volcanoes. It was a great relief to reach that point of acceptance, that Mar Roxas is a very capable guy, and we should just let him work. People make demands on him that they can’t measure up to themselves, and there is a word for that.

            • Joe America says:

              Which reminds me, for any person criticizing Korina, we should insist that they present details about their own spouses, and put pictures here, so we can do likewise.

  53. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/747056/duterte-mocks-roxas-record-he-cant-handle-stress#ixzz3u6FEtyPA – this shows Digongs true face… I take very long to judge but this…

    In parrying attacks against him, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte criticized the administration’s standard bearer Mar Roxas, testifying in a speech in Taguig why his rival cannot handle stress.

    “Mar (Roxas) gave the victims (of “Yolanda”) uncooked rice. Why will you give them rice when they don’t have pot and water to cook them?” Duterte said on Friday night before business partners of the Taguig City government during its Thanksgiving dinner at the SM Aura.

    I remember masa migrants who TAUGHT me how to handle practical stuff and explained to me their world… and I explained intellectual things to them in a way they could understand. I also grew up in an intellectual househould.. the world of the masa is another… it is hard to learn.

    Nobody is perfect Mayor Duterte… but your methods are simply backhanded – traidor ka talaga. Up to now inspite of criticism I have had respect for you, but it is completely gone now.

    • Inkblot test on these two photos… gamitin ang pakiramdam at pagkilatis..

    • Joe America says:

      Yep, he is like the chat room bully who is going personal. Nothing to respect in that.

      • I believe the irony is that when Duterte went to Tacloban the interview showed he was virtually shocked to inaction. He said people who knew how to handle the dead should be sent while the Secretary actually moved dead people’s bodies. Also I’m willing to bet that the relief goods he brought had lots of rice. So boom Mr Duterte.

        • He can’t handle the dead, but has killed? One should always take care of one’s own messes. Teaches a lot and makes one appreciative – and avoid making too many messes.

          Another thing being spread in social media is the COA report about unliquidated Yolanda funds, being used by the ignorant as “proof” that Mar has stolen the money – these ignorants do not know that unliquidated does not mean stolen. It just means, not yet finalized so to speak.

          • Or the STUPID who say that Mar is lying because DAVAO has the DILG seal that it is compliant – that just means that Davao is doing its job well as a city.

            It does NOT mean that Davao is perfect in terms of peace and order, and does not invalidate Mar’s statement that Davao is No. 4 in terms of crime rate.

            Or that Mar lives in Cubao, lots of crime there, how can he handle the whole country. Foolish, because Mar has dealt with making structures more efficient nationally for EVERYBODY.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, and I am confident the people were happy to receive the rice, and one thing Filipinos are, is resourceful. There was a lot of wood lying around in Tacloban. Trust me on that. Such a scrooge, this Duterte. He probably gets gifts and criticizes the giver for not giving him what he wants. He wanted Roxas to cook the rice, too? Incredibly small man, this Duterte.

  54. junie garcia says:

    Just watched the initial telecast of CNN Philippines’ town hall meeting featuring Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo. A must watch for those interested in knowing more on how the candidates think on various issues. For me, this sets Mar and Leni apart from all other tandems. I hope someone will be able to upload this in any social media facility.

  55. migs says:

    my personal opinion and i have not met or know Mar Roxas personally is as follows:

    1. When he was DOTC secretary – nothing happened, traffic is worse, MRT keeps on breaking down and the people under him were convicted by the Ombudsman (who has unassailable integrity) for graft and corruption. Same story when he was DILG secretary. He had the power and full support of PNoy to do what needed to be done and yet nothing happened and things became worse when he was in charge at DOTC and DILG. These are the main reasons why the majority of Filipino people are supporting Duterte or Poe (because they feel that peace and order can be greatly improved as well as traffic and public transportation which did not happen when Mar was DILG or DOTC secretary. Also how can you trust someone whose underlings are now being convicted for graft by the Ombudsman?

    2. There was a well documented incident in WackWack Golf Club wherein he cursed at the staff of the golf club for charging him for fees when they were just implementing club policy. If I’m not mistaken the management of the golf club made an investigation and decided that Mar was at fault. This does not show good character and would seem to show his true colors when he is not around journalists, bloggers or media personalities. There seem to be similar stories about his wife though I’m not sure how true these are unlike with the WackWack incident.

    3. He does not inspire the Filipino people whether it be through his vision, his thoughts or actions (and this is reflected in the polls showing him trailing Duterte, Poe and even Binay), a leader to be able to effectively lead better must be able to inspire his people.

    • a few questions, because I do not have a clear picture:

      1) did he bring his underlings HIMSELF or did he inherit them from previous administrations? The ones charged for graft. What was the situation when he took over DOTC? As for DILG the record seems to show that he did quite a lot of stuff – PNP and LGUs. Why “nothing happened?”

      2) any links that accurately give a picture of what happened? Because the Tacloban incident was understandable in the context. There are always provocations and reactions to them.

      3) Vicara has given excellent suggestions on what he probably should address, soon.

      I see only what some people say, and the others. Looking at pros and cons here.

      • karl garcia says:

        The underlings at the DOTC are mostly Roxas guys. As to documented character flaws public embarrasments all of the candidates has their share,lalo na ngayon laganap ang mga memes, twitter bashing no one will escape our scrutiny.For D and E their is always the am radio,the tabloid and of course the word of mouth.

        Wac Wac,we do not know what caused Mar’s outburst,all the news says that the establishment wont allow a guest some privileges enjoyed by a member,even that I can not give an accurate picture,because I have to google and all I will findare the sensationalized tabloidian versions.For that Yolanda unreleased.It is a systemic anomaly that certain funds,goods are released technically where it is intended for.it is a matter of going by the book because of fear of audit.Or something else,we can only guess.

    • caliphman says:

      You would be right if one goes by the latest polls. For that matter, even almost all the earliest polls save when his candidacy was announced, just like what is happening now with Duterte. Prearranged love fests like what this current blog celebrates does not change the fact that it is Roxas and not the bulk of the Philippine electorate who needs a wake up call about the need for a drastic change to affect the likely outcome of the May elections. That wake up call is not about the masa miraculously discovering the Roxas they do not see but may not even care about, but its about making radical changes from top to bottom in his campaign staffing and strategy right now before time runs out!

      • They will have to send people out on the streets, not to campaign but to listen to people without any indication of where they come from… to get a feel of what is going on there.

        I am seeing a disjoint between their numbers and the perception on the street… now the question is whether that is only a manufactured perception or how real is it… people have to get the security that their issues are known and really being dealt with and not brushed aside.

        My two cents, I have been a part of large software rollouts with enormous change management implications that affected a lot of divisions, departments and more in their daily work.. and have been the one closer to the ground than the managers responsible overall… I know this stuff.

        Duterte is a middle manager, so to speak, who has benefitted from the LGPMS and added his own pragmatic stuff to make his city more successful than other “rollout sites” and is now vying for the CEO position without going through upper management… but the stakeholders like him.

        Because other middle managers did well, but many messed it up IMHO… causing discontent.

        • This is what they do for the DSWD 4P beneficiary. House to house face to face interviews by the auditors. If the DSWD could do this surely the DILG can assign people.

          A basic flaw of Oplan Lambat Sibat is that especially in rich places a lot of crime does not get reported. These unreported crime are directly experienced by the middle class and the blue collar working class.

          After the initial success of Oplan Lambat Sibat the next would be to increase trust in the police such that unreported crimes get reported. I suspect there are moves to fix this but this is non trivial and they probably haven’t solved this yet.

          • People might fear that criminals belong to syndicates that have connections to the police…

            Now life experience tells me – trust Duterte to solve it? It might even be that his folks just rub out those who are doing their own “sidelines” against HIS criminal partners… not far-fetched because things like that have happened in many places worldwide. Fake sense of peace.

            Basically one big capo who keeps a ruthless form of order. Might work, but is it desirable? No.

      • karl garcia says:

        Exactly Caliphman.
        That was what I was trying to point out to Edgar.Is it the electorate who have to position themseves,Or Mar?

    • Joe America says:

      Argument #1 reflects the popular misconceptions and greatly misrepresents the Roxas accomplishments at DILG (storm readiness and response, policing improvements, LGU’s as an extension of National programs). It also takes long term, embedded problems and assigns them to short-term, bucking them from Aquino/Abaya to Roxas, which is nonsense. Argument #2 takes a specific incident or mistake and generalizes it to the whole of the character, which is another form of misrepresentation. No candidate can rise to the level of perfection, and the flaws of the other candidates are significantly worse. Argument #3 does not consider that the official campaign period has not even begun, but draws conclusions.

      Essentially, this is the kind of uninformed or manipulative argument that populates social media. I’ll be writing about this in a blog next week, how dumb has become the norm for analysis.

      • migs says:

        I am a Filipino and i love the Philippines and I only want the best for my country and my countrymen. I would have chosen to keep quiet and not respond but my anger and desire for a better Philippines that Filipinos deserve requires a response (For the record, I believe PNoy is clean, has integrity and the best intentions for the Philippines, it is just some people under him who are corrupt and/or incompetent)

        For argument #1 – Mar had 6 years to make a difference, to provide a better public transportation system (airport, MRT/LRT and railway, etc.) and yet nothing happened. If anything we probably have one of the worst public transportation systems in the world (airport, MRT, railways, etc.). Just talk to the common Filipino who has to take public transportation daily. Just talk to the daily commuter who has to endure horrendous traffic. I really feel sad for the lost opportunity that Mar had to make a positive change. The Filipino deserve a much better public transportation system, a much better airport, a much better train service. What’s worse is that the people who were under him in DOTC in charge of the MRT are not just being investigated by the Ombudsman but already charged. Same also with the persons in charge of the airport who are also being investigated by the Ombudsman. This either shows incompetence that he does not know how to choose the right people or manage them or worse that he is also part of the scam that has been going on at the MRT and airport. How come you you were quiet on this in your rebuttal. I would like to hear facts from you to prove otherwise. If six years is not enough to make a positive change in our public transportation system that is felt by the public then why give him another 6 years? He could have shared his vision early on for a world class public transportation system that would have inspired and galvanised the Filipino people and yet i don’t know of any (pls. enlighten us on this).

        For argument #2, i have never cursed someone or publicly humiliated someone simply for doing his job and i have friends who throughout their whole lives have never done so. It’s just something inherently basic of a decent, good person. Nobody is perfect but for a person whom we are electing to the highest position of the land, shouldn’t we hold that person to a higher standard?

        For argument #3. Mar has been “campaigning” since the last six years (and so has Binary). This is the reason why he was given such high profile posts such as DOTC and DILG where he could have had made a positive difference. But then again isn’t it better than campaigning when a person’s track record and actions speak for themselves? He had the last six years to provide himself to the Filipino people. No need to campaign. I really would have loved it if during those last six years, we had a better public transportation system, more peace and order (we have one of the highest number of journalists killed in the world – top 3 i think worldwide). I mean if the Filipino people felt the positive changes in public transportation, in peace and order, etc. then that would not have been a big issue and Mar would probably have higher support and I personally would be supporting him wholeheartedly.

        I am looking forward to your blog next week and hopefully you get to prove me wrong. Maybe there are some facts about Mar that i and the rest of the Filipino people do not know about and i would gladly share them. I really wish for a better Philippines, i really wish for the best president with an inspiring vision and track record of delivering on that vision that would really help bring the majority of Filipinos out of poverty. Here’s hoping and praying for that leader

        • karl garcia says:

          Abaya has been maligned for many things especially the line or spiel thati it is still being studied and the studies are for the future administrations.A No No for people who wants results as soon as Yesterday.Joe already commented on the DOTC.
          For DILG,Irineo has his share if comments.

          • karl garcia says:

            Joe America says:
            December 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm
            I think DOTC is a “born to lose” agency, because its work takes years and is extraordinarily complex and full of vested interests. But people want it YESTERDAY. I don’t fault Abaya for the contracts or trains, but for the decision to split the LRT/MRT common station and consign riders to a lengthy hike down a tunnel. Saves a billion, makes an oligarch happy, does not serve riders well.

            • migs says:

              Thanks for the feedback karl but it still does not answer the root cause of the problem – hiring and keeping of incompetent and worse corrupt people who were in charge of the MRT and are now charged by the ombudsman for graft and corruption. Secondly, maintenance and ensuring safety of a public transportation system such as the MRT is not rocket science. It’s a basic if not minimum requirement for the job and those in charge owe this to the Filipino people. Sadly they failed (just look at the record of the number of safety problems being encountered by the public riding MRT) and worse they were convicted of graft and corruption. If they (Mar/Abaya and the people under them in DOTC) cannot even address and solve basic problems such as safety (I’m not even talking about developing and expanding the public transportation system) then how much more national projects? If he cannot have the political will and savvy to solve a very basic problem like safety at the MRT (not to mention graft and corruption there) then how much more problems of the whole country??

              • Joe America says:

                As I understand it, the corrupt act . . . arranging a contract with an acquaintance . . . was done after Mar Roxas left. You are taking decades of bad management and laying it all on Roxas, who was there for a year. An assignment of convenience, to fulfill a political goal? Who are you supporting for President?

              • A year is practically nothing… but those who have not been in such situations don’t know… wasn’t ever a manager but I have been in projects that revamped entire institutions.

                The institutional inertia that you have to deal with is enormous… things don’t change overnight.

        • Joe America says:

          #1, I’ve read of the difficulties on MRT, of contracts that tie hands, in the main, and lawsuits, and possible corruption after Mar Roxas left. I’m not inclined to do the research needed on it, as you could do the same yourself if you wanted to. Given the hardness of your view, I think my trying to convince you would just be met with more demands. This process is mentioned in the blog article. #2, who would you select rather than Mar Roxas, someone without the passion or temper? #3 I disagree. He has been working diligently. There’s a meme going around from the chief of PNP that says he will hold meetings as early as 6 am and work as late as 10 pm. The only way he could avoid your criticism would be not to work in government. By that standard, all the candidates have been campaigning for years. It is a really weak, stretched argument.

          • migs says:

            Thanks for the answers Joe. Im not decided yet on whom to support as President. I am still weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate and i guess the answer will become clearer in the months ahead as they present in more detail their vision and plans for the country. #1 Roxas chose and hired those people who are now being convicted for graft and corruption #2 i would rather select someone whose heart is truly for the weak (those without power) and poor — just like the staff at WackWack who were just doing their jobs #3 I disagree. Working smart is much better than working hard. He may be diligent and hard working but it does not necessarily mean he is working smart — results speak for themselves. If the peace and order situation really improved under him as DILG secretary then Détente’s strong position on implementing peace and order in the country would not resonate so loudly not just with the masses but even with class AB around the Philippines.

            • Joe America says:

              Well, I go back to my original finding, that your arguments make no sense, simplistically overlaying the faults of others onto Roxas (as do Poe/Escudero and Binay), deducing from a golf club temper tantrum that Roxas has no compassion or can’t relate to the poor when I know for a fact he is a personable, regular guy with great compassion, and claiming Roxas does not work smart or productively when mountains of evidence say the opposite. But you are entitled to your reality and choices. They do encourage me to write blogs about how superficial are decisions in the Philippines for many people.

              • migs says:

                I respect your opinion Joe especially since you have met and spoken to Roxas personally. Now if you really believe Roxas is the Philippines best candidate for President then in my opinion he should fire or revamp whoever is handling his PR, marketing, campaign since it is not doing him any good as he is still trailing Duterte, Poe and Binay in all polls the past months. If he is really smart he would have or should have done this a long time ago especially if he really believes he is the best option for our country. This just shows four things 1. either he does not know how to choose good competent people under him (e.g. his campaign manager, his PR or marketing person, etc.), 2. he knows how to choose good competent people under him but he is basically flawed that no matter how good his PR and campaign team is they can’t fix it, 3. there is something really wrong with the majority of Filipino people that they would rather vote for someone else as their president than Roxas 4. combination of all of the above.

              • No. 4, in my estimation with the following percentages:

                No. 1: 35% – I think it was worse in his DOTC times (50%), improved at DILG
                No. 2: 25% – that also was worse I think before (35%), he has improved there also
                No. 3: 40% – many Filipinos don’t see lessons learned, only harp on past mistakes

                OK he is not an MBA and was not the caliber of a true top manager, but he has grown into his role. Somebody truly high-powered would work somewhere else and not in Filipino politics.

                Governor Salceda of Albay has better credentials than Roxas and better experience before he became Gov, but his going back to Albay is simply being home again and serving his people.

                Mar in the 90s was similar to Grace Poe today including motivations for returning.

  56. NHerrera says:

    Good news from Le Bourget, France:

    #COP21: Nations agree on historic global climate pact


    Although some are cautious, there are general sigh of relief. Here are some statements from the report:

    Negotiators from all of the world’s nations have formally adopted a global climate pact that aims to curb global warming and avert a planet-wide disaster.

    Ministers and delegates representing 195 groups (194 countries and the European Union acting as one party) unanimously agreed on the 31-page document, the first-ever global agreement on climate change that will have all countries on board.
    The pact is the culmination of more than two decades of negotiations and debates between countries, particularly between the rich and the poor nations, on how to best deal with global warming.
    “The Paris Agreement on climate change is a monumental triumph for people and planet,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the assembled group.

    “Here in Paris, we have heeded their voices – as was our duty,” he said.

    “When historians look back on this day, they will say that global cooperation to secure a future safe from climate change took a dramatic new turn here in Paris,” he added.

    • NHerrera says:

      Considering that the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable to the effects of Global Climate Change, it will be most interesting to put in one place the statements of the Presidential Candidates on the subject.

    • Thea says:

      And surprisingly, China agreed on the pact and promised to clear their air. One article says that in reality, they are out there to grab the contracts to produce cheap solar panels and wind turbines.

  57. Kaycee says:

    Hi, great article Sir. This is really amazing, I could show this to my friends who are really anti-Mar. Anyway, I just have one question. Why are they saying that Roxas City is not voting for Mar? I’m actually looking for an answer regarding with this matter. I know it’s out of the topic but I am really hoping you could help me out. Thank you. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      Good of you to visit, Kaycee. I know nothing about Roxas City actually. Localities often go the way of the dominant tribal leader political dynasty. Maybe he has some haters there. I dunno.

  58. Madlanglupa says:

    I read her books, both exposing the Marcoses and all of their skeletons in the closet, and they were best-sellers of their time.

    But then, the legendary yet aging CNP has succumbed to the populist view that the demagogue Duterte will be the solution to everyone’s problems, even as he has not spoken in a town-hall meeting, debate or any fora that could’ve put him under intense scrutiny:


    I felt disturbed when she said of her praise for this god-king. If he wins, I am not going to leave this country… gonna stay in and fight.

  59. Betsy Orbe says:

    Its Roxas and Robledo for me. Thanks for strengthen my support for them. God bless!

  60. yesnoy46 says:

    What can we reasonably expect when Poe’s disqualification case reaches the Supreme Court?

    A ready answer is of course: “justice will be served”. If there is justice anywhere on earth, we can find it only in our courts of law. Justice is defined as “to render each person his due” (Plato’s Republic). We shall not go into the metaphysical intricacies here, and instead accept that “the law is what the Supreme Court says it is.” One approach towards second-guessing the decision of the Supreme Court on the Poe disqualification case is to assess the members of the Supreme Court and their possible action on the issue, given their leanings or tendencies.

    Of the 15 SC justices, 3 have already voted for Poe’s disqualification based on the SET decision of November 17, 2015: Antonio Carpio, Teresita de Castro, and Arturo Brion. They may choose to inhibit themselves in the en banc deliberation or decide to join it, which they could also do, according to election expert, Romulo Makalintal. These 3 Associate Justices were appointed by (former) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, along with Presbitero Velasco Jr., Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano Del Castillo, Jose S. Perez, and Jose C. Mendoza, a total of 9 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointees.

    Only 5 were appointed by Pres. Benigno Aquino III: Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, Bienvenido Reyes, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marivic Leonen, and Francis Jardelesa. An appointee of Arroyo, Justice Mendoza, and an appointee of Aquino, Justice Reyes, are fraternity brods of presidential candidate Digong Duterte.

    Are there any roles to play by former members of the COMELEC? Perhaps as amici curae? Former COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brilliantes is an adviser of Grace Poe and a very vocal anti-Roxas. Some kibitzers hint he is disgruntled with Pnoy and Roxas over some matters about his retirement “package”. Makalintal is also openly pro-Poe. Can these people influence the Supreme Court?

    I believe that the SC justices will truly render Justice to the Filipino nation. I agree with the reasoning of Joel Ruiz Butuyan that the Supreme Court will reverse the SET and COMELEC rulings finally disqualifying Grace Poe from running for the presidency in the elections of 2016. We can rest assured that the Supreme Court will judge on the merits of the case, guided by wisdom and not by political consideration.

    But the central issue is who among the 5 presidential candidates will garner the most votes on election day of May 10, 2016? Whoever will be the victor, he/she must truly earn the prize — the people’s choice, in an honest, free, and peaceful election.

  61. Roger espinosa says:

    Mar Roxas’ personality must be known by the voting public.. Napaka sayang ni Mar kapag matalo sa 2016. Diko alam kung saan pupulotin ang pilipinas kapag si Binay, Poe, Meriam, at lalo na si Duterte ang maging presidente ng Pilipinas.

  62. Mami Kawada Lover says:

    I was not even defending Roxas, merely pointing out Duterte’s flaws and showing that Davao is not as safe as it seems, and now Duterte supporters are verbally attacking me with words like “tanga”, “bobo”, “hipokrito”, etc. When I showed them the links for The Economist’s Safe Cities Index, which has a notable omission of Davao on the list, they told me that it is inaccurate because it uses a different methodology from Numbeo. I then pointed out that Numbeo is an obscure website with a subscriber base of less than 500, which uses online voting as opposed to studies and analysis as its methods, and lo and behold, they then throw ad hominems at me. They even accuse me of being a Roxas supporter even though I told them that I am currently not supporting any candidate and in my personal opinion Roxas was a mediocre secretary too. Is this the kind of supporter that people would want to think of when they think of a candidate? Are Duterte supporters really fine with people with these kind of attitude? I admire the Duterte supporters I have spoken to who are more calm and more pragmatic, who are respectful of other opinions, and I commend the Duterte supporters who condemned the actions of their fellow supporters. I just wish more of their kind were more vocal and more widespread.

    • I have spoken to the kind of Duterte supporters you have mentioned… including threats and an invitation to look at Davao which I countered with Duterte is invited to Munich and DACHAU… also I have spoken to an obvious teen who was misled but very nice… also there was one Duterte supporter who talked to me and explained, but told all others to hold their horses, something which reminded me of the Neonazi “Gruppenführer” or group leaders – organized.

      Now Roxas I think has done good work, but may not be enough of a leader – I really don’t know. But most Duterte supporters come with “dilaw ka ano” – are you yellow? It is a pity because many of the points that the smarter supporters raise are valid, even if their solutions are wrong.

      • Perhaps the hardest part for me is how to explain why I’m against Duterte without resorting to logical fallacies. If I criticize his supporters for using fallacies but I myself use those I will come out as a hypocrite and not much better than them. I need some advice on how to keep my sanity and at the same time expressing my beliefs, all while having ad hominems thrown at me. It’s really sad to see that Duterte supporters of those kind exist. I’m sure many of them have good intentions, but perhaps the influence of their candidate is affecting their personality as well. I have never seen genuine (i.e. non-troll) supporters of Poe or Binay make the same arguments, and although I have seen some Roxas supporters also resort to ad hominemns, it is not to extend of what I’m seeing (and experiencing) with Duterte supporters.

        Also, it’s realy funny how his supporters are dismissing that picture of that certificate which proves that Roxas did graduate from UPenn/Wharton, by claiming that “he did not graduate because he was an undergraduate”, perhaps being unaware of the definition of an undergraduate, which would roughly be the same as a bachelor’s degree.

        • edgar lores says:

          Same phenomenon as the Obama birther conspiracy which continued to percolate even after Obama’s birth certificate was produced?

          • Mami Kawada Lover says:

            I think there’s a difference. For the controversy about Obama, the persistence it was more about conspiracy and hatred of the person, while in this case with Roxas it seems to be more about ignorance and language barriers.

  63. Politically incorrect Joke – Humor is Strength!

    Mar Roxas does not have a Master’s.

    He finished to become a Bachelor.

    Until he married Korina.

    And became a Slave.

    • Joke from one of those on the FGLC FB page, about the threat of Digong to slap Mar:

      Eh di sampalin niya, sasabunutin siya, parehong mga bak.. ha ha ha!

      Filipinos are starting to move from being angry to laughing again… Filipino humor wins the day.

  64. Juan Cruz says:

    Roxas’ survey results as of this time may not be that high but I think the idea that he has no appeal with the masses is a myth. I think it is also a myth that that he can’t run a campaign that can target to the emotions of the masses.

    I maybe young then but I remember the Mr. Palengke campaign that the Roxas camp did in 2004. Roxas was elected Senator with 19 million votes and at the time set a record for the highest votes ever garnered in any Philippine election. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar_Roxas).

    He did it once and I believe he can do it again. Even reporters recently were asking him if he was bringing back to life his Mr. Palengke image. See below the link from a few months ago.

    I watched the DZMM Ikaw Na Ba: Mar Roxas episode in youtube. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4p0ce3susk). I was very impressed with his experience and knowledge. I think he is very intelligent, has a very wide range of experience, very knowledgeable on many different areas, and a very good manager. Erap in his interview with Karen Davila said that Roxas is the most qualified to become president. (htps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzscrejPJtQ)

    I noticed Roxas has come out recently swinging against other presidential bets. He seems to have taken off his gloves and is not afraid to criticize back other candidates who are hitting him on many issues. If other candidates are getting attention and survey points by being critical and controversial, why not Roxas?

    Mar’s experience and intelligence can really serve the Philippines as the next President.

  65. yesnoy46 says:

    I posted my blog post today (https://yesnoy46.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/stay-the-course/) just as the latest SWS came out. Mar now rates 22%, still behind Binay and Poe but he has overtaken Duterte! Is this cause for celebration? A double celebration, I think, because Leni is also closing in on Escudero.

  66. anislagan says:

    Can you also do a deeper investigation whether it is a myth or not that Roxas deliberately used his power to destroy 800,000 CAP educational plan holders because of his lobby for AGILE, which eventually went bankrupt?

    Is it also a fallacy that that his LP repaid their election donor multi-billion contracts as a repayment for their election contribution?

  67. Ramon says:

    Wow this comment section is full of pretentious people. Well, what did I expect from a joeam blog.

  68. yesnoy46 says:

    Filipinos consider “corruption” as the most important problem of the country, according to the latest (December 26, 2015) “The Standard Poll”. It was the No.1 problem mentioned by 31 percent of the surveyed 1,500 registered voters nationwide. It was the most important problem to registered voters in the National Capital Region (38%), South Luzon/Bicol (33%) and North/Central Luzon (30%). It was also the most important problem in the Visayas (29%) and Mindanao (28%).

    Poverty is the 2nd most important problem, but affecting only 15% of the registered voters nationwide. It affected Luzon outside the NCR (19%) but lesser in the Visayas (14%) and least in Mindanao (10%). Poverty is closely related to Unemployment/Lack of Jobs (10%), High Prices of Goods/Services (9%), and Low Salary/Income (4%). If these are lumped together, the total Poverty rating of 23% is still lower by 8% than “corruption” as “the most important problem of the country”.

    It is notable that Drug Addiction/Illegal Drugs (14%) and Criminality (7%) aggregate to only 21%, still lower than Poverty as “the most important problem of the country”. It is also very notable that Traffic is a significant problem of NCR (6%) and the rest of Luzon (total also of 6%); Traffic is not at all a problem in the Visayas and Mindanao. In Mindanao, Brownouts/Energy is the most important problem (5%), followed by Presence of Rebel Groups (2%).

    “Corruption” is thus still the problem that begs for the highest priority attention of the proponents of the “Daang Matuwid” platform of government. Is the Pnoy administration moving in the “right direction”?

    This appears to be case: despite many obstacles still to be surmounted, 64 percent nationwide said they believed “the country is heading in the right direction”. These are mostly from the Visayas (53%) and Mindanao (52%) who received cash grants under the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Other areas that acknowledged the benefits of the 4Ps program come from Metro Manila where 45% cited the 4Ps as a reason and 40 percent from North/Central Luzon. Only 36% from South Luzon/Bikol cited the 4Ps as a reason.

    • yesnoy46 says:

      To me this means that Duterte is barking at the wrong tree: drugs/criminality (supposedly Digong’s “forte” is not the real problem. The RORO TANDEM needs continuing support in their anti-corruption campaign. I am happy that PNoy will be joining them at the hustings. The camp of VP Binay must be shakin’ in their boots. That PNoy no longer has any impact on the voters is pure baloney! Did not Binay and Poe wait for PNoy’s blessings? They poohpoohed PNoy as a lameduck only after Pnoy “anointed” Mar Roxas!

  69. JONATHAN says:

    One of the primary reasons democracy doesn’t work is too many people vote for what is in their own self interests rather than what is in the best interest of the majority.

    I’m sure you all saw the Princeton study that concluded that the US is no longer a democracy.

    • Joe America says:

      I didn’t, but certainly believe that vested interests drive elections and policies, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling of a couple of years ago allowing unlimited funding of political groups associated with a candidate.

  70. yesnoy46 says:

    The latest Pulse Asia survey showed that President Aquino earned the highest trust and approval ratings among the 5 highest officials of the government. The survey was conducted from Dec. 4 to 11, 2015 among 1,800 registered voters nationwide. The results were posted by the Business World on January 6, 2016 (http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Nation&title=Binay-surges-in-Pulse-Asia-performance-trust-scores&id=121062).

    Aquino increased his trust rating by 4 points to 53% and his performance rating by 1 point to 55%. Across geographic areas, Aquino posted majority approval ratings in the Visayas (68%) and Mindanao (62%); across socioeconomic classes, Aquino also earned majority approval ratings among Class E (67%) and Class D (52%).

    Binay’s performance rating climbed nine points to 52%, while his trust rating rose by ten points to 49%. His performance rating was highest in the rest of Luzon (55%) and socioeconomic Class E (66%). Two majority trust scores are recorded by VP Binay across geographic areas and socioeconomic classes: 52% in the rest of Luzon and 62% in Class E. Based on these trust and performance ratings, VP Binay appears to have the upper hand in the race to the presidency in 2016.

    The latest Social Weather Station (SWS) poll reports that VP Binay is the man to beat, garnering 31% of voter preference for President (http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=TopStory&title=binay-pulls-away-marcos-rises-in-latest-survey&id=121536). VP Binay increased his poll rating by 5 points from 26% in December. The other candidates were statistically tied for the second spot: Senator Grace Poe with 24% (down 2 points from 26% in December), Secretary Mar Roxas with 21% (down 1 point from 22%), and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte with a flat 20%.

    A supporter of Senator Grace Poe’s candidacy for President and a candidate for Vice-President, Senator Antonio Trillanes is vehemently opposing VP Binay’s candidacy. He is poised to resume the Senate sub-committee hearings on the graft and corruption charges he has filed against VP Binay. Life imprisonment for the crime of plunder is better than “extreme prejudice” in the hands of Mayor Duterte.

    Escudero, the candidate of Grace Poe, is currently the leading candidate based on the latest SWS survey, posting a 28% of voter preference. He is closely followed by Marcos with 25%; Marcos is the VP candidate of Miriam Santiago. Within striking distance are Robredo with 17%, and Cayetano with 14%. Robredo is the VP candidate of Mar Roxas, while Cayetano is the VP candidate of Rodrigo Duterte.

    Honasan and Trillanes are the tail-enders with 8% and 3% respectively. Honasan is the vice-presidential candidate of VP Binay, while Trillanes is running as an independent but supporting Grace Poe.

    Whoever succeeds Aquino in June 2016 will inherit a P3.003 trillion approved budget, as much as 50% of which may still be available for the expenditure program of the succeeding administration. The single biggest budget allocation is for the 4Ps Program. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/755237/aquino-future-of-poor-hangs-on-my-successor

    The 4Ps Program was adjudged by the World Bank as the best in the world. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/724802/ph-cash-transfer-program-among-worlds-best-world-bank#ixzz3mblrf2fA It is probably for this reason that Senator Poe has vowed to continue the program: it is the best program to launch her advocacies for women and children, including orphans. As an internationally funded program, the 4Ps Program will also set the stage for entry to the world of global finance and international assistance. (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/754527/poe-vows-to-continue-cash-doles-under-4ps)

    But Aquino’s successor should ideally a staunch fighter of graft and corruption so that the funds will really be beneficial to the poverty sectors of society instead of lining the pockets of thieves. Who is the best to fill the bill, if not the champions of the Daang Matuwid platform of government?

    VP Binay may be the leader in the surveys today, but is he a real advocate of clean government? If Senator Trillanes will have his way, the people should not vote for Binay or Duterte (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/755139/trillanes-urges-public-dont-vote-for-duterte-binay).

    A quotation from the recent book of Papa Francisco is perhaps a fitting close to this blog post: “The corrupt man tires of asking for forgiveness and ends up believing that he doesn’t need to ask for it any more. We don’t become corrupt people overnight. It is a long, slippery slope that cannot be identified simply as a series of sins. One may be a great sinner and never fall into corruption if hearts feel their own weakness. That small opening allows the strength of God to enter.” (http://opinion.inquirer.net/92014/mercy)

  71. MR. 2 Cents says:

    2 economists (Arroyo and Aquino) in 16 year span and yet another in a form of Mar comes which adds 6 to the 16 years of economists. The economy has been addressed as indicators of increase in GDP, employment, retail and trade sales, residential construction and stock market trading. But still there is corruption, crime, glaring poverty, proliferation of drugs and failure to deliver services to the majority of which are basic healthcare, quality education and food security. The Philippine glaring majority are the masses they are the ones that are deprived of the services and the most prone to crime and drugs while experiencing poverty. These are Filipinos we can’t overlook them no more, they are us we can not sit in our comfortable homes enjoying the leaps and bounds of the economy in which a minority only enjoys insulated from crime, least affected by the pillage of corrupt officials and could readily afford basic services.

    It has come to a point that the ills of government and society could not be addressed by a manager alone for a very fact that the majority of us have resigned ourselves to the norm of such. It is high time to place a leader who has no compromise in him and could straighten the contortions of government and society, we need someone to lead us in believing that the norm that we have been accustomed with is not the right one and by believing in such will just lead us to chaos. We need a leader who has strong convictions and has a heart for the common man not only by principles but by experiencing it first hand as a person and as a government servant. A patriot who has his/her life as an open book willing to go over and beyond his duties in service of his people abiding the laws of the land while doing it. In all of these for the love of God I only see a few and it’s not Mar Roxas,

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  1. […] Source: “Mar Roxas: the man, the myth, the legend” […]

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