“The confidence of the dumb”

confidence and dumb - izquotesThere is a scale of intelligence upon which one person is smarter than another, and there is a scale of knowledge upon which one person knows more than another, and there is a scale of ego upon which one person exhibits more confidence or hubris than another, and there is a scale of forthrightness, the gap between known truth and manipulation of information that separates the honorable from the game-players.

In a political arena, these come into play when word wars are waged in the comment threads and social media that represent the high speed, widespread conversations of our time.

If you take any given advocate of a cause or candidate, he or she can be assigned each of these qualities or a counterpoint, the opposite or bottom of the scale:

  • Intelligent (counterpoint Dumb)
  • Knowledgeable (counterpoint Uninformed)
  • Egoistic (counterpoint Wimpy)
  • Forthright (counterpoint Manipulative)

Like the Myers Briggs personality profiles, we can develop a scale for every person commenting. If they are tested . . . or we judge them . . . they can receive one of four pairs of bipolar attributes:

  • I or D
  • K or U
  • E or W
  • F or M

So a manipulative troll who is highly intelligent, knowledgeable and confident (IKEM) would be clearly different from a slow-witted, uninformed, pontificating chat-room troll (DUEM).

Now this blog attracts intelligent, knowledgeable people like barnacles to a whale’s back. Most readers are confident and are here to listen and learn. So this is a community of IKEFs. And a fine community it is.

The trouble we face, though, is the same trouble Mar Roxas faces. He is talking to himself, or into the wind. No DU*M would visit here. In fact, no *U** would visit here as he’d be bored out of his skull. A *U** would likely perceive us as intellectually arrogant, rather like they consider Mar to be an elitist snob. And the smarter we get in trying to figure out the solution to something, the wider is the gap between us and them.

Now I am of the impression that there are actually few D***s anywhere in the Philippines. The poor may be under-educated, but they are not Dumb. I also don’t think there are many Wimps in the Philippines. There is a lot of confidence hereabouts. Furthermore, I think the broad masses of people are not inherently Manipulative. That is the realm of crooks, lawyers, sales people and politicians. So we have a broad, broad voting population comprised of:

  • IUEFs

I say Uninformed, because, for sure, they have no idea at all about infrastructure projects underway, or what Mar Roxas REALLY is like or has accomplished. They work from images thrown out publicly by tabloid media, political players and other Uninformed souls. It does not matter if they are rice workers or college graduates. They have no idea. The national Uninformed score is profound. Stunning, actually.

And so we sit here talking (or writing) to ourselves, or into the wind, because there is no knowledge out there that welcomes or grasps what we say. People aren’t listening.

Well, I suppose we really aren’t that destitute of influence. If 20,000 people read a blog and 300 of them are opinion leaders, then we have at least pushed the idea rock over the top of the hill and it will roll and bounce down as it will roll and bounce down. With enough people pushing rocks, we can move a mountain.

We just don’t know when or where it will re-appear or what it will look like.

The two qualities of our scoring mechanism that fascinate me most is the interplay between Knowledge and Ego. I think that we are all within reaching distance of each other on intelligence. And we are either pushing an agenda or not.

But knowledge is not increasing, overall, I think. Where social media ought to lead us quickly to rich information, it is instead dumbing us down. Furthermore, it is turning us emotional, leading us to a lala land where conquest is the goal, and to achieve the win people build relentless layers of conflicting, irrelevant, just-plain-wrong nonsense. Our egos are developing a need for emotional highs, for conquest, for “likes”. And we will sacrifice sense to get there.

Thus, we see that, in a nation which is basically intelligent, basically confident, basically forthright . . . lunacy sells.

This particular blog was inspired by the gross irrationality that sees Filipinos seriously considering crooks, liars, opportunists, manipulators, murderers, and terminally ill people to be their president. How can a nation that is so fundamentally good get things so gawdawfully wrong?

Here’s a MUST READ article from which the title of this blog was extracted: “The Death Of Expertise“.  I’ve pulled a few meaningful ideas from the article and added my thoughts in parentheses in bold type.

  • “. . . what I fear has died is any acknowledgement of expertise as anything that should alter our thoughts or change the way we live.” (We have stopped listening.)
  • “To reject the notion of expertise, and to replace it with a sanctimonious insistence that every person has a right to his or her own opinion, is silly.” (Right. We really ought to be searching for solutions, for an agreed path. We just don’t know enough to do that, or are too emotional and impatient.)
  • “None of this ignorance stops people from arguing as though they are research scientists. Tackle a complex policy issue with a layman today, and you will get snippy and sophistic demands to show ever increasing amounts of ‘proof’ or ‘evidence’ for your case . . .” (We see that demanding attitude over and over again in comment threads here.)
  • “There are no longer any gatekeepers: the journals and op-ed pages that were once strictly edited have been drowned under the weight of self-publishable blogs.” (Yep. We have met the enemy, and he is us.)
  • “There’s also that immutable problem known as “human nature.” It has a name now: it’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect, which says, in sum, that the dumber you are, the more confident you are that you’re not actually dumb.” (Which is why Duterte, Marcos, and Binay followers have hollow-blocks for brains and echo chambers for ears.)
  • “So what can we do? Not much, sadly, since this is a cultural and generational issue that will take a long time come right, if it ever does.” (RIP, social intelligence.)
  • “In any discussion, you have a positive obligation to learn at least enough to make the conversation possible.” (The emphasis is on listening, not speaking, and understanding, not pontificating.)

I actually think the Philippines leads the world in this characteristic of dumb being expertise. It is not a compliment. Tens of millions of people run around with cell phones getting knowledge from the uninformed. Facebook is an authoritative source. Superstition rules over sense. Rumor over fact. Headline over content. Meme over critical thinking. And each cell-phone operator is incredibly confident in his vision of things.

Woe, Philippines.

Really, woe to us!

Smart phones in the hands of masses of grossly uninformed people . . . who happen to be voters.

Yes, yes, I know, the US is that way, too. But stop trying to muddy the message. That’s a form of dumb.

We . . . you and I . . . are in huge trouble here . . .


179 Responses to ““The confidence of the dumb””
  1. One the plane back to Munich from Istanbul, I read a German newspaper again for the first time in many weeks… it was a true relief. Data is not information is not knowledge is not wisdom.

    Top German and US papers provide knowledge – they aggregate and evaluate information that has been gleaned from data in such a way that one has gained something by reading them.

    Examples would be New York Times, Washington Post, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit. Now each has a direction, one being more left, one more right, but there is reasoning and expertise – articles about stuff often written by specialized academics.

    The only Filipino media that provide information – not yet knowledge – are Rappler, Interaksyon and CNN Philippines… locally Cebu Daily News and Mindanews shine, even with knowledge.

    As for the blogosphere, Raissa’s and Joe’s provide knowledge, an occasional GRP article is also knowledgeable or informative but they too often get lost in polemics. Well, the Philippine blogosphere is strong due to the weakness of traditional media… we are doing their job, really.

    • Joe America says:

      Alas, the masses have no curiosity. They carry no books, they thrive on selfies, and the newspapers merely give them what they want, serial drama of he said she said, each episode running the next day with an ever increasing tension. The lack of awareness of what a vote means is potentially catastrophic. There are no values to speak of, no principles, and the goodness of Cory Aquino is as lost on the young voters, as is the rape of the nation by the Marcoses. Provincial wisdom seems to have gotten more provincial, rather than worldly. Localities are locked into their belief that their region is better, just as Republicans think they are the real Americans. The situation is pretty grim if you ask me.

      • What is worse is the ignorance and the non-sequiturs of those who could know better.

        Refer to my present debate with Atty. Rene-Ipil about Duterte at Raissa’s… I couldn’t help but tell if you are a lawyer you SHOULD be for due process because that’s my idea of law.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, Rene-Ipil argues without attachment to values, as a defense atty is paid to do to try to get a murderer free. It’s strange to me. I ignore him, as he is pushing agenda, not trying to impart knowledge.

          • Well, I have seen some democrats respond to him… like Mary Grace. I just try to give infos and knowledge and ask some questions… defense of Philippine democracy I leave to the people back home… maybe they will do more for it if they actually fight for it this time.

            • caliphman says:

              Justices Ipil, Baycas, Leona,and Yvonne who among the four of them form the Supreme Court of CPM and of course lets not forget their amicus curia and Court Jester Monsieur Parekoy. They are not here to defend themselves but I know them well from my time at CPM what gross legal fallacies and irrelevancies can be conjured up when these wanna be justices combine superb google skills with a notable deficit in legal acumen. Ipil has always had admiration for Duterte’s brand of frontier justice and were it not for him being hammered by Alan Robles and myself for arguing that Duterte’s legal shortcuts were justified by his results in Davao. This was when Duterte was justa blip on the electoral radar and not the dominant position on the survey he holds now. One would think that the self-proclaimed CPM justices would be scrambling to shift targets from the hapless disqualified Poe and training it on the imminent danger of possible dictatorship under Duterte but no, the CPM high court is too busy decrying Poe’s espousing the cause of foundlings as a ploy to gain sympathy from the courts.

              • caliphman says:

                Attorney Oscar Tan has an OpEd piece today describing how stupidity reigns supreme among these so-called and self-described legal experts. Its bad enough when these pseudo experts really do not possess the legal credentials to pontificate and misrepresent the meaning of the law shielded by the anonymity of the blog, But when Comelec justices commit judicial blunders and reach decisions counter to rulings by the Supreme Court itself, it seems that legal stupidity has spread to endemic proporttions. In the link below, Atty. Tan cites as an example the Comelec justices reinterpreting the Cobstitution and opining that the dual citizenship law results in Filipinos reacquiring only naturalized and not natural-born citizenship. Now I may not be a Harvard Law School scholar like Tan who had the unique accomplishment of the only Filipino to edit its legendary Law Review, but I am competent enough to know that in 2001, the Supremr Court itself ruled on this very same issue and as Atty. Tan cofirms, I am once again a natural born Filipino citizen. I am sure there is some legal half-with out there who will gloat in glee that since the dual citizenship law was enacted in 2003, Tan and I must be smoking some really powerful stuff. But I did use the word half-wit and not complete dummy so maybe he can figure things out himself…hehehe!

              • Joe America says:

                hehe . . . there is intrigue . . . and there is always a tendency of the loser in a ruling to cite “politics” or “incompetence” or “misreading of law”, as Poe praised Set and complained about COMELEC. I just hope that when the SC rules, we can all just sit back and say that justice was done, no matter how the ruling turns out. This is probably one of the most thoroughly and publicly argued legal cases in the history of mankind, so one can hardly say “lack of due diligence”.

              • Joe America says:

                hehe . . . there is intrigue . . . and there is always a tendency of the loser in a ruling to cite “politics” or “incompetence” or “misreading of law”, as Poe praised Set and complained about COMELEC. I just hope that when the SC rules, we can all just sit back and say that justice was done, no matter how the ruling turns out. This is probably one of the most thoroughly and publicly argued legal cases in the history of mankind, so one can hardly say “lack of due diligence”.

  2. edgar lores says:

    1. Ahaha! An enjoyable read!

    2. I think I am an IKFF.

    3. The four scales are accurate as counterpoints, but each only represents the opposite extremes of the spectrum. The middle of the scale is ignored.

    3.1. I would suggest the middle point of each scale would be:

    o Intelligent – Average – Dumb
    o Knowledgeable – Layman – Uninformed
    o Egoistic – Firm – Wimpy
    o Forthright – Tactful – Manipulative

    4. This expansion would allow inclusion of ambiverts in the extrovert – introvert scale.

    5. It should be fun to classify the presidential candidates. My scoring:

    o Duterte – DUEM (or DOM for short)
    o Binay – AKEM
    o Miriam – IKEM
    o Roxas – IKFF or IKFM

    • edgar lores says:

      Sorry, Grace, forgot you!

      o Grace – ALEM

      • Joe America says:

        Grace to me is IUEM. She doesn’t know jack about government as a discipline or set of principles, and she doesn’t know jack about what the current government is doing. If she does, her sense of Manipulation is so intense as to be psychotic. In my E opinion.

      • Filipinas says:

        Grace is an ALIEN – Average Layman sometimes Ignorant Egoistic Novice 😊

      • … a ‘D’ for Duterte is very appropriate. He self-Destructs everytime he opens his mouth. Lately he’s expressed support for Binay in case he’s DQ’d(GMA News Online) while his supporters continue to bash Binay for corruption. Now he’s exposing his true colors … kakulay din pala siya ni Binay! He is giving his damage control team a hard time!

        • Joe America says:

          I expect Sens Pimentel and Cayetano are developing a fine case of apoplexy. Their guy is an undisciplined loose cannon of absolutely no consistency or principle.

        • Thea says:

          And this Inquirer.net about Duterte under KBL banner as resort to resolve Duterte’s COC pending case. KBL=DKEM to the nth power.

          Can we, instead have : Knowledgeable- Confused- Uninformed?

          Many are, specially the youth and the senile.

      • Joey says:

        I agree! You got them all! So, if there will just be enough ALFT Pinoys come the vote, I believe we can get ourselves an IKFF president another time around.

    • Irineo: IKFT… and as for Filipinos, you need to lead them in another way… they are hard-headed so they have to be brought to the moment of realizing things by themselves… “oo nga pala!”… argue directly with them they will resist and come with their “Basta!”.

      Later today, I am coming out with an article dissecting the good and bad aspects of Duterte’s “program”… the conclusions people want to arrive at I will leave to them… my own conclusion I will not yet let out… there is an article that will follow though…

      “Choices for 2016” will be my last article this year… I will shortlist Ro-Ro, Mi-Ro and Ro-Tri as the only three somehow viable choices for President/VP:

      – Mi-Ro if one doesn’t trust Roxas, but wants Leni as a successor in case Miriam is finished.

      – Ro-Ro if one trusts Roxas and/or hopes/knows Leni will make sure people are involved.

      – Ro-Tri is one is more on the center-right but wants the economy to continue to grow…

      Moral no-gos: Binay, Duterte, Escudero
      Competence no-gos: Honasan

      Morally alanganin: Poe, Cayetano, Bongbong
      Competence shaky: Poe, Duterte, Bongbong

      So Miriam, Roxas, Trillanes, Robredo remain.

      – bad tandem: Miriam-Trillanes… Trillanes is not yet ready to take over just in case… he still needs to lose his arrogance and learn some humility.

      – Mi-Ro and Ro-Tri would be good solutions if one wants to have the “blue” and “yellow” crowd united and they manage to work together for the country, but only then.

      My wacko proposal to solve the deadlock on Marcos: bury him, but have a monument to his victims just beside his grave, and require Bongbong to give the money back so that the government can fund a lot of stuff… exorcise his ghost and force his son to fix some stuff.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, but Myers Briggs does not provide that middle ground, even though I scored midway on two functions. Too many people would argue they are middle when they are not. The dominant features of Duterte and Binay are definitely E and M. I agree Duterte is D and I’d put Binay as an I. Yes, Duterte is U and Binay is probably K. The question on Miriam is the F/M score. She is a lot forthright, but sometimes that is done for manipulative reasons, for show. For her, we could add a Healthy vs Sick qualifier and kick her off the list of rational prospects. 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed the read. It was fun to put together. One of my favorites. I’m going to peddle a few of the pithier quotes.

      • edgar lores says:

        I scored Binay as an A because he lacks moral intelligence. A is for average but also for amoral.

        I agree Duterte and Binay are dominantly E and M. I would go so far as to say that both are S (superegoistic like Trump) and M. Actually, Trump is off the scale!

        Generally, all politicians are E and M, with Roxas (and Robredo) being the exceptions among the current crop.

        As to the broad population, the I in IUEF is generous, and I would score them as AUEF using my revised scale. Again, for me, the moral component of intelligence is lacking… in that Binay and Duterte are seen as viable candidates.

  3. sonny says:

    “What sluggards, what cowards have I brought up in my court, who care nothing for their allegiance to their lord. Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest.”

    Or, do we wait to find out that the other side has been thinking this all along?

    • Joe America says:

      The famous words uttered by King Henry II represent the final stage in the turbulent relationship between the king and his archbishop, Thomas Becket. While in a rage, Henry is reported to have said, “What sluggards, what cowards have I brought up in my court, who care nothing for their allegiance to their lord? Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

      While Henry’s exact words have been lost to history, four of his knights: Reginald FitzUrse, Hugh de Morville, William de Tracey and Richard le Breton, interpreted them as a royal command and immediately set out to confront Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. They arrived there on December 29 1170 and after a brief conversation, in which Becket refused to submit to King Henry, the four knights drew their swords and killed him.

      Not my words, but from here: http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-did-king-henery-2-say-that-prompted-knights-560523

    • If the meddlesome “swine priest” (Schweinepriest in German means disgusting manipulator) is Duterte, then democrats of all colors in the Philippines are doing too little.

      Why do you think I translated “Lamat” into German? And have shared it with the interested crowd over here? I am prepared to help isolate the Philippines if Duterte really wins.

      Because if the country is not able to defend it’s democracy, it does not deserve it, basta. And it does not deserve civilized countries as friends anymore. Those who failed to defend democracy when they had the chance may go to where I have been – jail and/or exile. And maybe disorder or hunger will make some people go to where I might have went – to the mountains. To give Duterte what he gives others, to make him eat what he likes to cook.

      • Schweinepriester… I have been called one at times I know… I can be one if necessary.

        But one has to calibrate one’s use of trickery… in order not to fall to the Dark Side.

      • sonny says:

        Even though Gen Luna recommended going guerilla, one must have a reliable outside supply line. Also Aguinaldo’s lesson at Hongkong should not be forgotten.

        • Luna knew – or hoped – that the Cordillera could supply at least the food for a while.

          The fight going on now is one of convincing people, and the only thing we can do is to give people the intellectual ammunition… but they have to do the shooting themselves.

          • sonny says:

            Historical note.
            Came 1945, Yamashita decided on his last stand in the Cordilleras and so brought his remaining divisions. The Philippine mountain regions resembled the nooks and cranies in the Japanese mainland and prepared for a battle “in the skies.” Volckmann’s Ilocano and Igorot battalions obliged and the Battle of Bessang Pass became the Filipinos’ finest hour. Yamashita is captured in September at Baguio and executed as the instrument of surrender was signed at Tokyo Bay.

  4. mcgll says:

    I would like to think that I belong to IK _ and certainly forthright. Engaging in self classification strikes me as being egoistic, which I am not. But Wimpy ??!!. nah. Haven’t commented in a while but I certainly follow most everything you write about with great interest. Thanks.

  5. One should check out Mark Anthony’s famous speech from Julius Cäsar and apply its principles:


    Kanos, Filipinos, Davaoenos, lend me your ears…

    it is said the Mar Roxas does not care about his people…
    and that he told Romualdez bahala kayo sa buhay ninyo
    so it is up to us to believe Romualdez, for he is an honorable man

    Duterte says that Mar Roxas cannot handle stress because of this
    and we all know Mar Roxas who does not care fell from his motorcycle
    on his way to help the people, and that Mar Roxas even moved corpses

    Duterte merely asked that the corpses be taken away, but we all know
    that Digong cares for the people, and that Digong is an honorable man.

    Trillanes has said that Mar Roxas is a politician, a man of pure ambition
    because Mar Roxas declined to run for President in favor of Noynoy
    and even served after he lost… but Trillanes is a humble, honorable man.

    Many have said that Roxas is an opportunist, that he does not care who he serves
    and has worked for Erap, Gloria and Noynoy… he left Gloria and even P.I.ed about her
    in public when things went very wrong with her rule – but those who say things are honorable.

    It is said that Mar Roxas is a hypocrite who is no saint exactly because he does say P.I. too
    now Duterte says he never meant the Pope just the goddam traffic… Digong is an honest man.
    I speak not to disprove what Digong speaks… But here I am to speak what I do know. O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts, and men have lost their reason. Did Mar not make medicines cheaper? Did Mar not reform the police? Did Mar not help Mayors do their job better? Tell me!

    • It is about the rhetorical devices used to convince people… agree with certain things to get people to listen… then insert proofs of the contrary while being sarcastic about what populists like Brutus are saying… watch closely… this says everything.

    • Joe America says:

      Fear No More – Poem by William Shakespeare

      Fear no more the heat o’ the sun;
      Nor the furious winter’s rages,
      Thou thy worldly task hast done,
      Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages;
      Golden lads and girls all must,
      As chimney sweepers come to dust.

      Fear no more the frown of the great,
      Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke:
      Care no more to clothe and eat;
      To thee the reed is as the oak:
      The sceptre, learning, physic, must
      All follow this, and come to dust.

      Fear no more the lightning-flash,
      Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
      Fear not slander, censure rash;
      Thou hast finished joy and moan;
      All lovers young, all lovers must
      Consign to thee, and come to dust.

      No exorciser harm thee!
      Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
      Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
      Nothing ill come near thee!
      Quiet consummation have;
      And renowned be thy grave!

      • My most significant ideas are now in my blog… it is fully free and will remain online even if I get run over by a car or meet someone from Davao over here who isn’t that friendly… there are a few people who understand stuff now among Filipinos… Prof. Michael Chua for example recently wrote in FB: “damn you Rizal for being right about the slaves of today becoming the tyrants of tomorrow, I thought you were an elitist for saying that about us!”.

        • sonny says:

          Don’t stop now, PiE. Will wait for that history book as son to your father’s.

          • No, I am not stopping… definitely not. It’s just that you never know when it’s over so all the more important to leave as much of a legacy as possible.

            Ars longa, vita brevis was my father’s high school graduation motto, Albay High School.

    • anislagan says:

      Problem with caring is you don’t need letters to prove it. The human mind is equipped with detectors that could tell something is wrong with him.

      A traffic enforcer in Manila went over to Duterte’s team and beg them to slap Mr. Roxas at the height of the spat. Maybe, Mar needs to undo his image more than photo ops laying on top of ice, etc.

      • Joe America says:

        Who’s your pick for President, anislagan?

        Mar’s lying on the ice is Mar Roxas, a fun and funny guy. It only gets distorted by those who would not allow him the right to have the kind of personality that motivates people who work for him, and with him. It is a perfect example of the general theme of this blog article, people allowing their uninformed view to dictate the truth, and as a result dumbing down what is really a strength of Mar Roxas, his lack of pretension, humility and earnest approach to work. Why not try to see Mar Roxas for who he is, rather than who you want him to be, to look good in the tabloids.

      • john c. jacinto says:

        For all we know, that traffic enforcer might be a kotongero, babaero, basagulero just like his idol Dodirty.

  6. karl garcia says:

    If you ask my therapist,I am manic depressive. I remember the Villar camp using the history of Noynoy with depression.Noynoy turned out to be a fine president as far as I am concerned.Now as to these candidates Miriam is the most credentialled among the lot,allof them have egoes. Duterte is supposed to be a lawyer,but what is coming out of his mouth is full of trash talk so is that called confident but dumb,or dumb but confident?Grace is feigning confdence.Binay…forget Binay.

  7. Joe, PH democracy has a waze to go. Maybe the CIA types are right after all in that the ends justify the means. Or, we do deserve the rotten state today of democracy.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, “democracy” can mean the institutions or the values or principles or the processes of getting things done. I think the institutions are established, the values or principles are weak, and the processes are handicapped by a historically provincial culture supplanted by an inane social media culture, a failing that has infested a lot of democracies, including American. I’d say our humanity has a long waze to go, around the world. The Philippine democracy is what it is, and we’ll see in 2016 if there is any sense to it.

      • The evolution of order has backtracked very often in history… after Justinian and his laws came the breakdown of order in the Middle East that led to Islam and the Sharia…

        Greeks and Romans had democracy and lost it many times… barbarians ran Europe in the Dark Ages and then rediscovered the things their ancestors had destroyed… built a new civilization starting around 1500… which might end soon… or continue another way.

      • sonny says:

        I read somewhere way back: True democracy is another word for chaos (can even mean Maxwell Smart’s meaning for the enemy organization, KAOS). Sobering, with a Fawkes-like smile.

        • http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/personalities-versus-politics/ – Greek democracy was very chaotic, the agoras (also marketplaces) in which it took place probably as lively and loud as democracy on Philippine social media – they are a passionate southern people too.

          http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/evolution-of-order/ – as for the evolution of order, Filipinos are evolving very quickly, things that took others centuries to assimilate… so the present processes may only be a step to a truly great Filipino civilization, something I took for total nonsense when my father told me about it 25 years ago… the Spanish forged an Empire out of the energies of the Reconquista… the Dutch developed their greatness out of driving out Spain and the sea… Israel survived Egypt, Babylon, diaspora, Holocaust… English managed to make Norman, Scottish, German kings their own kings with some time… Rome grew stronger fighting Carthage… Germany had many trials… lakas-loob!

          • http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/lakas-loob-pilipinas/ – Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment – these three phases are something the Philippines is going through in lightning speed… it is not without pain, but with direction those forces can be harnessed.

            • sonny says:

              If true, are we riding a tiger whence we can not get off for risk of being devoured? who’s reading? who’s listening?

              • Very good question… but my articles are trying to put it together… readership is already moving up thanks much to Joe’s peering… but I also get readership from GRP where I ocassionally post and epalize a little… and from Raissa’s blog where I also am.

                http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/programa-ni-duterte/ – this is about the challenges the country is facing, Duterte could be the grain of sand that produces a pearl in an oyster, an irritant but nonetheless quite useful – but a national team must be elected to ride the tiger. It isn’t just the President, or the P/VP tandem (best choices: Ro-Ro, Mi-Ro, Ro-Tri IMHO) it is also the right Senators, the right Congressmen, Governors, Mayors… this is serious.

              • sonny says:

                Then if ‘in-tandem’ is the choice, the Filipino body politic must learn and practice the paradigm of principles proper to a true nation: solidarity-subsidiarity-social justice: municipality, beyond the towns to the province and on to the country. Remember the helix, PiE.

              • “Riding the Tiger” will be my last article this year before New Year…

                Smug complacency or populist alarmism will not cut it for anyone…

                The Philippines is at a nexus point between greatness and oblivion.

              • solidarity-subsidiarity-social justice: correct… the helix and the SAP model of central server – application server – user interface… a coherent team at all levels, cooperating.

                and the idea of “equivalent living conditions” I mentioned in my program article, something which is in the German Constitution… the wide gap between the industrial north and the agricultural south led to Hitler… dapat walang iwanan, Ro-Ro may have recognized this.

        • Joe America says:

          I’ve got to do an article about that. We think the process is supposed to be neat and orderly, clean and progressive, but it is rather like a cock fight with 20 roosters in the ring, each checking and balancing another whilst worrying about his behind. 🙂 You do tend to incite a visual look at things . . .

      • You counsel for patience. Perhaps that’s all we can do.

  8. Jorge Barba says:

    Did Mar destroy CAP 100,000 plan holders even though SEC is not under DTI he once headed but suggested AGILE that kill pre-need business model in the country?

  9. karl garcia says:


    Confidence of the Dumb sounds like Silence of the Lambs.

  10. Val Victa says:

    Thank you for this very enlightening blog.

    If I would be truly honest to myself, I believe I can categorize me as an “IKWF”. But that’s not important.. (See!? I’m doing it again! Wimpy! Pft)

    One problem I have with Mar Roxas… is that, I am convinced that I shall see NO PROGRESS, NO CHANGE, and NOTHING NEW from his presidency. The only infrastructure I am currently excited about and would like to see to completion, is NORTH-SOUTH SKYWAY CONNECTOR. But I also am confident that none of the possible “president-nexts” nor anybody in his right mind would “shelf” that project once he/she gets elected. That would be really DUMB!

    Another problem I have with him is; I smell the stink of what I call “ANGAS ATENISTA”?
    Don’t get me wrong… My daughter’s an alumni, but even she and many of my atenean friends admit that they hate this elitist “posture” of many as if their alma mater has a monopoly on intelligence. The good old “KATIPS” campus HAS produced some very great minds… But the rest are just “rich-kids”. Nothing more. We have all heard about the “call of the blue eagle” legend running the engines of many corporations… I feel it creeping into Malacañang. And it scares me.

    Most of all, I am certainly not convinced by his ad campigns! Especially in the light of his now ongoing rift with Duterte. The shallow and corny ads and social media posts promoting him as Mr. Palengke, Mr. Traysikel, Mr. Traffic cop-in-the-rain… He proved fake! When he lost his cool when Duterte attacked his padded Wharton attendance! NAPIKON?? At naghamon ng sampalan? Pfft!
    Duterte is really doing a good job at playing the “hero-of-the-masa” role here. He has effectively stolen from Mar what he (Mar) was trying to create. That’s how the poor-boy bida puts one over the rich kid villain… Asarin mo lang hanggang sa mapikon.

    Mar HAS LOST the PR war. The only way he can win May, is IF HE CHEATS. And if he does that… Well, that only proves that he was never worthy of my vote.

    • Joe America says:

      Who is worthy of your vote, Val?

      In the context of this blog, your recitation of complaints about Roxas and praise for Duterte would suggest that you follow the tabloid media carefully. My take is that you are not W, but possibly are not K as well. Sometimes E or M (agenda) gets in the way between K and expression. For example, I suspect his ads were not directed at an audience consisting of you and others like you. I also think that someone who declares an election over before the race has officially begun does not grasp the impact of time and circumstance, a further demonstration of being a little light in the K. But I appreciate your kind words about the blog. That’s the goal. To stir up healthy discussion.

      • Joe America says:

        This article interprets the latest Standard survey that points out things are still very fluid, and Roxas has moved up:


        • It’s quite ironic that in NCR, Mar is lagging behind with just 8% considering that this is where the supposedly educated voters are concentrated. Ooops, maybe they took their samples in the depressed areas. Then again maybe the educated ones prefer Poe and Duterte and not for the continuity of the present government’s programs. What a shame. What are they basing their choice on… emotion? Sympathy? Violence? Dictatorship and Iron fist rule?

          The Standard Poll….uhm…

          We should spread the word that surveys should not be an issue in choosing who to vote for, but the voters’ own analysis of each candidates’ character, qualification, experience, program of government, and the people around such candidates who will influence the respective admin if ever one wins…. BAYAN MUNA..(country first) before anything else.

          • Joe America says:

            They blame Roxas for the traffic, probably. Heavy on the dumb index, but maybe some upside with projects coming on line, new train cars, new investments approved. He definitely needs a Manila strategy to upgrade peoples’ understanding. I mean, the BPO people aren’t talking him up?

            • Jonathan says:

              The BPO people (especially rank-and-file) are some of the worst affected by traffic and taxes, Joe. They’re not talking Mar up; if anything he’s getting absolutely destroyed there.

              Maybe the managers/VPs/etc like Mar. But there are a whole lot more rank-and-file BPO agents than managers.

              • It’s the economy…Jonathan. Thousands in malls shopping, more cars were purchased than road expansion…6 years is simply not enough. But there projects are already in the pipeline to address this…in partnership with the Japanese. Patience, patience, we will get there. We just need continuity. RORO!

              • Joe America says:

                Fascinating. I’ll refrain from further comment.

              • Jonathan says:

                Mary Grace: understand that I’m talking about the politics here. I’m not talking about whether it’s wise, or if it’s correct, etcetera.

                The “patience” line is not going to work, not when somebody has to spend 2-3 hours to get to work one way and with a hefty chunk of his paycheck going to the taxman. There’s not much in the way of patience left, not when the ground-level situation in Manila has been awful for so long.

                There needed to be more short-term solutions. I’m not denying there are projects in the pipeline, but there needed to be more short-term fixes in recognition of the facts that:

                – large infrastructure projects take time, and more often than not schedules slip.
                – natural growth (both population and economy) would add to current problems.

                For example, look at all the efforts that go into clearing roads whenever November/December hits. Why is this something that only happens when the holidays strike? Why can’t we clear roads and have enforcers man all known problem points year-round?

                The basic problem is this: yes, you can speak of projects that will fix the situation years from now. But the Metro Manila population has been crapped on for so long that they want some help NOW. Until you can give that short-term relief, they won’t give one crap about your projects in the pipeline.

              • As I already noted in my article on Duterte’s programs, Metro Manila has the highest population density in the world and has to be decongested. There is NO quick solution.

                ACHTUNG Sarcasm: Duterte might have a quick and final solution. I might advocate a total embargo on all exports of German chemicals and chemical-related technology to the Philippines if he becomes President. It was already used to save bullets decades ago.

              • But Duterte might set up polluting Chinese factories if he wins. Then the Philippines will have to pay for emissions as per COP agreement and save China the trouble. And the Peking-style pollution will take care of Manila’s overpopulation by itself.

              • Yep, that has been discussed in most blog articles for quite sometime now, the instant gratification demand, the NOW na demand, like children who could not wait. Impatience is the name of the game. We demand good and modern infrastructures yet we demand the reduction of income taxes, we demand future plans to end this traffic woes and when provided, we say no, no, we’re not convinced, basta, it has to be NOW NA…we are provided with logical picture of where we stand now and where we will be , and we yell like spoiled children having a tantrum, a melt down, no, no, no, we want it now, we we want it now…Duterte, Poe….!!

              • karl garcia says:

                The problem with short term is this :For example squatters,relocate squatters,they come back because no opportunities in relocation site,much worse,no livelihood and no mass transport. Phase out old jeepneys,without offering alternatives will solve nothing.Road widening only makes more cars parked on the road,and no sidewalks to wak on.I am really against band-aid solutions.
                Work from home with a slow internet is another wasted suggestion.

              • June 2016: Rodrigo Roa Duterte is inaugurated as President of the Philippines.

                June 2017: due to DDS killings in Metro Manila slums, an intifada-like rebellion erupts.

                June 2018: gas attacks on major slums in Metro Manila since PNP refuses to move in.

                June 2019: military coup by the Magdalo fraction, Joma Sison is summarily executed.

                June 2020: DDS and NPA stage terrorist attack, Guadalupe MRT bridge collapses at noon.

                June 2021: Rodrigo Duterte is freed by terrorists, proclaims Philippine People’s Republic.

                June 2022: In Naga, the capital-in-exile of the Free Philippines, Leni Robredo is President.

              • Jonathan says:

                Mary Grace: You can go and compare voters all you want to children, but they’re the voters. We’re a democracy, not an aristocracy. If you care about the Mar Roxas campaign and you want him to succeed, guess what: you have to convince those people to vote.

                And frankly, comparing them to children is grossly unfair. They’ve suffered for years. Their reaction is perfectly in line with their experiences. So many long-term programs have been promised, and none of them have come to fruition. Why is this one any different?

                If you want to win them to your side, you have to understand how they think and what they view as important. Comparing voters to children is an act of virtue signalling. It’s not going to help the cause you care about.

                karl garcia: I’m not saying that only short-term solutions have to be done. But they have to be part of the entire program. Look at it this way: say we have a sick patient. His surgery is in two weeks, but until then he’s going to be in a lot of pain. A doctor is not going to say, oh, let him be until then, he’ll be fine eventually. Something has to be done in the meantime.

              • karl garcia says:

                In the meantime means 100 days or the first few months of the honeymoon period.You want candidates to promise change and actoon agad.Who do you think can do that?

              • Jonathan says:

                karl garcia: That’s not what I meant, and you know it. I was using the phrase “in the meantime” in the context of my comparison to a sick patient.

              • Then let that be Mar Roxas promise.

                Wala akong ibang sisihin.
                Wala kayong ibang sisisihin.
                Ako, ako lang.

                I will be the one responsible.
                If the traffic in EDSA does not get resolved then the bucks stops at me (Roxas).
                If the Clark airport does not become a major hub then the buck stops at me.

                Duterte says he will fix traffic in 10 years with dictatorship.
                I am raising the stakes I will fix traffic in 3 years in a democracy.

                Hit all your opponents plans with grander promises.
                There is an old Republican trick on Budget Balancing.
                Have your proposal scored by having an assumption embedded within the Budget Projections of optimistic growth or optimistic budget cuts. Out play Grace Poe, Out play Rody Duterte, Out play Binay.

                Promise full coverage of PhilHealth
                Promise expansion of health management and out patient/pharma/rehabilitation. A world class health system that surpasses the HMO driven US health system.

                The instruments in our Provincial Hospital are more advanced than the local private hospitals. Why is this possible? Because PhilHealth made charity cases paid. The PhilHealth Reforms create a dynamic that make me confident if we can just follow the cost controls present in the US Medicare/VA systems/ and UK Health Services true UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. WHY THE FUCK AREN’T YOU SHOUTING THIS OUT. MAKE Hontiveros and PNoy sell this.

                Gather all his partymates and institute a Blood Compact sa Daang Matuwid. Make his party mates promise that theirs would be the generation of politicians that would sacrifice for the nation. Create a covenant between themselves if you do graft and corruption you are expected to resign and ask for forgiveness.

                Talk to all the call center bosses. Give them tax breaks and perks with the requirement that Metro Manila wages will be forced to equal that of the budding call center centers outside of Metro Manila. This will create a reverse migration.

                Find all the industries where this may work.

                If they can pressure the SM Group to equalize the wages of all their SM sales people we will no longer see the current situation where people from Batangas work in SM Makati because the wage difference presents needed money for survival (True story I overheard this conversation while going home to QC from Makati in the MRT ride.)

                These are top of the head things. Your team has been part of Government for 6 years if you can’t make proposals 10x better than what I wrote then you really have no right to govern. Just angle for a position in a Duterte/Poe Presidency.

                The fact is dream big. Aspirational goals are needed. Find the doable selling point. All will be lost if the election is lost. 6 years down the drain, this is not acceptable.

              • From my article… and I think everything else is a band-aid: Metro Manila: pinakamalaking problema ito ng Pilipinas. Bakit?

                overpopulated – pinakamasikip na na lugar sa buong mundo. Tignan ang population density para malaman.

                lumulubog na – gawa ito ng groundwater subsidence. Nauubos ang groundwater, lumulubog ang lupa.

                pataas ang dagat – lumulubog na, tapos pataas pa ang dagat. Puro baha ang mapapala sa ganyan.

                Paalisin siguro ang Crame, Aguinaldo at Bilibid sa Maynila, pati na rin ang Wack-Wack, tapos iba pa. Kapag kumonti ang tao sa Maynila, mas madaling solusyonan ang traffic. Siyentipikong napatunayan na mas agresibo ang mga tao at dumadami ang krimen at droga sa mga siyudad, lalo na sa mga megacity na over 10 million na katao. Bawasan!

              • karl garcia says:

                in the mean time is now or yesterday,so you want to wake up tomorrow with no traffic.Me too.

              • karl garcia says:

                let me post what i wrote in fb

                My sort of yearending rant.
                Merry Christmas everyone.

                My dream is to have that long pending National Land use Act to be acted upon.
                We need an alternative to Metro Manila,but first we must fix the road networks and the rail networks.There is this big private property in Aurora called the Pacific Coast City so the roads leading to Aurora must be fixed. The issues must be resolved like is the property a that vast a land grab,are there indigenous people to be displaced? Will mountains and forests be destroyed?
                Our band-aid solution in decongesting Metro Manila is relocating squatters to Bulacan,Laguna or Cavite.In less than six months they will be back because of No public utilities like water,electricities,transport.Then there is no livelihood or too far from their place of work.So we already know that wont work, might as well build a new and better Metropolis.
                Aurora is often hit first if the storm comes from the Pacific,Making most structures storm proof must be part of the plan.
                They say they will make it the new gateway by building a port there.
                I guess all legal issues and ethical-moral dilemmas must be resolved and finally push through with this long stalled project.
                Back to the rest of the country.
                When will we go Cargo by rail to finall get rid of the trucks in Metro Manila.
                If we do that we must also relocate all businesses near the container depot,without doing so you will just spread the traffic, the trucks maybe lessened
                ,but the minitrucks or vans will just multiply.
                I am sure many planners and policymakers have thought of a better version of my dreams,but as to how it will come to fruition, it is always the economy,stupid.
                The Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Law,seemed to have the answer to our food security,but since thr late 90s when the law was passed, still there are farms using beasts of burden instead of being mechanized,fishermen still doing “lambat sibat”.Five six is still the source of funds.Irrigation still blame wear and tear .Bottom line lack of budget support.
                So all those studies to come up with a law.it will end up on the yearly GAA,same goes with the AFP modernization.
                Coincidentally,all the assumptions and projections were killed by the Asian Financial crisis,but that has long passed,time to revisit AFMA as they have revisted and amended the AFP modernization law.
                Shall the decision gods do away with rice self sufficiency and leave rice production to Thailand and Vietnam,we keep on equating rice self sufficiency with food security.
                Another concept to abandon is the so called food sovereignty,sounds nice but it also has the isolationist pitch to it.
                AFP modernizations aim was to leave internal security matters to the police,and external to the AFP,but we all know that did not happen and it will be hard to happen.
                Soon,there will be peace with Leftists,Muslims,etc.
                Our concept of compromise is to make eveybody happy,If not ultimatum blackmail conditions.As far as there are conspiracy theories which seem real,no peace talk will finish.
                They say war is a business and war is manufactured,I say finally we are good at manufacturing.
                I guess BBL will finally lead to Federalism,while they are at it,they could duscuss parliamentary form as well.
                Even law making is a never ending practice of compromise.Some major bills originate from the executive,it maybe the present admin or some admins back,then some group would be against major portions of that bill and major revisions happen and we end up with jig saw puzzle raggedy anne laws.
                Traffic is always a mess,that is why it has long been proposed to get rid of old cars,but any proposal of phasing out of old school buses,old jeepneys will always lead to a stand still.
                Chicken and the egg like the relocation of squatters, sure there are newly built homes,but what happens next is up to whom?
                Getting rid of old vehicles without an alternative mass transport,without options for alternative jobs for the drivers,will be futile.
                Road widening also did not work,it only became parking lots,because some or most establishment lost their parking lots to the widened road.It also lost sideawalks,so more parked cars and people on the roads.
                Going back to manufacturing,there must be new technoligies for the recycling industry. The garbage dump can be sources for materials like used clothing can be used for garments,used ewaste can be materials for electronics you can extract metals from it.Used plastic can be diesel,furnitures,and many other uses.used wood can be made in to many things like pate,firewood,furnitures.
                The garbage dump is a rich source of everything. Safe recycling should be part of te plans.Then we can set up more waste to energy and fuel plants and reclaim some land by getting rid of the garbage.

                What to they say about best laid plans of mice and men?

                Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

              • Jonathan

                Uhmm… you may have noticed that I used the pronoun “We”.

                I included myself, you and the other voters, for I too am suffering with all the rest because the road area had not grown with the pace that the economy is growing. That is a generational issue, a result of multiple 6-year regimes’ neglect. I’m one of those whose taxes are included in the various scams on PDAF, and other manipulations.

                I constantly remind myself that we are where we are because we collectively chose the past and present presidents, senators and congressmen who diverted the taxes we paid to their pockets instead of to worthwhile infrastructures. This present admin inherited all these problems stemming from the diversion of taxes and lack of foresight.

                If not for Joe’s blog site, I would still be currently blaming this government for my daily traffic and other woes, but for the longest time I’ve been part of those who stood silent, and took a rest when democracy was restored and relied on the officials we put to office to do things right. True, I did not vote for the likes of ex-Presidents GMA, Estrada, and Senators Enrile, Revilla, Estrada and the rest of the alleged (and one convicted) plunderers, but I stood silent and did not try hard enough to prevent their being voted to office at least with my immediate circle of influence. It’s only now, with my current health issues that I’m being a keyboard warrior, a little late in the day but my style with whom I talk to in social media is not judgmental, I try to return their ridicule, sarcasm and insult with calm retort and a “God bless you” as parting words.

                We are to blame also for the state we are in now.

        • NHerrera says:

          For those interested and whatever it is worth, including how it is to be interpreted, here is the result of some algebra applied to that Standard Poll.

          Going through the whole Philippines numbers in that Standard Poll of Presidential Preferences, one can do some algebraic calculation facilitated by use of Excel spreadsheet.

          Give or take a few percent, the prospective votes of Poe (that is, votes lost to her if she is disqualified from running as a Presidential Candidate) are distributed as follows:

          Percent of Poe’s prospective votes going to


          Similarly, give or take a few percent, the prospective votes of Duterte (that is, votes lost to him if he is disqualified from running as a Presidential Candidate) are distributed as follows:

          Percent of Duterte’s prospective votes going to

          Poe——– -40%


          1. Poe’s prospective votes goes mostly to Binay and Roxas and secondarily but still significantly to Duterte and Santiago.

          2. Duterte’s prospective votes goes to Roxas to the least extent and went mostly to Poe and Binay and some to Santiago.

          3. CAVEAT — of course, this is just a snapshot, true for the period of the survey with 4.5 months still to go for election.

          • sabi ni Digong, matoto mona mag dibay-dibay bago algebra.

            kilangan sa business, add, subtrak, multiply at dibay-dibay.

            porsiyento para sa bangko lang iyon, huwag itoro sa tao.

          • NHerrera says:

            My understanding is that by year-end at least two more Presidential Preference surveys will be released — those from Pulse Asia and Social Weather Station. With the release of these surveys, we will have a better basis for assessing the rankings of the candidates in the context of the periods in which they were done, assuming all of them are quality scientific surveys.

            One thing we can say generally is the apparent volatility of the numbers.

            Of course, as shown by the recent Standard Poll in the case of Duterte, his high 30s number cannot be sustained with his loose canon mouth running rampant despite damage control of Cayetano and Pimentel. The Pope and Wharton statements are classics from Duterte’s motor mouth. Poor guys. Cayetano who prides himself — and has attracted admirers during the Binay investigation hearing — for his apparent due diligence work, has apparently been negligent. Added to that is the blind spot caused by his own political ambition for 2016.

            • Joe America says:

              Not meaning to be too argumentative, but I don’t think the trends are so volatile. Binay has been in a steady slide, Poe has peaked and is on the way down, Duterte’s high rating on one survey was a result of a poorly worded survey question and a brief flare-up of idealistic fervor now turning sour, and Roxas has been on a slow, stead climb. Santiago is a non-starter. I would expect future surveys to confirm these trends, and also reflect Leni Robredo’s climb up to respectability from “non-entity”. Those are my personal speculations, as Sal is out celebrating his winnings on the Miss Universe book. He had a simple one-word observation about Pia Wurtzbach: “classy”.

              I believe the worrying has already moved from the Roxas camp to those of competitors. He’s in the game, and they know it. Duterte’s obnoxious turn-down of a debate with Roxas has given Roxas the manly power position, and I hope he silently thanks Duterte for the Christmas gift. I hope he announcers that he will debate any candidate at any time, and does it with authority and respect, under the banner of sorting out false promises from realistic promises. He’d demolish all of them, even Santiago, and so they are unlikely to agree to a debate. I’d suggest he repeat and repeat and repeat the challenge all the way to May. The voting public understands strength and weakness, on those terms.

              • NHerrera says:

                That gives me a good feeling, and good for Sal to assess Pia Wurtzbach correctly and collect on his winnings. But not too good news. Even in the US, if he is there he can get San Mig.

                Re the numbers, there are swings but all three Duterte, Binay and Poe have their “wave” swings dampen, while Roxas wave has not dampened but come alive, and Santiago’s low-amplitude wave continues to vibrate at that level. (Talking about vibration waves, and dampeners as in car vibration being dampened, not allowed to grow.)


              • Joe America says:

                Right. Roxas is the wave modulator.And I am the blog modulator.

              • NHerrera says:

                I also agree with you on his repeating and repeating the debate challenge all the way to May. It is a winner of an idea!

  11. transitgroup says:

    Very true indeed.

    Huge trouble, huge challenge to the forthright (honest, truthful), intelligent and knowledgeable to inform and inspire, to educate and develop many others here to think critically, to recognize the fallacies in thinking that allow the Manipulative to blind, confuse and misdirect both the Dumb and Uninformed, the Egotistic and the Wimpy with their lies, illusions and false assumptions and wrong conclusions.

    Those who know have a responsibility to inform the uninformed and patiently help them to understand the meaning of the information. Rather than alienate they must establish rapport with the EUD for them to be open enough to new information and right reasoning to be able to shift their paradigms to a more logical and truthful basis for choosing what is real and for voting the right leaders into office.

  12. Francis Rose says:

    Hello! I’ve been lurking for quite some time, and I just can’t resist myself from making this comment. Please though, take my word with a grain of salt; one, I’m just a teenager, and two, I feel quite selfish making this comment, as I feel that I’m doing it merely for argument’s sake—this whole debate is exciting, and I just can’t resist!

    I don’t mean offense, though. If I may, I would only wish to give one particular point which I’ve been dwelling on while reading previous articles (forgive the length, please).

    Perhaps, we are focusing too much on the man, and not on the policy and the ideas.

    Yes, Mar Roxas is a fine man. Yes, President Aquino—for all his stubborness—has been proven himself capable, to a degree. But—I find this hard to put into words—the Philippines had had too many good men, and too little idea-making (or at least, idea-codifying). Think about it. Do we ever discuss the ideas of Quezon, Macapagal (both), Marcos, so and so forth—or do we just focus on their character?

    “Character” by the way is the perceived character, which takes into account not only actions but also looks (some people are perceived as “nice” for looking nice and vice versa for ugliness).

    Say there was Candidate A with Idea One and Candidate B with Idea Two. Candidate A was a person lacking in charisma who seemed out of touch, but his Idea One was revolutionary. Candidate B, on the other hand, was a charismatic born politican who had Idea Two—which was mostly common and only, at besrt above-average.

    Let’s say there scenarios A and scenarios B. Scenario A is when society focuses on primarily on character. Scenario B is when society focuses on both character and ideas. These are the ideal scenarios that we can feasibly see in the real world.

    There is, it must be noted, no Scenario C where ideas are the primary focus—human beings are irrational animals at heart, and as much as we’d hate to admit it and as research forces us to confront, superficial factors such as good looks does have a significant impact on our politics.

    Now, back to the analogy. In both scenarios A and B, Candidate A will lose—as even if both ideas and character are considered, character will still win out. However, what is important is in what happens afterwards.

    In Scenario A, Candidate A’s idea, will frankly, have a hard time surviving. Candidate B will be dominant and his Idea Two will also be validated. Candidate A’s idea will be discredited by a society that, having character as a primary basis for judging leaders, will see Idea One as tainted by association—perhaps, not even for being bad, but for simply being on the “losing team”—especially considering thay us-vs-them dynamics and identity politics will be rampant in the personalistic Scenario A. Textbook history books will forget the ideas—outside of the university academia. History, on the ground and as perceived by the public, will ignore the ideas completely.

    In Scenario B, something beautiful happens. Candidate B does win, and carrys out his Idea Two. Candidate A, however, is not seen as a “loser” by the public. Scenario B. In Scenario B, the public recognizes the brillance of Idea One, especially as Candidate B’s Idea Two starts to underdeliver. At best for Candidate B, excellent implementation of mediocre Idea Two leaves Candidate B respected in the short-term. However, what will be the case is that Candidate B will underperform (or at least underdeliver the absurdly high expectations his “character” implied) and Candidate A can serve as a “Shadow Leader” calling out Candidate B, with his legitimacy still present. What is important to note is that Idea One is still seen as a legitimate alternative and can still be viable, especially in the long term. Textbook history will remember the ideas, even if simplified. History, on the ground and perceived by the public, will remember a simplified discourse—but discourse nevertheless!

    Really. I admire the admimistration for the breadth of the platform that she has aimed to implement. I also am disappointed, for the same reason.

    Case in point: PFM or Public Finance Management. Arguably, one of the most comprehensive reform efforts in the post-EDSA era (Youtube: https://m.youtube.com/user/pfmphilippines , In Detail, from the outside and our own gov’t: http://pfmp.org.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1 , http://pfm.gov.ph )The proposed implementing bill (one of the versions filed: http://www.senate.gov.ph/lisdata/2119218042!.pdf ) makes Poe’s FOI a cakewalk. The current budget reforms already in place are no joke ( https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2015/cr15156.pdf ).

    Yet no PR efforts for the bill, which is in committee and not in priority. Yet this: http://pfmp.org.ph/images/Documents%20section/PFMP_APAR_Feb16.pdf

    And that’s just one idea, though arguably one of the most important.

    Ideas like this—and many other ideas in the Tuwid Na Daan platform—are more than just one person, more than Mar Roxas, or President Aquino or the LP. In a situation where Mar loses and the president is someone else (Duterte/Poe), it may be imperative to focus on ensuring the best aspects of the reforms of the Aquino administration survive and are built on.

    • In my Philippine history series, I have focused on the good and bad programs of every administration from Quezon to Ramos… http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/category/philippines/history-languages-culture/history/

      http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/programa-ni-duterte/ is about Duterte’s programs, but also makes clear what already is being done NOW… Duts makes it look as if NOTHING is being done but I debunk that… and I invite to a further discussion on programs there.

    • Joe America says:

      Welcome to the blog discussion, Francis, and thanks for lurking. By way of administration, three or more links puts a blog into moderation, as the main purpose of the comment thread is for commentary. There is a certain “dumbing down” of arguments when readers are directed to other sites to compile the arguments themselves. Data show that most people simply don’t click on links, as they are busy people and scanning the thread for ideas.

      Who are you leaning toward as your preferred presidential candidate? How about vice president?

    • edgar lores says:

      You beautiful lurker, you!

      I think your plaint goes to the heart of the problem in Philippine politics: personality (or character) driven politics vs. platform (or ideology) driven politics.

      Offhand, I can only think of three ideas advocated by past and present presidents: the independence now of Quezon; the Filipino First of Garcia; and the Daang Matuwid of Aquino. The New Society of Marcos is too vague, and all presidents advocated socioeconomic programs and agrarian reform in one form or another.

      As Irineo partly points out, the basic problem has to do with the formation of political parties, not just the various organization levels though, but the absence of philosophical differentiation behind them.

      It would seem that the natural divide between the two major parties in any country is their opposing positions in the political spectrum from the center: one would represent the left-of-center liberal side and the other the right-of-center conservative side.

      Other parties would represent greater distances from the center: greens and socialists on the left, and monarchists and fascists on the right.

      This philosophical divide does not exists here: the major parties are almost dead center. Certainly, there is the Left, but they do not have a large popular base; perhaps if they moderated their act and repudiated violence — as the Left have done in many countries — they might become an alternative second force.

      The PFM project on government transparency that you cite is highly worthy of bipartisan (or multipartisan) support. I am chuffed that it is funded by Oz.

      • I second that “You beautiful lurker, you!” of yours, sir edgar. Considering the lurker is just a teenager. I hope the millennials who can vote already can read this post and be just as involved!

        Way to go Francis Rose! Keep it up!

        • karl garcia says:

          What do they feed the young teenagers like MKL and Francis Rose?

          • Beats me, haha..I hope more of them are lurking over here and had just waiting for the right time to make their presence known. My friend Jhomz is quite busy being a keyboard warrior himself, posting completed projects, being done, and still to be started by this administration to belie all those trolls oozing with negativity.

            May your tribe increase!

  13. Chivas says:

    Aside from Internet Rules, I get a risk of having a halfpinion(an opinion that focuses about either the benefit of a plan or a cost but not both.).

    Let’s see what the thinkers I know have their take about human missteps.

    Cory Doctorow

    How to speak like a troll

    Scott Adams

    On dumb people

    For voters to think about.

    About opinons

    Seth Godin

    Kinds of stupid

    Jaron Lanier

    He talks about Digital Maoism

    On other perspectives:

    Sloane Crosley
    David Sedaris

    While reading the article, I laughed when I heard “Bakit Kung Sino Pa” the epic song by Lloyd Umali. Also the epic song of “Minahal Kita Sa Amoy Mong Pambihira” by Michael Laygo. Songs you can sing on karaoke bars. You can have funny variation to the lyrics and still quite make sense of them.

    I actually envy people here who are outside PH, in a sense that they have nothing to lose.

    Being fair, I feel a little bad for them because Philippines is pheromonic. She got a certain “vibe” you can’t have anywhere else that even Hotdog’s Manila lyrics is cannot grasp. The distinct relational pleasure, genuine care,food everywhere, the lovely loud intel neighbors, the sound of the morning rooster. But many of you know them anyway.

    Go read a little of Great Philippine Jungle Energy Cafe by A. Yuson, check the intimate Filipino writings of Eros Atalia, his foodtrips and musings are really awesome.

    I don’t see about image problem because the filter is the problem. The horde of unthinking masses. The recent support of Ramon Bautista is just right because he is close to Mar imho, knowledgeable, awkward in behavior sometimes, knows inequality of people and many more. There’s a price for everything: the price of admission is one of the most expensive. Things will costs us.

    While watching TV in my 15 minute watch per week, I saw Coco Martin, Vic Sotto and Willie Revillame perform lousily and immediately I want to go inside and kick them hard in the teeth.

    Why is are they still allowed to annoy me? Their acheche ways and many of their ilk are one of the reasons why thinkers are not taken seriously.
    Serious in a sense that people still want to play “find the missing sausage” with them, literally or figuratively, I don’t care with TV airtime pie, they know pretty well that if they have more, others will have less, they still want to milk concepts until they bleed. I hope that their TV incompetence can catch up and they go out of business.

    Artists like them getting real-world prizes(some of them gets elected) and thinkers only getting obligational claps and plastic uh..huhs. If there’s an Arthurian rock somewhere with a blade stuck on it, tell me where it is (even if it’s a family secret) so I can give myself a try. So things can change.

    If having an Orwellian thinking, belong to the methods for getting the keys to the kingdom, I only have a few months of business here in PH before the gates “to the life” will close fast.

    Installing a data center here as an standard for any self-respecting IT owner,
    (unless you own a humble computer shop) is very expensive.

    My first comment here is my surprise that an a lazy-ass executive’s stipend abroad is much larger than, say, being a seasoned tech manager. The new thing is that people don’t hire tech workers anymore, they hire IT teams as if they’re toys to pass around just because they simply have faster internet.

    I know, life will never be fair, some people get lucky, some don’t.

    If life is not fair and the game is rigged as Heinlein may tell, the task of any strategist/producer is to make life more fair.

    Many things are indeed a challenge.

    • Joe America says:

      Three links gets a comment sent to moderation.

      ” . . .because Philippines is pheromonic. She got a certain “vibe” you can’t have anywhere else . . .” Foreigners here who fight that vibe are miserable complainers. Foreigners who accept it find satisfaction and happiness in knowing their life is somehow richer.

      Enjoyed the commentary. Will get to the links as the day progresses . . .

      • sonny says:

        I will remember the phrase: ” … Philippines is pheromonic …” The land of the lotus-eaters maybe – one bite, and you go on an odyssey!

  14. bauwow says:

    Oscar Franklin Tan must be reading your blog Manong Joe. He has a “lament” on our culture of stupidity, or how others would insist that Mar is not a graduate of Wharton.

    • Joe America says:

      I suspect he arrived at his conclusion independently. The illogic and trivial arguments coming from the Duterte crowd trying to justify the bozo’s candidate’s remarks were incredibly dense. Real head slappers. That is the crowd among which Senators Pimentel and Cayetano try to hold their heads high whilst holding their noses to remove the stench of really rotten stupidity.

      • bauwow says:

        And 2 years of hard work at the Senate inquiry down the drain just because their presidential candidate will support Binay if he is disqualified.

        I am thinking of moving to LA as a gas attendant for I don’t know how low can we go with our politicians. Never thought that we can sink lower than this gutter levels.

        • I feel that way, sometimes, doc. But I try to lift my spirits and do my best in the midst of the seemingly dense supporters of Binay, Duterte, Poe and BBM. I don’t know what to think of Miriam S, why she persists in being a candidate if she is really that sick. One day saying if she cannot run, she will support Mar, the next day defending Duterte’s trash talks as mere hyperbole and just like Atty. Rene Ipil, enumerating on ways to kill sans due process without violating the law. Sheez.

      • My aunt remarked that while watching a news clip on TV with Duterte spewing his usual trash talks with everyone around him laughing, she noticed Cayetano oh so serious and looking so sad.

        My 70-year old aunt taught Cayetano must have been slapping his forehead in self anger having placed himself in a position where he, and PDP Laban leaders have to employ damage control efforts every time their candidate opens his dirty mouth.

        • Joe America says:

          It’s strange. Duterte has become wilder and wilder, erratic. Every time I see a Pia Cayetano tweet (I follow her), and she is touting this deed or that, I want to ask if she think’s Duterte’s attitude toward women is good for the Philippines. But I don’t, out of respect for her position and my alien status.

          • I heard that her vote was THE swing vote in the SET deliberation on Poe’s DQ case. Her brother had played the waiting game re Duterte’s presidential bid. The SET decision allowing Poe to stay on in the Senate and at the same time allowing her to go ahead with her Presidential bid was the “final straw” so to speak, that made Duterte decide to finally run, gifting Alan with the VP choice instead of BBM (for his patience to wait?)

            I’m so disillusioned with the Cayetano siblings.

  15. Bing Garcia says:

    Hussein is a 38-year-old Malaysian shopkeeper-turned-bomb maker associated with IS. He is a key figure in IS’s Black Flag cell of Universiti Malaya professor Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, alias Abu Handzalah, who has been hiding with the Abu Sayyaf in southern Philippines.

    Pass the BBL.

  16. NHerrera says:

    Joe’s four attributes of humans, particularly the politicians, bloggers and commenters capture rather well the essence of these groups, but although edgar in his comment extended Intelligence to moral intelligence, I believe a fifth attribute must be added to the four — that of the spectrum, Integrity-Dishonesty with a scaling from 9 to 1. I do concede that in some ways the notion of this spectrum is somewhat embedded in the four attributes. If I may apply this ID attribute to the previous Philippine Presidents starting from Cory and to the current Vice Presidential Candidates I may write as follows:

    Previous and Current Presidents

    ID 8 Cory
    ID 7 Pnoy
    ID 6 FVR
    ID 3 GMA
    ID 2 Erap

    Vice Presidential Candidates

    ID 7 Leni Robredo
    ID 5 Trillanes
    ID 4 Cayetano
    ID 3 Honasan Escudero
    ID 2 Marcos (Bongbong)

    • karl garcia says:

      Please differentiate ID and FM.

      • NHerrera says:

        Karl, thanks for asking. Here is an explanation via an example.

        First, I believe there are some equivalence in the concept of FM and ID (Forthrightness-Manipulative versus Integrity-Dishonesty); there are different shades too:

        Integrity does not just mean forthrightness — in the sense of the latter being frank or honest. When a father sees a step-son on the way to school sporting clean, polished, appropriate shirt, pants, shoes and clean face, hands and fingernails but say “you did not clean your hands well enough” because he notices a little dirt in one finger nail — but does not act the same way with his own son on similar circumstances — that is being frank or forthright to his step-son. He is not being dishonest — he noticed the fact that one fingernail is dirty. But if he acts that way to his step-son but not to his own son, he is being manipulative to his step-son. He lacked the integrity in dealing with his step-son relative to his own son. (My view. As I said, shades in meaning; may not be a universal view.)

  17. josephivo says:

    There are different people, but there are different realities too. The world, moral values, expectations… look very different for a house maid, farmhand, and other types of slaves, or for OFW dependent survival strugglers, or people with a real degree and a real job… up to Henry Sy and other 0.1 percenters.

    I or D, K or U, E or W, F or M in each class means something very different. One strategy to reach them all does not exist. The people would like to convert is a small slice, vote irrelevant, slice of the total voting population. The only thing we can hope for is to influence some influencers.

  18. Kinda like not knowing that 1st Runner Up is actually 2nd place—- and not 1st place. And to read further below to MISS UNIVERSE 2015. (congratz, folks—- especially to karl 😉 ),

  19. For those who think that Duterte cares for anybody… here is the strong indication that he could be a sociopath according to the clinical definition:


    The court cited the results of an examination by a clinical psychologist who found Rodrigo unable to “remain committed to a person or a relationship.” He carries a “gross indifference to others’ needs and feelings, heightened by lack of capacity for remorse and guilt.”

    • When Rodrigo Duterte, Davao City mayor, said in jest during an interview with celebrity Vice Ganda that he has 3 girlfriends and that his feisty ex-wife “used to beat him up once a week”, he appeared to be trivializing his flaws.

      Court records show that it was his wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman Duterte, who was on the receiving end of “emotional abuse” from Rodrigo whom she described as a “womanizer” who had frequent “outbursts of temper.”

      • http://thewickedsurvivor.com/tag/narcissistic-rage-and-narcissistic-injury/

        How do you know he’s a sociopath? If he’s a true sociopath, there would have been warning signs at the very beginning of your relationship. Sociopaths are masters at deception. For instance, he may have lied about his job, finances or family. He probably did not have close ties with too many people, as a sociopath is incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse.

        A sociopath has little concern for another person’s feelings, desires or needs. His main purpose is to get what he wants, regardless of how it may harm other people. He was probably very charming and charismatic, which is how a sociopath will win over the love and affection of his target — you. He knew how to play the victim so that nothing was ever his fault and had a way of twisting it around so that you believed that it was somehow your fault. A sociopath continuously invents outrageous lies about his past experiences and other people. If your ex really is a sociopath, you’ll see a history of his fabricated storytelling and wonder to yourself how you could have ever believed some of those absurd lies in the first place. So, if he doesn’t fit the “sociopath” profile — could he still be a narcissist?

        So what’s the difference between the two? A narcissist needs to be validated by others, and a sociopath doesn’t. A sociopath will exploit others because he finds it amusing, while a narcissist only exploits those he believes is a threat. If you are dealing with a sociopath, stop playing his games. He enjoys pushing your buttons just for the fun of watching you squirm.


        When the sociopath loses grip of control, the character will change. Not only will the character change. You will witness a change in the face, the eyes become empty, often dark, black even. Colour will drain from the face, and the facial muscles will be tight with tension. The atmosphere will be tense, and you could feel threatened and frightened.

        What you witness when the mask slips, is a man who shouts, who yells, and who gaslights. The sociopath is threatening, angry and confrontational. When you witness narcissistic rage the sociopath looks different, and acts different. It is like there are two different people. The sociopath is always two different people. The persona that you see (that is manipulating you) and the one that you rarely see – the one that is behind the mask.

        I can only describe the narcissistic rage, as a meltdown of insanity. Words and accusations make no logical sense, and you protest your innocence. But this is another form of manipulation designed to control you and manipulate you. Remember that the sociopath is about control, and he uses mind control to own you. He uses fear to control you. At no time will the sociopath cause more fear than when you witness narcissistic rage.

  20. manuelbuencamino says:

    Joe, Just adding to your Notes from the Editor

    Apparently, there are some Filipinos who can’t help but piss on our parade. I’m talking about National Democratic Front Chairman Joma Sison’s minions.

    Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. greeted Pia Wurtzbach’s victory by accusing her of selling out the country just to win a beauty pageant when he said, “Saying NO to US troops, in front of a predominantly American crowd, would harm her chances of winning.”

    Reyes added that Pia was wishy-washy. “I hope she would find time in the future to sit down with the victims of abuses by US troops. Hindi naman siguro yun ang FINAL, FINAL answer nya.”

    For her part, Gabriela Women’s Party-list Representative Emmi de Jesus called the newly-crowned Miss Universe inhuman and ignorant.

    She said Pia “contradicts her concern for humanity” because she “sees no problem at all” with US military presence here. She added, “We hope she will have a change of mind and heart on this issue by learning the history of our nation under US colonial rule.” Inhuman and ignorant.

    Former Bayan Muna party-list lawmaker Teddy Casiño Jr. scolded the newly-crowned Miss Universe on his Twitter account, “She could have at least acknowledged that there are problems that have to be addressed re. US bases in PH.”

    Furthermore, Casiño revealed he had more than just a scolding in store of Pia, “Pag-uwi ni Pia she should be briefed by Gabriela on the issue of US troops in PH to help her get a better perspective,”

    “Briefed” is a euphemism for “re-education” the penalty imposed on cadres who stray from the party line.

    Seriously, what pleasure do those people get from pissing on our parade?

    • karl garcia says:

      scrap partylists!

    • Joe America says:

      Incredibly cruel people. But they write their own ticket to oblivion with that kind of reaction.

      • bauwow says:

        Such hypocrites! These are the same people, who did not even lift a finger or say a single word when China occupied the Spratley’s! Well I hope the new Ms. Universe will raise her middle finger for you.

    • Even Presidential candidate Miriam Santiago has joined the leftist groups saying she and Pia gotta talk later re her opinions on American bases as stated in the Question & Answer portion.

      As small as our country is, I just can’t believe we have these kinds of senators and officials who oppose American presence here to the point of signing the resolution against the EDCA. Japan is way way bigger economy wise since after the World War II but they, one of the most ultra nationalist people of the world, have welcome American bases there in their country, they spent just a very little portion of their annual budget for defense in years because of that and was able to concentrate in building their economy first.

      We are geographically located in the center of the Pacific, and as such could be target for imperialistic, communist countries, not to mention our inadequacy to police our own territory in the West Philippine Seas which resulted in us being the laughing stock of bigger bullying China. Our Filipino fishermen could not fish in their usual fishing grounds, our oil rig in Palawan is in danger as well as the possible oil deposits still to be discovered in the area.

      We have to have strong relations with our other Asian neighbors, the US and Japan for our mutual interests and of course, so we will not be like small ants forever helpless, so to speak, and always at the risk of being trampled by those admittedly bigger and stronger than us, which is what is actually happening right now in the West Philippine Seas. We don’t challenge any country in a war, we only want to be able to defend ourselves and our citizen’s source of livelihood and future economic prospects, not to be the laughing stock of our would be enemies because of our smallness and defense inadequacy.

      Don’t they understand?

  21. Metro Manila is a very tough problem to solve… but many ideas have been mentioned:

    1) increase minimum wages in the provinces so people don’t have to seek jobs there.

    2) if one relocates squatters, I suggest this: into industrial satellite cities, meaning:

    2a) with factories, even just simple assembly stuff
    2b) with TESDA Dual Training facilities included
    2c) train lines and public bus lines for access

    3) Mar Roxas’ solution of streamlined bus franchises makes very much sense, add to this:

    3a) dedicated bus lane at each side of EDSA, real bus stops that let traffic pass
    3b) electronic tollway gates on EDSA to limit the use of cars by making it cost
    3c) dedicated “Park and Ride” world class parking near major transit stops
    – now I wonder if there is still any space left, but the Trinoma area is one possibility
    – Aurora near Katipunan also – all areas where many people come from outside

    4) high capacity regional train line from NAIA to Clark has already been suggested

    4a) use double-decker coaches to accomodate more people – this is state of the art
    4b) extend the line to Cavite as quickly as possible, later branch outs should be planned
    4c) industrial satellite cities should be along these lines, including freight train terminals

    5) Put all Metro Manila services under a state-owned private company for efficiency

    5a) All LRT, MRT and bus lines, electricity, water, sell Internet access as well
    5b) use existing LRT and MRT bridges for a high-capacity fiber-optic backbone
    5c) incentivize subdivisions to provide fiber optic to home to encourage home office

    Just some thoughts.. common sense, I have seen this kind of stuff work elsewhere.

    • Move Camp Aguinaldo out… and build a multistory simple garage there for people coming outside, and a bus terminal… so people leave there cars there for a fee which includes a whole day bus ticket, and don’t clog EDSA anymore. Electronic toll for those who still drive.

      Other possible “Park and Ride” stations: Villamor Golf course and Navy Golf club. Make sure that access to PNR Nichols is also given, and bus lines going everywhere… AND:

      Parks and Wildlife… so you have North, South and East access covered… just an idea.

      • Pass Sustainability Law that limits population density even up to the barangay level and mandates a certain percentage of green areas in all LGUs… so that squatter areas that are removed can be turned into gated public parks that are closed at night no sleeping…

        And like Leni already said, make the provinces more attractive again for people to go to… I would add clear them of NPAs so companies move in.

    • Joe America says:

      Excellent ideas all, some of which are in the works, but not as dramatically carried out as you imagine (Clark Green City, mired in lawsuits). Or not publicized in a way that we can feel the progress.

      Railway to Clark (connecting with NAIA) just approved: http://www.interaksyon.com/article/121705/govt-gives-green-light-for-railway-to-link-naia-to-clark

  22. NHerrera says:


    Sorry folks. Can’t help inserting this in the current blog. It’s all about Duterte, the Chicken (with my deep apologies to our fine-feathered friend).


  23. NHerrera says:


    Unprecedented floods and global warming:


    But Pia Wurtzbach warms the Fillipino heart except if you are members of Bayan Muna, Gabriela and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.

  24. chempo says:

    As an outside observer, therefore less emotional, I will throw my lot with Mar, all things considered. But the tide is against Mar, let’s be frank. The preponderance of educated AND thinking voters always, and logically, call for debate on platforms. When we drill deep into the details, Mar wins hands down.

    Consider this. Polls have seldom been won on details. You need one single outstanding message that captures the throes of the nation at this particular point in time. For Bill Clinton, it was “IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID” because Reagonomics left America in a mess; for Obama it was ‘CHANGE IS COMING” because there was too much Bush; now it’s security and the feeling the sitting president is inadequate– and so The Donald and every candidate drums it up on fears and taking a swipe at a “stupid president who knows nothing”.

    Mar has to find something fast. I think there is “TUWID NA DAAN” fatigue. I think there is also yellow-shirt-fatigue.

    For me, I think Mar has a very great, and workable idea – the Php 100 billion Walang Iwanan Fund. It’s a fund spread over 6 years I think. The pros :
    – Php1,000 per resident per year for each LGU — it’s equitable.
    – Residents at LGU decide on their own projects — so it’s ground level up budgeting.
    – It’s empowering the ground — thus it’s solid inclusivity (compare this to the hollow speeches of Binay, Poe, Chiz on inclusivity).
    – People power — thus all residents see the cause and effect of voting — they better vote the local politicians properly.

    This Fund is the best idea by any politician out there. BUT, it has not been marketed well. I think Mar should use this as his front and build his campaign around this. But they need to come up with something that can capture the imagination of the massa. Something really creative is need here.

    • Going to talk to people all over the country like now is the best strategy, let them spread the word themselves…

      There have to be enough to SEE how he really is firsthand and not judge him based on “he is rich, he is therefore a bad person”… trying to sell it big time NOW will only cause prejudices to kick in and harden, they have to be softened by steady flow of water.

      • Historically, all groups that attained some power and/or money in the Philippines have hogged it for themselves and left the others behind uncaringly… which is why each group supports someone like them instinctively, hoping to be on the gravy train of the big boss.

        Look at a map of Metro Manila with Google Earth, check out the uncrowded areas: UP Diliman, Ateneo, Veteran’s Memorial Hospital, Camp Aguinaldo, Wack Wack, Forbes Park, Villamor Golf Club, Navy Golf Club… academe, rich, military are the rulers of the city.

        Now Mar has been abroad, worked NORMALLY abroad no sitting pretty, so he knows a different kind of society REALLY exists, something most Filipinos can’t even conceive. He must convince people he will GROW the cake for everyone, not EAT it with the rich only.

        • chempo says:

          Irineo…I’m all for what you said of Mar. But what is happening in the country is very clear. Many don’t care shit of the details. Mar need to have something that is a punch, that gets attention and people sit up and say hey that makes sense.

          Actually, Mar has a great vision in the Php 100 billion Walang Iwanan Fund.

          Make this his core campaign point, his frontal assault. All he needs is come up with a creative punch for this. This is a game change for the people. It sidelines Federalism, it’s his answer to Duterte’s call for Federalism. Duterte needs 20-30 years to work Federalism through the legal system. Walang Iwanan Fund will work immediately. But first thing Mar should change the word Fund, it has a bad connotation (PDAF?) Use some other wording.

          I’m disappointed that we do not discuss this here. This is a visionary approach to solving a lot of problems, but it’s hidden in all those details.

          • karl garcia says:

            Roxas Introduces Walang Iwanan Fund
            MarLeni Payatas_11.30.2015

            “Daang Matuwid standard-bearer Mar Roxas joined Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and other local government officials during the inauguration of the new multi-purpose hall in Bistekville 1, Barangay Payatas on Monday (November 30).

            Bistekville 1, the first of the 17 socialized housing projects of the Quezon City local government, caters to 334 beneficiaries and informal settlers. On Monday, the residents of Bistekville 1 celebrated the progress of their community through the opening of the Bistekville 1 Multi-purpose Hall.

            In his brief message, Roxas told the residents of Bistekville 1 that the multipurpose hall of Bistekville 1 was a microcosm of the development of the nation; a symbol of a new hope for the residents, who were saved from the high-risk areas.

            “Ang ating ipinagdiriwang ngayon, ang ating binibigyang kahalagahan, binibigyang pagkilala ngayon sa ating pagpupulong sa araw na ito ay ang pag-asa, pag-asa, ang kapanatagan ng loob, ang kasiguruhan, ang magandang kinabukasan na ngayon natatamasan na ng mga kababayan natin dito,” he told the audience.

            Roxas also promised to continue Daang Matuwid’s livelihood projects with the introduction of the P100-billion Walang Iwanan Fund, which will be calibrated to provide the needs of local government units according to their population. The higher the population of an area, the higher the fund provided for it to match the needs of the locals. Walang Iwanan Fund was first introduced as “Karapatan Fund” during a TV interview with Roxas and Robredo last week. The program aims to make the progress of the nation felt in the grassroots.

            The Walang Iwanan Fund is estimated to allocate P1000 worth of development credits per person every year, and Roxas emphasized that the residents together with their local government units will be in charge of determining the needs of the area and where the funds should be utilized.

            “Nandito tayo para magbigay pagkilala na hindi pa tapos ang ating laban. Marami pa ang nangangailangan ng tulong lalong lalo na ang mga nasa laylayan,” Roxas told the Bistekville 1 residents.

            “Ito’y magsisilbing inspirasyon, inspirasyon at hamon na rin na kung ano ang nakamit natin dito, kung ano ang napala natin dito, ‘yan at ‘yan din ang gagawin natin sa buong


            • chempo says:

              Thanks Karl.

              I saw the interview where Mar explained his idea on this Fund. I sat up immediately and took notice.
              To me this is really a great idea — given the context of Philippines problems — corruption delaying or preventing local projects, slow filtering down of benefits of economic progress, voting choices of residents has no immediate and easily seen consequences, lack of people empowerment concerning use of development funds, etc

              But sadly, interviewer who did not catch the import of the discussion and un-inspired crowd was a real let-down.

  25. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/749478/binay-tops-duterte-poe-regains-lead-in-pulse-asia-poll

    “Vice President Jejomar Binay has trumped former presidential preference poll frontrunners Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Grace Poe to become the leading candidate to succeed President Benigno Aquino III in 2016, the results of the latest Pulse Asia survey revealed.

    The survey, which was conducted from December 4 to 11 with 1,800 respondents nationwide, revealed that 33 percent of respondents would vote for Binay.

    “If the May 2016 elections were held during the survey period, 33% of Filipinos would elect Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay as the country’s next president. Two candidates find themselves sharing second place – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte (23%) and Senator Grace S. Poe (21%),” Pulse Asia said.”

    Holy mackerel!

  26. Madlanglupa says:

    Like millions, I also use Facebook, mainly for keeping touch with younger people because of single common interest (a certain pop music group). Yet as a voracious reader and a student of history, I am appalled at their choices, particularly idolizing that loose cannon who thinks crime can only be stopped with punishment and death without addressing the root causes of crime: lack of proper education and bad parenting.

    Sometimes when I glance over someone else using Facebook, often it’s filled with pointless memes, polls, offers, spam, videos, and, of course, disinformation about certain presidential candidates. I wonder if anyone without Internet have the better fortune of thinking clearly than those who are perpetually tethered to Facebook like those people in the book Snow Crash.

    I try my best to warn them on what dangers lie in voting such a demagogue, but only a few are ever understanding why another despot is not needed; it is even rare to see some college-level youths who read texts about the Marcos regime, quote them, and understand the dangers they may soon face should this Davao Macho Man sits in the Palace.

    • Joe America says:

      It does seem overwhelming on some days, eh, Madlanglupa? The breadth of the shallow thinking and the intensity of conviction to decisions that are just plain dangerous. The sense of dedication to ethical principles here is very very weak, and I’m sorry to say that the tone is set in the Senate.

      Keep reading, is all we can do, and sharing what we know.

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  2. […] no sense whatsoever. They reject knowledge as an affront to their self-ordained wisdom [“The confidence of the dumb“; Society of Honor]. Oh, yes, there are many, many exceptions. But the mass emphasis is […]

  3. […] make no sense whatsoever. They reject knowledge as an affront to their self-ordained wisdom [“The confidence of the dumb“; Society of Honor]. Oh, yes, there are many, many exceptions. But the mass emphasis is […]

  4. […] late Edgar Lores wrote about fascism and Idolatry, JoeAm has written about critical thinking, confidence of the dumb and that Duterte is the symptom, not the cause of many things. The “dogmatic ignorance” one can […]

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